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.

fam

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Judith Rosa
Judith Rosa
5 years ago

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!)

Karen Pappel
Karen Pappel
5 years ago

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!!! :-)

Kristy
5 years ago

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*

Donna Brubach
Donna Brubach
5 years ago

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!

Katie
Katie
5 years ago

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

sooboo
5 years ago

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!

Ter
Ter
5 years ago

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

Grace
5 years ago

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

Barbara
Barbara
5 years ago

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.

XO

Sally
Sally
5 years ago

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

Pat
Pat
5 years ago

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!

Em
Em
5 years ago

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.

Angela
Angela
5 years ago

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

Courtney
Courtney
5 years ago

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 :)

Sarah
Sarah
5 years ago

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

LD's Mom
LD's Mom
5 years ago

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!

Liz
Liz
5 years ago

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

Mandy
Mandy
5 years ago

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

Amy
Amy
5 years ago

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!