So apparently my 100 Things list has become popular with my friends and family, because now they are helping me to achieve the items on the list! On Saturday, March 30, thanks to my insanely talented mother and my amazing friends and family, number 60 on my list was achieved — have a giant birthday party! On top of that, it was a SURPRISE party — for me!
Last week, my friend Kendryth had arranged with me to go out for “birthday drinks” on Saturday night, after Shawn’s niece Liliana’s fifth birthday party earlier that day. I was happy to go out, since I spent my actual birthday in Chicago and thought it’d be nice to spend the evening with my friend! (Little did I know exactly how many friends I’d be spending it with!)
After Liliana’s party, Kendryth and her husband Andrew picked me up around 8 pm, and suggested we go to the Black Shire Pub. We used to go there ALL the time when they had karaoke hosted by our friend Anna Banana, so it would be nice to go back for old times sake! We went inside the pub and it was really empty on the main floor, and the bartender was nowhere to be found. So we went to the upstairs section — where everyone jumped out and yelled “SURPRISE!”
It’s a bit blurry, but you get the idea! I had NO IDEA this was happening — I thought I was going to faint!
Not only was it a surprise party, it was a surprise PIRATE-THEMED party. Most everyone was dressed up (there were extra accessories in case people weren’t pirate-y enough), and my mom had sewed a pirate skirt for me to wear! The entire place was decorated and there was a TON of food. (This is my mother, after all… she always makes enough food to feed an army.) Even the food was themed — there were little cheese and grape appetizers with tiny sword skewers! Mom had also put up a display of photos of me through the years (oh dear) and there was a giant poster shaped like a treasure map for everyone to sign! There was a me-themed trivia game too — some of the answers were hilarious! (For example, in response to the question “What is Kerry afraid of?”, Shawn’s father Gary wrote down, “Nothing, she has a sword.” Awesome!) And, of course, an insanely huge chocolate cake!
Quite a few people travelled a ways to get to the party. My cousin Jennifer came from Sault Ste. Marie; my Aunt Gail, cousin Jacalyn and my grandparents came in from Stratford; my friend Maggie travelled from Toronto and my father had pretty much just gotten back to Canada from a month away in Florida. Plus it was Easter weekend, so I’m sure many people had family plans, but they still came out to celebrate with me, and I was really honoured. I also received a whole bunch of wonderful cards and gifts from my guests, including a beautiful portrait that Maggie painted, a hand-knitted skull touque by my colleague and friend Ellen (you can get your own here on Ellen’s Etsy shop!), and tap lessons courtesy of my friend Ceris (number 11 on my list!). THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!!!
It’s hard to sum up how grateful and honoured I am for this party, so I’m just going to post what I posted on Facebook the other night:
I can’t really express how incredibly grateful and honored I am to have such wonderful friends and family. THANK YOU so much to everyone who made this birthday surprise so wonderful, memorable, hilarious, overwhelming, cake-and-presents-and-pirate-filled… Thank you thank you thank you. I am a very lucky person to have so much love in my life.
I’m especially grateful to my mom, Cathy Hishon, for all the work she put into planning and executing this evening. It couldn’t have been an easy job, but it was such a wonderful party and I am so thankful to have had it, and to have her as my mom. She’s pretty much the best. (And if you need an amazing event planner, you should totally look her up and hire her. Just saying.)
This feels like such an inadequate way of describing all the feels I had. But sometimes words just aren’t enough!
So there you have it, folks. Number 60, have a giant birthday party, is COMPLETE! (Hopefully it won’t be the last time it’s achieved, though! Ha ha!)
Photo Credits: Ceris Thomas, Kendryth Richardson, Shawn Clark