{you can kinda see my Dad and I in the corner of this pic-it was from our wedding ceremony where we had a memorial for my Mom with 2 doves}

With it now being in the middle of October (where has the year gone? seriously), I'm reminded in many ways and forms that it is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Today, if you have lost a loved one to Breast Cancer, you are able to honor them and help those who are battling.

Most of you that have been following my blog for a while know this by now, but for those of you who don't, my mom passed away back in 2001 (I was 16) after a courageous 13-year battle with breast cancer. After my mom passed away, and just when I thought this disease would leave me and my loved ones alone, I also lost my mom's sister, my Aunt Carol, and then my Aunt Jacki (on my Dad's side), and recently Billy's Aunt Karen passed away from this awful disease as well. 

To say that breast cancer awareness is important to me and strikes a special cord inside me is an extreme understatement. It's way more than that.

Along with raising awareness, it is also equally as important to me to honor my loved ones who battled this terrible disease, as a way to keep their memory alive and close to our hearts. If you were sitting in front of me and asked me to describe my mom in one sentence, without hesitation, I would say over and over again that she was an angel here on Earth. She was selfless, heroic, funny, caring, brave, and beautiful. Above all of those wonderful qualities, she was the best mother and wife. She put my father and myself above any of her needs. The days when she needed support and strength, she gave it to us. She never complained about the cards she was dealt, and she fought like heck for her life. 

My mom volunteered at our local hospital as a chaplain to help other cancer patients cope and deal with the hard times, and not only that, she started an online support group for cancer patients. 
She was truly an inspiration to everyone who knew her. 

I've never shared this story before, but it's pretty incredible. One day when my mom was in hospice, a lady who was part of her online support group, but had never actually met her, traveled hours in her car to see my mom, to meet her, and to tell me how much my mom had made an impact on her life. She told me how my mom had helped her through her darkest days when she wanted to throw in the towel. It is something I will never forget. 

My mom is the reason I started this blog (you can read more posts about her and about the journals, like the one above, she left me here), and now thanks to Everyday Portraits I'm able to honor her, and my aunts, in a different way. Haven't heard of Everyday Portraits? Bank of America has launched a new microsite in partnership with Susan G. Komen™, Everyday Portraits, which transforms a picture and a story into a one-of-a-kind portrait that allows users to honor anyone who has fought or is fighting breast cancer.

They have made it possible for all of us to honor our loved ones who have passed and I find that be, well, pretty awesome. 

I know that in one way or another (as unfortunate as it is), breast cancer has affected most of us. If you or anyone you know would like to remember or pay tribute to a loved one, you can use Everyday Portraits to do so. You are able to upload a picture of your loved one and write a brief description about her (at no cost), and the special software will combine your words and image. I absolutely love this concept and jumped at the opportunity to create my own portrait. 

Get this. 

For every portrait created, Bank of America will contribute $5 to Susan G. Komen™ in the month of October. 

How amazing is that? Would you take 5 minutes out of your day to do this?

Click here to honor a loved one.

And make sure to get your ta-tas checked out every now and again, ladies!

*I'll be back soon sharing all about one of our favorite weekends ever (yeah, I went there)

...which includes homemade caramel apples and a special mini road trip!

just a teeny tiny teaser.



  1. I'm going directly to do this. This is so great and every single time I read one of your posts about your mom, I tear up. I could never ever imagine what it's like, so I'm sending you lots and lots of happy thoughts. : )

  2. What a beautiful post, Katie. Thank you so much for sharing. Breast cancer (and all cancer, really) is such a terrible disease and hurts so many people. Remembering your mom and all the other ladies this month!


  3. Hugs to you Katie! I love ya girl! PS - I'm going to print that pic of Rocky and hang it in my office :)

  4. I have always admired your courage for sharing your story...this is such an awesome program. Thinking of you always! xo

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  6. Thanks for sharing! I will have to make one of these portraits! Have you ever been to race for the cure? I know that we have one in Cincinnati, but I am not sure about Columbus. It was one of the most inspiring events I have ever attended. I can’t stop encouraging people to go, even if it requires a day trip! Cancer sucks, but this event was so positive and full of love that it was seriously life changing. I blogged about this year’s race: http://toasttotomorrow.blogspot.com/2012/10/the-rack-pack.html If you ever get the opportunity next year, absolutely take it!

  7. I made one of these for my mom in August when she walked the breast cancer 3-day! I love how you Promote breast cancer awareness month! My mom survived breast cancer as well as my grandmother, and it's because of people like you who raise awareness :)

    -Jordan ButtercupPrepster.blogspot.com

  8. I love these posts that honor your mom and remind all of us women how important it is to take care of our bodies. Sending happy thoughts your way as always!

  9. I just spent the weekend at my 4th Susan G Komen 3Day, so this was especially touching. My mom also had breast cancer, but caught it early on thank goodness. It was still a very rough time, so I cannot even imagine what your family went through.

    Definitely will be checking out the site- anything I can do to help the cause.

  10. I love this post because I know how proud you were/still are of her. Her legacy will forever live on in and through you and I know you make her so proud of the woman that you've become.

  11. What a great post!! I am so sorry on the loss of all the important and amazing women in your life!!

    My MIL just won her battle with breast cancer this past spring. You never know how this horrible disease will affect you until it touches someone special in your family.

  12. beautiful post, girl! that first picture is so amazing. i love how you can see you and your dad in the corner. cancer sucks. i'm so sorry for your loss! <3

  13. I knew about your mom, but I didn't realize all of the other women you lost to breast cancer as well. That's so terrifying, and I'm so sorry. I just hate that cancer is still such an unsolved mystery.

  14. Great post! Your Mom sounds like she left many beautiful memories and made an big impact on the world. =)


  15. Love this Katie. Always makes me smile to see your mom's contagious smile too!! Xoxox

  16. That's a very touching story. Thank you for sharing! And we're all certain, your mom is your biggest fan/guardian angel!


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