7:00 AM - Get up and go to the gym in order to be back home in time to get everything ready for the party.
9:00 AM - Arrive at the grocery store to pick up last-minute purchases such as ham, liver pate, pickled herring, more eggs, etc.
9:30 AM - Arrive at home and bake a buttery cake.
10:15 AM - Start getting ready for bread baking by melting butter. Move on to the dry ingredients to get ready for the warm liquid ingredients...
10:17 AM - Realize that there is not enough yeast. Quickly stop the butter melting and let out a yelp for help that sends the Birthday Boy to the grocery store (again...).
10:19 AM - Shift gears and start boiling 2 dozen eggs.
10:40 AM - Todd returns with yeast. Continue with the butter melting process and proceed with the dough for the bread.
11:05 AM - Start peeling boiled eggs. A very difficult task this time for some reason. I probably should have read this article on boiled eggs. Apparently fresh eggs are harder to peel. I knew that. I have a cousin who keeps hens in her backyard. Her husband explained all this to me once.
11:30 AM - Still peeling boiled eggs even though it is time to take care of the rising dough. Driving me crazy!!!! I guess the dough can wait...
11:50 AM - Finally get to the dough to knead, roll, and use a tumbler to make dough circles. Try to drag Rebecka from playing Todd's new Nintendo DS to help poke little holes in the bread. No success...
12:10 - Eat something.
12:30 - Start the process of decorating my famous Swedish birthday cake while intermittently pulling bread out of the oven and sticking new bread into the oven. Magically, the cake turned out alright:
2:00 PM - Greet in-laws who drove all the way from Mobile to attend The Todd Party.
2:30 PM - Start meatball factory. Mix breadcrumbs, potato flour, and milk. Wait 10 minutes. Mix in ground beef and salt. Mix in shredded onion, black pepper, and eggs. Get Todd and Becka to start rolling meatballs and heat up the griddle. Fry lots of meatballs. Give Becka taste tests after each batch (she is the "poison checker")...
4:00 PM - What? We're actually done with everything!?!? Wow - extra time to make the house perfect-looking (Todd did 99% of the work towards that goal).
4:30 PM - Jump in the shower.
5:30 PM - Descend down the stairs fully dressed and groomed and ready to frantically get all the food out for the Smörgåsbord before guests arrive.
6:00 PM - Start the process of graciously greeting the stream of guests coming to celebrate Todd's Ph.D. (and birthday) with us. Explain why there is caviar in a tube. Hand out napkins (since there was no room for them on the buffet). Chat with friends. Check on the kids. Make sure there is still plenty of food for all. Lead the crowd in singing "Happy Birthday to You." Cut the cake. Encourage guests to sign the guest book before they leave. Say "Bye!" and "Thanks for coming." Collect trash and throw it in the container outside. Wash glasses. Sit down and rest. Watch Todd open his presents. Fall asleep next to the Birthday Boy.
Thanks to everybody who came, everybody who intended to come, everybody who wished they could come but lived too far away, and everybody who did not come (we might have run out of cake...). It was a good time.
The Todd Gallery: