Bret turned 30 on Friday. That's right, the word is out, and there's quite a few folks who are surprised. I'm a cradle robber -- just by a few months -- but he's younger than me all the same.
Bless his heart, when it comes to food Bret's usually very easy to please. He'll usually eat anything that you put in front of him -- and the meatier and cheesier it is, the better. We make a good team, too. When it comes to dessert, I'll pass on seconds of the meal so that I can have seconds of the dessert. Bret however, will get seconds or thirds of the meal instead of the dessert.
So when it comes to birthday cakes, he'd really rather not even have one. Rarely will you ever see him eating a piece of cake with icing on it. (And if you catch him doing it, it's more than likely because he's avoiding hurting someone's feelings.) But it's his birthday for crying out loud! He's stuck with me for the rest of his life, and any time there's an excuse for a special dessert, we will have one!
So instead of traditional birthday cake, Bret has told me that he would much rather have some kind of dessert with fruit -- especially berries. (He specifically asked me not to refer to this as a "fruity dessert.") So we'll have cobbler or pie or fruit pizza or cheesecake.
This year I was trying to decide which one of these we would tackle, when I had a new idea. Dirt cake. You know those cakes that are cream cheesy goodness layered with crushed Oreos that look like dirt? It's not fruity, but it's cream cheese and Oreos -- both of which I knew Bret loves. Plus, I figured the boys would love to help make the "dirt" and add some gummy worms.
So I talked to the boys about it, got them sold on it, and took them shopping. While on the candy aisle looking for gummy worms, Conner saw some m&ms that looked like rocks. No really -- they actually could have passed for rocks. We had tried some earlier in the summer at the wedding of some geologists, and Conner and Micah were just beside themselves that we had found some, too. "Can we please get these? They can go on the cake with the worms, and then what's left can be Daddy's present." Sure. How can you say no to that?
As we got the rest of the ingredients, I started asking the boys what they wanted to get Daddy for his birthday. I threw out a few ideas, but they insisted, "But Mom, we already have his present -- rocks."
"Yes, we can give him the rocks, but what else are we going to get him?"
"Rocks. Just rocks. He'll love them."
I thought I was never going to be able to talk them into getting something else...until finally we decided on a gift card hidden at the bottom of the bowl of chocolate rocks. :)
When we got home, I told the boys that we would be making Daddy's cake the next day after school. They were very excited...but I didn't know just how excited until I picked them up the next afternoon...
Mrs. Summer said that Micah had told them all about Bret's 30th birthday, and the cake with worms in it. She was a little confused about it all, but after a brief explanation she understood. :) I was pleasantly surprised, I had no idea he was that excited.
And then a little later we went to pick up Conner. His teacher said the same thing, that Conner had told everyone that his Daddy was turning 30 the next day, and that he was going home to put worms in his cake. She was a little confused, too. Once again, a brief little explanation was all that it took. And once again, I had no idea that Conner was that excited, either.
So we got home and got straight to work curshing up the Oreos. I opened the package...and Conner immediately grabbed a handful and went and hid under the table to eat them.
Joey followed suit and grabbed a few, except I had him sitting up in a chair that he couldn't get out of. So he licked the creme out of all the middles and proceeded to paint his face and the countertop.
Micah, my star kitchen helper lately, was the only one who helped me put the Oreos into the blender.
Then we started putting the cake together, gummy worms and all.
But feeling a little guilty about not including the one thing that Bret had requested -- fruit -- I had gotten some sliced strawberries in syrup. We put a layer of strawberries in the middle of the cream cheese, and saved the dirt for the top. The boys did not disappoint. They thought this was the coolest part -- "groundhog blood!!"
"Yeah, I hope Daddy will be okay eating all this stuff," said Conner, playing along. "I hope it doesn't kill him."
"Yeah, Conner!" Micah chimed in enthusiastically. "We're gonna kill Dad!" (I calmed things down after that! :)
It turned out really cute, even if I do say so myself! (The crayon in the middle is the candle. That's all we had.)
Then the morning of Bret's birthday, the boys surprised him with cinnamon rolls and strawberries for breakfast. And Bret was appropriately "surprised" that his rocks were actually chocolate -- and that there was a gift card hidden in the bottom of them.
Bret, my dear, I wasn't able to make your birthday nearly as special as I would have liked to. And I'm truly sorry that such a large portion of your day was so crummy. Thank you for working so hard for us and unselfishly somehow making your day so enjoyable for your boys, too. I've enjoyed entering this decade of life with you, and look forward to what it has in store! (Well, I think I do anyway... :) I love you!