Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Happy Birthday

I love birthdays!  I loved planning the boys parties when they were little and preparing their favorite meal for dinner the night of their special day.  It's one of my favorite things about being a mom.  Birthday cakes are a big part of the day.  Some years the boys wanted a special cake from the store, but more often than not they wanted me to make it.  I  remember one year Tucker wanted the Bat signal on his cake....well there were several years that he had a Batman theme, but his year he just wanted the Bat signal in the middle of the cake, BIG! So the night before the party I baked the cake, frosted the cake and with icing drew the perfect Bat signal in the middle and carefully filled it in with bright yellow frosting.  It looked awesome!  I was excited to show him the next morning.  When he woke up he said mom I think I changed my mind about how I want my cake....ok....I want the Robin logo instead. He didn't know I had already done the cake, he wasn't trying to be difficult.  He was 5 or 6 years old....and I wanted it to be the best birthday ever, until next year.  SO I scrapped the icing off the cake and refrosted and decorated his cake an hour before the party. I didn't have to, I wanted to because I love him and I wanted him to know that he was special and this day was about him.

From a completely selfish standpoint I was nervous about celebrating my birthday in Taiwan. I don't just love other people's birthdays, I love celebrating mine as well. In the States it's pretty easy for John to pull of a celebration for me.  I like a few restaurants really well.  I don't like to have a big crowd, just family that might be close by or maybe a few friends.  I am for the most part pretty easy to please.  It was a really busy week for John.  The weekend before my birthday he gave me my gift.  I had been wanting a set of bowls and Chinese soup spoons that match our dishes.  I love them!  it was the perfect gift for me.

In preparation for the big day I had been clear with John that I just wanted a plain white cake for my birthday, no fruit filling.  Fruit filling is a big deal here!  Now I want to preface this next paragraph by saying I really am easy to please and I think most people would consider me a pleaser rather than a complainer.  SO, the morning of my birthday John had to go to some meetings but we decided to get up and have birthday cake for breakfast.  The night before he had gotten home late and had brought in a pretty white box all tied up with a pink ribbon....I couldn't wait to see the cake inside.  When opened the box there was a plain white cake inside.  I mean a PLAIN white cake.  I tried to not be disappointed.  But it was all over my face and I hate that.  The cake was delicious and it was exactly what I asked for.  In hindsight I wish I could go back to that moment and change my reaction.  What my reaction should have been then, and what I feel about it now, is that this man will do anything I ask.  His one objective is to make me happy.  He scoffed at the girls in the office when they joked at him about ordering a plain white cake.  "It's what she wants."  And like I was with Tucker that birthday so many years ago, he was about making this day special for me.  I will always remember my white cake in Taiwan and how much love it represents.

We had tickets for an amazing show called Shen Yun.  It is a dance troupe that performs small stories representing the history of China.  Evidently it is very political and portrays the religious struggle of those in mainland China throughout history.  The guy in charge of the company is apparently on China's most wanted list. We just enjoyed the show, no political agenda for us.  The costumes were beautiful and bright and the music was lovely.  I would recommend anyone seeing it if it comes to a city near you.  They tour all over the world. We did get all dressed up for the occasion which was fun!

 After the show we went home and changed our clothes and met up with a few of John's colleagues.  His Boss and another board member as well as a couple of guys still in town from the U.S.  We had dinner at a great restaurant right in our neighborhood.  We had Hot Pot, which is sort of like Chinese fondue.  They have hot broth, one side spicy and one side not, that you drop meat and veggies into to cook. It was SO good!! We had beef and pork as well as scallops and shrimp.  I am pretty reserved about what will even try so when they put something in the broth that looked a little like solid pudding,  I was curious.  I asked what it was and was told duck's blood.  I had had just enough to drink that i thought this sounded good....much to everyone's  surprise, including mine, I liked it!  It wasn't chewy which is generally my hangup with this type of thing.  It wasn't tough, it didn't squirt anything out when i bit into it.  It was actually really good and had soaked up the flavors of the broth. It was so good I had a second piece! If you come visit us you can be certain we will take you here, and if you want you can try some duck blood, you might be surprised and decide you like it too!

After dinner with our bellies full we visited a local KTV.  I've mentioned before how very popular Karaoke is here.  It's huge, KTV's all over the city.  If you know me well you know I do not perform in front of other's and I don't normally get into this kind of thing, but we had a great time!  I enjoyed other people singing and we all laughed a lot AND John's boss surprised me with another birthday cake!  It was an awesome day! Cake to start the day and end the day and LOTS of love to fill the middle.  I am a lucky girl to have a husband who loves me and wants to make my EVERY day special.

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  1. What a fab birthday! I'm glad I found your blog as I love reading about bloggers who live abroad! #sharewithme

  2. Ahhh what a beautiful birthday. Happy belated bday. I had to chuckled about the cake. I love white cake but plain on the outside is just funny because it was what you asked so literally and men are literal in things. :) Bless him. Great post. Glad you had a great time. Thank you so much for linking up to Share With Me. #sharewithme