One hot August day five years ago, Toby and I were married. A sea of emotion floods my mind each time I think of that day...or all the years we've spent by each other's side. I love him from the deepest part of my soul, in a way I've only loved my family...and now our children. I knew it from the very beginning. There is something distinct about our bond, something inexplicable and rare. He's strong in all the areas I am weak, and weak in all the ones I am strong. He's my balance. My contrast. My constant in this world full of uncertainties.
The morning Andreas was born, that love was illuminated a thousand fold. He stood by me as I endured the deepest physical pain I'd ever felt in my life, for twelve hours. He calmed my soul, in a way no one else ever could. and then, the most beautiful, crucial moment...the moment that he held Andreas in his arms, and I watched him become a Father. The very best I have ever known, next to my own.
That moment marks the beginning of a chapter in our story. The most beautiful, but also the hardest. One of euphoric days, when my heart felt as though it would burst, but also of extremely difficult days, when I wondered if we would even make it through. When I know we both felt like giving up, and would barely speak to each other. When things just felt...different. Each difficult time, our bond has eventually stifled those feelings and carried us through. It's only now that I can look back on those hard times with gratitude, because they caused us both to grow. They stretched us, and have taught us forgiveness and perseverance. Taught us that just like everything else in this life, our love is not perfect, nor will it ever be. Taught us to expect the hard times to come, but also for them to leave.
Five years later, our love has withstood countless tests. It has been shaken, yet survived each time. and I believe that it will continue to.
Toby. You are my calm in any storm, my unwavering support. My passion. My hand to hold, when I need one. Thank you for showing me a second perspective on life, and always making me think. Thank you for telling me what I don't want to hear, just when I need to hear it the most. but most of all, thank you for loving me the way you do. I love you that way, too.
Here's to 70 more years by your side.
The smell of lavender is one that will always remind me of our best memories together. While we were in Paris, I grabbed a bunch at the market with the intention of drying the flowers, to bake something for our anniversary. I settled on these cupcakes, very much inspired by one of Coco's recipes. They were absolutely delicious, and a wonderful treat to celebrate our beautiful day. Give them a try!
Lavender Lemon Cupcakes
3 cups almond flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup maple syrup or light agave
1/4 cup melted butter or coconut oil
zest and juice of one lemon
three big pinches of dried lavender flowers
4 oz. whipping cream
more lavender flowers and lemon zest
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Line a muffin tin with 10 baking cups. Begin by mixing the almond flour, baking soda, lemon zest and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, lemon juice and eggs. Whisk into the dry ingredients, along with the melted butter. Mix until everything is incorporated, but be careful not to over mix. Bake at 325 degrees for about 20 minutes. Allow to cool.
In a large mixing bowl with a hand beater (or with a stand mixer), beat the whipping cream and a tiny bit of maple syrup or agave, until stiff peaks form. Once the cupcakes are cooled, spread about a tablespoon of whipped cream on each. Sprinkle with more lavender flowers and lemon zest.
makes 10 cupcakes.