Rocket's First Birthday

Last November, Rocket finished his 70th trip around the sun, which is something pretty wonderful to celebrate. However, back then, he was deep into the middle miles of his journey back to health after his bone marrow transplant and wasn’t up for a lot of hoopla. So we put some candles in an apple pie for him on Thanksgiving Day and kept the fuss to a minimum.

Eight months have passed and those rough middle miles have smoothed out in incredible ways. As of the one-year anniversary of his transplant, he has been declared cancer-free! He feels better than he has in years and the classic car resale economy is happily on the rebound after his time out of the game.

In the transplant world, anniversaries are celebrated as new birthdays, not only for the recipient but also in appreciation for the donors who make medical miracles like this possible and the tireless, compassionate medical professionals who fight alongside their patients.

Naturally, we used this as an excuse to throw a 1st birthday party that would be a little unlike other 1st birthday parties. There would be live music! And no whining or crying! No diapers to change, naps to schedule around (well….), and no one would smear cake in their hair. With just a little arm-pulling, Dad was on board and we got to work lining things up.

Credit to Molly for the fun invitations!

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We invited everyone to Hart Hall on Main in downtown Coppell, which is a great little venue you can rent through Beyond the Box Catering, a company I will definitely call again if I ever have another need for catering.


With some help from Aunt Molly on the ‘cigar wrappers,’ Ella baked and decorated chocolate cupcakes for the birthday boy. She was a little over-protective of them on the ride over to the venue, but I think she purposely let one roll onto it’s side so she’d have to eat it instead of putting it on display…

In Your Face Cakes came through with an outstanding three-tiered cake that tasted even better than it looked. I mean, usually a cake looks great or tastes great, but not both.

This one was both.

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And I’m not sure when I grew to be bigger than my brother, but here you go. Photos don’t lie, LOL.

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One downside to a cake that’s not propped up with Styrofoam and 2 inch-thick fondant is that it will wilt a little in 100-degree heat. We noticed it was taking a slow dive to the left and decided it was time for candles. Quick!

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Really, I did a terrible job of taking photos. By the time I picked up my camera again, the majority of the party-goers had said good night and driven off with full bellies.

Lucky for those of us who lingered after the sun set, the breeze kept up and we all hung out comfortably on the patio.

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I’d say we lucked out finding Luqman Rashada to play for us. It was a last-minute booking but he really came through — adjusted his playlist to Rocket’s tastes, learned a couple of new songs for him and generally pleased the whole crowd. If it hadn’t been so dang hot that day, I think more of us would have hung outside with him for the whole party but, well, it’s July in Texas!

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On August 1, these two lovebirds will celebrate 49 years of marriage.

(Sounds to me like we have an excuse for another party next summer.)

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The words ‘thank you’ don’t feel big enough to convey our appreciation for all of the love, laughs and kindness everyone has thrown our way over the past many months. Our prayers for Rocket have been answered and we will do our best to hold on to this gratitude.

xoxoxo, Annie