I love having friends over. But in the 6 1/2 years we’ve lived here, we hesitate to host parties or have friends over because the house has been… well, what it is: in need of updating. The carpet is old, stained & needs to be replaced. Most of the fixtures have been original to the house, which was built in 1971. (I can’t wait to post a before & after photo of what I call my “wagon wheel light.”)

We’ve been working on the house and I do intend to post some before & after shots, as soon as I find our camera–which has lots of before shots! (Please say a prayer that we find it. I think photos of Gran’s last Christmas are still on it. I desperately want to find it.)

Anyway, I was talking with a friend who encouraged me to just start having friends over. “Just do it!” she said. And she’s a great example of hospitality–and organization, too, but that’s another post for another day.

So this year, during the July 4th Weekend, we finally did it–we hosted a cookout.

I have to say, I had no idea how many people would show up, or what it would be like. I had sent many E-vites, casting a large net and having no idea how many I’d catch. I was a lil’ nervous. Then people started showing up and bringing food.
I was finishing up a spinach salad with craisins & cashews, so at first, I didn’t know how many people were showing up. Tables for food were set up on the deck, but I started hearing people talk and thought, “Wow, people actually showed up!”

I finally finished and went outside to say hi to everyone. Friends we haven’t seen in years came, and I was surprised to see how much their oldest had gotten. He’s a young man now.

It was one of the hottest days of the Summer so far, but people were good sports about it. We kept telling everyone to come into the house to cool off, but mostly, everyone sat outside and talked. Everyone ate until they were full. The kids played and a few of them came up with a little talent show that they performed on the steps of our deck.

No one seemed to mind that our house isn’t what we want it to be. I’m always really self-conscious about the house. Will people see it and its flaws and think badly of me? All my insecurities came out, but I bit the bullet and went with it. I joked with everyone that they were getting the “Before” preview now and that once we had our projects finished, we’d have them back for the “After” unveiling.

Even my hubby said it wasn’t as bad as he thought it would be. Bad meaning, stressful. It was fun watching him trying to find a cornhole game so everyone would have something to do.

But it seemed that people didn’t need something to do. They just enjoyed being together. It was just what I wanted.

Now I have to start planning the Christmas party.  🙂