Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Thoughts on our weekend reception

My daughter's graduation weekend about did me in; but I survived! It really was a full weekend, beginning early on Friday and ending late in the afternoon on Sunday. Most importantly, I am so very proud of my daughter's hard work and achievements. I'm sure you know what I'm talking about --  that pride that you feel about your own kids' successes.

I am still putting furniture back into place, though I am nearly done. Live and learn, you asked if I thought I might not put all of the furniture back into place, after experiencing the house with less in it. I think that's a really interesting question. Whenever we have a big deviation from our everyday routine, whether it be for a vacation, or a change in how we use our home, we have that moment to assess our usual way of doing things. I know that when I am on vacation I tell myself that I want to continue some of the aspects of the vacation once home, and bring more enjoyment into my everyday life. Using our home for a reception this past weekend did make me rethink some of the little things that I can do on a regular basis to bring more enjoyment into ordinary life. For example, using candles more often. I have a few nicely-scented jar candles. I had a lemon and mint leaf one burning in the living room throughout the reception. One of our guests asked about the fragrance. The candle not only looked appealing, as the small flames flickered in the late afternoon sun, but the fragrance added to the ambience. I have several candles that I can put to use for more ambience in our home. As for the furniture, I don't have any place to store excess furniture. We don't have a basement or a weather-proof attic. For now, it all has to stay.

So I overbought. I think we'll be eating leftovers for a while. I froze a good chunk of leftover deli meat, some cupcakes, and some bread products. My daughter helped me pick out the cupcakes, and it just so happened that she wanted the red, white, and blue ones (they have a strawberry filling). We'll have some of those on the 4th of July. There were a few, unopened packaged items (crackers, cookies, and a box of chocolates). I have tucked those away for future gatherings or celebrations. For those items, I don't look upon them as part of over-buying, but as advanced preparation for a future event or need. The box of chocolates might make a nice hostess gift the next time we are invited to a friend's home. The cookies will be useful for an upcoming coffee hour after church. The crackers will come out for a family gathering later this summer. On top of all of the leftovers that we'll use in the future, I was able to send a huge grocery bag of food home with some helpers.

The 4 food stations worked really well. Some guests found a spot in the house and stayed put, while others meandered to the different open rooms. I had different goodies in each room, so that made for a bit of a surprise for the guests that moved about. For the most part, though, the family room seemed to collect the most people. Perhaps that was the tower of fresh strawberries and whipped cream perched on the coffee table in that room? One moment that particularly made me happy was when one friend said to another as she was arriving, "there is food all over the house." That just made me happy, as my aim was to provide abundance to share with our friends. Happy feeling!

I am very glad that I didn't bother with tea or coffee. For a late afternoon reception, the blackberry lemonade and water were all that were needed. Coffee and tea would have been one more thing to keep an eye on, as I don't have a large coffee urn or other way to keep hot beverages in their hot state.

All of the little details that you think you need, but you really don't have time to take care of, well, you really don't need them. At least I didn't. I wanted fresh cut flowers throughout the house. I didn't have time to get outside to do that. But, as you can guess, it didn't matter and I could have saved a tiny fraction of my mental capacity by realizing that fact while I was in preparation-mode. I didn't buy plastic forks, because my menu was all finger foods. A friend brought a cake, so I did need forks of some kind, after all. I simply pulled out our regular forks for those who wanted some of the cake. Of course, I had my husband search the trash for forks before taking to the garbage can. That's how we lost a spoon from our flatware set, 30 years ago. The point being, as I had planned on finger foods, most folks would not need utensils, and the few who did could use our everyday forks -- no need to buy plastic cutlery.

It was all good. I could have simplified the menu a bit more and bought a bit less. I have this information going forward, and as I'll be doing a repeat of this reception next year when my other daughter graduates, I am ready for the challenge. I hope you all had a lovely weekend.

11 comments:

  1. It sounds like a beautiful party and I'm sure your daughter felt special. I think more is always better at a party like this--it's hard to determine exact amounts and you would have felt badly had you run out of food. Sounds like you can put the extras to good use, so, think of it as being ahead for future needs instead of overbuying! :)

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    1. Hi Kris,
      I believe that you're right about that. I would feel terribly if there hadn't been enough. So, more is better. Thanks for saying that.
      Have a great day, Kris!

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  2. SOunds like it went very well, Lili. I'm so glad and congratulation to your daughter, what a remarkable achievement.

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    1. Hi Belinda,
      Thank you. I'm pleased that it went well. As for our daughter's achievements, I know you are very familiar with that motherly pride, with Bailey's graduation earlier this season. It's wonderful to see our daughters grown, mature, and preparing for their futures.
      Have a great day, Belinda!

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    1. Thank you, Carol. It wasn't perfect, but it went very well. Have a wonderful day!

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  4. Wow! What a nice party! How many guests came through?

    The extra food is a wonderful start to the next adventure! Not bad!

    Alice

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    1. Hi Alice,
      Thank you. We had about 30 guests, in total. A very manageable number, and a fun crowd of folks for conversation.
      The leftovers have been very handy this week, as I was sick Monday and Tuesday, so everyone made their own sandwiches. Then last night I turned some of the leftovers into pizza toppings, and that was a hit. I've told everyone if they leave the salami and provolone, I can make another pizza next week. And this Sunday is Father's Day, and the request has been for tacos, so we should have some cherry tomatoes and cheddar cheese still leftover for those (if I set them aside), and some crunchy, fresh veggies to add to a salad, with garden lettuce. Party leftovers are a very good thing.
      Have a wonderful day, Alice!

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  5. Congrats to your daughter on achieving another big milestone in her life and congrats to you for hosting a lovely party for her. I think leftovers are one of the best things of hosting an event. Food already prepared and delicious, too.

    I have to remember that there are a lot of little things that don't really need to be done. I'm hosting a picnic for my work group next weekend at my house and there is a lot to be done. There are some that still haven't seen our new house and want a tour. So there is the whole inside and outside to make look decent. Also, my husband can't lift anything right now and my sons will be working, so my help is disappearing. Now if I could only figure out how many are coming, that would help. But I have to remember that mostly people just want to sit around and talk in a relaxed setting and won't really care if the flower beds are full of weeds.

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  6. Congratulations and best wishes to you and your daughter!!

    The hard work of being a parent is acknowledged in your children's success and happiness. I don't think I know quite how to say it, but I hear your joy and satisfaction about your daughter's achievements and the person she has become.

    I don't know of any purpose in life that is worthier (sadly not being a parent you wouldn't know this joy.) It is not the mechanical providing and caring that is hardest, but the guidance, love and nurturing without devouring your child's free will that is (Heard this on YouTube while crafting). This is my personal issue, so I am heartened whenever I see loving parenting.

    Have a nice day,

    YHF

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  7. I'm pleased to hear it went well. And yippee for leftovers! Hope you are feeling well again!

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