Freyja's birthday cake, with lit candlesAlthough we celebrated today, tomorrow is Freyja’s first birthday. I am having trouble reshaping my self-image to encompass a toddler – being a mother in and of itself is still a surprising development.

The changes are all so gradual, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly when they happened. There’s no one moment that can be identified, examined. There’s just a progression of greater and greater feats of dexterity, prowess, bravery, daring, adventure. And each is a stepping stone to the next, in retrospect.

And yet, I am not regretful for those earlier days. They are treasures, and always will be, but each new moment is unbelievable. Each new evolution is a gift, a new facet of Freyja. She herself is a treasure.

Birthday cake recipe adapted from Vegetarian Time’s Glazed Chocolate-Avocado Cupcakes.

1 1/2 cups, cake and pastry flour
3/4 cup, hot chocolate mix (Camino Milk Chocolate, in this case)
1 tsp., baking powder
3/4 tsp., baking soda
1/2 tsp., salt
1 avocado, pitted and peeled
1 cup, pure maple syrup
3/4 cup, plain or vanilla soy milk
1/3 cup, olive oil
2 tsp., vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare baking dishes, either muffin tins or cake pans. In large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. Puree avocado in food processor, then add maple syrup, soy milk, oil and vanilla until creamy. Whisk avocado mixture into flour mixture until smooth.  Spoon mixture into either muffin tins or cake pans. Bake 25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean. Remove from oven, allow to cool fully before icing.

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