Our anniversary always falls around Thanksgiving, but this year it happened to be our 15th anniversary ON Thanksgiving day.  I know SOOOO many people that can’t make it more than a year or two with someone before they’re headed to divorce court, so each year we’re together I am very thankful… but for us to have made it for 15 years made me exceptionally thankful this year.  And, what’s better than the day falling ON Thanksgiving?  Another thing that I was thankful for this year (there are numerous things that I am truly thankful for… friendship, my health, a home, etc.) was my attempt at matchmaking (which I’ve been working on for a few years) FINALLY paid off.  Those 2 were stubborn, but I’ve since found out that she had a crush on him in elementary school, then he moved away and they completely lost contact with one-another.  I knew they were in the same grade, and I had kept tabs on her over the years as she was a friend (and Facebook has been a major help with that!), and I’ve ALWAYS known where he was (he’s my step-nephew).  But, the week of Thanksgiving she happened to be in town, and I told him that he WAS coming to town (no choice), and we all had lunch together.  And, thankfully, the rest was history.  She doesn’t live anywhere near here (although her parents live here), so that is going to make keeping the relationship afloat somewhat of a struggle, but I have faith in them both… because they want it to happen.  It makes my heart very happy.  ๐Ÿ™‚

Anyway, back to MY Thanksgiving.  I’ve taken some Wilton cake decorating classes, so I was trying to plan out a cake to make for our anniversary.  After chatting with Angela, a very dear friend (and cake-class schoolmate), she pointed out that watches and crystal were the gifts (modern and traditional, respectively) for the 15th anniversary, so I went forth with trying to figure out how I could tie those into a cake.  I came up with the idea of doing a pocket watch on the top of the cake (Emily, the cake instructor, suggested that I just use a cookie as the “watch base” and decorate that… but Russ will ONLY eat chocolate chip cookies, and I was mentally wrestling with myself about that).  After my mental debates (that went on for well over a month… I tend to start planning stuff out WAY ahead of time!), I finally decided to try my hand at a “Frozen Buttercream Transfer” using a page that I printed out that looked like a pocket watch.  But the crystal… that was throwing me for a loop until I saw a Pinterest post that had rock candy as part of it, and that solved the crystal issue.  Then I had to figure out where in the world to get it!

Russ was in Seattle for a week during the middle of the month, so I grabbed my friend Aimee and we headed to Springfield to do the shopping for the “cake necessities” that I didn’t already have (mainly, the rock candy, which we found at the bulk candy store at the mall).  I also found a caramel flavored cake mix at the grocery store, and picked one of those up (even though Russ pretty well insists on ONLY getting white or yellow cake… I just wanted this to be “different”).

Since Russ would be home for Thanksgiving on Wednesday night, and the cake was going to be one of his anniversary presents, I set about baking the cake this last Tuesday (2 days before Thanksgiving).  In the process of plotting out my cake, I decided I would do a 3 layer, with cheesecake being the middle layer.  So, Tuesday I got the cake and cheesecake baked and cooled (and while they were baking I got 2 batches of buttercream, with “extra butter” mixed up), and got the cake “crumb coated” (a very light coat of icing to keep from getting cake crumbs into your decorating icing) and stuck it in the fridge; after I finished that, I did the “Buttercream Transfer” (it was fairly easy, once I figured out what I was doing).  Wednesday morning, my friend Melinda texted me to see how well the cake was coming… and I admitted that I had been procrastinating on it (but, thankfully, she got me steered towards getting the cake done) and I went and got everything pulled out of the fridge and cabinets and set forth doing it.  I needed a border for the cake, so luckily I found that “Ruby red” is the color for the 15th anniversary, so I quickly set about mixing up icing that had a ruby red color (it could have been better, but I was in a hurry!).  I got the icing done on the main part of the cake, got the frozen buttercream “watch face” centered in the middle of the cake with a black border around it, then made the “top” of the watch (the loop that the chain would hook to, the winding stem, etc.), put the red icing border around the top and bottom and then sprinkled rock candy all over the top that I had crunched up with a hammer (which wasn’t half as easy as I thought it would be… rock candy is pretty resilient!).

I finished everything up, and got the cake hidden in our fridge in our “game room”, about 45 minutes before Russ got home.  WHEW!  After chatting with him for a while, eating some dinner, etc. I just wanted to go to bed… so I did (he was up watching TV).  The next morning, he insisted that *I* let the dogs out (that is his job when he is home, as he works 150 miles away during the week, so I get to deal with the dogs when he’s gone), so I did… then stopped to feed the fish, and I found a jewelry box and a card propped up on the fish tank (very sneaky!).  I am also a diabetic, so I found another card and another jewelry box tucked into the makeup bag that I use for my insulin syringes and such.  SO, we got the first round of Thanksgiving prep work done, and I suggested we head back to the game room where the cake was stored in the fridge, and I had left his other gifts.

And we proceeded to open our gifts, and I proceeded to cry over the messages in the cards from him (don’t worry, I do it every year!).  I got tickets to go see Fleetwood Mac (my 2nd time seeing them in the last 2-3 years), an adorable necklace with ruby hearts on it, and 2 pair of princess cut earrings (my ears are double-pierced, and he refers to me as his “princess”).
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He got a few different things… the first thing was a video I had created that I put a lot of work and time into (that whole “plotting it out mentally” thing… finding the right song, the right pictures, etc.)

Russ also got the cake – and a letter explaining what everything on the cake meant:
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And then all sorts of things – A write-on/wipe off frame, a lunchbox that should serve quite well for him when he travels with his pipes and cigars, a Mickey Mouse Advent calendar (I LOVE Mickey, and the Advent was always a big thing when I was growing up).  A new wallet, with extra credit card slots, which was desperately needed.  A bowling ball (he received this gift a few months ago, but he got a reminder), tickets to see Trans-Siberian Orchestra and insulated gloves to wear on his motorcycle:
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Thanksgiving dinner consisted of turkey, homemade yeast rolls, mashed potatoes (made even better with the addition of heavy cream, cream cheese and tons of butter) and gravy, maple sweet potatoes, honey roasted carrots, roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon… and the cake!

After the yummy dinner, we headed off to Springfield to go see “Mockingjay”, which is part of the Hunger Games series… and we both enjoyed it quite a bit (but, it also caused us to say, “It’s been too long, we need to re-read the book!”).  After the movie, we drove around to look at all of the crazy folks doing the black Friday thing at Walmart, the mall, Best Buy, etc.  Then we stopped at Starbucks and got some coffee’s and headed home.

This time of year is crazy for us… his birthday is a few days away, then Christmas.  Then my birthday, then Valentine’s day.  SO… I’m sure there will be a huge post about his birthday events, because it is looking like it’s going to be a fantastic party to celebrate his 45th trip around the sun.  ๐Ÿ™‚

I hope that everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving and you’re getting ready for Santa’s big entrance.  ๐Ÿ™‚

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