We just successfully pulled off our very first neighbor block party!! Ben started reading my brother-in-law's book, "The Art of Neighboring" and it really convinced him that we needed to reach out to our neighbors and build a community with them. I'm not sure if our neighborhood is like others, but some neighbors give a quick wave or hello and scurry off to their car and house and you never learn each other's names or any else of importance about each other. And the rest don't make eye contact or go through the back of their houses so you never talk at all.
We live in a row of 5 townhouses (4 in each row) and 3 are owned by our landlords. At first we were just going to have the party for our 3 buildings but them we scrapped that and opened it up to all 5, especially since a lot of the kids in the other buildings come over and play with our gang.
I was kind of dreading the whole thing because it's really uncomfortable to do something like this. It takes you outside of your comfort zone and forces to talk with (gasp!) people you don't know well! But Ben got on board with our neighbors across from us, whom we get along with really well, and they were excited about it, too and offered to use their behemoth grill, which was really nice. Especially since our grill is teeny tiny and dinky:)
Anyways, it went GREAT! A lot of people did not come, which we kind of expected (because who likes to come outside of their comfort zone??!!) but we had a great time with the people who did come. We got to officially meet some neighbors and got to know some that we chat with regularly even better! It was hot and not very shady for awhile but we made do and then as the afternoon wore on and the shade became better, we set out a nice big circle of chairs in some parking spaces and talked and laughed for hours! (seriously, this whole thing went on for SIX hours!)
All the kids were so excited about the whole thing and were out hours before hand, making signs and taping them all over the buildings. The signs were really cute, too! They all decided to put on a skateboarding/scooter show and show off their moves:) Eliana had a great time, chowing down on endless pieces of watermelon and walking around with her umbrella for shade. She didn't nap so I snuck inside and gave her a quick bath a little after 5pm (to wash off all the watermelon juice:). She kept crying, "I wanna go back to the bwock party!" But her eyes were almost completely closed by the time I tucked her in. She'll never know she missed out on the last 2 hours! She's too busy dreaming of hot dogs, kites (which one of our neighbors brought for the kids!) and watermelon.
So now we are all happily worn out from the prep, sun, and socializing and ready for bed. It was a great day!
Tomorrow I'll share an awesome new cookie recipe I made for today!