Sometimes we touch the lives of others.

Most of the time, we don’t even know it.


It’s a simple fact that there are countless times in each person’s day where they have hugely affected someone around them… causing happiness or pain, frustration or relaxation, anger or peace.
It just is.
And it’s a crazy responsibility, if you think about it. Quite frankly, it’s scary.
If God appeared next to me and offered a little recap of just how I’ve affected people in the past month, I’m not sure I’d take him up on it.

apple heart

But every once in a while, we need to be reminded.

So I tried to let her know.
Mrs. Gehl, that is.

You see, seven years ago, when it came time to send my firstborn onto that WAY too big bus, which would take her to that WAY too far away school (ok, so maybe it’s only a four minute car ride from our house… but still, it was too far… ya know?) into the hands of someone other than ME for six hours each day…
I was nervous.

I didn’t admit this to anyone, really. ‘Cause I didn’t want to be THAT mom.
But I was. (And looking back, I’m pretty sure I wasn’t fooling anyone.)
When it came right down to it, I was the sweaty-brow, shaky-hands, looking-around-for-a-garbage-can kindo’ nervous.


What if this PERSON I was sending her off to all day long wasn’t… nice?
What if my Lily was scared of her? And didn’t feel secure and safe around her?
What if I was putting her in a pretty dress each day while allowing a defining moment of her childhood to take shape in which she became emotionally scarred and debilitated and therefore couldn’t find happiness or peace for the rest of her existence?!!!
(What? It could happen.)
Hence, the search for the garbage can.

but then I met her. The person… the kindergarten teacher who my Lily would be with each day.
Mrs. Gehl.
And I talked to her.
And she talked to me. (Imagine that.)
And somehow, one by one, each fear melted slowly away.

My heart grew strong again, “Joy” regained control of the chaos in my brain… and I knew.
I knew Lily was going to be ok.
Without me.
‘Cause God sent us Mrs. Gehl.

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And actually, she was more than ok. She was… having FUN, even!
Without me.
In fact, at the end of the year, it was quite clear that she was a bit skeptical of the whole “summer vacation” thing.
THAT’S how ok she was.

Mrs. Gehl

So this past summer, when my fourth-born (my baby) got HER letter in the mail of who it was that I would be sending HER off to each day…
you can imagine my smile, and the swelling of my heart, when I saw Mrs. Gehl’s name written on that sheet.

‘Cause Mrs. Gehl touched my life.
OUR lives.
She’ll always hold a crazy special place in our hearts.
And she probably doesn’t even know it.

I made her a cake at the end of this school year… to try to tell her. Xx

Thank you, Mrs. Gehl…
for being you, and taking care of my babies when I was scared.
I’m certain you’ll never really know how much that means.



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Some tips on how the chalkboard was made…


To write the words with a “chalk” look, I just broke a super white candy melt in half and wrote with it on black fondant (mixed with a little tylose to stiffen it up).


But then, it wasn’t QUITE as bright as I wanted it to be, so I mixed some white petal dust with some Everclear (or vodka works) and painted over it.
Worked great and just gave it that bit of extra brightness I was looking for.


When cutting the fondant strips around the edge of the chalkboard, I overlapped them and then cut through BOTH strips at an angle to get the perfect corner.

Additional Tips:


I was concerned the apple and book would add too much weight and push down on the top of the cake.
So, I added bubble tea straw supports cut to the right size,
cut down a cake card (used underneath cakes) to a small rectangle that would hide nicely under the book,
and then placed the card on top of the supports.
I then glued (with water) the book to the card and placed the apple on top (glued, again, with water).

How the book was made…

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