The Bravery of Hosting


We threw a party for my mother in-law’s 60th birthday this past weekend, the first party in our new house.

I was doing some preliminary clean-up near the end, and I couldn’t help smiling as I listened to all the sounds around me: A roar of laughter from a group outside sitting on the deck. The 60s Oldies station on Pandora, serenading us from the speakers in the open kitchen window. Two ladies in deep conversation near the island, scraping their plates for the last bites of cake. A group of guys gathering on the sofa talking about the World Series. Couples sitting in the dining room chatting about their kids.

thought it was a good party house, but knew for sure last Friday night. It just has good flow, know what I mean?

Planning and hosting parties doesn’t come natural to me, not yet anyways. I get nervous and clammy right before, fearing everyone will want to leave early because of an abundance of awkward silences. Who knows why I think that, I have some of the most lovely and interesting friends and family members.

Like everything, practice makes perfect, and I admit I’m a little out of practice hosting parties. I did it a lot in our first apartment (in an effort to meet new people in Raleigh and have an excuse to use the fancy wedding gifts we received), but our last apartment had a dark dining area and I think I threw one or two get togethers the whole year we lived there.

This past weekend boosted my confidence, though.

Not only was the party a hit, but I got to host my first out-of-town guests (unless you count Allison and Brian spending the night before our DC trip a week after we got the house–I don’t think the room had a bedside table!). J’s extended family stayed with us last weekend, and at one point (after the party) eight of us slept under one roof… and I’m happy to report we had enough blankets and pillows for all! (Although, I did learn I need to keep a few supplies in the guest bedroom and bathroom to help their convenience. A good lesson to learn with gracious guests.:)

My heart was so full (and, I admit, pretty tired) after the weekend, and I am on the search for new ways to practice hospitality.

Anyone else get a little nervous before hosting? How have you overcome your hosting fears?

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