Tuesday, January 26, 2010


     I like birthdays...but don't we all?  I just celebrated my 28th last weekend and the whole weekend was a blast.  To give credit where credit is due, my wife is awesome at birthday celebrations.  She was raised on the idea that the entire birth month is fair game to be celebrated - kind of like a Mardi Gras or something like that.  Much of that has rubbed off on me, but I have only expanded out as far to claim a "birthday weekend" at this point.
     I would say that in my upbringing there was always a birthday celebration that typically included a dinner of my choice and a home-made cake from my grandma.  Otherwise it was pretty low-key with gifts and time spent with family.  Marisa likes to let everyone know weeks in advance about upcoming birthdays and have a themed-party to mark the occasion.  She is also really thoughtful to make the day/weekend/week special.
     Over the years I've enjoyed a surprise party with dozens of CCFers after a Thrashers game at the campus house........a co-party with Randy Arrowood........and a surprise get-together at the Vortex.  Sometimes I try to downplay my birthday, but Marisa just doesn't go for that.  I can see where she gets it from when I get cards in the mail from her mother, filled with confetti so that it spills out everywhere when you open them up.  After the first one I started opening them all up very carefully, but now I'm embracing the idea and violently opening them up to ensure full coverage in our apartment!
     I must also say that my mom is an incredibly thoughtful person as well.  This year she mailed over a package with candy, books, and jeans - all decked out in dorky Star Wars paper and other themed gift bags like guitars and football.  I don't think that crap will ever get old.  I'd like to think that my 70th birthday cake will have a velociraptor on top or something badass like that.  

B-day package from mom - including Donald Miller's latest book and Rick Steve's "Best of Europe 2010" (we're pumped about using that one)

     This year I came home to an empty apartment (she was still at work) and a bag of hand-selected Haribo gummies and a note on the table.  She had also gone down to one of the local bakeries to buy a slice from six different cakes and pastries to give us a variety, since Publix cake was a no-go this year.  We went out to a bar and met up with a dozen or so teachers from my school for a couple of drinks and had plans to go to a hockey game, but that never materialized.  Instead we went over to our neighborhood restaurant for Sonnenuhr schnitzel.  Our waitress, Tanja, hooked us up with a couple of free birthday shots of pear-flavored moonshine schnapps and that would make it a night.  With a trip to Cologne on Saturday, co-celebrating with our church's 20th anniversary, and skyping with family on Sunday.....it was a nice little ex-pat birthday weekend.

scored a new scarf - one step closer to being eurosexual.

Our selection of cakes and pastries - if you can't decide, just try one of everything!

     So here's to all of the people in our lives that help make our birthdays special!
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