Matt’s Surprise Party: I pulled it off!

I did it! I am absolutely in the running for Wife of the Year! I pulled of the surprise graduation party for Matt! He never saw it coming; I must be sneakier than I thought. Matt insisted he didn’t want a party or anything special for his graduation, but earning his doctorate is such a huge accomplishment. I couldn’t just NOT celebrate!Image

I used my friends and my ceramics class as alibis when I made the banners and favors. I made Lets Go Rangers, Congratulations Doctor Niepielko, and Congrats Dr Matt Banners

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 Decor

Favors: Test tubes with M&M’s, Nerds and Smarties Candies, petri dishes with mints, “fly” test tube cookies, and rolo pretzel candies

 

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I went with a whole science theme. Microscope and beaker centerpieces.

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Flask accents

 

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And because it was during Game 2 of the Stanley Cup, I threw in some Ranger decor also.

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I never saw someone so surprised.


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He was so amazed that so many people came just to celebrate for him. Matt is such a humble and modest person, the idea that other people would take the time out of their day to celebrate his accomplishments was the nicest surprise he had.


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About 100 of our friends and family were there to celebrate, even during the game!

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The game was supposed to be on, but something went wrong with the TVs in our banquet room, so people had to keep going out to the bar room and checking their phones.


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I felt so bad and apologized to Matt for missing the game, but he thought the party was so much better anyway.

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We did get to see the last period of the game at home, where we transplanted some of the party. The Rangers lost, but we still had a blast, and two weeks later Matt will still say he’s shocked it even happened!

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In the meantime, there has been a lot of yard work going on at Castle Niepielko. I made my plant towers, started the garden, and we’re beginning the rock wall in the yard. It’s going to be a productive summer!

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Matt’s Graduation

OOoohh my goodness! Life has been wonderfully exciting lately. For the first time since I was a kid, I got to go to a MLB game. We were able to enjoy box seats at the Phillies vs Reds game.

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It was a blast! It was also nice to watch teams I’m pretty neutral about. (I’m one of those people who gets really nervous when watching “my team” play.) When I was a kid I loved baseball, and going to the game had me feeling very nostalgic of when baseball was my favorite sport.

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We’ve also been celebrating Matt’s graduation from Rutgers with his PhD. His Convocation ceremony was Wednesday, and Matt was awarded The  Rutgers Alumni Association Graduate School Academic Achievement Award.ImageImage

On the walk back to our car I found a four-leaf clover!

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The next day was Matt’s graduation ceremony.

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Matt made sure we first took some pictures in from of Rutgers’ Walt Whitman statue, to give a nod to my English background. His ceremony was awesome.

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I was both laughing with excitement and crying of happiness as Matt was called on stage and was hooded by his mentor, Nir.

 It wasn’t just me and our families cheering for Matt as he walked on the stage. The entire stadium was cheering as his super long dissertation title and other accomplishments were read off to the crowd. Even after the ceremony, people recognized Matt as “that science guy!” and congratulated him.

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It was such an honor to be so recognized, and as we walked back to our car after the ceremony, I found another four-leaf clover! It was such an encouraging and lucky sign!

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 All of Matt’s brothers and sisters were able to come out for dinner after the graduation. Matt’s one of six, so having all 6 kids together is a rare event. This time, we got pictures, and I didn’t have to Photoshop anyone into it!

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My oldest nieces were also really excited to see Matt graduate, and they begged to join us (even though it was late and on a school night).

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Afterwards, we went bowling with Matt’s friends who had graduated with their Master’s degrees the same day.

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I’m so proud beyond words of him. The last few years have been filled with a lot of hard work, long hours, and a stressed Cheese, but we got through it together, and now Matt’s my Doctor Cheese!

 

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This past Memorial Day weekend, we had a few celebrations with my family for Matt. First, we went out with my siblings for a joint Matt’s Graduation/Craig’s Birthday celebration.

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Then on Memorial Day we hosted our first official BBQ. We are working on our backyard. Last year my sister won us a new grill, and it motivated us to fix up the yard. Matt built a firepit and we are making a rock patio area. It’s almost finished, we just have to build a retaining wall. I was so excited to finally host in our yard with a celebration of a day off work and Matt’s accomplishments.

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What an exciting few weeks, and to top it off, THE RANGERS ARE GOING TO THE STANLEY CUP! Lots of excited screams came from our living room. I have to think of a way to celebrate while we watch the Cup Series. Plus, with all the excitement I forgot to post my May Wreath! Here’s a pic; isn’t it pretty? I’ll post the how-to soon.

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Texas Craft House

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