I've said it before, but I can't tell you enough how much we love cakes from our friend Kelly at "A Piece O' Cake."  A birthday at our house, isn't the same without one of her amazing creations, and the cake we had yesterday for Maddie's 3rd birthday was no exception.  If her cakes didn't taste so incredible, we'd have a hard time cutting into them - because they are so stinkin' cool!  

My favorite part is that we let Maddie decide what she wants for her cake.  Well, this year she actually wanted a "Cindawella" cake, but we thought we'd wait a few years, until she can have a proper princess party with her little girlfriends.  So her second choice was a beach cake!  How fun.  I love that I can send Kelly an email that says, use your creativity, but make it look like a day at the beach - and this is what we got!

If you're getting married, having a birthday, or just like cake - you have to check her out!  There's a reason she's one of our favorites!


I had been carrying it around in my pocket all day.  Every few minutes, I'd stick my hand in my pocket and make sure it was still there.  Never before had I been more nervous about losing anything.  It was the fourth of July - four years ago - and Beth and I had driven down to Monterey, CA to have a picnic and watch the fireworks.  

After lunch, we went for a walk along the boardwalk, and I was so scared I couldn't even hold her hand.  I needed to be able to continuously check my pocket.  I needed to be sure that it was still there.  Afterall, it had arrived just the day before - a few hours before Beth arrived from Michigan.  It had been flown in just for this occasion, and there was no way I was going to lose it.

I wanted to give it to Beth more than I've wanted anything... ever.  But I needed the perfect setting - the perfect moment.  Of course, the longer I waited for the perfect moment, and the longer I looked for the perfect spot, the more I worried about checking my pocket. 

Then we found this bench.

I probably made up something lame like - let's just sit here for a few minutes.  I had this whole "speech" planned, and as soon as we sat down, I forgot every word.  Instead, I reached in my pocket, and pulled out Beth's ring.  I don't remember much of what happened next, except I'm pretty sure I asked my best friend to marry me.  

"Yes, of course yes, YES!"  Those were her exact words.  Sitting there on that bench, she said yes.  Sitting there on that bench, four years ago, I asked my best friend to be my best friend forever.  Just another reason I love the 4th of July.

MY DIVAS... (rules for parenting)

I've been a parent for just a little less than 3 years.  In fact, Maddie will be 3 in 2 weeks.  Aside from the fact that life moves much faster when you have kids, I don't claim to be an expert on parenting.  I have, however, learned a few things from our girls, and I pass them along to you.  Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below!

1. Never let anyone tell your kids that they can't laugh.  Laughing is contagious.  Laughing is always allowed, as long as you're not laughing at someone.

2. Let them dance.  It's okay if they make noise - that's what little kids do.  Life is too short not to break out in dance once in a while.  

3. Little girls smile when you tell them they are beautiful.  

4. Tutu's are magical.  I don't know why, but anything can happen when you put on a tutu. (usually associated with #2).

5. Daughters want to do everything their mom does.  Little sisters want to do everything their big sis does.

6. You're never too busy to put together a puzzle, or play with play-dough... never.

7. Someday, it won't be cool for them to give you a kiss.  Take them for all they are worth while they last.

8. Being a parent is the greatest privilege anyone can have.  There's nothing more important than this.