I’ve never been a city girl — really, I’ve never even lived in a big city at all, although I do enjoy visiting them. And although I spent my childhood in the country (seriously, three dirt roads to get to my house, one of which flooded — often), I don’t think of myself as terribly country. So of course, it only stands to reason that I now am a total suburbanite.

We’ve lived in our cute little house in our cute little neighborhood for about a year, and it occurred to me that we didn’t know most of our neighbors. And I suspected there were some cool people living nearby — many were friendly enough to wave or say hello without ever meeting. Shoot, I’d had conversations with plenty of them while out running or walking the dogs. But, it’s like, then what? You’re outside and don’t have your phone. Do you just stop by to say hello sometime? It’s awkward.

So I decided to throw a party.

My neighbor Blair and I passed out flyers to every house in the neighborhood (around 40 — my ‘hood ain’t huge), and told everyone to bring a drink, snack, and chair if they wanted, and come on over that Friday night. We set up a tent in the front yard, I put on my pearls, put out some nametags and markers (they were cool, dammit!), and, lo and behold, we probably had 30 or 40 neighbors come by. And I was right — they were fun! We’ve hung out with several of them since then, and seriously, I just think it’s so cool that, as I’m running by, people will wave and say, “Hey Kristen!”

This has brought about something new, though. Now that I know these people, I care what they think about us. And if you’ve ever lived in a cute little neighborhood, you know it’s all about the front yard. I’d always focused on the back yard because that’s where we really spend our time, but last weekend, I decided to do some planting in the front. Voila!


Don’t get me wrong — most of that was there already. But, I added the yellow flowers on the left, the potted plants to the right of the walk, the hanging plant to the right of that, and a bunch of small plants in between all those short little shrubs, plus the red flowers (kind of front/center, but you can’t see them very well just yet). AND, I planted a cool purple pointy shrub in the back, toward the right. Aren’t you impressed with my mad gardening skills?

Mostly, though, I just wanted to get a picture up there now before everything croaks.