This weekend I spent my time in Nashville celebrating one of my very best friend’s engagement to her new fiance! With a huge party planned for them and all of their friends, I knew it was sure to be an awesome weekend. I loved every minute of it and loved even more seeing how awesome they are together. To top it off, her family, the fiance’s family and I all went to a family style Southern buffet breakfast at this precious Victorian home converted into a restaurant, Monell’s.
To give you an idea, the rooms have huge tables that fit 12 people each, where the sweet servers bring you endless amounts of food, including cheese grits, cinnamon rolls, eggs and every other breakfast item you can imagine. I ate so much, I felt like my stomach was going to explode. We had 11 people total, so just about filled in every seat at the table. Typically multiple families sit together and enjoy the meal, sans cell phones (they specifically ask you to turn them off so you get to know the other people at the table).
We weren’t expecting anyone else at the table, until high school senior, Alex, showed up by himself at the restaurant. As the host introduced him to our shin-dig, we immediately were amazed by his bravery and boldness to jump into an engagement celebration. While I am by no means shy, I would definitely feel a little out-of-place in that situation. He handled it with ease.
As a student in a rough school in Nashville, Alex explained he had woken up Sunday morning with enough money in his wallet and plenty of room in his stomach to venture to Monell’s for breakfast. He devoured some food and laughed at the questions we would ask him. What I loved most was that despite his tough upbringing and a ton of odds he had faced, he still was determined and happy-go-lucky. He explained his love of art, as it took his mind off of all of the things around him. His goal is to go to school in Florida to pursue art so that he can truly live his passion.
As he prepared to leave the table, he sweetly congratulated the couple and went on his way, genuinely thanking us for letting him “barge in.” Although he wasn’t necessarily expected at the table, he certainly was a nice touch to remind us that even when life throws us a couple of curve balls, we can still harness our bravery and tackle what lies ahead. And if nothing else, you know you are always welcome at a family style table in Nashville for some awesome home cooking.