"I, Ashley Rose Leahy, do solemnly swear, that I will support and defend the constitution of the United States of America... against all enemies foreign and domestic...."
Tears of pride streamed down my face while I tried to hold the video camera still in an effort to capture this most precious moment on tape. My husband tried unsuccessfully, from the back of the ceremony room to hold his composer, but a quick glance showed he had failed miserably too. As we left the ceremony room to wait in the lobby area of the Military Processing center, he put his arm around me as tears streamed from my eyes and we mutually agreed that our baby as all grown up...we have to let her go and follow her dreams now.
Upon arriving at home and seeing my two younger children, my heart swelled with pride and love. These little human beings are a product of the environment, love, caring and values we've spent the last 21 years (some of them not easy) enveloping them in. Where did the years go? How could they all be so grown up and ready to leave home so soon? Whoa!! We need to slow this process down a bit!
I broke out the cookbook and asked Cassie (my youngest daughter) if she wanted to bake some Valentine cookies with her ole' mom...
"Sure mom, as soon as i finish my homework..."
Two days later, I baked the cookies and she decorated. As I was cutting the cookies, I wondered if this would be the last year we would get to share our little Valentine cookie baking tradition together. I surely hope not.
People...listen to me. SLOW DOWN.... text your kids and tell them to come on home and when they get there, spend time with them! Turn your computer off, power down the cell phone, get out the cookie cutters and spend some time with your kids...time goes by fast and before you know it...they are gone, off to follow their dreams. At least make sure you have quality memories to keep you company until they come home to visit again.
Here is our cookie recipe and a picture of our labor of love. Feel free to use it to make your own memories this Valentines Day. I share it from my heart to yours....
Cassie and Mom's Best Valentines Day Cookies
Cutout Cookie Recipe
- 1 1/2 cups butter, softened
- 2 cups white sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 5 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
- Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely.
Ice with your favorite sugar cookie icing and decorate with sprinkles, gel, or other fixin's. Then brew a pot of tea or whip up some hot chocolate and enjoy!