There are a bunch of Young People sitting in the backyard adjacent to my backyard, with a pile of takeout between them, and beer bottles, and they are laughing loudly and all right, fine, maybe I'm a smidge jealous of their evening.
Although I bet none of them have a seven-year-old. I do. We threw him a fairly large shindig on Saturday, his actual birthday, and I'd post pictures except they all have Someone Else's Child in them and that just doesn't feel right. So, hey Mom? Can you email me some pictures?
Because they're pretty freaking cute. Jack asked for a castle cake and from there I thought we'd do a little, you know, medieval theme. Except we had a pretty crazy bakery week and I was hanging on by my toenails and my mother pretty much did all the work. She made these little knight tunics for all the kids (who didn't wear them, of course) and found a whole bunch of toy swords at three different stores AND bought the dragon pinata. I... ordered some stuff off Amazon. It was the first Jack party we've had that wasn't nice enough to really play outside, so the party itself felt more crowded and chaotic than I'm sure anyone wanted to deal with. But I think people had a good time? I hope?
Jack's birthday is right when the weather starts to get nicer and we haven't HAD any parties in a while by the time his birthday comes around, so it's always an excuse to invite all the grandparents and aunts and uncles and all our best buddies and HEY, THE CHEUNGS LIKE TO HAVE PEOPLE OVER. And you guys know that I prayed and prayed for the biggest house we could afford in Seattle and we GOT it so I just feel like I have room for everyone! Invite all the people! WE'LL FIT!
We did. It was just... I don't know. I think I had a hard week. I did not feel so confident in my making-people-comfortable abilities. But whatever, the birthday boy, who the party was FOR, enjoyed himself immensely and got some pretty great presents and holy cow he's SEVEN. I know I do this every year. I have a FIVE year old! I have a SIX year old. But PEOPLE. Seven seems old. Officially not Little Boy anymore. More like... Boy. ACK.
After several weeks of bakery insanity (good insanity! we're just not used to it!) we have a week of NOTHING. Which is half depressing and, honestly, half a relief at this point. I need to get my bearings. But then today something happened.
I already had a meeting planned for tomorrow morning with our Coffee Shop Owner, the woman we're renting space from. We're going to sign some little printed-off-the-internet contract and I am going to haul in my 9000 pages of liability insurance documents to prove I bought it and then we will have a Real Live Actual Factual Kitchen! Woo! Too bad we don't have anything to bake there!
BUT THEN! This morning I got a phone call while I was driving and when I listened to the message I about dropped the phone. The OTHER department at the WSDA, the one that reviews and approves Food Processor permits (which is how we are classified), was calling to make an appointment with me to, and I quote, "getcha licensed!"
I called her back and she said she could do the inspection this week, did we have time, and I was all, UH YES, and so we are meeting at the coffee shop Wednesday morning (if that's okay with the Coffee Shop Owner, fingers crossed) and I'm supposed to bring a couple examples of labels we will use and she'll poke around the space we'll be using AND THEN SHE WILL ISSUE US A PERMIT. LIKE THAT.
I said, "Are there any corrections we need to make to our application? Anything we left out? Anything we need to do?" And she was basically like, "Uh, no?" Actually what she said is that if there IS anything awry we'll just discuss it Wednesday morning, no biggie.
The fine print said 4 to 6 weeks. She called us back in 2. It cost $55. Total. She's going to give us a permit. We will be legal. THIS WEEK. WE COULD BE LEGAL THIS WEEK.
(If she's cool and we hit it off, I'm totally going to ask her about the cottage food nonsense. Not her department, but still. Totally asking.)
Katie and I are both kinda apprehensive. We've been trying to figure this out since October. OCTOBER. Sure, we could have decided to rent a kitchen from the get go, but even the process of FINDING the kitchen and then figuring out what sorts of permits we need for THAT was long and confusing. To have someone call us up and say we can get it done this week feels surreal. We are suspicious, but I'm also just sort of... you mean we don't have to deal with this anymore? WHATEVER WILL I DO WITH ALL MY TIME?!
What this DOES mean is that we now have to figure out to make money. Like, on a regular basis. Enough to cover our overhead. BECAUSE WE HAVE OVERHEAD OMG. I'm all YAY EXCITING MUPPET ARMS!!! and also oh dear God what have we done.