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Nearly half a million babies (1 in 10) are born premature in the US each year which is higher than that of most other developed nations. This is the journeys of our first born son, Finnegan, who was born 14 weeks early and weighed only 1 pound 15 ounces at birth. Of our daugher, Korrigan, who was born a healthy 7 pounds, 7 ounces at 37 weeks. And of our second son, MacKeegan, who was also born at 37 weeks at a whopping 8 pounds, 13 ounces. Our continued adventures reminds us daily how good God is.

Monday, February 29

Girls Night

As you probably remember, we have a system we use for when the kids do chores or help around the house. Depending on the task, they get one (or more) "marks." When they reach 100 marks, they get to pick a reward. It takes a LONG time to get 100 marks. Anyway, when Korri earned her 100 marks, she picked to have a girls night with me at a hotel. (please note that she earned them on Oct 28! Poor girl!). Anyway, we FINALLY were able to go on our girls night this weekend! And what a weekend it was.

We started Saturday out by going to Austin's basketball game in St. Cloud. I LOVED watching him play (and catching up with Becky, of course!). Since it was so nice out, Korri and I went across the street with Uncle Pete and Ben to play for a while. It felt like late April! Jim and the boys went to his last game and they won second place! Congratulations, Austin :)

When we were at the game, Korri kept saying she was tired, but I honestly thought it was because she was bored! However, after stopping for some lunch at McDonald's on the way home (because it was a special day, she even got a Happy Meal which had a My Little Pony in it!), she completely fell asleep before we got home. Argh. So I drove around for 30 minutes so she'd actually get a decent nap. The things parents do for their kids! LOL

Once she woke up, we packed and headed to the new hotel in Delano, which is where she wanted to go. The hotel was really nice, but small, which we didn't care about. We were on the "top" floor (THIRD!) and she thought that was pretty cool and loved our view (of Hwy 12!). The first thing we did, of course, was go swimming. I even went IN the pool and swam with her (it could have standed to be about 5 degrees warmer!). She was upset that we didn't bring her floaties, so after swimming for a while, we decided to go for a walk to see if CVS had any floaties, which they didn't. Oh, well. It was so nice to be outside with just sweatshirts on! We also stopped at the liquor store (the hotel is perfectly located!) which she approved of because they she got a sucker!

For dinner she picked Unhinged Pizza (very similar to Pizza Ranch, if you've ever been to one). And I planned a surprise guest to meet us there...NeNe! She was so happy. And if you ask her what her favorite part was, she would tell you skipping on the way back to our hotel! Seriously, if that doesn't tell you that it's the little things that matter, I don't know what does. Oh, we also did ballet leaps over the cracks. I guess I need to take time to stop and skip a bit more. Before we left dinner, she told NeNe that we had to get back to the hotel because she was tired and ready for bed (at like 7pm!). Um, okay.

We got back to our room, got our PJ's on and found Monster's University on TV. We watched the whole thing and she didn't fall asleep. It was 9 by the time it was over (so much for going to sleep early!) and I figured she'd be asleep any minute. I picked Pitch Perfect to watch because while it is a little "mature" for her, I knew she'd like the music...but again, thought she'd be asleep within minutes. Um, not exactly. She kept saying she was tired but couldn't fall asleep. Finally just after 10, she rolled over on her side and crashed! Geez, by then, I was ready to crash, too!

She kept waking up during the night and around 4 she said, "Mommy? I'm lonely!" Ha, you can come sleep in my bed with me. And in true Korri fashion, she slept in the exact middle of the bed, which doesn't leave much room for mommy, Oh, well.

At exactly 7:04 (how do they do that when they can't tell time?!?!), she asked if it was morning. I guess so. We had breakfast, went swimming, watched some cartoons and checked out. Then we went to get our nails done. I don't know if she was tired or what, but she was whiny the whole time. So much for a relaxing pedicure. She got her nails and toes polished, so in the end, she was happy. I'm not so sure I'll bring her along next time, though. Then we had lunch at DQ and headed home!

Honestly, it was such a blast. I told DeAnn at dinner that I feel like I'm such a better parent when I'm one-on-one. I have so much more patience and attention to give. Well, and they behave so much better, too! Jim had taken the boys to Oville for an over night, so they weren't home yet when we got home. Grandma stopped by for a quick visit and then Korri and I went to Target to exchange some duplicate birthday gifts. She was pretty crabby there, too, but again, since it was just her, I could handle it.

And to prove how tired she really was, she fell asleep after dinner while I was reading "Little House on the Prairie" and didn't wake up when daddy carried her to bed! That is saying something! A successful weekend to be sure! I'm so thankful that she WANTED to spend the time with me and hope she wants to for years to come.

Saturday, February 27

18 months!

I had low expectations for Mac's 18 month pictures. First, 18 months is hard. They are temperamental, easily frustrated and Mac is momma's boy AND stranger danger is back (but not as bad as when he was younger, thankfully!). Second, Jess, our trusted, long-time, amazing photographer, took an indefinite leave from photography! Which means I had to find somebody else. Somebody new. Somebody I hadn't used before! Third, less having to do with expectations and more my frustration, Mac was over 19 months when we did his 18 month pictures, so I was just frustrated in general and didn't have a great attitude. Fourth, I asked for local referrals on a local Facebook group page and was completely overwhelmed with options and suggestions.

After a LOT of procrastination, obviously, I decided I had to just pick somebody. I looked through several websites and their pricing guides and picked somebody in the southern Metro (NOT local, which was a little frustrating but decent prices). Unfortunately, she had to cancel our scheduled session last minute and I did NOT want to wait any longer (I mean, eventually, it would just have been his two year pics!).

Thankfully, I mentioned it at gymnastics one night to another mom and she raved about the photographer she uses in Dassel. Perfect. WAY closer than the other photographer. I found her website and liked what I saw. I scheduled online (how easy is that?!?!) for the next available session, which was this past Tues morning.

Again, I didn't know what to expect but was hopeful. I mean, look at Mac...even if he's crabby, I knew we'd get at least a few good ones! And low and behold...he warmed up quickly and was a total ham; Renee, the photographer, was totally professional and flexible and knew exactly what to do to get the pics we wanted; and I was beyond pleased with the results. I think you'll agree...
Mac 18 months

During the session, we both noticed it had started to snow, so we ran outside and got a few really cute pics. So many things were not planned but are so perfect (like him playing peek-a-boo!). I could not be more pleased. I LOVED that when she was done, we sat right down and looked through them! I've always had to hold my breath until the pictures were ready a week or so later. It was hard to narrow it down (I mean, look at him!!!), but with her help, I did. I think there is a good mix of traditional poses and playful moments.

I guess I found my new photographer! Not bad for only trying one new person. A HUGE thank you to Kristi for recommending her. If you are looking for a child or family photographer in the far west Metro, I highly recommend taking a look at Renee's website and setting up a session! We'll be back later this summer for Mac's two year pics for sure!!!

As always, feel free to look through the photos and if you want to order, go right ahead through the website (there's a "prints" link at the top). Easy peasy. Happy viewing and ordering :)

Dance like nobody's watching

Mac is quite the dancer and singer. He's almost always making noise of some kind, but usually singing a song, if not "Baa, Baa, Black Sheep" then one he's made up. I'm not sure where he picked up most of these moves, but it's worth sharing and should bring a smile to your face:

However, he dances like somebody IS watching...because he clearly likes to put on a show! Maybe he takes after his big sister?!?!

Friday, February 26

Red Ninja of Fire

In honor of February being "I Love To Read" month, today is "Dress as your favorite book character Day" at school. Finn picked Kai, the Red Ninja of Fire from Ninjago. AND I happened to find this costume for less than $8 (yea, EIGHT DOLLARS!!) on Amazon. Good ol' Amazon!

He didn't like the mask that covered his face. Oh and he was TICKED that is didn't come with a sword (which I didn't think was appropriate for school anyway). Last year he picked the book "What does the Fox Say" and went as a fox. Poor Ms. Thorsen had to read it to the class (yes, it is exactly the same as the song)! This year, the Ninjago book should be more appropriate, but they are kind of long! Oh, well.

And because I love my boy so much, here is his beautiful face this morning before getting on the bus:

I don't take a lot of pictures of him anymore since he isn't here all day. Plus, I wanted to get a picture of his teeth growing in! Gotta love the big adult teeth in a little kid mouth!!

Wednesday, February 24

Letter to the Editor

Letter to the Editor submitted to the Ortonville Independent and published on 2/23/16:

One of the greatest lessons in life is simply to show up.

When things are going well and those around you need a pat on the back and also when things aren’t going so well and they need a shoulder to cry on. But there are so many everyday things that are just as important to show up for. I don’t think anybody could argue that Ron Thomas, my father-in-law, showed up. He showed up to almost every ball game he could, regardless if it was the ROX or Trojans playing. He showed up to birthday parties despite how he was feeling or how long the drive. He showed up at the hospital when his first grandson decided to be born “a little” early. He showed up with Lynn when Jim and I went on a date night and needed somebody to watch the kids. He showed up at Grandparent’s Day at school. He showed up at his granddaughter’s dance recital. He showed up weekly to express his opinion on the radio (a sacrifice, I’m sure!). He showed up for board meetings and city council meetings and any other meeting that had any significance to him or his town. If it was the slightest bit important to him, he showed up. And I will always love and admire that about him.

But I write this letter to point out that when things with his health took a turn for the worse and he returned home on January 15 on hospice care, somebody else showed up: the entire community of Ortonville. I am not from Ortonville and honestly, don’t know all that many people who live here. But Ron was and did. He gave his heart and soul to this community and when he and his family needed it most, the community gave it right back, in spades.

I have NEVER in my entire life experienced anything like I have in the last month. People brought over meals every single day. We had so many baked goods, we could have stocked the grocery store for a week. So many people stopped by for a chat or just popped in to see if there was anything that we needed. If I had a dollar for each time I heard, “if you need anything at all, just let me know,” I would have a fat wallet, for sure. But even more amazing than just the offer, was the sincerity with which it was said. These people of Ortonville and the surrounding area showed up in such an amazing and heartfelt way.

We’ve said thank you as much as we could but it just doesn’t seem enough. If you showed your support in any way to the Ron Thomas family over the last month (and well, let’s face it…since even longer than that!), it was felt in a very deep way and means more than words can express. I said to Lynn, “you live in the best community on the planet!” and truly believe that. Until Ron’s passing, I didn’t really feel like I was part of this community probably because I wasn’t born here, raised here or ever lived here. But after such an amazing outpouring of kindness, support, and love, I’ve never felt more like I belong. I consider each of you part of my family.

In closing, take to heart this very important life lesson from Ron; no matter how busy you are or how stressed out you may be or how crappy you may feel, take the time to look around and show up. When all's said and done, THAT is what really matters. Again, thank you from his entire family.

With deepest regards,
Stacy Thomas
Waverly, MN

Thursday, February 18

Uptown Girl

Here is a sneak peek for Korri's ballet recital costume, where she is dancing to Uptown Girl:

For the whole look, which is BEYOND adorable, you'll have to come to her recital on May 21! Or wait until after when pictures are posted. We don't have her tap costume yet and I don't know the tap song other than it involves a kitten and a basket!! Who can resist that?!?!

Tuesday, February 16

Egg Coffee

Okay for those of you who weren't gathered with us over the last week, egg coffee was often the topic of conversation with lots of unknowns, tons of opinions and plenty of half truths. The reason it was a topic of conversation was because Ron's grandma Della taught him how to make it and he continued the tradition of making it at church. Basically, I'm not a coffee drinker, so I didn't really care much either way.

Until I tasted some at his visitation on Thursday night. I first tried Jim's but it was laden with cream and sugar, so while it tasted good, I figured it was more the additives than the actual coffee. I then forced John to let me taste his since it was black. And holy moly, it was SO good! It was smooth yet still was very "coffee-y" tasting with NO bitterness. How can it be?!?!

Since I was told you can only make it with a special percolator, I went to good ol' Google to find out if I could buy one (I mean, it is THAT good!). Low and can make it easily in a saucepan on your stove!!! So for all of you who are curious and for those of you I bored at length talking about coffee this week, here is a simple instruction guide on how to make it:

Egg Coffee Instructions

If you make it, let me know how it turns out. I'm hoping I get brave enough to try...if nothing else, simply to do it in Ron's honor. And the rumor is that John is going to make it at the UCC Church in Ortonville on the first Sunday of every month...if you want to try it without making it yourself! Thanks for all the lively debate, Ron!

And because I can't have a post without a picture, here are some family pics after Ron's funeral on Friday:

Monday, February 15

For My Dad

So, at my dad's funeral on Friday, I had intended to read something I wrote and then the night before decided it would be too difficult. The morning of the funeral, about five minutes before we needed to leave, I had a change of heart and decided I should read it. I hurried to the computer, printed the document and grabbed all six pages off of the printer. While standing at the lectern having completed the first two pages, I then saw for the first time that the next four pages were blank; they came out of the printer but had not printed any text! I didn't know if I wanted to laugh or cry. I guess that Dad thought enough had been said or he wanted to see how I could do from memory but I'm sure he had a good laugh. I did my best to capture the rest of the high points but it was difficult. For those who couldn't join us, here is what I had intended to say; for those who did join us, here's the rest of what I wanted to say:

A couple of years ago, shortly before Granny died, that’s my dad’s grandma, I was overcome with the need to write down all of my significant, and not so significant memories about her. I knew one day that I’d recite those memories at her funeral. It turned out it was only a few short months later.

With my dad, I never had that urge. I never wrote anything down beforehand which made it much harder after the fact. In thinking now about why I hadn’t written anything down I was struck with both the answer to that question as well as the motivation to finally write something. I think he believed so much that his sheer will could propel him forward through life and despite what doctors said and what I consciously knew, that the creative recesses of my mind where I usually pull these types of thoughts had started to believe that he was right. He could do this, he’d find a way to keep going so there was no need to document the thoughts and memories. Creating that type of result based upon what you do and say and getting others to follow you, you know what that’s called? That’s called a leader. To some a boss, a mentor or a coach. To me a father.

Many of you know that Dad coached youth basketball and the ROX but he was never MY coach. With the benefit of retrospect over these last few days, I’ve realized that’s not true. He was ALWAYS MY coach.

Not only was he my father but it was a job he wanted literally as much as life itself. When he was battling illness at the University of Minnesota Medical Center when mom was pregnant with me, I understand that things weren’t looking very good and he told my mom, “I’m going to be the one to raise my son, not someone else.” I suppose it was at this moment before I was even born, that for me began his legacy of being determined, or how it usually manifested itself, as being stubborn and occasionally ornery.

Now, I’m not going to go stand here and tell you he was perfect. In fact, he once admitted to me that he had made a mistake. According to him, that mistake occurred when he said he was wrong about something but in actuality he was right the whole time. But in all seriousness he sometimes admitted to his flaws; he said he spent too much time working when John and I were little. That might be true. OK, it’s true. But in doing so, I learned that being entrepreneurial and working hard has rewards. And more importantly, because of him sharing his lessons, I learned that you have to balance your work with the rest of your life. Because of that, today I own a business, just like he did, but I do so spending 90% of my time working from a home office. I can see my children as much as, or as the case sometimes may be, even more than I want!

Some of you know that I tried to play basketball. I could shoot really well but when it came to defense, dribbling, passing and rebounding I never really figured it out. No matter, shooting is the most important part, right? For someone like Dad, who probably ended up coaching in large part because of his love of sports yet the inability to fully participate because of his physical limitations it had to be challenging for him to see this. I didn’t have the same physical limitations that he did yet like him, all I could do is shoot. At least it made for some great games of horse between the two of us. Anyway, by some minor miracle, I ended up playing varsity basketball my senior year of high school at KMS. Now, because of my inability to do much else than shoot it meant that I didn’t see much playing time. That season I scored five points. Guess who was there to see all five of those points? Well, yeah, since that’s why I’m here talking about it, it was Dad. But he also was there for every minute of warm-ups where I spent significantly more time on the court and every minute of every game. I even think that when we beat the Trojans that year in Ortonville he might have been happy for the first time after Ortonville lost a game. Currently, my oldest son has started playing basketball and whether that continues or he does something else I will continue my dad’s legacy by doing the most important part, showing up for it.

Some of my first memories of dad are going to Gopher football games as a family which started when I was three. We had season tickets from then through my senior year of high school. We’d drive in on Friday afternoon after school and listen to Steve Cannon on WCCO; hearing Fight on for ‘Ol during the drive was always a favorite. We’d stay at DeAnn’s house and then go watch the Gophers most likely lose. One of the shared dreams that dad and I had was going together to watch the Gophers play in the Rose Bowl someday. That’s not going to happen but we did make it to the Citrus Bowl together last year so I guess that New Year’s Day bowl game will have to do. I maintain season tickets to this day and continue to endure the pain, I mean joy, of being a fan. Thanks Dad! But in some way he’ll always be with me when I go to the games, especially when I take my kids. And when we do go to the Rose Bowl I know he’ll be with us.

I met my wife Stacy in the fifth grade, the first year I started going to school at KMS. In high school we were best friends and that continued through college when we were both in the Twin Cities. She was at St. Thomas and I of course was at the University of Minnesota. I’m sure no one saw that coming what with the indoctrination of Gopher football and what-not. When Stacy and I were just friends, Dad always said that she and I would end up getting married and I told him he was crazy. Now, at one point, Stacy and I started dating. Well, I never told anyone, because like him I want to always be right. One year before Thanksgiving, Stacy wasn’t comfortable going unless I told people we were dating. For me, that meant telling my dad and he was uncharacteristically gracious considering his prediction seemed to be a likely outcome. Stacy and I got married a couple years later. OK, if you ask her it was several years, but this is my story. After that and three grandkids for him later, he indeed was right and, yeah, I was wrong.

Last summer when it started to be a little more clear that Dad was having more challenges dealing with his health, he decided to drive to Washington with my mom to visit his in-laws. Given his health, I thought this was a horrible idea. In fact, after the trip didn’t go well and he ended up in the hospital at the University of Washington in Seattle, I was more than a little angry with his decision. I think though the more I consider this the more I CHOOSE to see it as a gift. When I was growing up, we’d always take trips to Washington to see Nana and Papa, my mom’s parents and the rest of the “Washington” family. We’d drive there every other year on average. These trips are some of the greatest memories I have. From mom shutting down dinner time at the crab leg buffet at Circus Circus in Reno, Nevada because she was embarrassed of the two foot pile of shells Dad, John and I created to spending time with “Washington” family to learning that Dinosaur National Monument didn’t really have a monument. When he got sick out there last August, John and I flew out to see him for what we thought might be one last time. It wasn’t the last time thankfully, but it was the last time in that region of the country that we went so many times. I’m not saying any of it was intentional but he did create the circumstances to in part relive and remember those trips.

Looking back on all this, I may have been jealous that he was never my coach in athletics which is how most of us see a coach. But through these memories, I realize that he WAS my coach because he tried to show me how to do things and to learn from his lessons; that’s what a coach does. He was my father and through that he showed ME how to be a father. Of all of the things we’ve shared through life, THIS is the greatest thing we have in common. I hope I can take one last lesson from my dad and be the best father and coach I can be to my children. Thank you dad, I love you and I will miss you.

Monday, February 8

Grandpa Ron

I write with great sadness that Jim's dad, Ron, passed away early yesterday (Sunday) morning. He was at home surrounded by those he loved, just as he wanted it. He simply went to sleep and took his last breath at 12:43am. Ron has battled health issues associated with his heart condition his whole life but things took a turn for the worse in August. Never fully "recovering," he was in the hospitals in Ortonville and Rochester since Dec 16 until he came home on hospice care on Jan 15.

Visitation will be at the Congregational UCC in Ortonville, MN from 5-7pm on Thursday, Feb 11 with a prayer service at 7pm. His funeral will be at the First English Lutheran Church in Ortonville at 11am on Friday, Feb 12 with visitation one hour before the funeral. His burial will immediately follow the funeral at Mound Cemetery.

Since Ron loved being a grandpa almost more than anything, here are some photos of each of the kids with him:
Finn with Grandpa and Memere at Grandparent's Day, May 2015
Korri with Grandpa and Memere at her dance recital, May 2015
Mac happy on Grandpa's lap watching some Thanksgiving football, Nov 2014
You can say a lot about Ron but whatever you say, it will lead back to the fact that he was present. He showed up whenever he could. He took such great pride in the things that were important to him. I wish he could have stayed with us longer but looking back, we are all so lucky to have had him as long as we did.

Rest in peace, Ron. You fought the good fight for a really long time and now it is your turn to rest. Thank you for giving me the best part of you...Jim. Your grandchildren will know with every fiber of their being, what a wonderful and loving father and grandfather you were. Thank you for loving me as much as you would have had I been born to you. You will be missed always, but the legacy you've give us will live forever through us.

Thursday, February 4

Twenty Questions - Korri 5

Starting at age three, I've asked Korri 20 questions around the time of her birthday. I chose NOT to direct or influence her initial answers (although I did follow up on a few after the fact but used her initial answer) and she was very thoughtful with her responses this year. Here are her responses:

20 questions: answered by Korrigan on 2/03/2016

1. What is your favorite color? Purple
2. What is your favorite toy? Barbies
3. What is your favorite fruit? Blackberries
4. What is your favorite TV show/movie? the new one I watched at Stacey's house with two sisters-Paw Patrol-My Little Pony/Sleeping Beauty
5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Pizza Lunchables
6. What is your favorite outfit/thing to wear? Dress
7. What is your favorite game? I don't have a favorite game, I like to play Super Mario Brothers with Daddy
8. What is your favorite snack? Candy
9. What is your favorite animal? Horses!!
10. What is your favorite song? This Little Light of Mine
11. What is your favorite book? Maryellen book
12. Who is your best friend? Little Aubrey
13. What is your favorite cereal? Strawberry Mini Wheats
14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? Play at the park
15. What is your favorite drink? Kids slushy that daddy made on my birthday
16. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas
17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Maryellen and Scooter
18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Strawberry Special K Crisp bars
19. What do you want for dinner on your birthday? Cheese and fruit
20. What do you want to be when you grow up? Veterinarian and a mommy
Bonus Question:
21. What is your favorite sport/activity to play? Gymnastics

Like I said, she took her time and really seemed to process her options before answering, unlike last year when she seemed to just look around and say whatever she could find! I guess you grow up a lot during your fourth year. Here are my thoughts on some of her answers.

1. It is usually pink and purple, so I'm surprised she said purple. And when I asked about pink, she stuck with purple.

3. I think her favorite fruit is actually grapes but I asked her after and she didn't change her mind.

4. She had a hard time with this one because I'm not sure she understood what a "tv show" was. The one she mentioned from Stacey's was actually a movie (I checked with Stacey). Then she said Paw Patrol, which she does like. But I asked her if she was sure and what about My Little Pony or Sofia. She said they weren't shows. So, at the end of it, I'm not really sure what, but she watches My Little Ponies a lot. Also for the movie, she said Maleficent first and then I asked if she was sure and she said, no, Sleeping Beauty. Mommy, the difference is that in Maleficent has she wings and is a real person.

7. Jim recently started playing video games on the computer with the kids, as evidenced by her (and Finn's!) response!

12. Little Aubrey is Aubrey from her preschool class last year. She was very clear it was NOT Big Aubrey who is in her class this year (Little Aubrey switched to morning preschool). I thought she might say Neve because she plays with her a lot now that Aubrey isn't in her class, but nope.

15. Jim made Five Alive slushies for Korri's birthday (get it...five?!?!).

18. She had to go over to the box to see what they were called!

19. I don't know where she came up with this...but it sounds good to me.

Click here to view her response from last year.

I feel like Korri has been ready to be five ever since the last person left her FOURTH birthday party. Seriously. She seems so grown up to me, which makes me a little sad. She knows what she wants and is usually very vocal about it. But even yesterday, Finn came in from playing outside in the snow before Korri wanted to. She cried at first, but then she stopped and instead of coming in, she stayed outside and played by herself. This is HUGE for her. She always wants to be playing with somebody but apparently her wish to be outside was stronger. Good job, Baby Grill. We love you so much and can't wait to see what this year brings.

Proudly holding her wand from NeNe (or Neners, as Korri calls her!):

Monday, February 1

The Cake

We pretty much talk about what cake the kids want all year long. They change their minds about 100 times and we have fun thinking about ideas and looking at pictures. This year, Korri's ran the gamut from princess castle to Cinderella's carriage to an actual princess! So I was shocked when she decided on a Skittles cake. This was the inspiration picture she saw:

I was very happy and excited. I'd done a cascading M&M cake for my aunt last year and I knew this would lend itself perfectly to that same technique. I made confetti cake (to go with the colorful theme), bought white chocolate KitKats (because I thought she would like that better than brown) and lots of Skittles. The only thing she specified was that she didn't want a fabric ribbon but one that she could eat. Perfect. I can do that.

This is the cake I made for her:

I was very happy with how it turned out. The Skittles were harder to work with than M&M's because they are rounder but I managed. I thought the rainbow candy strips were perfect for this and I was so happy that the bow turned out (by far, the hardest part of the cake!). Korri wasn't here when I finished but I couldn't wait to show her.

Then she saw it. She was not happy and didn't like it. Then I got upset, too. I mean, seriously?!?! I couldn't figure out why she didn't like or what part of it was "wrong" in her mind. Then I showed her the original picture and she said, "Yes, I wanted the RAINBOW!" Oh, crap. I never intended to make the rainbow so I never even discussed it with her. I mean, I take creative license all the time with their cakes and they don't even notice the difference (or like it better).

So after cooling off, I realized it was an issue of miscommunication and it wasn't that she was being disrespectful or ungrateful. So, I had two round cakes left over and some extra frosting. We came up with the compromise that I would frost the cake with white frosting, put a sprinkle "5" on top and she could decorate the rest however she wanted with candy from her candy buffet but that we would use the one I made to sing to her and blow out the candles. I mean, the whole benefit of having a mom who decorates cakes is to get what you WANT for a cake.

This is what she came up with:

Super cute. Maybe she'll take after her momma after all? And I need to remember that all's well that ends well (and to be very clear next time!).