Valentine cookies with the "Cookie Whisperer"...

One of the best things that has come from working at a nearby medical clinic is the friendships with the staff I've had the pleasure to work with. Many that choose to work in the medical field are caring and giving, thus making them easy to love. Not long after joining the staff of the Endoscopy Department, one of the nurses, Annika, and I discovered that we shared a common love...baking! 

On the days we worked together, we would often discuss cakes we had made, recipes we had tried, and tips for icing and decorating cakes. Since Annika has young children at home, she would share her photos of cakes, cake pops, cupcakes, and decorated sugar cookies she made for their birthday parties. With perseverance (and natural talent!), she soon exceeded the fairly simple cakes that I make, as she ventured into the world of home made fondant, ganache, and Swiss butter cream icing. (If you want to see her work, look up Sweet Pandemonium Cakes on will be amazed!).

Iced sugar cookies have also become a specialty of hers...and something I wanted to learn how to do. She graciously invited me to come and decorate cookies with her before Christmas and this week, right before Valentine's Day. Decorating cookies with a friend or two is just so much more fun than doing it alone! 

As we iced cookies together, we talked about some of the joys and challenges of marriage, her pregnancy, and raising children. Though I am old enough to be her mother, our conversation is easy, open, trusting. We share a common faith, another bond beyond our love of baking. 

I know that many think of Valentine's Day as a day to honor romantic love, yet I also want to honor the love found in friendship. When you find someone that you can laugh with, cry with, share the best and worst of times with, and accepts you as you are, you have found a treasure indeed. As Proverbs 17:17 says, "A friend loves at all times..."

I hope that no matter what your current status is, you will remember Jeremiah 31:3, where the Lord says, "I have loved you with an everlasting love..."

Hope you have a special Valentine's Day tomorrow. With love, Gracia

P.S. If you missed the post last February about my love story, you can read it HERE.