Google+ House Revivals: Entertaining in This Imperfect Life: Lessons We've Learned

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Entertaining in This Imperfect Life: Lessons We've Learned

We live an imperfect life. Pretty much not one thing in our lives is perfect. We have lived through four renovations in the last five years, and two of them are still ongoing, but even before that our lives were imperfect. It's true.

Our family loves to entertain. We love huge back yard cookouts, and intimate game nights and everything in between. For years I pressured myself to make every single party spectacular. Don't get me wrong -- I LOVE to create well-decorated events, but sometimes the pressure to create awesome parties can take away from your own enjoyment.

When we bought our beach house, we knew we wanted to share it with our friends and co-workers and family, but I was torn. If we waited for our house to be perfect, we would lose out on many opportunities to enjoy great company and to share our incredible views. Considering the state of the house when we bought it, and the extent of renovations it needed, we knew it would take years before it was finished. We made a decision to share the chaos, and go ahead and start entertaining as soon as possible.

This meant we were all eating at card tables and storing food in a beer fridge for a while, and there was often lumber in the corner, but you know what? Nobody seemed to mind. In fact, our guests have enjoyed seeing the progress of our renovation from visit to visit.  Another thing we've noticed is that guests seem to relax more when your home is not perfect. (Why, yes, that is sawdust stuck to that cobweb in the corner....)

Recently, the amazing Amber Waves Band was on tour in the Pacific Northwest, and we had the honor of opening our imperfect home to them. We decided to have an impromptu crab boil on our brand new deck.  I know this is going to sound silly, but I was worried about entertaining on the deck, since we've not bought one single scrap of furniture for it, and it was not looking "cute".

Like I said, it was silly to worry. Do you know that not one person at that table said "oh, man, I wish you'd decorated better before this impromptu crab boil".  Folks, seriously, we pressure ourselves too much. We were hanging out with one of our favorite families, EVER. There was wine. The sun was shining. There was just a hint of a breeze. We were able to buy our crab straight from the boat at the local marina less than an hour earlier!  And NOT ONE person, said "I wish we didn't have to eat this crab at this folding table you just pulled out of a closet".

Instead, they said things like, "This is sooooooooooo good!" and "oooooh, is there any more of that melted butter?" and "oh my goodness, I'm so full, but this is so good, so I'm going to keep eating."

To think that we might have missed out on THE BEST DINNER PARTY of the summer, because I was inwardly worried that my deck wasn't cute enough. Folks, if you keep waiting for your life to be perfect to open your home to friends, you may turn around one day and realize your life has passed, and you didn't do the really important things.  Nobody who matters to you will care if your house isn't perfectly appointed -- they will just feel honored to be invited into your home.

Looking back at the pics, I realize that everything about that afternoon really was perfect.

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