I forgot my phone in the car. Normally, this would have been no big deal. I was only there for a couple of hours, so I didn't even think that hubby would worry about me or the kids. If anything, when I realized I did not have my phone handy, I figured that hubby would have had some alone time to unwind after a 90 degree football practice.
My intentions were in the right place.
Unfortunately, when I checked my texts, there was a "CALL ME ASAP!" from hubby's cell number. A million things raced through my mind (well, not really a million, but quite a few for sure). Was he OK? Was my family OK? Did the house burn down because I forgot to turn off the coffee pot again? (I really should invest in an automatic off switch, but I just love that coffee pot so much.) I raced home to see what the ASAP was all about.
"Paul? What's wrong? Why the ASAP?" I asked breathlessly.
"Oh nothing except I invited Jay, and Brian and their families over for a cookout."
And, I swear to you it was like one of those movies where everything seems to be in slow motion for the main character, but instead the character's thoughts zoom through her head at a mile a minute. That was me. Those were my thoughts. And the slow motion pan of the camera was the mess that was my house being ready for guests in less than 2 hours. I took in the cereal on the floor, the construction dust on, well, everything, the 2 baskets of dirty laundry in the hallway, and the rubbermaid tub full of various and assorted tools from our remodel. I could have passed out right there on the spot, but hubby and the kiddies were looking to me and my reaction. I didn't want my kids to see the crazy mom that runs around the house before having guests, so I just, swallowed, smiled, and sucked it up. Plain and simple.
"OK, " I said. And then to hubby, "What's the food plan?" He detailed that one family was bringing some pulled chicken and rolls, and the other was bringing snacks and a salad. Not bad, I thought. I knew that we had chicken thawed to BBQ, corn on the cob to roast, and I remembered that we had the makings for s'mores too. "Alright! Food is covered."
Then to the kids, "Straighten up the basement. Dad and I will straighten up these rooms." With a clap of our hands, we were off. And no sooner than 30 minutes later, we were done.
I won't say that my house was spotless. It wasn't. There was still the whipped cream stain on my curtain, and the cherry juice stain on the floor. I am sure that there was still dust in places and let's just say that my glass doors could be the before picture for Windex. But, my house was presentable, guests were due to arrive, and for once, I was not stressed.
This was momentous.
I was not stressed, because, well, I just decided not to be. There was no way that I could help some of the messes in my house, but I realized, that if I was going to let my remodeling mess bother me, than I may not be able to see my friends for a long, long, long time. That was just not acceptable. So, I let go. I relaxed.
And, you know what?
Without all of the stress, the prep work for a "planned" party, and the over-reaching expectations, I had a fabulous time. There was more than enough food, everyone enjoyed contributing, and my friends got to see our work in progress that is our OLD house. We ate, enjoyed each other's company, and when it got dark, we made a fire and roasted marshmallows.
A super evening, all in all.
So, I am glad that I didn't have that phone on me yesterday afternoon. If I had, I may have rushed home to needlessly prepare my home.
Instead, I learned that I only had to give myself a break.
****Special thanks to the Reluctant Entertainer blog. I have been reading this blog for awhile, and she believes that entertaining in your home should be relaxing and low key. After last night, I get it.