Birthday Blues


The boys birthday was a week ago Sunday.  We had a birthday party for them on Friday.  I was sick as a dog… it was not pretty.  I came back from our three day Strategy Retreat pretty wiped out, sore throat, achy… etc… So Friday morning came with all of its glory and plans for 12- eight year olds at Blur, the Family Fun center on the outskirts of town and the need to make a cake.  Was I prepared?  NO…….  Can you cancel an eight year old’s birthday party?  Not really….

So first thing in the morning, I sent Robert off to run errands: Buy butter and powdered sugar.  Sounds simple enough right?  Butter was not available at my regular shop just outside my gate, so I sent him to the apartment building down the street that has a little store downstairs.  He faithfully came back with the butter and as I started on the cake (no cake mixes here!) I sent him out to the store across town where we buy powdered sugar.  He called….. they were out.  I called Krystal…. she gave me Albanian directions to another store where she has bought powdered sugar.  The conversation went something like this:

“On the Ring Road, coming from the Lana (river)….”

“uh, huh…”

“On the right hand side, before you get to Rruga Dibres (Dibres road)….”


“Behind the second or third bus stop, the main Ring Road bus…”


“There is another ‘Dried Fruit” shop.  It is not the same company so the sign is not the same, but it is directly behind where the bus stops.”

“okay… I got it.  If he gets lost, I’ll have him call you!”

Krystal’s directions were great!  (Thanks, girl!)  Robert did have to follow the bus to find out where the stops were but he did indeed find it.

But… the kicker was that when I made the icing (using all of the powdered sugar) I discovered with a small taste test that the butter was bad.  It tasted more like sweetened blue cheese than icing.  Ugh! You can see the drama unfolding can’t you?  I sent Robert back out (what a man) for more butter and powered sugar and took a second go at it.

When it all was finished I managed a quick nap, made it to the school, rode across town with 12 singing eight-year olds (yes, singing… while Jadyn was saying “sshhh, stop, guys, stop!”) in a rented van with an Albanian driver who was trying to figure out who all these kids might be….

The Blur has a big play area outside and we just played on the playground, ate cake and opened presents.   I never thought about the butter IN THE CAKE!  Yes, the cake tasted like blue cheese too!  Yikes!  Despite it all… they ate it.  I hope no one got sick over the weekend.  In the end, it was a fine birthday party, but I forgot the camera, the candles and a knife.  We managed to get the latter from the Blur and a friend brought his camera for the last 5-10 minutes or so and Robert snapped some pictures.  All in all… success… I think.

Whew…. we have another year until we do it again!  Happy Birthday Austin and Tyler!


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