The fateful day arrived, February 26. We had worked our fingers to the bone crafting cupcakes and now the time had come to pack up and transport. We had decided to do some construction the night before, hoping that they would make the hour long trip in one piece. The royal icing butterflies were perched atop their buttercream swirls. We opted to put the gumpaste components on the ‘garden’ cupcakes once we got there. Same with the Peddler’s Village buildings. Cupcakes were boxed and ready to go, construction/repair kit was packed up and everything was loaded into the back of my husband’s car.
Megan – I seriously woke up thinking, “Oh man, it’s competition day!” I couldn’t even tell you exactly how I was feeling that morning. It was this whole mixture of terror and worry and excitement and nervousness and about a million other emotions. The initial worry was whether everything was going to make it in one piece.
Wendy – Megan was holding the box of cupcakes with her royal icing butterflies, my youngest daughter, Gracie, was holding the Peddler’s Village cupcakes minus the gumpaste buildings (we would add them once we got there), and on my lap were the garden cupcakes. We had worked too hard to just load them into the back of the car. I have to say that, the closer the car got to the competition, the more nervous I got. Tell me again why we’re doing this?
Megan – Nervous…I was terrified. I kept thinking the entire hour ride there (which felt more like an eternity), how in the world did I ever get talked into this one? I had this argument playing over and over in my head like a song on repeat…we are going to win…no, we aren’t. We are going to win…no, we aren’t. We are going to win…no, we aren’t. You get the idea.
Wendy – Finally, we pulled into the parking lot. Time to unload. We found a parking spot close by, and Megan and I jumped out. The employees were very helpful and were ready to take the cupcakes to their places. There was a table provided for last minute setup. We handed off the butterflies and they flew away to their place in the sun by the window.
Next up, construct the garden…….flowers in place, watering can, bench, birdhouse and trellis….check. (Megan – Just as a side note, my hands were shaking, and I mean SHAKING, as we put the garden pieces on the cupcakes. I think if I had a brown paper bag to breathe into, I would have done it.)
Lastly, buildings have to go in the Peddler’s Village cupcakes. I had carved picks in the bottom of the buildings so that they would be good and stable. In they go and off they go. Everything arrived in once piece and they were settling into their new homes on the display tables.
Time to wait…….We had 2 1/2 hours until they announced the winners.
Megan – We decided to go out for lunch, and also go in some of the shops at Peddler’s Village. What exactly happened is all kind of a blur. I couldn’t tell you what I ate or even what shops we went in. If people talked to me, I am sure I answered back with a blank stare. It was impossible to concentrate on anything else except how the cupcakes were doing. Had the judging started yet? Was the sun too hot for the cupcakes? Did anyone bump the table that the cupcakes were on? I will say that my mother and I had a mini conversation about what would happen if anyone came near to touching the cupcakes. Just think of football, picture my mother and I hurling ourselves at any person who even thinks about reaching out their hand to touch the cupcakes. Thankfully, we didn’t need our football skills.
Wendy – I must say, Megan, being the OCD, lovable, perfectionist that she is, was much more nervous than I was. I contemplated renting an oxygen tank for her but decided it would be much more fun to watch her hyperventilate. She is always the stressed out overachiever that balances out my soaring, beachcomber, happy-go-lucky, free spirit. Don’t get me wrong….I am a perfectionist as well, but I have learned to aim and fire my perfectionism when necessary. Megan carries hers around in her purse.
Regardless, I was nervous. All this effort, extended family had come, we had posted on facebook….but we would learn to be content no matter the outcome. Spending the day together at a fun event in a charming place was worth it, whether we won or not.
Megan – After what seemed like years of our lives, we found ourselves back at the location of the cupcakes. The seconds ticked by as we waited for them to announce the winners. They stood up to make the announcement. I, literally, could feel my heart beating in my chest. They began to announce the first category…the kid’s category. Next they announce the Traditional category. Nothing. At this point I am thinking that we were going to walk away with nothing. Then they begin announcing the Baker’s Choice category. They announce third place, not us. And then…”Second place winners of the Baker’s Choice category are Wendy and Megan Davis!” Really, us?! I couldn’t believe it. I look at my mother, and am stunned. All I could do was smile! I walk up, accept the ribbon and prize. As I turn around to walk back I hear, “Our third place winners in the Peddler’s Village category are Wendy and Megan Davis!” What?! We won something else?! I could not have been more thrilled.
Wendy – In the end, we walked away with second place in the Baker’s Choice category and third place in the Peddler’s Village category. Megan’s butterflies, which I thought were the most intricate and most difficult of all our entries didn’t place, but we couldn’t have been more thrilled. Out of 170 entrants, we won two of the top nine places. We looked at each other in disbelief. We decided that all the nervousness, hours and hours of hard work, and stressing over details had been worth it. Well…..I decided that. Megan was just happy that we won something.
Megan – Later, we walked back to see our cupcakes, and there was a woman standing next to the Peddler’s Village cupcakes. She told me that she worked for Peddler’s Village, and that this cupcake competition was to celebrate the 50th year of Peddler’s Village. She said that our cupcakes were an excellent representation of Peddler’s Village, and she was wondering if they could keep them to put them on display. We were thrilled, and completely honored that they would want to keep them. Of course, we said yes…although, I felt like I was leaving a friend behind as we left without them.
Wendy – In the whole scheme of things, it may seem like a lot of hype for a stupid, insignificant cupcake competition. In a world filled with wars, tsunamis and hunger, a cupcake competition seems like a frivolous, waste of time and effort………but it is the insignificant, frivolous events that lift our spirits and encourage us that there is beauty in this painful world.
We went to the beach a few months ago and were doing some surf shop hopping. We do more hopping than shopping but my youngest daughter found this plaque and bought it for me. It says, “Enjoy the little things, for one day, you may look back and realize they were the big things.”
Even though we were nervous wrecks for the entire week, and, the day of the competition, it was a wonderful day filled with blessings. Our whole family latched onto these few fleeting moments of happiness and joy….joy of being together, joy of creating our cupcakes and joy of being able to carve out a few moments of fun in this crazy hectic life. I will treasure that day always.
One last thing….a dear friend pointed out to us that the competition fell on the exact date, one year ago, of my middle daughter’s baby shower. For those of you who may not understand why that is significant, it was for that baby shower that we learned how to do fondant. We wanted to do cupcakes with babies on them so we had a friend teach us how to do it.
Ironic, huh?! So much has happened in this past year….some good, some horrible……but, as my friend pointed out, apart from all the ‘caking’ and events that have transpired, the best thing of all is my grandson, Thatcher. After all, he’s kind of responsible for this whole thing.
I love you, Scooter, and you are one of the best things that has ever happened to any of us.
“Cake is a physical manifestation of joy.” ~Duff Goldman~