Sep 16, 2014


I spent the weekend in a tiny tiny town of Indiana to attend a family wedding.
It was......different.

Yes, it's country.
Yes, it was in Indiana.
Yes, it wasn't what most people would consider a fancy affair.

And I will be honest, Mark and I headed into this whole ordeal with a bit of snark and judgement.
When an invite says BYOB, lawn chairs, and a can't help but be a little concerned that the word "wedding" would actually fit into the scope of events.
Seems like more of a casual backyard bbq that we had to drive nearly four hours to get to.
I don't even own flannel. Or spurs. Or a cowboy hat. Or a bolero.

So I hit up TJ Maxx and found a decent-ish looking delicate "flannel" shirt to allow me to fit in.
That's right...ole city girl was headed to the boonies and I didn't want to stand out with flashy anything.
I slipped on my skinny jeans and brown boots and we were on our way.

We loaded up a cooler of beer and wine, some snacks and arrived in enough time to take advantage of some early check-in to our hotel.
I chugged a beer.
Who the hell knows what we were getting into?

The ceremony, although unconventional, was beautiful. I may have shed a few tears because's my family.
Post ceremony, we headed back to my aunt's home for exactly what we expected- a backyard bbq.
They live on a horse farm so we roamed the vast terrain checking out the barn, the horses, the chickens, everything.
Part of the evening included Gator relays. As you can see in the picture below- that is a Gator.
The driver was blindfolded and the passenger was the navigator as you wheeled between orange cones to finish the coarse.

We all gathered around the fire by the time the sun went down and proceeded to get smashed.
The night would not have been complete without a crazy drunken Gator ride at what felt like 100mph.
Swerving in and out of cones, nearly taking out the horse fence. Laughing the entire time.
I laughed so hard that when it was all said and done I realized this wedding was probably one of the most fun times I have ever had at a wedding.
Granted, it was casual. And we had a cooler of beer to help warm us up for the night. And the locals had more piercings and tattoo's and dyed hair and slow drawls in their speech than I was used to.
But it has never felt more like home.
On both sides of our family, we have your typical middle class income relatives, and then we both have back woods country.
And yes, they are not "smart" in terms of knowing the latest computer gadgetry and proper grammar necessarily but it was their hearts and open arms and general positive attitude that had me humbled.
They are smart in terms of being able to fix and operate a tractor the size of the garage, and how to deal with four foot snow drifts, and how to raise hard-working children.

I have never met a more hard working crew of people in my life.
Each day is spent tending to the land and the home. Some jobs are within their house while other people head out to steel mills and tractor factories to bring home what I would consider a "measly" living. But it is an unfair judgement. Of course it's less money, but for what?

These folks live and work each day and are grateful for everything they own because everything is solid and useful and something they are proud to have.  Honestly, we looked at the difference between having lofty long term goals (like us) and just living....being happy in today (them).

They are who they are and they won't apologize for it. Won't wear veils to cover up their true selves.
They are content to do exactly what they are doing each day.
And I started thinking about my own recent issues with my job. How it's "not fair" that I don't make enough money as so and so, and the whole greener grass issue that comes up with the corporate world.

And when were in Indiana, we almost looked silly with our "fancy" clothes and car.
I will admit I judged a guy with a tattoo on his forearm that said "hillbilly"....part of me wondered how he would be mistaken for anything but.

We left Indiana feeling really good about all the sacrifices we make each day to live the lifestyle we live. We have been the product of luck and opportunity along with gritty hard work and living within our means.
Are we rich? No, far from it.
But we have pride and commitment and a little less judgement and envy now.
Sometimes it takes a three hour drive back to your roots to realize why you are how you are.
We will always have a little gritty back woods country running through our veins.
And I'm just fine with that.


  1. We had a similar experience when I went to a good friends wedding out in the middle of nowhere KS. Everyone was so HAPPY and it was a blast. We truly do have to appreciate everyone and every moment for what it is- an opportunity for us to learn from one another.

  2. Sometimes I think I would trade anything for a simpler life like that. Where do I sign up? Sounds like an awesome wedding!

  3. What are the ages of the bride and groom? Are my eyes messing w/ me or was this your Gma/pa and their new spouse??

    Glad you had fun! :)

  4. Sounds like a total blast. Fancy and rich does't = happy. Driving crazily on a John Deere tractor at night? Well that sounds like complete happiness :) Glad you had fun!!