A Birthday for A

Whoop, whoop! Last week was my birthday and this girl looves birthdays! J surprised me with the newest Penguin Classic to add to our collection on my birthday eve. I had the most relaxing day reading my last present while holding my newest one (smells soo good). The sun was out and all of the curtains open. I even canceled my French lesson so I could have the whole day off, who cares if it's the only thing I have scheduled to do during the week...it's not lazy, it's not.Penguin Classics | MontgomeryFestJ had a whole evening planned (that charmer!), which included balloons (it's been a really long time since we've been to a festival). We popped open the bubbly (the real stuff from the Champagne province in France..chyea.)..he cooked my favorite meal - chicken parm, which we've recently found out is a strange concoction to real Italians..Birthday celebrations | MontgomeryFestBirthday celebrations | MontgomeryFestwith loads and loads of candy. Y'all. I was in heaven..and then! we made a time capsule, which we can't open until next year..even though it says last week because we still think its 2012.Birthday celebrations | MontgomeryFestBirthday celebrations | MontgomeryFest The day after mine is Doris's birthday, so we treated ourselves to a piece (or two) of chocolate cake. We've become excellent tea drinkers and she always knows of the coolest places and teaches me dutch, which neither of those things I can ever remember when I get home to tell J.L'atelier | Brussels, Belgium | MontgomeryFestL'atelier | Brussels, Belgium | MontgomeryFestL'atelier | Brussels, Belgium | MontgomeryFestSaturday night, we had a baby shower for an American couple that J works with at an American's house that didn't differ much from a house in the suburbs in the states, except a tiny bit smaller. We were surrounded by Americans, and if you didn't think about it for a second, you could have thought we were back home....nothing European about it. We left there and went to a little shindig  to celebrate our birthdays some more. There were the same number of people, but a tenth of the space, which is a lot closer to how we live. And I looooved it. Everyone had a different background and the accents varied tremendously (we might not have been able to understand eeeeeveryone). It ranks pretty high on favorite nights since we've been here.L'atelier | Brussels, Belgium | MontgomeryFestAhem, excuse me while I step on my soap box...I'm gonna say it. I'm really proud of us. I'm proud of us for becoming European, like really. It would be so easy to stick to the things we're comfortable with and the people we know. There's a really big American expat community here and you could essentially live an American lifestyle, barring a few inconveniences that we're used to in the states, and only sight see these countries. It takes a lot to fully invest your life in a new part of the world. J and I have to lean on each other for everything (it's been fun figuring out the first year of marriage AND a new culture!). I've read a lot about expat life and trailing spouses and it seems this will make our repatriation harder, but it's totally worth it. We've met some of the coolest, sweetest friends. I feel humbled and grateful...especially to J, for making this happen and for giving it everything. I'm a lucky gal.

..stepping down now.