Surprise Birthday Party!

April 19, 2016


Leslie Anne TarabellaThis week, both my Daddy and eldest son have birthdays, so this past Sunday, we transported a surprise party over to my parent’s house in Fort Walton Beach, FL.


Setting up for the party - Leslie Anne TarabellaThis is my Mother helping me put the finishing touches on everything that afternoon. Poor thing, her foot’s been in a cast for a few months now. She’s the one that really needs a party!


My brother came in town from Georgia and took my parents to church that morning so my crew could sneak in and set it all up. When they returned, we said, “Surprise! You’re going to have a party!” Daddy thought at first we were the only part of the surprise, but when he saw everything set up outside, he was truly excited.

Biscuit Bar, A great idea for a Southern party.We put the food on tables on their back porch, and seating in the back yard. I’ve been wanting to do a biscuit bar at a party, so in addition to my “famous” homemade biscuits, there was also baked ham, basil butter, orange blossom honey, and an assortment of jellies and marmalades. The gravy boat held sausage gravy . . . mmmm.


Leslie Anne Tarabella - Birthday partyI made the marinated cucumber salad and potato salad ahead of time and picked up the chicken strips and cakes from Publix. Even though the party was held in-between lunch and supper, we still put out lots of food, because what’s a party without food? (a meeting).


Birthday PartyWe told Daddy to go change into casual clothes because it was going to be a relaxed afternoon with his friends — some from his hometown of DeFuniak Springs, others from his church and some of his neighbors. It was a good mix of really nice people, a crowd of around thirty or forty in all.


Birthday partyThis is Daddy looking very happy and surprised. The other birthday boy is the red head closest to the camera. One of Daddy’s brothers is in the plaid shirt.


Men talking under the treesThe weather here on the Gulf Coast has been a typical spring, alternating between torrential rain storms or gorgeous, picture-perfect days. Thank goodness, the party was on the prettiest day of the year so far!


Leslie Anne TarabellaMy two boys were a big help setting everything up. Here’s their conversation:

You look like a hippie. 

     You look like a republican. 

I like hippies.

     Well, I like republicans. 

Sigh . . .


Assorted cakes at the partyInstead of one cake, I pulled out my tiered plate stand which I’ve had for years and love using at parties because it saves so much table space, and this time loaded it up with an Oreo Cake, Coconut Cake, Lemon Pound Cake and Chocolate Creme Cake. We had candles on all four cakes!


people talking in the yardWhen you get to be a certain age, the party game you love most is called, “sitting in the yard and shooting the breeze.” Everyone was a winner. The other party game was walking to the other side of the yard and admiring Daddy’s garden. I don’t have a photo, but he’s growing a little bit of everything there. I’ll soon have enough tomatoes to open a ketchup factory.


Birthday party Leslie Anne TarabellaDaddy was truly surprised and everything turned out perfectly. Happy Birthday to both of my good men!


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