One great thing about this more free-form format is I can cover a lot in one go. A downside is that I feel like there are still gaps to fill–hence the blog posts to go with.

The grill was a semi-surprise. About a month before Mom had mentioned wanting to get us a grill as a housewarming gift, but just didn’t think she could (being serious, not smoke and mirrors here), and I told her that was quite all right and that we didn’t expect anything like that from anyone. So the night before the party, at dinner with everyone, the family makes some noise about coming to help us set up (the rentals–tables and chairs) the next morning. Then there were pointed looks between certain people and whispers about when Jason could meet them with his trucks.

So I told Todd on the way home from dinner: My family got us a grill. Act surprised tomorrow morning. And, sure enough, that’s what happened. Of course, Jason and the truck didn’t quite work out, they ended up taking it out of the box in the home depot parking lot so they could fit the big hood bits into Mom’s backseat and the rest in the trunk, etc.

Thank goodness Andrew had his own car, lol.

And back to the flooding. I show Todd digging out the overflow pipe with his bare hands, but Andrew was down there with him, maybe even Aunt Marie, too–it’s hard to remember, now, but I do remember they spooked a little garden snake in the process.

We were such old-hands at the carpet drill, though, by the time the carpet guys showed up, all that was left for them to do was spray some anti-mildew stuff on the carpet and leave. ┬áStill, it wasn’t exactly what we’d plan to deal with less than 5 hours before guests arrived.