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!