(click photos to enlarge)
This is last year's cake, but as you know, I'll be making you the same kind this year! (It's Amanda's favorite and the one she asks me to make for all her birthdays - super easy and soooo good! Recipe at end of post)...
Just look at those chubby cheeks on you at 12 weeks old! You were the sweetest baby! (Was it really 23 years ago?)
And you were always the 'bestest' big sister...
I love how you are so gentle and loving with animals! Here you are with your sweet little Sooshi, your BIG surprise for Christmas, 1990. Just look at the two of you - love at first sight... (Several weeks before Christmas Amanda had "wished upon a star" that Santa would bring her a real dog. Since her dad & I had been thinking of getting a dog anyhow, we figured we'd look, and if it was meant to be, we'd find one... We were so fortunate to be able to adopt this little guy, who was 2 years old, in such a short amount of time - he was an absolute sweetheart of a dog!)
And just look at you and your Tiger on the very first night we adopted her. I remember going in to check on you before I went to bed, and this is what I saw. Of course I immediately ran to get the camera so I could capture this precious moment forever!
Well, here it is 15 years later and not much has changed! Tiger still sleeps right next to you each and every night. (And she is soooo happy you're home from college!)
I love your sensitive nature and the way you care about all God's creatures. Ms. Giz and Mr. O'Malley's lives were made so much better because of all the love you showered on them... Every pound dog should be so fortunate to find someone like you...
We always have so much fun on our little excursions! Here you are in Amherst at the cemetery where Emily Dickinson is buried. Remember how muddy it was and how you ruined your shoes because of it that day? And look - you still smiled!
(Central Park, New York City)
So Happy Birthday honey!! Enjoy your special day... We are so proud of you!!
Black Forest Cake
1 chocolate or devil's food cake mix
1 can (21 oz) cherry pie filling
4 oz cream cheese
2 tsp lemon juice
1 can Creamy Vanilla frosting
CAKE: Bake two 8" round cake layers according to directions. When cool, split each one into two thin layers. FROSTING: Beat softened cream cheese and lemon juice until smooth. Fold in vanilla frosting. Spread frosting and cherry pie filling between each layer and on top of cake. Refrigerate until ready to serve.