Friday, January 2, 2009

Ringing in the Year with Renovations

Happy 2009! Our party turned out wonderfully- JP's to do list was not (near) complete when I got home, so I had about 90 minutes to clean up, prepare and arrange all the food, welcome my childhood friend into my home (haven't seen her since my baby shower in early 2007!), make myself beautiful, and get Landon in bed, but we got everything done and I was just finishing my mascara as the doorbell rang with our first guests.

The water dispenser was the biggest hit of the night. Two of my guests are pregnant and I wanted them to have something fun to drink (and it's always good to encourage people to stay hydrated when copious amounts of alcohol are present), so I filled the dispenser with sliced lemons and limes and frozen cranberries. The cranberries were just for color, I counted on them not altering the taste much, but it was so tasty and pretty that two people asked me for the recipe! I almost told them it was a family secret. We played lots of games, drank lots of beverages, and just generally had a marvelous time. I somehow stayed alert until everyone left around 2 a.m. but nearly died when I got up with Landon at 6:30 (that's two nights in a row with less than 5 hours of sleep). Luckily he was in a very good mood and didn't seem to mind that I just lay on the floor while he played around (and over and on top of) me.

The fun continued with an elementary school best friend reunion and my own personal home makeover show. I decided on Monday that our study needed to be finished and decorated, so JP and I traveled to the land of cheap Swedish furniture and spent all our Christmas money on bookcases and a desk to effectuate my HGTV-inspired vision. Yesterday out-of-town childhood friend and I went to Lowe's to pick out the bold paint choices I had in my head and our other childhood friend came over for an evening of wine, reminiscing, taping, and priming the walls. I make my guests work for their alcohol :) It was lots of fun and I think the room is going to look fantastic if we manage to keep it somewhat in line with my vision - I've never painted before, so we'll see. There's still a ton of work to do and the entire contents of our study is stacked all over the downstairs, but the mess is not bothering me nearly as much as I thought it would.

And perhaps the reason it's not bothering me is because I have to bill at least 20 more hours on this project before Sunday night and I still haven't gotten more than 6 hours of sleep since Monday. Tonight I'm going to work until 9, knock myself out, and sleep for a solid 8 hours. Tomorrow we'll put a second coat on the trim and paint the accent wall and then I'll bill 9 hours (yeah, probably won't happen)- that would leave very few left for Sunday so it can be filled with family and the final coat of paint. Good times!

It's been a very fun end to 2008, I look forward to a year with more parties (I just realized we haven't gone a month without hosting one since moving here), more decorating (I now have BIG plans for our bedroom), and lots and lots of family fun time. And this is a complete change in tone, but it seems the right post to mention it: over the past two weeks I've been randomly clicking through my archives and have found that for the first time I'm able to read through "The Nightmare" posts without feeling haunted for the rest of the day. I don't even tear up for many of them (and I inherited my dad's "leaky eyes). And while I'm reading, the most overwhelming thought I have, more than the dull anger and persistent shock that it happened at all, is gratitude and awe at how many people supported me then, and how many of those people are still reading today. So thank you for being a part of my life. I have absolutely no doubt that this blog- my writing of it and reading the comments of others- has played a large role in healing my scars from 2007 and making 2008 such a happy year. I wish you and your loved ones a very happy and prosperous 2009!


  1. What a good idea to serve flavored water! And can I just say, the water dispenser is FANTASTIC. At first, I couldn't figure out what it was...thought it was a funny fish bowl or something :) Then I noticed the lemons!
    Happy 2009!

  2. Looks like such a nice party! Happy New Year! And good luck with all you have to do. No rest for the weary, right?

  3. WHERE did you get that AWESOME water dispenser? I love it!

  4. I got it at Costco a few weeks ago for $34.99. It just might be the best hostessing purchase I've ever made - pretty, versatile, and makes an impressive statement with little money (my fruit decorations cost about $4 and the water was free). I love it!

  5. Happy New Year!
    Glad your party went well and I must add my vote, too - incredible water dispenser! I was looking (okay maybe drooling over) your enlarged picture and wondering why I hadn't been invited LOL

  6. I fourth (or fifth) - lovely water dispenser! I want one. Alas, Costco is a long way from New Zealand.

    I'm curious about the billable hours target - is that something your firm/ partner gives you, or self-imposed?

    Good luck with it too! IN my experience, starting is the hard thing - once you start it gets easier!

    And yes that 8 hours of sleep will really help.

  7. wow- i love the water idea. it just looks sooo cool!! Good luck on getting sleep and finishing your work!

  8. Yay, happy new year! You are hostess extraordinaire! I wish I could have tasted the awesome water!

  9. Gotta love Costco!

    You have a wonderful sense of party flair!

    Good luck this year!

  10. Oh, I can't wait for my life to settle down a bit so that I can hostess a few get-togethers. (Moving to a place with a dishwasher would also help out.) Loved the water idea - not just for pregnant ladies, but also friends who may not drink so much. Way to make staying hydrated fun! I bet no one was hungover.

    Glad that you're still writing. Yay for blog friends!

  11. I hope you have an excellent 2009. You certainly deserve it!

  12. ohhhh i love the water dispenser!!!