Today marked the start of my mom’s birthday week! We began our celebrations with a family dinner tonight so that David and Ashley could make the trip from Culver City on a weekend day. On Thursday, my mom’s actual birthday, I think we’ll take her out for frozen yogurt at Golden Spoon and/or make a special outing in the late afternoon. On Saturday, we will celebrate with Nana (my mom’s mom) after Katie’s soccer game.

The kiddos have been excited about Amie-Nani’s birthday party for days.

 

Katie helped to decorate the dining room and set the formal table yesterday.

 

Setting out the silver…

 

This morning we made apple-themed cards for Amie-Nani and baked her birthday cake. Eric was able to help much more this year with the baking of the cake, and I love that I can pass the recipe to both of my children. I have made this version of a chocolate cake for eighteen years for my mom’s birthday, since I was fourteen. I don’t think I’ve ever missed a birthday. Even when I was in college, we’d celebrate before Stanford started the fall term. (In fact, I wrote about this particular cake for one of the mini-essays on the Stanford application).

 

Two little stirring people!

 

Best part? Tasting the batter!

 

 

Dinner: pork schnitzel with walnut-sage pesto; cornbread-apple-fresh thyme dressing; homemade applesauce, served chilled; mashed yams with milk and brown sugar; brussel sprouts roasted with golden raisins, olive oil, and salt. This is my version of a festive autumn meal! Katie and I were able to make four components yesterday during Eric’s nap, so that helped!

 

 

Amie-Nani looks at her apple cards…

 

Opening presents… We found this beautiful retro-looking red paper with vintage cake stands (and cakes) on it that matched our autumn-and-apples theme.

 

Katie always helps to put the candles on her Amie-Nani’s birthday cake.

 

Eric wanted to add a nice straw…

 

Our table before the party… Katie made the party favors on the plates and was so proud! We used paper baskets, and she put construction paper maple leaves and a wrapped chocolate in each.

 

With my favorite little girl…

 

Mr. Eric sips his sparkling apple cider.

 

Applesauce for Eric!

 

Happy Birthday, Mom!

 

I think I was chewing…

 

Dinner conversation…

 

The beginning of all our fall celebrations…

 

Why hello there, Katie’s face!

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