Food is not a problem here.

It all started with my mom when she turned 33. I was 5 at that time and despite the 22 years that have passed since that day, it is still the most vivid memory I have of how to celebrate a birthday in style. I remember my mom being excited for days. I also remember my mom wearing a black dress with shoulder pads. She was gorgeous and she was smiling all night and she was so happy for the days to come. My mom always put in a vacation day on her birthday, no matter what the weather was like or how ever much she had to do at work, her birthday was her day.

When I was 16, my mom ordered this lavishly big cake for me, it was one of the biggest cakes I have ever seen. She then told me the story about how she turned 18 and how she had bought her own cake, because her parents were away on business. Whenever she tells that story, her eyes fill with a glance of sadness and my heart aches. In Filipino culture when you turn 18 you are supposed to have a big celebration. My brother did, he had the greatest feast and I think he enjoyed it. I, on the other hand, am not as sociable as my brother and refused to celebrate my birthday in that way. But that didn’t stop my mother. My parents organized a surprise party for me and I had no clue, how on earth they pulled that off, but they managed it somehow and I felt loved beyond belief.

Don’t get me wrong. Just because I wasn’t sociable, doesn’t mean I didn’t love my birthday. On the contrary, I absolutely love my birthday, because every year I remember my moms happy face when she turned 33. In fact I get excited weeks and weeks before my birthday. It’s not like I am planning big parties or anything like that. Most of the time I just hang out with my loved ones which in the last 6 years meant hanging out with my now husband.

In the beginning of our relationship, he didn’t get why I was so excited about my birthday. For him, it was always just another day, but for me, it meant everything but. I soon taught him, how to be really excited about birthdays – correction, my birthday. He still doesn’t make a big fuss about his own birthday, but at least he makes 7 times more the fuss about my birthday and after all, that’s what really matters.

Early in the morning, A urged me to open my presents. Mind you, it was 6.30 am, I barely had one cup of coffee in me, when A took this picture.

Saving Whales

Saving the Whales

Because, even though it’s my birthday, a political message should always be sent! In our 6 years together, about every other day, I listen to one song, that speaks to me in a way, no other song can. I don’t know if it’s because of Peter Gabriel’s voice or what the deal is, but the book of love, always gets me. I just can’t get tired of it. That’s also the reason why it was our wedding song and that’s also the reason why every now and then A will give me just that: A book of love.

Book of Love, Volume 3

Book of Love, Volume 3

It is the third Volume. There is a prequel about how we first met, Volume 1 about our long distance relationship, Volume 2 is all about our engagement and Volume 3 is about our wedding. In the midst of it, there is also a cookbook of love with all our most favorite stories about food and recipes from our friends and families. A labeled it “food is not a problem here”, because when we had our wedding in Italy, even if anything else would have gone wrong, we knew, food would not be a problem. Coincidentally it also wasn’t a problem on my birthday. I don’t think I ate this much since our wedding… After crying happy tears, as one does, A wanted me to open the next package. And because I am not a very sociable person, it makes perfect sense why I absolutely love puzzles. I really do:

Birthday puzzle

Birthday puzzle

I spent the entire day puzzling, up until 1.30 in the afternoon, because I was told, we had to buy something very urgently. I was rather reluctant. I honestly didn’t want to spend my birthday at a grocery story (which A led me to believe) but I figured, I might as well go for a walk after all the chocolate that I have been eating. Also, I didn’t take a picture of all the chocolate that I got for my birthday, so yeah, there is that.

About 15 minutes later, I landed here:

Avengers

Avengers

And yes, I am a huge dork that loves watching the Avengers on my birthday (AWESOME MOVIE, BTW!), and yes, my husband does not understand how to take a non-blurry picture. Given the great weather, the theater was almost empty and A and I had the theater almost to ourselves, despite two even dorkier people who decided to sit right next to us and eat their candy at all the places, when one is expected to be quiet. And they were everything but quiet. But what can you do? I was so amazed by the movie that I didn’t want it to end.

Reluctantly we went home and I was greeted by my parents and brothers over skype, which was almost as much fun as watching the Avengers. Just kidding, ultimately it was even more fun. While I was chatting with my family, A was nowhere to be seen or heard. Every now and then I would hear him tinker around in the kitchen, but I wasn’t allowed in, so I patiently had to wait. After two hours of skyping, A finally came into the room, to present me with this:

Crocodile Cake

Crocodile Cake

And yes, it is a chocolate cake with butter cream frosting and it is in the shape of a crocodile. One deliciously awesome crocodile! One that I might or might have not finished within less than a week. No, not by myself… just mainly by myself, but I did share. A little bit.

A week later I still feel loved. It was one amazing day, thanks to my wonderful husband who understands me and my need for an elaborate birthday celebration, even if it’s just the two of us. I am thankful for all the birthday wishes I got from both of our families, and of course all the birthday greetings from social media as well.

And I know, you’re curious, what the puzzle said, so after 3 days (two of which we spent in Copenhagen), here is what the puzzle says:

Birthday puzzle finished

Birthday puzzle finished

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