There are two things that can make me question whether or not I can be friends with someone. First, if you don’t like dessert. I think that is completely unnatural and a little weird to not like sugary filled deliciousness. Second, if you don’t like your birthday. A day completely dedicated to celebrating you, your life and any amazing friends you might have. Plus, there are usually fun surprises, presents and cake (which brings me back to point number one). What’s not to like!?
I celebrate my birthday every year on the infamous holiday known as Groundhogs day. Which most people forget about, until they have met me. Once the New Year has rolled around, I start getting ready to celebrate my month long birthday party. You heard right; a month long celebration. Trust me, it is the only legitimate way to ring in your birthday each year. I realize birthdays mean you are getting older and some people view that as a negative thing. However, you’re going to get older regardless, so you might as well get some cake out of it each year! Just promise me you won’t try to put out the candles like this…
This year was the first time I have celebrated outside of the North Dakota/ Minnesota region. Having the option to go outside without running the risk of frostbite was a welcome change! Leading up to the 2nd of February, I found myself talking to the local kids about my birthday. From then on, they would yell my birth date at me as I walked down the street. I think they knew I would be handing out chocolate and they wanted to get on my good side. Like they even have to try, let’s hope they don’t figure that one out!
The weekend before February, a few friends and I held a Beer Olympics Party to celebrate. We each represented a country, drank cheap Albanian beer (is there any other kind?!) and had a wonderful night. We all needed to blow off some steam after our week long conference so it was perfect timing.
The week before my actual birthday was filled with amazing care packages arriving from the states. I am one lucky girl to have so many people that care enough to send me birthday goodies!
On my actual birthday weekend I headed to visit a good friend in Bilisht. Her site is located up, around and through a few mountain ranges from Permet. The road’s constant curves may have put my stomach on edge, but the views were beautiful.
Of course, there are things constantly reminding me of my Albanian whereabouts.
As we climbed higher and higher into the mountains I could feel the temperature dropping. The only snow I had seen thus far in Albania was on the beautiful snow capped mountains surrounding my city. It was exciting for my ND bones to actually see snow on the ground as well. Especially since the temperature was still above zero. Best of both winter worlds!
Emilie and I spent the weekend cooking, watching movies and staying toasty warm by her wood stove. She has an amazing apartment and probably the best set up for watching movies that I could have hoped for!
All in all, it was a wonderful birthday and a great way celebrate turning a quarter of a century old. With my numerous celebrations, conversations and well wishes over, I had a small case of post birthday blues. Even I have to admit it is a little too early to start the countdown until next year’s Groundhogs day…but it’s never to early to start practicing my happy birthday dance!