Our littlest just had his first birthday last week. We call him Leo the lion, it was only fitting we had a lion themed birthday party. I was originally going to order his cake but as we got closer to his birthday the wheels in my head wouldn’t stop turning. Eventually I ended up with this idea. This simple yet so adorable cake. The only “made from scratch” part of this cake is the chocolate buttercream frosting. The cake is duncan hines yellow cake mix and the green frosting is from a can. I was going more for simple and sweet then over the top. That’s a great way to describe our little Leo. We call him the chill baby. He is so easy and go with the flow sometimes people don’t even know he’s there. As I sit and watch him “Bambi” walk all over the house, I can’t help but remember when we found out I was pregnant with him. We were a bit surprised. It took us 3 years to conceive Sam, Leo, 2 months. We always wanted to have three. We both decided since Sam took so long to conceive that maybe we shouldn’t use any form of birth control worried Leo might take just as long to conceive. Little did we know, 2 months later, Surprise! Sam was only 5 months old.
Let me back up a bit and give you a little more information on our conceiving history. Four months before our wedding, 2 days before my 25th birthday, we found out I was pregnant with Aiden. That was a very big surprise. It was very shocking, exciting, and scary all at once. I cried tears of pure joy. All I ever wanted was to be a mommy. Shawn cried tears of pure terror. We were months from our wedding day, living in a tiny apartment, and he was still in graduate school. But we survived. He was the most beautiful amazing blessing and we figured it out just like all first time parents do.
Fast forward almost 2 years later, a new home, in a new state. We had the house, Shawn had the job, and we were ready to try for number 2. We figured since Aiden came so easily number 2 would too. A year and a half later and nothing. I was at the point where I would track my ovulation, read up on secondary infertility daily, and google success stories from women with the same problems. I never thought, especially having Aiden, that I would have that jealousy feeling of other women getting pregnant and having babies all around me. I was so happy with the three of us but the thought of Aiden growing up without any siblings would make me so upset. He was getting older and asked often when he would have a little sister or bother and it broke my heart every time. We decided to consult a fertility specialist. They said it was highly unlikely we would get pregnant on our own. So we did IVF and it didn’t take. Another devastation. I was very upset over not being able to conceive another child and also felt guilty for caring so much when we were blessed with Aiden and so many couples couldn’t have any children at all. We found out about 6 months later that our insurance covered IUI insemination’s. The doctor said it was a long shot but worth a try. The first two didn’t work. The doctor wanted us to try with medication the third time, to greater our chances. We had the order placed, all we had to do was confirm. But it was right around Aiden’s 5th birthday and I didn’t want something like this to take away from his celebration. So we decided to stop all fertility treatments and try another time. Two weeks later, on Shawn’s birthday, I found out I was pregnant with Sam.
I have so many friends who have dealt with situations like this one way or another. If you are in the same boat my advice is this. Stop trying so hard. I know you don’t want to hear it, I remember I didn’t want to when people said it to me. But it’s the truth. Most success stories happen when the couple stops trying. Have faith and believe that miracles happen and dreams do come true.
- 1 box Duncan Hines Classic Yellow cake mix
- 3 Eggs
- 1 Cup Water
- 1/3 Cup Oil
- 1 Container of Green Frosting
- 1 box Duncan Hines Devils Food Cake
- 3 Eggs
- 1 Cup Water
- 1/3 Cup Oil
- 1/2 Stick Butter, softened
- 1/2 Cup Cocoa
- 3 Cups Powdered Sugar
- 1 Cup Milk Chocolate Chips, melted
- 1/2 Cup Milk
- *7-10 small safari animals for the scene.
- Bake Cake as directed in a 9×13 pan.
- Bake the cupcakes as directed on the Devils food box.
- Flip cake over on a flat surface when completely cooled. To make “Pride Rock”, place two cupcakes side by side in the right-center of the cake.
- Cut one cupcake in half and put one piece each behind the other two cupcakes.
- Frost the whole cake with the green frosting up until the cupcakes.
- Frost the entire cupcake mound with the chocolate buttercream frosting.
- Using a butter knife lightly slice slits into the green frosting to make it look like grass.
- Place one female and one male lion on the mound. Put the rest of the animals around the “grass” facing the mound.
- Frost the rest of the cupcakes with the chocolate frosting.
Here is our collection of popular dinner prayers and blessings. There is no better time to speak to God then when you’re gathered around the dinner table with the ones you love.
This first prayer is a very popular before meal blessing. It holds a special place in my heart as I remember fondly my grandfather saying it before dinner when I was a young boy.
My grandpa was a hungry man, and when your hungry, a short blessing is a must!
Come Lord Jesus
Come Lord Jesus,
our guest to be,
and bless these gifts
bestowed by Thee.
And here is another variation of this blessing:
Come Lord Jesus, be our guest,
May this food by thee be blest,
May our souls by thee be fed,
Ever on the living Bread. Amen.
Read some traditional Mealtime Prayers.
Read some Wedding Dinner Prayers.
God is Great, God is Good
God is Great, God is Good;
Let us thank Him for our food.
By His hands we all are fed,
Give us Lord our Daily Bread.
More Simple Mealtime Prayers
Bless Us As We Eat
Thank you, Lord.
These are simple words but they come
from simple hearts that overflow with the
realization of your goodness.
We ask you to bless us as we eat,
bless this food and bless the hands that prepared it.
May the words of our lips spring forth from
hearts of gratitude and may we bless
others as we fellowship today.
A Rhyming Meal Prayer
Thank you for the food we eat,
Thank you for the friends we meet.
Thank you for the birds that sing,
Thank you, God, for everything.
Dear Lord, thank you for this food.
Bless the hands that prepared it.
Bless it to our use and us to your service.
And make us ever mindful of the needs of others.
Through Christ our Lord we pray. Amen.