Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Wedding Cookies

I'm working on lots of cookies this week for Independence Day. In the meantime, I thought I would share the wedding cookies from my daughter's wedding on Saturday with you.

Wedding Cakes:
 Wedding Dresses:
This was such a fun cookie to make:
Bride. I tried to match the clip-art that I bought from JW Illustrations Etsy Shop, but with the pink background on the cookie, it was difficult to see it clearly and I thought she had long hair, not realizing it was supposed to be her veil. Still pretty cute.
 Another bride. I can't remember who I ordered the clip-art from, but I know it was on Etsy.
 Wedding dress using a heart cookie cutter. This clip-art was from PeachPopsClipArt Etsy Shop
 and also a Tuxedo using a heart cookie cutter:
 I love this Just Married car. The cookie cutter is from eCrandal. Most of the other cookie cutters are from CopperGifts.com.
 I love these LoveBirds from CopperGifts.com
 Wedding Flowers:
 I didn't like the present cookies this time. Mellissa wanted them outlined in white and I didn't like them, so I didn't give them out to Mellissa's guests. Instead most of those cookies are in my freezer for her and her new husband to eat when they get back from their honeymoon :-) 
 I love these rings. They are painted with silver luster dust for extra shine and the stone of the "diamond" has disco dust for extra glitter.
 This was our first sneak peek photo from the photographer Natalie Thomson Photography. She did such an amazing job! I can't wait to see more photos!!!
 Another sneak peek. Aren't they just beautiful together? I'm so happy for Mellissa & Irik!
Okay... back to work on Independence Day cookies...

Sunday, June 26, 2011

THE Wedding!

The wedding, yes THE wedding. It's been in the works for a full year. My baby girl got married yesterday. Wow! That sounds so weird. Since this is a cookie blog, I'll show you those first. This is a small sampling of them. There were exactly 100 cookies adorably bagged for the guests.
We arrived back home last night from Mellissa & Irik's wedding at The Pines Resort in Bass Lake near Clovis & Yosemite. The wedding was by far the most beautiful wedding I've ever seen. Mellissa and Irik planned every last detail and included everyone in the ceremony and festivities. It was such a remarkable event. 

After the rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner, I stayed with Mellissa in the bridal suite the evening before the wedding. The plan was to curl her hair and put it in curlers for her wedding day, but we decided to wait until the morning since we got a late start and then the curls would be a little more relaxed for the wedding. We ended up staying up chatting until 1am. I was exhausted and she was excited. Then as she talked about the wedding, I got excited and she got exhausted. There were several times that one of us would say "stop talking to me" and then we would both crack up laughing so loud that we were worried we would wake up other hotel guests. Here we are practicing at the rehearsal. Isn't the garden and lake and scenery BEAUTIFUL!
The happy couple:
In the morning we went to breakfast at Ducey's Restaurant. Mellissa had chosen The Pines Resort because my father had sent her and my niece, Nicole, to summer camp close-by and of course my Father's name was Ducey, so it had sentimental ties. Mellissa & Irik were even married in the Ducey Garden and they stayed in the Ducey suites. My father lost his battle with Cancer 3 years ago, but we know he was watching over Mellissa's wedding.
Can you believe she looks so calm when she was getting married in just 2 hours?!
We had a really nice, happy morning without stress or nerves. I wasn't feeling emotional at all. I was worried about breaking down while giving the Matron-of-Honor toast, but I allowed myself a back-up plan of having Mellissa's dad read the (full-page+) toast that I had prepared. The photographer came and took some photos of Mellissa getting into her wedding dress. Everything was going great until the photographer asked for a photo of me looking at Mellissa all dressed and done-up gorgeous for her wedding day. I lost it. I'm not one to have the sweet tears trickling down my cheek all adorable. I completely broke down. I was sobbing so hard that I couldn't get a breath and thought I was going to pass out. This was all AFTER make-up and about 15 minutes before we were to walk down the aisle. Ugh. Somehow I pulled myself together and as always, Mellissa kept completely calm and composed.

We got the call to head toward the wedding garden. I wanted to re-apply make-up and decided it is what it is and we left for the wedding. There was an adorable, decorated golf cart outside the hotel waiting to take us to the wedding. I had calmed down and caught my breath and was again, feeling ready. Mellissa looked so beautiful and so confident and so ready to become a wife. We came around a corner and I saw Mellissa's dad. Rich took one look at our gorgeous daughter about to be married and he teared up. Ugh. That was it for me. I stood in line to walk down the aisle completely sobbing. I concentrated on remembering to sit at the end of the aisle and to direct everyone to stand when the wedding song came on and to fluff Mellissa's dress when she arrived at the alter. That changed my focus enough that I held through the ceremony perfectly fine.
While standing at Mellissa's side at the alter during the ceremony, I didn't see her face the entire time. During her vows to Irik, I could see her back going up and down in heavy breaths as she tried not to cry. I saw Irik's lips tremble during his vows. It was all very touching and beautiful. 
Their ceremony included almost everyone. They had pop-up speakers that said short verses of love. They had most of the family give a specific flower and meaning to the "Garden of Edens" vase. Mine was "Jasmine for Courage and Strength, it's spirit everlasting". After the pop-up readers and after the flowers from specific people, then there were many people that had roses to add to their Garden of Edens vase. It seemed like everyone had a role in the wedding and that was such fun and so incredibly special. The officiant pronounced them husband and wife. I gave Mellissa her beautiful bouquet back and they walked down the aisle as Mr. & Mrs. Edens.
The photographer took lots and lots of photos that I can't wait to see. Then the D.J. announced the married couple and they did their first dance. Mellissa & Irik had been taking dance lessons and their dance was absolutely beautiful and perfect including a dip at the end. They looked so happy and at ease together. Irik decided that he wanted me to give the first toast instead of the best man. I had been worried about it for weeks. I wrote out what I wanted to say, made some last minute changes and asked Rich to take over when I fell apart. Amazingly I didn't fall apart. I teared up and I paused to catch myself from crying too hard, but I got through the entire speech about my baby girl and welcoming Irik to the family and it all went wonderfully. The best man then gave his speech which was really funny. There was some more dancing and then the newlyweds cut the cake. The cake was a special surprise. Since Mellissa & Irik had met at Cold Stone Creamery, they had ice cream cupcakes brought in for each guest. They were super fun flavors too. I ate two :-)
Mellissa then threw her bouquet (well my bouquet actually). I forgot to mention that each bridesmaid received a beautiful white bouquet and when Mellissa handed me my bouquet before the wedding, it was absolutely gorgous PINK. Seriously she thought of every little detail to make this such an incredible event. After the bouquet toss, Irik took the blue garter from her leg and tossed the garter out to the eligible bachelors. Nick caught the garter. I went up to use the D.J.'s microphone and I said that it was not okay for me to lose two children to marriage in the same year. Nick will just have to wait, thankfully he's completely okay with that ;-) 
Each guest received one of my hand-decorated cookies at their table setting. The cookies sat out in the hot, hot sun for so long that the pink on the cookies faded. I ate one last night and they still tasted great! I now have a son-in-law and a very happy daughter. I couldn't be more blessed.

Congratulations to Mellissa & Irik!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Happy Father's Day

I made these doughnuts & coffee mug cookies for my husband for Father's Day.
I had big plans for cookies for Father's Day this year. I bought tool cookie cutters and cars and was going to make Fast Food cookies and barbecues and neck ties and sports and motorcycles and others too. You know me, when I do things, I tend to do them big ;-). I started with the fun idea of doughnuts and coffee mugs and then didn't make any of the others! The rest will come along another time - after my daughter's wedding (in 6 days!) So in the meantime, I hope hubby enjoys his doughnuts and coffee mug cookies.

I miss my dad. I miss him every day. I'm no longer able to celebrate Father's Day with him, but I have incredibly loving memories of my father that I cherish and they keep me going. I can't make him cookies or buy him a new tie or a Father's Day card, so instead I honor him by living my life in a way that would make him proud. In the last 3 years since he lost his battle with Cancer, I've participated in the LiveStrong Challenge in his memory. Our little family has raised at least 15,000 in the fight against Cancer. On July 10th, I'll be cycling again. 100 miles. This is never an easy task. The first LiveStrong Challenge was 3 months to the day after my father died. We had raised over $9k all while taking care of my dad and getting him to his radiation appointments and then having him in a coma for 36 days. Getting on that bike and riding 100 miles was the last thing I wanted to do. I'd have much preferred to crawl under a rock and cry and fall apart. I did my best to pick myself up and told myself that the pain of cycling 100-miles is nothing compared to the pain of chemotherapy that Cancer patients go through. I wanted to help make a difference in the fight against Cancer. We put pictures of my dad on our bicycles and had team jerseys made saying "Eddie's Angels" and we rode and we rode through wind and hills and incredible heat. The hardest part was when I couldn't stop thinking of my father watching over me and I SOBBED the entire last 20 miles until I crossed the finish line. In memory of my dad, Edward Ducey.
The 2nd year of the LiveStrong Challenge, I had broken my hand in a karate demonstration. I punched through wood that had massive knots. I thought that after the swelling went down, I would be fine, but I finally gave in 5 days later and went to the doctor. It turned out that my hand was so badly broken that I had to have intense surgery immediately with pins holding my hand all back together while it healed in a tight cast after the surgery. I didn't want to let down the people that had supported my fundraising for LiveStrong, so the kind Lance Armstrong Foundation, set me up on the finish line with a stationery bicycle and I balanced my body leaning on one arm for 66 miles. My daughter, Mellissa, rode the course alone in memory of her grampa while I rode at the finish line. They even announced when "Pinkie's daughter" reached the top of the biggest climb. I was such a proud mom!

Last year we had some friends join us for the LiveStrong Challenge on the Eddie's Angels team. You can see a short video of our incredible experience here: http://davis2011.livestrong.org/eddiesangelsPlease consider making a donation to the LiveStrong Challenge (link above) in honor of someone you know battling Cancer or in memory of someone you've lost to Cancer. Together we can make a difference.
Happy Father's Day to the incredible dads still here (including my husband, my step-father and my father-in-law) and to those dads watching over us in heaven.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Frosting For The Cause

Have you read the Frosting for the Cause blog? I read it every day. It was started by a gal named Paula that has dedicated her time to creating a blog to help make a difference in the battle against Cancer and raise awareness. Paula asks bakers to share their story about how Cancer has affected someone they know and she shares their story on the Frosting for the Cause site. Each participant bakes something special, donates their creation and makes a donation to the Cancer fundraiser of their choice all while raising awareness with others about this dreaded disease. 

I was reading Frosting for the Cause the other night, like I do every night when I get my email update of their site and noticed that Paula didn't have someone to post for today. Our family does a lot in the fight against Cancer through the LiveStrong Challenge, but I didn't feel confident in participating in this cause because I'm not a professional baker. I felt compelled to reach out to Paula anyway. Paula responded with such an incredibly kind email that she actually had me in tears. I submitted my story and my cookies to be her "pinch-hit post" for today. I woke up this morning and went to Frosting for the Cause site and realized that she must have spent a good part of last night researching everything she could about me. Here I was nervous about participating and she made me out to be super woman. As you all know, I LOVE to bake, yes I'm obsessed with decorating cookies and now and then I also make the pedals on my bike go around. That's it for me, but I do have amazing kids and this story is about my father and my son's dedication to his memory. 

Please check out Frosting For The Cause and check out the cookies that I submitted for the post. 
Thank you to Paula for your incredible dedication and time to making a difference in the battle against Cancer. You are truly amazing!

Monday, June 13, 2011

More Sunflower Cookies

I made these cute little Sunflower Cookies the other day for a friend. 
I made some outlined and some without and decided that I liked them outlined best. The middle part is filled with brown sanding sugar. My husband can't get enough sanding sugar on cookies. I think for his birthday in October, I'll have to have sanding sugar all over the cookies ;-)

Tonight I'm working on Eagle cookies that my son asked me to make for his upcoming Eagle Scout project. They are very fragile with big wings, but I just can't resist that boy!

I hope you're all having a fantastic day! I started my day with a 46-mile bicycle ride with my cycling club. I had a fantastic time, but realized when I got home that I forgot to wear my Road I.D. bracelet since I took it off last night to bake cookies. How did I figure out I had forgotten it? Well since I wear it 24/7 for safety, my wrist is never exposed to the sun. That usually very white strip on my wrist stood out pretty good when I got home because it was fried crispy red! Bummer. It was still worth the great ride though. I hope you're all having a fun day!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Birthday Cookies in My Favorite Colors - Pink & Lime!

I made cookies this week for a friend of mine that is celebrating her daughter's 20th birthday. The best part was that she wanted them in PINK & Lime Green! These are my favorite colors! I had so much fun making these.

In addition to the cupcake cookies, I also made some cake shaped cookies also in pink & lime green.

Just to show you how very much I'm enjoying pink & lime green in my little world. Here's one of my very favorite things  :-) Since my bike will be turning 5 years old on August 1st with over 24,400 miles on it, I decided that it was time to give it a little update! My beautiful pink bike has been "updated" adding lime green to the already gorgeous pink! I added lime green to the handlebars, the bento box, the seat cover, the saddle bag, the tires and the water bottle cages. Everything else is still beautiful pink :-)
I also made some sunflowers and some cupcakes in a jar. I'll share those in the next couple days. I hope you're enjoying baking, celebrating, enjoying family time, summer vacation and so on!