- Get up early (like there's another option; Mad's up between 6:15 and 7:00) and find the recipe to make for the breakfast omelet casserole thingy Tom and I last made maybe six or seven years ago. All Internet searches resulted in yucky dishes that involved soppy bread or cream of something disgusting soup.
- Make a shopping list for Tom and send him on his way. He's the better shopper between us when it comes to economics and value. I'm better with getting it done mas rapido.
- Finish up the little bit of cleaning and laundry (thank you, New Year's Eve, for coming right after the deep Christmas cleaning).
- Make an early dinner of roast pork and vegetables.
- Clean up and work on any food prep that needs to be done before the guests arrive. Tom's in charge of the veggies, fruit, cheese and crackers. I'll make a pumpkin marmalade and prep stuff for breakfast.
- Got up at 8:00, because our alarm clock (Madelyn) was a little worn out, apparently. Begged Tom, AKA Finder Man, to get his butt downstairs and help me look for the recipe because I can't find where Tom, AKA Organizer Man, put anything. Took him 5 minutes. If that man has to tell me one more time it's in the second drawer in the filing cabinet... that thing must be like Mary Poppins' carpet bag... *sigh*
- Made a shopping list that was broken down into "Tonight" and "Breakfast" and figured Tom would know what else we'll need for the week. Thought to mention that, although we need juice and milk, he should consider that we have not purchased that second refrigerator he talks about after every party; he should not over-purchase beverages requiring refrigeration. Mentioned that I just did roast chicken and vegetables on Christmas Eve and that maybe we want something different. Tom offered to grill. Told him he needed to start the grill at 3:00 to stay on schedule. Had a conversation and realized that each of us thought the other would be doing the shopping. Tom won shopping, I won cleaning. Yay me. ?
- Did the laundry. Corey and I did the cleaning, organizing, refilling of soap dispensers and stocking of toilet paper. Called Tom at 2:30 to see if he'd fallen off the face of the fricken earth. Man was stuck at his second grocery store (downside of living in the desert is the dearth of organic... or even decent produce). Both were madhouses and neither is particularly expedient on a good day. My economical shopper of a husband spent $400 on groceries. And, although I'd thought to remind him about conserving refrigerator space, I did not actually tell him. So he bought four different juices and milk for Madelyn, Corey and himself (they each drink something different). Plus beer and extra sparkling cider. No ice for the cooler. No water for the rest of the week.
- When Mom showed up a little early for our early dinner, we sent her and Corey to the store for ice and water.
- Early dinner was about an hour and 15 minutes later than I'd planned, but fricken delicious. Tom grilled steaks and made some sort of breakfast potatoes as a side. We still had just under two hours to get ready for the peeps. I handled the marmalade (which was also pretty damned good, happily) and cheese. Tom did stuffed mushroom caps, barbecued drumsticks and... oh, just about everything else while I cleaned up from dinner (the kitchen, that is).
- First guests arrived 15 minutes later. (Another downside of living in the desert, along the main road that gets everybody from LA to Vegas and all other points east, is that you never can tell how bad the traffic will be. So they left extra time and had not one problem.) No offense to anybody else, but these were my two favorite people aside from family. Having them there early didn't stress me out like it might have with someone else. As a sign of how cool these two are, Madelyn loves them. Madelyn is fond of my mother, father and a few other people she sees regularly. Jo and Pedro came with toilet plungers and Mad was a happy girl. We laughed through everything.
The toilet plungers were for a game that Jo had heard of somewhere. She was wise to have us split by gender, especially since you just know Corey and Lisa would have stood in line together. Thank you, but that's an image I don't need to see. Boys beat the girls because what do we know about carrying toilet plungers between our legs or inserting the stick into a tube? Not much. We're okay with that.
I thought we'd play another game, but realized that everybody was wrapped up in conversations and munching. Just like it should've been, so I left well enough alone.
At 10:00 I realized I haven't stayed up for New Year's the past two years. Last year we were in Illinois and planning to start our salmonella-poisoned joyride home early the next morning. As it turned out, the kid-friendly hotel we had chosen ("984 feet from Six Flags") was full of kids... who ran up and down the halls blowing horns and shaking clackers as midnight neared. The good news is that they retreated to their room shortly after midnight. The bad news is that their room was right over ours. Two years ago I was six months pregnant with Mad and went to bed by 9:00.
Now I don't like to be a wet blanket, but I don't have any regrets about missing the stroke of midnight for either of those years. If it weren't for an extraordinarily long nap this afternoon, I'd be in bed right now. So yes, there was a brief moment last night when I thought two more HOURS? They went by in a flash.
At midnight we pulled poppers and toasted with sparkling cider. Tom and I had an extra special Happy New Year since this was our 10th together.
All told, we had 13 guests for the party and three who spent the night. By 12:30 or so, we were all in bed. Happily for all of us, Mad slept until nearly 8:00 again. Even better for Jo and Pedro, who were downstairs, so did the dog.
We had a late breakfast of an oven omelet and cranberry/apple twist. I forgot (a-freaking-gain) to take the pumpkin bread out, so I sent one home with Jo and P. I still have one. If you like pumpkin bread with nuts, it's all yours, baby.
Jo and Pedro left this afternoon, maybe one-ish. Mom left, and took Corey with her, about half an hour later. And that, my friends, is what an overnight party is like in our house. A little drinking, a lot of laughing, some good food and as much sleep as we're able to squeeze in. I hope yours was as fun and lovely.