“P – A – R – T – WHY?! ‘Cause I Gotta!”

Jim Carrey, anyone? 😉 Matt loves him. And this post is about Matt’s graduation / 30th birthday par-tay (which finally took place last Saturday!) 😉 When I had first spoke about throwing this party for him, the tentative date was set for end of March. However, we went on our “house hunting trip” and so the party needed to be postponed. Since it was in celebration of two milestones, and his birthday is April 29th, an April party was perfect!

I had it at Matt’s brother’s church in Niagara Falls, which was the perfect location as this is where our families and most of our friends are! I had use of their kitchen including stoves and fridges, and any utensils/serve ware  that I didn’t have enough of. I had drove down from the base where Matt had been training (where our rental is) while Matt was working at the base where we got posted to. He came to the Falls once he was done his shifts, and met me there. I came down a week earlier because it was my sister-in-laws baby shower (baby boy!) :D. This allowed me to have time to book a cake to be made, and to shop around for any last minute decor. My sister, was a big help with the set up. She also took these pictures for me of the finished result:

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The ladder had an extinguisher on it, a “fire helmet”, an ‘M’ for Matt, and a the firehalls Dalmatian ;). My nephews and friends kids, loved playing with with stuffed puppy and tearing off the balloons!

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The candy bar had ‘burning buildings’ on them, and a chalkboard stating the top movies/ music / toys on the year 1985 (when Matt Q’s born!). A photo collage was created thanks to the help of my sister! It telly was a little more tricky to put together than I bargained for. Pictures of Matt growing up with family and friends were included. There was ones of him camping, drumming, and dating me, and our wedding day. I tried to capture the 30 years of his life so far, and to include a picture from all the guests that came to the party!

“Burning Embers” were Reece’s Pieces (beside the ‘burning apartment building). “Water buckets” were filled nearby with blue Carribean and blueberry jelly beans.

Hot Tamales were the spicy, hot candies.



I did a “Stop, Drop, and Roll” with Gobstoppers, Gumdrops, and Tootsie Rolls. Most of these candies are Matt’s favourite!


Nib Licorice was “Rescue Rope”…

…and Cheesies were “Flames” at this party 😉 !

My sister helped me dip pretzels in red chocolate to make “matches”.

  

Chairs were set up along the outside of the walls, and kind of grouped together to encourage conversation. We did buffet style with the food tables in the centre of the room. Matt’s favourite food, Italian, was out. Matt’s mom provided homemade lasagnas, and then spaghetti with a homemade meatsauce was also there with of course chillies and parm. Garden salad, Caesar and garlic bread accompanied the pasta dishes. I made a (red) punch, and then of course bottled water was also provided for this firefighter themed party 🙂 .





I displayed a couple of his textbooks, his graduation certificate of completion, and a couple cool firetrucks I picked up for our new house (maybe for in the family room?).

Everything was was done kind of rustic, and red, orange and yellow ( including dinner plates, napkins, etc), with a touch of black and white (Dalmatian).

The cake was SO good and was white, with strawberry filling (Matt’s fave) and buttercream and had his grad day picture on it. It was served amongst cookies with tea and coffee.

About 40 people came, which was a great turn out, and everyone seemed to have a great time! There were many cards and well wishes given and Matt loved it. He thanked me numerous times afterwards, and I know it meant a lot to have the support of his family and closest friends there. We are looking forward to the adventures that lie ahead and even though we’ll be moving away from where we grew up, we know we have loved ones praying for us back home!

 

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He Graduated!

Well, it’s over! Finished. Terminado. Fini. Finito. All done!!! MATT HAS GRADUATED!! After what has felt like THE absolute longest year (+2 months) of our lives, Matt has finished his military firefighter training and has graduated!! It was a busy and eventful year for both myself and him, in different ways. We sold our first home, Matt went to basic training. I moved in with my in-laws, attended Matt’s grad and visited him there, and then he moved to an air force base to await his course training in firefighting. I quit my job of 5+ years and we went on a cruise after being apart for a few months. I eventually moved up onto the base with him, and he began training. Transition after transition, change upon change. A crazy year of highs and lows/ups and downs. He was so stoked to graduate and to be done with the studying!!

When A Man Becomes A Firefighter

Matt’s parents came up to visit us the night prior to his grad, which was nice. The ceremony was last Friday, and was only about 20 minutes long. It was held right in one of the truck bays, which was kind of cool.There was 18 people in his class, and much like any graduating ceremony, they were called up one by one.

CFFA building

Grad podiumMatt's grad QL3sMatt's grad accepting certificateThe officers inspected the graduating class, and congratulated them. And then they were acknowledged and presented with their certificate and their seals. And of course, pictures with the family were taken afterwards! We all went out for dinner together afterwards to celebrate, and it was a wonderful day.

Matt's QL3 grad

Matt & I at his gradI’m so proud of his determination and hard work! I’m such a proud firefighter wife :D.

So looking forward to this next chapter in our lives!

Married A Firefighter

It’s All Coming Together…

Hello, hello! How’s your weekend going? Got any interesting plans? Last night we ordered a pizza and just stayed in. It’s still quite cold here (this is Canada, yo!) 😉 and the snow came down all day today again. Matt had a long day Thursday, as he went in at his usual early time in the AM, then came home for a couple hours in the mid-afternoon. He rested, we quickly ate at like 4pm, and then he went BACK in again for his first nightly practice run. They have been training on the more practical side of things lately, as they are nearing the end of the training. This is refreshing for Matt as he is more of a hands-on kind of guy, and he wasn’t particularly digging the theory side of things. The fire was a “Code 4” (which is the highest level of response for fire dispatch). It required all hands on deck, and he was out until well after midnight. So he was tired. Hence the reason he wanted to just veg last night. And I can dig it ;).

I went out shopping  with a friend Thursday. Partially just for fun, and also I wanted to be on the hunt for some party supplies for Matt’s surprise Grad/30th Birthday party this Spring. I found this awesome vintage looking fire truck which was hand crafted by artisans. So happy about it! I have officially began planning…trying to see what items I already have on hand, and which ones I still need. I sometimes find myself to be more of a kinesthetic (tactile, hands-on) learner, however occasionally a more visual type of approach works well, too. I love the use of visual boards to get my thoughts and ideas in order. Before our wedding I had numerous inspiration boards, and I think that’s one of the reasons I really like Pinterest  – it acts like a giant bulletin board. So, for the sake of inspiration, and gathering décor ideas, I decided I would share some of my party plans. 🙂

Ok, so first things first. This is the look I’m going for. The “firefighter” theme, and a bit rustic/industrial. I put some stuff together to get a rough idea of what the set up would look like!

Ladder with truck & extinguisher

Matts training Matts training 2

I’m going to print some pictures of Matt while he was training. I’ll either put them on a display board/Bristol board for family/friends to look at, OR, I will attempt to include these photos (along with baby ones and various others from his entire life thus far) and tape them on a wall to say “3-0” 😀

I also found this “Firefighter’s Wife Prayer” and would like to print it and have it framed and displayed.

Firefighter Tribute

Firefighter party Party City

I plan to pick up some (red) paper plates and red serviettes from the dollar store, along with streamers and balloons, of course! I also found these items from a party themed store. I think the “caution tape” would be awesome either be on the walls of the room, or just around the table with the food! The mini extinguishers are also pretty cute and I would just have them strewn about on the table.

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I thought this was a great idea, with the peppers cut up and looking like “flames” and in the cups with the dip. I’m still in the midst of tweaking the menu items a bit.

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Wire Baskets

I have a red table cloth that I will be using, and I have tons of cutlery on hand (often we use them if we take a picnics or have a BBQ). I also have numerous glass jars that I will try to implement (apothecary and mason). I want to have some snacks and candy with the cake and those will work perfectly. We have some galvanized metal buckets that I bought from the dollar store before our wedding (they hung from shepherd’s hooks and had flowers in them.) The letter “K” is for our last name 😉 . The wire baskets I will use also, for placing food in (chips for example). I have 4 identical square ones, and just the one with the basket base. I think these elements will help incorporate the industrial feel.

I know the local party store only has select “firefighter themed” supplies, but I did see that they have some of these plastic helmets. I know Michaels carries crates, that would work great for stacking food and/or décor on. And I also have a white storage unit identical to the ones in the following picture. It would work well in giving items some height off the table.

Firefighter party

I know initially these parties seem too childlike, but I do like certain elements.  I would like to attempt to make these smoke clouds, and have them hang from the ceiling. The flames are also cool, and seem doable enough to recreate. I might also have a few clusters of these around the parameter ;)…IF I’m feeling crafty!

Firefighter party2

I like the idea of having the signs on the table by some of the treats. “You’re a Lifesaver”, “Rescue Rope” (licorice), “Burning Embers” (Reese’s Pieces). Maybe a bit cheesy, but totally my style. He’ll have to love it! 😉

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Check out these other similar “firefighter themed” parties:

Firefighter Party Inspo Firefighter Party Firefighter theme party

This was the party I saw online that started it all. It looks so amazing!

My next step is to get some quotes on cakes! Check out these ones below – they’re so well done. They look awesome!

Grad Party cakes

I know Matt will be so excited to see everyone, and he really has no idea about this! I’m excited to see the look on his face. I ❤ party planning! 😀 My ultimate hope is to make him feel special and loved. I’m so proud of all his determination and hard work, and can’t wait to celebrate with him!