I Am Baker

birthday celebration (with LOTS of desserts!)

This past weekend was a busy one, with lots of food, fun and desserts of course!

Parker & Inga Birthday Party!


My little guy is turning eight in about a week and my sweet niece turned nine last Friday!  We are also celebrating one year in our home as well as a long and beautiful summer.  School time is right around the corner, and we wanted to be outside with friends and family before the cold Minnesota winter drives us indoors.

But lets talk desserts!

Chocolate Zucchini Cake


My mother-in-law made this beautiful Chocolate Zucchini Cake.  It was a hit!

Butterscotch Peanut Butter Dessert Pizza

I made my husband’s all time favorite Butterscotch Peanut Butter Dessert Pizza.

I actually made two for the party, but hubby didn’t get to eat any of it, so I made him another one that night.  (It only takes 15 minutes from conception to your first bite, so easy!)

White Cake Zucchini Cupcakes


Parker had requested a white cake with strawberries, so I made him these cupcakes.  They are my white zucchini cake recipe with strawberry buttercream and fresh strawberries on top.  I didn’t actually get to try one, but I heard folks enjoyed them.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Last but not least was the Chocolate Zucchini Cake.  I didn’t get to try this one either, as it went pretty fast, but I did get to try the cupcake version and those were amazing.

As for the entertainment…

Rettke Party 2014


Some of the talented kids from our church agreed to come and play.  This is Next Destination.  I think everyone would agree that they did an amazing job!

We also had face painting:



Inga face paintingInga

bouncy house

We also rented a giant bouncy house that the kids enjoyed for three days!  Seriously enjoyed.  On Sunday they spent a good deal of time trying to plan ways to save money so they can buy their own.

It was a wonderful time I we felt beyond blessed to have so many friends and family there.  And to get to enjoy good food together!

Can’t wait until next year!

I Am Baker

You are the World

The older I get, the easier it is to accept responsibility over fun.  Ten years ago that is not a thought that would have lasted more than a millisecond in my brain, as I was all to often one to fulfill the self serving need.

Parker and Eddie 2014


I dont know when it started (birth) but I have always been a bit self-entitled.  I remember when I was in high school I used to do this thing to my parents.  When they would ask me to complete a task or help or do anything beyond the normal scope of existance, I would hold up my left pointer finger like I was counting #1 and say, “This is me.”  Then I would take my right hand pointer finger and make circles around the other finger.  “This is the world.”

The implication being, of course, that I envisioned the world revolving around me.

Colton, Parker & Eddie in driveway 2014


When I got engaged I looked at a ring on my mom’s hand and said, “That is the kind of ring I want!”  It was quite large.  A beautifully cut center stone with many many diamonds surrounding.  My mom shook her head and said, “Amanda, my first ring was a very small, very imperfect, very humble stone.  This was a gift from your father after 15 years of marriage.”  She didn’t think it was very realistic of me to start out with the huge stone.  (I think she knew that I was far more concerned with the ring than I was the actual marriage at that point.)

And she was right.

Eddie and Parker 2014


Eventually, changes were made.  Faith was discovered. Humility became a goal instead of something to be avoided at all costs.  But as flawed and human as I am, I stumble.

There was recently an opportunity to go on a “work” trip that was in a tropical location.  It sounded like something that I would really benefit from, as the focus is photography and I am always trying to improve mine.  The setting is magical, the content is exciting and challenging, the company is going to be the best, as many blogging friends are going.

The time frame?  One week.  A full seven days away.

And I knew I could never go.

But more importantly, after about two minutes of dreamy wishful thinking, I didn’t have a need to be there.

My kids are still so young.  The oldest is just 9 and the youngest 12 months.  In addition to them having needs it just doesn’t make sense for me to pursue an endeavor that would put so much stress on others.  My husband for instance.  While I know he would support anything that I passionately pursued, this particular trip would have been a strain on his job and time.  We would have probably had to call in extra help (like a mom or a sitter) which would have been an additional stress on someone else’s time.

I just knew it wasn’t my time.

Parker and Eddie 2014

I know where I am needed right now.

I know that I will not always be needed in the same way, as little boys and girls grow and embrace independence and make their own paths in this world.

And I know that in this moment, my soul finds much more fulfillment in meeting the little (sometimes seemingly insignificant) needs of the people that I am blessed enough to call family.

It’s amazing (dumbfounds me actually) that I can find just as much satisfaction in a well made dinner than I can in career accolades, pursuits, and praises.


Be the World


Today, well, today I simply feel blessed to simply be needed.

In 10 years?  Watch out sandy beach, here I come!

I Am Baker

Family Picture

We had our pictures taken for the church directory.

It was about a month after we had just had our other family pictures taken, so I didn’t spend too much time worrying over whether they would be good or not.

Plus, our family is growing in a few months and we’ll need a new one anyway.

Awkward Family Photo


So when I saw this, I practically yelled at the lady to stop as we were viewing the pictures.

I ordered it.  A full 8×10.

I LOVE it.  Love it.  It makes me smile and laugh even when I am not looking at it.

I just snapped this shot of it with my phone to share, but I am going to proudly display this in my home until Parker tells me otherwise.

I hope he’s at least 40 before it bugs him. :)


I Am Baker

Shark Day

“Mom, are sharks teeth like triangles?”


“Mom, are they sharp triangles?”



“You bet sweety.”

Ten minutes later.

“Mom, look!”

“I’m a shark!”

1 roll tape .99

a stack of white copy paper 3.49

seeing how your kid can use his imagination priceless

I Am Baker

Now Thats a Big Sunflower

I couldn’t resist sharing a few pictures from our weekend.


My niece Inga came to visit.

Her and her mom (my sister) and her grandma (my mom) came to the cities for a girls/birthday/school shopping weekend.

They came over a bit later and we made red velvet cupcakes and let the kids decorate them any way they wanted.


Then I decorated one just the way I wanted.  And then looked at it.

Cause I am trying not to eat gluten.

And those were not gluten free.

The only thing they were free of was healthiness.


Dear sister posing with the sunflowers that run the edge of our garden.  She wears fun colors.

I sometimes try to liven up my black wardrobe with a splash of white.

I am a rebel.

Seriously though, our sunflowers are huge.  At least 15 feet tall.

Not sure why.

But I like lookin at em.

Did you do anything fun this weekend?




I Am Baker I Am Baker

Out of Focus

Although the weather man predicted snow today, I really had no idea that it would be like a FOOT of snow and that it would cause massive power outages accross the state of Minnesota and that from 11:00am to 5:00pm today we HAD NO POWER.

About seven seconds prior to me putting to most beautiful cheesecake I have ever made into the oven, my world went dark.

I immediately hopped online and tweeted for "HELP!"  asking dear friends, "what should I do?  Leave it out?  Refrigerate?"  I had no idea!

Of course, just because my new laptop had a fully charged battery didn't mean my wireless modem was going to work without power.  Hence, no tweet ever went through.

So!  I left it on top of the stove and went outside to shovel.  In the middle of the storm.  Isnt that what everyone does in power outages???

Then I got hopelessly sidetracked by these guys and ended up shoveling only a portion of the driveway.

I do that a lot.

Lose focus that is.  Not shoveling.



And their insane ability to catch snowflakes on their ridiculously long eyelashes.


More snow tomorrow and then very very cold temps for later in the week.  

At the risk of sounding very silly I must tell you, I just LOVE this time of year!

Dont forget to sign up to win $500.  You have until Nov. 30th!

I Am Baker

Tidbits and Winners

Thanks to everyone who entered to win some great stuff from frecklebox.com!  When Mark from frecklebox.com found out about the giveaway, he generously offered to cover the cost of one of the winners!  Isnt that amazing?  Thanks so much Mark!

The first winner is:


Steph said:

That is awesome that you are doing this!!!! I love the stickers!
the second winner is:
Kate said:
These are so cute! And thank you SO MUCH for doing this out of the kindness of your own heart!!! The puzzles would be GREAT for my little nephew who's 1 1/2! Thanks! (and pick me!!)
If you two can shoot me an email I will get you set up with your prizes!
Dont forget to leave a comment to win $500.  Its just that easy.  To win $500.  It could be you!
Oh!  Just an FYI, the LG TextEd campaign is going on over at BlogHer, and there are some really insightful posts from moms about how they handle issues related to texting/sexting/phone use. Even though that’s not an issue in our house right now, I was surprised at how much I learned about the issue and how I plan to parent on it! 
Also, Each comment left on the posts listed below benefits DoSomething.org with a $0.50 donation up to $5,000!

Do not leave sunglasses unattended around children.  They will inevitably find them and proclaim themselves too cool for you.


I Am Baker

This Is Me Today. Yikes.

I wanted to put together a well written, thoughtful, and informative post today.  But soon realized that I was completely incapable.

Some things that have happened at our house today:

Audrey found a full tube of petroleum jelly and managed to lather it over her entire body.

Parker used a marker to draw on his shirt and it soaked through to his skin and he now appears to have tribal markings all over himself.  We have Awana tonight.  Should be fun.

I managed to make a cake and complete and entire order of cookies.  Then realized I made the WRONG order of cookies.

Audrey has a bit of a runny nose and we are out of kleenex so as I grabbed a new roll of toilet paper and was attempting to pull off a few squares to wipe her nose and  I started to lose my grip for some reason as realized I was going to drop the roll in my left hand so even though I had a firm grasp of the sheets in my right hand I let go with both hands.  I then gave myself a mental pat on the back for not holding on to the single sheets because then I would have had the roll unwind a lot and it would have been a big mess.  I then realized that I had given myself a mental pat on the back for dropping a roll of toilet paper.  

So what is going on in the world today?  I saw that Joy Behar called Sarah Palin a b*itch and that she is going to burn in hell and that some Marie Clair blogger said fat people kissing is gross.  Seems about the norm huh? (If I can get up the energy I might provide links… if you happen to know them already feel free to leave it in the comments.  Seriously.  I am still thinking about toilet paper here.)

Oh!  Just an FYI, the LG TextEd campaign is going on over at BlogHer, and there are some really insightful posts from moms about how they handle issues related to texting/sexting/phone use. Even though that’s not an issue in our house right now, I was surprised at how much I learned about the issue and how I plan to parent on it! 

Hope your day is going smoother then mine!

I Am Baker

I’m Gonna Miss This

I am leaving in a few short hours for San Fransisco, CA.

For the first time ever, I am leaving behind these guys.



I cant believe how long its been since I posted a picture of these sweet little people.




Of those tiny baby teeth and shining eyes.




Of my little ones out and about enjoying the world.


It is impossibly hard to leave them today…

…my heart hurts thinking that I might miss one moment of joy or one more opportunity to express delight in their accomplishments.

I know its good for me as well as them.

But that doesn't change the fact that I will miss them dreadfully.

At least I know they are in good hands