I had great expectations for the Fourth of July this year. Namely, cake expectations. I was going to make this flag cake. People were going to cut into it and gasp in surprise at the beautifully crafted layers and colors. 

Flag Cake

Everything started off according to plan. The multiple cakes were colored and ready to be cut and arranged into pastry art. 

Colors 1 Colors 2But somewhere in the process of slicing and stacking, everything -literally- fell apart. It crumbled and cracked and split down the middle. We tried to save it, but ended up with empty, frosting-covered hands. 

Crumbles 1

Crumbles 2

I guess it was just another reminder that life rarely looks like the pristine images you see online and that things almost never go as planned even if you do everything the way you were supposed to….but, in the end, you still have cake. Or at least half a cake that you can still cover in frosting and sprinkles and pretend it was your intended design all along. 

Decorating Collage

Justin 1


Hosts will still be grateful. Small children will still marvel at the colors, asking for another piece before their little fingers and mouths are clean. Blogging (really the whole internet) is dangerous because it is staged. It is posed and practiced and filtered and selectively chosen and we forget that the best memories are made when things don’t work out according to plan. My Fourth of July had no flag cake, but it did have camping, bonfires, dogs, copious amount of mac n’ cheese & a slip n’ slide, and hours of dancing (most memorably to this song, while waving an American flag). No expectations, just real life. 

Justin 2



photos courtesy of Justin Rotundo  

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