Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Happy birthday Kyle!

 Kyle was born on March 27th, 1984. I love Kyle's birthday- almost more than I love mine, and that's saying something because everyone knows how much I love attention. I love Kyle's birthday because without it, I wouldn't have my simply amazing husband.  We'd been discussing what to do as a celebration of Kyle's birthday, and had come up with few creative ideas.  The Monday before his birthday (the following Sunday) Kyle walks into the office and announces "We are a going paintballin for my birthday, and all you folks better sign up or else your fired!"  I wasn't actually at the meeting, but I assume it went something  like that knowing Kyle.

Saturday, was the day of the game, and all in all, we had ten people signed up for the celebration.  The two Irish girls keep threatening to shoot themselves in the foot so they could just surrender and not actually risk being shot.  My assurances did nothing to console their fears. On the subway on our way to the paintball match, a Korean vendor woman, selling decorative sweat band thingies, I don't really know what to call them, made a killing on the ten silly foreigners who decided that in order to play paintball, they needed to decorate their head appropriately.   We dressed up in camo, and were given helmets with ear coverings- a big improvement from the last time we played in Korea.  Half of the fun was taking pictures in our ridiculous outfits. The game itself was adrenaline filled, and a bit painful.

Kyle, on the left, pretending not to be a soft teddy bear.

Our group

Being silly
If you recall my last post about our paintball match last year, my husband shot me 7 times, however, the bruises were nothing in comparison to what I received this year, and once again, I have grounds on which to blame him for at least two of those broken blood vessels.  From the sidelines, the people who had either run out of amo, or had been shot out of the game, called out suggestions for those still in the game.  Often times, I didn't take a shot for the first half of the game, partially conserving my amo, and partially afraid to get shot if I looked around a corner. Kyle, who had run out of amo, instructed me to move to the next barrack as from where he stood, I was clear to do so.  I had seen someone shooting on the left of me, but he had a better vantage point and I thought maybe they had gotten out.  As it turns out however, Kyle was wrong very wrong indeed. As soon as I began running towards the location he specified, I was shot by not one gunner but several, and one from close distance.  I was shot five times within a span of three seconds.  It was painful, not as painful as a real bullet, but enough to throb the rest of the day.  Another bruise, however that I cannot blame on my husband was the one on my shin. I slammed into a stump with said shin on my run and slide behind a barrack as I tried in earnest not to be shot. It was as painful as a close-range paintball, if not worse, I have to say. 
Here is a picture of my thigh on the first evening after the game. You can see a white dot in the middle of the red circle.  I'm not sure why that is, but  all of my bruises from the bullets had the same marking.
this is that same bruise several days later.

Yet another bruise on my knee.  My other knee has a matching bruise.
On Kyle's actual birthday, we made breakfast tacos from scratch and then I used up every dish in the house to make him a sweet potato cake using a recipe, I got from my bff, Leslie, who LOVES sweet potato in every form or fashion.  It is similar to a carrot cake but with more sweet potato flavorings.  It was yummy.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake: 40 minutes
Yield: Makes 2 dozen


  • 1  cup  coarsely chopped pecans
  • 2  cups  sugar
  • 1  cup  butter, softened
  • 4  large eggs
  • 1  (16-oz.) can mashed sweet potatoes
  • 2/3  cup  orange juice
  • 1  teaspoon  vanilla extract
  • 3  cups  all-purpose flour
  • 1  teaspoon  baking powder
  • 1  teaspoon  ground cinnamon
  • 1/2  teaspoon  baking soda
  • 1/2  teaspoon  ground nutmeg
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • Cream Cheese Frosting
  • Garnish: coarsely chopped pecans


1. Place pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan.
2. Bake at 350° for 8 to 10 minutes or until toasted, stirring once after 4 minutes.
3. Beat sugar and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition.
4. Whisk together mashed sweet potatoes, orange juice, and vanilla extract. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with sweet potato mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Fold in toasted pecans. Place foil baking cups in muffin pans, and coat with vegetable cooking spray; spoon batter into cups, filling two-thirds full.
5. Bake at 350° for 28 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean. Remove immediately from pans, and cool 50 minutes to 1 hour or until completely cool. Spread cupcakes evenly with Cream Cheese Frosting. Garnish, if desired.
Southern Living, NOVEMBER 2007

1 comment:

Peter and Leslie said...

I have to say that Vanessa is the best wife ever. A much better wife than I would be if I were married to someone who loved paintball. I would not endure such a torture session! Also, she made you one of the best cakes ever! Really, Kyle, you married above yourself. Quite a ways. ;o)

Happy birthday!