Long before we moved to the Midwest Atom & I used to daydream and imagine what it would be like to have a close knit group of neighbors. While most of our neighbors back in San Diego were awesome, we never had much of a relationship with them even though we lived in our home for over 10 years. We wanted that community so badly that you see on tv or hear about in books. We started talking about taking the initiative once we moved to start building relationships in our new neighborhood and town. We hadn’t even met any of our new neighbors in person (although several had reached out to us via Facebook and my website before we moved) but we just somehow knew that we would hit it off & mesh really well. With everything else that had worked out perfectly with buying the building, selling our house in San Diego, me finding the perfect job here etc etc etc we knew God had his hand in every aspect of it and having awesome neighbors would just be the cherry on top. And He didn’t disappoint. The idea for Block Party came pretty much right when we moved in. I knew I wanted to host a giant party in our parking lot for our surrounding neighbors. It wasn’t until last month that I finally had time to figure out a date and set it. Atom & I went around our immediate block & invited everyone and told them to save the date: July 15th @ 4pm. We would provide hamburgers, hot dogs and nachos (because nachos are life) along with drinks. We told people they just had to show up and if they wanted to bring a side dish it was totally optional & definitely not mandatory.
We kept our fingers crossed it wouldn’t rain as it has been quite a wet spring & into summer since we’ve been here (3 months today! Can you believe it?!) and thankfully the weather today was PERFECT. 78 degrees and sunny with low humidity and a bright blue sky with big puffy clouds. 4pm rolled around and we had set up some tables and chairs and easy ups and we waited.
Of course the thought had crossed my mind that what if no one shows up? Then what? We’d have 65 hamburgers, 40 hot dogs, a crockpot of nacho cheese and 3 gallons of lemonade to ourselves. That along with 200 water balloons along with a giant bucket of sidewalk chalk and 2 gallons of bubbles for the bubble machine.
Then they came. They ALL came. All in all we had about 50 people including kids. Some couldn’t stay long but they still came and said hi. They brought so much food and more tables and chairs. It was seriously amazing.
The mayor and his wife showed up as well and joined us all for dinner. The conversations were so great and we all got to know each others stories as well as share our own. The kids had an absolute blast playing with each other and even the adults joined in on the fun.
We played games and laughed until our sides hurt. We made plans to do this often and when winter rolls around we will still host in our basement! I think 6,000 square feet is probably enough space. It might be a bit tight but we can do our best to squeeze in there. (Haha!!!!)
Hands down my favorite part of the evening was overhearing our new neighbors make connections with each other. Many have lived in the neighborhood for a long time but had only shared a common wave here and there but never actually got together to share a meal or get to know each other. That all changed today.
I’m beyond exhausted and my entire body hurts but my heart is so full. We are in the right place. We are here for a reason. And we couldn’t be happier. I’m headed to bed and tomorrow it will be time to start planning Fall Block Party!
Sweet dreams friends,