Celebrations, cake and magic points.

 Just in the past week we have celebrated our anniversary, (pre) Father's Day, Steve's birthday (and Steve's dad's birthday too...from afar! They are born on the same day.)
All of this back-to-back celebrating has given us the opportunity to slow down and take time to just BE with each other and with good friends. Here's a recap.

Steve's Father's Day card was written in "kicks" from baby. It had a kick decoder and the photo above is Steve trying to figure out the message.
The final message.

I usually try to be creative with gifts, but this year necessity won out and I got Steve socks for his birthday. SOCKS. I wanted to make up for the snore-fest gift by giving him a really fun day. In my "super fun day planning", I hit a wall. Hard (seriously, preggo-brain). So I made Steve a "menu for celebration" (yeah, I really called it that) so that he could pick the things that he wanted to do/I didn't have to commit to any plans that might flop. One of the things that he picked was brunch at one of our favorite local restaurants, Lava Java. The food is great at Lava Java. The coffee is great at Lava Java. The iced ginger tea is great at Lava Java. But the best thing about Lava Java is that every time we go there they give us free stuff. We have this magical "Lava Java Points" card that they swipe whenever we go. For the sake of the magic it is important to note that we do not go to Lava Java very often. Here's how the points card works (apparently):
We go to Lava Java and eat delicious food.
They swipe our magic card so that we can accrue points toward free coffees.
A certain number of coffee points equals a free meal.
Without ever accruing points, our magical points card tells Lava Java that we have earned free meals and free drinks.
We get free meals.
We get free birthday brunch.

  At the end of the day I wanted to surprise Steve for his birthday (not an easy feat) so I decided to "make it easy on myself", "keep it simple" and just invite a few friends over for cake on Monday night. On Sunday I told Steve that I had some top-secret stuff to do and that I would drop him off at the coffee shop to read (one of his favorite past times) and pick him up in 1-2 hours. Six hours later I was still baking. So much for keeping it simple. I made banana bread (above) and three cakes. I managed to surprise him and the cakes were actually pretty good (and they looked good too...because that's what counts, right?)! Because we have a million avocados in our backyard, I decided to try out a recipe for Vegan Chocolate Avocado Cake (we are not vegans, in case you are wondering) that my friend Kirsten had passed on to me from Joy the Baker. It was surprisingly delicious. I love the way the bright green icing looks on the dark chocolate cake. Unfortunately, I forgot to take photos but here is a video. **Please note: the avocado cake looks sort of gross when filmed in sepia tones.**

Thank you to all of our dear friends who came and celebrated with us!

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