Monday, August 5, 2013

Harrison's first birthday (subtitle: That time I ate my weight in buttercream)

This weekend, Eric and I went to my hometown of Rochester, NY for probably the most exciting birthday of all time. Not sure if some weird matrix time space continuum thing happened or what, because I'm fairly sure this happened just moments ago.

No lie - never once looked at this picture without tears in my eyes.
He's like ten times that size now, and a whole year old. But we'll get to those precious pictures too.

As if this weekend wasn't exciting enough, we found out right before our trip that my BFF Nicole was randomly going to be in Rochester Friday night! We met up to stuff our faces with barbeque at Sticky Lips. It wasn't my first time having BBQ since going back to meat eating, but it was my best. Then we took classy pictures under the streetlights in the rain.

AND Eric and I finally received our wedding album! I just want to "read" it over and over and over.

so much excitement
After that, I went to a bar in my hometown for what I'm fairly sure was the first time ever. I was never cool enough to have a fake ID, I know, I know, shocking that a blogger wasn't popular in high school. I only lived at home for about two months as a legal drinker: in between college graduation/beginning my first teaching job. I hung out at some bars back then, but they were all in the city, not the suburb where I grew up. I didn't really feel I was missing out, but then I found out that my blog friend Minch was hanging out at a bar like half a mile from my mom's house, so it was on. At age 30, I finally got a little taste of the night life in Greece, NY.

There was a fight. Between two guys that looked straight out of My New Haircut. And I was with my mom. And sober. So essentially.....all I could have hoped for and more.

Eric missed it. He was at the midnight showing of Sharknado in theaters with my stepfather.

I didn't go to bed until 2am. I always stay up the latest when I'm hanging out with my mom.

Saturday morning, I woke up to a text that said "come play with me".

Um, yes please.
I had really good runs Thursday and Friday, so I thought I'd do just a few miles before going over to my sister's. I ran .6 miles, felt like crap, and was like "nope, not worth it, I need to see Harrison NOW". I ran/walked back, woke Eric up, and we spent the rest of the day with the birthday boy.

Harrison got to play in his kiddie pool, and I got to sunbathe.

I wasn't quite prepared for upstate NY August temperatures

We were really concerned about his reaction to the frosting, so we did a trial run with a cupcake before the party on Sunday. He shoved it over a few times, and then managed to find a leftover piece of pizza crust on his tray and ate that instead. This was cause for concern, indeed. Although to be fair by that time the pizza crust did have some frosting and sprinkles on it.

Even with that ominous beginning, my mom and I spent the rest of the night on Harrison's special cake. This was our inspiration.
It wasn't one of those pinterest tutorials or anything though, that picture was all we had to go on. We looked at it approximately 5,000 times.

There was a significant amount of prep work involved.

Eric and I stopped at Starbucks after leaving my sister's and had picked up a latte for my mom. This turned out to be our saving grace. Not because we needed the caffeine (although we were doing cake related activities until 1am), but because it provided us with what turned out to be a crucial tool.

And the finished product came out pretty good, if I do say so myself.

Since that was a "smash cake", my mom whipped up these  salted caramel chocolate cupcakes with nutella buttercream frosting. No big deal.

My sister threw an amazing first birthday party, and everyone, even the guest of honor had a great time.

We got him a water table!
 The only imperfect part (besides the fact that we had to leave) was that it was freaking freezing and, as usual, I was 
suffering from numb extremities and bouts of shivering. Luckily my knight in shining armor came to my rescue!

Aren't we just so in love and whimsical??
 An unexpected guest showed up. On Eric's pants.

This caused hysterical screaming from basically every woman there. Tell me it doesn't
look like an alien.
 Frosting attempt #2 was better. He took approximately 600 teeny tiny little finger fulls one by one, but he kept reaching for more, so we figured that was a success.

He wasn't actually upset, I think he was about to sneeze or something, but this
picture is too hilarious to keep to myself.
The aftermath. The actual smashed part required some adult assistance. He wasn't going for it.

I managed to get through my first goodbye in Harrison's entire year on this earth without any tears (from me, he's unconcerned). I cheated and snuck out while he was taking a nap. My relief at his love of frosting really carried me through. 

If you could only have one, would you rather have the frosting or the cake? There are three bald cupcakes in my fridge right now that make my answer pretty clear.

Did you have a fake ID before you were 21? As far as I know, no cops read this blog, so you have immunity. If they do, now is the time to come forward (and thanks for reading and for your service!).


  1. I never understood the concept of a smash cake. it just seems like a waste of a perfectly good/edible/delicious cake.

    1. Believe me, as someone who takes cake and all desserts extremely seriously, I am with you. Except in this case it was SO CUTE. Plus, as the person making it, I could sample the buttercream as much as I want (for quality control purposes, obviously) without having to worry about washing my hands after.

  2. I can't believe you guys made that cake. When I saw the pic on FB, I assumed you had bought it. Dang!

    Harrison is so adorable. I have a deep desire to take pictures of him playing with Cordelia. Is that normal?

  3. That cake looks fantastic, great job! And thanks for sharing the nutella buttercream frosting recipe :) It's on my to-do list for next weekend. As long as it's the right kind, definitely frosting over cake. and I was never brave enough to try having a fake ID. I'm a terrible liar and I would have given myself away if I tried to use one!

  4. I have a sister who is 1 year & 19 days older than me. . . . . . Fake ID for sure!!!!! I started dating my now husband when I was 20 & he was 24 . . . . So we spent a lot of time in the bar scene . . . Now he's a cop! Hahaha!

  5. Awww that cake you made is so cute - and it looks just like the inspiration one! Great job! Too bad he didn't smash it up a little more. :)

    I am all about the frosting. I don't even actually like the cake part much, unless there is enough frosting to cover up the taste.

    I never had a fake id, but in my small town I never needed one - just walked up to the bar and ordered a drink. Oh...such a bad kid.

  6. My sister gave me her ID when she got a new one, so, yes, I had a fake.

    Frosting all the way!

    Seriously, that cake looks amazing.

    I can't believe how in love you and eric are.

  7. OMG! That cake is amazing.
    OMG! I forgot Harrison's BD. (good thing he's too young to care. Bad aunt. Bad aunt. Bad aunt.)
    OMG! They showed Sharknado in the theater?

  8. I won't eat cake unless I get the corner piece with all the frosting. Sometimes I'll settle for a side piece. Usually I just make the cake myself and then put extra frosting on my piece.
    I didn't have a fake because I was too scared.
    And I thought all bloggers were popular and all sorority girls. Have I been lied to all this time?

  9. That is some impressive cake decorating!! I'm not a cake or frosting fan (don't shoot means more for you!).

    I never had a fake ID, but I strategically studied abroad while I was underage so I could just drink legally, ha. I can assure you I drank enough wine (I lived in the wine region of South Africa) to last me for a looonnngg time.

  10. You've set the bar high for the cake for the nephew's first birthday. I'm pretty sure my sister and her husband want Aiden to have a Batman cake so I probably need to start practicing right now! I'd take frosting over cake any day of the week. We used to eat frosting out of the container if my mom made a cake/cupcake and had extra left.

  11. Obvi I had a fake. Actually multiples. The end.


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