"Happy Amazing Birthday"

It’s Monday and the weekend is drawing to a close. My parents have left, class has just finished, there are assignments staring at me with eyes full of judgement. I feel sad to see the end of this time but generally happy that it has been so beautiful.
My parents arrived on Thursday which, quite frankly, was the best birthday gift anyone could have given me. Thursday evening was spent unpacking goodies (clean clothes and cheddar cheese, thank you very much!), eating dinner and generally messing around. It was a normal evening. You cannot guess how good it felt to have a ‘normal evening’ once again.
Did I ever tell you that my mother hates loud noises?
Friday was my birthday and, after finishing a few essays for a rather tight deadline (I’m sure I fluffed them in my hurry but oh well!), it was time for my parents to return and to celebrate properly. Leonoor and Dania also turned up, bearing pie and candles, bless them! To have the pair of them turn up with edible stuff and twenty candles – they wouldn’t settle for any less – was just really special. It’s those thoughtful moments that mean the world.
Lighting twenty candles is quite some feat!
Over the afternoon/early evening we were joined by Robbert, who sang a birthday song which was a really special moment, and Thijs, who made me some really sweet ‘vouchers’ which are going straight into my scrapbook. It was just such a beautiful evening of memories. 
Somehow, all my friends appeared to manage to cope with my dad which is quite impressive considering he tends to terrify people I know… he was on his best behaviour though, I guess! 
Woollen gifts, instantly enjoyed.
Most of the weekend was spent lurking with my parents and, while it was so special for me it’s not the most interesting reading for you lot (we went to the supermarket twice – it was really fun and that’s not even sarcasm). However, there’s one other moment that has to be mentioned and that’s when Sonja, who had been ill between her own birthday earlier in the week and mine, bless her, came round. She wanted to come round to bring me a poster, which is up already, but the fact she didn’t want to wait until class, wrote such a nice message on the poster, and came bearing hugs was just so lovely. Every day at AUC I am reminded how lucky I am that I have such wonderful people around me.
This is without mentioning the messages people sent. Hopefully I’ve replied to everyone individually now but as I only had mobile internet I may have missed you… if so sorry. Every single message was special to me from the simple “Happy Birthday” to videos of orchestras playing Happy Birthday in different styles to messages in multiple languages. Thank you every one of you. Thank you for making this weekend so awesome.
There’s always one candle…
(P.S. Just for University-Aleksandra  who just gave me a card: Yes, I will continue to write and you are more than welcome to stalk me. Also, drawings of me on flying carpets made of books = awesome. Thank you!)
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