Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Birthday party fit for a future firefighter!

In the weeks leading up to Christmas, all Aidan could talk about was garbage trucks. He was fascinated with watching the garbage truck come to our house and pick up the garbage, he always pointed out garbage trucks on the road and pretended everything was garbage. Being the attentive parents we are, we of course bought him a garbage truck for Christmas. Immediately after Christmas, he was suddenly obsessed with all things firetrucks and the garbage truck that we so deliberately sought out, sat untouched!
Well, when I began thinking of ideas for his birthday party, I immediately thought of firetrucks. In researching a firetruck theme, I came across this tutorial for making a firetruck cake (originally from Family Fun magazine)and it was decided.
My first objective was to find invitations. Though I have made the invitations for the kids recent parties, I wanted to do something different. I found a photo invitation that I liked, uploaded my pictures and ordered them in a fraction of the time that it would have taken me to even make a mock up invitation by hand.

Once the invitations were finished, I began to work on the decorations for the party. I found and printed some symbols of firefighters, a fire hydrant and a crest. I cut them out and traced them onto colored scrapbook paper and dressed them up with some markers. I added "The Firefighters Prayer" and a picture of my little cutie next to a real firetruck made to look like an award for Firefighter of the Year. Finally, I printed a few templates for dogs and cut them out. Then I had the kids cut out black dots and glue them to the template to make dalmatians. They had so much fun cutting and pasting that they kept asking to make more! I added all of the decorations to the kitchen cabinets where the party guests could enjoy them while they got their food.

I purchased a few plastic fireman hats at the Dollar Store for the guest of honor and all of the guests under age 5. Along with the firetruck shirt (from a set of pj's we purchased on clearance at Gymboree), the birthday boy was looking pretty cute!

The final element was the food. Though I wanted to have food that went with the theme, hot dogs, hot wings and four alarm chili, we thought that BBQ pork and cheesy potatoes was a more favorable option for our guests. I made the firetruck cake according to the tutorial I mentioned earlier. Besides the fact that the cake was dark pink rather than red, I think that it turned out pretty cute! And most importantly, the Birthday Boy loved it!

The birthday boy received so many wonderful gifts.

On a side note, I tried to create matchsticks by dipping pretzel sticks in white chocolate (colored red)like these from Modern Moments:
Unfortunately, mine ended up looking more like they were intended for a bachelorette party (sorry, image too x rated for this family blog)than for a 3 year old boys party, so we ended up eating them ahead of time and hiding the remainder before the party!
Despite the match stick debacle and the pink firetruck cake, the party was a blast and the birthday boy and guests had a great time!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Love Story

I just found this Love Story link up with From Mrs. to Mama and wanted to share my "Love Story".

1. How long have you and your significant other been together?

We met in November 2001, so 10 years! It doesn't feel like we could possibly have been together so long, and now I am feeling old! We started dating before everything was digital. Someday I hope to digitize all of those early photos!

2. How did you meet? {What's your "love" story?}

I had gone to a football game with a good friend of mine. The next day she called me up and said that her friend had seen us together from the sidelines (he was on our college team) and had called to ask if she knew who I was and if she could possibly introduce us. We met a few days later to watch a movie (Shrek) in her dorm room. We met again the next day for dinner on campus and have been together ever since.

3. If married, how long have you been married? If not, is this the guy you hope to marry? {do tell}

We have been married 7 1/2 years! This photo was taken at the chapel where we were married just before our 5th Anniversary.

4. If you are married, where did you get married at? Big or small wedding? If not, where would you like to get married? And will it be big or small?

We got married in a small town halfway between our hometowns. We could not agree on one of our hometowns so started looking for a compromise. When they started building a brand new hotel with banquet hall in Maquoketa, we immediately agreed that it would be perfect!

5. Do you have any nick-names that you call one another? Do share!

"Babes" is the one we use most often. We use it so much that even our kids call us that at times!

6. Name 3 things you love most about your honey.

He loves me for and despite who I am.
He accepts my family and all of our quirks.
He is a great father.

7. Tell us how he proposed? Or your ideal proposal?

We were getting ready to go to a basketball game with some friends when he pulled a box out of his underwear drawer and proposed. I don't remember anything about the drive to the basketball game or the actual game because I was so busy starring at my beautiful ring. I was swooning when he introduced me to a friend of his as his fiance!

8. Is he a flowers and teddy bear kind of guy for v-day, or strawberries, champagne, and rose petals?

Neither! We are both pretty practical and don't see any reason to waste money on things just because they are expected. We usually celebrate with a dinner out, allowing us both a chance to relax and have some time to actually talk! With kids, work and all the other daily pressures, it is nice to just spend some quality time together.

9. Are you a sunset dinner on the beach kind of girl, or pop a movie in and relax on the couch?

We are much more likely to pop in a movie or go to a concert or sporting event.

10. Tell us one thing you'd like to do with your significant other one day. If you could do anything? Go anywhere?

He loved NASCAR and I have dreams of going to each of the 48 continental states, so I would love to combine those two passions and buy an RV to travel!

This picture of us was taken at his brother's wedding in Jamaica. I would also love to go back there sometime just the two of us!

11. Tell us what you plan on doing on this Valentine's Day.

We will definitely be sharing a meal together as a family, though whether it is homemade or takeout is yet to be determined!

12. Are you asking for anything this Valentine's day?

We have a trip to Florida with the family planned in about a month and plans to work on some projects around the house. This picture is of our family after dinner during our vacation to Pensacola last year.

13. Give us one piece of advice of keeping a relationship strong and full of love.

Definitely to check in occassionally to make sure that you are working towards the same goals.
Here is a picture of us on a date night this past summer. Though we both love spending time with the kids, getting out occassionally to focus on each other is just as important.

14. Show us a picture of what love means to you!
This may look like just another family picture, but to me it shows how much my husband does to make me happy. He had a particularly busy week at work and actually had co-workers in town and a big meeting on the day of our photo shoot. Though he despises having family pictures taken and doesn't understand my desire to have them done every single year, he dropped everything to fulfill his commitment to me.