chilling feet

chilling feet

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Big 3-0!

(Just look at this beautiful cake Helen made!
And it tasted as good as it looks!)

Sarah might not admit it, but this April she turned the big 3-0!  Having already been there for a few years it was with strange disbelief as I watched my beautiful wife hit this life landmark.  Thankfully I had a +Miriam Williamson nearby who took me aside around two months ago to say, "So look this is a big deal.  The girl only turns 30 once.  I am willing to do whatever to help make sure Sarah's 30th birthday is so freaking awesome she will compare every birthday henceforth with this one, eclipsing all others forever in the New Zealand magic we are going to drop on her!" (Or something like that - apparently when I quote people I sometimes take liberties.  Honestly I just say what I remember.) 

(As with any good party we played some games.)

In the end it was a surprise birthday party.  I gave Sarah and adequate birthday by cooking her pancakes from scratch, giving her a beautiful manaia pounamu stone to wear as a necklace (it's kind of a thing here in NZ - and Sarah's more into the appearance then the meaning), and spending the day before her birthday together as she had to work the night of her actual day.  I knew this would leave her feeling good but also wanting more, wondering why I had not been at my best, yet just wonderful enough to allow her to think this was all she was getting.  It is sort of mean in the short term but when the whole deal was flushed out I believe she felt the love!
(The games got pretty intense and though I have to admit I was on the championship team, at least that's how I see it, I believe all had a good time.  There is nothing like seeing just how good you are at throwing a ping pong ball.  It can make the greatest feel like lowly dogs and the least of all like Olympic champions.)
The party was perfect.  With co-workers working hard to secretly invite all of our guests without Sarah knowing, all I had to do was to give out details for when it would all go down and get Sarah out of the house.  Easy peasy.  While we were out having fun two wonderful friends came and decorated the entire place into birthday spectacular, and Miriam and Gordon gathered everything we would need to make home made pizzas!  Sarah and I arrived back to a silent yet guest filled house - "SURPRISE!"

(And naturally, as any good birthday party should, we had Sarah taking her chances on the infamous piƱata.  I spun her around a number of times and in this shot she's quite confused still - "Watch out guests!?"  Scroll down to learn the number one thing you DO NOT do when preparing someone for this event.)
I cannot say how grateful we are to have friends who would put so much time and effort into loving Sarah!  Two delicious cakes, countless snacks, tasty pizzas, and various beverages fueled our efforts to celebrate Sarah's 3-0.  We had a wonderful night and I slept well confident in Sarah's enjoyment having been thoroughly loved by family and friends!  Thank you +Benjamin Winrow, Helen, Miriam, +Gordon Paulson, Cath, and everyone who helped make this day what it was for Sarah!

(Our evening ended with some dancing of course, which is what always happens when you have good tunes on in the background, quietly inviting people to get up and dance the entire time!  Yes, it got a little randy, but all in good fun.... I think.)
(Cath's carrot cake early on in the game before people had delved into it.  It is fantabulous.)

(Unfortunately you cannot quite see Sarah in this shot, as I am sure it would be classic.  But it was the cool shot with all of the confetti in air - look to then next one for a good reaction.)
(There it is! She's so happy!)
(Our team did such an amazing job decorating - seriously -  major thanks!)

(Yes it was a pink unicorn!  Waiting for it's moment to shine! So majestic in its patient stance.)

(People, as I have said, brought over the most delicious food ever.  Here is a great shot Miriam took of the spread.  Wow!  It was delightfully tasty.) 

(Spinning Sarah around to prepare her for the smashing of the Pink Unicorn!)

(AND HERE IS THE LESSON - Extra care is needed when doing this or something like this fall might happen.  Yes,
I spun my wife in circles and reportedly "pushed" her down, but in my defense it all rushed uncontrollably out of hand.
My words of wisdom are thus - let someone else hold the beating stick so your attention can be wholly on safety.)

(Making sure she is ok.  "Sorry honey."  Seriously, that sucked.  Don't worry though, no blood and plenty of doctors
and nurses right on hand.  Fortunately we did not need them, at least not for physical injury.  Maybe for the mental
scars Sarah still endures.)
 (But she bounced back, hit the almost indestructible pink unicorn until I had to hold it or throw it for her to hit once it
no longer hung.  It was dangerous for me but in all fairness, come on.)

(With Miriam and Gordon at the helm we made home-made pizzas...still thinking about those pizzas.  Delicious.)
We woke up the next morning and took Gordon and Miriam out into the Catlins (click here to read about our original visit to the Catlins) to see yellow-eyed penguins, sea-lions, lighthouses, waterfalls, seals, camp, and just be together.  They are about to head out and explore the rest of what New Zealand has to offer and in consequence we will not see them again for around a month... and then they will be...leaving us.  But we will not talk about that now!
(Sarah and her sister enjoying the wildlife on the beach together.)
(Here is Sarah at the top of McClean Waterfall.  We hiked/climbed up the secret path that +Scott Smith found when we were visiting this waterfall last time.  You cannot tell quite how high we are in this shot or how it felt to climb as far out on that tree to look down the waterfall.  Look to the next photo to see the tree pointed out!)
(After coming back down I took this shot.  I should have scrambled back down early so as to try and catch someone still at the top, although I'm not quite sure it would be easy to see them.  It was a fun, slippery, and muddy climb to the top as it's been raining lately.  The falls were more swollen then I have ever seen them.)
(Careful as you choose your steps Gordon!  It's slick!!)