Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thanksgiving Recap - Part II

And now for the 2nd half of the Thanksgiving recap!  On Friday, we all gathered in the evening in my condo for another family dinner.  I had to work that day, so I decided to serve lasagnas to keep it as simple as possible!  This was my first time hosting a meal for my family and doing it 100% on my own, so I wanted to set myself up for success!

We started out the evening with appetizers - an antipasti platter, which my SIL provided and fresh veggies!

After filling up on appetizers and wine, a group of us walked into city center for the Holidazzle Parade.  I have lived in Minneapolis for 9 holiday seasons now, and this was my first time taking in the parade!  The weather was gorgeous - much warmer than I ever thought it would be!

L-R:  Andrew, Matthew, Me, Kolin, and James.  Matthew and Kolin are sitting on my knees and I am barely holding my balance, hence the reason I am so close to the ground in this photo!

The boys got light sabers and I think they might have been more excited about them than the actual parade!

After the parade, we walked home! 

Excuse the blurriness of this iPhone photo!  Here is the salad!

Another horribly blurry iPhone photo of one of the pans of lasagna - this one was the vegetarian one and I was really happy with how it turned out!

Here we all, all sitting around my table.

This post wouldn't be complete without a photo of a baby.  Here is Anna in her tutu and holiday shirt, stretching out!
 All in all, it was a wonderful night.  I have watched my mom entertain for large groups year after year and she makes it looks pretty darn effortless...  Well, it's not quite effortless for me, yet.  I was a bit stressed at various points, but it all came together and everyone went home full and happy! 

Are you a cool, calm, and collected host/hostess?  I really, really tried to be and I kept telling myself not to get stressed because it's my family and they don't expect perfection.  Looking back, I probably should have drank a little more wine.  ;) 

22 comments:

Kelly (She Wears a Red Sox Cap) said...

Wow looks like you did a fantastic job and everyone must have loved getting to walk to the parade! :) I am definitely not a stress free hostess, especially when there is a meal involved even though Eric usually does the cooking anyway- it's just all the other details. Tonight we are hosting Eric's family for his mom's birthday. I need to run home from school and make cupcakes. I'm definitely a bit stressed... mainly just because this has been a crazy week and I have class this weekend so I won't even get to rest after it's all over. Oh, life. It will be fun though (the dinner, not the class) haha. And yes, wine is the way to go.

Stephany said...

Oh, gosh, Anna is impossibly cute in that photo! She's so cute in a little tutu.

I don't tend to get too stressed out when I have hosting duties, although it's usually my mom and me sharing the hosting duties and she tends to take the bulk of the work. So she gets stressed and I calm her down. :) We make a good team!

Marisa A. said...

Hahhaa oh no I'm definitely too much of a perfectionist to be cool call and collected. Looks like you did a great job!

AshleyD said...

I've actually never hosted my own dinner or party, so I'm not sure how I would react. I've only been a co-host and I assume that's not nearly as stressful. Anyway, it looks like you did a fabulous job and everyone had a wonderful time!

Carolina John said...

We hosted this year too, and it's the first time that Kelley wasn't stressed. It was amazing.

missris said...

Wow this looks like an amazing spread! I don't like hosting because it always stresses me out so much--you're brave!

Marlys said...

You did a great job and were extremely organized! The fact that you worked most of the day and only had about 1 hour before your guests arrived contributes to the stress, but you handled it well. [If those gosh darn knifes just wouldn't have disappeared, right? ;)]

Raquelita said...

It sounds like it was a success! I love to host dinner parties, but inevitably something goes slightly awry. Wine often helps in dealing with that. :)

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said...

I am WAY impressed that you hosted the family after a day of work! That would stress me out without all the cooking and whatnot! Yeah, hosting big gatherings doesn't come effortlessly to me. But, I've learned that imperfection is OK, especially so long as everyone has a good time. I'm learning not to sweat it quite so much. I'm curious, is lasagna gluten free?

B and B said...

I love your big dining room table! It looks like a fun evening. How nice your family could all be together for the weekend.

Leigh said...

It looks and sounds like you did a fantastic job hosting Lisa. I don't think you had anything to worry about :)

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

That looks great! You did a great job. You don't need to be stressed about it; it's about time with family!

I don't get too stressed, even though I am a perfectionist sometimes. I have had moments where things didn't turn out like I liked and I have told people that I am not going to serve it! They always tell me to be quiet and they eat it and they always like it. So all my fears are in vain. Last year I made the turkey and EVERYBODY was trying to tell me how I should cook it and I did get a little annoyed at everyone and I kind of snapped at them a little. (and the turkey still turned out good)

Amber (Girl with the red hair) said...

I have never hosted THAT many people! The most I've hosted for dinner is I think 2 people (so 4 total with me and Eric! ha) and that was a *little* stressful so I can imagine hosting that many people would be quite stressful! Looks like it all went really well though!!

Lauren @ Sassy Molassy said...

OMG, Anna's little outfit is adorable!! Nice work, hostess with the mostest!

crystal said...

Im glad to hear you guys made it to the parade, it looks like it was fun! If the pictures are any indication, I bet you were a perfect hostess :)

Mandy said...

Looks like you did a fabulous job! The food looks delicious and the kids are adorable. Congrats on hosting your first large dinner party in your new place!

San said...

Wow, you are a picture-perfect host :) What a lovely family gathering!

Becky said...

Ahh, the tutu! I die!

I can't imagine having that many people over - sounds like you rocked it!

Abby said...

My first time entertaining I was a mess! But that was for ryan's grad party & we were expecting like 30 people. Now I stay pretty cool! It's all about planning!

Abby said...

Your dinner party looks like a hit! Love your table! Anna is so precious!!!!!

pinkflipflops said...

wine always makes things go by better! ilove lasagna and itlookslike you guys had fun! love anna's tutu and shirt. oh and the cheeks!!

Jolene - EverydayFoodie said...

Great dinner party!!!

I am usually a very calm and collected hostess ... I do most of the work ahead of time.