December and January are busy times around here – in addition to all the holidays, just about everyone in our immediate and extended family has a birthday. In fact, we just rounded out our holiday season here at home with the younger diplo-tot’s second birthday. We kept it small, just family and godparents but in comparison to his first birthday, it almost felt huge. In fact, at his first birthday it was just the three of us.
It wasn’t necessarily intended to be that way. But this time last year, we were deep into the Danish winter and I was still getting settled into unaccompanied tour life while preparing to go back to work after maternity leave. And we had had family and friends visit nearly ever week that winter. His birthday weekend came at the tail end of all that madness, and the weekend ended up being a comedy of errors of sorts.
The one family that was supposed to attend: they all got stomach flu. The weather: a complete sleet storm. And a party theme? Well, I never even got that far. Instead, I ended going through few of our party boxes to come up with a few odds and ends, and instead found treasure. Wrapping paper stood in for a tablecloth, paper crowns that I bought for something else stood in for hats…The decorations ended up being a collection of some lovely things Minted had sent me in the past, peppered with streamers and confetti… And our disco ball was a staple ever since the other diplo-tot’s party that year (in fact, when we moved here, we missed it so much we now have another one in DC!). I found all sorts of little paper containers for the food collected from Copenhagen shops, and a few little lion toys did double duty as cake decorations.
We found ourselves just the three of us on a very dark and stormy Sunday afternoon. The grain in all these photos makes it look like this was an evening party when in reality, these were taken at high noon. That’s how dark it would get in Denmark. But you know what? We had everything we needed. A lovely party, lovely gifts, lots of lovely phone calls and messages, our health and a warm roof over our heads. And a yellow cake with chocolate frosting and lots of sprinkles that was a hit with all three of us. We may have just had it for dinner while watching cartoons in our pajamas. In short, we had everything we needed and more, and I will always remember these as the good years.