When I was growing up my mom always made a homemade cake. Not the homemade from scratch kind, but the pick your mix and frosting kind. It was the choice of the birthday child to pick what they wanted mom to make. Chocolate with vanilla frosting, rainbow chip with rainbow chip frosting etc... My ALL time favorite is Lemon cake with Chocolate frosting! (Hey...don't knock it till you rock it!! It is seriously amazing!) I looked forward to this choice every year! I loved the idea that I could pick ANYTHING I wanted and she would make it just for me!
Now that I have kids of my own I have continued with this tradition. I am an anti "leave it in the pan" cake maker. So I started out always making a two layered round cake. As my kids got older they started wanting a theme for their birthdays. I have discovered you can do some amazing fun things with sprinkles! I also LOVE the Family Fun website. It has some great ideas for cakes. That is where I got the idea for some of my more elaborate cakes. I have done tiger stripes, spider man, batman, a princess castle, a snake, a moon, a Lego, and a dot cake! Probably the funnest was the snake cake. It was super easy and the boys loved that it was made with red velvet cake so when you cut into the cake it looked like blood!
A very wise man recently said:
"In my office is a beautiful painting of a wheat field. The painting is a vast collection of individual brushstrokes—none of which in isolation is very interesting or impressive. In fact, if you stand close to the canvas, all you can see is a mass of seemingly unrelated and unattractive streaks of yellow and gold and brown paint. However, as you gradually move away from the canvas, all of the individual brushstrokes combine together and produce a magnificent landscape of a wheat field. Many ordinary, individual brushstrokes work together to create a captivating and beautiful painting."
I like to think that every tradition that my husband and I bring into our family is like a single brush stroke. I hope that someday each of my children will look back at their childhood and remember times filled with happiness. Here and there a "stroke" or event will stand out, but for the most part it will be the traditions that they remember most. The things that we always did!