Throwing a Party with +50 Guests

I was terrible about snapping pictures at Kyle’s 30th birthday party, but if you followed along on Snapchat you may have seen a few quick moments from the event. A few weeks ago I threw K a party and invited over 75 people. Roughly 50 to 60 showed up.

Only after I counted all the “yes” RSVPs did I realize that this party was going to be the size of a small wedding reception. (Whoops. ) I’m no stranger to throwing large parties, but it’s still a pretty daunting task. Just in case you were wondering, here’s how I did it and here’s how it went!

I made a Facebook event about 4-5 weeks in advance. While I love paper invites and prefer them 100xs over any kind of e-vite, FB was the way to cut costs and get the word out quickly.

We had the party in the company warehouse. Thank God for K’s employees Jake, Jordan, and K’s dad Jeff*. Together the five of us cleaned, rearranged, and set up the open space on Friday before the party. (It’s our slow-ish season so we were able to take a day and deep clean/set up.)

(* We only hire people with J names obviously, lol.)

This is how the warehouse typically looks. We cleaned and put everything in its place.

I sure wish I had an “after” photo. *facepalm* Anyway, we converted two of the workbenches into a salsa and taco bar and then set up another mobile workbench with the cakes (one decorated vanilla on vanilla and one yellow with chocolate frosting) and drinks (margaritas, beer, water).

We trailer-ed in three picnic tables and two long folding tables from my parents house for dining. We borrowed two sets of cornhole boards from my aunt and uncle, we borrowed a large backyard Jenga set from friends, and we set out Blockus, Twister, and domino men for the kids to play with. (Turns out the 2 to 4 year olds loved the domino men, I ended up playing Blockus at 12:45am, and no one touched Twister.)

We have a 20′ x 20′ tile carpet area that we use in the booth at trade shows so we broke it out for a seating area complete with couches, chairs, a TV and Wii system, and the little kids area. My brother-in-law also brought his Nintendo Switch for the teens/adults to use. And we definitely did.

I’m getting a little bit better about asking for help/delegating. My mother-in-law brought the margaritas and some queso dip. (Thank you!) My grandma and my mom made some cookies. (Thank you!) And K’s aunt, dad, and mom were on call when I needed anything. (Thank you!) The party would not have gone so smoothly without them.

I made a “baby chalkboard” for Kyle, I bought “3-0” balloons, and I hung a happy birthday banner for the event. Other than some table cloths and fabric to cover the warehouse mess, there wasn’t much decorating.

I made 20lbs. of beef, chopped 14 onions & 15 tomatoes, and bought 180 tacos (100 soft, 80 hard), four large bags of cheese, and 10 small bags of shredded lettuce. Also, I got 3 large jars of salsa, some store-bought guac, and 6 bags of tortilla chips. To be honest, we had WAY too much onion and tomato, but I only had 1/4 of the beef left over which impressed me. I could’ve cut the cheese and lettuce inventory in half, but who knew. I provided taco lunches for the warehouse guys in the days following the party.

All that remained of the party on Monday…

Our party started at 4pm and we had a steady flow of people all night. Some even left (and dropped off a kid or spouse) and came back. We invited family and friends and friends of the family, ha. Overall, we had a fantastic time 🙂 Our last guests left around 1:30am. I was so exhausted.

Seeing all our friends and family was fun, although I think I will request a vacation for my 30th birthday 😉 What are some fun things you’ve done for “monumental” birthdays?

THIRTY YEARS OLD

On Sunday my favorite human is turning 30 years old. THIRTY YEARS OLD. I met him when he was 18. That blows my mind.

Once again I was going to share the details of our Texas trip on here today. But then I decided I should write something about Kyle. But I don’t really know what to say…

I often mention K on this blog so there’s not much I haven’t said. (This birthday post is one of my favorites.) Today I’m making him answer some questions in honor of his birthday. Spoiler alert: He dodged most of them.

We’ll start with the hardest question: Peach pie or yellow cake with chocolate frosting?
It depends. Just a generic pie and cake, the yellow cake with chocolate frosting. If it’s your grandma’s peach pie, I’d pick that.

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned in the last 30 years?
That’s too deep.
Answer it.
What the hell. (He’s technically not being a smartass… A few weeks ago we realized that we live our lives in a very “what the hell” kind of way. I’ll blog about that some other day. Essential when an opportunity presents itself we say “what the hell” and go for it.)

What age has been your favorite?
My favorite pizza is JNG.
That’s not an acceptable answer.
It IS an acceptable answer. That’s not an acceptable question.

If you didn’t play drums what instrument would you play?
Probably nothing.
You’re so boring.
I didn’t ask you to ask me these…

Who would play you in a movie about your life?
Enzo.
That’s not an answer.
I don’t knooooow. I’m not a casting agent… I guess, with my language, Samuel L. Jackson.

Advice for a 20 year old?
Drop out of school and start a business.
That’s not good advice, dear.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I don’t know.
You could at least be nice and say with me.
Well, yeah. Duh.

circa 2010

Annnnnnnd there you have it. *eyeroll*

So happy birthday, Boo. I can’t wait to see what this decade brings. You can accomplish anything ❤︎ I love you.

                                          – A

Birthday Vibes

Today, twenty-six years ago, I was born. My mom was 27 years old and my dad was 25. Now I’m in the middle of that.

birthday-vibes

Do you ever sit and wonder what makes us us? I am fascinated by human behavior & thought. When I was a child a waitress was just a waitress, but now I look at people I interact with every day and wonder what their family is like, what do they do for fun, do they have dark secrets, why are they here and where do they want to be? It’s insane that each and every one of us has a complicated, diverse, unique web of coding that makes us (and our lives) so radically different. Even my brother & I are different despite the same upbringing. I don’t know- I just find it really interesting.

So today I officially have 26 years of life under my belt. That’s not much to a 76 year old, but a six year old would find me pretty ancient. In the grand scheme of things, I’m not doing much right now. I’m not climbing a corporate ladder, I’m not tracking my ovulation for babies, I’m not working toward a degree, I’m not planning a wedding or a vacation. I’m just kind of existing today. Surprisingly, I’m ok with that right now.

It’s odd to try to track how I got here… If my parents hadn’t made me march high school band I wouldn’t have met K. If I hadn’t joined an independent drumline and met a girl named Kelsey then we wouldn’t have Lylee. If we’d have listened to our realtor and not gone through our house (b/c it was in an old flood zone) then we wouldn’t be where we are and we wouldn’t have been ready for a second dog and Enzo wouldn’t be ours. Life is so darn weird. I’m sure there are missed opportunities that I’ll never  know about, but I’m pretty thankful for the taken opportunities thus far.

I have nothing witty or smart to leave you with today; I’m just reflecting on my existence. I’m very grateful to have been born to my parents. I feel so blessed to have been gifted a brother. When I think about the string of events that led me to K I honestly want to cry. In conclusion, I’ve just had a very nice 26 years.

I recognize that people are born into different situations. I know that some people make poor decisions or have tragic things happen to them. I know that my life could turn in an instant. So as a birthday gift to me, I ask you to do something nice today- whether for yourself or someone else. And extend a little grace when dealing with frustrating people and situations. Maybe pick up an extra bag of dog food when you’re at the store and drop it by your local shelter. Or just take 5 minutes out of your day to think about the things that make you happy.

That’s it. That’s all I’ve got. Now I’m off to work with a birthday coffee in hand ❤︎

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The Birthday Month

Yesterday we celebrated my sweet baby Enzo’s 3rd birthday! Call us crazy, but we don’t have any human-kids and the furry ones have our hearts. Puppy birthdays mean a dollop of whipped cream on their kibble and some new accessories. Now puppy brother has bowls to match Lylee (which she got for her b-day in June)! We go through Nylabones quickly so E got a new dinosaur (to share with his sis), too.

enzo

Enzo celebrates his date of birth on the 4th while I have to wait until the 17th. I don’t mind- it gives me more time to put together a list of “wants” for family and friends! (Keep in mind, I could received nothing for my birthday and be the happiest lark. This list is for people who ask me for suggestions each year. Also, I love to see what other people are wanting and loving- maybe someone out there is like me!)

-| Books:

To be honest, I like to browse bookstores by myself & select books that catch my eye. I also like to borrow from the library. These are books that I am 100% sure I want to own  🙂

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets -illustrated version
This book was released yesterday! My mother-in-law gifted me The Sorcerer’s Stone for Christmas last year and I think she might have called dibs on this book for birthday gifting… (Or at least I hope so  😉 )

hp

Winter & Fairest (by Marissa Meyer)
I’m just about to wrap up Cress. I’ve been collecting the Lunar Chronicles as I’ve read them because I love them so much! I’d like to find a paperback copy of Winter, but it might not exist… Either way, these two books would complete my collection!

-| Clothes:

These workout shirts (all large)…

 link | link | link
link | link | link

-| Miscellaneous Stuff:

A coffee maker
We have a Keurig but I hate it. I just want a normal coffee pot that I can schedule ahead of time. Like this one. Or this one. I’m going to be honest here… I like my kitchen accessories colorful. I have a purple toaster and a red mixer- a black coffee pot just won’t do.

An electric griddle
This was on our wedding registry and I’ve been crying about not having one ever since. I’m not picky anymore. It needs to be big enough to make +6 pancakes and I’d like a drip tray.

Cookie Sheets
…or baking sheets or whatever you call them. My flat cookie sheets are cheap and burn my cookies. (Honestly, I thought it was me, but after speaking with others we’ve decided the pans are just cheap.) So I’d like some new, quality cookie sheets. #adultlife

A bag for my yoga mat
I’ve been browsing Amazon but haven’t found anything yet. I don’t want anything huge, but it needs to hold my mat cover, too. I’ve actually been eyeing up the bags in the boutique at my local studio (hint-hint, Kyle).

X-Men: Apocalypse
I’ve heard that this movie isn’t great, but I love the X-Men franchise so I’m willing to overlook that. Actually, I don’t think I own one X-Men movie, so I’ll take any of ’em.

Anything from these two talent artists!
I love Julie’s art work and I’ll be needing some cozy accessories from Rebecca Jo before I know it!

As always, gift cards from Books-A-Million, Marshalls, Old Navy, and Home Goods are always accepted  😉

I think that about covers it… Ha! What have you had your eye on lately? Christmas is right around the corner!

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A Weekend Recap That Will Wear You Out

I am ill prepared today… Last weekend was one of those weekends that was so electrifying and exciting- but also sooo draining. I’m exhausted. I need to soak in a nice bath with  warm cup of Starbucks and the Harry Potter soundtrack playing in the background (Order of the Phoenix, of course). That’s how everyone relaxes, right?

After work on Friday we popped out to my parents’ house to collect my car (K had been replacing a brake line out there) and then headed up to my grandparents’ to return their Honda that I’d been driving all week as a “rental.” I’m going to miss that car- it had push start, key-less entry, and Bluetooth. I felt like a real adult in that car. When we got home I made dinner & started cleaning the house for our guests & watched an episode of The Mindy Project with K.

While at my parents I spent some time with the adorable neighbors...
While at my parents’ I spent some time with the adorable neighbors…

Saturday was crazy… We visited our new gym to get our swipe cards and take a tour, then K had a meeting & I cleaned all afternoon, and then my friend Kayla and her pup Ernie arrived for the day/night. My 17 year old cousin was going to prom so we went up to my grandma’s and watched her take photos with her date. (It was nice to have Kayla around to reminisce about high school and how much we don’t miss it. Ha.)

Kayla’s purpose for being in town was to take our annual anniversary photo with the tree we planted and the attend a brunch in the morning (featuring Chef Aubrey). We snapped our tree-pictures in between rain drops and went back home to let the dogs play and wait on Aubrey to arrive (who was also staying with us). The night consisted of catching up, yummy Mexican food, good drinks, and sinful cookies. It was so wonderfully amazing to have two of my best friends in my house, on my couch, spending downtime together.

Weekending 1

On Sunday morning K and I left our guests sleeping in the spare bedroom and joined my parents at 6am to make the two hour drive to Columbus for my brother’s college graduation from OSU. (Back in my hometown Aubrey was cooking the pop-up brunch (9am-3pm) and Kayla was attending the brunch. I’m still SO heart broken that I missed out on all the food.)

Weekending 3

We arrived at OSU at 9:15am (after a quick breakfast stop) and stood in line for the gates to open… Then they opened at 10am and we claimed five seats and sat around until the actual ceremony at noon. It was a long day. Fortunately, the ceremony didn’t last too long- we were out by 3pm. We took some pictures with Fred, toured his main lab/classroom building, and popped into the local Lush (for me, haha) before going to Hudson 29 for dinner.

Weekending 2

Dinner was ok, my drink was delicious, and it was SO nice to spend time with my brother on his graduation (and 23rd birthday!) and my mom on Mother’s Day. We didn’t leave Columbus until 8:20pm and we were all exhausted, but it was worth it.

And now I’m frazzled and tired and ready for another weekend. But it’s Monday. So I guess I’ll put on my big girl pants and pour another cup of coffee. What did you do this weekend?

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Happy Birthday, Mom!

Today is my mom’s birthday. My mom hates the internet & social media, so I’ll keep this brief.

Lisa's Bday

Energetic. (She’s a first grade teacher- I’m tired just thinking about keeping up with +20 kids.)

Loving.

International. (She’s lived in & traveled to so many places!)

Selfless.

Educational.

.

Loyal.

Ornery.

Understanding. (She doesn’t take angry words & actions personally.)

Inclusive.

Suspicious. (Planning her surprise birthday treat was almost impossible.)

Entertaining.

On Saturday K and I met up with Fred & Christina and my mom & dad to played Key Quest at a local laser tag warehouse. We had 45 minutes to solve the puzzle and escape the “serial killer’s cellar.” Yeah, we totally died. Between the six of us we had 4 college degrees, an engineer, a teacher, three business owners, a writer, and puzzle game aficionado (my mom). I still can’t believe we lost. I was SO mad. I hate losing.

Afterward we had a delicious dinner at Bonefish Grill and then ice cream cake back at my parents’ house. Fred & Christina put off their trip home to Columbus until Sunday morning & Kyle postponed his business travels that night, too. We’d presented my mom with her birthday gift on Easter (a piano!) but I think she was happiest about us being together for an evening.

My grandma & mom on her 9th birthday
My grandma & my mom on her 9th birthday

We wouldn’t be who, or what, we are today without my mom. Happy Birthday, Mom ❤︎

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Kyle’s Birthday

My husband turns 29 tomorrow.

29.

How is the man I love 29 years old…!? I think it’s absolutely insane that I knew him at 19. We weren’t romantically involved, but we were friends. And now he’s 29. Almost 30! Life is weird.

When we confessed our feelings for one another K had just turned 20 and I was 16 and a half. There’s nothing weird about 25 & 29, but 16 & 20 tends to raise eyebrows. Fortunately, we weren’t foolish and my parents knew that I had a little crush on Kyle. Our time together was spent going for ice cream or watching movies in my living room or taking walks. After six months of flirtatious day-dates, three days after my 17th birthday, my parents gave me the ok to “date” Kyle.

Best birthday present ever.

A four year gap doesn’t work for everyone, but K knew that I had big plans: graduate high school, attend college, find a job. I also threw him for a few loops with a crazy schedule (thanks, drumline!) and a month-long trip to India. He never said, “no.” He never said, “don’t do it.” And if he had, we wouldn’t be the people or the couple that we are. Less than a year before we got married he said he was thinking about starting a company. And I said go for it.

We’ve been Kyle&Audrey for so long. I’m reminded of the Zits comic when I type that.

Zits

But oh how I admire half of that equation. The “Kyle” part, if you’re wondering. He’s a crazy cool guy. He’s patient and hilarious. He’s a little arrogant but admittedly very talented. He’s so damn creative. He has a huge heart that’s encased in a fortress of sarcasm. He’s loyal to a fault but he’s strong enough to walk away and bite whatever bullet needs bit. He’s unique and intelligent and wonderful.

Though I may be bias.

Is it annoying to read about one’s love for another human? Sorry. I mean, it is his birthday so…… Long story short, I feel like the luckiest person alive to have K on my team.

We don’t always agree. We’re not always on the same page. But he’s the best. And tomorrow he’ll be 29. And I can’t wait to celebrate tomorrow and 50 years from tomorrow.

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