Sunday, September 20, 2009

Amie's Birthday!


Katie and I created a birthday with joy in our hearts this morning. We have been excited about Amie's birthday for days, and Katie helped to make a card last night. We practiced saying, "Happy Birthday, Amie!" and right before Amie left tonight, Katie ran up to her and said it very clearly. She is such a sweetheart... And then when we were reading and cuddling before bed, we read Where is Baby's Birthday Cake (a lift-the-flap book by Karen Katz), and Katie asked me to substitute the word "Amie" for the word "Baby." Katie is definitely understanding the idea of birthdays, and she is getting excited about hers. She talks about what color balloons she wants and party hats and told me she wants a yellow cake with chocolate frosting when I gave her some choices.

But back to Amie's birthday. ;-)

We had so much fun decorating and making the house feel autumnal and festive. (I decorate for autumn almost like I decorate for Christmas, although a bit scaled back). I love to change our home in magical ways---it fosters such good childhood memories, and each time of year becomes even more memorable and special. Katie loved opening the autumn decoration box with me today and she helped set things out. She chose where to put our mini-scarecrow, and you know what? She chose EXACTLY the spot I was thinking in my mind.

Our guests arrived around 2:00, and so we had the whole morning to prep and cook together. We made Amie's cake (our tradition is a recipe called "crazy cake"), and we prepped everything for cooking later. Katie is such a helper; she really is. We have cooked in the kitchen for so long together, and I believe cooking together will always be one of our sources of great bonding. While I finished up some pesto, Katie played and we watched Meet Me in St. Louis. Later, she started singing the famous Trolley Song. It was absolutely one of the coziest moments in together, hearing Katie sing, smelling all the fall cooking scents, feeling the magic of a festively festooned house. I will remember that moment forever.

Here was our menu:

* Maple and brown sugar roasted pork loin
*Sage and walnut pesto (for topping the pork)
* Cornbread (freshly made), apple, onion, bacon, and fennel stuffing
* Sweet potato gratin (I made this one up, and I thought it was tasty---I used gouda and fontina)
* Braised kale
*Crazy cake
*Sparkling apple cider

Now for some pictures:

In the morning, Katie helps to stir the dry cake ingredients together.

Katie uses the offset spatula to help frost the cake (we made a double batch of frosting for yummy fudgy thickness!!!)

My little autumn girl plays near the fire pit.

Katie looks a bit pensive here, but this is a good one of Amie.

Katie wore her frilly and fun brown twirly party skirt.

Happiness for grandmother and granddaughter in the afternoon light.

Sharing birthday love with Amie.

Saying hello to Tuna Cat. We love you, Tuna Cat.

Running through the green grass...

Our fall birthday table for Amie. I used an array of apples as the centerpiece: cheaper than mums and symbolic of September, they can be used in the next couple of weeks for an apple pie or some such deliciousness. I love the colors and the simplicity...

Katie helps me to carry the watering can to water our morning glories.

We water the last two morning glories... I love my little helper, such a good girl.

Singing to Amie.... Katie is ready to help blow out the candles, good practice for her birthday!

Amie makes a wish...

Generations on Amie's birthday...

David and Boppa...

David and Amie...

Amie hitches a ride home on the Harley.

My wild parents. Er, I mean, Amie and Boppa on the way home. ;-)