Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Graemes Mexican Party


Hola! Way back in May we celebrated Graeme's 30th Birthday at Mexico with friends and whānau.

Graemes birthday has been the event of the year for us. We love celebrating things, we love our people, and we love birthdays. So, we've been planning for these celebrations for a year, putting aside money each week for the last year so when the time came, we could do what our hearts desired.

After much humming and haa'ing, we decided on having our party out and about, and catered for. It was more expensive than doing ourselves, but it took all of the stress out and meant we could invite who ever and didn't need to be worried for a "wet weather option". I also hired a friend to make the cake! Best decision of the year. It was amazing!

It took months to find a venue, after a whole lot of emails, and venue visits at various locations around the city and still not finding any where suitable. I mused to myself "it would be amazing to have a party with mexican fried chicken handed around", and so I email Mexico and we were in! They ticked all of the boxes and were fantastic hosts! 


We ended up having 65 friends and whānau. Even though we don't see many of these people very often they all hold dear places in our hearts and it was so great to have them.

I have only included a few photos in the post, but we are making up a photo book so we have picture of everyone! Lighting was hard, and most were taken with polaroids, so our photos aren't the greatest!



Our kids came for the first hour, then Nannie took them back to her house where a family friend babysat them while they slept. They were so excited to be at their Daddies party! And it was great having them there!! Also, Aunty Izy came from Australia to join in the celebrations!


The birthday boy! I surprise him by secretly handing out little badges with his face on them with a golden sparkly crown. See if you can spot them in the photos. He turned around and realised everyone was wearing them! So great. There were also some larger faces stuck on the walls. Graeme is our Party King, so it seemed fitting to have his face everywhere.




I strung up a few banners and decorations when we arrived but Mexico in Christchurch is so bright and fun, it really didn't need much. The decor is ace, as is the music. The atmosphere was perfect!



We also played pinata, which was a bit of a fail! Graeme ended up whacking his friend Joe over the head (not surprising, since Joe was standing next to it saying "hit me!") but the string holding it up didn't hold so we ended up ripping it open with our hands! Still good though.


I said a speech for Graeme, and then it was backed up with a Māori waiata (song), as is custom when honoring someone.

During the week we had secret practises for Purea Nei, a beautiful waiata. Jared was on guitar leading it, and started after my speech. 

Graeme said he was looking around taking in the song and then started to realise that everyone was singing, even people who didn't know Māori waitata, and then he started to realise how special it was and that everyone must have learnt it for him! 

Well, they did! 65 people, singing a song most of them didn't know for their friend who they were honoring. It doesn't get much more special than that! 

You can watch and pretend you were there with the video below::


Most of all, Graeme had a great night! He felt loved, celebrated and honored! 

Friends and Whānau, thank you for partying with us and being in our lives! 
xxx

(ps, Blog post on our birthday holiday here (yes, the celebrations seemed to continue for a whole month!)

Friday, July 22, 2016

Queenstown Adventures - Graemes 30th


In May we were lucky enough to spend 4 nights in Queenstown, without the kids! Just us!! The kids were happy as can be with their grandparents, and we were living it up large with Hilton Hotel Life.

So, I never realised that hotel people do all your dishes. That was such a surprise to me. I need to get out more! haha! / become so wealthy I never need to do dishes again. It was like living in a dream! 


Anyway, 5 nights away, what a dream come true. We had been squirreling away money for the last year for this trip, as a big Happy 30th Birthday to the man of our house, so we could have some time away from our house! Graeme was also blessed by a lot of his friends for his birthday, with cash towards adventures in Queenstown. 

We planned to live up large, eat out and buy desserts, drink coffee and wander the streets and do as many adventurey things as we could. It turns out, we ticked all of those boxes.


The highlight for me was definitely Milford Sound. It's about 3.5 hours drive from Queenstown, so it really does take up a whole day; leaving in the morning, going on a cruise around lunch time, then returning home after dinner. It was a big day and we were shattered by the end of it. I think that was the one night we got takeaways and crashed in bed. 

But Milford sound, what a beautiful, stunning part of the world. Breathtaking. Even the drive there, I wish we had spent more time stopping off to take in the views. So much beauty and goodness that is so refreshing for the soul.

We went on a Jucy Cruise which was, I assume, just as good as all of the other cruises on offer. All up about 2 hours on the boat. 


I was lucky enough to end up at the front of the boat and was doused in water from a waterfall. It was a happy accident, and from then on we stayed at the front of the boat and loved our cruise. Much better to be out in the fresh air, although it was FREEZING cold. Wind chill felt like it was in the minus'! Still, I sipped my red wine, bathed in the sunlight and thanked God for all of these moments. 





Those last 2 photos above were from a video we took. We tried to get a photo of us and the waterfall, except the wind was all up in thurrr. You can see the video on my Instagram here.


Following that we spent our time in Queenstown on the shot over river (above). I had been on it as a kid, in which I had thought for sure we were certain for death, but it wasn't nearly as scary as I had remembered. Still, thrilling none the less. Graeme "woohoo"'d his way down the river, and it was a joy for me to see him having fun (while I held on for dear life).

We ate Fergburger, Winnies Pizza, drank lunch time beers and wines, sat by fire sides, talked about silly things from my "conversation starters" (which were a great idea to take, when you're wanting to talk about things other than kids, but your life only consists of kids). 

Speaking of kids, we almost forgot they existed. And when we phoned them they said "we need to make you a card, can we hurry up and say goodbye now?" So never mind them.


On our departing eve, we found the local c3 Church and treated ourselves to a couple massage which was divine. We finished off the day by eating a ridiculously expensive meal which was a ridiculously huge hunk of steak, and drank from a ridiculously large wine glass. Ridiculous. All of it. 

What is this life?


*Sigh* Last day and time to go home. 6 hours later in the car and we were ready for our own beds. But I definitely could have stayed in that dream bubble for a little longer.

Thank you to Nannie & Poppa, Grandad Jimmy & Colly for all of the Baby Sitting hours you racked up! And to all of our friends who put in for our adventures!

Lots of memories made. Thank you. 

Happy Birthday Graeme! xx

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Katie Turns Three



Sweet little Katie. Cheeky, mischievous, giggly, snugly, loud Katie. 


She turned 3 last week. Our little BIG girl! Who also started Kindy on the same day. There's too much growing up happening around here. 

Look at these Kindy girls!


We celebrated Katie's birthday with Kindy in the morning, a very little picnic in the botanic gardens with a few of her little friends, and a trip to the discovery room in the Museum next to the gardens. Followed by lots and lots of cake and candles. Katie blowing out candles is hilarious - she's too busy trying to sing "happy birthday" to herself at the same time!

Her Daddy surprised us at the gardens by turning up unexpectedly. He had tracked my phone to sneakily find out where we were and had taken the afternoon off work. What a (creepy) sweet thing to do!  Hehe. 



At three years old Katie loves:: Snuggling with soft blankets and fluffy toys. Animals. Anything "cute". Cheesy Dibbles (Twisties - the chip). Reading books with Dad. Ice cream. Minions. Her Big Sister. Bath time. My new scarf. Sleeping. Lots of Sleeping. 


Party hard Katie! xxx

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Motherhood 2016

My FB memories just reminded me that 2 years ago I wrote about what stage of motherhood I was in 2 years ago (Motherhood 2014). I enjoyed looking back and revisiting that season, so thought I will record an update for future trips down memory lane...


What my season of motherhood looks like right now:

Morning "Ata Marie" greetings, with kisses and cuddles in bed.

The distant sound of phone games being played with in the dark while I doze.

Breakfast requests; cornies, weetbix, muesli or honey poppas.

Spilt milk and coconut scattered throughout the house.

Outfits chosen, constant reminders, and screaming in the car.

Scratched hands, sincere apologies and hurt feelings.

Mat time joy. 

"Mum can I come in", a little girl itching to start kindy.

Coffee and cake with friends, my life savers and support system.

Little friends for little children, who play happily throughout the day, only stopping for food and drinks.


Despicable me, Penguins, Cinderella, Cars & Planes, Dinosaurs & Bible stories on rotation.

Camilla the cupcake fairy, over and over and over again.

Endless art works, inspiration and ideas.

Tears over ruined art, rampaging sisters and hurt feelings.

Constant lessons on kindness, integrity, responsibility and joy. Raising up women who believe in themselves.

Leading our family in prayer and passing on my faith to my children. Unending lessons on faith, the miraculous, and a Father who loves and creates. 

Taylor Swift dance parties.

Dinners gobbled, or left uneaten. Pleas for ice cream and treats.

Surprising Daddy after work.

Insufferably long whispered conversations.

Fluffy PJs and warm beds with snuggly toys.


Big girl beds side by side, with the cot packed up and stowed underneath. Mixed feelings, but mostly relief at a new stage.

Goodnight kisses, "Pō Marie" and songs.

Hushed whispers and giggles of joy.

Long nights for dishes, vacuuming and straightening our home for another day.

TV programmes, chips or toast, and The Mans hand to hold.

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