up up and away graduation party

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As you read this, we are in route to visit Jord and Drew (or we might even be in the middleeast already!). Needless to say, we are more than a little excited (and a bit terrified- Piper Jane + a 24 hour flight itinerary = one scared mama).

While we trek, I thought I’d share pictures of Adam’s graduation party. And friends, it was quite the party. The whole day was one of those terrific, almost surreal experiences. Adam has been taking pre-reqs or in dental school for eight years (almost our entire marriage), so graduation has always been this fabulous, sort of unattainable ideal that I didn’t quite believe was ever going to arrive.

I am so proud of that guy; it has taken serious perseverance and sacrifice to get here. Dental school, and the life that’s happened during dental school, have been the hardest thing Adam’s ever done (and the hardest thing I’ve ever done too). Needless to say, the graduation party was a celebration in the truest sense of the word!


Up, up and away! The hot air balloons sprinkled throughout the decor were a fitting motif. Since Adam graduated from dental school, I also worked in tooth references wherever I could (the “Sweet Tooth” treat buffet for example).


Perhaps nothing else was given so much consideration as the menu since food is Adam’s love language. He chose his favorite takeout options- Chick Fil A nuggets and chicken strips, Qdoba chips and queso, Jimmy Johns subs (Adam loves the “Big John”), fried pickles from Moe’s Barbeque, fry bread and honey (kind of like sopapillas) from Tocabe, Wingstop fries, and Smashburger sweet potato fries.

We supplemented with a giant salad, tons of veggies, Pita chips and tortilla chips, and a whole buffet of dips (jalapeno artichoke dip, salsa and mango salsa, my brother made his famous Buffalo Chicken Dip). Yum, yum and more yum!


The sweet tooth dessert bar rounded out the plethora of savory options. It included all of Adam’s favorites (and more!)-

-Texas sheet cake

-dark chocolate, pistachio and passion fruit macarons (from Sparkles Macaron)

-lemon petit fours

-Irish creme and vanilla cake pops (from Cakes a Pop’n) in a super easy DIY cake pop stand (I’ll share details on that soon!)

-dark chocolate cupcakes

-“DR GENTRY 2012” lollipops (from Vintage Confections)

-key lime swirl lollipops

-hot air balloon candy cups filled with yellow Starburst, green apple Jolly Ranchers, Lemon Heads, green apple licorice and green, yellow and white Sixlets


-lemon creme yogurt covered pretzels

-gumballs (green apple, lemon, lime, and mint)


This was one of my favorite parts of the whole party- I may or may not have been standing around this little feature for most of the night, refilling my Diet Coke, and trying different combo’s/add-in’s (my aunt Melissa and aunt Kedran were similarly enamored- love those girls!).

The pyramids of Coke and Diet Coke, the add-ins (vanilla, cherry, rum and whiskey, all in pourable bottles), the Sonic ice, the cherries and limes- it was like having a mini drive-through at the party (well, minus the fountain drinks, which, admittedly, is a big part of Sonic’s draw).

Other “Liquid Rx” included coconut water, blood orange San Pellegrino (have you had this? So good!), beer and water bottles.


I don’t know if I’ve ever had more popular party favors than the ‘tooth tools’ that we collected for people to take home. The glass jars we filled with toothbrushes, travel sized toothpastes, Xyletol gum and floss were all empty by the end of the night.

The table also had a big jar of tooth gummies (which my friend Erin declared to be the “creepiest thing ever!”) and Grillz candies (these were gone in the first couple of hours and were quite the hit as a prop for the photo booth).

Moral of the story- hand out toothbrushes and obnoxious candies as favors at your next party and you’ll be everyone’s favorite person.


This was my other “favorite party feature” contender- and looking through all of the awesome photo booth pictures that we have from the party only makes me love it more.

We made the ‘hot air balloon’ backdrop with an appliance box, kraft paper, giant balloons and some ribbon.

Then we added props (I’ve been collecting them for months- plus my parents have a pretty great dress-up box that they let us borrow) and a desk/stand with a Macbook and Photobooth (the program) up and unning- guests just had to select the red button on the screen and the computer did all of the work.

Did I already say how much I love the photo booth pictures? A record of all of our family and sweet friends acting silly and celebrating with us is priceless-ย  I can’t wait to have these pictures made into a little flip book as a graduation souvenir!

All in all- great food, amazing friends, funny pictures, fabulous celebration!

Seemed like a big weekend for grad parties- did you throw one too (or celebrate at one)?

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  1. Congratulations!!! I can’t wait to throw a graduation party for John when he graduates from pharmacy school. Hope your flight(s) were uneventful and you are lounging far away right now.

    1. Thanks Heather- the flights were a BEAST, but they’re over now- haha! ๐Ÿ™‚
      And YES to the pharmacy school grad party!!!! WOOHOO!
      When is John done? Is he still wanting to specialize?

  2. In your first collage, bottom right of the collage, is that Baylor bear hand motions I see? Or do y’all have a green and yellow school that does the same motion?
    Congratulations to you and Adam! Enjoy visiting your sister and her crew!

  3. seriously, awesome party! i swear this is my comment every time, but put your printables in your etsy shop. people *ahem* (me) would totally buy them. ha.

    congrats to adam (and you!). what a wonderful accomplishment.

    hope you have a wonderful trip (and that the littles sleep, eat & are generally go with the flow).

    1. Haha Dayna! THANK YOU!
      Come July I think we’ll have some really great news from you (we’re figuring all of that out while we’re together). ๐Ÿ™‚
      Thanks for all of your encouragement friend!

  4. LOVE LOVE LOVE this whole party-but especially the favors! hilarious! I wish I could have been let loose on that sweet tooth table too. The food sounds delish! Love the hot air balloon photo booth!! Great job Kirstin!

  5. Where did you find the Tooth Gummies and also, did an online website make the signs (ie doctor your soda, etc)?

    1. Hey Miranda, I made the signs myself in photoshop. I found the tooth gummies on Amazon. Hope that helps!

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