Road Trip

This weekend, we headed to Rockford to hang out with my brother and his family to celebrate Shay’s graduation.

Isn’t she beautiful??

Before I get started I feel compelled to tell you that I have come to the conclusion that the person (or persons) who engineered the Illinois highway, specifically in Chicago, may have been on some sort of hallucinogen. Whew! I feel better now that I got that out. I was slightly stressed…

Now, let’s get to the party!! This was one of the coolest grad parties I have ever been to – and no, I’m not just saying that because it was family. Truly, Joe and Nic did a great job! Let me share with you a few things I loved and recommend if you are still planning a party.

  1. Balloons are a nice touch. If you have the extra cash to invest in some balloons, I would say go for it! I loved the balloons that were on the front porch. It set the tone for the rest of the party right from the beginning!
  2. Keep the pictures simple. I have to say that I am not a fan of the shrines that are often set up. Along with a few framed pictures on the card table, Shay had a bulletin board with some of her favorite memories that was simple and fun.
  3. Preserve memories. Nic framed one of Shay’s senior pictures and then had everyone write a message to her on the frame. What an awesome idea! She also set out some extra pictures for guests to take.
  4. Games for kids are more important than you think. Teens don’t want to sit around and talk like adults do…and if you don’t provide something for them to do, they will probably leave quicker than you want them to. I loved the fact that there were things for them to do – corn hole, horseshoes, trampoline, and an open area for soccer. Everyone was having a blast!
  5. Simple is always best. Don’t go overboard. Joe and Nic provided an incredible party experience and it wasn’t over-the-top.

A couple of funnies to note about my weekend:

  1. Joe and Nic helped me tremendously with Ry’s party so I helped in the kitchen this weekend. If you volunteer to help refill the food, beware that boneless wings are addictive. So is cake with whipped cream frosting. And veggies with dip. Oh, and a nacho bar. Yea…I gained a few pounds this weekend {gasp}.
  2. Did you know that shoe hunts are interesting and worth a lot of giggles? And that grad parties {any party really} offer some quality people-watching time? True story!
  3. My husband has horrible luck…and perhaps a slight case of road rage. At every toll booth we came to {and there were a lot} he got stuck behind those who paid with large bills, those who had questions, those who needed a receipt, those who couldn’t find their money, those who didn’t have money, those who had to dig through their purse to find a credit card, and those who were chatty.
  4. Have you ever driven through Chicago? It’s a frustrating experience to stop and pay tolls every 30 feet {perhaps a slight exaggeration…very slight}.
  5. A 4-year old and cheese Ritz Bits in the back seat on a long trip is a dangerous combination.
  6. Doing the basic research on hotels (cost, bed bug registry, breakfast) is apparently not enough these days. Ask some additional questions such as, Can the night attendant do simple math? Do the door handles work on the room doors? and Is there a housekeeping department? Oh the stories I could share with you…
  7. I can no longer be in charge of pictures. I specifically brought in my purse because it held my camera…and it sat in the hallway. I didn’t get one stinkin’ picture and I could kick myself {again}!

I wish I could have stayed longer with my family, but we had to get home for Ryan’s baseball tournament. It’s hard to balance all of your time and do it well!  I’m glad we got back because his team won the tournament. And, as a bonus, Ryan was bored without us so he even cleaned his room {which means I’m leaving town more often}.

Because I seem to enjoy lists today, let me leave you with a few things you can do to help the party planners in your life:

  1. Pray – for the guests and guest of honor, the host and hostess, the weather, and all the details.
  2. Be generous with your time. Offer to help with what you can. Pick up some trash the teenagers left in the yard, empty the garbage, bring a dish to share…it shows you really care.
  3. Get to know new people. Be friendly. Smile. Make small talk. It will make your party experience more enjoyable.

What did you do this weekend?

Keepin’ it Real…D


  1. Sounds like a great party :) So glad that you had a wonderful time!

    I have driven through Chicago, and after moving to NJ we invested in easypass…and it saved my sanity. Seriously!

    • We have thought about an easy pass before but have never made the move. I’m thinking my husband will be more receptive after this weekend! haha

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