Purple duck celebration

Mary Virginia turned two last weekend, and we had a little party to celebrate. And by “little” I mean little. Because normally when I say “little” I mean that I restrained the guest list to our 20 closest friends and their 400 children.

The theme of this party was “mama just had a baby.” I decorated by intending to hang the birthday bunting I made for her last year, but never actually got around to it. Oh, and Tom mowed the grass.

birthday 1

The kids played in the backyard while the adults tried to sneak potato chips. When they noticed our chips, my sister distracted them by helping them make homemade ice cream in Ziploc bags (similar recipe here). The adults watched skeptically while the kids shook bags of salt and ice and sugar. Then when they were done, the final product was so good we all tried to convince them to scrape a bit of ice cream out of their baggie for Mama, please?


birthday 2

birthday 9

birthday 8

We ate pizza, dug in the dirt, and played in the water — and then we had cake. The one and only thing I made for the party was a giant purple duck cake. Mary Virginia has been obsessively looking at Google image searches of duck cakes for a month now; and purple is her favorite color. She actually asked for a doll-doll duck cake, which I thought was impossible until I just found this on Pinterest. Turns out I failed her and am a terrible mother.

birthday 3

Mary Virginia loved her duck cake. I was really proud of it, too, until I looked back at the pics of my sister’s cakes. Then suddenly I felt the same way I did when I was a kid and I’d discover a page in a coloring book that my sister started but didn’t finish. I’d finish it, planning to pass the work off as my own, but she was so much better at coloring than me; it was dreadfully obvious what she had done and next to her coloring my coloring looked even more rudimentary.

But Mary Virginia didn’t mind, and next time I’ll do a crumb coat.

birthday 4

Blowing out the candles

birthday 5

Confused because the candles were still lit

birthday 6

She eats cake like her brother (first birthdaysecond birthday). And also her mother.

birthday 7

Everything was going perfectly. The weather was great, there was plenty of food and everyone was in a celebratory spirit.

That is, until Mary Virginia, who had been distracted with her piece of cake, looked up and noticed that her purple duck no longer had a face or a gall bladder. She furrowed her brow and, in a tone usually reserved for, say, catching your best friend making out with your boyfriend, she shouted at my sister: “HEY!!! YOU’RE BREAKIN’ MY CAKE!”

Happy birthday to my darling girl, Mary Virginia. Sleep past 6 a.m. once in a while and I’ll promise to never cut your birthday cake ever again.


  1. Lynsie McD June 10, 2015

    I always plan to do a crumb coat and then time runs out and I think ” it’s homemade, it can look home made bc I have 10 minutes to execute the plan I have had for 6 mo and I don’t think I made enough icing for a crumb coat.”

    I love the purple duck!

  2. Meredith June 10, 2015

    Hatley-grace’s favorite color is purple and she loves ducks too! I wish you lived closer and we could have had a joint two year old party with purple duck cake! I’m impressed you had such a fun party with your sweet newborn. Way to go Mama!

  3. I love your duck cake! My daughter is 12 and loves ducks. I’m usually crap at making anything clever like that, but you’ve inspired me to give it a try.

  4. Paul Brown April 1, 2023

    Hi there, I do believe your blog could possibly be having browser compatibility issues. Whenever I look at your blog in Safari, it looks fine however, when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping issues.


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