Now, most people wouldn't offer to make an extraordinary cake like this on their own free merit. But if you knew my dear friend....you would definitely understand why.
Besides being one of the nicest people I have ever met, she is so genuine, so kind, and very fun to talk to. We met while standing up for my cousins wedding and got to know each other on a 3-hour car ride to the bachelorette party, which ended up being a 4-hour car ride after we missed our exit, completely consumed in conversation. We've been friends ever since. It's so interesting how people come into your life.
When I asked her what kind of cake she would like for the party, she said, "Don't worry about being gender specific, I just want a happy spring-y cake." As for flavor-she wanted my vanilla bean white cake (one of my personal favorites). I decided since there were so many people, we would add a small chocolate layer and chocolate cupcakes, also. Last minute, I added raspberry puree to the swiss meringue buttercream filling. Just a nice added touch, and something I knew my friend would never ask for, herself.
When doing some 'google' image searching, looking for inspiration, the first image that popped up was this cake. You know that feeling? The feeling you get when the hair stands up on the back of your neck? I got it.
My friends father passed away before I knew her. I knew they were very close and she once told me how lady bugs reminded her of her dad. She said that whenever she had a bad day, she would see a lady bug (even in the dead of winter when lady bugs shouldn't even be around) and she just knew it was her dad saying "It's going to be okay." I had forgotten about it, until I saw this cake. I knew....I had to make it. It didn't matter if it took me 2 weeks. I was making it.
I started the Wednesday before the party--just to be certain there weren't any mishaps. I made all of my lady bugs, leaves, and flowers first. Then I worked on the homemade fondant, cake layers, swiss meringue buttercream, and raspberry puree. Then I frosted and assembled each layer the day before the party, and assembled the entire cake and decorated it the morning of the party.
Of course, I pulled up to the restaurant, at the same time 'the mom to be' did. I had to tell her to take a hike, because I didn't want her looking at the cake just yet!
By the time I got the cake in, and set up, she was busy mingling. I was sweating.
I was a bundle of nerves. First, I was afraid that I was going to drop the cake while walking up the stairs. Then, I started asking myself crazy questions like: What if she doesn't like it? What if she gets to upset over the lady bugs, Is this thing leaning??
Before I could even make myself crazy with anymore of my anal antics, she turns around to look at the cake and just stands there for a minute. Then I see tears well up. She starts fanning her face and hugs me. And all she can get out is, "The lady bugs, it has lady bugs. It's just perfect."
Who knew cake would have such an impact....
It really is more than just cake.