Brotherly Celebrations!

The force is with you,
young Skywalker,
but you are not a Jedi yet
//Darth Vader

Last week was a really big week for my Brother. Not only did he graduate from College, but it was also his birthday! We are all so proud of him and his accomplishments. It may have taken him longer than the average person to get it done, but he worked full time during school and also paid for it himself- something not many people can say. He has no debt and a degree under his belt, I'd kill to be in his position! I hope he uses what he learned to make a career for himself that he will love. My family and I all headed to his school last Thursday night to watch him walk across the stage and get his diploma. Albeit long, the ceremony was really nice and the weather could not have been more perfect. Congrats Mike!

Flashback to first day of Kindergarten!

Afterwards, we all headed out to his favorite Sushi restaurant for a nice dinner with the fam. The food was so good, and the company even better! We all had a really nice time, and I was even able to have the waitress surprise Mike with a birthday dessert and candle for him to blow out while we sang happy birthday. Their presentations of the dishes is really creative, they were works of art. Mom's got the award for the best, hers even had color changing LED lights in it!

The rest of the week was spent gearing up and getting ready for his big graduation/birthday combo celebration over the weekend. We spent hours cleaning and organizing and getting the yard and outdoor spaces ready for a crowd. After making lists upon lists and placing orders here and there, I think we finally had a good handle on everything and had worked out all the logistics by Friday. Invitations had been sent, RSVPs were in, food was purchased and cooked, ice luge and keg were waiting to be picked up, decorations were hung, house was cleaned, yard was mowed, the pool was open- it was all coming together nicely! Saturday morning we were all up early and ready to start setting up while Mike was at work. Although it was not a surprise, Mike wasn't able to really help the day of because Saturday is one of his work days, so it was going to be cool for everything to be done and ready before he got home to see it all. My Mom, step-dad, aunt, his girlfriend and myself worked our butts off all day setting up. Despite a few minor setbacks broken lawnmower, pool not filled, picnic umbrella collapsing and some grown-up words, we got it done and everything looked great! The colors were navy, blue, and yellow to match his school- so all the d├ęcor coordinated perfectly.

Puppy was such a party girl!! We love our little doxie
His girlfriends cousin surprised him/us with this AWESOME banner! Linds had asked earlier in the week for a banner since he owns a print shop, and we were expecting just a generic banner but he went WAY above and beyond! Thank you so much Dan of Cuadgraphics! It fits Michael to a T. If you need any large format printing done in the CT area, we highly recommend them!

 Can't get over how cute our baby is!
Another special thanks to the boys of Backyard Gaming Co! A few friends of mine from high school started a great backyard games company a few years ago and they are really taking off. If you need corn hole, washer toss, ladder ball, polish horseshoes and more they are totally the place to go! All handmade and superb qaulity. Thanks BYG Co.!!
 Our step-sister also made these ADORABLE cheeseburger cookies from pinterest. If you know Mike, you know he LOVES him some burgers... so this was just perfect.
 JELLO! We had hundreds....

Kitten wasn't so sure about the party... I think this was the last we saw of him until the following afternoon.
Linds made this amazing John Daly/Arnold palmer-esq recipe with mint- so refreshing and delicious, but dangerous! I also made my famous Sangria but somehow didn't manage to take a picture of it...

Our 85 year old neighbor! We have lived across the street from them for our whole lives! Love them

Time for cake!

Party pics...!

 My brother and his fish market coworkers!

All his best friends and family were there and I know he had a really great time!

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