Tag Archives: cakes

{Capture Your Grief – 2017} Day #5

Day #5: Soul Therapy

It is no surprise that cakes are my soul therapy. They give me a creative outlet and they allow me to give other children something Clara never got.  Each week I am afforded an opportunity to celebrate milestones with families. There is not a word in the English language that is strong enough to describe the “love” I feel when each birthday cake leaves my home.

I have often said you can tell how stressful of a week I had by the awesomeness of the cake. Today I am not sure that is the case but I do appreciate that creating cakes is still a stress reliever. Each week I melt, kneed, measure, cut, and wrap up my stress and transform it into pieces of art.

Our special days are never guaranteed. Today, as I work on a new batch of cakes for the week, I am reminded of the real reason I create. I am reminded that it is an honor and privilege to be part of the memories these families set out to make. Each cake symbolizes a little stress, grief, and anxiety transformed into the perfect dessert wrapped in love and hope. <3

#WhatHealsYou #CaptureYourGrief


Capture Your Grief – 2016 – Day #19

Grief Rituals

Things have really changed since our first year. We no longer use blue Christmas lights on our tree. We still try to find a girl and boy Clara’s age to go Christmas toy shopping for. Our first year we didn’t really know what to do for Clara’s birthday. We wrote messages on balloons and let them go. Of course, Mason’s got stuck in the tree. We explained that Clara couldn’t read them all at once (and hoped the balloon moved by morning). Thank goodness it made the move overnight!

It was on Clara’s second birthday that we thought a cake might be different and yet normal. I wanted to create something that didn’t need a candle. It wasn’t like we could add one anyway. So it was decided that the doll cake was it. Each year her dress changes and we find new ways to capture who she might be. Three years ago we began adding a white butterfly to the cake. It is a quiet reminder of the baby we miscarried. A pregnancy that was detected mid-May with a due date of January 23, 2013. (crazy close to Clara’s birthday & passing dates).

Recognizing her birthday brings comfort, smiles, tears, and love. For us, the cake celebrates the time we held Clara. It reminds us of the good memories and some sad ones. It helps our kids to know that she was born and lived. It helps Chris and me to remember the journey to her birth. It is just one of the ways we celebrate all 111 days of memories on earth and remember each one of her Heavenly Birthdays. <3




#CaptureYourGrief – Day #16

Creative Grief


To so many “rainbows” refer to children born after the loss of another.  In that respect I have 2 rainbows… Lincoln and Haleigh.  I honestly have never referred to them as that though.  I never wanted them to feel second to the loss prior to them.  Not that that is how they might feel, I just really never felt they were a rainbow although they certainly brought joy and happiness.  My rainbow just came in the form of something else.  Cakes!

It was after Clara’s passing that I really got into cakes.   On her 1st birthday that I realized how lucky so many of us are to reach this milestone each year.  It was on her second birthday that I made a Barbie cake in her memory.  Each year I create another Barbie cake with a different dress.  It often reflects my ideas of what she might be into or have asked for.

In the loss I felt for both Clara’s life and the dreams I had for Lincoln an outlet grew.  I found the creative outlet for my grief and stress.  I had no idea that these cake skills were buried deep within me.

I have always suggested that the more stressed I was, the more heavyhearted, the better the cakes turn out.  Many of my most favorite cakes happen to also be 1st birthday cakes.  They remind me of just how special each of those families are.  I love seeing parents share pictures with their grinning birthday kid and their cake.  Those are memories they will keep forever!

I often get asked why I opt not to do many weddings.  It is, on all accounts, where all the money is.  I guess as my children get older and the thought of Clara’s missed wedding get closer I might shift my heart toward them.  Today though she would only be six and birthdays would be her big days.

Creativity will always be my rainbow.  My sunshine after the storms, my expression of love and grief.  I am forever grateful for the gift that was buried deep inside and for the opportunity to see it open and blossom.  It has become a way to share Clara’s memory with others.  It is a way to share in the celebrations of many that I miss out on with Clara.  It mends my heart.

“Rainbows introduce us to reflections
of different beautiful possibilities
so we never forget that pain and grief
are not the final options in life.”
― Aberjhani


Day #17 Birthday-Anniversary

The 1st Barbie cake created in memory of Clara.

Clara's 6th Birthday cake - Jan 2015

Clara’s 6th Birthday cake – Jan 2015

Clara's 5th Birthday cake - Jan 2014

Clara’s 5th Birthday cake – Jan 2014








My First Shared Mother's Day

Mother’s Day turned out to be a wonderful day even though it was shared with the memories of such a terrible day.  When I opened my bedroom door, I found a small pile of gifts from my older boys.  Very cute!!  They didn’t get them put on my dresser before I woke up so they left them outside my door and hoped the little boys didn’t destroy them.

We started off the morning by going to church.  Lincoln made it all the way through church sitting with us rather than going to nursery and Preston even fell asleep playing with a toy while in the nursery.  Mason was complaining of the chills but had no fever so I chalked it up to him not wanting to sit through church.  I couldn’t have been more wrong.  Shortly after church was done Mason bolted for the bathroom.  Unfortunately there was someone in the restroom so he had to vomit all over the hallway floor.  My second Mother’s Day gift…not having to clean up after him.  Thank you to our church janitor who so kindly cleaned it up for us while I watched and helped as Mason continue his struggle in the toilet.

After church we went to visit Clara at the cemetery.  It has been far too long since we visited.  We left her some pink and yellow flowers, Pink Lemonade 🙂  I took a few pictures of our time there.  The boys enjoyed visiting and of course climbing all over the flower bed.  Haleigh was all smiles too.


After the cemetery we stopped for a quick breakfast.  Chris ran in to the grocery store to pick up donuts and hot chocolate.  While he was there I saw Elaine and gave her a big hug.  We shared a tear and a quick chat.  We then went home.  At home I got to use my lovely gift from my little boys…Potholders.  Perfect for the cake baking mom!  I started baking cupcakes and a  cake that was ordered.

While the babies were napping and my cakes weere baking, I decided to head out and work on planting my garden.  Tomatoes, spinach, peppers, beans, corn, onions, squash, carrots, and pumpkins made their way into the ground.  I can’t wait to see the garden in a few weeks.

My garden planting and cake baking finished up about the same time so I decided to work on flowers for a few special people.  I used the same pink and yellow daisies we left for Clara earlier in the morning.  I added a beautiful little angel to each arrangement.  I love!

We had my mom out for supper.  It was great to share the evening with her.  I frosted up the cupcakes and added a strawberry to each.  So delicious!

Supper was delicious but was quickly met with a little boy, vomit, and the carpet.  He tried so hard but didn’t make it.  So I got to use my little green machine for the first time of the night…. there were a few more times to follow 😉

After the kids went to bed I decided to show Miss Haliegh some of my baking secrets.

I figure she can’t share them yet and she was more than happy to watch.  We made the final graduation cake on my calendar before my gall bladder surgery.  I think we did a pretty good job!

All in all sharing Mother’s Day went very well.  I spent much of the day busy which is my way of coping and works well.  It helps me continue to make beautiful memories out of days that easily could be filled with sad ones.  I am thankful that I got to share the day with my kids and husband.  They make each day so special!


Cake Flop Redemption

The worst thing about making cakes is when a flop happens.  The cake doesn’t bake well, sticks to the pan, sticks to the cooling rack.  Today was one of those flop days.  Not only did the cake bottom stick to the pan but the cake top stuck to the cooling rack.  There was no getting it off the rack in 1 piece.

I have had many of these especially with one particular cake recipe.  Unfortunately it is the recipe that is eggless and is Lincoln’s favorite.  The mix is just too moist and sometimes I just don’t get it baked long enough or the humidity in the house is too high.

Flop after flop I find it harder and harder to throw out the cake.  What a waste!  This time I decided to try something to use the cake but not to make a “cake”.   Today I used a combo of vanilla pudding and whip topping mixed with my flop cake crumbles and topped with blueberries.

YUMMY!!  I much prefer strawberries or fresh blueberries but frozen was I had available so that is what we will eat.  I could sit and eat is all day and I feel better that I didn’t waste a bunch of spectacular cake.


The Poop Cake

~ The Poop Cake ~
Chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream frosting.

Complete with fondant toilet paper and flies.

Most boys will tell you the more disgusting the better when it comes to just about anything.  This boys cake I made fit the bill perfectly!!  It honestly made me want to vomit a couple of times but according to his parents the party goers were loving it.

The poop cake was one of my favorite cakes to decorate and super simple.
November 2012


The CarlyMarie Project ~ Day #17

Day #17: Anniversary/Birthday

We have always done a balloon release for Birthdays and Angel days.

Our first year was very hard though. For her birthday we just wanted to be alone with the boys to celebrate what should have been her 1st birthday. For her angel day I always stop over to Elaine’s and let her know she is loved, to thank her, to let her know that we know the day affected her too. She is forever part of our family.

The second year was spent in Iowa City prepping Lincoln for his spinal chord surgery. It was a sad day because we were faced with not being able to be with Damon and Mason. The boys were staying with family and friends and requested cake with balloons so they could put them at the cemetery for her 🙂

This year my husband suggested making a girls cake on Clara’s birthday since he knows I have always wanted to make one but never had a need to do it.  It was fun to make a cake for her and it tasted wonderful.  I think we will continue to do this in the future since the boys really liked it too.

These days are hard but we are learning and trying new things to make them a happy celebration of her life rather than a day of mourning.  We have such loving memories of her and we want to keep it that way.