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The True Story of Lavinia The Lemon Cake

6 Apr

I was born August 15, 2017, but I didn’t become a celebrity for an entire 24 hours.

A wedding cake on a plane is thing to behold, but I like to think it was me, my personality, that rocketed me to stardom.

I was made for the spotlight.

People stopped and stared right away.

A cake destined for a 2,500 mile journey? I must be something special.

Yes, I assured them. I am.

The logistics were simple, but don’t tell that to my carriers. I shall call them M and A, for they deserve at least an initial in this tale.

M picked me up from my bakery and threw away half of her freezer to store me. This is what we call in nature survival of the fittest. And I, of course, was the fittest.

She met up with A at the Salt Lake City airport and together they each took a layer of me through security, through lines, through my introduction to the world.

The attention was immediate.

“A wedding cake” the TSA agent said. “Send it through the x-rays.”

“A wedding cake?” a woman cried, “I was stressed taking my dress to a destination wedding. I can’t imagine taking a cake!”

Yes, thank you. I am very special and important.

People stared and took pictures with me.

They asked if M and A were going to eat me.

I was kind and generous with my time and my fame, as I am.

M and A seemed stressed.

A had the heavier layer. She kept saying “I have no upper body strength whatsoever!” This was true.

I worried she would be the weak link. I worried she would drop me before we even got to the gate.

I overheard them making vows that if something were to go terribly wrong they would replace me and never tell my bride about it.

This was silly.

You can’t replace me.

There was a layover and more lugging, the descent into Boston and more luggage. A few more carriers joined the journey, one so bold as to take me in a single arm.

M and A complained of fatigue.

Being celebrity adjacent can be exhausting.

I was placed in a temperature-controlled rental car and left with the air conditioning on while my carriers made a stop at Walgreens.

I sat on laps as they drove over bridges into quieter towns, as the landscape turned from city to suburb, suburb to Cape.

Eventually I was delivered to my bride, an intense woman with intense feelings.

She knew of my importance, of how it could only be me, for she had commissioned my existence. She had said only this chef, only this cake and even though that bakery and that cake were across the country from where she was to be wed, she stood steadfast.

She cashed in on years of friendship with my carriers.

She had her mother make a buttercream frosting to top me, had her cousin light candles to finish me.

And when the entire crowd gathered round me and sang —

Happy wedding day to you

Happy wedding day to you

Happy wedding day Jill and Rob

–right before she blew out the candles, holding hands with her groom, she gave me a smile.

She knew how important I was.

I was born August 15, 2017, but I didn’t become a celebrity for an entire 24 hours.

My name is Lavinia the Lemon Cake and this is my story.

The Suit

17 Mar

We joke about Rob’s suit now. About his bright blue, perfectly tailored, SNAPPY wedding suit.

When we’re going somewhere he needs to be dressed up we say, “Should you wear your suit?” and then we laugh. Becuase it’s A Suit.

In the best way, it’s A Suit.

If we had been married in the winter, or not on the beach, his suit would have been maroon. Rob is the sort of person who can pull off a maroon suit, a maroon WEDDING suit, nonetheless. That’s one of the reasons I married him. Who can even say that?

Who is he?

What a journey I’m on to find out!

Rob’s suit became A Suit because he is someone who can’t just buy clothes at the store. He falls in between sizes or nothing fits or or or.

After some rough gos with suits that were way off and colors he wasn’t satisfied with, we took a trip to Indochino.

A custom suit store.

Indochino sponsors Pod Save America, one of Rob’s favorite podcasts. The cohost, Jon Favreau, outfitted his whole crew in Indochino suits for his wedding and he was Obama’s speechwriter! He dated Rashida Jones!

(He didn’t marry Rashida Jones.)

Indochino is located in Beverly Hills, like HI RODEO DRIVE Beverly Hills. Parking is bad. You have to have an appointment, just always, don’t try to show up.

We learned from experience.

But goodness, the product is goodness.


Three fittings it took. Three fittings and a frantic poll about which suit color to choose.

Would you like to see those options?

Here we are.

Let’s call them:



      SUIT TWO




Rob went with Suit Two. He went with it because our two most fashionable friends both chose it. He went with it after choosing Suit Three originally and having to back out last minute. (You get 24 hours to back out! He used it!)

Suit One was fun. But would Suit One have been too much?

We’ll never know.

We don’t need to know.

Because he got his Suit. A Suit. The Suit.

The suit that’s too snappy to wear to semi-formal occasions. The suit to end all suits.

In the best way, and forever more, Rob will have A Suit.

PS: A wedding toast, the dress, the invitations

The Invitations

14 Mar

I have had it in my mind for a year and a half that I would do some sort of wedding month on this blog. That I’d write it all out so I’d have my words, so my future children would have my words. That I’d pace it and plan it and make it something special. And now, all this time later, I’m sitting on a few very disjointed posts in no particular order.  I’ve decided it’s better to post them as they come than to never post them at all.


Here we are. 

Welcome back to August 2017.


I got the idea for our wedding invitations from a blog I follow.

Well, I guess the word now is “followed.”

I just went to link to it and the blog has gone private. Invited readers only.

The end of an era.

I’m sad about the end of blogging. I miss the days of long, rambly diary posts. Of knowing what a girl across the country was having for dinner, just because. Because she felt like a friend.

Tonight I had blackened chicken with mango salsa and coconut lime rice.

It sounds nice, right?

It was.

I hereby promise to share my dinner with you as often as possible!

But first, my wedding invitations.

(I am no good at this blogging thing. If I were I’d cut the whole beginning and just give you the basics of the wedding invites. Then, I’d link to it on Pinterest hoping that I become the GO TO for postcard wedding invitation Google Searches.

But here we are.

And here is coconut lime rice.

I like the coconut lime rice.

I like the old blogging.)

I got the idea for our wedding invitations from a blog I used to follow.

I loved the postcard, especially a postcard from Cape Cod. I loved the idea of using photobooth photos for me, and for Rob, who does not like to have his picture taken.

It was supposed to have a feeling to it. Like hi! Welcome to vacation! Come on vacation with us! It’s casual! And fun! And bright yellow with sailboats! It’s a dream!

We’re a dream!

We got our invitations from Zazzle which was nice. (I changed the border color and went with the shiny finish.)

We got the stamp from Design Roots. It was custom and she was lovely and wonderful to work with.

We got our photo booth pictures at The Backstage Bar and Grill after eating enormous hamburgers. Maybe we should have done it before we ate enormous hamburgers?


I wore lipstick.

Oh! JFK stamps, because of the Cape Cod connection, and also it was a very politically charged time. I often said trying to plan a wedding in 2017 was like Bill and Fleur trying to find joy in their love while Voldemort rose.

I think that’s it. They were crazy cheap and crazy easy and I have no regrets.

It was a dream. We were a dream.

It all came true.


PS: About my wedding dress

But Then Love

27 Dec

For Christmas this year I got a print of the sky the night of our wedding.

It’s such a perfect Jill gift. It’s romantic and personal. Sentimental and sentimental. There we are, Chequessett Road, Wellfleet, MA, August 18, 2017.

I’m fuzzy thinking about it.

The print allows for words, and instead of “Jill and Rob’s Wedding” or “Wedding Day” it simply says

But then love

Hilary gave a toast at our wedding.

I knew I wanted a few things when I got married.

I wanted flowers of all shapes and sizes and colors.

I wanted a wedding dress that screamed me so loudly you’d hear the echo decades later.

And I wanted toasts.

Lots of them.

From people I love.

Hilary was one of those people.

She got up there with her writerly words and her oversized flower crown and she gave a toast so big, so profound, a year-and-a-half later and people are messaging Hilary to get the exact words for my wedding print.

But then love

(But then the wedding toast)

(By Hilary Miller)

When Rob and Jill first asked me to give a speech, I was super excited because I love attention and because I thought it was the perfect opportunity to do a parody of a song from the hit musical Hamilton.

But a few lines into the song, I realized that I was making it into a joke. And it was going to be terrible. So here we are–going the genuine route.

And what’s more genuine than the Bible? Oh, yeah. We’re going there.

My favorite phrase in the Bible–it’s not even a verse–is


Things can be going terribly, terribly wrong,


steps in and turns our mourning into dancing or makes the embarrassing warts disappear or defeats the Patriots.

Well, the Bible also says GOD IS LOVE,

so really this phrase is


Rob and Jill are the embodiment of this phrase.

Getting to know Rob and getting to know Jill at make-believe school were two very different experiences.

Making friends with Rob is feeling at ease in his presence. It’s going to the beach or getting ready to go to the beach or coming back from just having been at the beach. It’s an open mind, unshakeable loyalty, and unbelievable kindness.

It’s also unbelievable food that he cooks. Fancy food.

Once we took Rob out for his birthday because we thought we’d give him the night off, and the restaurant was so fancy that when I ordered ravioli it arrived and it was a single piece of ravioli.

That was the ravioli of my life, Rob.

Getting to know Jill also involves food

and it comes in the biggest portion sizes Chilis has to offer.

Making friends with Jill means always ordering an appetizer. It’s talking with something to say. It’s nights spent with ice cream and open hearts. It’s using your words to make the other person feel better, feel loved, and feel heard. It’s hair that took years to perfect, and it’s so much laughing.

And then there’s Rob and Jill together–that early friendship full of singing Celine Dion as loud as possible. Rob, I heard those whistle tones. Underappreciated karaoke. Day trips. TV viewing parties with Jill’s apartment and Rob’s food and my… presence? It’s also so much fun.

So much fun that when Jill said she was going to give this strapping young man a chance, I was worried. Worried that it was going to blow up in Rob’s baseball-cap-covered face. The friendship was too good. There was no way it was going to work out!


Love came into the picture, and instead of destroying a friendship, it enriched it.

And love created an ending they never taught us at Pepperdine because it’s too wonderful and simple and sweet to be anything other than the great surprise of life, to be anything other than the real, BUT-THEN-kind of love.

As you continue the story together, I hope that love keeps surprising you. I love you both.

(But then Hilary’s Hamilton rap, which she performed to a mic drop)

For those of you disappointed I didn’t do a parody song, let me convey how bad it was with a little taste:

How did an East Coast,

Line cook,

Son of a banker

And a blogger,

Dropped in the middle of an affluent spot in North L.A. County

So far from Wilbraham and South Jordan

Get hitched,

Like it’s a love liner they’re boardin’?

But then love

But then

But then

But then

but then love