Sunday, August 10, 2008

crazy eights and tricky cakes

I can't begin to fathom the number of people who got married, engaged, conceived children or witnessed the Olympics on Friday. It would be mind numbing. I can however, tell you how our family celebrated such an interesting date in time. M, our oldest daughter, turned 8 eight years old on Friday. For those of you not counting, that's four 8's in all. This was no golden birthday, it was more like platinum.

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.

The completed "8"cake. Voila!

Me and the girls!

M's first real Diary- with a lock and everything!

Camp Rock chair from Grandma Janette!

Rockin' new earrings from Grandpa Bill and Grandma Jan!

T on the bike with Daddy

M's turn (you can't tell but she's freaking out)

Our little Helmet Heads.

I love this picture!


Anonymous said...

I share my birth date with Makayla so I really appreciated the huge effort you put out for her to make her 4 eights special!!

Loved the photos of everyone. All 4 of you look very happy and very cool! Keep Enjoying each other.

Love, Brad's Aunt Joy

Bess said...

awesome cake! i am so impressed with your skills. i turned 8 on feb. 8th, 1988 and no one made me an 8 cake. :( maybe i should have celebrated in august.

and i laughed out loud at the ferris buehller reference.

antisdel said...

Thanks for the positive feedback! It was slow going there for awhile, but it was worth it in the long run.

Bess and Joy, you are both special in my eyes. Even if I didn't make you an 8 cake.

phat bess said...

Awe! Looks like a fun weekend. You inspire me, maybe someday I can attempt to bake my own creative cake as well.

BTW, is the red Superman shirt one from SHS Senior year?

antisdel said...

Of course it is, Jess! I wear it every night to bed. It's been washed so many times it's practically a second skin. Brad just noticed the other day that it said "Vikings" on the back and wondered what that meant. Ha.

erin said...

I am so proud of you mama for that outstanding 8 cake! WOW! See, you don't need cake decorating lessons from me. Sounds like you made her b-day super special. YAY!

phat bess said...

I still have my Super Senior shirt too. 1999 was the best class SHS ever saw!

I was going to tell you my hubby has been looking at motorcycles lately so I may be joining you in your concern for the safety of the hubby club.

antisdel said...

Motorcyclist wives unite!

Anonymous said...

Next time that you are up here, remind me to show you the helmet we have for Aiden, so he can ride the go-cart and the Harley. My parents bought it for me when they gave me my first 4-wheeler. Aidens helmet has a thing that goes around the chin, so if he rides gravel on his face, His very expensive teeth are safe. I think you can get them at the Harley Davidson Barn in Ankeny. They also have some that will match Brads bike and different sizes so both girls would have one that fits correctly.