My birthday ended up to be so full of surprises, I was left feeling so loved that I know 31 will be a great year!
The week of my birthday was ridiculously busy, which left me exhausted by Wednesday night. Joern and I try really hard to stay awake until midnight on our birthday, usually to celebrate with a glass of Champagne. This year, by 11:30, I could not keep my eyes open any more. Joern sweetly woke me up at midnight, and softly said, "Happy Birthday, its time for bed."
On Thursday morning, I entered work to the sweetest, kindest birthday greeting. Each child brought in some flowers to me and said, "Happy Birthday, Ms. Allison."
Oh, the flowers were so beautiful! Some had taken flowers from their garden. I am especially in love with peonies this year, and was so excited to receive pink and white peonies from a few students. I also received a few lush bouquets, including 6 gorgeous white roses!
A few students brought me individual gifts, which was also so sweet. Lots of chocolate, a little teddy bear, a keychain, and a bottle of delicious looking sparkling wine all came from the students :) The entire day the kids kept giving me hugs, it was all so sweet.
We celebrated in school with my now famous Pink and White Cupcakes, as well as delicious watermelon slices.
The rest of the day was just fun. My friend Setefanie, who I used to assist, came down to our room with the most beautiful market basket.
I am so excited to now have a traditional market basket to use during our market outings! My friend Iris gave me the most yummy smelling body spray and a pink eye mask, which came in perfect when my exhaustion took over on Thursday night. Joern is even excited to try the eye mask because it has cooling gel in it, he thinks it will be great when he has a headache. The teacher I currently assist, Carola, gave me a beautiful basket with some fresh herbs and a blue and yellow checked table runner.
Everyone's kindness was amazing and my birthday at work was just wonderful. And then, at the end of the school day, all of the parents assembled in our classroom to sing "Happy Birthday," and to present me with a Mickey Mouse cake (sadly, no picture,) as well as two beautiful, gigantic candleholders. I will post a better picture when I go down in our basement, but you can see the gigantic wine glass looking candleholder in the back of the flowers here:
The candleholders are close to two feet tall, and look like wine glasses. They are dramatic and dainty all at once! And will look fabulous on the terrace in the summer, and will make a very dramatic centerpiece on our new dining room table. I spoke with the mom who was put in charge of getting me the candleholders, she was told by the parents that we are building a house, and she should get something we can use in the house. I told her about the fact that the candleholders will actually look perfect on our very chunky dining table, and she told me how much she likes sentimental gifts- a woman after my own heart! Every time I use those candleholders, I will remember JrKb, the wonderful kids and their kind parents!
Of course, my birthday did not end when I left work. There were still more suprises. After spending half an hour walking back and forth loading my car from work, I headed home. Joern called me and said that I should meet him at his parents' house. They had Champagne (yes, our trip to Reims last year, had a positive impact on our celebratory drinking,) and cake for me.
The beautiful, St. Honore cake was a huge surprise, proving Joern is really the sweetest guy on earth. After finding out that French grocery stores have amazingly beautiful cakes and pasteries, I have been hounding Joern to get me a bithday cake from France for years. Two days before my birthday, Joern came home with tons of food from France, as he was near the border and decided to go grocery shopping. He came home with Macarons, another delightful French pastry, but no sign of a birthday cake. I even said to him, "It would have been really nice if you bought my birthday cake there." Joern responded, "You're right. Sorry, I didn't think." It made me melt to find that he had indeed bought the cake in France, and hid it at his parents' house. My in-laws even used the opportunity to try out their special candle from China, that after being lit, the petals open up, a sparkler shoots out from the middle, and it plays "Happy Birthday." A really fun surprise!
After cake and Champagne with my in-laws, Joern and I headed to Zwiefalten, to a brewery begun by monks many, many years ago. The brewery serves yummy food, and of course, yummy beer! It was a wonderful birthday dinner!
I am so thankful to everyone who helped to make this birthday so special. It makes me excited to think of the upcoming year! Thank you everyone!