September 15, 2011

The Enormous Visit, Or How To Be The Perfect Hostess

Yesterday, I stayed home from work. I sent the kids to daycare, and mentally luxuriated in all of the Things I'd Get Done before I picked them back up and our guests arrived.

I even thought I'd get a blog post in, and some pictures taken that have been holding up other posts for too long, since I was actually home in daylight hours.

More fool me.

BUT, this house is cleaner than it's been since May, AND our house is fuller by three adults and four kids, so I'm happy. (That would be a nine year old, two five year olds, a three year old, a two year old, a 17 month old - Jr, the only boy - and an assortment of thirty-something year olds)

Which is funny, because I used to be a little uptight about houseguests. Not the guests themselves, you understand, but the having of them. The making sure everything was perfectly clean, every moment was wonderful, and every meal was gourmet.

Yesterday, when I was telling one of our friends about it (Jeff, of "Jeff and Amy", and also of "the perfect steak"), and he summed it up perfectly, and I will now pass along his insightful wisdom and pretend I was the one who came up with it:

There's a difference between messy and dirty.

And that just about sums it up, although I'm about to expand on it just a little. And possibly make a t-shirt.

In the afternoon, the kids played, and played hard. It was messy.

 Last night, the eleven of us (Eleven. Of. Us.) had spaghetti and crusty bread and apple crisp for supper. It was messy, homely, and good. There were leftovers. (The sauce was made from the tomatoes in our garden unafflicted by Bum Rot)

So these days, my hostess philosophizing (deeply informed by the messy vs. dirty principle) is this:

Clean, then Relax.

We're having some fun times up in here.