On Thursday night, before the bombing suspects' pictures were released, I had the chance to spend time with my dear friend Nicole that attends MSPP with me. We were having a girls' night, catching up and frosting cakes. We first talked about everything else we could think of, and then lastly turned over to the subject of the marathon. I guess finally having a fellow psychology student there was what I needed to open up about it. I told Nicole how I needed to spend time away from my boyfriend because he was constantly glued to his computer, checking a live blog feed, a police blotter, and two news stations all at the same time. For me, this was just too much to take in, and I became defensive and frustrated. Then Nicole asked me if that was just how Jay needed to process everything.
"Oh... right..." I thought to myself, "processing...". As psychology students, we talk a lot about how our clients process things, (how people actively understand and cope with new information). I have helped many of my clients process events in their lives that were difficult for them to understand. However, as I was living through this terrible nightmare, I was having difficulty remembering that we all understand and cope differently. Earlier in the week, I felt numb and detached, and was aggravated by those that wanted to drown themselves in news of the bombings. I did not want to see photos, or hear names of the victims, or read stories of heroism on that day. I felt as if it didn't really happen, and by not discussing it, I thought I could wish it to be nothing but the nightmare it seemed like.
Then Nicole said that magical word: process. I realized that this was not selfishness or heartlessness on my part, and that my boyfriend was not a sadistic man with attentional difficulties. We were just processing the events differently. As the events of late Thursday night into all of Friday unfolded, I became increasingly glued to the television. For the first time since the marathon, I wanted to watch the news and follow the events. I sat on my couch with a cup of coffee for hours and hours, listening to the surreal chaos coming out of my tv. After a few hours, however, it all became too much for me to handle, and I needed something else to keep myself sane. I pulled out a jigsaw puzzle, and somehow the simplicity of putting the pieces together made me calm, and helped me process the events of the week.
When it was all over and Suspect #2 was taken into custody, Jay and I breathed a sigh of relief together. He could finally sleep, and I could finally talk about what had happened that week. I decided to let him sleep and I ventured off to a party to celebrate two wonderful events: the end of the week's nightmare, and the anniversary of the birth of my wonderful friend Suzie. I made her these cakes, and Nicole helped me decorate them:
A Dozen Different Cakes
I hope you will understand that I didn't have the energy or desire to use a recipe or take photos this week. Essentially I made three batches of white cake batter and divided them each into four bowls and added differently flavors, then baked them in mini bundt pans. I flipped them over to make giant cupcakes.
Here is what we ended up with:
1. Orange Cake with Orange Buttercream
2. Caramel Cake with Vanilla Buttercream and a Caramel Swirl
3. Vanilla Cake with Vanilla Buttercream
4. Coconut Cake with Vanilla Buttercream and Shredded Coconut
5. Funfetti Cake with Vanilla Buttercream and Rainbow Sprinkles
6. Chocolate Chip Cake with Vanilla Buttercream and Mini Chocolate Chips
7. Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Ganache and Mini Chocolate Chips
8. Peppermint Cake with Chocolate Ganache
9. Nutella Cake with Nutella Ganache
10. Mocha Toffee Cake with Chocolate Ganache and Crushed Toffee Pieces
11. Peanut Butter Cake with Homemade Strawberry Jam
12. Maple Cake with Vanilla Buttercream and Fresh Maple Syrup
Here's to the end of a nightmare, and the celebration of life.
Happy Birthday, Suzie!
Love and cookies,