Friday, May 14, 2010

Relay Postponed but State Cupcake Still Determined

They said rain or shine but apparently lightning puts a damper on things. Could you imagine 55 teams walking a track in a lightning storm with umbrellas? Not really ok.

DEVASTATING is that after 4 months of researching and contacting cupcakeries around the state of Texas the whole event is postponed. Um...I have dozens of dozens of cupcakes...they will expire. Quickly.

It did not take long to decide what to do. We still needed to choose a State cupcake. The rest we will find a way to sell off this weekend.

My mom graciously offered her home for the judging. Spectators got to drink wine. Thank you Jesus!

My local "celebrity" judges were not there except for Jackie Mims Hopkins, local children's book author and cancer survivor. We rounded up judges from my team mates husbands, Bryon Morgan, Jason Mailand, Robert Wren and also another one of mom's friends and a Book Diva,Ms. Bobbie McDonald. The mini-judges, Drew and Gabe still did their job as well. Surprisingly Drew fell out about half way threw but Gabe stayed with it until the end. (Can we say "growth spurt?")

We proceeded with the judging, following the criteria. The gave a score on the scale of 1-5 for Bite-ability, Frosting, Cake, Presentation, Ease of Access, and Texas-ness. We had 5 flavors a-miss from our final count of 25. Some coud not make it due to the weather. One poor contestant had an accident this week and was unable to make her cakes!

Out of the 20 tasted the winner ended up being Berry Pecan from Sugar Queen Bakery in Lake Dallas, TX. What's amazing is that this was the last cake tasted. The judges eyes were watering, pallor was placid, stomachs rolling over and THEN they tasted Berry Pecan, their last cake. It was still deemed amazingly delicious by everyone. The candied pecan on top really topped it off. The presentation on all of the cakes from Sugar Queens were extraordinary! All four of the cakes offered from this bakery were exceptional but Berry Pecan, by far, met the requirements for presentation, taste, Texas-ness. I am so thrilled for them as they fought the weather all the way from Dallas!

In second place came Chocolate Mousse from Forest Cafe and Bakery on 242 in The Woodlands, TX. Honorable mention goes to Snickerdoodle, also from Sugar Queens and Texas Turtle from Frost Bake Shoppe in The Woodlands, TX. Murmurs erupted regarding Lori Ketcherside's Sweet Tea. A very original flavor! The best Red Velvet, and also a high scorer, was from Hudon Oaks, TX Ultimate Cupcake. INCREDIBLE!!! Those were definitely the top 5 (not neccasirly in that order) from the bake-off.

We still have scads of cakes! We will be selling them at our children's swim meets, soccer games and hopefully the Ashlane YMCA tomorrow. The silver lining of all of this: All 55 teams have longer to raise money for cancer. We will still sell our cupcakes for cancer research. We will walk at the newly assigned date. My team will make their Betty Crocker, Duncan Hines, box mix cupcakes and sell them at the new date along with the coffee. And tonight I got cupcakes and WINE instead of coffee!

P.S. No one was made happier then Drew. Even though he had to quit and bow out with the tasting he was so happy to have a State Cupcake named. He is who I did the bake-off for.

To my team: THANK YOU!! You were all so amazing. The creativity and hard work.... I can not tell you enough how proud I am of you and how much I love you. I chose you because if I had to battle this God awful disease you would be the people I would lean on. I chose well. Love you all! And thanks Mom for your support, encouragement and house. Loves.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day: My "Personal Day"

Mother's Day weekend was fabulous though not as relaxing as I would've hoped. That Saturday started with the boys' soccer games. Both boys played really well this week! They were fun to watch. Their games were at the same time so I would sit at one and Aaron at the other and then we would switch at half time. It's a bummer because you miss half of each game but a bonus because then you can get on with your day when the games are finished. That afternoon there was a birthday party for a sweet little friend turning 2. I had to leave the party early to go and sing the Momism song at our church's Saturday service.

Mom took me to the church. It was so fun to have her there! She was such an encouragement and I could tell she was proud. *thumbs up* I flubbed this performance up. It wasn't terrible but I forgot the words for just a second. With the speed that this song goes at, that was at least a sentence. Thankfully I was able to very quickly recover and finished the song with a lot of sparkle. The Sat. night service is usually pretty small so messing up with that group was not so bad. Everyone still seemed impressed and it was just so fun! I felt better about doing it with the next two services on Sunday.

I got the boys ready for bed and reminded them that we have church in the morning.

"I don't want to go to church." Drew said, "I just want to take a 'Personal Day.'" Hilarious! Were did he get that from?

Mother's Day morning Drew woke me up with a loud "Happy Mother's Day!" Then he promised that I could have breakfast in bed.

"Today is your 'Personal Day' mom! You can have breakfast in bed and you can stay in bed all day and watch t.v. Brother and I will do all the work!"

He took my order for breakfast: organic vanilla yogurt and granola. Then I layed in bed cringing while I heard all of the clattering and banging going on (with an occasional "oops!") in the kitchen.



A little while later, breakfast is served on a Star Wars tray. There was way more granola then yogurt and...what's this? This was not my organic vanilla. No, no, this was a Danimals Crush Cup. Oh my stars people! Do not eat these and do not buy them for your children! It was disgusting! I ate what I could while a parade of flowers and home made cards came my way. I especially loved the card from my sweet husband that included a gift card to Message Envy. ;) Also, sweet was the boys trying to fold the clothes that they pulled out of the dryer....

At church everything went great! It was so fun!!!! I love performing. I got a standing ovation in each service! Now, THAT'S the way to start your day people. Especially moms! It was so fun! Did I already say that? The boys saw the second service performance. When I came out from back stage they ran up and jumped in my arms. Well, Gabriel jumped inmy arms. Drew sort of wrapped around my leg. Gabriel said, "Mom! I had NO idea you could sing like that!"

Really? All the time you heard me practicing or the times I sing in the car...? Hahaha! Maybe the mics had some instant editing in it or something.

After service we had lunch with my mom on her back deck. (Her favorite thing to do!) The weather was just perfect! (Please God make next weekend exactly the same. It would really help with keeping the cupcakes cool.) After lunch with mom, the boys had me get back in bed to continue my "Personal Day." I watched some black and white on TMC. It was lovely. Then it was up-and-at-em again to take my mother-in-law to dinner.

Aaron had reservations for us at Buca de Beppo. Yummy! The food was so good. In the middle of the meal Drew had to use the restroom. Somehow he managed to pee all over the bathroom floor. That was great. I got some paper towels and cleaned the floor. (Where was all that "Personal Day" talk now?) The best part of the meal though was dessert. We got the Calousel Brownie Sundae. Let me tell you, it lives up to the name! Drew was so funny. He instructed our server to place it right in the middle of the table where everyone can reach it. It was also right in front of him. This boy was in Heaven!

I ended my day with a long, hot bubble bath! What a great day! I love my job. I have to admit that I don't remember playing a lot with my mom. I just remember her working in the house all the time. Moms work so hard. I hope that all the moms had great days and that you all were good to your moms. Now I need to go and re-fold some laundry...

Sunday, May 2, 2010

What a Weekend!

Friday was the last day for the cupcake contestants to register. I think I have 12 contestants and over 20 cupcake flavors! The contestants are coming from all over the state. We've got 'em from Austin, Dallas, Ft.Worth and, of course, from all over Houston. It's truly a Texas State Cupcake Bake-off. There are professionals and a smattering of "domestic" entrants. It's going to be great! I am most looking forward to watching Miss Woodlands eat 21 cupcakes. Mwuahahaha!

Earlier this week I was sick with laryngitis. This is not an abuse of vocal chords but an actual infection of the larynx. I felt AWFUL! Flu-ish. On the second day into the Z-pack of antibiotics I get a an e-mail from the church asking me to sing the Momism song by Anita Renfroe. If you are not familiar with it Google it. Basically it's a song of all the things a mom says in a 24 hour period, sung to the tune of the William Tell Overture. It's killer. So struck with fear was I when I read the e-mail, that I started to cry a little. I also thought "this would be SO cool!" "They" told me that they got my name from several people. I am fairly new to the church and no body there has ever heard me sing or seen me perform. Apparently my "crazy" proceeds me. So...I started working on it. They asked that I have it half way memorized by Sat.(yesterday)to do a run through of it. If it was not coming together by then they would scrap it. I have a cupcake bake-off to plan, my sons 8th birthday party, a project for my grandmother's 80th birthday, soccer games and out of town company. I really did not think it was something I could squeeze in there. Then I thought, what mother out there does not have just as busy a schedule? Plus, God LOVES impossible. With Him in my corner I could crank this baby out. By Sat, I had over half of it memorized. This a.m. I am happy to say I know the whole song and now have a week to polish. God and Me: Kickin' butt and takin' names.

My sons birthday party was awesome! He wanted an Army themed party. With all of the military folk in our family, it holds a special interest to my son. That, and he's a boy. So in secret I asked his Uncle Matt, a former Marine, to come dressed in fatigues and drill the boys. I made invites that looked like dog tags. There is silver card stock at the craft store. I cut out the shape and wrote backward on the back of the tag shaped card. I wrote on a soft surface so the pencil would dent the page but not punch through. I thought I was a freakin' GENIUS until I realized that I had to trace over the writing over and over to really make the engraving effect come through. After the second one I was over it. Idiot! *slaps forehead* The kids came dressed in camo and ready for war. They painted their faces with camo paint. It was awesome! They had a blast. My body is sore though because my brother-in-law had me demonstrate the obstacle course to the children. Punk. After the hives I got from army crawling through the grass subsided, I was able to enjoy the party with everyone else. My son had a BLAST!

Uncle Matt also gave him his first BB gun. I understand this to be a right of passage for Texas boys but it still unnerves me. I grew up in a house with guns. My father had hunting rifles and shotguns. My brother had a BB gun at a young age and eventually graduated to the hunting rifle. We were all taught gun safety. So maybe it shouldn't bother me so much but...I think it's right for a parent to have a healthy level of fear when first arming their child even if the BB's can't break flesh. This is a huge responsibility to hand to a kid who can't find his own socks. Gabriel is a serious lad though and I can tell he definitely gets the seriousness of it. He went out back with his Papa, Uncle and Father and shot and shot and shot until *plink* he finally shot a coke can. Thank God. I will sleep better knowing that my son and the other men in my family can protect me from crazed coke cans that may attack my home.