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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Cake Girl Goes To Flame Fest- An Exclusive Review Of Fire Wife Convention

  Well, the clouds have parted for the moment. All the kids are being good. Finally, I have a minute to write about the very first Flame Fest! Woo HOO! What is Flame Fest, you might ask? It is a gathering of fire wives across the nation, with the goal of educating, encouraging, and strengthening marriages. Why, you might ask? The first thing that pops in my head? Well, because of the 75%. The 75% of marriages that are statistically doomed to fail in the fire life! That is just unacceptable, and as you know, has been my whole reason for starting this blog, specifically for fire wives, my passion,  nearly three years ago now. Crazy! I never thought I'd still be talking!!!

Fighting to change the fire industry
from a 75 % divorce rate a 75% success rate.

  Secondly, I feel like women are the glue that hold stations together. Even though they aren't even there, we keep things flowing. We fill in the gaps when needed. Make those bonds at Christmas dinners, or picnics. Who keeps the guys happy at home? Able, energized, emotionally stable, peaceful enough to come back? I know we aren't responsible for that, but we sure have a ton to do with it! And you know what? If they aren't keeping them happy, mark my words, either the marriage is going or the fire department is. Or both. If that happens, then really, what was the point of in the first place? The fire life is so different then most, as you know men. That can leave us literally alone, and feeling alone with no one to connect with. Leaving us with more challenges to face then we should have to deal with. Things happen, that only another fire wife can help with. I know personally, my marriage is better directly from conversation held at 1 am, with another wife up with a similar situation. Or the other side of the 1 am conversation, helping us battle the worry and fear that can grip us all, while you guys a gone fighting the fight. (We know you love it.)  Flame Fest is a place where wives can make those in real life connections. We will have real people we can trust, that we actually know will be there for us, say if something does happen.

Here they are. Real life, non catty, non gossipy, uplifting Wives!
Tokens that stay with me and keep me fire strong.
My Flame Fest chip, the cross my hubs got me,
 and my Fire Strong Sister Pendant.
Special Gifts given at FlameFest.
        Flame Fest is put on by a fire wife I am blessed to call sister and friend, fellow blogger extraordinaire, Lori Mercer owner of, and her husband Dan. Here is what she said about the event. Plus there may or may not be a quote or two from me. (Lori, by the way has an even bigger heart for changing those stats about divorce in fire, if that is possible.) I wanted to take this opportunity to thank her for all the work behind the scenes she put into this. Personally, I have been to probably, well let's see 8 years, 6 conferences a year, plus weekly meetings we never missed, not to mention a gazillion at home parties and expos, over at least 100 conference type thingys. By far, Flame Fest 2013 was a 5 star event! One of the top events I have been to. Plus, for being the first one ever, it was unbelievably amazing! Next years' should be even bigger and better.

 The Ladies!

One of the best hugs ever!
  As if that wasn't a big enough dream come true to put me into star struck mode, I was also meeting the rest of the Trusted Advisors Board for the first time. If you didn't know a little over a year ago now, I was super humbled and honored to be asked to be a part of it. We have been through so much as a community, in the wife community in general, plus with so many LODD's this year,

I made such special bonds with each of these girls. Plus so
many others. Love you Jennifer, Cindy,(me),Lori, Flat Reggie,
Flat Katt, Jessie, Trina, and Heather. The hottest Advisor Board EVER!

 us Mama's needed to be the pillars of strength and of frailty at the same time. The lighthouse in the group. Let's just say it was a little emotional for me to meet them all. First, my fellow blogger loves Cindy from and Trina from, and Jessie, Heather, Jennifer, and we made Flat Reggie and Flat Katt, whom couldn't make it. They were so hilarious! If you are around the forums you will recognize them.

 Husband who were able to come had a blast too! They went to a shooting range when we were having our "girl talk afternoon." Mine loved seeing the Pink Heals Truck who drove there, but more on that later.
         Food, Fun, and Prizes

There was tons of great food, treats, and drinks. The dinner was so very delicious. I even tasted Crème Brule for the first time ever!! SO scrumptious! There were vendors with tons of cool new things to introduce and buy. I loved this glow in the dark Helmet wrap FoxFire is putting out as an exclusive glow in the dark matching heart. That way I can keep the heart by my bed on nights when he is out and it reminds me he is a little extra safe.
The Swag 

I also won a ton of stuff from raffles!  Everyone did!! Let's give a huge shout out to all the sponsors and vendors who helped either with donations for raffles and for the goody bags. There were so many, I am going to highlight my favorites.  I seriously went home with so much swag, I felt like it was Christmas. Paintings, prints, T-shirts, stickers, collecting chips... I even got a Beach Body FocusT25 work out DVD! The hubby and I are gonna do it together.  I am super excited to get buff!

   It was way more than what I expected or even hoped for. The dinner alone was more than what our ticket costs. Not to mention, all I learned from the speakers that were there! She had the perfect variety of speakers. No one was too long or stuffy.. Actually now that I think about it, 3 out of the 6 key note speakers mentioned how important sex is to relationships.  As you know if you follow here, that lines up with what I promote and encourage here. A super hot, dare I even say, steamy, sex life that will keep your marriage hot, no matter the age or background.  We even got to here from Chief Laskey, awesome guy, via video on how important  he felt our mission to help strengthen and encourage fire marriages was to the fire service. That is was essential. Why, I was even surprised with the honor of awarding our first Mrs. Flame to Mrs. Lori Mercer! I was so excited! For once,  I wasn't nervous! I even got to share a little in the afternoon from stage! It might not of made sense, but I did share!

 Even the Marla Taviano was there. She sat at my table for most of the event, and until she got on stage, I had no idea she was a famous lady! My hubs and hers got along great. Her husband , the very talented photographer for the event as well, Gabe has an incredible story about how a firefighter touched their lives during a heart attack. Do you want to know how awesome these people are?! They are one of those people, wait for it... go BACK to the station and thank the fire fighters who saved his life! Yes- one of those!who She is the Author of The Husband's Guide To Getting Lucky, and has a fabulous blog. I know what you are thinking, you are buying a ticket now! Right!? Well you should it was that god of a talk. Ask my mister! Plus, she spoke to us about her 52 zoo trip, and her mission in Cambodia. Truly amazing. Check her out!! They traveled the US completely on faith alone, to 52 zoos, after a very tough situation prevented them from going overseas on a planed mission trip. They already had there kids pulled out of school and the decided to make the best of it. It is a cool story of relying on faith and the kindness of strangers, per say. I love her now an you should too.

Signs of Post Traumatic Stress in the Fire Service
  My husband, really enjoyed talking one on one with Mark Lamplugh,  a miracle survivor really,
from He was there to talk about PTSD, his touching story, and the dangers and signs that we as wives could watch out for. I found this highly educational. One thing that stuck with both of us, was how he basically said a department or brotherhood will help a fellow fire fighter, with anything. They put all this time, training, and money into them. They will help them move a 100 times, raise funds for things they need, go through literal fires together, but then they will watch a brother burn away emotionally. How true is that? Sounds just like what I have been saying! They will watch his life fall apart, possibly creating addictions to escape, their marriage crumble, and their brother broken. We have got to stop this. There has to be a better way. If you know anyone facing this, you have got to get them this information.

 The Facts From The Fire Fighter Cancer Foundation
 Cindy El from Firefighter Cancer Foundation was full of really good info you are going to want wives to know. For example I had no idea about washing and storing bunker gear separate because the are full of carcinogens. Some info just don't get passed on.  Or where to make wills. My favorite was all the alternative places they are looking at for finding and curing cancer. They are even using dogs that can sniff out cancer! Even more exciting is that they have programs where they can bring these dogs right to fire departments, I believe, for like ten bucks each can have them check fire fighters!! How cool is that?! It was pretty eye opening at how many chemicals we come in contact with that could cause cancer from fire fighting. So much good info there!

The Pink Truck Was Here!

  One of the coolest moments for many attendees was the signing of the Pink Heals Truck. This is a truck that has been donated by an area or FD that has either lost or been affected deeply by cancer. Then they name the truck after that person, paint it pink, and drive it all over, letting people sign loved one's names. The couple who drove GiGi here, happened to be a fire fighter and his wife. Whom by the way where awesome too, and do this on top of a crazy fire fighter schedule. It is sort of like a moving memorial.  I didn't think I would be affected so deeply until my husband wrote an unusual name for me, a fire fighter wife's. Marybeth, who'd just lost her life to cancer, maybe a few months ago.  Not a fire fighter, but a wife. Not a thought I have turned to often.

For Donna
For MaryBeth
  I deal with the possibility of his death all the time, right? My own? Not so much. I sort of tuck that one way down deep. So, with a deep sigh I added another one, an unusual for maybe a Pink Truck. A child's name. Donna. My blogger friend, someone I have stolen as a friend because of how moving the story is that she shared on Huffington Post about Donna was, I can't let her go. I have never met Donna, or Donna's Mama, but I love them both so much. Her family has also been touched by fire fighters, as so many have been. You can read about it here in the link in this post. So, there is a truck named GiGi driving to towns, carrying on, in honor of Marybeth and Donna.

Woo Hoo The Dating Divas! 
See here I am. Star Struck!
  Then to lighten the mood, or fire it up, wink, wink, there was Tara and Wendy from the Dating Divas! Another start truck moment I had was when Lori and I were running around and ran into them by the pool. They were so stinking cute, full of energy, hilarious, just as awesome as I see myself in my own head. I am humble in real life, but not so sure that comes across here. I just like to be funny. come on people!! They have a site where there are literally thousands of dating ideas to spice your marriage up. Like sneak into our hubby's car, leave handcuffs and a note, hide in the back seat, and say I am kidnapping you, drive to the nearest bedroom sort of dates! HOT right!? On top of that they have a great support system, sort of like us fire wives on So they have blogs and understand all the behind the scene action and effort it can take to stay or be in the mood. They were so sweet they even created a special super hot fire fighter themed date night, just for us! Woo hoo! Thank you very much! Don't mind if I do!! I seriously wish I could jump in their car and ride around laughing all day long, dating our husbands together. If they lived near me I'd stalk them. Bwhaha. Just kidding. Sort of.

  Last but not least, I can't leave out Hal Runkel, the author of Scream Free Marriage, which hardly about actual screaming. This book is so amazing and has changed some really huge things in my life lately. My favorite points so far are that we create the very problems we are trying to avoid. Let's see, that even I have a lot of growing up to do. That it is OK for a woman to desire sex. That confidence is as much of a turn on as red lipstick, and much, much, more. So much I am going to do another post on it later.
There was even a very moving bag pipe tribute to the LODD's this year. It was beautiful, emotional, and respectful. We prayed for them and their families as a group.
     All in all in was a life changing day and a half. It was a great get away with my husband. He said he loved seeing me hustle, leading some ladies again. That he saw a side of me that ignited while I was there he had never seen before. I can't pin point what that was, all I am telling you is that is what he said. What I walked away with, besides tons of swag, was more confidence in myself and my marriage. Of course, for me it further ignited and solidified my passion, giving me the confirmation that this conference is so needed in the fire service. There needs to be marriage rescue. Humorously I picture, all of us fire wives, instead of these sexy dresses,  sexy ghost buster like outfits, wands in hands, spraying bad marriages down with healing, healthy slime! Yes, I know, I am weird. It's those dang 80's movies, I tell ya.

  If you are looking for more info on sponsoring, donating, or attending next year's Flame Fest, just let me know. If your department is interested in sponsoring Fire Wife site memberships for the fire wives in your department and homes, we have that for that too.

  Also if you like any of the items I won or you saw in the pictures, there is a full list of  them on Lori's Blog Post about Flame Fest here.

 Tell me you hotties, what other kind of vendors/ sponsors would you like to hear from next year?
Excuse me for a minute... I have something in my eye.

Or, maybe I just left Flame Fest and can't wait for next year!


  1. THIS IS SO AMAZING!!!!!! Wow! You really captured it all. Thanks for all the kind words. I heart you. And thank the kids for giving you the time for this amazing write up :)

  2. Awww! Thanks!! I heart you too!!! Thanks for getting us there! It wouldn't have happened with out you! For everything you do!! For rocking the cazba or how ever you spell that! <3

  3. Thank you for your too-sweet words, friend!! Love you much and been praying for you and your fam. xoxoxoxo

    p.s. Let me know if you ever want to do a give-away of The Husband's Guide. That's my favorite thing about e-books. I can give them away for free all day long. :)

  4. Oh my goodness that would be so fun! I would love to!!!

  5. I have been praying for you guys too!! thank you so much for that! Xoxo

  6. You can stalk me girl! We would take you everywhere! We had such a great time with your ladies! I was sad when we left!! You are so cute! I love that you did this post!!

  7. Consider yourself stalked! ;) I really loved the things you guys said. It is awesome to know how many ladies ARE out there, at all ages, to spice up their love lives. that story was hilarious. Anyway thanks so much for even coming over to read! And even more for commenting! Woo hoo!!

  8. That's amazing, what a great concept and event. My father was a volunteer firefighter, so he was only gone ONE night a week, plus classes and he would respond to any calls that he could, I really cannot imagine a FULL-TIME firefighter's family stress. Gods love you, ALL OF YOU!!! It's so great you can all support each other. We should all take a lesson from you amazing wives!

  9. I so wish I came this year.... next year for sure!