My oldest daughter turned seven years old yesterday. I realize that every year, I find myself lamenting that it’s just not possible that another birthday has come and gone, but it really does amaze me just how quickly time flies.
I remember the day she was born like it was yesterday. She was late, and Thanksgiving was just around the corner so my doctor scheduled an induction. We had to check in to the hospital at 8pm the night before, and I remember that drive to the hospital as the most nervous I have ever, ever been. I was nervous about the unknown – namely, childbirth; but also motherhood. I knew that life would change, but I didn’t know what that meant.
It turns out I had nothing to be nervous about. I was blessed with a very, very easy labor, and a healthy, blue-eyed baby girl that slept through the night by the time she was six weeks old. And as far as my life changing as a result of it all? Absolutely. But, now I wouldn’t say it changed me. Having children has only enriched my life. There is not a day that goes by that my kids don’t teach me something. They challenge me, they test my patience and they make me laugh, but most of all, they love me back. They hug me, they tell me jokes and they giggle – and there is nothing, NOTHING better than that.
Which is exactly why we have so much to celebrate on their birthdays. This year we hosted a family gathering at my house, complete with potato soup, ham & cheese sliders and chili dogs. The desert table was a bit more modest than usual, but only because we’re just four days out from Thanksgiving and it’s a big food week for everyone.
Her cake was a three-layer funfetti cake, which is essentially a white-almond sour-cream cake topped with a vanilla swiss meringue buttercream. Instead of stirring the sprinkles into the batter, I like to sprinkle the tops of the layers with a generous amount of sprinkles so they seep down into the cake, which makes it really pretty when it’s cut. I wish I had a picture of the inside of the cake for you, but since it was her birthday cake I didn’t want to cut it open.
A fall birthday isn’t complete without a pumpkin dessert, so we had pumpkin rolls and chocolate-pumpkin brownies. A cheese danish and some peanut-butter candies (her favorite) filled in the rest of the table.
Every year I look forward to buying rosemary trees for the holidays, so this year I bought them a bit early for her table. Now I’ll re-plant them in pretty pots and we’ll enjoy them all winter long – they smell AMAZING. For the party, we “decorated” the tree with her cupcake picks. Cute!
I made strawberry margarita cupcakes, which are just a strawberry cupcake topped with a lime buttercream that’s garnished with sugar. No alcohol in these, but you could put a little bit of tequila in the buttercream if you like.
The birthday girl also requested chocolate cupcakes – they’re her favorite. For these, I just used the Hershey’s Chocolate Cake recipe because it’s quick and easy, and topped it with a basic dutch-chocolate buttercream and sprinkled it with mini chips.
My first attempt at a pumpkin roll, and it didn’t turn out as I’d hoped. My sister-in-law makes a great pumpkin roll, so I need to get some tips from her. I am definitely planning to try this one again soon.
And, while this picture is awful, I had to show it to you. This is Madeline opening a gift from my sister – an Easy Bake Oven. She was giddy-excited. There is no doubt at all that she’s my kid.
It was another successful birthday party, and we had a lot of fun. I hope you enjoyed the pictures, and I’ll be back soon with some new recipes.