Celebrating a Birthday Overseas

Gabriela’s 6th Birthday!!

This would be the first time that we had ever celebrated something without our family and friends. We usually spend Christmas, Thanksgiving, Halloween, Birthdays, and more together with my parents, siblings, nephews, nieces, cousins, aunts, grandparents, friends, and so on. I come from a BIG Mexican family and that is just how we do things. So the thought of celebrating Gabriela’s birthday overseas was something that really stressed me out. What would this year be like without all of our family and friends around to celebrate with us?

I have always been kind of over the top when it comes to my kids birthdays (as you can see in the above images of her 2nd & 3rd birthdays parties). I really enjoy making personalized things for my kids & husband on their special day from take-away treat bags and decorations to homemade cakes. It’s the one day of the year I can go all out just for them and I truly enjoy making and designing things so this is the perfect day to use my skills to create something magical for them. I am an architectural designer so design and creating are something I do daily for work but this is the one time of the year I can use my design skills just for them. So how would this year be different?

I knew there would not be a big party with all my family and friends and I also knew I would probably not be making anything from scratch. Not even the cake! The Airbnb we were staying at did not have an oven nor did it have any kind of baking supplies. I know it seems silly but I was really worked up about this. Was it because the crafting monster inside of me needed to be feed with glitter and glue or was it the fact that this was the first time we would be celebrating something without our families and friends nearby? I think its probably the second but I’m sure a little bit of the first as well. Would my daughter still have a great birthday? Would she be sad because her friends and family (or any other children for that matter) would not be present for her special day? All of these thoughts crossed my mind but I pushed them away and moved forward. 

First things first I needed to find a cake. We went to our local grocery stores but they did not seem to make cakes to order they did have a few you could buy off the shelf but going from a homemade from scratch birthday cake to one you get off the shelf did not sit right with me so we kept looking. If I wasn’t going to be able to bake her a cake I wanted to find someone who could. We went to several bakeries around town only to find donuts and pastries but no cakes. I finally found a lady (by looking up cakes in Auckland hag-tags on social media) who made cakes out of her home that looked amazing and according to her clients also tasted great. So I sent her a message and she gave me a good price for a homemade cake so I placed the order and gave myself a pat on the back. She showed up at our Airbnb the night before Gabriela’s birthday to hand deliver the cake. We also managed to snag some balloons, a birthday banner, and a gift at The Warehouse. 

She woke up surprised to find the small kitchen at our Airbnb decorated for her special day and we let her decide what she wanted to do for the entire day. She was so excited!!! We started the day off by eating cake for breakfast, followed by lunch and playtime at McDonald’s, a movie at our local mall (We watched Smallfoot and it was amazing if you haven’t seen it you should), and ended the day with Pizza at a local pizza shop. We also got to facetime with all our family and friends who sang her happy birthday and even though it wasn’t the same as having them near it was something and in that way they were a part of her birthday overseas as well.

So if you are celebrating something while traveling try not to stress out too much. We have since this day celebrated Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years overseas here in New Zealand and they were different in a lot of ways compared to how they where when we were in Oklahoma but in lots of ways they were the same. I am excited to share all of those stories with you all so stay posted and find out about those celebrations soon. May all your celebrations no matter where you are or what you are celebrating be just as great as our little girls 6th birthday in New Zealand. 

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