I meant to share our New Year's Eve party with you. This was the party that broke my back so to speak. There was the Holiday Progressive which left me invigorated and then all the last minute Christmas preparations I did, then Christmas dinner with my extended family, our trip to Chicago, followed by frantic de-Christmasing and preparations for 12 adults and 17 kids under nine to ring in the New Year. I was exhausted. I wanted it to be fun for the kids but to be honest I sort of wanted to throw a bunch of confetti at them and call it the New Year.
Still, it's not often kids get to stay up until midnight (or later if no one's killing each other) and I don't get to spend the first minutes with my best friends all the time so I wanted it to be reasonably special.
I made this event potluck-ish, emailing the guests while still in Chicago asking them to bring their own drinks and an appetizer to pass. I made just a vegetable tray with two dips, these really yummy Brussel Sprout, Bacon and Cheddar skewers (huge, huge hit both times I've made them).
Did they eat it?
Max and Maddie didn't try it.
Logan did and said, "I love these. Come to think of it, I've never tried a brussel sprout in my life!"
I just don't know where Maddie gets her inhibited taste buds from.
I also made batches of black eyed peas (I used this recipe) and put them in take out containers with tags Logan made explaining the custom. It's supposed to bring you good luck to eat black eyed peas on the first day of the New Year.
At the end of the night I forgot to pass them out as some guests left and was asleep by the time some other guests got tired of watching Logan play Guitar Hero and left at 2am. Still it was a cute idea. I ended up eating four servings by myself (no one in my family would try) so I should be very lucky this year.
So far Logan has gotten his first major illness in years and I remain healthy, so far anyway. He should have eaten the peas.
For the Holiday Progressive I bought white bags, sand and candles to make luminaria to line the sidewalk. I sort of overestimated the size of our lot (because to me it's the grandest property in all the land) and we have enough white paper bags to line the entire city. We decided to use them to line the walk up to the house just to make everything more festive.
To decorate inside I made it sort of kid themed because my friend Maggie brought me a box full of these awesome party decorations from Amsterdam. She got them at Hema and you love Hema. I don't care if you've never heard of it. You love it. Trust me. (When I went to the site and saw they have an online area, I had an aneurysm. I am now using a knitting needle to type because I can't feel my hands.
Only, it seems, though I'm no expert on the Dutch language, you can only order and pick up in store or have your stuff shipped within the Netherlands. WHICH IF I LIVED IN THE NETHERLANDS I WOULD BE LIVING INSIDE THE HEMA SO THIS DOESN'T HELP ME.)
Anyway, Maggie brought us all sorts of paper decorations and the best part is you can re-smoosh them together to use again! I'll show a picture of that when we get around to taking down the decorations. I thought we'd have to throw everything away after we used it, economical and earth-friendly.
Maddie wants to hang these cute vinyl flags in her room. We already hung the sign Maggie gave us in our office. It's this one, which means "Congratulations" but we make up something new every time we're down there. Sometimes it means, "Have sex!", other times it says, "Why don't you fold the laundry ever?" Gefeliciteerd is everything.
Look at these fine people enjoying a little Gefeliciteerd!
Here I'm playing charades with the kids, I got 'Gefeliciteerd' which is particularly hard to act out.
Here we are making party hats with foam sheets and foam stickers. Something you would think wouldn't be messy. Children are savages so it was actually quite messy. Plus I could not drink and help the kids with their hats. This was gefeliciteerd.
I went to bed around 1:00am, right after I got a glob of toothpaste in my hair while putting Maddie to bed. I thought that was a sign maybe it was time to close up shop. Logan didn't (of course) but instead lured my friend Andrea into the evil which is Guitar Hero III, she stayed until 2:00am and dreamed of guitar solos through the rest of the night. She might be downstairs right now, playing just one more.
The party was great, the kids were a little wild and next year I'll probably change just a few things. I will start midnight prep earlier, I was so frantic trying to get the kids their sparkling juice and the adults their champagne, oh and the bubble wrap spread out on the floor for the kids to stomp (huge hit, highly recommend for any party) at midnight, I missed the actual New Year almost entirely.
I hate to be a frantic hostess, I think it makes everyone feel guilty and ruins the party, so I'll need to be more organized next year.
If we're still here, the basement will hopefully be set up with a play area. They love it down there and it is so nice to have the kids on another floor. This house is (in my mind) twice as big as our old one but it seems like the kids just end up right on top of you no matter what the square footage.
Also, we'll skip confetti entirely. I always think I can handle the mess, "What's a little mess?! What's the point of having this great house if we can't have a few messes?"
Then for the next two weeks I'm sleeping with confetti and I'm blowing it out of my nose and the cats have it in their litter boxes and it's in every single room of the house and wet shoes smear it every where. It's just not worth it.
Next year we'll do something less messy, like finger painting.
I hope your New Year was Gefeliciteerd (also wonderful).