I love days that end with a house full of people and a sink full of dishes, especially when it just organically happens.  Both my kiddos were at camp and the whole family had plans of going to the gym in the evening (just so you know, we have never done this before but are trying to be more active as a family).  In preparation for the busy evening I decided to make dinner in the early afternoon.

I was enjoying my quiet house, a little Jack Johnson and slicing and dicing.  Feeling quite accomplished that I actually had dinner prepared before our departure, I went to get ready to head to the gym.  My son Marc had gone to a friends house after camp and when I called to tell him I was on my way to pick him up for the gym, he protested and begged to just stay and play at his friends.  I then went into my daughter Madison’s room to tell her we were heading to the gym and she was asleep with a book on her chest.  Our gym plans were foiled!  I must admit, I wasn’t too disappointed but could certainly have used the workout.  Oh well!

As I stood in my kitchen trying to figure out what to do with my new found free time, my phone rang.  It was my friend, the one who was currently hosting my son for his playdate.  She had a house full of kids and was planning to take them to Smash Burger for dinner.  She wanted to know if Marc could join them.  I said “of course!”  But with my dinner already made and free time on my hands, I told her that she should grab the kids their Smash Burger and then come join me for dinner.

An hour later she knocked on my door with 5 kids, a huge bag of burgers and a bottle of wine.  As the kids happily slammed down their burgers and fries, my friend and I retired to the patio with plates full of yummy food and a bottle of Chardonnay. The kids soon made their way to the backyard for a baseball game as we sat at the table and laughed and enjoyed our wine.

About an hour later there was a knock on the door and another friend spontaneously stopped by.  We quickly fixed her a plate and she joined us on the patio.  It was officially a party!

The night ended with great conversation, plenty of laughter, yummy milk shakes and a dance party in the family room.  Yeah, I did the WHIP even while my daughter hid under her blanket in embarrassment.

It is these nights that I love most.  Unplanned, no expectations, no pretense.  It wasn’t complicated or fancy.  All I had to do was open my door and let the fun and laughter in.  There was so much joy around the dinner table, on the baseball field, and during the dance party.  It was perfect evening.  When the last guest left and I began picking up lingering milk shake cups, I felt full. Yes, full in my belly, but also full in my soul.  Oh yeah, my sink was also full and it was well worth it!

It’s simple, just gather!


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