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Monday, April 11, 2011

design your own birthday

When my kids were younger, I spent the few months before their birthday thinking of "themes" and cakes and goody bags and more. This was sorta fun, but after a few years, it became obvious that all this work was about me and not the child. So, I started really watching and thinking about what it was that they loved about their birthdays, and began to focus on that.

This shift has been amazing! My work is diminished and the kids are in charge. We have a simple dinner with our 15-20 family members (it is usually some variation of Italian or Mexican), make and take cool cupcakes to our small homeschool coop and do some really fun event with just us (kids choice).

The biggest thing around here lately, is that the kids want to design their own cake. They love Cake Boss and have come up with some very elaborate ideas that have not quite been realized yet (moving parts, huge size etc.) I am actually really into the BIG ideas, but at this point pulling that off would be putting the project back in my realm and they really seem to love being in charge. So, I let them figure out what to do and what will work.

Earlier this year, my 7yo son made a moon crater cake with a Lego space vehicle he designed. He and the other kids spent a long afternoon creating aliens and space creatures out of fondant. The cake was great - all kid designed and constructed.

More recently, my 9yo daughter made a fairy cake with birds. She let her brothers make carnivorous plants to decorate the sides. And again, the planning, excitement, pride and love of this project made anything I have ever made or special ordered pale drastically in comparison.

My nearly 5yo is already planning his cake and the fever is spreading. For my birthday this year, I think I am going to spend a day making a special cake that speaks of who I am and what I am interested at this moment in my life. It might be something exotic in flavor, as I have been dreaming of some big adventures lately - maybe something fruity with an interesting herb/spice twist.....

What about you? Do you let your kids take a big part in celebration planning? What would your cake say about you this year?


  1. I love this!
    Emma and Erin have designed the cake for Emma's party on Saturday. All I know for sure is that it will be covered in spider webs and bright rock candy.

    My cake would be pristine white. I always think white is a neglected color. I love it - clean, fresh, could-become-anything possibilities.

  2. So fun! We simply let our boys do what they love for their day as well. We always go out to eat with grandparents and this past year, one boy wanted a cake and to go shop for something he's been wanting, the other chose to grab some cupcakes and head to a hotel for the night of ordering in and swimming, and the other chose to meet some friends in Dallas and spend a few days at Great Wolf Lodge. (We take turns every year letting one child pick on a trip) the year before was our middle son's turn for a trip..he chose NASCAR haha, it really was fun though! It does seem expensive, but we make that one of our family vacations in the year and save for it, and we all truly love the memories! I'm new to your blog, and am loving everything I'm reading!


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