Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I’m getting old.

It’s one celebration after another this month, as we observed Lauris’s 18 month birthday and then Latvia’s independence day. I've neglected to mention the first of the bunch, this was my 30th birthday. Sandwiched between our Normandy trip and the Halloween party, I didn’t have the energy (nor the will) to organize anything, and so all the planning was left to Roberts. 

My expectation was flowers and dinner, and Roberts didn’t disappoint. The day before the dreaded 30 I came home to find vases of flowers scattered through the house. And then although the day itself was spent preparing for the Halloween party and cleaning house, in the evening a sitter arrived to take care of Lauris while we went out to dinner.

My quest for the best truffade in Clermont-Ferrand continued with a meal at La Caveau, which has been recommended to me by several friends especially for this Auvergne dish. The atmosphere (which was exactly what the name promised) was excellent, the room we were seated in held only four tables and all the cooking was done right there on the spot. We ordered chicken and beef (served with a blue cheese sauce), and both were equally delicious, but the champion was the truffade, which definitely ranks among my favorites here in Clermont.

Spoiled rotten!

The biggest surprise of my birthday came in the form of various packages that started arriving in the mail even a few days before, and continued turning up for a whole week. I first opened my present from my husband, in fact I should say presents, 30 individually wrapped gifts he and Lauris had been drawing, gathering and wrapping for who knows how long. I thought it was very cute, how he was sticking to the theme of thirty, and should have known it was no coincidence when I opened the present from my godmother, 30 of her favorite poems on colored sheets of paper. Then, the list of 30 things from my aunt and her family, the artwork of thirty leaves from my godson and family (along with a list of 30 breads to make and 30 Latvian centers in North America), another list of 30 from my grandmother along with a selection of 30 tea sachets, and a 30 song CD compilation from my cousin in Montreal. My sister and her husband continued the leaf theme with a 30 page book with pressed leaves they had gathered in Brooklyn (and 30 Reese’s!) The kicker, thirty individually wrapped presents from my parents and siblings in Chicago containing among other things; the traditional Latvian birthday cake (kliņģeris), chocolate, a framed piece of art of 30 leaves personally gathered, scanned and arranged, a few perfectly sized maternity shirts and a ton of other stuff! It was only a week later that I learned my sweet husband had come up with the idea and coordinated these mailings; thanks to him and all the participants for the best birthday, ever.

So I’m a year older, a year wiser. It isn’t as traumatic as I expected it to feel, to know that I’ve lived three decades; this is partly due to the adventure of everyday life here in France, but most of the credit belongs to my loving husband and son, who continue to make each and every day a new adventure.


  1. Happy Belated Birthday! I think the 30 theme is just too sweet!

  2. Awesome!!!! And only gets better. :)

  3. I have found that although I have more aches and pains, creaks and pops in my joints, and I'm way more tired (I never feel like I can get enough sleep and I'm blaming every bit of that on my children), my 30's have been utterly fabulous!!! It's hard to believe in about 5 months I'll be 37. Where did the time go? I have no regrets about leaving my 20's behind and entering my 30's. I feel more like an adult and I feel like my life has been more fulfilling in my 30's.

    That is so sweet that Roberts and Lauris got you 30 presents and that so many other family members went with the theme. From my parents upon my 30th I received an absolutely gorgeous emerald and diamond pendant and from Lane and Eriks a beautiful piece of jewelry from Tiffany's. I'm looking forward to 40 and already planning what I want to do. Right now it involves friends and family and a tropical island somewhere in the Caribbean. Glad you had a wonderful birthday!


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