2. Most importantly, however, today marks another birthday. An actual, non-celebrity birthday. The birthday of my dear friend, Todd. It's a milestone birthday and to celebrate he rented a house on the top of a small mountain about an hour outside of Nashville and invited 20 or so friends and family up for this past weekend.
It was this huge, rambling, century-old home full of mismatched furniture, antiques, random mementos and art, sloping wood floors, giant clawfoot tubs with no showers, and an odd assortment of monkey-themed decor that I won't go into, but suffice it to say, all together made quite the fantastic setting. It constantly felt like you were maybe in movie - where everything was just this unique and picture-perfect moment. In fact I did comment that it reminded me of a specific movie with a similar setting and at one point late on Saturday night I believe I drunk-texted Katie to tell her so. Only I forgot that text-to-email messages don't include your name so she had no clue who the hell I was (but really, Katie, who else would text you on a Saturday night to mention a movie that only you, me and ten other people saw)...
Not everyone who came up stayed for both nights - and some just came up for the day on Saturday - so there was always someone new to meet and a different conversation to be part of. Tables scattered about the porch and lawn were constantly full of drinks and snacks and buffets of delicious pasta salad and chicken salad and pimento cheese sandwiches. Martha Stewart would have been proud.
The weather was absolute perfection. I think I spent a total of 30 minutes inside on Saturday (not counting the few hours when I managed to find my bed) and I can't remember the last time that ever happened. There was croquet and cornhole and hula hooping - even an arts and crafts table - and lazing about on an enormous swing on an even more enormous wrap-around porch, or sunning yourself on the edge of the bluff and then watching the sun set over the farms and town in the valley below.
I love that our croquet game came complete with a little table for our cocktails.
Lord knows how much longer the game would have gone on if we'd all had to play one-handed...
My very first game of cornhole. I've resisted this activity because, seriously!?
That has to be the most ridiculous name for a game ever. It is pretty fun though.
And unlike croquet, you play one-handed. Advantage: cornhole.
I try to avoid posting close-ups of friends and family on the interwebs
unless they've given me permission. But that's the birthday boy there
on the right showing us his mad artistic abilities, so I couldn't resist.
Those are well-placed tiki torches there in the foreground.
They marked the edge of the bluff and came in especially handy during a
star-gazing-turned-yard-nap activity late Saturday / early Sunday.
Much like a wedding reception, it was one of those occasions where someone's circles of friends and family converge all in one space. When that happens there is a high risk of it all ending poorly - but it didn't, not in the least - most likely as a testament to the kind of person my friend is. Which is to say he is one of the most genuinely good and wonderful people I know. If this past weekend is any indication, he's in for a great year. And it is well deserved. Happy Birthday.