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Happy Birthday to me

December 5, 2011

Another year has passed and it was time to celebrate another birthday. Although this was not a milestone birthday (unlike last year), I celebrated it in style this time (though not without a mishap).

Look at the feast we had!

On Friday night I was eagerly awaiting my friend’s arrival. She was schlepping all the way across the oblast to spend my birthday with me. From the nearest city, it takes her five to six hours to get to Kirovograd on a bus (that is longer than it takes me to get to Kiev from Kgrad). However, her trip was not uneventful. As happens in Ukraine, her bus broke down and they were told another one would be there in an hour. Three hours later her bus came and she arrived later than we had anticipated…but she arrived!

Saturday Helen and I helped to entertain the kids at my university’s “Olympiad” for a while, and then joined Meeghan at Sasha and Alyona’s school to entertain THOSE kids for a while (okay, there was some education involved as well). Then Theo at last arrived, our party was complete, we went shopping (and lost Helen for a while) for food for dinner – and can I tell you how happy my guests were to see the turkey we purchased to go into the chili? I wish I had taken a photo of Theo’s face, as she always has the best expressions. And as for Helen – well, she called and informed us of where she was. She also told us that her mom said she needs one of those kid leashes…I suggested a GPS tracker in her shoe, which was apparently also an idea her mom had…

Food coma...

Dinner! Goodness, what a dinner! How grateful am I to have such friends! Sasha and Alyona allowed four American women to come in and invade their home and kitchen, AND they gave me wine, provided dessert and salads! In addition, their apartment looks as if it is in Western Europe, it is so nice. Add to that the effort Meeghan, Theo, and Helen made to come and well, I had to try to make a good meal. Thanks to my mom we had chili (YUM) and red beans and rice. But there’s more! We made garlic bread, broccoli, and the aforementioned salads. After that, we had to take a bit of a break but then Alyona and Sasha made the FONDUE we had for dessert, but that was not enough so we also had a tiramisu cake! Oy, after all that, we went into a food coma for a while!

Unfortunately for me, two of my guests had to leave the next morning, but luckily for me, one got to stay and partake in birthday dinner number two – the one actually ON my birthday! Yep – double the celebration! I managed to work it that I got a different group of friends together (small group of Ukrainians). No big parties at a restaurant for this kid! Instead we had a nice dinner at Anna’s house, with much discussion, wine, food…What was I thinking only buying two bottles of wine for dinner last night? I know better! But our shortage was temporary and we had a great celebration on the actual day of my birth (this is always a nice thing – not being alone on your actual birth day).

Unfortunately I do not have photos from last night in hand right now, but hope to get some soon.

And my celebrating is not over yet! I walked in to work this morning and was greeted with flowers and candy from my coworkers. Soon we will have cake, fruit and yep, champagne. I will use any celebratory excuse I can to drink it 🙂 In other words, it was a great weekend and I am so grateful for my friends – those who came, and those who wished me a happy birthday though they were unable to join me in celebrating it.

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