...when you are not the one turning 30, and you are surrounded by: hilarious friends; the most beautiful resort grounds; people who respect the triangle and harmonica as important musical instruments; mustaches on a stick; hula hooping; the sweet smell of lemon flowers; the sweet sounds of Ashton Roth ("G" rated video), amazing homemade beach cocktails .. oh yea.. and continual yummy waffles. While Tim was in Florida for a work conference, Molly, JSM, and I headed to the La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad for Molly's birthday and for the filming of our music video (in the process of being edited by Sir Tim Mix-A-Lot), based roughly off this music classic: Life Is A Highway . I laughed the whole trip and it was the perfect birthday celebration, we had a cute little cottage room with french doors leading out to a quiet patio (quiet until we got there at least) and a private little garden with a huge hot tub and a hammock! It was heaven. By night, we ate smores (with all the kids staying at the La Costa) and by day we were either at the beach filming scenes for the music video or getting facials at the spa, we even got to meet up with Ben and Annett for some yummy Mexican food and margaritas! I really hope my 30th birthday is as perfect as Molly's!
When I was looking for pictures of Joel and Shanna for their slide show http://kaitlinmalone.blogspot.com/2009/04/will-you-marry-me.html I came across this gem from my happiest day. It reminds me how good it feels to be around those you love the most and how special my wedding day was!
A few moments before this picture, Shanna washed my grandma's hair.. my grandma had thought that the makeup/hair styling people were going to be washing her hair before her "styling." Shanna could see that my grandma was really disappointed that she was not going to be getting her hair washed before the style... a few seconds later Shanna went right up to my grandma, took her hand and said, "Ok, grandma, come with me, I am going to wash your hair." I was already an emotional wreck that day, but I still get choked up about that moment.
Check out the pics, you may need a glass of cold milk!
Kahlua Crunch Cake
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
3/4 cup firmly packed sugar (light)
3/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 finely chopped pecans
1 pkg Duncan Hines white cake mix
1/2 cup water
2 whole eggs
1/2 cup oil
1/5 cup flavored liqueur (Kahlua or Rum, or Amaretto)
1 can Pillsbury ready to spread vanilla frosting 8 oz container ready whip topping
2 tablespoon liqueur pecan halves
(A home-made cream cheese frosting would be good too!)
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flower 3-9 inch round cake pans. In a small mixing bowl combine all crunch layer until crumbly. Press 1/3 of crunch mixture into bottom of each prepared pan.
In a large mixing bowl blend all cake ingredients at low speed until moistened, beat 2 minutes at high speed. Pour batter over crunch layers. Bake 25-30 minutes. Remove from pans. Cool completely.
In large bowl combine all frosting ingredients, except pecan halves, blend until smooth and creamy. To assemble place 1 layer crunch side up on a serving plate. Spread with frosting. Place 2nd layer, frost, place 3rd layer, frost sides and top. Arrange pecan halves around the edge of cake. Store in refrigerator.
Last Monday, I got a great call from Shanna, letting me know that she and Joel are engaged! She was on speaker phone so Tim and I could hear all the details of Joel’s well thought out and romantic plan together! Tim snapped some pics of me while I was crying and laughing listening to the story, he thought I was an emotional mess (admittedly, I was)!!!
Joel is such a sweetheart and one of the most down to earth people I know... and Shanna...what can I say, but I love that girl. Shanna is one of my closest and dearest friends and we have been friends ever since the first day we meet at UCSB! I think Shanna and Joel are really lucky to have found each other and their relationship has been growing ever since they started dating. During the "best summer ever" Shanna and I lived together on DP with an amazing ocean view at our backdoor… and that summer things really started blossoming between the two love bugs... I remember helping Shanna pump up an "ocean" raft that she and Joel were going to take a cruising that day! She came back from that date all smiles and couldn't stop talking about him. That night Shanna and I would eat our refried beans, drink our ghost pina coladas, jump on our "beds" (in high heels), then fell asleep to John Mayer's "Your Body Is My Wonderland".. I knew Joel was in her dreams that night... and has been ever since!
I think as we all left college, there has been a huge/hard transition into the "real" world.. and finding ourselves has not always been easy, I give Shanna and Joel a lot of credit to be able to transition with all their "real" life changes together, and ride out those relationship bumps that are inevitable. I know that Shanna and Joel will bring a life time of joy to each other, and to everyone that knows that beautiful, sweet, down to earth, kind, and fun couple! I love you both and wish you all the best in the most amazing time that is a head of you!