When we found out about when Husband was supposed to be coming home, I thought it'd be a really nice idea to invite his family to come up and actually get to come to a redeployment ceremony. Since it was such a short deployment, I knew I wouldn't feel like they were infringing on our family time (like I probably would after a longer deployment). Plus, it turned out to be a gigantic blessing, as we had to wait in this giant gym/hangar on bleachers for over an hour, and the extra sets of hands with the kids helped me not lose my mind.
We decided kind of last minute to also celebrate Sweet D's birthday the same weekend (just hours after Husband got home), so I figured I wouldn't have the time to make the giant octopus cake I'd originally been planning to make for her. Instead, I chose to make a cupcake cake. Maybe with some little octopuses or something.
And then I went a bit overboard. Pun totally intended.
All in all, the cake probably took me between 15-20 hours. It's all homemade (like usual), half the cupcakes were strawberry, half were chocolate, and all the little critters were molded (by me!) out of homemade marshmallow fondant (both almond and vanilla flavored). I had SO much fun with this cake. I did some menial research on coral reef creatures (mostly pictures to get a few of the little guys more accurate - namely things like the top hat, bow ties, and hair bows on octopuses, right?), ignored the kids a bit, drank some wine and skyped with a good friend while molding, and all in all really enjoyed the whole process. It was much more rewarding than other cakes, since I'd have a finished, adorable little critter in just 10-25 minutes (as opposed to the full 20+ hrs for a completed larger cake).
With my little 1-year old girl!
Left side of the cake
Coral reef views
Back of the coral reef
The hermit crab and the squid were my favorite critters
My sweet birthday girl
Enjoying the cake! (actually, I think they both only ate fondant)
And some homecoming photos, too:
Redeploying soldiers standing in formation at the ceremony
Ant's in the orange shirt, being held by his Auntie
When they released the soldiers, Ant turned to me and said,
"I get my Daddy back now?!" *sob*
Not the best photo, but we're all together again!!