Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Cupcake Compromise

This year instead of making a birthday cake for daughter Mary Ashley, I planned to make cupcakes to coordinate with the girls' pajamas -- enough to share with her kindergarten class and slumber party guests. But when we stopped by the grocery store last week to pick up a few ingredients, Mary Ashley burst into tears.
"Why do you have to make my cupcakes?" she choked out between sobs. "Why can't we just buy them like everybody else?" It surprised me how hard I took this. I honestly felt like I had been stabbed in the heart. I was on the verge of tears throughout our shopping trip, and had to apologize to Mary Ashley when we got home for being short-tempered with her .

We came to a cupcake compromise: store-bought for school and homemade for home. Mary Ashley was excited to pick out chocolate cupcakes from the Wal-Mart bakery for her class, and at home she was eager to help me bake cupcakes -- even licking the beaters just like always. With fluffy pink icing and sprinkles, the cupcakes I decorated coordinated with the cupcake appliques on the girls' PJs.
Friends have encouraged me that Mary Ashley will appreciate my efforts to make things for her when she is older, and I took their words to heart.
I guess she just needed the extra maturity of turning 6. After she blew out her candles, I slipped into the kitchen to do some cleaning. One of the mommies who joined us for dinner laughed as she repeated what she overheard Mary Ashley say to the other guests:

"See, I told you these would be much better than the ones we had at school!"


Princess of Everything (and then some) said...

How very sweet. The cupcakes are adorable!!

Katy said...

As always, when you're posting a birthday celebration review I eagerly wake each day and check your blog, you never fail to share such wonderful ideas and stories. Your Mary Ashley is very much like our Kali Marie and the cupcake dilemma could have easily happened to us. The comment to her friends at the party was just adorable and think of all the time you saved making the classroom cupcakes! Thanks ever so much for sharing with us, your readers... me in particular appreciate you more than you know! Love n' hugs, ~Katy

Mrs. Cozy Home said...

Ohhh I know exactly what you mean, I have had one of those moments recently.

I found out later that my daughter said what she did because a little girl in her class was jealous that she herself did not have a Mommy that "went the extra mile," so to speak.

So, like kids do unfortunately, she made my daughter feel terrible to ease her own sadness.

My daughter also rebounded within the day, like yours, with pride that she had a mom who worked hard to show her how special she is :)

The things you do for your children are inspirational, truly, I adore your blog!!!

Jen@balancing beauty and bedlamht said...

Oh my - that is TOO sweet, Melissa. And wow - they are SO beautiful in those glass cups. I chuckled because my girls want Kraft mac and cheese...not mine, it hurts. :)

sonja said...

This was the 'perfect party'! I think those little girls had to be just thrilled...I sure was, just looking at the pics and reading about it. Beautiful ideas.


Elise said...

I launched into this post feeling intrigued - why would anyone compromise over a cupcake ? But I loved it - as always the lengths you go to amaze me with your wonderful family and are a great source of inspiration. Happy Mid-week !

Love Being a Nonny said...

The grass always looks greener on the other side! It didn't take her long to wise up. As always, I look so forward to your birthday posts. Love that you put the cupcakes in the glass dishes!

Blonde Bookworm! said...

Hmmm those look delish!!

Rach said...

LOL! Her comment at the party should have made up for the breakdown at the store. She does appreciate those home made goodies!!

Beautiful cupcakes by the way!

Anonymous said...

Everyday I read your blog...last, just like dessert. I know you are aware of the beautiful family you have and I thank you for sharing them with us. Although at 61, my children have left the nest, they will still share memories like this with me, but how sweet it would be if we had had blogs to keep our memories fresh. Thank you again for sharing your life and the Lord with so many.

debra said...

You can't help but love them can you? I guess that makes up for the fist cupcake comment. Your cupcakes turned out so cute.

I copied your handbag cake for my daughter's birthday over the weekend. I did polkadots instead of the zebra stripes but I did use your head band idea. I hope to post the pictures in the next day or so. Thanks for the inspiration!

Christine said...

I enjoy your blog so much!! My sister is SO lucky to have a friend like you. You are so talented and I am just in awe of what you accomplish. You give me hope that maybe I can have a girl one day! I love the way you ended your post. I have friends in Nashville that tell me your blog is one of their favorites. This is the sweetest birthday party ever!! You are using your talents God gave you 100% Now you just have to share your secret on how you got those two adorable girls after two boys! ha!

Melissa Lester said...

Awww, thanks, Christine! I think Allison and I followed the same plan, with a little girl following the two boys. I keep wondering if Allison will go for a fourth ... . It is fun having a "matched set" because we get to experience the best of both worlds! You have a beautiful family, with those two very kissable boys!

Judy said...

Wish I had one of those cupcakes right about now, the afternoon munchies have hit!

Thanks again for taking Taylor's pj's to her mommy. She was disappointed she couldn't make the party but she wasn't going to miss being with her brother.

You are one amazing woman. Your light shines in everything you do.


Carly Winborne said...

oh my heart just sank for you! i can only imagine how you must have been fighting back the tears. i have a feeling that will happen one day in my own life. i only hope i'll have the grace to agree on a compromise as you did here. so glad your friend told you what she overheard...such a sweet way to "put the icing on the cake".

still loving your blog every single day!

Paula said...

I'm sure if you tell this story to Mary Ashley when she's older that she will be mortified that she said such a thing to you! I can imagine how you must have felt. It's hard not to take it to heart when you put so much effort and love into things for them. How wonderful that your friend overheard that comment to take the sting away.

Those cupcakes look lovely. I love the way you pull all the details together for your parties. Incidentally, those birthday invitiations are the most original and creative I've ever seen. You must have so much fun putting these parties together.

Paula (a dedicated reader, though I rarely comment)

Jennifer Driver said...

I'm sure your cupcakes were SO much more yummy than the Wal-Mart ones! They are so cute!

Personalized Sketches and Sentiments said...

Everything looks picture perfect! I know it has been said before...but I have to say it again... you have a wonderful blog with so many amazing, inspiring ideas! And how special these posts will be for your family to read back on and remember all the special memories!

What a blessing and gift you have! I enjoy your posts so much and wish that I had more "blog reading" free time!

Blessings & Aloha!
(and I love Mary Ashley's quote :o)

Karina said...

How sweet and sooo pretty!

Cherrie said...

That story is PRICELESS!

Karin @ 6ByHisDesign said...

aaaaaaaaaw. now I'm teary.
Beautiful cupcakes, Melissa.

You could be my mom any day you want.


Laura said...

Your friends are right! My birthday is today and my husband bought me a fab cake from someone that bakes cakes out of her home. Alise asked me about the cakes I had growing up and my mom made alot of mine. I miss those mom-made cakes the most!

Kristen said...

Oh your sweet girl was just wanting the novelty of "ordering" her store cupcakes - glad she found out that the ones made by mommy and with love ALWAYS taste the best! I've had moments like this with my boys and it hurts! But I know they will look back just like Mary Ashley and appreciate everything you do for them. Right down to letting her order from the Wal-Mart bakery!

Catherine said...

I think your friend was right, and Mary Ashley WILL appreciate your effort when she's older. My mom always dressed me in hand smocked and French handsewn dresses and made lovely parties for me, but I remember when I was in elementary school I used to wish she would let me wear neon and jelly shoes and let me eat bought lunch at school instead of sending me with cute heart cut out sandwiches and homemade treats and notes on the napkin. Now I look back and am so grateful to her for giving me such a beautiful childhood. Now that I'm a mom I know how much love and effort went in to all of my mom's efforts and I want to provide that for my girls as well. I'm sure your kids will look back and be amazed at how you blessed them.

Thank you for your inspirational blogging!

Jill said...

I love your blog--stumbled onto you by way of Like Merchant Ships. LOOOOVE the sleepover party theme--thinking of one for my dd who turns 6 in June. See, even kids' taste buds know that bought cupcakes taste like preservatives and dye. Love the pink ruffledy ones you made for teacher appreciation--I must purchase that Wilton tip. I made the ballet slipper cookies for a play date last month. A BIG HIT! Thanks for the inspiration!

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