Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Day 44/365

will 8th birthday party with friends cupcakes
The evening before Caelan's first birthday, I decided to decorate a "fancy" cake for his Old McCracken themed birthday party. Old McCracken's farm was really weird and kooky and fun and we sang about it every day. He had a Big Bird here and a Cookie Monster there. It never occured to me that messing with the proper flow of nursery rhymes using my twisted sense of humor and banning fairy tales from our home would one day hinder Caelan's 7-year-old dreams of advancing past the first round of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. But none of us is perfect. Which brings me back to cake decorating.

I started on the barn cake at about 6 PM. I finally went to bed at 3 AM. I learned some very important lessons that night. First, Betty Crocker's frosting recipe made with a butter and confectioners sugar base is not a cake decorator's friend. Second, the Cotton commercial with the man baking a cake and laughing as it falls apart, that's a total misrepresentation of how you really react. Other people may laugh and enjoy the watching all the frosting slide off your cake. But you feel like throwing the rest of the cake against the wall. When you have 20+ people coming to your house in less than 12 hours, that's just not your best option.

Caelan has grown into his adult tastebuds and now prefers a chocolate cheescake. But since I had Caelan in 1995, I've decorated a cake for one of the boys' birthdays nearly every year. And I've discovered that cake decorating is just not one of my talents. You can't really get away with calling your cake decorating style shabby or distressed like you can with scrapbooking. I don't have the patience to take the time to make things nice and smooth. I don't have any desire to practice. So I have found that I have 2 choices. I can stress over the cake and how bad it's going to turn out and let it make me grumpy the day before the party as I make it. Or I can let the kids help. They don't care if it's perfect. They care if has great memories attached to it. They love searching through ideas and planning. They love shopping for the ingredients. They love watching the process. And I've found that they love to help. Since they love to help, I don't have to focus so much on how it looks. When an 8-year-old helps you, it should look like an 8-year-old helped you.

We headed out the door to Will's birthday party with these Lego cupcakes in our covered containers on Saturday night. He was bursting with excitement to show his friends.

will 8th birthday party with friends pizzas
We rented the recreation building of First Baptist Church for 2 hours. We ate lots of this.

will 8th birthday party with friends
And there were apparently some very serious discussions to be had between best friends.

will 8th birthday party with friends dodgeball
Everyone, parents included, was involved in the fun at this birthday party.

will 8th birthday party with friends shawn and caelan
There were no age barriers on the competitive spirit. There was great discussion over whether the focus of this photo should be on the obvious foul or the fact that "a good athlete would have made it, regardless." I'll let you all figure out which player was on each side of the argument.

will 8th birthday party with friends skating
And then, then, then, we found solid proof that video games are the scourge of society. The kids on skates was hysterically pathetic!

will 8th birthday party with friends skating fall

will 8th birthday party with friends skating cody
I don't think a single one of them could manage to get up on their feet.

will 8th birthday party with friends skating will 4
From age 8.

will 8th birthday party with friends skating austin
To age 11.

will 8th birthday party with friends skating will 3
But none of them gave up.

will 8th birthday party with friends skating kaden 2
I'm sure we all remember the uncontrollable desire to get up on our feet and fly across the floor. We were relieved to find video games cannot squash that desire.

will 8th birthday party with friends skating will 2
And eventually, every one of them managed to make it around the perimeter of the gym in an, albeit shaky, upright position.

will 8th birthday party with friends skating me
And 25 years later, I conquered skating backwards! I never knew the secret to learning was holding your arms and hands like a robot. I'm anxious to try that trick out on dancing as well. And maybe cake decorating. Who knows what victories my future holds!
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Anna said...

those cupcakes are inspiring! with 3 nephews i need all the birthday cake inspiration in can get!

Kristi Smith said...

lol, love the cupcakes!

Looks like he had a good time.

Your photos are soooo good. :)

Courtney Walsh said...

those falling down pictures made me laugh sooo hard. hahahhaha. hilarious. and those cupcakes are adorable! Looks like a ton of fun! :)

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