Every family has different birthday traditions. In my (Lauren’s) family, it is all about family. Every birthday the grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins get together to celebrate. My mom always cooks whatever meal and desserts ( yes, multiple) we want for our birthday. I have only missed 1 other birthday before, so being away this year was harder than expected. It is hard when traditions have to change but it is exciting to begin to build new ones!
I have a friend here whose birthday is the 25th, and she turned 13 this year. So we decided to celebrate by getting some starbucks and going to the movies to see Maleficent. Jeff surprised me with sunflowers, which may or may not have been stolen, it was lost in translation. We also went to the piața (open market) near the center and bought fresh tomatoes and veggies for our Italian dinner. We had home-made brownies and the next day I had dinner with some girlfriends. It was a great birthday weekend for turning a quarter of a century!
Jeff’s family usually goes out to eat or picks what meal they want, and in college we tried to get together with friends. While in grad school, Jeff always had papers due or intensive classes, so we had to celebrate this year well!
For Jeff’s birthday, I tried to make him waffles for breakfast. Our waffle maker goes on the stove top and we have never used it before, so Jeff graciously ate half cooked or half burnt waffles. That night, we had an Italian night with our friends here and it was a blast! What could be a better way to turn 28 than with italian music, mustaches, pasta and bruschetta, cake, and friends.
He also got to talk with both parents and his sister that day. We also celebrated with Jeff’s parents when they were here about a week ago. Birthdays have been more emotional than we expected but we are so blessed by the community we have around us here.