Cupcakes, Thanksgiving, and Remembering

Three days after my birthday, the day before Thanksgiving……

That above statement is one I’ve made so many times over the years. It sums up this upcoming week and all of the emotions we experienced eight years ago. Today I am going to bake Cody’s favorite cupcakes for him to share with his class tomorrow at school. His birthday is on Wednesday, which is the beginning of Thanksgiving break, so his teacher wanted to do a little something for him tomorrow and of course I’m happy to make cupcakes. Honestly, I’m probably the most happy when I’m in the kitchen either preparing a special meal or baking a yummy treat for my family. My love goes into every bit of the mixing, baking, and frosting process. The kids don’t care what the cake looks like (it’s a good thing I don’t claim to be an artist), they just love my effort to make them feel special and they especially love eating cake. And I love eating cake, so maybe I’m a bit selfish when I eagerly look for any excuse to bake something decadent in the kitchen. Of course a birthday is the ultimate excuse. I can’t wait to make these cupcakes and share them with Cody’s class and watch as his face lights up over the excitement of his birthday. It brings me such joy to see the day through his eyes, to make him feel as special as possible, and simply celebrate his birth and all that he’s brought to our lives.

Thanksgiving might just be my favorite holiday of the year. I love the food, the family, and the intimacy of the celebration. Did I mention I love the food? While this holiday is so connected to the saddest of memories for my family, it’s still a day I love because it’s about that focus on what we are grateful for and spending time together with those we love and care about. What makes this year’s Thanksgiving even more wonderful is the fact that Paul will be there with us, sitting at the table, enjoying the dinner and the laughter, and the football on television. While I don’t celebrate his current unemployment, I do celebrate that he’s going to be where he should be on this holiday. With his family. We will be spending time with some of the most special people in our lives on Thanksgiving, eating way too much food, indulging in a slice of every dessert choice(okay, maybe that’s just me), and hopefully sipping some Beaujolais Nouveau wine. It really doesn’t get any better than that.

Eight years ago this week my Dad died three days after Cody and my birthday, which was the day before Thanksgiving. That’s why that first statement is so significant. It’s simply how my memory connects the dots of the most difficult week of my adult life all those years ago. While the heartbreaking pain has lessened, there will always be a huge hole in my heart missing for the man who was stolen from us far too soon. He was so supposed to have a lot more years to be Grampy to my kids and sneak people food to my dogs when my back was turned. There are still tears shed at losing him and all he brought to our lives, but there are also smiles at the great memories, photo albums to flip through, and video tapes to watch. So something else I’ll find to be grateful for this Thanksgiving? That nobody can take away those memories because they live in our hearts. Always.

I’d love to wish everyone a truly wonderful week. Whether it’s using Cody’s birthday as your own excuse to bake cupcakes, or stuffing your belly with too much food on Thanksgiving, to getting the most amazing deal at one of those crazy sales the day after, life really is too short to not find something wonderful in every situation.


  1. Have fun stuffing your face, Cathy all the while celebrating and remembering your Dad!!! Thise cupcakes look delish!
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