Friday, September 13, 2013

When it Rains it Pours

 It's been a busy few days.  For one, we have had back to back BIG cakes to make.  The kind that required me to take time off my full time job to complete (yes, this is what I use my vacation time for.  It is sad).

The first big cake was our first call to be a "Sugar Angel" for Icing Smiles, Inc.  The mission of Icing Smiles is to match bakers to families that have been impacted by the critical illness of a child.  We signed up with this nonprofit organization over a year ago, so were very excited to be called.  There are two types of cakes - regular cakes and "Dream Cakes".  Dream Cakes are tiered, carved, or otherwise very special.  In other words, not a project you can phone it in on (in case you are the sort of person inclined to do less than your best for an ill child.  Which I am not).

We were given our child's name and a theme - Hello Kitty.  Abbie is turning five years old, she likes chocolate, and her favorite color is red.  This is what we came up with:

Abbie's Dream Cake

This cake got my kids' seal of approval, which was comforting.  Nothing like the thumbs up from the resident five year old girl to predict that the five year old in question will like it as well.  Which she really seemed to when she came with her mom and grandma to pick it up tonight.  Some things are really, really worth doing.  This was one of them.

Immediately following the Icing Smiles cake, we had another monster to do.   This one, a wedding cake.  Wedding cakes are a big deal partially because of the extra pressure to not mess them up, but also because they take a long time to bake all the layers.  A three tiered wedding cake has 3 layers each, which in a traditional oven like ours, keeps the Jedi up to his elbows baking for about nine hours straight.  Which makes him grumpy.  Which, when we have to share our small kitchen while he bakes one cake and I decorate another, makes everyone grumpy.  So.  Normally we wouldn't have booked a wedding cake on top of the Icing Smiles cake, but there were some car repairs, and.... gotta bring home the bacon.  Frosting.  Whatever.  So anyway, all that baking and six hours in the kitchen today stacking and decorating, and here is the finished product:

Birch themed wedding cake

I will admit I'm partial to the nature themed wedding cakes.  As well as any cake that I get to hand-paint, which is something I'm actually pretty good at.  I finished this cake around 3 pm today, and since the little dude had swim at 4 pm and Hello Kitty was picking up at 6 pm, I found myself suddenly with three hours alone.  To myself!!!!  Oh what is a mom to do??
Running with Bud.
Good for speed, bad for distance
My training in the last few days has been next to nonexistent, due to a massive migraine that laid me up for three days.  The pain medicine alone was mind-expanding enough for me to come up with everyone's nicknames, so you can bet I wasn't doing much exercise-wise through it.  Except for one short run/bike with my little guy, the biggest highlight of which was me losing the nice custom earbud from my new Pear headphones, I'd been a complete lump.

Up until this point in the day, it had been beautiful and sunny. But this is fall in New England, where the weather changes more often than a teenage girl picking a prom dress.  So I checked the weather forecast.

See that?  ZERO percent chance of precipitation before 5 pm.  A likely story.... Anyway I decided that IF it should rain, better to be on foot than on tires, so I hit the rail trail near my house for a four-miler.  I kid you not - the skies opened up as soon as my sneakers hit the dirt.  By a half a mile in I was soaking wet.

Run turned Swim

It wasn't very cold, so I proceeded with the run as planned.  After all, better the wet than the heat, right?  My slow pace and the sore legs made me seriously question my ability to ever run 13.1 - as a single serving OR as part of a half ironman.  But I'm trying to table negative thoughts.  In the rain.  Good luck.

It's raining, it's pouring.... but pretty
Predictably the sun came out at mile 3.8.  Of course.  Why not.  And I had clear blue skies by the time I arrived back at home (two miles down the road from the trail).  Ahhh.... fall in New England.....

The best part?  I found my earbud.  In the mud, in the downpour, on two miles of trail that I'd lost a day previous while chasing my four year old on his bike.  Let's hear it for small victories!


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