Guests to Impress

I used to love hosting get-togethers. When Curtis was in the military, and we and our friends were far from home for the holidays, we would have Thanksgiving dinner at our house - for like thirty or more other people who had nowhere else to go. I took great pride in the fact that even though our guests couldn't be with their families, they'd still get to have a warm and wonderful holiday. I would prepare the house so lovingly, washing the tablecloth, waxing the wood floors, polishing the serving dishes, ironing napkins and crap - all with an excited smile on my face. I was so Martha Stewart that even Martha Stewart was jealous.

But that? Was before three destructive forces of nature - er, boys - burst forth from the recesses of my uterus and changed my definition of "clean" forever. It was when I had time to make such preparations. Before someone - or three someones - were coming along behind me messing everything up.

In the next ten days, I'm expecting company. A LOT of company. First, one of my oldest and dearest friends, Trinity, is stopping over for a few days on a roadtrip from California, along with her husband and their four kids. Then, just one day after they leave, the majority of my family (plus my male bestie, Vince) will be descending upon my house for our annual Independence Day celebration. And when I say "the majority of my family" I don't mean, like, my parents and a sister. I mean there will be somewhere around eighteen or nineteen people here BESIDES the five of us (meaning Curtis, the boys and I).

I know, I know: they're coming to see us, not our house. They're family and friends, so they won't judge. But still. What do you look for in a hotel? Cleanliness. What do you look for in a public restroom? Cleanliness. Not just "we-squeegeed-the-crust-off-the-counters-and-wiped-whatever-that-sticky-patch-was-off-the-floor," but fresh, clean, sanitized, pristine. That's what I want. But I can't afford to hire someone to do all the crap that needs to be done, so it's up to me to do it. While I referee constant bickering and threaten until my voice is hoarse. While three little mess-machines are tearing through the house like miniature tornadoes. I have the feeling the end result is going to fall far short of my actual goals.

What I want to do: steam-clean the carpets
What I'll end up doing: vacuuming sufficiently so as crumbs don't stick to people's bare feet when they walk through, and strategically placing the rug over the chocolate-milk stains (thanks, kids) and the hole in the living room carpet (thanks, dog)

What I want to do: wash the drapes and shower curtains
What I'll end up doing: haphazardly beating the dust out of the drapes, sneezing a few times, then spraying everything with Febreze

What I want to do: repair the peeling linoleum in the bathroom (again: thanks, dog)
What I'll end up doing: throwing the bathmat over it and praying it's not too noticeable

What I want to do: thoroughly clean and organize the refrigerator, linen closet and any other storage areas my guests might access
What I'll end up doing: wiping the most visible sticky spots off of the fridge and rushing to get everyone clean towels and stuff so they don't open the linen closet and other storage areas

What I want to do: dust the decor that lines the tops of my kitchen cabinets
What I'll end up doing: hoping no one looks up

I could go on, but you see what I mean ... trying to get all that done with the kids running amok in the background is about as pointless as man-nipples. Especially considering that in order to clean thoroughly, I first have to get everything picked up, and thanks to the boys (yay summer vacation!), almost every area of my house looks something like this:

 Before it was a junkyard, this was the baby's room.

This photo doesn't even do it justice. The crib is filled nearly to the top with toys, and yes, that's a tipped-over rocking chair in the middle of the floor. You can't see the underside of the crib (where I recently discovered a petrified piece of banana) or the inside of the closet (where a month's supply of clean diapers have been dumped off the shelves).  

And that's just one room.

Don't get me wrong, I am SUPER-excited about everyone coming. It'll be the highlight of our summer, and there are tons of sweet memories to be made. But my drive to have everything perfect? Is driving me crazy.

As if I needed help getting there.


  1. The "what I want to do" list is cracking me up because it's so familiar! I just remind myself that my very imperfect house makes other people feel better about their own homes. Making people feel good is admirable, therefore a messy house is admirable!

  2. I'm so glad rooms of other peoples houses look like this. I am telling you, mine is five times worse. my sister came for a visit this week and after I spent three hours of cleaning what I could... she still said, your house is kind of messy. GAH! oh well, someday they will be grown and my house will be clean.

  3. Thanks for being honest! I'm exactly the same- my mother in law made a suprise announcement today that she's coming to visit from NSW this weekend, and even though we haven't seen her since Christmas and I should be excited, all I could think was 'Holy Crap, I haven't cleaned anything in nine months now (I'm due to have our second son in the next 2 weeks).

    Glad to hear I'm not the only one who's freaking out

  4. Soooo.... I guess having the boys help you is out of the question???


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