Mom’s Birthday

“What do you want for your birthday?,” they asked.

“That’s easy,” I responded.

“I want all my children home at the same time.

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I want to play games – lots of games  – and snack all afternoon.

I want an easy supper – like smoked turkey sandwiches.

And a beautiful big salad with berries and pecans and feta cheese.

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And queso dip with chips.

And ice cream – with chocolate – lots of chocolate.

And I want to eat on paper plates so we don’t have dirty dishes.

Yes, that’s what I want.”

 

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And they came – all of them.

And we played games and laughed.

We ate turkey sandwiches and lots of queso on paper plates.

We snacked on puppy chow and popcorn.

We stayed up late and savored every minute.

It was perfect.

Absolutely perfect.

Yes. That’s exactly what I wanted for my birthday.

Cake Wars Drop-Out

Buddy had a birthday this week.

This is the kid who is known for his over-the-top birthday cakes. (Who could forget his infamous M & M shooting catapult cake or his royal pika family surrounded by torches cake!) But this year he left the whole thing in my hands. He had no ideas, no requests, it was all up to me.

But don’t worry – I was ready! After all, I have watched every episode of Cake Wars. I’ve seen every mistakes ever made on cakes and besides, I had an idea.

I was going to make him an electric guitar cake!

Isn’t that an epic idea?! Mind-blowingly amazing!

This cake was going to be so awesome it would probably break Pinterest!

I started by mixing up my cake mix (yes – I cheated and used a cake mix!) but to bump up the flavor and keep it moist, I added sour cream. That was my first mistake.

There will be more.

While the cake baked, I measured Buddy’s guitar, sketched out my design so that everything would be proportional, and cut out a template. This was an amazing template – seriously – I even did fractions to make sure my sides were correct!

I actually thought to myself that I really should mass produce these things and sell them – because honestly – doesn’t every one need to make an electric guitar cake at some point in their life!

When the cake was cooled, I laid my template on top – anxious to get started on my masterpiece!

But the template was too big. What!! Wait, how could that have happened?! I even did the math!

My cake must have shrunk! In a panic I started to whittle sides off, then the top and the bottom. Cake was flying! Forget the proportions of neck to guitar – I barely had enough cake to make a neck!img_0251

Not only that – it was such a moist cake that it kept breaking when I tried to move it from the cooling rack to the serving tray.

I finally had it positioned – a guitar with a neck – and started spreading my buttercream as a crumb coat.

Crumb coat is right. I just kept pulling up cake with each swipe of frosting. This guitar was getting smaller and more messy with each knife stroke. I used up my entire batch of buttercream.

What a disaster! There were cake crumbs and frosting and powdered sugar all over my kitchen and myself.

img_0253I had to mix up another batch of buttercream to hide all the crumbs. More powdered sugar everywhere. My kitchen looked like a winter storm.

So did I.

At this point his amazing electric guitar cake looked more like a fuzzy dwarf electric ukulele.

This did not look Cake Wars worthy. Then I remembered that all the cakes on Cake Wars look so smooth because they are covered with fondant. Yeah – that wasn’t happening.

I considered briefly going with the fuzzy theme and just throwing coconut all over it and calling it a day – but Buddy doesn’t like coconut. So I kept working until my frosting was somewhat smooth – abandoning all thoughts of a piping bag and details.

Instead I turned to an old birthday cake stand-by, a friend that has never failed me, my go-to birthday cake rescue – M & M’s!

img_0255We now had a rainbow dwarf electric ukulele.

And Buddy loved it!

We put 16 re-lighting candles on it, sang Happy Birthday, and watched him try to blow them out over and over again!

It was awesome!

Another birthday cake done.

I’m hanging up my apron now. My dreams of ever winning Cake Wars completely destroyed.

Trust me people – they make it look easy on TV.

But boy was that cake moist!

 

Wedding Daze

img_0117Two weeks from tonight is the wedding.

Two weeks!!

Seriously people – the time just flew by!

The house is starting to look like wedding central and Jan and I have a “state of the wedding” meeting very night to cover our daily to-do lists.

Venue – check.

Invitations – check.

Wedding dress – check.

It was actually the second dress she tried on. Perfect.

She loves it!

Sorry – no peeking till the wedding day!

Bridesmaids, groomsmen, ushers – check, check and check!

Would you believe I even found a mother-of-the-bride dress at a consignment store?

I love it!

Flowers are almost finished.

As are the centerpieces.

Tablecloths, serving pieces, and thousands of twinkle lights are ready for the reception.

There’s still some food to prepare, projects to finish and details to cover, but bit by bit the plans are coming together beautifully!

Which is good – because if the last two weeks go as fast as the previous ones – they are going to fly!

These are precious days, dear friends!

Days to cherish and remember.

The Wedding Daze.

 

Wedding Shower

The wonderful ladies at church put on a Bridal Shower for my Laura on Saturday.

I still can’t believe that she’s actually the bride!

There was a whole room full of people loving on my girl.

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Laura’s family – grandmas, aunts, cousins – traveling many miles to share the joy.

Steven’s family – wonderful people! So ready to welcome and accept and love her.

And our church family – dear friends who have watched Laura grow up and are so excited for her wedding!

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We shared laughter, played games and ate amazing food!

Oh the food! Seriously people can we just talk about the food?!

We had brunch. Isn’t brunch a happy word? We’re talking caramel sticky buns and every kind of coffee cake with all manor of yummy toppings and egg casseroles in all their gooey, cheesy goodness.

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I love brunch.

And I love these people.

Precious friends who prayed over my baby girl and shared words of wisdom.

Dear people who gave up a beautiful Saturday morning to shower my girl with love and gifts.

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Gifts that Including not one, not two, but three identical vacuums.

She prayed specifically for a vacuum.

And God answered – “Exceeding, abundantly above all that we ask or think”!

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And I love this girl!

Who will – in just a few short weeks  – walk down the aisle and marry the man who has completely won her heart.

And ours.

So blessed. So very , very blessed.

 

Heirlooms from Home

IMG_0125Laura was home this weekend.

Not only did we do some wedding planning – but she packed up more of her stuff to move into their new house.

The tool box I kept tripping on in the attic is gone.

The chin up in the basement that was collecting spider webs no longer lives here.

Her sewing machine that was covered with dust will now gather dust somewhere else.

This is all good.

But we also went through my kitchen cupboards and pulled out everything that was hers.

This was not so good.

She had quite a collection of kitchen tools and accessories that I freely used.

I’ll miss the nutmeg grater, micro-planer and cookbooks.

The sil-pat and custard cups.

The grill pan.

Sigh.

But in the search for her things, we were able to find and pass on to her some extras that I had.

Serving bowls.

A Christmas tray.

And that set of pot de creme cups with the divet in the bottom that makes it impossible to get out the last bite of chocolate.

It makes me smile to think of the two of them sticking their tongues in the divet to lick out the good stuff – just like she did growing up.

So amidst all the new and wonderful things in their first home,  there will be some old and familiar ones.

Some heirlooms from home.

And that makes my heart happy.