A Week of Surprises

My blog has been too serious lately.  I need to lighten up a bit and what better way to do that than to do another cake post?  Everyone loves cake.  As luck would have it, I’ve done four cake projects this past week–4 cakes and 24 cupcakes.

The first cake was for a little girl’s 8th birthday.  She wanted a blue, zebra-striped cake. Surprisingly, this was the second request in less than a week that I had for a blue zebra print cake.  Zebras are very cool.

The next two cakes were for a little boy’s 1st birthday.  As we are all apt to do, these parents want to instill a fanatical love for their favorite college football team into their boy as early as possible.  So, Mr. Saks, you got 2 super cute Auburn University Tigers Cakes!

My husband suggested I do a “joke” University of Alabama Crimson Tide cake to go along with these.  I didn’t think Saks’ mommy and daddy would think it was very funny. (For those of you who have no idea what this is all about, see here.)

Surprisingly, these awesome people threw in a little extra $$ when I delivered the cakes.  To quote Saks’ super nice daddy, “You don’t charge enough.”  I’m not arguing with that.

The next cake project was 24 cupcakes for my son to take to school.  He turned 6 on Friday.  Un-be-liev-able.   I didn’t take a picture of those because they were just plain cupcakes, sprinkles, and a football ring stuck in the middle. I did, however, take a picture of him in his birthday hat they gave him at school.  He wore it all day Friday and Saturday–even in the Wal-Mart,  to my 12-year-old’s embarrassed horror.

He is beautiful. Not just handsome. Beautiful.

And a little silly. Love that missing tooth!

Surprisingly, my favorite part about these pictures is that he still has chocolate from the cupcakes on his face.

Now for the biggest surprise of the week.

I am horrible at planning my kids’ birthday parties.  We always have the party a week after the actual birthday, partly because my kids have inconvenient birthdays.  (Spring Break, 2 days after the 4th of July, and the first month of summer–when everyone is travelling.)  Mostly because I’m a bad mom procrastinator.   This birthday, my 12-year-old son took matters into his own hands.

He wanted to make it a surprise party.  He picked a date and time, designed the invitations, printed them, handed them out, and even designed the cake.  More than that, he sketched the Sonic characters on the cake for me to fill in.  Folks, he did this on buttercream icing with a paintbrush and liquid food coloring.  And that is hard!  It requires a light hand and a whole lot of patience.  I was blown away that he put so much into it.  Normally, he just calls Billy an idiot, punches him, and tells him to go away.

Finished Cake

Awesome first cake, don’t you think?  Yes, those are Baby Girl’s fingerprints in the border. She loves “tate” (cake.)

Surprisingly, the secret of the surprise birthday party wasn’t leaked.  That is a small miracle, considering those keeping the secret were under the age of 12.  I simply took Billy to the Publix and waited for everyone to arrive, turn off the lights and hide.  When we got there everyone yelled “Surprise!” and Billy jumped and made the best surprised face ever.  Of course, no one got a picture of it.  A head in the way, delayed digital camera, etc.  So we had him recreate it.

As you can see, he was too excited to sit still during the re-creation.  This is surprise in motion.

Just to give you an idea of what life with this devilishly cute little boy is like, I have one small story from that trip to Publix with my beautiful, silly Billy.

Billy shares my love of Mumford and Sons.  Bless him, he’s the only one.  Well, he has one song he adores.  We were playing it in the car and he was singing along.  Then, after one line, he stops and says, “That is gross!”

The line was, “All my bridges have been burned.”  I was confused.  I explained, in 6-year-old terms, what that phrase means.  He looked at me for a second, brow furrowed, and then his face lit up, as only his can.

“Oh! I thought he meant these.”  He patted his pants and guffawed.

The dear lad thought the line was, “All my britches have been burned.”

Not surprisingly, that moment has come to my mind a lot today and every time I giggle and get tears in my eyes.  Both for the humor and the absolute preciousness of it.  Though I still don’t understand what is gross about it.  Then again, I’m not 6.

Happy Birthday, Billy!

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33 thoughts on “A Week of Surprises

  1. Love the zebra cake! My 11 year old would think that was the best thing ever! She watches way too much Cake Boss. Thinks I should be able to whip up some fondant and produce a work of art. If I tried that, it would just look like a scary zebra mess!
    My daughter’s 12th birthday is coming up in a few months. She is very, very excited…keeps telling me how this is such an important birthday to her. Talk about pressure…now I have to pull off something fantastic, life changing, eventful, unforgettable…aggghhhh!!!! I NEED A ZEBRA CAKE!
    Have a great week!!

    • Where do you live? Maybe I can ship you one. 🙂 Seriously, this isn’t that hard. You can buy fondant at Wal-Mart. . You’d just have to ice a cake and roll out some fondant and cut random stripes and stick them on there. And I know you can make little balls. You should give it a try. Your daughter would love it!

  2. I love all of the cakes! Your son is so handsome, missing tooth and all. My daughter would proudly wear that hat at Walmart, too. I am sure I’ll cry when my daughter turns five in November. Sigh. Wish I could make her a cake as good as yours. And well done on the Sonic cake, your son is very talented, just like you. 😀

  3. “Burning your britches” LOL that’s Priceless!!!!!
    My six and a half year old will be jealous… no teeth missing here yet at all, and those cakes!
    Wow! I’m NOT showing Kiwi Daughter that zebra cake, or she will be ” wishing out loud” and setting the bar so high for me next birthday that I’ll sure to disappoint with my most amateur efforts. Brilliant cakes 🙂

    • Thanks so much. The zebra cake isn’t hard as I explained it to onehundred80days. You guys should give it a go. Even if it’s not “perfect,” kids are blown away by our efforts!

  4. Hey Erin . . . Mark me down for one of them zebra cakes for November (Bryanna’s birthday), but I want white w/ black stripes & lime green writing. I’ll mark my calendar so I can remember to remind you when it gets closer.

    &, by the way, U have beautiful children!!!

  5. Your cakes are always phenomenal . . . I have some cake stories, but they’re not good . . . like the time when my best friend and I made a cake and ran out of powdered sugar for the frosting. Regular sugar is NOT a substitute *shudder*

    Also, I’ve given you an award on my blog, go check it out here 😉

    • Thank you! My awards page will look better now.

      I once tried to use regular sugar instead of powdered sugar in potato candy. I read somewhere you could put sugar in a blender and turn it into powdered sugar. It did change consistency, but it was still really grainy. Yuck! I have cake disasters, too. A cupcake cake fell over in the car and made a huge mess of hot pink icing. Not pretty.

  6. All my britches are burned. That’s hilarious. Especially since my ring tone is the chorus of the new Foo Fighters songs that goes “your bridges are burning down,” so now I’m gonna think of that too. We are no longer allowed to bring cupcakes in to school. State Law.

    • We lived in a county that had a “store-bought” only rule, but no cupcakes at all? Billy was so excited about it! Is it a healthy foods issue or possibly crazy people poisoning kids issue? Either way, boo.

      The britches mix-up is hilarious, though I honestly don’t think I say “britches.” Of course, I didn’t realize I say, “wont” for “want” either until it was pointed out by a friend. Huh. I guess I’m just a countrified hick. I’m okay with that.

      • Technically, it’s the school board’s interpretation of a State Law, left intentionally vague and ambiguous so that each school could make their own rule and bear the brunt of parental frustration, thereby letting the state off the hook. Total Jersey. No edible treats at all can be brought in by students in an effort to provide a healthier environment at school. Meanwhile, our school lunches are BS. We don’t have a cafeteria, so they’re like the worst of the frozen foods section: Chicken Nuggets. French Toast sticks. No veggies, no fruit. Nary a meatloaf or a salisbury steak. Imma go out on a limb here and say cupcakes were never the problem.

        • Wow, that lunch sounds horrendous! We have fresh fruit and salad and there’s always a vegetable (raw broccoli, raw carrots, peas, green beans). Of course, the kids don’t have to take it. And we also still deep fry things like fries, chicken nuggets, etc. and there’s cheese in everything. We do have salisbury steak, chicken and rice, and pizza (of course). The baked goods (all done from scratch) are oh so good and oh so bad, if you know what I mean. I eat salad or else I’d weigh 300 lbs. 🙂

  7. My pants got mysteriously hot, so I had to come read this. I like your serious posts too, but these kind are my favorites. The tates are beautiful. The boy is beautiful. Silly is always beautiful to me. Thank you so much!

  8. I love the zebra cake – but blue? Twice? I don’t get the blue aspect at all! 😆

    I love it when kids get the lyrics so madly wrong! Britches? I’m surprised he even knew such an old-fashioned word – I have images of pirates in my head from that for some reason!

    • The other one was actually blue and lime green. I don’t get it either. I guess because I’m not 8 or 13, thank goodness for that!

      Britches is still in use down here in the southern US, especially among the older set. I believe it’s derived from the Old English word “breeches.” We have a lot of those derivatives still in use–something to do with the isolation of communities of people who used old English longer than others. The southern dialect is a fascinating subject and I’ve thought about writing a post about it. I believe I have the beginnings of that post in draft form. I might have to pick that up again….

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