I’m Goin’ to Jackson

I’ve been living in Maryland for almost three years now, and in the past year something strange started to happen: I began to feel attached to the area. I’ve been living here long enough that Maryland feels like home to me. After all, it is the longest I’ve lived anywhere outside of my hometown in Tennessee. But even though Maryland is my current home, Tennessee will always be my forever home: most of my family, and my state residency, are there. I always look forward to a trip down South and feel refreshed and re-enegerized after spending time with my loved ones. As they say in Natalie Portman movies and on crocheted pillows, home is where the heart is!
Also, according to a very scientific quiz I took with Rahul last night, I am apparently 70% Southern. But some of those questions were a bunch of boohockey–what child hasn’t captured lightning bugs in jars!? 

I was in Tennessee for this past week and, even though the trip was a shorter one, I still managed to jam-pack it full of fun activities. I went on several bike rides and walks with my mom and had a fun, relaxing day with her for her birthday (pedicures + pool + Tammy = yes please!). I cuddled with our cat many times, who put her face in my face and generously gave me an allergy attack. I saw my high school bestie a few times as well as Rahul’s family, the latter of whom treated me to a DELICIOUS home-cooked meal of Indian food. And speaking of food, I ate ALL THE THINGS while I was home. Hit up a few town favorites, tried my dad’s beer can chicken for the first time, and ate yummy homemade blueberry muffins every morning for breakfast. It doesn’t get better than mama’s cooking! I joined my parents for their evenings on the porch, where we drank wine while the sun went down, spending equal time swatting away mosquitos and two very excited dogs who just want to lick your legs over and over. I also got to do some really fun stuff like figure out what the heck I’m going to do about health care come August, organize and trash all my crap that’s been sitting in my parent’s house since high school and college (I finally took down the wall decorations I put up when I was in high school, bye bye Napoleon Dynamite poster), and fuss with my Dad over drinking all the coffee. I need the coffee!

Overall, it was a great trip home, filled with my favorite people. On the last night, my Nanny turned 85 and we had a party for her. It was a small gathering, but it was an awesome way to celebrate her and eat some delicious steaks. She wore a huge purple hat and just relaxed while we all hung out and played horseshoe/cornhole. I proved, yet again, that cornhole is just not my game. As my mom pointed out, why did they make a game so confusing for drunk college kids to play??? We also all got together before Nanny’s birthday (all being her kids + grandkids) and put together a banner that spelled out “Happy Birthday” inspired by this post on Pinterest (because what ISN’T inspired by Pinterest these days). A fun way for all of us to wish her a Happy Birthday!

An honorable mention of the week is the snake my Dad found curled up underneath his grill cover. It was a long snake, and had some fun markings on the skin, but it wasn’t NEARLY as scary or large as this guy found in a grill in Florida. Yikes! No thank you, Florida.

Some other photos from Nanny’s birthday, AKA The Family-hood of the Traveling Purple Hat.

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