You often don’t know what you’re getting into when you move into a neighborhood. This can be for the good or the bad. Fortunately for us, our neighborhood continues to impress us. We attended our second block party (last year’s here) and it easily rivaled the school carnival we recently attended, but the block party was free! There’s one street in particular that organizes the shindig and all the families do what they can to help out and adds to the party however they can. And although we know a lot of the neighborhood from church, we had such a great turn out and met so many new people, and we were lucky to have Steve’s sister and family join us for the fun (sadly no pictures with them!).

It will be hard to surpass this year’s party – they pulled out all the stops.

The mechanical bull 20130329-DSC_9069 photo 20130329-DSC_9069.jpg Cotton Candy and Popcorn 20130329-DSC_9077 photo 20130329-DSC_9077.jpg BBQ featuring the special J-Dawg sauce from Utah 20130329-DSC_9086 photo 20130329-DSC_9086.jpg Sno-Cones by the wonderful McKelle Beck. 20130329-DSC_9092 photo 20130329-DSC_9092.jpg Bounce House 20130329-DSC_9085 photo 20130329-DSC_9085.jpg Balloon Animals (and swords) 20130329-DSC_9123 photo 20130329-DSC_9123.jpg There was a live band (The Jeff Hunt band) which allowed us to dance the night away. And then there is the kids favorite attraction: The candy cannon. Last year was our first exposure to the cannon and I remember thinking, “Who in the world came up with this?” But the kids go crazy for it! It’s a metal cylinder that is stuffed full of candy. 20130329-DSC_9093 photo 20130329-DSC_9093.jpg 20130329-DSC_9094 photo 20130329-DSC_9094.jpg With the light of a fuse it shoots out into the crowd and kids are showered in candy. 20130329-DSC_9137 photo 20130329-DSC_9137.jpg 20130329-DSC_9138 photo 20130329-DSC_9138.jpg 20130329-DSC_9095 photo 20130329-DSC_9095.jpg It blows with such great force that the majority of it will break on contact with the street, but the kids don’t seem to mind! They shot the cannon several times and the kids squealed with delight each and every time.

Not only did the evening give us an opportunity to meet new people, but also build relationships with the friends we’ve already made. 20130329-DSC_9119 photo 20130329-DSC_9119.jpg 20130329-DSC_9074 photo 20130329-DSC_9074.jpg Our kids ran around crazy and consumed far too much sugar but we made the decision to let everything go for the night. It was more enjoyable for us to not be constantly telling them no and they were pleased to run around with their friends as if they were older than they really are! 20130329-DSC_9097 photo 20130329-DSC_9097.jpg There were several times throughout the evening that I was taking in the moment and was overcome with gratitude for the people that surrounded us. I’m sure many live in similar neighborhoods and can relate. But more than anything it was comfortable and it was home. I foresee collecting years of photographs with my kids surrounded by these same friends. Yes, many will move and new friends will move in, but at some point in the road we’ll look back and smile at how cute and little they once were, arm-in-arm with one another. 20130329-DSC_9114 photo 20130329-DSC_9114.jpg It feels so good to be part of a neighborhood that acts as a community.