This is 36

So this is me now. This is 36.

Once again, I was spoiled in celebration of my birth, although everything was much more subdued compared to last year’s “Best Weekend Ever.”

When I woke up, the kids brought me breakfast in bed. Miss C and our nanny Wynter lovingly prepared a diabetic-friendly breakfast tray of eggs and toast, beautifully granished with flowers from our garden. There was a birthday card, too, full of messages from everyone in our house.

Then Wynter took them to the zoo (by train, brave girl) so I could spend a few hours at the spa, treated to a scrub, soak, and full-body massage. For a short while, I felt more like myself, and less like a bloated rhino, especially when they insisted I soak in a bath with rose petals.

And then, after my spa visit, I met up with Martin upon his return from his three-day business trip. He took me to the television tower to watch the sunset over Stuttgart. We first ate dinner at the restaurant at the base of the tower, then took the elevator to the cafe up on top for coffee (for me) and apple strudel (for him).

From that view, we could see our village, my work, the city, the Fest, the hospital where FestBaby will be born … our whole life from up here. The lights from Frühlingsfest were right over his shoulder, and really lit up the horizon. It all reminded me of a train set from way up there.

Throughout the day, my heart got stretched a bit, too, from all the sweet messages and best wishes that poured in from around the world on social media. I received messages from every corner of the globe. I’m grateful for the connections and memories!

I remember what I wrote when I turned 30: I was pregnant with Jaz at the time, and working as a contractor for the Department of Defense. Life was busy, but relatively comfortable, and I felt like things were settling down. I was very optimistic about my 30s. Now that I’m more than halfway done with this decade, some predictions I made six years ago:

“I intend to get more professional massages. If Martin hasn’t learned by now that a request for a shoulder rub requires more than three minutes of some tight shoulder squeezes, he won’t ever learn.” – CHECK

“I’ll finally get that darn bachelors degree and not let all those credits just sit there.” – ALMOST DONE, ONE MORE SEMESTER

“I want to get off the continent again within a year, and introduce the girls (and boy) to Europe. I want to buy property in Germany by the time I’m 40.” – CHECK (I visited Europe in 2012), CHECK (to introducing Europe to the kids), and WHO KNOWS (about buying that property)

“And I want to be able to blow out my 40 candles with Martin and my kids sitting next to me, just as healthy and happy as they are now. Although, the kids’ll be teenagers (or almost teenagers) by then, so I’ll settle for just healthy at that point if they aren’t happy to hang with Mom. But you know, I can wish.” – LOOKING FORWARD TO IT