Celebration

Tonight, a party. A small barbecue with old friends who don’t mind that I dragged my feet toward 40 and planned everything at the last minute. Friends happy to make a cheese plate and bake me a cake. Friends ready to celebrate, just say when. The weather is perfect cloudless blue sky breezy warm summertime. Sunflowers on the picnic table and an outdoor fire. The first party we’ve hosted since we moved in almost a year ago. Time to celebrate, blow out candles, make a wish.

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My Favorite Way to Say I Love You: 5/365

Two carrot cakes are cooling on racks in the kitchen and the house smells like love. It’s always an early start around here. The moon was big and bright through the trees in our backyard, the snow still perfectly untouched.

In the midst of shredding the carrots and finding room for my big cookbook on the counter, Chris is making eggs and toast and the cats are asking for breakfast. Isabella pushes the stool over and climbs up to reach the Cuisinart and presses the “on” button for the first time with her strong, tiny two-year-old finger. She jumps, startled, and then a big smile blooms on her face, so delighted with the spinning eggs and sugar she set in motion all on her own. I don’t want to forget that moment.

During the cake making and breakfast cooking, the carrots remind me to grab the chicken bones from last night’s roast and get a stock going. While the eggs and sugar spin, I toss celery and onion into the stock pot, and then wash the breakfast pan. Efficient, fluid multi-tasking in the kitchen, that’s my thing.

Later we’ll go to a family gathering at my mom and stepdad’s to celebrate their birthdays. And I’ll bring the cake, my favorite way to say I love you.