The first ever birthday I spent with my husband was 8 years ago when I turned 18. Before meeting him, birthdays were not all that special. I mean, my family did celebrate birthdays, just not to the extent that Matt and his family celebrated birthdays. Growing up, we baked birthday cakes for each other, opened gifts, had friends over for birthday parties, handed out loot bags (remember those?). It was the usual. So I'm not saying that birthdays didn't mean anything in the Lim household, I'm just saying that in his household growing up, they were EVERYTHING. So when Matt went all out for my first birthday with him, I was definitely taken aback.
He picked me up to bring me to his mom's house, dressed in the best suit he had at the time. But keep in mind: we were 18, university students, and lived at home, so the best suit he had was some sort of polyester blend and unfitted- but still adorable.
He had cleared out everything in the living room, all but a small square table positioned right in the middle of the room, with two chairs sitting across from each other. The table was set with a red linen cloth and a lace overlay, place settings set, wine glasses out, candles lit. The room flickered. Matt hung what must have been at least a hundred pieces of white ribbon from the ceiling in a cluster above the table, all with little star shaped paper cut-outs dangling on the ends. He had cooked up a pasta concoction of some of the ingredients he knew I loved.
I mentioned to him some time before this that I had always wanted to go to Paris. It's on every girl's bucket list- the City of Romance, the City of Lights, and whatever other names we have for Paris, it's always been a dream of mine. BUT HOLD ON - I'm not going to tell you that he swept me off my feet and flew me to Paris and made all my City of Love dreams come true. Come on now, we were 18, and university students. Instead, he brought Paris to me.
Matt connected his laptop to the TV in the living room to display an evening view of Paris with the iconic Eiffel Tower surrounded by the city and its lights. The French music playing softly in the background, the Parisian view on the television, the warmth of the candles in the room, the glow of the flickering lights, my guy dressed up in a suit, it was all so perfect and I could barely keep it together. Here come the waterworks. On top of all that, he built me a mini Eiffel Tower out of wooden dowels from Home Depot. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Who was this man? Or boy, I guess, because at the time, he was. But THIS is the man I was going to marry.
Eight years later, he sweeps me off my feet and literally takes me to Paris.
For a weekend.
To celebrate my birthday.
Is this for real?
I had just started a new job and couldn't take any time off, but of course he still made it happen. The flight was booked for an arrival in Paris on Saturday morning, and a departure from Paris on Sunday morning, so we spent literally 24 hours in Paris.
He went from hanging paper stars in his mom's living room and cooking me a pasta dish for my birthday dinner to 8 years later, taking me to Le Mini Palais for a romantic birthday dinner in PARIS. After, of course, exploring the actual Eiffel Tower; visiting my girl, Mona, at Le Louvre; seeing Le Cathédrale de Notre Dame; the love locks on Le Pont des Arts; climbing to the top of L'Arche de Triomphe; popping our macaroon cherries with only the best from the famous Ladurée; and discovering the cobble stone streets of Parisian neighbourhoods.
It was romantic, amazing, overwhelming, exhausting, and unbelievable all at once. As if we went to Paris for the WEEKEND. Years ago, we used to joke about going to "Paris for lunch" in our obnoxious diva voices, but this time, we did it. And it's not until we got to Paris that we realized we used to joke about this because it was a dream so unattainable, nor did we remember Matt had brought Paris to me 8 years before. But now, we were there. We were those divas, going to Paris for the weekend. It's unbelievable, but incredible, that we're making these dreams of ours happen. All this has taught us to now call them "plans" instead of "dreams".
I can't believe how blessed I am with a husband this amazing, and I can't wait for all the adventures we'll be sharing together for the rest of our lives.