Birthdays have always been a special reason to celebrate and connect in my family. My brother said when he was young, as we were preparing to celebrate my mom's birthday, that a birthday celebration requires balloons, food, people, and cake. To this day, we've always maintained that motto.
My mom made sure we felt extra special on our birthdays. She served us our favourite breakfast in bed - my request was always cheesy scrambled eggs in a croissant (still is my favourite breakfast), we were given beautifully wrapped gifts, and the day was filled with fun festivities. We were very fortunate not only to be showered with love on our birthdays but we also had multiple parties - one with our family, one with extended family, one with neighbourhood and school friends, and one with lake friends. The best part of all the parties was always the cakes. Cheesecake (my favourite), chocolate cake, ice-cream cake (my brother's favourite) and the free cake from Penner Foods.
On July 2, 2020, we celebrated Noah's, my son, second birthday. With not being able to host a special party due to COVID restrictions and to keep family and friends safe, my husband and I were still determined to make sure Noah had an extra special day.
We started the day with making stacks of yummy pancakes served with fresh raspberries and strawberries and topped with maple syrup. This happens to be Noah's favourite breakfast and he always loves to help cook them. We then Facetimed the grandparents to open some presents and sing happy birthday. Noah loved opening his gifts of books and cars.
Then off we went to the local petting zoo to visit rabbits, chickens, ducks, goats, and Haley the pony. Noah loved feeding the chickens grass and watching the rabbits hop around their pen. But best of all, he loved going into the market to pick out some fresh peaches to munch on on the way home.
While Noah was taking his afternoon nap, I whipped up the most delicious chocolate cake and had fun decorating it as a construction site - Noah is currently obsessed with excavators and dump trucks. I'm still learning how to decorate cakes but I can confidently say that my Great Grandma Molly, an award winning cake decorator, would likely have been proud.
To finish off his special day, we enjoyed a BBQ dinner and lit his cake with candles and sang him happy birthday. When Noah saw his construction cake, his eyes grew big and a large smile spread across his face. As we enjoyed a slice of the cake, Noah took handfuls of the cake and shovelled them into his mouth. After all, it is your birthday only once a year.
A week later, Noah is still waking up asking for more chocolate cake and presents. He may not remember his 2nd birthday but I hope the experience instils in him the importance of taking time to celebrate moments in life with the ones you love. Even though all our family and friends were not present to celebrate, they were with us in heart. Cheers to you Noah on your 2nd birthday!
Do you have special traditions for how you celebrate birthdays? I would love to hear - leave a comment or send me a message.
Love + Chocolate Cake
For decorating the cake, I used a homemade chocolate cake icing recipe flavoured with almond extract. I tore out a big chunk out from the side of the cake and placed it on top, and then sprinkled Oreo cookie crumbs around the cake. To top off the cake, I added an excavator truck, bulldozer and dump truck. Its a construction site - it can be a bit messy!