Friday, March 16, 2012

Cookie-d Memories: My Magnum Opus

Have you ever thought... "This is it!  I'd better stop now,
because it could not get any better than this?"

This is how I feel about these very special cookies.  I am not sure that I will ever love any cookies more than these "Happy Birthday" cookies I made for my very dearest friend, Dana, who is celebrating a big birthday this year.  As my gift to her, I created these cookies, which show not only where she has been, but my wish for her future and the foundation for the wonderful woman she is.

Dana and I meet in college at William Jewell College, in Liberty, MO.  We were kindred-spirits from day one and have been best friends ever since!  She is younger than I am, so we didn't always have our adventures that the same time... but we have so many memories in common it was almost like cookie-ing my own life story!

My favorite college English professor, Mike Williams, once said "Is a tree ever just a tree? No, it is a tree laden with deep symbolic meaning."  Well, is a cookie ever just a cookie?  Maybe.  But not it this case... each cookie is a cookie laden with deep symbolic meaning. (This is your warning... if you don't want all the sappy details of the cookies of my life, and can live with the guilt... bail now!)

My birthday wish for Dana, although it wouldn't all fit on the luggage tag, was that:

"Where ever life takes you,
May you always have your faith,
your family & your friends,
your compass & your big backpack."

(Please graciously ignore that it says "Whereever" with no space.  I have never been a good speller. A former teacher used to say that "My mind just worked too fast to bother with getting the letters in the right places." [Which by the way is why I had such a hard time with college prep vocab, not because I didn't know the definitions, but because I couldn't spell the words.]  However, now that I am trying to help my Reader R. learn to spell, I am convinced that I am just silly and lazy in that area of life.  I mean really, how long would it have taken for me to google which "Where ever" or "Wherever" to use... [twenty-two seconds, because I just did it to figure out which was right before I wrote this], but instead, I just did it and hoped no one would notice that it wasn't right, if it wasn't, which I wasn't convinced of, until I googled it a second ago.  Of course, I also knew, deep down that I couldn't just let it slip by now that I knew that it was incorrect, but rather, had to point it out to the rest of the world and admit what I goof I am... instead, I will just say "My mind was working too fast to bother with getting the letters in the right places" and leave it at that.)

This cookie is for Dana's faith.  Her strong faith gives her true joy and gratitude, even in the difficult times.  She is an amazing sister and such an inspiration and encouragement to me.  (OK, are you still with me?  Was that deep symbolic meaning too much for you?)

These cookies represent Dana's family!  Her mother LOVE Mickey Mouse, so that cookie is for her parents and her family of origin.  She is married to a wonderful man named David, so the heart is their monogram. And she has two precious children, a girl and a boy.

This is my cookie.  (Yes. I cookie-d myself into her present.... tacky? A little, maybe, but we are dearest friends.)  So, yes, if I were a cookie, I would look like this.  (Just stick around, I may turn into one yet.  They say "You are what you eat.")  No, seriously, I love tea pots and my last name is Rose.  It doesn't get any more simple than that.  (OK, except for the cross.  That one was a give-away.)  What I love about this cookie, is that I tried the brush embroidery that Alison at Ali Bee's Bakeshop taught me!  Thanks, Alison!

The mortarboard is for our Alma Mater and the value of the education and life lessons that we learned there.  The compass is actually the Outward Bound logo.  We both spent 14 days in the Florida Everglades, canoeing and serving on an Outward Bound High Adventure trip during college, but also it serves as a reminder of Stephen Covey's concept of "True North" and always knowing what is really important to you.  The "Big Backpack" is symbolic of hopes and dreams.  We were recently discussing that although we are officially grown-ups and are working hard to de-clutter our homes, one of the seemingly odd items that we cannot seem to part with is our "Big Backpack" that we used to hike all over Europe.  (The squiggles in the background are supposed to be a journal entry.)  These two cookies are also fun because they are the first time that I tried painting on a cookie.  Thank you to Liz, a.k.a. Arty McGoo and Alison from Ali Bee's Bakeshop for the inspiration and the great tutorials.

"Oh the places you will go!"  During college, Dana and I both studied oversees in Oxford England, not at the same time.  We also both had the same internship in New York City, not at the same time.  I also had a Dora the Explore potty training sticker of Eiffel Tour on my shirt as I was decorating, so I toddled off into Na-Na land and created an Eiffel Tour sticker, hoping that she, too, like Dora and myself, had been to Paris. (Deep huh?) Turns out, she has a really great story about meeting a mutual friend and sorority sister under the Eiffel Tour, that I am sure I have heard at some point in the last 15 years and just happened to subconsciously bring up in time to make the perfect cookies for her birthday.  Thank you to Anne at the Flour Box, who convinced me that yes, I could make a telephone booth cookie, and Kim at the TomKat Studio for the tutorial on how to make an Eiffel Tower.  Although, both would have been easier with a KopyKake projector than drawing them by hand, looking at Dora the Explorer stickers for reference.

So, I individually-wrapped each cookie and bundled up our memories in a gift basket.  I added the outer-wrap so that they wouldn't spill out, and I VERY carefully delivered these delicious wishes to my very best friend.   (By the way, it is very hard to get a good photo of a gift basket... sorry.)

We laughed.  We cried.  We smiled so much our faces hurt, like rush in college.  We shared memories.  It was wonderful!  Thank you Dana for having a birthday, so that I could make these cookies!  (Which turned out to be a "for-you-for-me" gift... sorry!)

"We will always be dear old friends, 
until we are old and senile, 
then we will be dear new friends again."
I also want to say a brief thank you, my husband and my girls for supporting my cookie dream, to my parents for providing so many of these life-forming experiences, to my family and friends for buying my cookies, to all of my cookie mentors (whom I have never actually met, but feel like we are close friends), but especially Jodi at Wonderland Cookie Co.who taught me not to be afraid to link to cookies that are prettier than mine, and to my almost 100 followers who read my ramblings on a regular basis.  Thank you! 



  1. Oh what fun to read this and think of both of you! Love you both! I miss Dana! Excellent work my dear!

    1. Thank you for the hugs and the encouragement!

  2. Yes! I've had that thought several times: "This is it! I'd better stop now, because it could not get any better than this!" But you WILL surprise yourself and outdo yourself again... and again... and again! We cookiers are inspired by everything and it just keeps getting better. What a beautiful set of cookies. Inside and out :D meaning they look awesome and the meaning behind is so thoughtful. Such an incredible gift! Thank you for the sweet shout out and keep up the great work!

    1. Thank you Liz! I really appreciate your thoughtful and encouraging words!

  3. these cookies and this post are so sweet. what a wonderful friend Dana has in you to take this kind of time and thought an put it into a wonderful creation. Thank you for the mention too! :)

    1. Thank you so much for visiting my cookie blog and for your kind words. I hope you had a nice, relaxing day in the garden. Sarah