Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Words of Wisdom Wednesday

Friday, March 23, 2012

Sound the Alarm!

However, I will not be seeing it until next week (April 1).
It's going to be tough avoiding all of the "spoiler alert" posts next week!
Happy Hunger Games.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Words of Wisdom Wednesday

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Never just pass the time away...

Over the past two years, I've been pushing myself to live with a purpose, to grow, to learn, to challenge. So, here are some things I've been doing and really enjoying recently.

Read The Hunger Games 
I missed the bandwagon of Harry Potter and Twilight - I just saw the movies instead. I caught this one just in time! The first book is enthralling and totally draws you in. My husband is now in book 3. I can't wait to talk about what happens in the end with him!  Will you see the movie??

Reading Atlas Shrugged
Who is John Gault? This question appears on bumper stickers, and the classic is referenced all the time. I took the plunge and have audio-booked this lengthy novel. I'm in the last few chapters, and I have to say, I'm hooked.

Enjoying a cup of tea
I've started drinking more hot tea...with a dollop of honey. The problem is it seems to disappear as soon as it hits my lips. I'm enjoying Earle Gray....any tea brand/kind suggestions?

Swooning Over Baking
I've read ridiculous amounts of this blog on baking and decorating cookies (Thanks Pinterest for my baking adiction). However, I've refrained from taking action on this desire to bake because it completely would contradict my next activity......

Working Out
I've cut my calories, and have been dedicated to a minimum of 3 hard core workouts per week for the last 6 weeks. I've cut out diet coke and my beloved lattes, eating lots of veggies and organic-lean meat, restricted sweets and carbs, and feel fabulous! My motivation....self-esteem and changing the way clothes fit.

What have you been up to lately?

Friday, March 16, 2012

These are a few of my favorite GREENS

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Enjoy some green......

Thursday, March 15, 2012

I thought a lot about my post yesterday.

….the thought of making the decision to be happy and then changing things in your life accordingly. However, I also recognize that we sometimes have to make sacrifices in some areas to be happy in other parts of our life. There are a few things I’m doing in my life now that I don’t necessarily like. They require patience, time, effort, teeth gritting, and sometimes tears. So even though those things don’t make me happy ALL the time, I am choosing NOT to change this because these things make me happy in other areas of my life. I am making small sacrifices now knowing that these sacrifices are worth the small amount of unhappiness it may bring in the meantime.

I know I’m being vague here, but I hope you can understand that sometimes there are things we can’t post for specific personal, professional, relationships reasons.

But take the words of this post for this…you always have a choice. I’m CHOOSING not to change some things in my life, and I need to be happy with that choice. So live with a purpose.

So I'll raise a glass of my favorite Cheesecake Factory Mojito and say.....Cheers to life.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Words of Wisdom Wednesday

Source: via Sara on Pinterest

Happiness is an Attitude, Not a Situation
Key to Happiness Lies in Attitude

Friday, March 9, 2012

Celebrate the Weekend in Style

Wishing you a wonderful weekend of smiles - the best accessory of all.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Words of Wisdom Wednesday

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

What are the odds?

This past Sunday was wonderful. I spent the morning at my favorite coffee/bakery shop listening to my audiobook on the patio enjoying the 70 degree sunny weather in Arizona. Then, Dashing finished his morning shift in the ICU, and we spent the rest of the day together. After lunch and a 6.5 mile jog through the desert, we landed back at our house for an evening in.

We decided to watch the movie 50/50 (the one with Seth Rogen about a friend having cancer). I've hesitated to see this movie. Since I've had my own cancer experience, I didn't know if I really felt like I could watch it.

However, it fit in the day perfectly and let me share my emotions with the one I love the most. Let me explain the connections:

1. In the same year I finished my cancer treatments of ABVD Chemotherapy and radiation, I ran a half-marathon. Yesterday, we ran 6.5 miles - my longest run since the race, and we went running only a few miles from the marathon track in Tucson (at the time of the 1/2, I lived in Phoenix).
2. I finished my cancer treatments this week in March, 2 years ago.
3. All of my chemotherapy treatments were in Tucson, we watched the movie in our new home in the Tucson area.
4. I watched it with my Dashing - who was there for me every step of the way.

Watching the movie  exposed so many feelings I hadn't addressed in a while. They rushed through my body like a dam breaking to release all of the tightly held rapids into the canal below.

Now, the story of 50/50 was not like my experience. My doctors were personable, concerned, supportive, kind, understanding. My family and friends were pillars of hope and strength, who surrounded me with love. In this movie, I felt like the patient was emotionally (and sometimes physically) alone. Dashing asked me during the movie, "You must have felt alone since you were the only one going through it, even with all of us around." I actually didn't. Although I had many moments of feeling like maybe not everyone really could understand, I can firmly say I never, ever felt alone. How lucky I was and am. Dashing then clasped his hand with mine and held me close for the rest of the night.

There was one clip in the movie that resonated so much with me though. It was near the end of the patient's chemotherapy treatments and he, after so many months of being stone cold, he broke down with tears, screams, and thrashing movements. I had this moment, and both the movie patient and I said "I'm so tired of being sick," while endless streams of tears ran down our faces with feelings of helplessness, vulnerability, and exhaustion.

So what moments in the movie stayed with me? (The moments that had me redirecting tears from my face to my sweatshirt sleeve).

  • You sometimes feel like it will never end
  • You stand in the bathroom contemplating how much to cut your hair, before and while it's falling out
  • You don't really want to believe it could be the end of your life, and although it demonstrates positivity on the outside, on the inside it's refusing to figure our how you really feel ignoring mortality, sadness, or hurt. I did this too.
  • You get tired of being sick
  • You feel like  you're a burden
  • You question who is truly there to support you
  • You can shut people out easily because you're shutting down on the inside

So as parting words for the masses, I say this.... It is more than just ok to feel sad or hurt sometimes. Let yourself feel how you really feel. Come to terms with the fact that life is not always happy. You don't have to be "Suzy Sunshine." Sometimes things are hard, disappointing, tragic, and upsetting. Share those feelings just like you share the happy, elated, joyful ones. In that, you'll find the meaning of your life.

Monday, March 5, 2012

And They're Off - Celebrating Friendship

On Saturday, I had a wonderful time getting together with some inspirational ladies. It was my sorority, Delta Gamma's Founders Day. It's a day to celebrate the reason we share the bonds of friendship and sisterhood with members of Delta Gamma all around the world. It was a fantastic theme of Derby Days and we all wore dresses and hats to the beautiful outdoor brunch. My dear and talents friends Callie and Emily planned the day flawlessly!
Sara Cate and Callie - don't you love the hats! I found mine at an antique store.
Love these ladies! (you may recognize them all from my Sonoma Trip. Miss L is on the right.)
Not only was it great to see Delta Gamma collegians and alumni who have impacted my life in so many ways, but it was also a time to share what we mean to one another. Our speaker, Delta Gamma, Dr. Sue Stanek gave an eye-opening speech on friendships. It was so basic and clear, yet deep and moving. She shared how relationships vary, and we need to put time and effort into those relationships that serve as mentors and vital friends, not those who pull us down or take more than give. At the end of her speech, she called for all of us to think about what kind of friend others would call us in return. Check mate. That really called to my attention how I needed to evaluate my relationships AND myself. I encourage you to do the same.
Happy Friending!

Sara Cate
Emily. Chair of the Event + comedic relief

Thursday, March 1, 2012


I am sad to report that my trip to Sonoma ended on Sunday evening, but I'm happy to share it with you! We had a wonderful time at the wineries, a great in-house dance party, a roller-coaster ride on a cable car, a responsible limo driver, and a fun celebration for Miss. L.  

The bachelorette weekend was not sans (yes, that kind of is a double negative) games, uniquely shaped items, desserts, toasts, t-shirts, and laughter. We flew into SFO on Friday and made our way to the rental house in Sonoma for a in-house chef dinner and a night of girlie fun. Saturday was all about the wineries....

St. Francis: Our first winery of the day. It was simply beautiful. Wide open spaces everywhere. Our tasting room with an over-sized oak bar, wooden beams, vaulted ceilings, and double doors to the view below. The tasting was structures, and our guide wanted to tell us a lot of wine facts and information (good thing it was at the beginning of the day and our group of 10 women were more attentive at this point). The wine was very good, but my favorite hands down was the Malbec.
St. Francis Winery

Sara Cate and Bride-to-be Miss L

Chateau St. John: The second winery was large, but felt quaint. Lush gardens greeted us at as we regally exited our limo. We were escorted out to the back patio with gorgeous views of vineyards, rolling hills, and grandfather trees. Our host, a petite french man, was delighted to share the vineyard's wine with us (I think he was delighted to celebrate with us too). The wine was phenomenal, every single glass. Whites and reds flowed into our glasses, and then quickly into our bellies. I am typically not a white or spicy red wine drinker, but at this winery, nothing should be passed up. All of it was...well, more than just drinkable (see photo below). They also have a fabulous store with smooth and tasty olive oils and dips. SO YUMMY. PS: If you're interested in getting married at a winery in Sonoma, this one is beautiful (venue fee: min $12,000).
Limo ride to wineries. Asti all around!

Sara Cate and Jordan at St. Jean

 Imagery Winery: Our third and final winery was modern, hip, and more like a wine bar for the cool crowd. Really easy going, artwork galore. No photo here, but it was fun. Definitely the right winery to end the day with. I ordered 2 bottles of Muscato - a sweet wine that I will be indulging in as soon as it is shipped!

Sonoma - DEFINITELY a place to visit.
So what comes after the bachelorette party? The wedding on March 31. YAY and Congratulations Miss L.

Our dance party house. Unfortunately I didn't capture the vinyard in the back yard. Seriously, there was one.

Our cable car in SFO.
Sara Cate

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