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!)