Adventures in Imperfection

Too Much Frosting? As If!

I love it when my kiddos have a birthday. It gives me a reason to pour over the old photo albums, bring out the baby books, and shower them with extra love and kisses.

Like I need an excuse to do that anyway.

Hurry up, don’t go too fast.

These were the words shared by my son’s football coach at the end-of-the-season banquet two Novembers ago. I grabbed my iPhone and made a verbatim note because I knew that it would apply at some point—not only in football but in life, too.

I may be one of the worst ones for wishing my life away. Working in a demanding job, I often find myself wishing and hoping and working away to get to the weekend. Then, when it finally comes, praying for those two precious days to go slow.

Slow down, so we can go fast. An oxymoron of time and space. You’ve heard the cliché about how time flies and that the older we get, the faster it goes. How can time feel more fleeting and faster every year? We are each given the same amount of time every day. No more, no less and suddenly, life is flashing before my eyes. My “baby” boy is sixteen with huge feet, hairy legs, and muscles. My daughter graduates from college in less than a month and then heads to nursing school. From there, it’ll be a little hop to getting married and having babies of her own.

Don’t blink.


It was a sage, retired Army captain who once explained the mathematics of time to me.

“When you were six, your comparative summer was a 1/6 fraction of your life. When you were 12, it became 1/12th. Now that you are almost 50, that’s 1/50th–barely a portion. To a six-year-old, the summer is endless. To you, it’s one night of sleep.”

Ugh. Fractions.

My son has an old-soul method of measuring time as well. When he was twelve, I said, “You need to slow down growing, Bud. You’ll be gone before I know it.”

He said, “Don’t worry, Mom. You still have me for more than half as long as I’ve been alive.”

Again with the math!

The year we celebrated Dane’s fifteenth birthday was one that I had taken off from work. I’d spent the day cleaning and cooking and baking. Dane’s cake choice was homemade German chocolate, but without the pecan frosting. He wanted plain chocolate instead.

I made the cake from scratch and lifted frosting from a can. Sounds sketchy, right? My mom concocts the world’s best white wedding cake buttercream frosting, but Dane wanted chocolate on chocolate. I have yet to find a chocolate buttercream recipe that’s any better than what is in the Betty Crocker 16-ounce tub. The only thing better would be a two-pound tub.

Growing up, eating the chocolate frosting out of the can was a treat—Mom often left half used containers in the fridge. When I was in charge of icing the cake, I’d often only put on a thin layer, so there was enough left to eat with a spoon. My mom caught me once and hollered, “That is too much frosting! You can’t eat all of that frosting!!”

What? Isn’t frosting the best part?

One cake = one can of frosting.

Not in this house.

For Dane’s cake that year, I bought two containers. Two pounds of yummy goodness to spread between the three layers and the other to put on the top and around the sides. Then, I piped the remaining confection onto the top to give it the appearance of someone who had worked in a bakery. My mom decorated wedding cakes for a living, but the creative cake gene never reached my fingers–even though I did bake in a hospital kitchen for three years. Mom did teach me how to craft a star rosette, and that’s my go-to move when I want to wow my audience.

As I plunged the spatula into the creamy delight of the second container, I did wonder, “Is this too much frosting?”


That’s like saying a person shouldn’t be too happy. That it’s “too much” to call on our future and beckon our dreams. What if we hope for too much, and it falls short?

Okay, that’s stretching the message a little, but I wanted to get it in here, and I thought about it while frosting Dane’s cake. Shiny object.

Our human nature backs away from joy because we fear if we love someone too much or get our hopes up for something, that life will come crashing down and leave us bankrupt of happiness.

As I thought about the frosting dilemma, it made me wonder how many times I’d quit “icing the cake” because I worried that life was too good. Too much joy and abundance. Too much laughter and overall yumminess. Surely the good luck wouldn’t last, and I that I couldn’t possibly deserve my blessings. Wouldn’t it be easier and less painful to set lower expectations, plan for the worse and then not be disappointed when it turned out less than stellar?

Nah. That’s never been me. Ever.

Even in my conservative approach to life I don’t settle for “kinda hoping.” When I get my hopes up…they are ALL up.

Because why the hell not? Sometimes, hope for the future is all we have.

Can there ever be too much frosting?




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84 thoughts on “Too Much Frosting? As If!

  1. This is perfect for me today. Partly because my baby is about to turn 6 and I can’t believe time goes so fast. And partly because I’ve been thinking a lot lately about having high hopes versus the alternative. I used to be the kind of person who kept my expectations low so that when the other shoe dropped, I’d be protected from feeling too bad. Of course, it doesn’t work that way because when you push down feelings of hope, you also push down other feelings like joy and happiness. The other shoe drops sometimes but in between the rough patches, I’d much rather enjoy (in-joy) my life than live in doom preparation mode. That other shoe dropping is going to hurt no matter what but that’s just living. I love your insights and I love you!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep, I hear you sister. In fact, I keep forgetting to google “the other shoe dropping.” Isn’t it a quirky way to describe smashing joy and lowering expectations?
      I know where your mind has been these last few months, and it’s easier to not get to hopeful in stressful times. Maybe that’s when we need the most hope, right? I dunno…I’m just rambling because you know all of this. I’ve learned some of it from you ❤️❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I understand time logically, but not practically. I have no idea how my boys turned into young men so fast or how I’ve had enough time to burn through two marriages. In the blink of an eye my little C has gone from infant to a little boy who will start kindergarten in just a couple of months.

    Time makes me sad.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Its only too much frosting if you need that chain saw (love that picture) to cut the cake. Too much frosting is like too much Toll House cookie dough. (Mom always wondered why her recipe didn’t make as many cookies as she thought it would if she put the dough in the frig.) Great fun and great message. reblogging


    1. Dear Robert,
      You are so kind – thank you for the reblog and thoughtful words.
      And mmmm….cookie dough! I may need to go whip up a batch right now.
      I hope you’re having a great weekend and thanks again for being here. Michelle

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ha, I’m often the same way. If life is too good, I wait for the other shoe to drop. But in the literal sense, no, there can never be too much frosting. I can tell you that for sure. So, let’s eat the cake and save the best for last, shall we? And no sharing!! Happy birthday to your son!


  5. go to store
    buy can of frosting
    eat with spoon..

    i can see the message here, hidden among the pretty words and uplifting thoughts.
    On it!



    1. You are the master of wading through my bullshit!
      YES – this is the message! I may have had a spoonful in honor of the topic.
      (and with the cookie frosting bags, you can squirt it right into your mouth!!)


  6. This reminds me of the story of a kid wbo gets the stringball of his life. He pulls it whenever he wants time to fly…then the string is out and the now grownup is like, “where is my string?” We wish away time, and it never seems to work until you reflect on where it went. I remember seeing my niece as a new baby and now she is 17, and I wonder where the string went.

    Happy belated birthday to your son. 🙂 Enjou your time.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. My day started going bad at 5:42 this morning (actually it started going bad before that but I didn’t realize it until 5:42 ) and then went downhill from there. Then I came to your blog Mama and my day brightened a lot. Love the description of time by fractions (I’ve considered the same issue and came up with the fact that we know more and hence time is absorbed into what we’ve already seen – more each year – but I like your fraction expression better, more elegant description.) Reading about your frosting was great, I was getting a sweet tooth and remembered I had some Nestle Coffee Crisp ice Cream in the freezer, so I went and got it and continued reading as I ate. Why not? Ice Cream for breakfast seems right. I agree we expect too little to keep from getting hurt. One thing that I would add that really affects the seriousness of this, is that we tend to receive what we are expecting – self fulfilling. Whether you believe it is a supreme being (which I do) or a matter of self sabotaging – most agree that the less you expect,the less you get,in general. And of course that is a downward spiral = get less expect less, get even less,expect even less, etc. We have to learn to turn the spiral upwards – expect more and get more – Icing as well as happiness.

    Great post Mama – hope all is well with you and yours.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ice cream for breakfast – yes!
      Supreme Being – most definitely
      Bad morning – boo! I’m sorry your day started off crappy. Hoping and praying that it’s gotten better since this morning.
      Any guests posts for me to read?

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Nah, you’re not the best at wishing your life away. I’ve got you beat. Guaranteed. When I was a child, my dad warned me about wishing my life away. I’m 51 now. I haven’t learned that lesson. Still working on it.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. First, that cake looks AMAZING! Life is totally about eating the frosting because it travels at warp speed. We have to find those moments of simple indulgences and enjoy them! It why I make cookie dough and snack on it while baking a dozen for dessert.

    With my oldest only 3 short weeks from graduation of HS, I can’t imagine what it will be like when he graduates from college. Much less that his sister will be 16 at the end of this year!

    Perfect song by Kenny!

    Have a fabulous Sunday my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, T!!! I didn’t know your oldest was graduating. You KNOW…you so know. It’s bittersweet wonderful, so I’ll be thinking of you as your kiddo treks toward his next journey.
      And, thank you for sharing my post this morning. It means the world to me. xoxoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  10. One year for Christmas I asked for pink frosting. My older cousin Ginger made me up a container of pink buttercream frosting and gave it to me. It was nirvana. You can never have enough frosting! We would always take the leftover frosting and some graham crackers and make little frosting sandwiches. Later on, I discovered the flavor explosion of combining salt and sugar by dipping pretzels into the leftover frosting.

    I’ve noticed that when life is flowing along and things are good, that’s when time seems to speed up. You don’t need to focus or concentrate on every moment, and they just slide on by. I wouldn’t mind time moving a little faster these days.

    Thank you for another beautiful post to escape into. And I’m jealous that you got to land a plane! And that Kenny Chesney song… took me away.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, my lovely friend! I DO hope we get to meet someday and share a can of frosting – the graham cracker sandwiches are the best.
      And, BTW – I read your book recommendation – the one about our soul’s plan. WOW! What a comfort. Thank you for leading me to it. xo

      Liked by 1 person

      1. As much of a fan of sugar that I am, I have a recipe for Red Velvet Cake that uses a frosting that is like no other that I’ve ever had with it. Not a buttercream, not a cream cheese, but much like combining buttercream and a white sauce! It’s not as sweet, and compliments the cake perfectly. Insanely good!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Believe it or not, I’m a scientist at heart. FINALLY, someone put numbers and tangibility to feeling of “time flies.”
      I hope your book launch is going well!!!
      Thank you for being here, Mark. xo


    1. Awww….Happy Sunday, Kim! I’m saving your post (still sitting in my inbox) during my quiet hotel moments. I hope you’re having a fabulous April.
      Love from KS.


    1. I know, right??? I shared my post on FB and one of my friends lamented about wanting to go back to the days of “Buzz Lightyear and Ariel.”
      My daughter chimed in and said, “I still love Buzz and Ariel.”
      May our girls (yours and mine) always keep that childlike heart and outlook on life.
      You are so good to me, Hook…I just saw your Twitter share. Seriously. I have the coolest friends. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. xo


  11. I couldn’t love this more. Now, how many times have I said that about your posts? Well, if it wasn’t the truth, I would not say it, plain and simple.
    I commiserate about the time flying with your babies. I worked at home when my son was born to not miss a moment of his growth, which I very nearly accomplished, and still, as he’s about to turn 15, I feel like I’ve missed too much and it’s gone by too soon.
    Too much frosting? Never! I have to laugh, my personal view has always been: why compromise when you don’t need to? Do, I want this scarf in red or yellow? Ha, I’ll take both!
    Love your posts, Michelle. I also wonder about your friend’s surgery. I hope she’s doing well.
    Big hugs to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Robyn,
      You’ve been on my mind and in my heart. To hear from you today…well, that’s icing on the cake.
      Thank you for always being such a fantastic friend and supportive reader. You rock, lady – wow…do you rock!! xo


  12. Um…Michelle, i can’t find my invitation anywhere? You can’t tease a guy with all that frosting and not invite me 🙂
    I’d ask you to post me some…but I think between here and there, there would be some very happy smiling postman sitting on the side of the road with very big happy smiles on their chocolate covered faces 🙂
    Enjoy the family get together, it will be just as good as the frosting… 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Nope…. no such thing as too much frosting, or happiness or chocolate or sex or… wait! Sorry, I digress! he he! Anyway, great post! 😉
    They do indeed grow up way to freaking fast. My 28 year old daughter is getting married in August. Ugh… She will actually have her 29th birthday before the wedding. She should still be toddling around telling her daddy to take her picture.. “I said cheese daddy! Take my picture!” OMG! Now I’m crying! Geez Michelle! Thanks a heep! :-/
    That’s what I get for listening to the damn song!
    Already having a hard time with mortality this week! :,(

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OOOO…that song! I’m so sorry to have made you cry. Isn’t it amazing how the happy times feel as intense and leave us almost as teary as the sad times? I will be thinking of you and sending you warm mama hugs. Xoxoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  14. No, I don’t think there can be too much frosting, unless it’s red, then even a little is too much because I hate the taste of red food coloring. My boy’s turning 16 in a couple weeks too. He just got his driver’s license this week (I held out long for Idaho since he could have gotten the real deal at 15), and now he thinks he’s so big (and he is physically, but he’s still my little boy). I’m blinking just thinking about it. Dang. Hope Dane’s B-day was fun!


    1. I don’t much care for red frosting either…it leaves such a residue, too! Happy Birthday to your kiddo! We have been traversing the driving, too. Dane turned 16 in November, and I think the full license privileges are just around the corner. Gulp.
      I hope you’re doing well–I think of you every day and send you hugs and happy thoughts as you embark upon your next adventures. Xoxoxo


      1. Thanks for the happy thoughts. I appreciate them. Hopefully within 2 weeks, my house in Utah will be closed. This one here is a done deal–we’re just renting it back from the buyers now until my daughter graduates. I think it’s about time to start cleaning out and boxing up. I send more happy thoughts back at you, and cyber cinnamon rolls (because those sound super good right now and I wish I had some. Wish you had some too–that’s why their cyber)


  15. What a nice post. Watching your kids grow up (and wanting them to slow down) is a sight to see. It won’t be long before ours leave the nest, too. I can only hope we will all live close to each other. And, by the way, there’s no such thing as too much frosting – my favorite part too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Joanne! I have been thinking so much about you! Your posts are sitting in my inbox like a gift, and I can’t wait to open them. I hope you’re doing well and having a great Monday! Xoxoxo


    1. Awww…thank you, Joanne. It always makes me smile to see your smiling face. And, in case you were wondering, I’m still playing with my piece for your place. AND – I’ll be over to read you soon, too. Xoxoxo


  16. My boss explained the time passage thing recently similarly, sans fractions (because, math!) and it was the start of some peace with the passage of time. I totally get what you mean about wanting to rush through the weeks, or even unpleasant weekend tasks, and so I am consciously trying to observe and appreciate more in-between moments. Rushing does feel wrong. Finally, that cake looks amazing. Happy birthday to your boy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are one the best at not rushing through and grasping life. I can see it in your writing and the way you take the time to stop places many wouldn’t stop. Thank you for taking the time to stop here – we can avoid math and eat cake together (though, I think you’re better at avoiding sugar than I am!!) xoxox


  17. Ask my husband/daughters/grocery clerk about my sugar habits…they would find it hilarious that I seem disciplined. Oh well, life is sweeter with sugar. Oh! I just got notice that the Beth Hahn book is ready at the library. That and the new Elizabeth Strout book. When it rains, it pours.


  18. Life is so fast, sometimes, and so slow at others. I think that time is something of a tricky beast, which doesn’t really move in the linear way we pretend it does, but jumps around and sometimes bunches up or stretches out.

    I love that you celebrated the birthday so beautifully, indulging in the frosting because WHY NOT!

    I recently discovered the (vegan, YAY!) delights of Betty Crocker frosting, and…wow! It’s something I plan NOT to have in the house, or else I’ll eat it, and THEN I will take issue.


  19. Don’t blink is right. My son is 24 and I swear I was just changing his diaper last week. The axiom I have heard when it comes to time is this… “Life is like a roll of toilet paper, the closer to the end you get, the faster it goes.” Always found that humorous, either for the potty humor or the truth of it. Either, or.
    And I love you outlook, I think I might have to start asking myself that question. Is it ever too much?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I appreciate that. With spring semester winding down, I should have a lot more time on my hands, not that I will use it to write, because that would be way too productive and eliminate my ability to complain about not having enough time to do things… and that won’t do.

        Liked by 1 person

  20. I’m coming to terms with the craziness of the space-time continuum now that my newborn is crawling. Oh, wait. He’s not a newborn anymore! WHAT?

    I don’t like it!

    I’m like you, Mama. I don’t hold back because things are getting too happy, but I do get nervous when things feel SO GOOD. Because life can’t sustain that way. And we wouldn’t want it to because we wouldn’t appreciate it if it did. So i always make sure to really, really soak those moments up.

    And no, never too much frosting!!

    Loved this so much. Thanks for the reminder, Mama!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are so awesome, Katie! I think about you often and remember how clueless (comparatively) I was as a young mom. You’ve got it figured out. Even as an outsider, I can feel/read your daily joy…in that babe and life in general. In my opinion, joy like that comes from a higher place.
      I’m back your direction in August–how about I pack cupcakes for 2…or 3 – LM needs frosting, too ❤️❤️


  21. Time flys so fast that I didn’t get to your wonderful post until today. Appropriately enough, the Alabama song “I’m In a Hurry and Don’t Know Why” came on my Pandora station. Perfect background music for reading these words of heartfelt wisdom, Michelle. Too much frosting? Indeed, there is no such thing. The question really is: Is there ever enough? All I know for sure is that I’m thankful each day for the frosting in my life 😉 Loved this, Michelle — as always.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww…you are too sweet! I know that Alabama song all too well – it makes me a bit frantic just listening to it.
      Thank you for taking the time to hop over and read – if only I could send a batch of frosted cookies with you. xo

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Great blog. I can come up with a whole philosophy on the cake and frosting. Don’t be too impatient to let the cake rise maybe. I wish you an abundance of frosting.


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