Saturday, June 14, 2008

I am not the hostess with the mostest

But I try.

In the past 36 hours, I have hosted two dinners at my house. Last night I had 17 people eating Jewel fried chicken along with store bought and homemade salads, a cheese and crackers platter, tortillas and salsa and a case of Goose Island Summertime.

On less than two hours notice.

I had suggested the lot of us head down to Millennium Park to picnic and take in the Grant Park Orchestra, but too many people were too tired from sightseeing to head back into the city. And since we are nominally the hosts of this family reunion/wedding weekend, it made sense that everyone come to our house and picnic in our backyard. Of course, as soon as we got tables set up it started to rain. So we moved the festivities indoors and onto my front porch, which I really should use more often. Right now it's cluttered with outgrown baby clothes and gear I'm hoping to unload at the block yard sale next weekend. (More to plan? Ugh.)

This evening was the long-planned prenuptial BBQ for 25 in our backyard. It went fabulously well, but wasn't nearly as much fun for me as it would have been if I were a guest. Yeah, I get some satisfaction from showing people a good time, but I'd rather be kicking back at a picnic table catching up with people and sipping wine than setting and resetting the overloaded buffet and manning the grill. (Yes, that's my job in this family, too.) Oh, and I try checking on my kids once in a while to make sure they're still alive and nominally fed.

We had an all-American feast of hamburgers, hot dogs and brats with my special potato salad, my neighbor Sharon's coleslaw, fruit salad, watermelon, chocolate chip cookies and rhubarb pie. Only the Costco "sushi" platter veered from the theme.

Tomorrow my mom marries Rick. By the time I post again I'll have gained a stepfather and two stepsisters. I like them all, but because I'm an adult, they're adults (just barely) and we're not living together (or even in the same state), I'm have a hard time thinking of them as my step-family. Instead, Rick's more like a new father-in-law (a father by marriage) and Ella and Emily are my daughters' two newest aunts.