of birthdays and memories

The niece just turned the Big One recently, and we had a small family gathering last Sunday over at the sister’s. Having had experienced two first birthdays with the elder two nieces, I know that when it comes to the first birthday celebration, no matter how many times parents had the child practise blowing out the candle prior to the party, the flame always gets blown out by someone else. I remember that during one of the parties, the parents blew out the candle themselves, and it was only after the flame was out that the niece puffed up her cheeks and ‘blew’ out the unlit candle. Much to the roaring laughter of the entire room.

Lesson learnt: Don’t practise on a candle without a flame.

I most certainly can’t remember how my first birthday was celebrated, and I doubt that I have photos to commemorate that (being the sixth child, the initially trigger-happy parents probably had less time, and more kids on their hands to practise crowd-control, to bring out the camera). But one of the best memories I’ve had celebrating my birthday as a child was when I received a card from my idol-cum-favourite singer, Francisca Peters. She was a petite-sized Eurasian lady who was a big hit in the Malay pop music industry at that time. I believe I was either 3 or 4 years old then, and my father came home from work, bearing a letter complete with a stamp, addressed to me. I don’t exactly remember what it read, but it was a birthday wish, and I couldn’t be more thrilled knowing that the singer whose dress style I copied (I actually pointed to the television screen during one of her performances and said I wanted that exact dress, and henceforth the mother had the aunt sew a replica, down to the colour and puffy sleeves) actually knew my birthday, and sent me a birthday wish.

Of course I found out many years later that Francisca Peters wasn’t my father’s acquaintance after all, and that the card was penned by him.

Birthday celebrations are always rich with memories, and even when it comes down to the first or second birthdays when the little one would definitely be more interested in dipping his/her fingers straight into the cake frosting than understanding the highly-detailed themed party, the celebration memories would probably be etched on the minds of the guests. For them to relate to the child when he/she grows up. (I still get teased about that birthday card till now, btw.)

One of the perks of taking in orders for bakes is the sense of involvement I get from the time the e-mail reaches me, to the discussion and specification of order, and finally to the feedback (if any). It makes me feel as though I was amidst the faces in a birthday celebration, sharing the love and warmth of the ambience. I love the little behind the scene stories deciphered from gathering information of the intended recipients; likes, dislikes, occasion, etc. With the feedback, the sense of satisfaction comes from knowing that I had been duly welcomed into a private celebration of love.

Cupcakes know no boundaries.

On another note, a happy belated birthday to the mister’s mom.


17 thoughts on “of birthdays and memories

  1. thecoffeesnob

    I don’t know how you reacted when you found out but i think your dad was really sweet in doing that for you. It reminds me an episode of Everybody Loves Raymond where Raymond finds out that the baseball his dad got autographed for him by his favourite star was actually a fake- his dad forged the signature.

    Anyway I love that shade of blue in the second photo!

  2. Hélène

    Lovely cupcakes. I have to make some for my son’s Grad Potluck party. Where did you get the cardboard with the holes to transport the cupcakes? Great idea.

  3. ovenhaven Post author

    bie: Thanks, bie 🙂

    thecoffeesnob: Oh I remember that episode! Hehe 😛 And by the time I found out, I was already a teenager I think, so it didn’t matter much; twas sweet of him 🙂 As for the cupcake inserts, I made them myself. Can’t seem to find any in the stores.

    Helene: Thanks, dearie 🙂 You definitely should go and make some. I’m sure he’ll love it. I made the cupcake inserts myself; was tired of being paranoid that the cupcakes won’t make it in one piece 😛

    grace: Thanks, sweetie 🙂 Unfortunately I didn’t have time to bake cupcakes for the party (these were all orders over the weeks), but I think she had great fun eating the chocolate cake we bought…while falling asleep 😛

  4. denise

    hey, i wanted to ask about the inserts, but it seems that others have already asked about it!

    anyhow i think it is just so great that you are in this “business” and i enjoy reading your blog! 🙂 continue on yeah!

  5. Maya

    Hei Ov! 😀 Eid Mubarak to you 🙂 Watever your dad did was so sweet. I wish sum1 send a card to me and sign it with “Lots of love, Shahrukh Khan” :p Oh well, Francisca Peters was loved by my eldest bro too, so I did get to listen to her songs often. I remember some “mawar2” number. haha! I saw her on tv a few years back. Aparently, she looks abt E same, just prettier. Amazing isnt it. I hope I can remain looking like this even when i’m 40. *Digressing* :p

  6. zarina

    wow! a nice post about birthdays and i love the memories part of ur father. That shows our parents love have no boundaries. ur cuppies look real cute. u knw what i was also a fanof Fran & Peter. Those two really belted some good songs in the 80’s when i was a teenager. Hmmmm those melody & tunes.

  7. ovenhaven Post author

    denise: Thanks, sweetie! And thanks for dropping by 🙂

    Maya: Hey you, long time no hear. Eid Mubarak! Oh yah that Mawar Terpinggir song! Haha, I totally forgot about that 😛 And yeah, I caught her on tv as well; maybe it’s in the genes or stg. I doubt that I can remain looking the same though. My face changes every few months actually!

    zarina: Hi there, thanks for dropping by 🙂 How nice to find fellow Fran fan! My friends always laughed when I told them I was a Fran fan. Ummm and don’t you mean Fran & Roy? Hehe 😛 I like their ‘Siapa Dia Sebelum Daku’ 😀

    Dorothy: Haha, glad you find both the cupcakes and comment box cute, dearie! 🙂

  8. is

    happy belated birthday to your niece! and it’s certainly true, that blowing the candles bit..hehe

    and the cupcakes look yummy 🙂


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