Sometimes you just need cake.

K may have turned 8 in April, but the part planning began in January with a lot of hours (and a secret board) on Pinterest—a baking birthday party was the chosen theme.

First came the checklists…date, location, friends to invite, invitations designed, et cetera, then came the details. We were heading south for two weeks in March, which meant it was a sprint to get as much done as I could before, as time was tight when we returned.

The invitations turned out better than I could have imagined—wrapped around a rolling pin and tied with bakers twine…it was the perfect taste for the baking birthday party. To ensure they would survive the trip to school and the handout—they were put into bags with fingers crossed.

While we were basking in the sunshine, we received confirmations from K’s friends—our excitement grew, and my impatience grew. When we returned home…it was baking time. Eight friends plus the birthday girl meant baking nine cakes (plus the cake for celebrating). Each girl would decorate their cakes, and then bring their cakes home to enjoy with their families. After baking the cakes, they were frozen (thank goodness for my mother’s chest freezer!)—this would make the cakes (much) easier for the girls to decorate.

Accent pieces were created (personalized aprons, tags, stickers, recipe cards, bingo cards), boxes were put together, and the buttercream was whipped.  We were ready for party-day.

When I imagined the girls decorating the cakes, it was beautiful and calm and a normal amount of icing per cake.  Oh was I wrong.  It was astounding to see the creations they came up with. From layering frosting and sprinkles to make a lasagne-like decorated cake, to mounds and mounds of coloured frosting that mixed to be a not-so appetizing olive green colour. There were so many giggles and smiles, that outweighed their not-so-attractive cakes.  Each girl took home their cake all boxed up, with a warning to the parents!

Decorating cakes, pin the sprinkle on the cupcake, baking bingo, a trip to the playground, and enjoying some cake (with far less frosting then their concoctions) rounded out the rest of the party.

After the party was finished and everything was cleaned up (big shout out to Michelle and my mum!!), K and I sat down the next day to make the thank-you cards.  K said what she wanted to say, I transcribed onto the computer, and then we were able to hand them out later that week – a great way to extend the celebration and express our gratitude to all her friends who spent the afternoon with us.

It was a whirlwind day, but a wonderful one. It was so nice to see the girls interact, laugh, smile, help each other, and have fun.  One lowlight that turned into a highlight was when the big ‘8’ balloon flew away while they were at the playground.  K was quite upset, but her friends rallied around her and supported her. It was so heartwarming to see these seven and eight year-olds come together when a friend was sad, and be able to cheer her up. It gives me hope as these girls move forward at school together.

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