Happy Birthday to Me and Two Peas in a Pod!

I am not going to lie, I was a nervous wreck before picking up our exchange student!  Would she like us?  Would she feel comfortable?  Is this the longest period of time being away from her parents?

My anxious feelings were quickly washed away when I saw her walk through the airport doors, she spotted Hannah and gave her a hug!  They have been corresponding by email for over three months, so they have gotten to know each other somewhat.

Each student, both German and American, had to fill out a questionnaire so they could match up like students.  Um, pretty sure I got a German version of Hannah!  After sending an email to her Mom letting her know that she was safe and sound, her first order of business was unpacking!  Hannah gave her 2 drawers in her dresser and half of her closet space and one shelf on her vanity.

I believe she was unpacked and everything was in order within 30 minutes! 😀  Tony and I both remarked that had it been us in the same situation, we both would have just lived out of our suitcase!

This was the first time that I’ve gone to the International terminal at O’Hare – it was very confusing getting there!  Short term parking is no where near the International terminal – you have to take a train to get there!

Hannah waiting for the train to the terminal 😀 I love that dress - its from Target!

We literally had about 5 minutes to spare before they came through the customs doors!   First picture of Hannah and Maxi!

After she finished unpacking – she gave us presents!

a bath kit on the left and then German chocolates, gummies and wafer cookies 😀

In the course of their conversations over the past few months – they discovered their love of coffee!  Maxi brought Hannah a travel mug from a German starbucks!

I wasn’t sure what to make for her first meal, but in the car ride home I discovered she likes seafood and pasta, so I grilled shrimp and made pasta – only one snafu – while making the sauce, I thought I poured in garlic powder, but it was french fry seasoning!  I took one bite and it was so salty, so the girls made a grocery store run to get me tomato sauce to fix it 😀

it started out good! Canned diced tomatoes, fresh basil and lots of garlic!

I just marinated the shrimp in olive oil, garlic and Italian seasoning for about an hour

I grilled garlic bread - loved it!

Our goal was to keep her up until 8:00 p.m.   She had to get up early to go to school with Hannah this morning.  After dinner, she took a long shower and at 7:45 was ready to call it a night.  At one point at the end of the dinner she started speaking French!    Hannah later told me she said in German in the kitchen “there are so many languages going through my head!”

Coffee in hand, they both made it out on time this morning!

Okay, now for the giveaway!  What’s  a birthday without presents! 😀

First up:  Italian salt holder – I love having salt at the ready next to the stove!

And who doesn’t love anything LeCreuset! Silicone prep bowls!

All you need to do to enter is leave a comment telling me about a memorable birthday – it can be about your 6th birthday or a surprise 30th birthday!  Enter until Sunday night and I’ll pick a winner by random integer on Monday morning.  Oh, you can see my birthday recap last year with pics for any new readers!

Happy Birthday to my twin sister Jennifer! 😀

Happy Friday! 😀


63 thoughts on “Happy Birthday to Me and Two Peas in a Pod!

  1. As you might expect with someone who has a St. Patty’s day birthday, I’ve had a few memorable birthdays (and hangovers) over the years, but I think my 22nd birthday might be the most memorable. It was my first birthday with Noel, and one of his friends was having a pig roast and party at a parking lot down by Baltimore’s harbor. We went to the roast, I had waaaay too many beverages, and then the next morning it was a serious challenge to drag myself to work! It didn’t help any that I was working for the Maryland State Legislature at the time, so I had to be alert and perky all through a committee hearing.

  2. I posted then realized I forgot to say–happy birthday to you!

  3. Happy Birthday Biz and Jennifer! 🙂 A memorable birthday for me was my 16th. My mom had made a big deal to me for weeks ahead of time that she’d gotten me 16 presents. She was very proud of herself, it became the family joke when I realized she had wrapped anything with two pieces seperately so she would add up to 16. I had shoes wrapped seperately, hair clips wrapped seperately. It was pretty hilarious and I will always remember that she did that:)

  4. Happy, happy Birthday!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    My favorite birthday was my first birthday after the teenager was born. His birthday is exactly one month before mine, and my birthday that year was perfect! 🙂

  5. Happy Birthday, Biz!!!

    I loved my 23rd birthday, Johnny took me to a B&B at Starved Rock State Park in Utica and we hiked through the beautiful foliage (October) both days!

  6. Happy Birthday to you and your twin…double the fun! My memorable not so good birthday was my 22nd because my hubby forgot it and I was TICKED cuz you know back then it was all about me! But probably my most fun was my 40th because my girlfriends threw a party for me and it was actually the only b-day party I ever had in my entire life!

  7. Happy Birthday Biz!!!!

    Love you!

  8. Happy Birthday to you and your twin sis! You are SO lucky to have a twin!
    Love that dress on Hannah, and how cute are those two girls together!
    One of my most memorable birthdays is actually the first one I can really remember. I turned 5 during the Blizzard of ’66 and got a much wanted EZ Bake Oven! Unfortunately we didn’t have power for three whole days!!! Boo 😦

  9. Happy Birthday, Biz! (And Jennifer!) 🙂

    I LOVE Hannah’s dress, too. I’m in need of some cute springy dresses – guess who’s hitting up Tar-jay this weekend? (Uh, oh…)

    It is my DREAM to own something – anything – that is LeCreuset!

    Hmmm….most memorable birthday? That is hard – my memory is HORRIBLE. 🙂 This might be cheating, but I’m turning 30 in June and going to Las Vegas for the first time. So I HOPE that will be my most memorable so far! (Umm…if I can remember it?!)

  10. Happy Birthday!
    Hmmm birthday memory- major snowstorm on my 21st birthday and all the bars were closed- so sad 😦

  11. Happy Birthday to my sweet friend Biz!!! Hope you are having a wonderful day!!!

    The girls are so cute – and if Hannah got her shoes at Target, I have the same pair, lol! Hope Max is adjusting well to America.

    My most memorable birthday was probably my 30th, because my husband did NOTHING for me (after I threw him a huge party for his 6 years earlier!). He ended up making it up to me with some pretty nice gifts a few days later, after he’d figured out why I wasn’t talking to him, lol!

  12. Happy Birthday, ladies!

    My most memorable birthday was my 21st but for the opposite reasons you would think of. My friends and I went to a steakhouse for dinner and I ordered a beer. Did they card me? No. I was so disappointed! After dinner we ended up at a bar/club that had an 80’s cover band playing. I had so much fun dancing and hanging out that I forgot that I was 21 and could drink! I was one extremely sober newly minted 21 year old!

  13. Happy Birthday to you (and Jennifer)!

    My most memorable was my 40th. I hate surprises but my SIL and bf planned a surprise party for me and my bf did something so out of character – he bought me a beautiful diamond ring. He doesn’t really get the whole jewelry thing. He’d rather buy me a pair of skis or something “useful.” At the time we had been together 25 years so I got a ring with 5 diamonds for every 5 years. It was so sweet.

  14. My sixteenth BD was a blast! Happy BD to you, have fun!

  15. Happy birthday to you and Jennifer!

    Is it too cheesy to say that all my birthdays are memorable for me? My family didn’t celebrate birthdays growing up so I always make sure to cherish every single one of my birthdays now.

  16. happy birthday to you and your sis!!! i just love birthdays so all of them feel pretty memorable to me, but one i will always remember is my sweet 16! i had a big party at a restaurant with a friend, our theme was “it was written in the stars…” and we had a fortune teller, tiny silver stars hanging from every inch of the ceiling, and the most beautiful centerpiece. of course, we all spent ages doing every little thing by hand and it turned out fabulous!

    i am so excited to read all about your exchange student adventures! the pic of the two girls is so sweet 🙂

  17. Happy birthday to you and your twin!! 😀

    How exciting having an exchange student, I’m sure you’ll learn so much from her, and her from you.

    My most memorable birthday was my 7th. My nanny’s birthday was the day before mine, and when they had her surprise 80th birthday party, it was also a party for me. It was a great time. I wish we had more pictures!! 😦 1986 was a long way from digital cameras.


  18. Happy Birthday Ladies!

    My most memorable birthday was camping in the Santa Cruuz Mountains with my friends. They made my fave dinner (shishkabobs) and we listened to music and sang and had a world of fun!

    Thanks for the opportunity!

  19. My best birthday was last year. My brother and I saw Marilyn Manson. We were THE most plain jane people there, but had the most fun ever! Happy Bday to you and your sister.

  20. Aw, she seems really great! So glad the meeting went smoothly and I hope you guys have a ton of fun together!

    I think my favorite birthday was my 21st. It was the only night of my life that I’ve been certifiably drunk thanks to karaoke and 75cent tequila shots. Although the late night Denny’s puke wasn’t a highlight, it was still the funnest birthday ever!

    Happy Birthday, friend!

  21. Happy Birthday, Biz! I hope that you had a great day! 🙂

  22. happy happy birthday! how fun to take in an exchange student and what great gifts! a wonderful weekend to you and your family!

  23. I always remember your birthday because it is on the same day as my cousins who are also twins!

    That is so great of you guys to open your home up to an exchange student!

    Happy Birthday chica!! have a fabulous day =)

    My most memorable birthday would have to be my 21st birthday when I had a huge party at this lounge! I even danced in a cage hahaha

  24. I’ve been so fortunate to have so many wonderful birthdays, but the one that is the most memorable was my 20th birthday. My husband asked me to marry him and gave me the most beautiful opal ring I had ever seen.

    He came over in the morning with a coffee and muffin for me and the ring was in the muffin bag. I was a bit pouty because I could see he didn’t have a present with him and I was big on birthday presents back then – and even after I took out the muffin he had to tell me to look in the bag again!

  25. Happy Birthday to you
    Happy Birthday to you
    Happy Birthday to YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU

    Have a wonderful day 🙂

  26. Happy Bday! On a completely different note, Hannah= total fashionista! I LOVE her outfit in that pic!

  27. I bet you think I am going to talk about my Fabulous Suprise 50th that I just had – but no. In honor of Hannah and Maxi: when I turned 17 my best friend (who as an only child) got her parents to surprise me by taking me to a Dinner Theater. We had a lovely dinner and watched the Sound of Music. What really made it special though is that everything on the table that was paper – the napkins, the matchbooks, even the program said, “Happy Birthday Helen!” I still have those things stuck in a scrapbook.

  28. That is so cool to have an exchange student and it seems they will be getting along well. It was a great experience when I did it so I know it will be for Hannah too.

    My most memorable birthday was the first one I spent with Ryan before we married and he took me away for a long weekend to Santa Monica and we went to Malibu for a nice brunch. I am sure there are others, but this was a great getaway and our first trip together.

  29. Happy Birthday!!! That is so exciting that you finally got your exchange student, I’m excited to see what stories you have!

    I think my most memorable birthday was my 23rd, a big group of friends went out to Bucca De Buepo and we happened to be sitting at the Pope table, complete with a giant bust of John Paul II on a turntable. Everytime someone said something inappropriate, the pope would look at them. I still laugh everytime we talk about that night !

  30. Happy Birthday Biz- und guten Tag Maxi, willkommen in Amerika. This is such an exciting time, the girls seem to be fast friends. Have a great Birthday Biz and a fun weekend too!!

  31. How very exciting…

    My memorable birthday would be my 40th. My wife through a surprise party… 40 friends (many from out of state) came… amazed she could pull it off so well.

    Every one should get one of those once in their life

  32. Happy birthday and best wishes to you! My most memorable birthday is my 30th celebration at the 5 star chef’s table dinner!

  33. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!! and what fun to have an exchange student 🙂 i never knew enough french to do that ! haha. i regret it now… anyways, memorable bday, eh? i’ve had some good ones, but the one that I’ll always remember is my 21st, I was in nyc that summer… i do remember passing out on the subway 😉

  34. Awww – they look sooooo Happy! My parents had several exchange students growing up with the longest being from Brazil – she was with us for a year. It’s SO FUN!!! I can’t wait to read about your adventures showing her around town and all.

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you and your Twin Sis!!!

    My most memorable birthday was when The Husband went all out. He doesn’t really cook, in fact, he has only cooked I think maybe 3 times in our 7 years together. He actually baked me a cake for my 33rd birthday without me knowing and I heard from both his mom and my mom about all his calls on how to make it…if its supposed to puff up, how to frost, etc. I had NO CLUE he was making a cake nor did I have a CLUE that he was suprrising my by taking me to a restaraunt and my entire family was there. He rocks!!! 🙂

  35. Happy Birthday to you and your sister!! 🙂

    I love the pic of Hannah and Maxi!! 🙂 They’re both such pretty girls!! It sounds like yall are really being quite hospitable. I know she’s not going to want to leave!! I know I wouldn’t if I ate your meals everyday!!!!! 😉

    My most memorable birthday would have to be this past one when I turned 26. Andrew said he was taking me out for a fancy dinner. We almost got to the highway when he said, “Oh shit! I forgot my insulin!!” So we turn around and when we walked in the door of our house, I heard “suprise!!!!” He had planned a suprise party and our friends were there waiting!! He’d gotten stuff to grill and had a cake and everything hidden!! 🙂 It was awesome!! 🙂 So sweet and it was my first suprise party!! 🙂

  36. Oops, I do know how to spell, meant suRprise! 😉

  37. So my most memorable birthday memory is kind of nutty and requires a bit of a backstory.

    My family has a friend, who is really just a part of the family. He isn’t married and doesn’t really speak to his family anymore so he has just always been there. I’ve known him all of my life.

    Oh, something to mention- he is extremely wealthy.

    When I was very young I remember him giving me a deal that If i didn’t get my ears pierced by the time I was 16 he would buy me whatever kind of car that I wanted. Even at that young age- I was in it to WIN it. (my sisters had both gotten the same deal- but had both gotten their ears pierced)

    So, morning of my 16th birthday I run to my bedroom window- no car. I come home from school hoping its there- no car. True to our friend, he loves numbers… so don’t I know on October 16th (16th birthday) there is a brand new mini cooper s in the driveway!! I screamed! ran out (I think I may have been in my underwear)… and couldn’t drive it because I didn’t know how to drive a manual or my license. lol. THAT was patience. 🙂

  38. my favorite birthday was when i turned 22!! I had a huge surprise birthday party that my bf threw me and he even baked a chocolate cake. OH, and he got me Tiffany bracelet…which was reaaaally cute. 😛

    I’m sure Maxi will turn out to be a fabulous exchange student!!

  39. Happy Happy Birthday!!!!!!!! Hope you enjoy every minute. Your exchange student is adorable. I bet she was SUPER excited that you’re her host mom after that first meal (YUM!) My most memorable birthday was my 16th! My mom & dad got my friends and I a limo. We went out to eat and shop in Boston- totally fabulous. I felt like a star 😉

  40. I really remember my 24th birthday! My best friends snuck me away to my old college town for a weekend 🙂

  41. Happy Birthday and how exciting to have Maxi there! Birthdays…my husband took me and some friends to the French Laundry, I think it was my 35th.

  42. Happy birthday to you, Biz, and to your twin, Jennifer! (Need to dash over to her blog and wish her happy birthday!) 🙂

    Oh, my…so many good birthdays! I think one of my best was #21, my college roommate and two of my best friends threw a little surprise party for me after class on the eve of my 21st…it was the auto maintenance class, and we’d done oil changes that evening. 😛 But they let me get in a shower before dragging me out for dinner and drinks at midnight (strawberry margarita!). I have to share a story from my daughter’s 4th birthday, though, because it’s much cuter. We had gone out to eat, and we ordered a piece of chocolate cake with a candle for us all to share. After the waiter brought it and helped sing, she sighed, “That man is *fantastic*!” as he walked away.

  43. Oh, and I almost forgot: Welcome to Maxi! (I’m a little jealous, she gets to hang out with you all and enjoy your yummy cooking!)

  44. Happy Birthday! I loved reading the play-by-play about picking up your exchange student. I’m sure she will have a blast. If anything, she will eat really well…minus the french fry seasoning. 🙂

    My most favorite birthday memory was actually this year. Brent through me a surprise dinner with all of my friends. He’s so used to me being late to functions that he told everyone to arrive 15 minutes later than me. I actually finished work early and arrived on time. So the surprise was on them. 🙂 It turned out to be a great evening.

  45. I guess this past years birthday was the most memorable I can think of right now. Since my birthday is the 23rd of Dec it’s usually always celebrated Christmas Day or Eve which means it’s never been anything too special. Well this year my parents got us all for dinner at their place a couple weeks before Xmas to see my new niece who was born on Nov.28.
    Well turns out that was just an excuse to get me and my 2 nephews out there for a surprise BDAY celebration(their bdays are within a month either side of me). Anyways rambling over it was the first surprise birthday party I ever remember having…..was nice after 38years 🙂

  46. Happy Birthday!!!!!!!!!!!


    Memorable birthday for me: My first birthday in the United States…was horrible, because I had just moved from Singapore, and was lonely and rather depressed because I felt like I couldn’t connect with all the cool kids in school. Haha, not all of them were cool, but every American seemed so big and sophisticated to me!
    But then, by the next year, I’d already made a bunch of really good friends…and they “surprised” me with a birthday party! It wasn’t really a surprised because I figured it out before though, heh heh. My friends aren’t exactly subtle, you know? 😉

  48. Fattie Fatterton

    Happy Birthday lady!! 😀

    Let’s see – I have a ton of memorable birthdays, thanks to many parties thrown for me by friends. Probably one of the most memorable, though, was my 16th birthday. I went to take my driver’s license test and I failed the parallel parking/maneuverability part as I was using my mom’s 1977 Pontiac Bonneville, which was the size of a cruise ship.

    Anyway, I was so upset that I walked home, with my mom driving beside me. Lol.

  49. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! And…I had no idea you were a twin!! Maybe I did, but I forgot?? Who knows, but that’s pretty cool.

    And I had no idea you were getting an exchange student. Wow, what an awesome experience. My mom always wanted to do that when I was young, but we never did. I really wanted to. I hope all goes well! I’m sure it will, I mean heck, she already showed up with COOL gifts!!

    HAve a great weekend 🙂

  50. i had the day from h#ll yesterday, so i’m sorry i didn’t get to wish you a happy birthday on your actual day. i hope it was a great one and continues into this weekend (as it should!)
    i’m sure you are so relieved that the start of the exchange student program is working out so well. you are wonderful people for taking her in and i’m sure ALL of you will learn from one another.
    have a great weekend!

  51. Happy birthday!

    Your new addition to the household looks lovely! I can’t wait to hear more!

  52. My 30th birthday is memorable…I was fine with turning 30, until the actual day itself, when I totally freaked out. I was so depressed about losing my youth, and my husband was out-of-state for military training, and it was a Tuesday evening, so I was all alone with nothing to do. So I went to a local tattoo parlor and got my belly button pierced. 😉

  53. Jenn Eats Nutritiously Now

    When I think of my childhood birthdays, I always remember the one with the magician. It was just so much fun. I think I must have been 3 or 4, because it was at our first house.

    Hope your family has fun hosting Maxi. It seems like it would be so neat!

  54. Happy Birthday pretty lady – I hope you have a wonderful day! 🙂

  55. fitandfortysomething

    how very exciting….happy bday and happy exchange student!
    my most memorable was this last year turning 40!
    happy pisces to you to!

  56. my most memorable birthday was two years ago – i was in vietnam !!!

  57. I’m a day late, but happy birthday!!

  58. Happy belated birthday!!!

    I think it’s SO cool you’re hosting an exchange student! What a wonderful experience for both families!

    Awesome giveaway too – my most memorable bday was the one when I got to have my very first sleepover – I was excited for months!

  59. Happy Birthday and sorry I’m late!

    The weather on Saturday was just horrible but it’s supposed to warm up this week! Hope so because our furnace is not working!

  60. happy birthday!

    one of my favorite birthday memories was my first co-ed party sometime in early middle school. I had invited a boy I had a crush on and I’m pretty sure he didn’t care who I even was!

  61. Happy belated birthday Biz!

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