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One of the things Mr. Cleaver and I were most excited about when we moved from our one-bedroom apartment to the house is that we’d have space to have people over.

Oh sure, we had friends over to the old apartment, but, for example, when another couple came over for dinner once we had to move the table into the living room because there wasn’t space in the kitchen. So it was a tad limiting.

But now our home is constantly filled with family and friends and that’s my favorite thing about being a homeowner.

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This past weekend was the best iteration of that so far with our housewarming/birthday BBQ and Hoedown.

We invited a bunch of our friends, family, and coworkers over for a potluck and BBQ. Friends and family brought the sides and we provided drinks, meat, and the band.

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Which makes this the coolest party I’ve ever thrown.

Of course all the credit for the band goes to Mr. Cleaver, who after seeing a set by our favorite New England band Brown Bird, sent them an email to see if they would do a home show. They said they could, gave us a price and some available dates, and we worked it all out.

As Mr. Cleaver said, it like when you hear about people who have Jay Z at their bar-mitzvah or something, but on our scale.

(If you want an example of what it was like, Brown Bird played a set at the Newport Folk Festival the preceding weekend that you can stream in its entirety at NPR.)

It wasn’t the cheapest thing we’ve ever done, but we both agreed that the experience and the memories were worth every penny. Particularly because all the guests had a great time too (or at least that’s what they told us) and several wanted to steal Steinbeck, who charmed practically everyone. ๐Ÿ™‚

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It took a little when we first moved back to Maine in the late August of 2008 to really settle in and find our groove, but I was reflecting on our life in Portland earlier today and thinking about how wonderfully FULL it is and how I’m so grateful for it all.

(On a side note: I’ve just joined the chirping masses on Twitter, you can see my latest tweet in the sidebar or follow me @Ms_Cleaver).

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