{inspiring}

Five years ago, I thought Breast Cancer was something women didn’t need to worry about until we turned forty.  That is not the case any longer.  I am saddened to share that two of my dearest friends have received this terrible diagnosis within these last five years, and am humbled and inspired by the courage they have shown throughout their personal battles.

These women are fighters.  Both are great moms, and health nuts.  They were moms before I was one, and I have always admired them in so many ways.  When I learned they had breast cancer, it was unreal.  How could it be true?  Before I could even come to terms with the news, they were moving on with their lives.  Running marathons, returning to work, growing stronger — not weaker — with each passing day.

Thankfully, they have both undergone treatment and are now Breast Cancer Survivors.  They continue to inspire me each day with their strength and positive outlook on life.

In honor of these heroes of mine, and so many more like them, I am making my annual donation to the Susan G Komen for the cure this October, being it is National Breast Cancer Awareness Day.  I hope we find a cure and put an end to this ugly day some day.

Join me in supporting this cause.  During the month of October, if you sign up to follow my blog I will add $1 to my donation.  You may also make your own donation here:  Susan G Komen for the Cure

{Find a Cure}

xo

~the sweetest mami~

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{best of} recent family iPhotos

{eva} in sombrero, eating tortilla;      
{zoe} watching on, wanting tortilla..

Life moves fast, and I find that more and more of our daily highlights are captured casually via our iPhone camera.  When someone asks me for pictures of the girls or Lucas, I usually just pull out my phone and flip through a few of my favorite moments.  When I can, I upload these to instagram and facebook, but some of them never make it that far.

One of my goals is to eventually get organized and make photo books to record all these great moments, and also to enlarge and feature the best ones on our walls, but that will probably take some time and not happen for a while.

In the meantime, I wanted to share those photos that are on my latest ‘best of’ iPhone feed with you, because I don’t want to lose sight of why I first started blogging — which was to stay in touch with all those I hold dear to me, that are far in distance but near to my heart.

Enjoy this fun photo roll…

xo

~the sweetest mami~

 

@ local farmers’ market

baby lucas

i love *mom*

{zoe} in mama’s sombrero..

gymnastics, anyone?

{sister love}

{daddy and me}

 

{my happiness project} *just checking in*

I’m {happy} to share that I’ve made some progress already on some of the areas I decided to focus on.  Here’s what I’ve accomplished, so far:

  • Donated clothes and household items to benefit families affected by Breast Cancer
  • Finished three out of the six pillowcases for the mini-makeover for our Living Room
  • Prepared meat sauce to set up and freeze stuffed pasta shells
  • Replenished many of our groceries and household items on bulk and on sale
  • BONUS:  Worked on our tax return for 2011 (which is due October 31st, thanks to an extension we filed)

I feel so productive.  Not to say I no longer feel overwhelmed, because it will be some time before I truly feel caught up with everything, but it’s nice that I have a ‘list’ I can actually focus on, rather than a laundry list of small tasks that don’t really contribute to a greater goal.

In the meantime, I am enjoying time with my sweet family and am happy we got to take some time out for an early celebration of Victor’s birthday last week.  We went out for a family dinner and surprised him with chocolate cake for dessert.  I had told Eva & Zoe we were taking papa out for his birthday and had a big surprise for him, and it was all I could do to stop them from talking about birthdays and surprises.  {Thankfully, Victor never noticed; he was so distracted by his martini and happy hour beers…not to mention, rocking baby Lucas to sleep.}

 

 

Life is good.  I continue to feel blessed each day.

May you find your own path to happiness, one day at a time.

{Stay happy.}

xoxo

~sweetest mami~

All you need is love; Love is all you need. {one weekend, two cakes}

I am refreshed from the long weekend.  Glad I got to do so much, and enjoy time off with my sweet family.

I baked two cakes this weekend — Banana Fosters Rum Cake for my friend’s birthday on Saturday, and Natural Red Velvet Cake {Recipe courtesy of Sophistimom} for our Labor Day BBQ on Sunday.  The girls helped me along the way, and it took three days to complete both cakes from start to finish!

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The weather was beautiful on Sunday.  We entertained, ate good food in great company and the girls and Lucas had a good time too!

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The girls had so much fun, playing with bubbles and getting nice and dirty in our backyard.

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It was a long weekend, all right, and we were grateful for the extra day of family fun.  The girls weren’t ready to go to bed after all the fun, but eventually they gave in.  The joy they had is written all over their face on Monday evening.

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I hope you found a fun way to celebrate the long weekend, too, and enjoyed good food and company.  Even though summer is officially over for many of you, there are many more good times to come in the future!

~the sweetest mami~

xo

ps The title of this blog is a fun and loving quote we posted at home this weekend.  We want to post a new one each week.  Hope you enjoyed it.  {courtesy of the Beatles}

{America, the beautiful}

I’ve been away from home for less than a week, and am so grateful I get to return home today.  Oddly enough, this was my first domestic trip I took since the flight from Phoenix to Fort Lauderdale nearly two years ago, when I moved to Florida with my dear family.

I’m in Madison, Wisconsin, and have to admit it is one beautiful town.  Very picturesque and small-town feel.  Driving through downtown, it is nice to see virtually no big-name stores or restaurants.  It’s full of one-of-a-kind shops and eating places.  I’m grateful to be here in the summer, because I hear the winters are brutal.  The weather has been warm and sunny, and only today has it started to rain a bit here and there.  The landscape is ever so green and hilly; I’d really hate to be here during an ice or snow storm!

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@Rocky Rococo’s – home of best pan pizza in town!

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@ the Old Fashioned – downtown Madison

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I was tempted to try this soup, but passed!

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deep fried cheese curds…yummy!

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home made frozen custard, less than a mile from the office..dangerous!

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@ Michael’s Frozen Custard

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I had the Chunky Monkey..delish!

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my Chunky Monkey sundae!

Well, I’ve enjoyed my stay here and made the most of my ‘free’ time away from home.  Caught a couple of movies and enjoyed some frozen custard and local cheeses too.  The time has come to return to my lovely family, which I’ve missed dearly.

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~the sweetest mami~