Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Barely Legal

People always ask me if I get the same breaks that the students get. The short answer, which I'm sure you can already anticipate, is NO. We're always preparing for the next group of students and tying up loose ends from the ones who have just departed.

That said, I was able to take a long weekend at the beginning of Spring Break.  A 3-day weekend is just glorious to me!  Of course I went straight to the river to relax, read, cook, eat, sip coffee in the morning and wine in the evening, identify birds, and, best of all, visit with Jude.

One afternoon Jude was running errands and I was alone at the house.  I looked up from my book and saw these characters hanging out in the yard:
I don't see many wild turkeys so I get kind of excited when I do.  They're in that category of ugly/beautiful I think.

Jude and Craig had family out to the house on Monday night for the twins' birthday.  I can't even believe Ben and Julia turned 31.  How is that possible??  Here we have Carmen and Loretta working in the kitchen.

I made a tres leches cake for Julia

I had to make a cake for Ben too, even if he couldn't be there to enjoy it.

Ben got a chocolate-y chocolate cake.

Farar documenting the cakes

It's getting too meta!  Photos of photos of cakes.

It's high birthday season around here, folks.  It's the heat of summer that produces all these springtime babies I guess.  Stella had a big milestone birthday - EIGHTEEN!  Of course I walked around singing Alice Cooper all day but no one got the reference or cared.  Come on!  It's a great song!  "I've got a baby's brain and an old man's heart?"  Classic.

I had to do better than last year when, as is typical, I was overworked and exhausted and had a complete meltdown during Stella's birthday dinner.  I had to go in the other room and cry because my mom and I somehow got into it and I had once again pushed myself too far and paid the price.  Or, rather, my daughter paid the price.  It should have been HER celebration but then all the attention went to me, acting like a child and having a temper tantrum.

But this is a new year!  And hopefully I've grown and learned how to try to prepare ahead and not end up a stressed out maniac by the time  Stella's birthday rolls around.  Luckily the night before her birthday I took all the food in the fridge and sauteéd it all together, deciding at the last minute to turn this mish-mash into enchiladas!  You guys - total success!  The enchiladas had just a little bit of cubed chicken thighs, spinach, leeks, peppers, carrots, onions, mushrooms, plain yogurt and queso fresco cheese.  So delicious.  I also had some brown rice on hand so I cooked it the night before.  Then, on Tuesday night - Stella's actual birthday - I whizzed cilantro and a can of diced tomatoes together and stirred that into the rice. The pièce de résistance though, was her birthday cake.

Stella's friends showed up and loved the meal.  They loved the dinner and kept remarking on how good and healthy it tasted, which goes to show that teenagers don't want to eat pizza and fast food only.  Then I pulled the cake out.  The cake that I'd stayed up until 2am the night before finishing because I only had two cake pans and the cake required six layers.  
Tryna be cool

This little creature is now legally an adult.  WHAT?

New coffee table book:  pictures of pictures of cakes

The candles had colored flames, in keeping with the rainbow theme.
So I did not plan this at all, but it so happened that Stella's birthday fell on the first day that the Supreme Court was discussing marriage equality.  So she got a gay pride cake on a day of extreme significance to fighters for justice and equality.  It all somehow worked.
The surprise inside

I first saw this cake in a photo on Ai Lien's blog, I think.  It stuck in my head and I knew I had to try it one day.

There are a LOT of chemicals in this cake.  But the icing was "natural" and delicious - butter & cream cheese whipped together, dash of vanilla, then slowly add powdered sugar until it felt stiff enough (that's what she said).

Opening cards and presents

showing off her manicure (and her bf there to the left)

My little baby

After dinner, Stella's friends, my sister, grandmother, and I pulled out the photo album that has pictures of her birth and directly after.  She was the cutest baby.  I'll scan and post one day.  I can hardly believe she's already 18.  My job's not over...far from it.  We've still got college ahead of us, but I think she's certainly on a good path.

Stella and I are going to visit the college she most likely will attend, and really, really wants to attend this weekend.  It's a Preview Weekend.  We're going back to Colorado and both are super excited.  We need a weekend away, just the two of us, no matter what the reason.  But this is a pretty exciting reason!


Carrie said...

Oh! Can you make that enchilada dish for your LR family? Sounds so good. And that rainbow cake--what a labor of love. Looked like a very awesome bday party!

Stacy @ Stacyverb said...

Agreed--turkeys are ugly beautiful. Stella, on the other hand (and that cake!)--just plain beautiful.

Wendy said...

Weren't we just in birthing class the other day? Where did the time go.

Alannah said...

Carrie - I can't WAIT to come down and cook for y'all. Seriously....maybe May???

Wendy - I didn't realize you read my blog! It really kind of does feel like yesterday that we were in birthing class together