First of all, a gigantic Thank You! to all of you for your thoughts and prayers. I made it through my week of hosting without any major meltdowns, and I didn't get sick until everyone was leaving; I'm counting that as a win.
A few days before my parents were scheduled to arrive, I found at they weren't going to stay in Philadelphia through Monday and drive out on Tuesday; they were driving out on Monday. (They were in Philly for a wedding the weekend before Thanksgiving.) Needless to say, losing a day to clean and finish the gifts I was making ratcheted my stress levels up several notches. Before coming out, my mother kept offering to help with the preparatory cleaning, which I both appreciated (help is always nice) and resented (Really? You don't think I'm capable of getting my own home clean enough for guests?). Though I wasn't able to get it all done, the most important things were completed (but I really ought to write a letter to and send that Thanksgiving card to Grandma...). Fortunately or unfortunately, my parents' GPS had them taking 376 through Pittsburgh to drop their rental car off at the the airport... at rush hour. First they called and said they would be getting to the airport earlier than planned, leaving me rushing out of the house and struggling to get in touch with Husbandido, who works near the airport and was scheduled to pick them up. Of course he was in a meeting, so I had no clue how it was all going to work: if I was going to leave my poor parents waiting out in the cold or if we would make it in time. The mess that is 376 at rush hour meant that my panic over my parents' early arrival was totally unnecessary; I was eventually able to reach Husbandido, and he was able to pick them up in time. We had a nice dinner out and a quiet evening, visiting at home.
I was more conflicted about Tuesday; back when I thought my parents were arriving that evening, I had scheduled an appointment to have my hair done that afternoon. That in addition to my regular Tuesday morning Bible study left me feeling like I was abandoning my folks on their own all day. In the end, I followed my mother's urgings and went to both, which was probably good for me, since that was some of the last time away from everyone I would have until they left. Somewhere between 4 and 6" was lopped off the back of my hair, and it's a totally different color than I would ever have chosen. I like how it turned out, but I was disappointed that no one else seemed to like it that much (Mom and Husbandido, I'm looking at you.)
Wednesday was a return to chaos. My brother and his family were scheduled to arrive that evening, but problems getting snow tires on their car kept delaying their departure. My parents, Husbandido, and I had talked about a movie, but we didn't want to run the risk of not being home when Brother & family arrived. We decided not to go see Catching Fire, and Husbandido worked late. Then we got the update from Brother - they wouldn't be arriving until after 11, so we set out to see the movie. (It also meant a lot of leftover roast.) Catching Fire was sold out; we saw Frozen instead. I was skeptical at the start, but I ended up really enjoying it. As we were leaving the movie theater, my dad got a text from my brother saying that they would be getting in around 10:15/10:30 pm. It was a good thing Catching Fire had sold out; otherwise we wouldn't have been back in time. There was the usual chaos getting everyone settled in, but no major problems.
Since this getting long, I'll break here and continue tomorrow.