Yesterday I celebrated five years of marriage with my husband, Dave! Our marriage story is a unique one. We didn’t have a wedding. We weren’t even there when we got married. Dave was in Iraq. I was in Washington. We were married in Montana.
WHAT? HUH? Don’t get it? It’s okay…. it’s complicated.
You see, my husband I met in December 2006 and he left for his first tour in Iraq in April of 2007. A few days before he deployed, Dave ask me to marry him at Safeco Field (home of the Seattle Mariners) on the big screen in center field. Of course, my heart swooned and I said YES! A few days later he left for Iraq and my heart was broken.
It didn’t take but a few weeks of Dave being in a combat zone that he confessed to me that he wished he would have married me before he deployed so that he’d know that me and my daughter would be taken care of if something were to happen to him. (Let’s not even think about the “what-if’s” of that scenario). So, without hesitation I began researching a way to make this happen. How could we get married while he was deployed?
Another soldier in Dave’s company had recently gone through a similar situation and I reached out to his new wife for advice. She told me about a lawyer in Montana that could help us. I contacted that lawyer and he told me the process was simple. Montana was the only state that allowed marriages by proxy. Meaning one or two of the parties were not present, but had someone stand in for them. Wow. I couldn’t believe you could actually do this. So, I sent the lawyer all the necessary paperwork and his fee and I waited. And waited. And waited.
I waited until July 26, 2007 when I got a phone call that changed my life forever. It was my lawyer and he had just returned from the courthouse in Montana. We were married. It had only been official for about 30 minutes by the time he called me. I jumped for joy in excitement and I couldn’t wait to tell Dave! I had to wait several hours until that evening before I could tell my new husband of our marriage when he got online to chat with me from Iraq. We were married! I was his wife. He was my husband. I was the happiest girl on the planet.
When I was a girl, like every little girl, I dreamed of a perfect fairy-tale wedding with a perfect dress, flowers, and cake. This however, my real life fairy-tale, was so much better than anything I ever dreamed of as a girl. I had my prince, a man who was willing to lay down his life for his country and for me. I felt, and still feel, honored to be his wife and I love him more today than I ever imagined possible.
About a month ago I decided I wanted to make a special cake for our 5th anniversary. We’ve been through so much in our first 5 years of marriage (2 deployments to Iraq, the death of my Mother, a move to Germany and the birth of our son… to just name a few) and I wanted to make a cake for us to cut and share together, something we never got to experience when we were first married.
I had been eyeballing Amanda from i am baker‘s tutorials on how to make a vertical layer rose buttercream cake. This cake was way out of my league, but her tutorials made them seem to obtainable, so easy. So, I set my mind on it and I started my research.
I read these posts from i am baker:
Vertical Layer Cake Tutorial
Rose Cake Tutorial
The Perfect Crusting Buttercream
I knew I didn’t want to fuss with the cake itself, so I planned to use a box chocolate cake and a box strawberry cake. I wasn’t too sure how I felt about an all shortening buttercream like the one Amanda suggests, so I used a combo of butter and shortening in my frosting and it crusted up perfectly and tasted wonderfully.
Here are a few things I learned while making this cake…
- FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS! Seriously, read what Amanda has written and truly take it to heart. She has spent a lot of time practicing how to make this cake and she lays it out so simply in her tutorial. Read it, study and take it step by step.
- DON’T RUSH! Take your time! I found myself so excited at times to make this cake that I found myself rushing. I had to remind myself to breathe and enjoy the process.
- The simple syrup that Amanda mentions in the Vertical Cake tutorial… don’t skip it. In fact, every time you make a cake that you’ll be putting in the freezer to set… use it. My box cake turned out so moist and delicious with this syrup added. It’s definitely a “must-do” for future recipes.
- I CAN DO IT! *phew* The cake is finished and I gotta say… I’m pretty darn proud of myself! It’s not perfect by any means, but damn… it’s pretty! I’ve been saying for along time… “I don’t make cakes.” But hey, maybe I do… when I put my mind to it, I can do anything!
Since this actually makes two cakes, I plan to use the extra for a birthday party for a little neighbor girl this weekend. I’ll update this post after I frost that cake. She’s having a rainbow party, so I’m think about doing lots of fun colors with the frosting!
I’m really excited to see what I can come up with in another five years!!
HAPPY 5th ANNIVERSARY, HUSBAND! I love you more today than I did yesterday! Thank you for the best five years of my life! I feel so blessed and loved and honored to be spending my life with you! xoxo And I look forward to the next five years!