Hubby is a very goal-oriented person. I admire him so much for all he gets accomplished and for achieving goals that most people would consider unobtainable. While I am not yet so skilled at goal setting and achieving, his example has definitely rubbed off on me. As today is my 31st birthday, I decided it is time to set some new goals for the second year of my thirties. I put them here for accountability sake and because many of them contribute to the goal of this blog – being Global from Home.
My Thirty-One List (in no particular order)
- Be thankful daily for all the dear family and friends who bless my life.
- Read 31 internationally themed books.
- Attempt to make scones from scratch rather than buy them from Whole Foods.
- Print and frame our travel photos for our new house.
- Plan our next trip. Mexico went so well, I think we need a repeat.
- Post a minimum of 4 times a week on Global from Home.
- Reconnect with friends that I’ve met along my travels.
- Begin renovating our 1934 house one room at a time.
- Read the Bible from front to back.
- Create my own visitors guide for Oklahoma City for all our upcoming house guests.
- Drink more water and less coffee.
- Host an international meal to raise funds for Spero Project.
- Call my big brother more regularly.
- Craft with the women from the local refugee community.
- Watch one foreign film a month.
- Start writing a book. It may never be finished but I want to start it.
- Apply and hopefully get into a PhD program with a focus on international education.
- Practice my Italian more often.
- Try 31 new international recipes.
- Learn to use Photoshop.
- Be a kinder and more considerate spouse to my wonderful Hubby.
- Join the YMCA and start Zumba.
- Dine at 31 new restaurants (as many international ones as possible).
- Run a 5K (maybe 10) for a cause that means something to me.
- Help start a study abroad returnee conference in Oklahoma.
- Learn more about my German heritage and traditions.
- Attend as many cultural festivals I can find in OKC.
- Invite the international students from my university over for dinner.
- Attempt to eat broccoli and like it.
- Find 50+ new blogs for my Abroad Blog of the Week series.
- Honor God with my time, talents, and treasure.
Whew! That’s a lot of goals. Fortunately I can start working on number 19 tonight. Hubby is taking me to Japanese steakhouse to celebrate.
This weekend my adorable niece turns two-years-old. Needing some creative stimulants to help select her birthday gift, I decided to research birthday traditions around the globe for some inspiration. The trouble was that I found plenty of traditions but very few images. And since I’m a visual person, I thought it might be nice see the traditions in addition to just reading abut them. Some of these were not easy to find, but here are 11 different global birthday traditions to try out:
Earlobe Tugs. Children receive a pull on their earlobe for each year.
Noodles for Lunch. Friends and relatives are invited to lunch; noodles are served to wish the child a long life. In addition, the child receives money from both parents.
Flying Flags. A flag is flown outside a window to designate that someone inside is enjoying a birthday. Presents are placed around children’s beds while sleeping.
Pink Dresses. When a girl turns 15, there’s a great celebration. She puts on a pink dress and her first pair of high heels and dances the waltz with her father. Fourteen girls and fourteen boys pair up and dance the waltz alongside them.
Fortune Telling Cakes. Certain symbolic objects are mixed into the birthday cake as it’s being prepared. If you uncover a coin in your cake, it’s foretelling of future riches.
Fortune Telling Cake Charms courtesy of Woof Nanny
Crown Years. Even (2, 4, 6, etc.) birthday years are called “crown years.” The child receives an especially large gift on the special crown year birthdays. In addition, the family decorates the child’s chair with flowers.
Birthday Bumps. The birthday child is lifted upside down and “bumped” on the floor for good luck. The child receives a bump for every year—and one extra for good luck.
Chair Raising. The child sits in a chair while the family raises and lowers it, corresponding to the child’s age, with one extra for good luck.
Pinatas and Mass. A pinata is filled with goodies and hung from the ceiling. While blindfolded, children take turns hitting it until it’s cracked open. Also, when a girl turns 15 in Mexico, a special mass is held to honor her.
Cakes and Noodles. Birthday cakes are baked in various shapes and sizes. The celebration includes noodles — representing a long life — balloon decorations, and pinatas.
Birthday Pies. Instead of a birthday cake, the child receives a birthday pie with a birthday greeting carved into the crust.
What other birthday traditions did I miss?
This post is adapted from FTD’s website.