The Little Touches

Last week my Mom and Dad were here for a visit.  We had so much fun with them, I can’t wait to do it again.  I’m still grinning!  For me, this visit was a HUGE milestone.  I’ve always struggled with being organized; not just with our stuff, but with my time as well.  My house was my battleground, where I waged war with the burning desire to divert from the planned course to follow that illusive something “shiny”.  So, when Mom and Dad would let us know they were planning a visit I would literally fly into a flurry of activity, trying to organize and clean the house within in an inch of its life.  I kid you not, one time I scrubbed the walls, and if you were to ask me why I couldn’t, for the life of me, tell you.  Little by little it got easier, I relaxed a little more, I got comfortable with my home, with the state of it.  I like to put in the extra effort when company comes, but I don’t take it as far as I did before.  But…. there was always a flurry of activity.  Finishing up a project I started and got discouraged over, clearing out the clutter or at least taking the donate bags to the store.  Tackling the plethora of hotspots and ill used spaces, and my list could just keep growing, but I’m sure you get the point.  This time it was different.

This visit was monumental for me.  For the first time I can remember, there was no flurry of activity.  With the one exception of organizing Travis’s Office/the Guest Room, nothing I had to do was anything I wouldn’t normally have done.  I didn’t scrub the windows till they sparkled (though they do need a cleaning) I didn’t scrub down walls just because, I didn’t take a tooth brush to the baseboards … no crazy life or death struggle for a state of perfection that just can’t be reached when you actually LIVE in your home.  Sure, I gave the office/guest room a deeper cleaning than normal, and yes, I did spend some extra time and pay extra attention to the guest bathrooms, but I did that because I COULD, not because I felt compelled to do it.  And you know what?  I had time left over to add some special touches to those two areas.  And I wasn’t worn right out when my parents arrived.  (I also didn’t turn into a crabby, snapping, crazy lady either, for which I’m sure Travis and the boys are grateful)

The first area I tackled was the Guest Room.  I took a little time to cover up some of the visual clutter in the room and add a little touch of autumn.

seasonal decor, getting ready for guests

I added a couple makeshift bedside tables, and dressed them up with a lamp and a stack of books.

bedside decor guest
They’re just a couple of barrels with glass tops.  Under the glass I added a few leaves and I tried to pick out books I thought might interest my Mom and Dad.  We’re readers in our family, so this was a fun way to continue to share that.  For my Dad I chose two Clive Cussler books from different series, and a non-fiction book about our home-town hockey team.

season touches, guests

For my Mom I chose Janet Evanovich.  I remember she had said that she hadn’t read them yet, so I thought I would start with “One for the Money”.  I added a book of poetry, and an old copy of “The King’s General” by Daphne du Maurier.

After that I turned my attention to the bathroom.  I wanted to add a little something special but not go too over board.

fancy towels, soaps, stuff for guests

In the bathroom I added a basket to the counter top.  I haven’t had a chance to stock up on guest items yet, but I’m hoping over time I can build up what we do have.

apothecary jars, bathroom organization

I also brought in the glass jars from our room to dress up the window sill.  It was fun to make things pretty, to add those special little touches that I normally overlook because I’m so busy trying to get the house perfect.  (Why is it that simple, little things like cotton ball and swabs look so pretty when you put them in glass jars?)

Wanna know a secret?  I forgot to dust the baseboards!  Wanna know what else?  I don’t think anyone noticed, and it certainly didn’t ruin the time we had with Mom and Dad.

Have you ever gone overboard getting ready for company?  What fun little things do you do for guests?

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