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Turtles, Hips and Chocolate Cake

**Updated: Thank you to MaryLynn, without whom the “Bill Knapps Chocolate Cake” recipe would not have passed into my email…and Peter wouldn’t be able to enthusiastically pester me with “Do you think that’s the real cake recipe?” until I am FORCED to try it. **

My dear hubby Peter has a thing for chocolate cake.  He has a love for all things chocolate, genetically predisposed to it, I suppose, as his mother is the same way.  We’ve been married for 10 years, together for a little over 11.  And the one consistent in our life has been his overall disdain for any chocolate cake that attempts to be a Bill Knapps cake.  I don’t recall if I’ve ever set foot in a Bill Knapps restaurant before, they’ve gone out of business and shut their doors forever….stealing from DH this nirvana of dessert foods.  Each year on his birthday I seek out new and improved versions of chocolate cake, hoping this will be the year that he finally shuts up about lets go of the cake-that-got-away.

Yet, every year my dream is dashed against the rocks of discontent as his words are always the same, “It’s good, but it’s not a Bill Knapps cake.”  *After year 4, I had to physically restrain myself from taking the remainder of the cake and bludgeoning him into a coma….with spongecake…with buttercream frosting…hard, but not impossible.

This morning I went to Jimmy’s funeral.  It was wrenching and sad beyond bearing. I really can’t talk about that anymore.

I suffered serious guilt issues because after doing 4 u-turns to find the driveway to the after-service reception I totally ran over this gigantic turtle! I full-on ran it over Mario Brothers style and sent it spinning off the road.  I drove back to see if it was dead…because if it wasn’t, exactly WHAT was I planning to do about it?  But it wasn’t dead, it was stuck in the grass, with it’s neck and head all stretched out…I started to stop to check it out, but then it looked at me and I swear SWEAR it GLARED at me!  I took off in case it was doing some funky turtle call thing and getting all of its friends ready to attack.  Yeah, I’m brave, a turtle intimidated me…want to be my friend?

I got home to get the call telling me that my dad had the ultimate “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” moment. No. Seriously.  He broke his hip.  He fell and he couldn’t get UP! He got to use the line FOR REAL.  My Poor Daddy is in the hospital and will have to get a full hip replacement.  Love you, Dad!

That’s when the last emotional slap of the day happened.  Pete’s grandmother passed away today at 99.5 years old.  She was an amazing woman. To hear her kids and grandkids talk about her is a marvel in how to be a woman of strength and love.  I hope that someday my own children and their children will talk about ME with bubbles of awe and love floating in their eyes.  Probably not, will probably still be complaining about my mediocre cooking skills, but I can hope, right?

So, I’m sure you’re wondering why I would start out this day of tears and emotional upheaval with some chocolate cake babble.

Peter and I sat down with the kids to talk about Grandma’s death because we are going to try hard to get Pete’s job to let us go be there for the service.  Although we’ve had to have several talks about the friends that have passed this year and they know I go to the funerals. I’m not sure it’s any more concrete in their minds than a day I wear the nice shoes and come home with a ribbon pinned to my shirt.  We’ll actually be TAKING them to this funeral and they will have to stand and watch the tears and mourning.  I don’t want them to be scared of it.

There was much discussion of Heaven and the family that will be there to greet Grandma with loving arms, especially Grandpa. Then we settled down into some Mayhew-style Heaven wondering.

Nathaniel and Pete chose to open the floor with the food in Heaven.  Because REALLy, while I’d rather know what kind of footwear we get or if we have to wear the same hairstyle for eternity, all the boys are worried about is what’s for dinner. And after dinner always comes dessert.

Peter – I can’t wait to try some of God’s chocolate cake

Me- Why?  All you’ll say is “It’s not a Bill Knapps cake”

Peter – Yeah, but still can’t wait to try it

Wow, do you get to go to Heaven if you smack talk God’s caterer??

9 Comments on “Turtles, Hips and Chocolate Cake”

  1. #1 Karalyn
    on Jul 26th, 2008 at 11:23 pm

    I’m sorry you had such a sad day. Sending you hugs.

  2. #2 Shelley
    on Jul 27th, 2008 at 10:34 am

    Your ability to see the best in everyday amazes me. All it takes is a bad moment at work or my kids not to recognize that I’ve had a bad day and I take out my frustration on everyone. You, on the other hand attend the gut wrenching funeral of a small, dear friend and end the day talking to your kids about chocholate cake in heaven. You will get the full credit when my next “bad day” hits me over the head and I think “for dinner we’re having chocolate cake”. And I will do it with a smile. They may have me committed and it will be all your fault 🙂 Many Hugs to all of you!!


  3. #3 Elinor
    on Jul 27th, 2008 at 12:17 pm

    I so admire your ability to add wit and humor to even the most sad events in your life. I am so sorry that you have to continue to be witness to the loss of beautiful children.

    BTW: Have you ever tried Wright’s Gourmet chocolate cake?

  4. #4 Shannon HO!
    on Jul 27th, 2008 at 2:04 pm

    I just love you guys 🙂
    Plain and simple.
    I toast the Mayhew’s with a fist full of cake!

  5. #5 Brenda Vosejpka
    on Jul 27th, 2008 at 5:45 pm

    Not many words to say…just tons of hugs and prayers.

  6. #6 Andrea@Cup of Jesus
    on Jul 27th, 2008 at 10:01 pm

    I’m sorry that you’ve had such a rough few days. But I think its good that you can laugh. And yes, I’m pretty sure you can still get to Heaven smack-talking God’s caterer. Only He might make your hubby cook. Chocolate cake, too!

    Andrea@Cup of Jesuss last blog post..Then Sings My Soul Saturday

  7. #7 alayna
    on Jul 27th, 2008 at 10:59 pm

    All right, so you have to share this recipe. I have never even heard of Bill Knapps, and already I have built it up in my mind as the chocolate cake they might have in heaven!

    Always praying for you & your crew!

  8. #8 Evon Mease
    on Jul 28th, 2008 at 7:12 pm

    You are rare Anissa! You are among the very few that could make me smile on a sad day. Another of the CHD babies we prayed for went to be with Jesus today and my 2 year old granddaughter broke her leg…..and yet you just made me laugh! You are amazing…..and I am very sure your grand kids will talk about you plenty 🙂

    But then mine may too….I am 50 and head bang to heavy metal 🙂

    Praying for you as you travel to Pete’s Grandma’s service!

  9. #9 Elizabeth Taylor
    on May 11th, 2010 at 4:08 am

    i really love Cakes and i am always looking for some new cake recipes on the internet..'”