so we got through last night's ginormous dinner party relatively unscathed. turns out that the hub and his parents had a master plan that worked out quite wonderfully - especially for me. i've mentioned before that his brother is a current student at the local cordon bleu culinary arts institute, right? well, they hired him and another recent graduate to do ALL the cooking.
on saturday, we hit up pier 1, williams sonoma, and target to pick up all the decorations. i always kind of sit back and chuckle as the hub scurries around, picking up vases and candles and various decorative items in preparation for a gathering. it's something that happens on a regular basis, plus during every major holiday. anyway, his parents met us at some point and then we split up to tackle the rest of the shopping - the boys went to costco to buy all of the food, and the girls went to paper source to pick up some of those "i am thankful for___" cards for the tables. plus, i needed some supplies to start working on a design for our christmas cards. hell, i don't even have the birth announcements out yet. ugh. i might as well send 'em all at the same time! ha. just kidding. maybe.
we have our christmas card photo shoot coming up later this afternoon, so we hit up the macy's one day sale to see if we could find something to wear. and because it's totally okay to be cheesy for christmas cards, we got matching red lacoste polo shirts - except for the bean. we had to get her a ralph lauren one, because that's all they had, and we simply didn't have the time to go all over southern california looking for just the right one. we'll wear them with jeans and uggs, and it'll be fun and festive. yeah, and cheesy. :)
we ended the day by sharing two giant pizzas from a local italian restaurant with the ILs. mmm, it was so delicious. and then we went off to bed to rest up for what was next.
there's a local pancake house that's really yummy, and i'd been a couple of times with friends, but the hub and the kid had yet to give it a try. and yesterday, we kind of slept in a little longer than we'd planned. so the hub asked the kid "do you want to go to breakfast, or to church?"
DUH. what a stupid ass question.
and as i hopped into the shower, the phone rang, and it was my mom looking to take the kid out for breakfast. since we were already planning on going out, we invited my mom to come along. then as we were getting ready to walk out of the house, chef BIL happened to stop by on HIS way home from church. we told him to hop in our car and off we were for some delicious breakfasty grub.
when we got home, it was time to clean the house and prepare for the party. the kid got right to work cleaning her room, the hub was scurrying around in the back yard, and the bean and i did what we could to put stuff away that had been piling up on tables and desks and things. the rental company arrived with the tent and heater, and the hub shooed us out of the house to find new uggs for the kid and the bean, and to get our brows waxed. haha! he just wanted to get rid of us because, as he put it, he'd be able to get stuff done faster with us out of there.
and he did a fabulous job. here's the tent after he was done:
and i'd finally managed to talk him into using disposables for the plates and flatware. he was dead set on buying caterer's sets from pottery barn, and the only thing that kept him from doing so was the fact that we ran out of time to even GO to pottery barn.
we found this stuff that's plastic, but actually does look like real china and silverware:
i was thrilled not to have to wash and store those pottery barn dishes. yay for me!
our chefs spent most of the day hard at work. i kept trying to offer to help, and kept getting kicked out of our tiny kitchen. the final menu consisted of pork roast, haricots verts with garlic and olive oil, mashed potatoes, and creamed corn - plus salad, bread, and homemade pan gravy.
the ILs were running around, helping the hub get everything else set up, and when i offered to help, i got shut down there too. all anyone would let me do was sit on the couch and take care of the bean. not to mention, when the guests began to arrive and took their seats out in the tent, i was shuttled right out there with them and told to sit down and eat - while the ILs did ALL THE SERVING.
dudes, i was like a guest in my own home. a little weird and a bit disconcerting. but i couldn't do a damn thing about it. and the most uncomfortable part for me was when the guests were gushing with compliments on the food, the decor, the tent, etc. - and i hadn't had a single fucking thing to do with any of it.
all in all, the entire evening was a smashing success. the food was really delicious, the guests enjoyed themselves, and they even got started on discussing the zimbabwe 2008 mission trip. i don't know if the hub plans to go on this one, though. the selfish part of me hopes he doesn't go, but i know it's all for a good cause. they changed a lot of lives this summer, and they're hoping to help more families in other villages this time.
we even had a celebrity in our midst - one of the team members' sons has a regular role on a nickelodeon show called "iCarly". his name is nathan kress, and he's an adorable little guy who happened to be celebrating his birthday yesterday. although i guess i shouldn't necessarily call him a "little guy" - he turned 15, which was a shock to me because i thought he was the same age as the kid. we chatted with him a little about the writers' strike, and he seemed to be taking it in stride (what choice did he have, though, right?). "just an extended hiatus", is how he chose to look at it.
speaking of the kid, she'd decided to spend the day with her BFF instead of being bored to tears at the party, even though she knew this guy was going to be here (she watches the show regularly). she texted me during the party to ask if i could send her a picture of nathan, because her friend didn't believe her when she told her he was here. haha! and i felt kind of silly asking him to pose for my phone, so i made the hub do it. of course, he rolled his eyes, but he did it. he's such a good guy.
so...one thanksgiving gathering at our house down, and one more to go. but at least the next one will be a little less hectic - it'll be all family, although i'm sure the hub will still be all about making the house look pretty. good thing the candles we bought are huge - and most of the flowers are fake. now let's just hope we can still find a turkey at the grocery store.