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The tall one had her tenth birthday Friday and party Saturday. The party preparations did not begin well. She had requested a giant cupcake decorated like an owl, from something she’d seen in an American Girl magazine. I had a coupon for a store that sold the giant cupcake pan, making it all of $2, so I figured why not. This, my friends, is why not.

Cake fail of massive proportions. I actually cleaned it up a bit before taking this photo. Note to self, do not, repeat DO NOT, fill cupcake pan more than half-way. Ugh, what a way to start the day.  I’d doubled the batter though, planning to make some mini-cupcakes to go with, so at least I had things ready to start over. This time I decided to just make two 9″ rounds and cut out smaller circles. The giant cupcake top had baked ok, not great, but usable, so I just needed some layers for the bottom half of the owl. They baked fine, but once I cut out the circles everything was a crummy mess. When I sent Finn to the store for the fourth can of frosting he started to doubt my sanity, but it turned out great. Possibly the best looking cake I’ve ever made, although given the amount of frosting on it, calling it cake may be a bit of a stretch.

The rest of the party was much easier to manage. The girls made the terrariums, needle felted coffee clutches for Mother’s day and watched a movie.Here’s the table, set up for the terrarium madness  (how often will I be able to write that sentence:).

Their terrariums were fabulous. So much time spent sculpting tiny houses and mushrooms to go inside.

Ten year old girls, what a hoot. They alternated between animated discussions of fairies and what to do to get more of them to visit you and running screaming into the other room, “O.M.G I LOVE THIS SONG. Everybody come here!”. So weird. I knew, intellectually, this was coming but this was our first glimpse of it in action. At bedtime I got this from the tall one, after complaining a bit to Finn that I hadn’t felt the gratitude for all the effort. “Thanks for my party mom. Dad’s going to ask if I said thanks, so can you tell him I did?” hmm. We may have some work to do with the tween-ness. Generally, she’s pretty great though. It’s fun getting to watch them grow up and become such interesting people.

Here she is. Portrait of the artist as a tween. Double digits require earrings, scarf and fabulous bag.