Since I shared Sarah & Noah's party yesterday (or was it Sunday?), I figured I should probably go ahead and share Christian's Mud Riding Cake... from last November.
Yeah, I failed as a Mommy on that one! In more ways than one.
You see... I can't tell you exactly what was going on that week last year (actually, I can... I just realized I wrote about it), but I clearly remember it being a very long, hard week that ended in me realizing very late Saturday night that I had not planned ahead in any way for Christian's birthday party... on Sunday afternoon.
To say I felt guilty would be a huge understatement. I felt like a failure, a loser, a horrible Mommy. There were lots of tears, panic and shame. I'm even feeling some of that guilt and shame today - as I share his cake almost 5 months later.
I mean really... what kind of Mommy gets so busy and wrapped up in her cake business that I don't plan my own kids party? A bad one... or that's how I felt!
What would people think when I served hot dogs on uncoordinated paper plates? When I didn't have balloons or favor bags? When the cake was less than perfect?
My failure (in my eyes) was so big that I ended up skipping church (and having my oldest kiddo join me to help) on that Sunday morning in an effort to throw together a cake and other details for the Sunday afternoon party I had planned.
The party was going to be small... just a few friends and family, but still. As a cake lady and blogger who posts pretty pictures all the time - I really felt the pressure to have everything perfect - especially the cake.
And not just any cake... but a cake my little boy would really love! A cake that would impress and wow. A cake I could pin on Pinterest and share on Facebook and be proud of.
So.... what did I do? I failed at all of that and did the best I could. Christian is young and not picky. He had changed his mind so many times about what kind of cake he wanted that I felt like anything "boy" would make him happy.
I took 3 cakes that I had in the freezer and pushed them together and decided to make a mud-car-hills-cake. Also known as a Mud Riding Cake.
The whole thing was really Joshua's idea... thank God for blessing me with smart, inventive children (he has his own website if you didn't know)!
Don't ask me why I had three extra cakes in the freezer at that time... I have no idea. I occasionally end up with an extra layer or two from my baking each week but rarely do I have that much cake tucked away.
But that week, I did. I guess God was watching out for me. The cakes were also 3 different flavors. We offered our guests variety... yes we did!
The only thing Christian mentioned again and again was wanting stars on his cake. So I made sure to get stars on the cake... all over! For the letters/number, I used the white plastic alphabet cutters for his name and the six from this Wilton Alphabet and Numbers set.
And since Christian (and his Daddy) also love Mustangs... I had one on hand in my cake box (I keep random cars and toys in there for last minute cakes) that I used for the mud riding vehicle! We used whipped chocolate ganache for the mud (also leftover from the School Spirit Cake).
For the rocks, we just marbled together some black and white fondant and rolled them into irregular shapes. Easy-peasy. Joshua also made most (if not all) of the rocks for me!
And it came together. In less than two hours I had a cake. It was lumpy and bumpy. The edges were terrible. It was an oh-not-so-perfect cake in my eyes, but it was "awesome" to a little boy who loves cars and mud and stars!
After all that guilt and feeling like a failure and crying and pulling my hair out trying to get everything together... at the end of the day I had this:
A very happy boy (who got an Angry Birds hat as one of his gifts).
A boy who loved his cake, blew out his candles... and didn't care one bit that the bottom edge of the cake wasn't smooth and pretty or that the cake was "thrown" together. He never knew Mommy had cried over it or had a meltdown while he was in Sunday School.
He just knew his friends were visiting to celebrate with him. That his cousins and aunts and uncles and MawMaw & PawPaw were having lunch with us. He was happy.
So the lesson is this. As a Mommy, we're going to fail sometimes.
Or at least we're going to feel like a failure. We're going to feel guilt. But we need to put less pressure on ourselves.
We need to remember that our kids love us and just want to have fun.
Most of them don't care if the cake is awesome and perfect - they just want cake!
Most don't care if they have the perfect Pinterest-worthy party - they just want to play and laugh.
At the end of the day... we (as Mommies) need to stop trying to measure up to every body else. Stop trying to make everything Pinterest-perfect. Stop worrying about all the details that our kids will never notice. And just love them.
We need to walk and act in grace. We need to let peace rule our hearts - not panic and guilt and pride.
Have any of you struggled with situations like this? Battling a need to measure up? To be more or the best for your kids?
And on a lighter note... if anybody wants to re-create this awesome thrown together cake... do you have any questions? Did I miss any details? Please leave me a comment and I'll answer and help if I can!
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