Wednesday, April 16, 2014

(A really long) Birthday Recap (with pictures)

You know how I feel about birthdays.

They should be big and fun and the celebration should last AT LEAST a week.

Yesterday was my 28th birthday. I feel like I'm about 22...definitely not old enough to be a married adult, DEFINITELY not old enough to have a little baby. Probably old enough to have a dog, but the jury is still out on that one. Olive can stay, I suppose. But definitely old enough to drink. That's important.

Aren't birthdays weird? On the one hand it's like YAY! It's my birthday! and on the other hand it's like's my birthday. How did this happen again? And then you have those thoughts like, 10 years ago I was 18. And in 10 years I'll be 38. And it kind of trips you out for a second. Then you text your girlfriends and lament about how much closer to 30 you're getting and anyone who is over 30 rolls their eyes at you like shut up, you're not THAT old. Then you start having discussions about anti-aging eye cream and stuff. And muse over the benefits of daily sunscreen application. I mean, this is maturity, right? When you finally reach the age where you understand the need for daily sunscreen and you actually have the desire to follow through on this good habit because OHMYGOSH are those crow's feet?! No no, the lighting in here is just bad.

Wow. I really got on a roll there and this was not where I intended to go. (But seriously guys, wear sunscreen.)

So. Birthdays.

Z is particularly amazing at celebrating birthdays. Exhibit A: this morning he looks at me and says "HEY! Happy day-after-birthday!". He's good.

This year for my birthday he planned a little weekend getaway down in the Bavarian Alps in a town called Oberammergau. We stayed at a family-owned hotel that also had it's own brewery and Zach surprised me with a big fancy room (we always stay at decent places, but this was a really nice hotel and that was such a birthday treat). This was also our first trip with Miss Zoe, so it was a trial run of see how she would do (and probably how we would do). She was just wonderful. Slept like a champion. Stuck to her schedule. No major issues. Have baby, will travel.

Of course you have to make adjustments when you travel with a baby, but hey, flexibility is the new normal over here. Z made reservations at the fancy hotel restaurant one night for the "official birthday dinner" (yes, that's a thing)...and you might be wondering how in the world do you have a nice dinner out with a 10-week-old baby? I'll tell you how. You make the reservation for 5:30pm. Europeans eat dinner LATE, my friends. So we were the only people in the restaurant, which made it way less stressful to have sweet Zoe with us since we weren't worried about her potentially disturbing anyone else. PLUS we had the complete attention of the wait staff AND it felt super exclusive to have the place to ourselves. Silver lining, folks. We were finishing our dessert right as the first "normal" diners were arriving and we were back in our room just in time for Zoe's bath and last meal before her bedtime. Then it was a movie on the iPad for me and Z and that was the night. DELIGHTFUL. Also, we agreed that it was one of the best meals we've had in Germany (yummo)...and Zoe was a champ (huge sigh of relief).

We deemed the weekend a great success and had lots of fun together. It's nice to get away from everyday life and the normal distractions and have undivided "us" time ... we needed that. I'm including some pictures from our weekend away (aka birthday celebration weekend extravaganza) at the end of this post.

Another trip highlight: we stopped in Nuremberg on the way home for a special treat. A Dunkin Donuts store opened up there in February. Forgo the birthday cake...just get me some chocolate sprinkle-covered donuts. Amen. It's not that I ate donuts all that often in the states, but believe you me, when good-ol' American donuts are not readily available to you, they suddenly become highly desirable. And almost necessary for survival. My mouth is watering as I type this. It was a birthday miracle.

My actual birthDAY was uneventful...peaceful and quiet, just the way I like it. (Although Zoe did have her 2-month checkup which meant her first round of immunizations and I was a nervous wreck all day. She was so happy and so smiley and I was DREADING seeing her in pain and worried about having a cranky, feverish little one afterwards. But she did great. Minimal crying. So far, no major issues. She's a tough one, our Zoe.)

Z came home early with flowers and made a yummy dinner for us. I ate savored my last donut (sigh). It was a day full of love and celebration and normalcy... and at one point, as I held a super-smiley little Zoe in my arms, I got a smidge teary thinking about my first birthday as a mom and I squeezed that little one extra tight and thought, "this is really the best birthday ever".

Our little traveler

View from our hotel

Family shot

Breakfast with this guy

The brewery bar

View from our balcony


Strolling past our hotel

The top balcony was ours

Zoe adores her daddy

And I adore this face

Schloss Linderhof

Restaurant to 5:30pm

My birthday date

Ettal Abbey...Established 1330. The monks run their own brewery.

Happy traveler

Me and my girl

I can hardly stand this. Cute little bunny.


My favorite birthday message

This little face...I laugh every time I see this picture.

I love when her eyes smile.


I got lots of fun Zoe-faces for my birthday. It was the greatest.


  1. You guys are such a cute family, and I love reading your posts, so freely and truly written :) love you! Happy birthday again

  2. Katie! I love reading your blog! Makes me laugh and miss you soooo much! I love the mesage your parents wrote you. Made me cry. Missing you all and wish I could hold miss zoe!

  3. You were an adorable kindergarten student 23 years ago. What a joy it has been to watch you grow!