Thursday, May 26, 2011

Let them eat CAKE!

G's birthday is coming up. I've been thinking about what we'll do for his party already. The first birthday is a big deal. I have tons of ideas swirling around in my mind, so I decided to test one out.

I saw a rainbow layered cake online and thought, "Hey, I bet I could do that."
Find this cake here

The only catch is that I'm not much of a baker and I've never made a layered cake that looked very good.  But there's a first time for everything and if I could pull this off, it would be AWESOME!

I started by mixing up two white cake mixes and dividing the batter into six bowls. I just eyeballed the amount and estimated what would be about the same amount in each bowl. Then I got out my trusty box of food coloring and started adding drops to the batter. Well, hello little colored droppers!

It was a total experiment. I had no idea how much color to add, so I just kept adding drops until it looked bright enough. It was a little difficult to mix the colors in my Fiesta bowls, so next time I'll try to find bowls that are clear or white. 

Oh and don't be jealous of my faux marble countertops. I know they're cutting edge.

After mixing the colored batter, I started baking my layers two at a time.

I let the layers cool a little bit, then wrapped each one in plastic wrap and popped them in the freezer. Sadly, a couple of the layers cracked and the green one broke completely into three pieces, but it was really my fault for not being careful enough. Oops!

The layers turned out pretty much the same size, which is great. And they seemed flat enough, so I didn't do any fancy trimming of the top. It wasn't a big deal for the first couple layers, but the whole thing got more "rounded" as it got taller. Since this was a test run, I opted to just do frosting between the layers and on top instead of covering the whole cake. (The truth is that I'm horrible at frosting a layered cake and I'm using the "test run" as my excuse.)


I know it's not perfect, but it turned out better than I expected. It was really fun to eat and all the crumbs looked like confetti. Who doesn't want to eat a rainbow confetti cake? I'm so glad I attempted this crazy layered cake. 

I'm going to do a variation of this idea for G's birthday. We'll see how it turns out. It could be a disaster, but at least it will look fun!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Naughty or Nice?

Little man likes to stand up in his crib and throw his paci onto the floor. Apparently on this night it was really hilarious to see mom look for it.

Hmmm...giggling instead of sleeping. Is this naughty or nice? 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

That Glorious Day

I have been to a lot of weddings. I love weddings. I love the decorations, the flowers, the dresses, the grooms face when he sees the bride, the cake, the punch, the dancing...

I really loved my own wedding. My dress was just what I wanted. The flowers were perfect. The reception was fun. Adam was handsome. I wouldn't change anything, which I guess is what every bride hopes she'll say when she looks back. Score for me! I do wish I could go back and do it again, though. The second time around I would savor every moment. Now that I'm actually married, all the stress and pressure and nerves are gone and I might remember the day more. But that's not going to happen, so I'll just bask in the fleeting memories of that day.

When planning my wedding, I borrowed some ideas from other weddings I had been to. One thing I borrowed was the processional song, Agnus Dei. My version was instrumental and the pianist played the main part of the song repeatedly while the bridesmaids came down the aisle. Then they closed the doors at the back of the church and I waited for the crescendo of, "H-o-l-y!" when the doors opened and Adam saw me for the first time. It was a symbolic and special entrance.

Almost 10 years ago I was invited to the wedding of a girl named Ashley. She was marrying a guy named Chris who she had met in college. Ashley spent a semester in Africa helping out at the school where I was teaching, and we became friends. When her semester was finished, she returned to Texas, but we kept in touch through email, not to mention the fact that she left my friend Christy and I a bunch of clothes when she left. Anyway, she ended up getting engaged and planning a summer wedding in San Antonio the year after I got back from Africa. I hadn't ever been to San Antonio, so I went and had a mini-reunion with three other girls who had also been Africa . It was such a fun weekend that ended with the wedding.

I really didn't know Ashley that well and I had never met Chris until that weekend, but I cried through the whole ceremony. It was probably the most fabulous wedding I've ever attended. Not because it was lavishly decorated or followed by an expensive reception, but because it was the most perfect picture of Christ's love for His bride. And it all began with the processional.

An older couple began singing Agnus Dei as the bridesmaids made their way down the aisle. It was beautiful. But when their voices swelled at "H-O-L-Y" and the handsome groom saw his glowing bride for the first time, I literally wanted to stand up and cheer. It was breathtaking. A holy union in the purest sense.

Let's be honest, weddings aren't really events where people jump up and shout while the bride walks down the aisle. But as I forced myself to remain in my seat all I could think about is how incredible it will be in heaven when the angles are triumphantly singing, "Holy, holy, holy are you Lord God Almighty! Worthy is the Lamb!" while Christ receives the bride he has been awaiting.

So as I planned my own wedding, I used that song in hopes that Adam and my marriage might be a reflection, albeit weak, of that glorious day.