round-the-sun birthday ritual, there was present opening...
...and while Ani and Dan went to select the new bicycle, Eliza and I stayed home to prepare the rest of the day's food...I had a couple of firsts today; my first "fancy" layered cake (as opposed to a sheet cake or "hey, wouldn't you love a pan of birthday brownies?????"). I was so happy with how this chocolate cake turned out!!! I got the recipe from a friend of mine who I think is a really accomplished baker, and I was really pleased that I was able to pull off Ani's request of "a tall cake".
The cake is a vegan chocolate, and the frosting is, well not vegan, being made with cream cheese and honey, and colored with beet juice, which made Ani very happy, fond as she is of beets. The edible columbines are from our garden. My other first today was Chicken Pot Pie, and again - wahoooo! It was great. I could eat this every day.
After eating the pot pie, and before cake, we took a walk to the bike path, to discover that summer has truly arrived. From the swallows to the poison ivy, to the warm heaviness in the air, this evening felt like summer.
Before dinner we watched much of a video that was taken at her birth. The girls had somehow never seen it before, and they were thrilled with it. There was so much I had forgotten: how Eliza kept asking for me to hold her, how she was so excited and tired that she was telling jokes and crying at the same time; how she was the one who discovered Ani was a she; how beautiful and focused my husband was, what a good team we made. I cried. What can I say? It was an incredible moment that I will never tire of remembering, and it was nice to share that with Ani, who said, "I have always dreamed of seeing my own birth, and here it is!" Funny girl...we love you.