Friday, April 5, 2013

This Is Real Life

On our anniversary, my husband and I decided that in our second year of marriage we wanted to open our home more and to invest in community.

 So on Tuesday I called a friend and invited them over for dinner on Thursday.

 And here's the thing, I didn't change the menu. I didn't fancy it up. I didn't slave over the stove for hours and fold napkins in the shapes of swans. In fact, I even told my husband not to clean "too perfectly". You know, just normal pick up, not crazy pick up. (He looked at me like I was a little crazy.)

 Actually, I just realized I didn't even offer napkins. Oops.

 You see we've been "becoming friends" with this couple for about a year and for a while, every Monday we would go to their house and watch The Bachelorette (guilty pleasure admission) together. (Yes, even the husbands. Although they would insist they were looking at gear online, not watching.)

One week we got there and there were a few dirty dishes in the sink, papers strewn across the kitchen table and we were all wearing sweatpants and hoodies. And I realized that this was NORMAL. Their house looks like this everyday. So does mine. I felt like we'd crossed a bridge, we were REAL friends. They didn't feel like they had to clean and impress us, we could just be.

 So this week when they arrived despite my best intentions I was scrambling. You see I like to host. I'd love to someday throw Pinterest-worthy dinner parties like this Valentine fondue my hubby made. I like it when the house is picked up, the meal is beautiful and the table is set. I like to try new things and to put effort in. 

But I don't always have to. So when they walked in, the chicken was still on the stove, the noodles were boiling and the bread (which I forgot to take out of the fridge to rise) was still in the oven looking very brick-like.

 What did my friend do? She opened the door, stuck her head in, yelled hello and opened the cupboards, found glasses and started filling them with water.


And I had another one of those moments. I thought this is REAL, this is NORMAL.

The meal wasn't perfect, the bread didn't rise all the way and got stuck in the pan and my kitchen looked like a toddler had been cooking but we laughed. We laughed when one of us held the pan down while the other pried the bread out. We laughed when my husband picked the burned crust out of the bottom and ate it anyway. We called it a "rustic loaf".

 And it was REAL, it was NORMAL. 

 I read this article this week by one of my favorites, Shauna Niequist. (Hi Shauna! If you're ever in the market for a new BFF in Michigan I'm there. Just sayin') As I wrote this post I went through my Instagram to find a messy picture to show you. I couldn't find one. Guilty as charged. So here's my sock today- formerly stained from spilling tea and stained again today from spilling espresso. This is real life, people, stained socks and all.

As I've started this blog I thought a lot about why. Actually it's pretty embarrassing to me that people I know in real life might see it. I haven't figured it out but I've thought a lot about what my "voice is" and what I'll share. And I still don't know. But what I do know is that I want to live a real life and sometimes I want to host beautiful parties with picture perfect food and sometimes I want to say come over now. Shove that pile of paper, bills and clutter off the table and let's eat leftovers and laugh and enjoy life.

So if you come to my house, get your own glass. Open the fridge, snoop a little. Heck you can even stick your hand into a bag of chocolate chips and help yourself! 

Linking up (I think? I've never done this before!!) with for Desire to Inspire.
A Royal Daughter

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