Filling Our Home with Friends

I have always fluffed and decorated my home – even when I rented a hot attic apartment and my ugly 70’s sofas were covered with my college sheets.

For whatever reason, creating a pretty and enjoyable space has always been important to me.  Not in a superficial way – at least I hope not.

Filling Our Home With Friends

But I have always felt that how you surround yourself affects the way you live in your home.

When we decided a few years ago to not move – we also decided to renovate our home so that it worked better for our family.  We decided not to add on any new space (well I guess the screened porch is new space), but use the space that we had better.  I feel very fortunate to have been able to have done this and have always realized what a blessing in has been.

Filling Our Home With Friends

But this past weekend, it was an even bigger blessing.

13 of our favorite people in the world came and spent the weekend with us, in our home.

Filling Our Home With Friends

(One of our dear friends had to leave early, reporting for duty for the US Army and is not in the picture.  He was very missed when he departed.  And yes, I am that friend who always makes everyone pose for a group picture before heading home!  They will thank me later.)

This weekend, we used every square inch of our home and our property this weekend.

Every part of our home was used, loved and filled.

Filling Our Home With Friends

And my heart was so filled.

And I laughed – so very much.

Filling Our Home With Friends

It always cracks me up, no matter how old kids are, they always end up on the swing set.  It is falling apart, but I am not ready to let it go yet.

Filling Our Home With Friends

Now, there was rain.  Not a little rain – a ton of rain, crazy heavy downpours with thunder and lightning.  So there was a girl zone with Bananagrams and the boys hunkered down in the basement.  There were all starting to get a little stir crazy when it finally let up a little.

Filling Our Home With Friends

As soon as there was no more thunder, the kids headed right back out despite the rain.

There was man hunt and capture the flag.

This group only sees each other about once a year – but from the oldest who is about to get his license (when did that happen!?), to the youngest – everyone got along – even siblings!

I was so thankful to spend some time with these kiddos and see even more the amazing and funny people they are becoming.

Filling Our Home With Friends

And don’t get me wrong, I love all our girls, but it was so fun for me to have a house full of boys.

Filling Our Home With Friends

There were many meals served and I obviously thought that the “5,000’s” were coming because I way over prepared.  I am so worried about running out of food that I always overcook.

We had group time, one on one time, guy time, girl time.  Although I barely saw my own kids the whole weekend.

Filling Our Home With Friends

 Filling Our Home With Friends

We played a fantastic game of cards while the kids continued to run amuck and swim.

 Filling Our Home With Friends

There were chicken fights and glow sticks and way too many desserts consumed.

 Filling Our Home With Friends

We might actually need to apologize to some of our neighbors because after living here for 12 years, this could be the first time we were a “wee bit” loud!  Nothing inappropriate or obnoxious – just children running amuck, music playing and laughing adults.

And then as soon as they had all said their last goodbyes…

Filling Our Home With Friends

…the sun came out.  It was comical.

Filling Our Home With Friends

So, yes, I did fluff my house and make it look pretty for company coming.  But in the end, that so did not matter.

What mattered is that we opened our home and asked the people who we can most be ourselves with to fill it.

Each bedroom, the office and the basement was filled with bodies.  No kids had a bed – it didn’t matter.  There were shoes all over and the kitchen never really got clean.  And it didn’t matter.

I was so relaxed that my laugh was completely unguarded and loud and I let my hair go completely curly.  And it didn’t matter.

I know we are very  lucky to have have a home and spaces that could handle 17 people at once even if it was chaotic at times.

If you feel like your home is not exactly as you want it and you are waiting till it is to fill it – don’t.

Don’t be afraid to fill the floors with sleeping bags, have people eat wherever they can find a seat, use paper products all weekend.  It doesn’t have to be 17 people, it could be one.

But bring the people you love into your home.  It is so worth it.

Thanks so much for letting me share our fun!

Take care, Laura

About Finding Home

Welcome to Finding Home Farms where we share our favorite DIY and decorating ideas and inspiration. We believe your home should be a reflection of you and your family. Our blog is the story of our journey - and what we find along the way. Thanks for joining us!

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16 thoughts on “Filling Our Home with Friends”


  1. Laura, this was such a beautiful post! I almost felt like I could hear that laugh of yours! So glad that your family had such a wonderful time and that your home was filled with so much love! What a beautiful reminder of what a home is all about!

    Take care,


  2. What a perfect weekend it must have been with the important people in your life. We should all be so relaxed!

  3. Laura,
    You have a wonderful home and friends to enjoy it with you. You are blessed.
    I think the rain and thunder put you all closer together than planned and made your time together even better.
    One question, what card game do you play? My mom’s side always plays cards and have a lot of fun.


  4. It sounds like a wonderful weekend, Laura! I can relate. This coming weekend, all of my family will descend on our home for our annual Family Fun Weekend event. I started this tradition 18 years ago, and it’s been so heartwarming to see how my family has placed such importance on our annual get-together every first weekend in August. I might fluff my house a bit as well, but I don’t clean, since after a weekend with 36 people in my house, you can imagine how it looks after all have gone home! A small price to pay to see my parents, my siblings, all the cousins, who are now bringing THEIR babies, another generation, to our little event, and everyone having a great time! I appreciated this post very much and I agree with you completely. Bring the people you love into your home, it’s SO worth it. Wish me luck! 🙂

  5. Thank you for sharing. Sounds like everyone was blessed and relationships were strengthened. My question is how do you prepare food for that many people? I would be overwhemed with that part. I hope the rest of your summer continues to be blessed. Take care!

  6. It definitely looks like everyone had a wonderful time due to your incredible way of making them “feel at home”….
    Times such as the ones you had are the best…it’s what life is all about….sharing and making great memories with 13 of your favorite people!!…

  7. Hi Laura!
    (First off, totally unrelated: Our toes are the same color! Mine are a color called “Flyin’ High.” We also have our own NH contingency on my husband’s side that we get together with during the summer, except we meet up in ME! Okay, moving on!) I wanted to praise you because it seems apparent to me that you have a gift for hospitality. Some learn it, but others are naturals. Some even argue that it is a spiritual gift. One telltale way to know if you are a natural at hospitality (or anything else) may be to gauge whether joy and energy comes from cultivating it. You certainly seem happy to me, and appear to really enjoy hosting.

  8. I love your blog! Thanks for writing and telling us what a great time you had! I agree never wait to have people that you love come to your home. Your home is lovely.

  9. As always Laura, I love your posts! Thank you for sharing your special weekend and making your readers feel a part of it! You are obviously a gracious hostess and true friend and our friends are blessed to have you!

  10. Great post Laura, and great advice! I come from a long line of people who have a pretty home, but don’t like to fill it because it might get “messy”. It’s taken me a long time to break the cycle, but now I’m the one known in the family for making people feel most welcome. It’s the memories that matter. You are so right! Great pix and I’m so glad you all had fun!