Holidays & Celebrations!

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?



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?
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

Holidays & Celebrations!

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.)


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






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


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


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 ❤︎


Holidays & Celebrations! · Relationships

Happy Birthday, Lover

Today my husband is turning 28 years old. I have had the privilege of spending 10 years in his life- when we met he was 18. Honest to God, I don’t think anything has changed about him- except he’s more successful and motivated than he was at 18. I also think he loves me a little more than he did 10 years ago. (Well, I hope that’s true.) Today, in honor of his 28 years of life and the last 8 years I’ve spent as his lady, I have made a list. (SURPRISE!)

Also, I will use his name instead of just “K.”

Kyle Birthday

This is my list of everyday things that remind my of Kyle:
(Kyle, I have a meaningful 14 items on this list because that’s half of 28.)

– Fallout Boy.
We have seen 3 Fallout Boy concerts together. At our very first one he told me he loved me. (swoon) Also, back in our honeymoon-stage, when he was a romantic little minx, he would send me text messages with FOB lyrics. Any song, any album… I think of Kyle and how much fun we’ve had together.

– Pittsburgh.
When we first started dating Kyle worked and spent most of the week in Pittsburgh. Our favorite concert venue is in Pittsburgh ( Mr. Small’s Theatre ). We’ve also seen FOB, Taylor Swift, and other artists in this beautiful city. If we ever became city folk this is ranked high on our list.

Snuggling with ALL animals.
Snuggling with ALL animals.

– Bravo! Cucina Italiana.
We like this restaurant. A lot. Although he proposed after dinner at 91 Wood Fired Oven.

– Build-A-Bear Workshop.
We have Parker the polar bear, Suzy Q the bear, two foxes dressed in wedding garb for our wedding, and Loserface the turtle. (I used to call Kyle “Loserface.” The turtle had a leather jacket because Kyle had a sports bike back then.)

– Cold Stone Creamery.
I think 99% of our dates were at this place. Also, when Kyle proposed he took me to the parking lot of the closed-down Cold Stone [read about it here].

[ Cold Stone and Build-A-Bear also remind me of my late Aunt Kate because she was the first to introduce me to all this awesome-ness. Kyle never got to meet her, but when we’d go on these dates I felt connected to both her and Kyle. ]

Halloween 2011
Halloween 2011

– Sports bikes.
When a sports bike flies past me it still reminds me of my hubs in his early years.

– Cherry Coke.
Kyle’s movie theater beverage of choice.

– Talladega Nights.
Oh where to begin. Well, the first time I saw this movie I was inappropriately flirting with Kyle waaay before we dated. Also, he gave me the pet name “Susan” (Amy Adams’ character) because he said I was like his little assistant (I think?). That nickname was shortened to “Suzy Q” and stuck for a long time.

– Incredibly Beautiful Drums
Surprisingly, not all drums remind me of Kyle, but when I see a gorgeous drum set (or I hear him gush about a kit) I just want to spend all my (non-existent) money on him.

I love this picture of my business man.
I love this picture of my business man.

– Bobcats.
When we first started dating and we were in that cute ask-me-anything stage I once asked Kyle about his favorite animal. He said bobcats. Weirdo.

– Oreo Freezes from Sheetz.
Once (and only once) we had a HUGE fight.
We actually broke up, but 24 (miserable, tear-filled, zombie-like) hours after it happened Kyle showed up at my college dorm with an Oreo freeze and an apology/plea to work it out. It was enough of a “break-up” to scare us into appreciating each other.

Dave Matthews Band Concert. 2010.
Dave Matthews Band Concert. 2010.

Don’t let him fool you: Kyle has a bleeding heart that melts at the sight of puppies and kittens. Last week he pulled over on the side of the road and spent 20 minutes coaxing a stray husky into his truck with blueberry muffins. He then found her owner and drove her home. Seriously, I have never, ever, ever questioned why I married this guy.

– Oatmeal Scotchies.
Ew, ew, ew. But Kyle loves them.

– Very Nice Sports Cars.
Kyle has a deep appreciation of nice cars. I wish I could tell you his favorite one, but I swear it changes. (Aston Martin? Ferrari? Corvette?) Some day when we’re millionaires we will have an 18-car garage for all his toys.

kyle 4

Happy Birthday, Kyle! I love you! Can’t wait to see where this year takes you ( us )!!!