#462 Cake for dayyysss

When one goes to a celebration, one gets to enjoy cake.

When one goes to a close friend/family’s celebration, one gets to take home, some cake.

When one throws a celebration…

One has cake… for DAYS.

In case you missed it, we celebrated our parents 50th wedding anniversary this weekend. And once the balloons start to deflate, dust gathers on the decorations, the wine glasses are washed and the leftover food is dished out amongst us all, there is one thing remaining that just stares at us from every angle of the kitchen.

CAKE.

And in today’s edition of this special series, we have ‘Prespani,’ a soft and crispy blanket of delicious pastry encasing a ground walnut mixture, surrounded by lots of icing sugar;

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we have Cake Pops, finished off in white chocolate and an edible golden dust (for a Golden anniversary);

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we have a slab of Continental Cake (it is much larger than what the photo shows, much like your side car mirror);

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and lastly, a little plate of miscellaneous, some as mentioned above, with the addition of a mini pavlova cup, a chocolate nutty cake, and a vanilla slice.

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DROOL DROOL DROOL.

(And I’m eating a cake pop as I write).

Zumba help me. I’m going to need it this week.

This week, of cake.

🙂

#461 Celebrating their 50th

I can’t tell you how grateful I am now that it is ALL OVER.

There was sooo much work. And besides that, sure, there are even regrets for the night. I wish I had taken more photos. I wish I’d have spoken to my parents that bit more. Mingled more. Danced more (no, my feet don’t think they could take any more…) drank more.

But what we gained tonight is a true blessing compared to all that.

Because finally, after months of planning and organising, and then a final rat race to the finish line in the last week, we celebrated our parents 50th wedding anniversary tonight.

It felt like a WEDDING in the lead up. That was the pressure and intensity we felt to succeed and get everything just right.

And I think, we did. But not without a lot of work.

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See that? Those cakes are made by European woman. Hours upon hours goes into making them.

Anytime a wog European woman offers you cake, do not waste it, do not reject it, and by all means please, saviour it, because it’s a freaking task and a half to make.

We don’t want our creations half-eaten and sitting on a paper plate getting old somewhere. Not after all the work that has gone into it.

Those cakes are representative of the effort that went into tonight. All that hard work. Hours upon hours.

But you know what? The hard work and effort and planning that went into tonight, well, that’s not even the tip of the iceberg for all that our parents have gone through, and done, for us.

And so, we are bloody blessed, to have been there tonight, celebrating with them, yelling the house down in glee, and sharing in such a special moment on their 2nd Wedding Day/50th wedding anniversary.

For that, I am truly, truly, deeply, grateful.

#455 A smaller Mother’s Day

I had this fleeting thought cross my mind sometime Friday, or Saturday. I was thinking of the upcoming Mother’s Day, and how we had ALL this stuff we were planning to do… go to the shops and buy outfits for ourselves for my parents’ upcoming wedding anniversary; go to visit my MIL on the other side of town; AND of course, visit my Mum also on the other side of town.

This was meant to happen after a late Saturday night, a normal sleep-in, and trying to get a never-sit-still baby girl to go along with it ALL.

Yep. It wasn’t likely to go smoothly.

Still, that was the plan. And yet, with all this impending busy-ness on the horizon, and knowing it was all for fun, a little voice inside me said ‘wouldn’t it be nice to just have a little Mother’s Day, just our family?’

Just baby girl, Hubbie and I. No running around. No 15 tasks. Just us.

Sometimes, you need to be careful what you wish for. Sometimes, little voices make a large ripple.

In a quite funny turn of events: my MIL stayed back late on Saturday night, and with her own plans for Sunday, we kind of had our unofficial catch up with her late yesterday evening; and my sister and bro-in-law were under the weather, and having had an up and down baby girl and Hubbie battling cold symptoms as well, we all decided to keep away from Mum and Dad, especially in the lead up to such a big event next week – which suddenly meant, that on Mother’s Day it was just –

Me, baby girl and Hubbie. Just US. As I had thought, so, so innocently.

And as much as I missed seeing my Mum and my sister terribly today, the quiet was quite nice:)

We had a lovely sleep in – no rushing around trying to madly get out of the house. We took some photos at home, drove to the shopping centre, then spent almost ALL DAY there. Not a brief 90 minute session.  I’m talking over 5 hours. Hubbie got some sneakers and shoes, baby girl got some toys, and I got not 1, but 2 outfit possibilities for next week.

That’s because I’m a Mum, and for us Mums, we can’t just go shopping when we like, and likewise, finding something we like in the limited time we have, is even HARDER. As it was it took 3 hours just to find those 2 outfits, so next time we have another event, at least I know I’M SET.

So, this year, a different kind of Mother’s Day. But it seems like my thought came true…. so a word of warning… be careful what you wish for…!

P.S Happy Mother’s Day to all Mums out there 🙂

#453 Photos

My sister always says, that it is so worth taking heaps of photos, for the memories that will come to you later as you look back on them.

She speaks with a lot of experience. She takes, HEAPS of photos.

She doesn’t have many photos of when she was a baby, and so I think she has spent the majority of her life, kind of making up for that fact, and making sure that her kids, will have tonnes of them.

I think I’ve kind of taken that from her. I too, love photos. Currently there are approximately, no exaggeration, 2000 of them waiting to be filed into photo albums at my less than likely leisure. I fell behind before baby girl was born, and thinking like the stupid parentless ‘know-it-all’ I was, that I would catch up while on maternity leave with her…

Yeah, right. Like that ever happened. 3 and a half years later and they’re still PILING UP.

But anyway. I love them, and in the most old school way – hard copy in a PHOTO ALBUM.

I’ve been doing heaps with photos lately, and it’s just reminded me how amazing and beautiful these snapshots into time can be.

In just over a week we’ll be celebrating my parents 50th wedding anniversary. We’re doing a few special things on the night, and one of them, to highlight their 5 decades together, is the photo collage I’m putting together, of one decade each per large cardboard sheet of paper, with as many photos as I can possibly muster crammed into all 5 sheets.

When I took my usb stick of anniversary photos over the years to the photo centre, there were 647 files.

647 photos.

I knew I had to scale that back, BIG TIME.

I told myself I’d only select 150…

then I got to 150 and said I’d select up to 200…

then I got to 200 and said 250 MAX.

Which is how I ended up at 255. Close enough.

Today when I took the developed photos to my sister’s place, for our little debrief over the anniversary party (who would sit where, what we would say, what would go where, what time that would occur, etc, etc), she flipped through the photos quickly, grinning and letting out “oh wow!”s, complimenting the broad selection, and happily going back in time to as far back as the late 60s, as she saw my parents journey again from start to current day.

Seeing the reaction on her face was great, and later at home as I trimmed the photos back, removing blank spaces and tightening it up so I could surely fit 50 photos per large page, I couldn’t help but pause and smile several times, observing my parents youthful looks, almost laughing out loud when my parents were too laughing in the photos, grinning with fondness at family photos through the decades, and just generally reminiscing with warmth in my heart.

I know, I sound like a hallmark card. But really, I loved it. I love photos. And I think the guests at the party, my parents’ family and friends, and my parents especially, will really enjoy the snapshot through the ages.

50 Golden Ages. 🙂

#447 Dancing in the kitchen with my loves part 3

(Apologies for the post delay, it WAS written, just the net was down and I couldn’t post)

It was a big day of preparation, cleaning, then cooking, hosting and entertaining as our close family group came together.

After everyone went home, and we were left cleaning up, a song came on the iPod shuffle – one from my native land that I love, and haven’t heard for a while.

“No, put it back!” I insisted to Hubbie, who had just skipped forward. He pressed a button and it went back to those soft, dreamy guitar notes I haven’t heard for so long. Baby girl came into the room as I swayed from side to side, rinsing dishes, and she held her arms out to me. I knew she was tired, but my mother instinct was turned right up – she wasn’t 100%.

I hoisted her up and danced with her around the kitchen, breaking into song, her exhausted face looking at me with a tired smile.

“Od plavog neba, ljepsi su oci tvoje,

Od svega vise volim te srce moje.”

We waltzed around the kitchen with her high up in my arms, and with Hubbie watching on in adoration, he soon got up from his spot to join us, wrapping us in a hug.

“Zlatne strune, sviraj tebi, ovu pjesmu jace!”

I belted out the song as much as I could, we swayed for a few more moments, and then baby girl’s weight (and wiggling) got too much to bare and I had to put her down.

But, no matter what occasion it is, dancing in the kitchen is most definitely the highlight of the night for me:)

(And, if you don’t understand the above lyrics, as I expect you can’t, go and learn yourself some Croatian… if only to understand the song, it is truly beautiful).

#444 8 Years

(There’s something beautifully symmetrical about the above…)

Sure, last night we all went out as a family to celebrate, at a local and pretty nice restaurant. But tonight, this is how Hubbie and I spent our 8th wedding anniversary:

(Baby girl ordering us to hide, so she can ‘find’ us)

She runs out of the room squealing, pretend counting.

We huddle under the couch’s throw, wrapping it around and ensuring we are well covered, giggling as our bodies draw closer and we cheekily kiss and hug, knowing we are well out sight.

“Happy Anniversary bubs.”

“Happy Anniversary.”

“I love you.”

“I love you honey.”

Baby girl re-enters the room and excitedly pretends to look around, trying to ignore the fact that she knows where we are. Hubbie’s head pops out of the throw cover and he asks “where’s Mama?”

Minutes later and I am ‘found,’ and soon enough we are all under the covers, laughing and tickling and making memories. No fancy restaurant can match that, because that’s the most important seat in the house.

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#419 Spaghetti bolognaise

Phil Collins again. “I’ve been waiting for this moment all my life…”

No, not really. About a week. But I could look forward to it EVERY DAY.

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I love pasta. I was craving a simple spaghetti bolognaise since last week, and I knew this would go down well with baby girl, as she too, LOVES pasta.

She insisted on it plain, which doesn’t faze me much I have to say. I like her preference for simple things, the fact that she doesn’t need much hoo ha, much salt, much sugar… yeah, she’ll still eat it. But her first preference is plain.

Plain and simple.

Yet even she too, upon later tasting the ‘saucy’ pasta, rubbed her tummy and did “mmm” sounds to confirm that it was, yes, YUM.

Beautiful spaghetti on a weeknight, a glass of red, Prince’s Purple Rain in the background with next-generation-fan baby girl swaying to and fro, surrounded by my family… that’s a pretty perfect night for me 🙂