28 June 2011

Bed and Breakfast

We moved into our house March 26. The next day, Eric's brother's family came to stay with us for two nights. (Eric's parents were in house-transition at the time, so it wasn't possible for Eric's brother's family to stay with them.) After that, my brother and his family came to stay with us for one night. Then toward the end of April Eric's sister came to stay with us for a couple of nights with her little boy. In May my brother and his wife came again, this time for the U2 concert, so only his two older kids were with him. This week my brother is coming again (just with his wife this time). The next day my sister will arrive for a fun stay. Right after that Eric's two older brothers are coming into town, and the one who stayed with us in March will stay with us again. Then my brother will be in town again. It sounds like more than it is when I lump it into one paragraph like that, but I like to be dramatic, so there you go.

Having a house is fun! I feel totally inept at hosting, though. I really don't do breakfasts. (The idea that I will get up and cook breakfast for people is actually quite laughable. That's Eric's forte.) Plus, I'm unaccustomed to cooking for groups and doubly unaccustomed to cooking for children. Will people be satisfied with food I have to offer? Will the beds be adequate? The spare beds came from Eric's parents' house and are all without bed frames. (They will soon return to Eric's parents' house, by the way.)

I know that most guests are probably not picky. They came to visit (or maybe visiting was just a perk on their list of errands they are doing while they are in town), so they are happy with any accommodations. But I still feel totally inadequate as a hostess.

What sorts of things do you do to get ready for guests? What sorts of things do you wish people would do for you? People who are coming to stay or who have stayed with us, what sorts of things should we do (or should we have done differently) to be better hosts?

All suggestions welcome.

(Please don't get me wrong! I do not want this to be a diatribe against guests! We love to invite ourselves to go visit people, and we love having visitors. I just don't feel like I really know the ins and outs of being a good hostess.)


John said...

One of the reasons we were hesitant to fill you in on the details of our trip this week was because we don't necessarily have to stay this time. Our appointment is in the middle of the day and by all rights we could get up early in the morning, drive 5 hours, take care of our appointment, then drive 5 hours home. It would have made for a long day, but we've done it before. So after weighing our options, we came to one convincing conclusion, we need to see Ike. So even if you are a really bad hostess (which you are not), visiting Ike will trump you.

Janssen said...

Towels. I really love it when I go to visit and there is a stack of clean folded towels on the bed. then I know I'm not showering with the towel that the family has been washing their hands on for the last six months.

Also, I love make-ahead breakfasts that I can prep the night before and then just toss in the oven the next morning.

heidikins said...

I totally agree on the towels comment! There is something so comforting (to me) about a stack of fresh towels. I also like to give guests who have their own transportation (car usually for me) a key to my house so they can come and go as they please.

I don't think I've ever made breakfast for someone who was staying with me...no, not true, but it only happens on Saturday or Sunday because I have the old 8-5 grind going on. Shrug. So far, I haven't heard any complaints. :)


Jennifer Lee said...

I am also going to say how great it is to have clean towels just sitting out and waiting for me so I don't have to hunt in closet or under sinks for them. Towels and washcloths. Or maybe I'm the only person in America who uses washcloths? Because the last several people I stayed with didn't have any so I've learned to just pack my own.

RA said...

Another vote for towels! And also plenty of toilet paper. I dread having to ask my host where to find more, so stock that bathroom! Small toiletries, like toothbrushes or travel-size stuff, are nice to have in case of forgotten things.

For breakfasts, I usually just buy a bag of bagels, have some spreads in the fridge, get fruit and juice, and set out the coffee maker next to mugs, plates, and silverware. I am rarely the first one up in my house, so a self-service model works best for me. If you are very on the ball, something like a coffee cake or muffins (ooh! which freeze well! Make them ahead of time and just defrost the day before) can be nice. For something hot, a breakfast casserole can be made up the night before. Eggs, hash browns, veggies -- there are lots of variations.

Melanie said...

I think I'm always just so afraid of imposing that the best thing to come from the host or hostess is just a reassurance that they're happy to have me . . .or at least not annoyed by my presence.

Lizzy Lambson said...

Haha! I was going to say fresh towels, but everyone beat me to it! I also stayed at Sam's mission president's home and they put a little foil-wrapped chocolate on my pillow in the guest room. It made me feel like I was in a fancy hotel.

Packrat said...

I'll not mention towels. How about having enough toilet paper on hand?

Do you have freezer room? Make up several breakfast casseroles (if you need a recipe, just let me know), or just get bread, butter, jam, cold cereals, and milk and maybe some fresh fruit and yogurt and let everyone do their own thing.

My mom waited on her guests hand and foot and loved it. I'm not that way (probably because we always worked too hard before, during and after having company).

At my house I'd like you to come in, make yourself at home, bring or buy anything special you want, feel free to cook any time you want, and straighten up after yourself. (Am I lazy? YES)

Packrat said...

Oh, yes. Go ahead and use paper plates and paper napkins.

Dusty and Amy said...

OK. Yes on the towels. But I also like it when people have extra blankets and pillows. I hate going somewhere and having a wimpy blanket and pillow. :o)

P1 Steven said...

Although, we havent had many guest in our home. The big thing I always appreciate are the guest cleaning up and minding their children. Toaster waffles are great too!