Last weekend Dylan turned nine and I did not make him a homemade cake. Whew! There, I said it. It came from Dairy Queen, okay? Someone else made it out of likely-dubious ingredients and frosted my son’s name into the top and the only way I contributed was by clicking some buttons on a web form and it was DELICIOUS.

In fact, I haven’t made a birthday cake in years. I used to — my go-to recipe was a no-pecan version of Pioneer Woman’s sheet cake — but somewhere along the line both my kids gravitated towards the process of paging through bakery design books and picking out exactly what they wanted, and frankly, I am thrilled that the cake part of their birthday celebration is now a relatively small problem I can throw money at. The evening before the big day, I may be knee-deep in incompatible decorating logistics (for instance, this year Dylan said he wanted a “theme” of his three very favorite things, which are currently Roald Dahl, basketball, and … Arnold Schwarzenegger) but I am by-god not fretting over whether or not I will screw up the cake.

Of course, I’ve pretty much just swapped Cake Anxiety for Cake Guilt, because even though my kids love their store confections some family member inevitably asks in front of the whole group if I made it myself which is like being forced into Cersei’s naked walk of atonement. “Well, no. (SHAME!) I mean, it IS in a Safeway box and features a professionally-rendered Oregon Ducks logo so it seems like that was a bit obvious. (SHAME!) But thanks for this opportunity to publicly confirm it’s made with high fructose corn syrup instead of a mother’s undying love! (Dingle ding ding SHAME!)”

Anyway, Dylan had a lovely birthday, DQ is the bomb, and there’s no denying it, these boys are growing up. Nine is awfully close to a full decade and Riley’s going to be in middle school (!) this fall and my gosh, it’s like every year the pages just go flipping by faster and faster and faster.



19 Responses to “Another birthday comes and goes”

  1. Judith Rosa on February 7th, 2017 5:01 pm

    Happy belated birthday to Dylan. And don’t fret about the cake.

    Also, thank you for the photo. All of you are looking gorgeous. And Riley does not look so suspicious any more (no, suspicious was not the word you used when he was a baby but for the life of me I cannot remember the correct one. We were the ones not to be trusted not him!)

  2. Karen Pappel on February 7th, 2017 5:11 pm

    Happy belated birthday Dylan…that is one fine looking family Linda. You guys all look great. Dylan is nearly double-digits and Riley in middle school…when did that happen?? I have pictures of Emily with him at Joe’s when he was just a baby!
    (My ‘boy’ is 23 today – and again I ask that same question, when did that happen?) Time marches on!!
    Oh…and don’t worry about the cake – DQ IS the bomb!!! :-)

  3. Kristy on February 7th, 2017 5:41 pm

    wow…just wow. I opened your page and saw this picture and I read you back in the diaryland days…and this just made me feel old. But then again my child was 10 when I started blogging and is now 24. *sigh*

  4. Donna Brubach on February 7th, 2017 9:03 pm

    Wow! Family pictures are sure getting easier aren’t they lol, I remember when you were taking 27 to get one good one! They’re so big and you and JB look great!

  5. Katie on February 7th, 2017 10:25 pm

    I’m all for the ease factor. Plus, that crunchy chocolate layer–so crazy good!

  6. sooboo on February 7th, 2017 10:47 pm

    Happy birthday to Dylan! What a beautiful family. My MIL always asks if I made everything myself. So when I go to her house I make sure to return the favor, lol!

  7. Ter on February 8th, 2017 6:05 am

    How? How is this possible? Weren’t your boys just these little wee things? Happy birthday, Dylan!

  8. Grace on February 8th, 2017 6:42 am

    Happy birthday, Dylan! I can’t believe it…nine?!! Also, I love his three favorite things. Hilarious!

  9. Barbara on February 8th, 2017 10:24 am

    Wait a minute. Didn’t you get your stomach henna’d just last week and tease us with his name via the design?? NINE?? How can that be? Mercy.

    I wish him a Happy Belated and must say the family photo is gorgeous. It reminds me of the saying…something to the effect of one day we’ll look back and see ourselves in photos we once thought were flawed, and find ourselves beautiful. … And wish we’d realized it then, as that time will not come again.

    You, my dear, are beautiful. Inside and out. And those boys, and your husband, are so damn lucky to have you.

    Bless your heart and theirs too.

    You are way (WAY) more awesome than you realize.


  10. Sally on February 8th, 2017 10:27 am

    Fabulous family photograph… and you may or may not have made me tear up just a little bit…

  11. Pat on February 8th, 2017 10:38 am

    Fabulous family pic – and you look so lovely and healthy Linda. thank you for posting. ps LOSE the guilt – learn to be proud of the smart decisions you made. As a mom of 4 grown I wish I could go back and enjoy more moments and feel less guilty about what I should have done if I was a better mom. you are doing amazing!

  12. Em on February 8th, 2017 12:40 pm

    Do not feel guilty about the cake! I have a lot of guilt surrounding children’s birthday parties myself, so I know how you feel.

  13. Angela on February 8th, 2017 1:49 pm

    Long, long time reader and general lurker. But today I just had to comment that I literally LOL’ed at the G.O.T. “shame” reference! Now this weekend when I open that store bought cake box for my sons birthday, that image is going to be stuck in my head! Haha

  14. Courtney on February 9th, 2017 1:03 pm

    I’ve been following your blog since the beginning and just wanted to say that you are hilarious and I hope you keep writing forever cause I enjoy your posts very much! I also have 2 boys of simaler ages and a complicated relationship with alcohol. I can relate to your life in so many ways. and I agree with the previous comment about the Game of Thrones reference….so funny! Keep up the great work :)

  15. Sarah on February 10th, 2017 5:52 am

    I just wanted to say you look beautiful in this picture.

  16. LD's Mom on February 10th, 2017 8:58 am

    Shame on family members who do that too us. Some kids would give anything to have a mom who’d by them a cake from DQ. Happy Bday, D!

  17. Liz on February 11th, 2017 3:50 pm

    What a wonderful photo– thank you for sharing it. Everyone looks so happy and healthy!

  18. Mandy on February 21st, 2017 4:25 pm

    My son is 12 and has never had a homemade birthday cake. I buy his grocery store cakes with love. :) Happy birthday to Dylan!

  19. Amy on March 3rd, 2017 11:52 pm

    Oh dear lord! Move here! NO ONE EVER makes their children’s b-day cakes! The comepetion is actually…” Where’d you get it?”
    Amazing family photo! You look so great! Adorable kids! Rock solidly handsome h-band. Johnny and I have never married. We have two girls. It’s me…marriage confounds me! But, when I see it, I marvel!
    Look at this; 10 years silence-give or take-and suddenly 2 comments, 1 night!

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