I admit, I took no pictures of Nathan’s or Ryan’s birthday this year. The picture of Nathan eating cake is actually from the day after. That doesn’t mean that we didn’t celebrate their birthdays, only that I was incredibly lazy about the camera.
They were our usual informal affairs, of course. For Ryan’s, we spent the morning at a newly-discovered park near us, which has the enormous appeal of not only including a huge sand pit, but about forty large trucks and digging machines for anyone to play with. Since it was new (to us) and special, it seemed a fitting birthday treat. His grandparents sent a birthday card, and for dessert I made some creeper cupcakes. It seemed to satisfy him quite well.
Nathan wanted a bit more. He might finally be reaching an age where he understands that birthdays can contain more fanfare. For his big day, we invited a couple of friends and sent Dave out to procure some helium balloons. His friends brought special birthday posters, his grandparents sent another card, and we had chocolate cake.
Yes, cake. I’ve been getting by on cupcakes for years now, but this time Nathan specifically requested a cake. I have never actually made a standard layer cake. Faced with an inauguration into cake-baking, I went browsing on one of my favorite cooking sites, Smitten Kitchen, for the perfect recipe.
And oh boy, did I find it. Lushly chocolate in flavor, incredibly moist, this cake didn’t even need frosting to be incredible. Which was good, because I was entirely unable to dump it out of my brand-new cake pans. We dug it out in chunks instead and counted ourselves in chocolate heaven. (My friend Emily suggested a raspberry sauce as accompaniment, and I think that would be brilliant.)
And now they are five and three years old. I remember how Dave and I walked around for the first few days after Nathan was born saying in tones of awe and bewilderment “We have a baby!” And now… holy cow, we have a five-year-old!