A Happy (German) Birthday!

It’s official: I am no longer an angst-filled teenager, but rather a mature adult. Or at least I pretend to be. Sunday was my twentieth birthday, and I had the unique pleasure of celebrating it here in Germany. As the day slowly approached, I wasn’t sure how I would feel about being away from friends and family back home. While I’ve never been a big party person, I do enjoy the tradition of going out to dinner with my immediate family and a few close friends. I’m happy to report, I didn’t feel nearly as sad as I thought I would, because the day was filled with so much excitement and joy! Keep reading to experience my high-quality birthday through low-quality photos.

When I walked out of my bedroom Sunday morning, I was greeted with this lovely sign by the talented three-year old in the family. “Gottes Segen” means God’s Blessing in German, and is a common birthday greeting. It is bad luck to wish someone happy birthday before their actual birthday in Germany, so this was the first I greeting I’d received thus far!

Daria opening my birthday present- I didn’t mind, she was so cute! The bag played Happy Birthday every time you opened it, and you best believe she opened it at least fifty times.

Next, we headed off to church. I am so glad my birthday landed on a Sunday, because church is an instant, pre-planned party! I love the community I’ve found at church, and there’s no other group of people I’d rather share my day with. I brought a carrot cake and peanut butter chocolate cookies I’d baked the day before to enjoy after the service. Now you know I hate to brag, but they were pretty dang delicious!

^I wished for three more wishes. Obviously.IMG_6947
After church, we headed home because my ‘host mom’ had kindly offered to cook me one of my favorite German dishes- Käse Spaetzle! This is basically classy Mac n’ Cheese- thick flour noodles with melted white cheese and a creamy mushroom sauce. I ate three bowls full, and keep in mind this is after the two three slices of birthday cake. No regret.

Like I said, the quality of these photos does in no way reflect the quality of these experiences.

After an afternoon nap/food-induced coma, I set off by bike to meet a few friends from church for dinner at a local Italian restaurant. The evening was so light hearted, funny, and affirming. I am proud of the people I surround myself with, they are always building me up.

The evening culminated in a Skype call with my family, the four people who have walked beside me every day of this journey.

Thanks friends for reliving my special day with me. I missed you dearly, but I can’t thank you enough for all the support and love you’ve given me these past twenty years. I can’t wait to see what year twenty has in store! Have a great week, see you back here before we know it.

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