happy birthday to me

Since our move to Germany, social media has played a crucial part in my birthday festivities.  Aside from the inevitable truth that Latin Americans are pretty loud with their birthday festivities, it just happens to be extra noticeable to me how dreadfully boring German ‘birthday parties’ can tend to be.  Where’s the piñata?  Where’s the outrageously decorated Pinterest-inspired cake?  Oh, you mean you sing Happy Birthday with…Strudel?  I need my Red No. 1 stain-your-intestines merengue!  And I need my sugar overload, I need Coke & chips, and balloons, and a clown!  OK, so maybe I don’t need all that nowadays, but I feel sad for my kids for not enjoying the perks of a good ole loud-ass birthday bash, piñata & all.

In the past years, I avoided confronting the lonely birthday celebrations by planning a trip every single time!  Nothing better than that, to be honest.  A little getaway always does the family good.  Yesterday I turned 35, and even though I missed my heartfelt birthday hugs from those who are faraway, I came to the realization that it’s OK, because all the love I got through cyberspace plus the amazing treatment I got from my favorite people here at home outshined the sugar overload and colorful pizzazz of any loud & crowded birthday party.

I thank all of those who took the time to message, call, & write.  I really valued the few phone calls I got (scarce as they are nowadays) because it felt nice to hear someone actually say ‘Happy Birthday!’ and to answer ‘Thank You’, all out loud!  Imagine that.  But the showering of messages and Facebook posts really do add to the whole modern birthday celebration.  Some people take the time to make it a conversation, which I will always be up for.  Others send out a loving message, and even those who seem to automatically type in the obliged ‘Happy Bday’ onto my Facebook wall…well, even those are very special to me.

In this crazy world where the urge to snap & share every single beauty of your world out there has essentially destroyed the appreciation of those seemingly magical things, I found my little humble spot here those who mind don’t really matter, and those who matter, matter A LOT!  I certainly can’t wait to see everyone again and everyone who comes & goes in my life will always have a friend in me; still I must say how eternally grateful I am for the family that is mine.  My parents, who have always encouraged me to strive & succeed with the love & patience that shaped me into the talented, responsible, & empathic person I am; and my three ‘little’ brothers, who each in their own very special way make me feel like the best person in this whole wide world.

But there’s this one guy, special as can be, who stole my heart and made me his ’til the end of days, my husband.  He has shown me another side to the universe, and continues to teach me new things about himself & the world around me every day.  He gave me a family of our very own with two beautiful girls, both special in their unique way and both just like me!  I dedicate this post to him, for making my day extra special yesterday!  I was honestly expecting to be wined & dined out, but he surprised me (as he often does) by prepping up a salmon & steak feast all by himself.  Not only was it extra special, but it couldn’t have been lovelier for me.  Here’s to 35!

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