I wanted to do something extra special for M that didn't necessarily involve a gift. She'd be getting plenty of those this weekend from grandparents and parties. So, I thought back to my childhood and tried to remember my favorite birthdays. What did they all have in common? It wasn't the presents (can't even remember half of them. Except my Sweet Secrets, those were always amazing), and it wasn't the money and the cards. It was my family, gathered around our living room table, eagerly awaiting the reveal of the loot. And what did we center ourselves around at the gift table? The cake.
My mom always made the most adorable and thoughtful cakes for each of our birthdays. If we loved unicorns that year, you bet your sweet tukus the cake pictured a unicorn gracefully galloping/flying across a beautiful blue frosting sky. Mild obsession with race cars? How about a racetrack birthday cake to commemorate your day? These were no HyVee or Wal-Mart cookie cutter creations. They were one of a kind and special because Mommy made them, and she didn't have to.
In an effort to keep the much-loved tradition alive, I decided to attempt an "8" cake for our Mighty Miss M. Working against me were a lack of confectionery skills, zilch experience and even less talent. This did not prove to be enough to dissuade me. I, of course, consulted Mom endlessly on what to buy and how to approach my (to me) tricky idea. She was very helpful, but in the end I was the one who had the vision, and I had to try it on my own.
After several sketches, a few head scratches and a lot of "What is going on with you, you stupid &%*(@#) cake!?" obscenities, I completed my creation. I gotta say I'm relatively proud. Like Ferris Bueller once said, "Never had one lesson".
The cake was not pristine, nor was it professional. The craft was a notch or two below average. I didn't care. M really seemed to enjoy it, and that's all that mattered. Hopefully one day, she'll look back and remember her 8th birthday with just a little more nostalgia, knowing that her step-mom really tried to make it special. And while I didn't get M her first real cell phone (that's what completely oblivious step-fathers are for, apparently), I did make her a memory that will maybe last just a little longer than the others she experienced. Just maybe.
Below are pictures from M's fun filled 8-year old birthday weekend. Enjoy!
The parts of cake I had to remove. I ate them.