Pina Colada Birthday Cake

“She walks in beauty, like the night 
Of cloudless climes and starry skies; 
And all that’s best of dark and bright 
Meet in her aspect and her eyes” -Lord Byron

One of my favorite poems Ken first recited to me some 14 years ago, words I’ve carried on my heart all these years. Words that came rushing back to me as I sprawled on our cozy leather couch last night, tucked into my soft fleece throw, processing the day’s events. 

Yesterday was my birthday. 

It was beautiful, it was messy, it was full of laughing and joy and moments of tenderness and challenge. Ken and I woke up to a roof that was flooding from all the rainstorms and after hours of drilling into the drywall and removing parts, we think (and pray) we got all the water out. Fans have been running nonstop as we air and attempt to dry the wet spaces. It sounds like we are on an airplane. This house is a lesson in perseverance. So midday, I focused on things I could do to help, like emptying water buckets, washing clothes and cooking a giant pot of chili to feed our friends for our dinner. As a family, we made this dreamy pina colada cake with a rich coconut soak, chantilly cream and layers of shredded pineapple in between. Ken baked up the layers for me, I whipped the cream and filled/frosted the cake and my sweet 7-year-old helped me place each snapdragon along with a handful of other flowers we got from our favorite local flower farm. My other two children assisted in taste-testing the various components and giving feedback, which they loved. 

I cried a little here and there, exhausted and overwhelmed by the past few weeks. This house is a work in progress. I’m a work in progress. 

I cried also because I’m so very grateful for this life I lead, the family I get to love. I took a moment to sit down with each child yesterday and asked them if they knew how much I loved them? I shared that they – each of them – are my best gifts in this life. On my birthday and everyday. And each child hugged me so hard and told me “I know, Mama and I love you so much.” And together we got through all the twists and turns of yesterday.

Previously posted on IG. *Meant to post here. 😉

2 thoughts on “Pina Colada Birthday Cake”

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