Seven long years ago I had this great plan. I was going to make my mom, my mother-in-law, and my sister-in-law quilts for Christmas. It was early November that fateful year and I thought I had plenty of time to get them finished. Oh to be young again….well, younger.
I finished all three quilt tops, but only managed to completely finish my mom’s quilt (I never took photos of it). My sister-in-law’s quilt looked a total mess so I scrapped it. My mother-in-law got to see the quilt top I made her that year with a promise that I would get it finished ASAP. What I hadn’t planned on was moving to Arkansas, working far too much overtime, my youngest getting sick, and my other kids becoming teenagers. I had no time to think, much less time to sew.
This year I told myself to get it done. The quilt top had stared at me year after year, begging to be used. And after three broken needles, I DID IT! I finished the quilt. The center is a simple tumbler with wide borders. Mind you, seven years ago was when I made this and had just started quilting, but I’m proud of it. It’s cute and festive and I know every Christmas when my mother-in-law pulls it out, she’ll think of me.
After years of talking about it and never following through, I finally had a dinner party. Why you ask that I waited years to get together with my friends at my house? Because I’m a perfectionist. I have always had it in my head that everything in my house, everything on the table, everything we wear has to be perfect and if I can’t make it perfect, then I can’t do it. Because of this I’ve missed out on the kind of fun and pure enjoyment that I had last night.
I’ve worked hard on myself for the last year. I’ve tried to recognize my own faults and fears to see what I can do to get past them and to a place where happiness is within myself. Being perceived as perfect (which I know no one else actually sees me as, but in my mind, that’s what I want them to think), is one of those issues. So, me being me, I decided it’s time to work on it. I text my two close friends and said, “Hey, I’m throwing a dinner party next month and this time I mean it.” I imagine they rolled their eyes and decided to leave that date open on their calendar for when they expected me to say a week later that I wasn’t going to do it. Nope, not this time. This time I immediately sent out a group text to all five friends and said we’re doing this on Friday 13th. It just might end up being a nightmare, but we’re doing it anyway.
While planning I made a pact with myself that I wasn’t going to go overboard. I wasn’t going to panic. I wasn’t going to try to make it perfect. In some ways, I failed at all three, but in others I let go and let be.
I love to decorate. Love it. It brings me joy. So, I went full steam ahead on the table. Other than these plates I ordered (which I was planning to order anyway), I used only what I already had to set the table and decorate it. How I limited myself is I didn’t go out and buy a new dining table and chairs. Yes, the old me would have had to have this done before ever inviting people to come over. My husband is planning to build me a dining table and I’m going to purchase chairs, but I made myself wait until we could actually afford it and not just break the bank because I wanted the people I was having over to only see the best. Is anyone else like this or am I on a lonely island over here?
The panicking side I did really well on….until the day of the party. I was all good until I came home and started getting everything together and kept noticing things around the house out of place or something that was messy. I started to panic thinking what will these people think of me when they come over and see the vacuum hasn’t been put away yet. No kidding I started sweating so bad I had to take an extra shower. Seeing what I was doing, I left that freaking vacuum sitting out where it was so I could prove to myself that it doesn’t matter. If my friends cared that my place had things out of place, then I don’t need those kinds of friends. (no one cared!)
You know what? It wasn’t perfect, but it was a blast. We laughed loud, ate too much, drank too much wine, and it was everything I hoped it would be. I actually had so much fun that I forgot to take photos of the food, but it was easy and delicious and I’ll leave the Roasted Chicken over Red Potatoes recipe video from Honeysuckle Catering here. I sautéed fresh green beans as a side and that was it. Since we had a ridiculous amount of cheese beforehand I knew the dinner didn’t need much to fill us up.
Now we are planning on having a monthly Dinner Club. Once a month we’re going to go to one of our houses, eat, and enjoy each other’s company. One thing I know for sure is we women need each other. We need encouragement, acceptance, and love for one another. In this time in my life, I need it.
Have you ever had a room in your house you refused to use? Like would not step a foot inside? No? Well, I did. Our downstairs half-bath gave me the creeps. It was old, cramped, and gross (gross because of the old tile, toilet, fixtures….and boys. Boys are gross). Fortunately, I no longer fear entering the room. As a matter of fact it has become my favorite room of the house, so much so I randomly walk in there and admire all of our hard work.
I wish I could show you a full photo of the room, but it’s so small I couldn’t get it in one shot! 🙂
I so wish I had before photos for you, but I don’t. I was so freaked out about the bathroom that I couldn’t be part of the demo day (it probably wasn’t that bad, but I’m a germophobe). Michael was supposed to take photos before he started and either I forgot to tell him or he didn’t hear me, but either way, there aren’t any to show. Luckily, I came back at just the right time (when everything was gone) and I have photos from that point on. Hope you like the room as much as we do!
While we’re waiting for the other projects in the house to get their final touches, I thought I would show you one of my favorite DIY art thus far. We did these arrows a few years back and I still love them and look at them often.
It was a quick and inexpensive project that made a huge impact on the entryway.
All it took was a few pieces of wood, a saw, wood stain, and flat brackets.