Of Sloths and Love

I think by now we have established that yours truly is a bit of a nerd. And believe it or not, I'm about to rock your world with an even nerdier story ... Nathan and I started dating just a couple months before Valentine's Day during my sophomore year of college at (the best) Miami University (of Ohio). He was a junior and I was intimidated, but that didn't deter me from sharing my love of sloths with him. You'd think I would play it cool, but that's just not how I rolled. "They're so cute!" "They move soooo slow!" I have no idea what the fascination was. (Kristen Bell gets it.)

Fast forward a couple months to Feb. 14, 2005 ...

I came back to my dorm after class, opened the door and the cutest stuffed sloth (stuffed animal, not like a taxidermied sloth!) was sitting on my desk with a card from Nathan. Not only did he embrace my love of sloths, he searched high and low for that thing. Sylvia, as we later named her, came all the way from England. It was probably about that moment that I knew Nathan was the one for me.

Eight years later, here we are celebrating another Valentine's Day. Nathan still embraces all my weirdness and still makes me feel special in spite of it. And I love him for it. :)

Valentine's Day

One of the very first pictures we took at a formal in 2004. We look like babies!

101 in 1001: #53 Make a cake from Scratch and display it on our Cake Stand.

When we were in Madeira, Nathan and my grandma talked about having chocolate cake almost every night. I don't know why chocolate cake was their fixation (Nathan prefers white cake with chocolate icing), but after we got back I decided to make him one. And what better time to bake a cake then Valentine's Day? OK, so I have a confession. This cake wasn't actually from scratch, but I'm counting my 101 in 1001 anyway. The cake was from a box but the icing was from scratch! And it was DELICIOUS. I might have eaten a few spoonfuls after I iced the cake. Here's the recipe:

1/2 cup butter or margarine 2/3 cup baking cocoa (I used Ghirardelli, which was probably why it was so chocolaty) 3 cups powdered sugar 1/3 cup milk 2 tbsp brewed coffee (I left this out because I forgot to get it, but I bet coffee would have made the icing even richer!) 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract 1/2 tbsp almond extract (THE secret! Almond extract makes everything better)

After decorating this cake, I realized that I definitely do not have a career as a cake decorator in my future. I would lose on Food Network's Last Cake Standing. It kind of looks like the cake has a bowl cut from those strawberries. I'm pretty sure the judges wouldn't think that was cute. Plus, half of the strawberries fell off the top.

The good news? It still tasted delicious. :)