(story)book cookies

I have no shortage of ideas floating around in my brain at any given time, and most of them are pretty out there. I think a lot about projects I’d like to build, or something I’d like to make, or how I’ll finally find the time to do x, y or z. When I was decorating cookies the other night I remembered a long ago pretend-scape I had related to cookies. It’s a little embarrassing for me to actually write about, but then I thought, why not? Maybe you all have some hidden little fantasy about how you’d really spend your days or find creative fulfillment. So I’ll go first.

Making and decorating cookies is really enjoyable to me – the only part I don’t like about it is the late night time frame that I have to squeeze it into. Pulling out all the ingredients and equipment and supplies at nine o’clock at night can be a bit of a drag, but once everything is going, I’m really in a happy place. When I get there, I start thinking about how I can stay there, and that’s where this idea came from.

Curious George Cookies

I dreamed of opening this charming little storefront somewhere, preferably near a school and a library, and I’d call the place Storybook Cookies. All the cookies in the store would be based on book characters and storybook plots. There would be cozy places to curl up with big picture books and oversized cookies. It would host birthday parties centered around a child’s favorite book, and book authors and illustrators would come in for readings and signings and eat cookies that looked like replicas of their artwork. Kids would come in after school and drink tall glasses of milk and eat cookies related to books they were reading in school while they worked on their homework or took cooking lessons in the back.

I’ve spent many hours thinking through all the details, the shop and the kitchen, the signage, the business cards, the invitations for parties held there. Forget the fact that I can’t even fathom how you’d deal with all the copyright issues, or that I’d likely never have the actual patience or stamina to pull it off. It’s still a favorite little pipe dream – icing dream – of my own, when I’m working at the table, late at night, by myself. Tell me I’m not alone in my thoughts…

so many firsts

Yesterday was a good day, from start to finish. (Finish being both children falling asleep approximately 2.7 seconds after their heads hit their pillows.)

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First Day Star

I made the same school house cookies I made six years ago, but I decorated them a little differently this time. When I was making the letter cookies the night before, I really liked the color green that I made (leaf green and a little goldenrod). It looked just like a chalkboard, especially when I piped the white dashed lines on. I debated for a bit about doing the schools like a chalkboard, wondering if it was weird to have a giant green cookie (maybe). But I thought the idea of the two roofs looking like lined paper and writing the name of the school in good “chalk” penmanship might be pretty cute, so I went with it.

School Cookies

They seemed to be a hit.

School Cookies Basket

The girls both had soccer practice after school, so this was a really significant day for the little one. We didn’t let either girl sign up for sports or other activities before five, so this is the first organized out-of-school thing she’s participated in. I’m not sure how into the sport she is quite yet, but she’s really, really into the gear.

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Great day, quick night, lights out. And so we are officially into the swing of a new season around here.

saying goodbye (it’s sweet, and salty)

I decided a few weeks back that I would send F off to Kindergarten in the same way I sent E off six years ago – with cookies. I planned to make some for all of the teachers and staff at her current former school (sob), and for everyone at her new school as well. I wanted to make the same school house cookies for her new school that I made when E started there because they are big and fun and a little bit over the top, which is a good way to usher in the new school year. But I told F I’d let her dump out the hundreds of cookie cutters I have and pick out some for her goodbye gift. (I also threw in a little fine print to that offer – I reserved the right to veto, if necessary.) She loved looking through all those cutters, but other than gravitating towards the giant copper snowflake cutters (because they are Frozen-like, and honestly “Let it Go” isn’t a completely horrible idea for a send off), she really reserved her final decision for the giant bucket of letters. “I want to make them a message,” she said, and so we did.

Thank you cookies

F was thrilled this morning when she saw them finished, and I stood on a chair to take pictures as she removed one letter at a time from the table, promising her I’d print out a picture of them and “make them move”. We worked like a team this morning, getting them all organized, wrapped and ready. I made them colorful, like preschool, but I also added a little texture to the icing, rolling a serrated wheel across them to create a subtle quilting pattern. I piped on white icing like stitches around the edges. School has been exciting and fun for both of our girls, but it’s also been a source of comfort and support for our whole family. Bits and pieces of all sorts of experiences and little scraps of tender moments – the image of a patchwork quilt coming together from many hands and many fingers feels like a fitting way to describe the way these eleven years have helped to prepare our girls for bigger worlds.

quilt cookie letters

I know it’s just a little cookie, sweet for a moment in time, and then gone again. It’s not a big thing at all. Eleven years seemed so big and vast and long until it wasn’t, and now it’s small. It’s hard to know how to say thank you for the tiny, patient rows of stitches, holding fast.

thank you on Make A Gif