Well, my husband and I dropped off son #5, our baby, at the airport early this morning. He's on his way back to college, and now our nest is empty once again. Christmas is officially over (although I still have almost all of my decorations up, including the tree). That's kind of sad. Especially since this was a particularly wonderful Christmas season, for a number of reasons: our oldest son was back home safe and sound from his second year-long Army deployment; we had all of our children--the five boys, our daughter-in-law, and our twin granddaughters--together for several days just after Christmas; and this was our first Christmas ever with grandchildren--and I tell you, those little girls made our holiday celebrations so much more fun and special.
Unfortunately, the festitivites are over, and it's time for our youngest son to get back to the daily grind of classes, papers, homework, tests, and ROTC obligations. He really enjoyed the laid-back atmosphere at home during his month-long Christmas break and took advantage of the opportunity to catch up on some much-needed rest, often sleeping in well past noon. The real world beckons now.
We had one last hurrah last night, when we celebrated our baby's 19th birthday a few days early. His older brother (son #2) came up from his place an hour south of us, and the two boys, my husband, and I went out for dinner at Chili's. The birthday boy ordered his longtime favorite meal, that specialty of Mexican restaurants worldwide, I believe: chicken fried steak with mashed potatoes and country gravy. (His brothers like to tease him about always ordering the same thing; but, hey--if you know what you like, why take chances?) Then we came back home and had cake, ice cream, and presents.
Last year, inspired by the show "Cake Boss" to take my cake decorating to a whole new level, I made a portrait cake of son #2 for his birthday, and it was a big hit. The family dubbed it a "face cake" (if you are a fan of the show "Scrubs," you may have heard the term before), and a new birthday tradition was born. Here's a picture that I took last night of my youngest son with his very own face cake, minutes before we cut into it (and he called dibs on the nose). So, what do you think? Does it look like him?This just goes to show that you can have your face cake and eat it, too. My boy had the nose last night, and I packed up the chin in a Tupperware container for him to take back to school with him today. Mmmm...face cake. It's handsome AND delicious.