i'm butter on a summer day when she's around

Yesterday we celebrated Aunt Megan's 15th birthday. Seeing my little sister off to her freshman year of high school a few weeks ago was an unreal feeling but knowing that she is on the verge of turning fifteen? I can't wrap my mind around it. For me, fifteen was a year of honing my intellectuality. My nose was pressed between the pages of Charles Bukowski poetry compilations as some pretentious indie rock album played (on vinyl, no less) in the background behind me. Fifteen was a year of learning many things from how to drive to how to really be the person who you feel you truly are inside. As much as we all change and grow from who we are at fifteen (and thank goodness for that), I feel that is when our true selves are being formed, molded and sculpted into the structure we will identify with for years to come. There is something you are able to feel in your bones at fifteen, a clue as to who you are and the way you will maneuver yourself through the new world in front of you. After all, I was fifteen years old myself when I started dating the boy who is now my husband. Dreams of rockstardom and invincibility had fallen by the wayside. I knew that one day I would be his wife and I would be a mother and I would still have pretentious indie rock albums on the shelves behind the lullaby and sing-a-long CD's. I was able to see a glimpse into my albeit quite distant future while still basking in being young and ruling life with a heart like a sponge, sopping up humanity and emotion and an all-around zest for living. Being fifteen, as emotionally draining as it both was and had the potential to be, was a pretty life-affirming and incredible time.

You won't find Megan draped in plaid or scrawling poetry in scalloped-edge paper notebooks about how it feels to be friendless and alone. She seems to have pulled a different card in terms of being fifteen. She is full of teenage spunk and life (and attitude). To transport all of her happy, smiling, well-dressed friends to her birthday dinner, it took three full cars. It made me smile and think of the way Megan and I always jokingly compare ourselves to Daria and Quinn. Yet in the smiles of both Megan and the many girls I've known since near infancy, there is that little bit of grown up etched into their faces. They're still young and invincible, but they have slowly developed their own sense of being and their own personalities. Fifteen is an adventure that they are all ready to tackle, one by one.

An overtired Ethan was not such a fan of the Hibachi restaurant. Dinner at an Hibachi restaurant with an infant is quite stressful in case anyone is entertaining such a masochistic thought. The "after dinner party" at my parents' house was much more warm and welcoming of an environment for Ethan as he ate, napped and enjoyed the flock of teenage girls (and his grandma) fawning over his adorableness. He's cute and he knows it, but he wasn't complaining about everyone being so willing to make sure he remembered it.

The idea for Megan's cake was one I shamelessly stole from one of my favorite girls on the internet (and a pro at making everything look like it's too fancy to consider eating), Christiane at Christiane Cooks. Only, you know, hers was about a thousand times more adorable than mine despite my spending SEVEN HOURS decorating. No lie. Seven hours. I made a three-layer checkerboard cake with a beach theme. The beach towels, beach balls and inner-tubes were all made of candy. The faces and bathing suits on the teddy bears were drawn on with Wilton's edible markers. The sand, of course, is graham crackers that I threw in the food processor. I also made my husband a special "gluten free beach" cake because each time someone has a birthday celebration, he's left to his own devices as he watches everyone else enjoy a piece of cake or other delicious dessert. The icing on that cake (no pun intended) is him having to answer the "why aren't you eating cake?" or "so what can you eat?" questions as everyone else is in between bites of something sugary and delicious. His "gluten free beach" wasn't as adorable or easy to decorate but it was kind of humorous.

Tomorrow is the day that my sister actually turns 15, but yesterday was still quite a celebration. Ethan had a blast celebrating his Aunt Megan's fifteenth birthday. After all, celebrating the birthday of someone he loves so much totally cancels out the scary-factor of Hibachi restaurants.


  1. Congratulations to your sister!!! I am amazed about your baking/decorating talent..The cake looks spectacular!!!

  2. Holy cow, Lindsay!!
    I want a cake like that! It was unreal,I am still in shock here...


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