How high on most people's to do list would "prepare and host a lunch for 32 people at your house" be?
I had such a good time, though. My eldest brother and his family arrived from South Africa yesterday. My second brother and his family arrived from the US this morning. They were all here for lunch, along with one of my cousins and her family, one of my sisters and her family, my other brother, two of my oldest friends and their children, a new friend who lives just up the hill and is getting married in September, and the two sisters of one of my sisters-in-law, plus the husband of one of them.
It was meant to be a barbecue, but the pouring rain meant that all the food was cooked and eaten indoors. My two-year-old nephew woke me at 5:30 this morning, which gave me plenty of time to get all the salads and side dishes ready before the guests arrived. My brother and his family went out for the morning, apparently to allow me to prepare all the food without the children getting in the way. Actually, it was a nice thought, and I've been preparing for parties on my own for so many years now that I have quite a good routine and managed fine on my own. New Man wasn't around today, as he was recovering from his stag do in Edinburgh this weekend.
After lunch, we celebrated the second birthday of one of my nephews with a big chocolate cake, then had a baby shower for my sister (due on the day of the wedding - we're hoping this baby will either arrive tomorrow or be late), then my sister-in-law's sister, who is doing my make-up for the wedding, did a practice run on me and the matron of honour. We gave presents to the bridesmaids and ushers, and all the girls were thrilled with their necklaces and wore them for the rest of the day. One of the bridesmaids got to try on her dress and take it home with her, as I won't see her till the day now.
There has been a slight problem with the dresses - when I took another of the bridesmaids for a fitting last Monday, we discovered that the dresses they had made were not the ones we had ordered. The lady in the shop has been absolutely fantastic, and instantly offered to unpick the bodices and remake them in the style we originally chose. It does mean the last of the dresses won't be ready until Friday, but I have faith in this lovely lady.
I still have two more days of work (today was a bank holiday in the UK), but I'm so excited now about the rest of this week. The guests (except for the ones who are staying over) have now gone, I've cleaned up the kitchen, and I'd better toddle off to bed, just in case it's another 5:30 start tomorrow...