The morning started out like all 10th birthday mornings should…

The birthday girl was all smiles and giddiness…

I can’t believe I’m 10!  This is going to be the best day ever!

Birthday waffles were served per SiSi’s request. 

And the birthday girl even got to open one present…

Green polka dot sheets from Pottery Barn Teen to go with her 10th birthday room makeover.

Then it was off to school for the kids, and time for me to head to the store for birthday supplies and ingredients for SiSi’s birthday cake of choice: Chocolate Cake {recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks, Annalise Robert’s Gluten-Free Baking Classics} with Strawberries and Whipped Cream. {The same topping her brother, Big Tex, had for his birthday.}

The day got busy, as my days often do :-), and before I knew it, it was time to pick the kids up from school, cake not made…

The birthday girl was still beaming when I picked her up from school, and her wish for birthday frozen yogurt was made, so off we walked, with a couple of friends in tow, to the local frozen yogurt neighborhood joint, Golden Spoon.

Fro Yo in hand, we walked back home to do some homework before SiSi’s soccer practice, and 10 roses were presented to the birthday girl.

Then it was time for me to make THE cake.

I turned the oven on to pre-heat it around 3:15, and next thing I knew, the power was out.


Maybe since I had put the AC on due to the heat wave we had been having, I had blown a fuse…

Checked the electric panel…

Nope! No fuse blown…

Headed outside to see my neighbors emerging from their homes, only to report that their power was out too.

Hmm again…

To make a long story a little bit shorter :-), we found out soon enough that this was an unprecedented power outage in San Diego County extending into parts of Baja California, South Orange County, and Arizona.

The power would not be coming back on any time soon…

SO, with alternate birthday cake plans in mind, the kids and I headed down to the neighborhood Vons.

It was closed, but the bakery near by, O’Briens, was still selling pastries, albeit in the dark, and for cash only.

I scrounged together what cash I had, and purchased one cherry turnover {for the Birthday girl}, one lemon turnover {for the Birthday girl’s brother} and the largest fruit and cheese danish I have ever seen, for everyone else to share.

Then there were a few initial tears when SiSi thought her dad might not make it home that evening to celebrate.

You see, traffic was at a standstill due to no traffic signals working AND when your dad works for the local utility and the power is out across the county, there is work to be done!

But all was OK when he managed to break away from the EOC {Emergency Operations Center} and drive home for a few hours to help celebrate the big double-digit bithday.

The rest of the evening was truly a birthday night to remember…

Street soccer was played with friends {both big and small!}

Dinner was shared with neighbors: Turkey burgers and Cheese pizza on the grill {made with Udi’s gluten-free pizza crust}

Candles were blown out by the light of our fire pit and birthday danish was shared with everyone…

Then, we ended the evening with a neighborhood “ghost walk” to check out the gorgeous star lit sky and we stumbled our way though the dark house in to bed, where the birthday girl declared,

This was my best birthday ever!

Happy Birthday my sweet 10 year old! I love you to the Universe, Beyond, and Back! xoxoxo

Do you remember your 10th birthday? What was YOUR best birthday ever???

P.S. The power came back on at our house around 1:10 am, and SiSi enjoyed a little leftover danish for breakfast this morning 🙂

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  1. Hi mom. It was a really fun B-Day! I loved the waffles you made me. They were really good. I remember I got a diary, a pack of sea shells from Anya, shirts from Valeria, and a gift card from Hasti. My Birthday was really fun. Love you!

  2. Hey mom. You forgot to say how there was no school the Next day:). It was fun. Love you and good blog!

  3. This is first birthday party I heard that occurred during the power outage! What a terrific memory! We ate dinner by candle-light with our three kids and they loved it. The next night they requested candles, even though the power returned!

  4. O wow, that would be something; having such a major power outage on a birthday but you managed to get it all together pretty well! I love how you handled the situation and great shots too!

  5. oh wow love this post and the spirit of the community happy birthday to your sweet daughter 🙂 thanks for the congrats on the baby hugs Rebecca

    1. Thanks so much Rebecca/Mommy! My family and I are truly fortunate to live in such a wonderfully supportive community!

  6. A memorable birthday for sure, lol. I can’t say any of mine were ever that memorable. It’s funny how it’s always those days when we have to improvise that we find the greatest pleasure.

    1. Thanks Sylvie! I be there are some good birthday memories in store for you 🙂

  7. Tami, Laura, and Allison- Thanks so much for the Happy B-day wishes for my daughter 🙂

  8. Way to make the best of the situation! What a lucky daughter you have. 🙂

    I remember one thing about my 10th birthday: the peach jeans that I got from my parents that I LOVED. Yes, peach jeans. I was so cool, obviously.

    1. Wow! I can’t say I ever had peach jeans, but I did wear patchwork bellbottoms :-). Fun b-day memory!

  9. What an unforgettable birthday celebration!! You did so much to make your daughter’s b-day wonderful, and I bet she was so thankful. I can’t even remember my tenth birthday, but I’m thinking it was the year I had a bowling birthday and my mom bought me a had with crystals on it (that I got to add on myself!).
    The gluten free dessert sounds heavenly. And GF waffles? I’ll have to check that out!

    1. Bowling parties were always fun, but it’s not quite so popular these days 🙁 Your crystal hat sounds very cool though 🙂 Hope you try out the gluten-free waffles!

  10. Lisa and Annapet-Thanks so much for the birthday wishes! And, you’re both so right about everything working out with love <3 🙂

  11. Turning darkness into danishes! Love it. so your beaming 10 year old was born right before 9-11. I was pregnant then. 10 years, amazing.

    1. Lauren-She was beaming indeed! Yes, born just a few days before 9-11. I remember being so sleep deprived and waking up late that morning to all the sadness. My husband and I watched the 9-11 memorial ceremonies yesterday with our children. It reminded me that in spite of all the loss and sadness, just how strong and resilient and supportive of one another we all can be.

  12. A big Happy Birthday to her!
    How sweet. Glad it all worked out! I don’t remember the birthday but I was excited to turn ten since my age was in my name..krisTEN. The funny things we remember!

    1. Thanks for the b-day wishes Kristen 🙂 I love that you were so excited to turn ten since TEN is in your name. Fun!

    1. Hi Junia! Hope you try the GF waffles soon! My kids and husband aren’t on a gluten-free diet, but pretty much everything I make at home is gluten-free, so if they want to eat, they’re eating gluten-free 🙂

  13. What a fabulous story! I am so happy that it was her “best birthday ever!” It is definitely one that you will all remember.

  14. Happy belated Birthday to SiSi! 10 is a milestone! I’m sure for you and her…

    Glad it turned out to be great birthday after all!!!

    1. SiSi says thanks Andrea 🙂 You’re so right….10 really is a milestone for both of us!

  15. aww, it looks like it was a wonderful day even with the power outage. so glad she loved it! i don’t remember much about my 10th birthday except that i was super excited to be in ‘double digits.’ =) i’m sure it was a blast!

  16. Happy Birthday SiSi! She sure looks happy!

    And now you’ve really got me thinking! I can’t remember my 10th birthday!

    1. Anuradha- SiSi thanks you for the b-day wishes 🙂 I remember my 10th b-day well. I got new pillows and my first diary {with a lock!} Have a wonderful weekend!