Eight years ago today, I wrote my very first blog post here. I was living in a ground-floor apartment with friends in Chelsea then, commuting by foot to my office just a few blocks away. I had a window that looked out onto noisy mail trucks rumbling down 18th Street, there were massive black cockroaches who periodically liked to terrify me in the kitchen (water bugs, to get specific) and I had to tiptoe into my roommate's bedroom each morning to take a shower while she slept. But it was glorious! (Well, except for the water bugs.)
One year was the time limit I gave myself to write the blog. Just a year and then you'll be done.
Eight years later, I live in an apartment at the very top of an old building in a quiet neighborhood in western Berlin. I have a toddler who is (blessedly) asleep in his room, a lovely husband who (still) works in another city, I'm the author of a book, a book that will be published in paperback in a few short days, and I'm still blogging.
To celebrate, I wanted to give you a cake. The tender, gorgeous, simple cake my friend Gabriella made for Hugo's first birthday, the one that made him faceplant into a slice of it (though, admittedly, it might have just been CAKE in general and not that cake, but I'm sticking with the first version). However, my life these days is not conducive to cake-baking. It is not conducive to any kind of baking or cooking or time in the kitchen at all beyond making Hugo's meals and cleaning up after them. I realize this sounds sort of complain-y (I do sometimes fantasize about live-in help), but really, more than anything, I'm just trying to be honest. Life with a toddler - newsflash! - is like living with a crazy person? Who can't speak? Or walk? But has OPINIONS? And NEEDS? And FEELINGS, LOTS OF THEM? I'm still trying to figure it out. (Don't worry, I'll get you the cake eventually - give me another week or three.)
But I still want to celebrate. I mean, eight years! My book in paperback! Me, still here! You, still here! So instead of cake, let's do books. I want to thank you for being here, for reading me, for being my lovely audience and for being patient when I take a little time off. So, if you'd like to win a copy of the paperback edition of My Berlin Kitchen, leave me a comment and by the end of the weekend, I'll pick eight people to send a copy to. Sound good?
Update: The comments are now closed. The eight winners are Carol, Lynn, Kara, Jen, Helena, Yvette, Laura and Abby Lutman. Congratulations!