I am so eager to host a party for some of our new staff members this Friday! When we were choosing the design of our house, we intentionally tried to create a casual, comfortable hang-out space. The kitchen has a giant island that connects to the dining area with a large table which connects to the living area with a large sectional which connects to the deck. Now that we finally have furniture, the deck is also a fun place to hang out.
The truth is that we don’t use our house as a hang-out space nearly enough. Mustering up the patience needed to calmly and cheerfully parent an infant and a three year-old pretty much takes all our energy these days. For the most part, we’re good about staying calm, patient, and cheerful, but it’s definitely draining—especially because Tate is still not sleeping through the night (at 9 months) and we are often awake for up to 1.5 hours in the middle of the night. Oy!
Of course Matt and I could make this difficult period a little easier on ourselves if one of us didn’t work full-time, but we both want to be fully engaged in the outside world. I honestly wouldn’t want another 14-month maternity leave at this point. I missed work too much.
So for now we basically just tuck our chins and walk straight into what feels like a wind storm at times.
I don’t mean to sound whiny. I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the little family we have grown. I wouldn’t want it any other way. I am so, so glad we made the decision to grow our family. There was a while there when we thought we would stop at one.
But it’s a hard period in our lives right now. The boys’ needs are very different, so we are constantly tag-teaming. Matt gives the boys a bath while I clean up from dinner. I read Henry a story while Matt gets Tate dressed and ready for bed. I feed Tate while Matt talks with Henry. I take Henry to the childcare room at the YMCA so I can run on the treadmill; meanwhile Matt pushes Tate in the stroller on trails.
I’m just tired all. the. time.
So those are all the reasons we are not inviting people over all the time. But this Friday we are! And I am immensely happy about it. My questions are: What do we want to serve for a meal? How do we build conversation and connection among people who are meeting each other for the first time?
My mind immediately jumps to the name tags we made for our wedding. We had everyone complete this prompt with three things: “Ask me about _____.” Everyone was really creative and interesting. It’s a small thing, but it might be fun.
And what about food? We are going to have upwards of 20 people! My top contender is Tex-Mex. I could buy some stuff from Chuy’s (tortillas, chips, queso, and rice) and then make the rest myself: guacamole, black beans, shredded cheese, and roasted vegetables). For dessert we could have chocolate fondue with cake, pretzels, bananas, and strawberries. We could also set up a S’mores making area with sterno cans by the sectional on the deck.
And maybe frozen margaritas?
And we definitely need to hang up the white lights around the deck.
I’m so excited to be planning a party! I really need to list out my daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly needs again. I’m realizing that I’m missing some things in my life. I love planning get-togethers!
- Send out e-mail (with embedded form to have people complete their name tag info in advance)
- Make name tags
- Set up sign on the front door that welcomes people
- Set up name tags right by the front door when you enter
- Purchase the following from Chuy’s: flour tortillas, corn tortillas, rice, queso, creamy jalapeño sauce, chips
- Purchase the following from the grocery store: peppers, onions, mushrooms, avocados, cilantro, lemon, tomato, cream cheese, sour cream, pepper jack cheese, butter, pretzels, bananas, strawberries, sterno cans, graham crackers, chocolate bars, marshmallows, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, condensed milk
- Borrow fondue forks
- Cook guacamole, beans, roasted vegetables, cake
- Hang white lights