Help me. I don’t know how to keep doing this.

White Starfish Ruffles Wedding Cake

Well ya’ll, I just don’t know how to keep doing this.

I love cake.  I love cake decorating.  I absolutely love this business I’m in.  It’s a dream come true – I’ve said that before.  But as my business has grown, it’s also become burdensome.  Cake decorating is a very demanding, life-consuming business.

Today I realized that my very best friend, who lives in Italy, is coming to the States for 6 weeks this fall, and it’s quite possible I won’t get to spend any time with her.  She lives on another continent and I haven’t seen her in more than a year and I may miss this chance.

Why?  Because of cake.  You see, I’m completely booked up for all of September, October, and most of November.  The orders are such a huge blessing and it’s amazing and yet, it breaks my heart.

As I sat on the couch with tears in my eyes thinking about this today – trying to figure out a way to make it work – I received an email from a bride wanting to book her wedding cake. For Summer 2015.

I just shook my head and cried harder.  It’s my 7th cake request for 2015.  How can I know what I’ll be doing next year?  In January?  Or May?  Or July?  Or what I’ll want to be doing?   How does anyone plan out their life and their weekends months and months in advance??

I don’t blame the bride for wanting (needing) to plan her wedding well in advance – I know that’s just the way things need to be done.  But can I really spend my life this way?

What if our church plans another mission trip in June like they did last summer?  I will not want to miss it!

What if my kids get invited to camp and I want to chaperon?  Or there’s a conference I want to attend?  Or a concert or a party?   My poor kids have missed birthday parties they were invited to because I couldn’t get finished with cake orders in time to take them.  How sad it that?

Or maybe I just suddenly want a weekend to hang out with my family and watch movies instead of working in the kitchen all day long and into the wee hours of the morning Thursday, Friday and Saturday night?

Two years ago we missed our nephew’s graduation a few hours away because I had a wedding cake that weekend that had been booked months before we knew a graduation date.  There was simply no way to do the cake and make the drive to and from the graduation.  It was awful.

Over the past couple of years – that’s happened a lot.  I’ve missed out on more things than I can count because my calendar was already booked up weeks and months in advance.  Or I should say “we” missed out on things… because often my family misses things too.

How do I keep doing this?

I appreciate my customers.  More than I can ever say.  I’m so, SO very thankful for this business and the income and well… all of it.  I love it.  I know there are bakers and cake decorators who would give anything to have a growing or full-time cake business.   I don’t take it for granted.  Ever.

I’m overwhelmed and sometimes still in disbelief with how successful this little adventure has become.  My life is wonderful – I am blessed beyond measure with the opportunities I have – to work from home and homeschool my children and live out my dream of cake decorating.

I can’t emphasize enough that I love, love, love what I do!!

But.   Such a powerful little word.

But….  how do I balance that success with wanting to live and enjoy my personal life outside of cake?  As much as I love cake, I don’t want to look back on my life and have regrets .  I don’t want to look back and see that everybody had their cakes for their happy events, but I missed out on my own happy events because I was doing those cakes!

I’ve even managed to slack on my own kids birthday’s more than once because I was so caught up and busy doing other kids’ cakes.  That’s not how I want to remember my life.

My kids will be grown and gone in a blink and I don’t want to miss it all.

I don’t have a staff that I can pass my orders off to if I need or want to go somewhere one weekend.  My “staff” is me, my husband, and my kids.  Period.   If I commit to a cake – I do it.  I do it.   I’ve never canceled a cake order.  I’ve never backed out after making a commitment.  That’s just not how I’m wired.

It’s not just a matter of cutting back or taking less orders.  I’ve tried that before.  Yes, it relieves my stress.  Yes, I get more sleep.  And yes, I need to take a break again and get back to my realization of what I really want!

But it only takes one cake – even if I only do one per weekend – one cake can be too much (such as the one and only wedding cake I had on the weekend of my nephew’s graduation). That one cake caused me to miss a once in a lifetime event.  And I can’t get it back.

So help me please.  If you have a cake business (or any kind of business) that gets booked up weeks and months in advance, how do you do it?  How do you handle conflicts with things you want to do?  Or how do you plan that far ahead and still have a life?    Am I thinking too hard on this?  Is there a simple answer that I’m not seeing? 

PS.  If you’re not already subscribed to my blog, would you?  You can sign up here for my free email updates and then you’ll never miss a cake or dessert or long depressing post about my life (ahem!!).  

This post contains affiliate links which means that, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission if you make a purchase. Thanks so much for your support in this way! Read my full disclosure policy here.

THIS is what I did this past week.

Weekend

I’ve done it again.  I got all wrapped up in a crazy-busy week and didn’t write a blog post for 6 days.  Ugh.  And guess what?  I won’t be really writing one today either.

Instead, I’m going to give you a very abbreviated run-down of the past few days.

Last week I did seven cakes, six dozen cupcakes, plus cake pops and dipped Oreos.  All pictured above, except my son’s Oreo Cake (and a couple of dozen plain cupcakes):

Caleb's 13th Birthday Cake

Caleb asked for a Lego cake with Oreo Cream filling for his 13th birthday and I did NOT want to disappoint.  He got *almost* as much filling has he did cake… and  he LOVED it!!

The other big thing… my nephew Rodney turned TWO!  His Monster’s cake from last year is here (I just posted it a few weeks ago and already a year has passed) and this year he had a Construction Party:

Rodney's Construction Party

I’ve mentioned before that my sister-in-law Amy and her mother ROCK party planning and those are just a few pics from his party!  She’s SO awesome!!

Paw Patrol Party Cake Cookies Oreos

And then, my most thrilling cake of the week… this Paw Patrol cake and sweets for Jamie.  He’s the little boy in our community who drowned a few weeks ago (I mentioned it on Facebook here) but thanks to his Daddy knowing CPR and some amazing medical staff and technology, and well, most importantly, the mercy of our Lord, he is alive and home got to celebrate his second birthday with his twin brother Harvey!

Praying for Jamie

He did suffer a brain injury from the accident and he has a long road of recovery ahead so please continue to pray for him and his family.   Having said that, I can say with certainty that I’ve never been more grateful for the privilege of making a cake!

Asher Nose

Okay… so after all that, Sunday my baby boy slipped and busted his nose and got a black eye… can you see how swollen his little nose is here?  It bled like crazy and eventually…

Asher Black Eye wm

…turned black around his right eye :-(  I don’t “do” blood, so it was more awful for me than him.  Just kidding.  Sort of.  Okay – that’s cruel, I know… but really?  Why do kids have to bleed SO much??   This Mommy can’t take it!!

And please excuse all the miscellaneous dirt on his face.  He’s a country boy through and through.

And yesterday was our first day back of homeschooling and it was, um, um, well… it was a Monday.  With 6 kids.  And they are not used to a routine.  Enough said.

Football game

But we did go see my nephew’s play 8th and 9th grade football, so that was fun!  We had burgers from the concession stand and I didn’t have to cook, so there’s that silver lining!

Then today I woke up to a very sick daughter and after getting her to the doctor and getting her on meds, I go out to find my truck locked and after getting a spare set of keys brought to me, I find my battery is dead.  I might have been a little on edge and I still had places to go, things to do.

Next, I also saw a new doctor today (a few minutes late thanks to my previously mentioned issues) – a cardiologist – who feels my heart condition (it’s not that serious – “condition” sounds ominous - it’s an arrhythmia) is probably exacerbated by my stress levels (WHAT?  Me?? StReSsEd???).   I’m starting a new medication and hoping that for the first time in months really, maybe my heart will act right.

Groceries

Then I went to Walmart.  Need I say  more??    Wait… except… does anyone want to pitch in on my grocery bill?  Pretty please??

So there… this is my non blog post.    What have you been up to for the last week?

 

This post contains affiliate links which means that, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission if you make a purchase. Thanks so much for your support in this way! Read my full disclosure policy here.

Cake Royalty, Camo Cast, Shopping, Eating & Cakes.

Rose

Wow – what happened this week? I was just going through my email and came to my weekly newsletter (I subscribe to my own newsletters just to be sure everything is always working okay) and that’s when it hit me, I only posted once this week. :-(

Looking back, it was an unusually busy week for me… well, every week is busy, but this one had some unusual events!  First up, on Monday, I was overjoyed to be invited to have lunch with some amazing Mississippi cake ladies!!

Cake Girls Cropped

Honestly I almost chickened out… I spend all day every day with 6 kids so I feel like my adult social skills are lacking!   In addition – these women are cake royalty!

But I’m so, so glad I didn’t back out!!  I got to have lunch with Stephanie from Dillicious Cakes, Peggy from Peggy Does Cake, and Lisa Edwards (she doesn’t have a page, but her wedding cakes are amazing!).

Christian with Camo Cast

Then on Tuesday, my sweet Christian had to go back to have another x-ray on his arm and finally get his permanent cast.  He chose camo!!    If you missed all the action going on for me last week, you can read about it here.

Cake Schedule

On Wednesday morning I sat down to write out my cake baking list and that’s when I realized I had um, booked a few more orders than I normally do.  Not overbooked to the point of being impossible to finish – I just had more on my plate than I usually do.  On top of that, I had cupcakes to bake THAT VERY DAY and three cakes due for pickup on Thursday.

How did I overlook those tiny little facts??  Oh wait… last week was insane also, so I guess my brain is just malfunctioning a little.

Cupcakes in Pink Box

So Wednesday I baked.  And baked.  And baked some more.  I also delivered the cupcakes that afternoon and managed to get my kitchen mostly cleaned up after all the baking!

I worked so hard to finish all of that because my Mama had asked me to go shopping with her on Thursday and she is about to start back to school (she teaches high school algebra), so it was one last chance for us to hang out a little before the new school year.

Normally I say no to all invitations on Thursday – Saturday because cake decorating dominates those days, but I hated to not go with Mama since summer is almost over!

Cake Collage

It didn’t hurt that the town where we were headed to is also where two of my Thursday cakes were going, so it saved my customers quite a bit of driving (like 60-70 miles round trip)  if I could bring them with me!

Shrimp & Alligator Cheesecake

Fast forward… we picked up my Aunt Louinda, we delivered cakes, we ate (that’s Shrimp & Alligator Cheesecake from Roux 61… best.thing.ever.), we shopped, we had fun… and I was back home baking cookies and one last cake (I had been waiting on details to know what size/flavor to bake – my fault for not nailing down details sooner)!

Dinosaur Cake and Cookies

Okay… so Thursday I baked and decorated Dino Cookies & Cake… and then Friday I had it on my plate to finish up my other 3 cakes!

Cakes

But… that was yesterday and guess what??  I finished all of them before 10pm and I got to sit down and hang out with the hubby for a little bit last night! (Sorry about the low quality picture – I have terrible lighting in my house at night)  And today?  I’m on the couch (at least until delivery time).

Eating eggs & grits.  Blogging.  Watching some TV.  It’s a good Saturday!!  Now I’m off to take better pics of those cakes and get them boxed up to deliver!  So… what are you up to this weekend??

 

 

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