Mattie Miracle 2021 Walk was a $125,000 success!

Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation Promotional Video

Thank you for keeping Mattie's memory alive!

Dear Mattie Blog Readers,

It means a great deal to us that you take the time to write to us and to share your thoughts, feelings, and reflections on Mattie's battle and death. Your messages are very meaningful to us and help support us through very challenging times. To you we are forever grateful. As my readers know, I promised to write the blog for a year after Mattie's death, which would mean that I could technically stop writing on September 9, 2010. However, at the moment, I feel like our journey with grief still needs to be processed and fortunately I have a willing support network still committed to reading. Therefore, the blog continues on. If I should find the need to stop writing, I assure you I will give you advanced notice. In the mean time, thank you for reading, thank you for having the courage to share this journey with us, and most importantly thank you for keeping Mattie's memory alive.

As Mattie would say, Ooga Booga (meaning, I LOVE YOU)! Vicki and Peter

The Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation celebrates its 7th anniversary!

The Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation was created in the honor of Mattie.

We are a 501(c)(3) Public Charity. We are dedicated to increasing childhood cancer awareness, education, advocacy, research and psychosocial support services to children, their families and medical personnel. Children and their families will be supported throughout the cancer treatment journey, to ensure access to quality psychosocial and mental health care, and to enable children to cope with cancer so they can lead happy and productive lives. Please visit the website at: and take some time to explore the site.

We have only gotten this far because of people like yourself, who have supported us through thick and thin. So thank you for your continued support and caring, and remember:

.... Let's Make the Miracle Happen and Stomp Out Childhood Cancer!

A Remembrance Video of Mattie

December 5, 2015

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Tonight's picture was taken in December of 2008. Peter and I took Mattie to see the National Christmas tree with my in-laws. Mattie loved going to see this tree, along with the 50 smaller trees that surrounded it. Each tree represented each of our States. Of course in 2008, Mattie was wheelchair bound from his limb salvaging surgeries but we were determined to get Mattie outside. Of course I will never forget the looks and stares we got with Mattie in a wheelchair. This is something that will always remain with me. Despite how far we have come in our society around disabilities, there is still great judgment out there. 

Quote of the day: If you want meaning in your life you must give your life meaning.  Bryant McGill

Peter and I went to visit Mattie's Memorial Tree at his school today. This tree was planted in 2010, and was given to the school by Mattie's graduating class. The class of 2020. 

Each season we change the ribbon around the tree and on special occasions we add ornaments to the tree. So the ornaments do rotate on and off the tree. The only consistent ornaments on the tree are wind chimes, a bird house, and cars and lego pieces!  

Yesterday I received a message from Mattie's School letting me know that Mattie's tree will be listed on the School's plant database, located on a website. This database will showcase special trees located on the campus, so when teachers and others do a walking tour, they will know which trees to visit on campus. On the website there is a place to add a short description/story about Mattie's Yellowwood Tree. So I wrote the following description for the website:

This Yellowwood tree is dedicated to the beautiful and courageous life of Matthew J. Brown, better known to his family and friends as Mattie. Mattie was a kindergartner at the St. Stephen's & St. Agnes School. In July of 2008, Mattie was diagnosed with bone cancer and was unable to attend first grade. After a 14 month battle with cancer, Mattie died on September 8, 2009. Eight months after Mattie's death, the parents and the children of the class of 2020, contributed this memorial tree in his memory.

Mattie loved nature and he loved playing in the sandbox at the lower school. Which is why the location of Mattie's memorial tree is so meaningful and symbolic. When Mattie was alive, he spent many hours in this exact location and Mattie's parents hope that this tree provides shade and colorful enjoyment to all the children who continue to visit the sandbox.

There are three reasons that a Yellowwood tree was purposefully selected as Mattie's memorial tree. First, this variety of tree is unique to the lower school campus. It is a one of a kind, not unlike the 7-year-old boy it memorializes. Second, in April the tree produces magnificent white wisteria-like flowers, which is perfectly timed with Mattie's birthday. Finally, September is national childhood cancer awareness month and gold is the official color for childhood cancer.  The tree reflects this important month as its leaves turn a glorious yellow/gold color.  

Here is a close up of Mattie's tree with its Christmas bow. We added snowflake ornaments today, along with red antique ornaments that we recently purchased! 

It truly is the twinkling tree! Which is my nickname for Mattie's tree! When the sun shines onto the items in the tree, the tree really glimmers. While we were decorating the tree today, several people stopped us to tell us how lovely it looked. I am quite sure they have no idea what the tree symbols or what we are doing, but it was nice that people enjoyed looking at the items on the tree. 

December 4, 2015

Friday, December 4, 2015

Friday, December 4, 2015

Tonight's picture was taken in December of 2008. Mattie was home and recovering from his limb salvaging surgeries. Though it may appear that Mattie was walking, he truly couldn't independently. Not unlike when he was a toddler learning to walk, he would brace himself on furniture and our stair railing to move around. It was very hard to give Mattie his space to figure this out and maneuver on his own, because under the circumstances my natural tendency was to help and support him. But I learned during his 14 month battle when he needed a hand and when he really wanted to try things on his own. 

Quote of the day: The solution to self-pity is found in the labor of selfless giving to others. ~ T.F. Hodge

For five hours today, myself and St. Stephen's & St. Agnes School faculty and students delivered 5,000 pounds of candy around town. We stopped at three locations: Cornerstones/Embry Community Shelter in Reston, VA, Covenant House in Washington, DC and MedStar Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, DC. I photographed two of our three locations. I did not take any photos at Cornerstones in Reston because they had multiple donation drop offs today and it was very hectic in the parking lot! 

Mattie Miracle visited Covenant House in DC. Covenant House provides shelter and support services for homeless, runaway, and at-risk youth. Because the Foundation received 7,500 pounds of candy this year, which far exceeded our expectations, we needed to find additional recipients in our community who could benefit from these treats. It was a very memorable and empowering visit for Mattie Miracle and our volunteers and we are honored we can provide this support to a great non-profit in our area.

Pictured here from left to right are: Larry Jenney (Associate Director of Summer Programs at St. Stephen's & St. Agnes School-- SSSAS), Khalil (senior student at SSSAS), Cam (senior student at SSSAS), Tamra Johnson (Director of Marketing and Communications at Covenant House), Joe Shabelski (Assistant Athletic Director of Facilities and Grounds at SSSAS), two residents of Covenant House, and Keith Mills (Dean of Students at SSSAS).

Mattie Miracle made a 2,500 pound candy delivery today to MedStar Georgetown University Hospital! This candy will supply the free snack/item cart that we offer to families caring for children within the hospital. The cart provides both nutritious and sweet treats, but it is the candy that is MOST desired by families coping with the stress of a child who is sick.

This concludes Mattie Miracle's candy drive. We have provided candy to the following organizations: 

1) MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, DC 
2) Children's Inn at NIH, Bethesda, MD
3) Children's National Medical Center, Washington, DC
4) Hospital for Sick Children Pediatric Center, Washington, DC
5) Ronald McDonald House, Washington, DC
6) Ronald McDonald House, Falls Church, VA
7) Special Love for Children with Cancer, Winchester, VA
8) DC Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation, Washington, DC
9) Miriam's Kitchen, Washington, DC
10) Embry Rucker Community Center, Reston, VA
11) Cornerstones, Reston, VA
12) Covenant House DC, Washington, DC

A BIG THANK YOU to the St. Stephen's & St. Agnes School (SSSAS) for making this large delivery possible today! Between faculty and students we successfully delivered 5,000 pounds of candy cheer all over our area today! Keep in mind though that prior to Thanksgiving, I delivered 2,500 pounds of candy on my own to several of the organizations listed above. 

Pictured here from left to right are: Cam (senior student at SSSAS), Lerin Raines (Mattie Miracle funded child life specialist at Georgetown University Hospital), Larry Jenney (Associate Director of Summer Programs), Jess Abrams (child life specialist at Georgetown), Keith Mills (Dean of Students at the St. Stephen's & St. Agnes Upper School), Katie Wallace (child life specialist at Georgetown), Khalil (senior student at SSSAS), Ann Henshaw (Mattie Miracle Board member) and Joe Shabelski (Assistant Athletic Director of Facilities and Grounds).

December 3, 2015

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Tonight's picture was taken on January 4, 2009 (see below). I remember snapping this photo of Mattie. We were sent home for the holidays, and this was a very difficult and complicated time for us. Filled with pain, an inability to move, depression and anxiety. Nonetheless, in the midst of that chaos we also had happy moments, as you can see. However when you look at the actual photo below, you can see Mattie's hospital bed in the background! Our Facebook friend, Tim Beck, found this photo on our blog and created this stunning composition for us! I love Tim's fall themed background and it seems to bring out the happy and trusting feelings that Mattie's smile was exuding by being with Peter! 

Quote of the day: If you’re giving to get, all you’ll receive is disappointment. 
But if you’re giving to give, all you’ll receive is joy.  Toni Sorenson

It is my hope that by the end of tomorrow ALL of Mattie Miracle's candy will be gone and distributed all over town. Keep in mind that prior to Thanksgiving I delivered candy already to Children's Inn at NIH, Hospital for Sick Children, Ronald McDonald House in DC, Ronald McDonald House in Falls Church, VA, and Special Love for Children with Cancer. The notion that this is almost over is thrilling! It is a great effort to collect, sort, manage, and distribute this amount of candy. We are talking over TWO TONS of candy!

This afternoon, I went to the St. Stephen's & St. Agnes School in Alexandria, VA (SSSAS, school mascot: SAINTS). I can't thank SSSAS enough for their incredible efforts to help Mattie Miracle collect, sort, store, and distribute 5,000 pounds of candy all over the DC area tomorrow! Mattie was a student at SSSAS and I remember someone telling me after Mattie died that once you are a SAINT, you are always a SAINT. Today really made me see this!

I had the opportunity to meet 13 students and several faculty of the School today. These 18 men helped cart candy to this truck and load it! I will be riding with this truck tomorrow to all our remaining delivery sites! This was such an incredible effort, I asked that everyone pose by the truck so I could capture the moment. Mattie was used to my picture taking. Though I can no longer take photos of him, I land up taking photos of anything related to the Foundation. Since in my mind the Foundation is my Mattie proxy. 

I posted this photo today on Facebook and this is what I wrote along with it.......

Want to see what 18 SAINTS look like? Look no further!!! These amazing guys moved and loaded 5,000 pounds of candy onto a truck within MINUTES!!! These students attend St. Stephen's & St. Agnes School (SSSAS, school mascot is the SAINTS) in Alexandria, VA and are also members of the School's wrestling team. The team work, spirit, and positive attitude displayed today were noteworthy! Tomorrow SSSAS will be delivering the candy all over town with Mattie Miracle and helping us fulfill our psychosocial mission.
Mattie Miracle gives a SPECIAL THANKS for coordinating this large candy collection, storage, and distribution to...... Bud Garikes (Director of the Upper School), Keith Mills (Dean of Students at the Upper School), Trae Humphreys (History Teacher at Upper School), Larry Jenney (Associate Director of Summer Programs), and Joe Shabelski (Assistant Athletic Director of Facilities and Grounds)

December 2, 2015

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Tonight's picture was taken in December of 2008. We were home, and Mattie was recuperating from his second limb salvaging surgery. Typically our couch wasn't in front of our window. But it was moved there because a hospital bed replaced our couch's location. Mattie was truly unable to move his left arm or walk. Which was why this photo was so remarkable to me. Mattie loved Chinese food and the year he underwent treatment he seemed to really enjoy it! Perhaps it was the spices. In any case, Mattie learned how to use chop sticks and was eating away, which was a wonderful thing to see, since Mattie did not eat much throughout the entire 14 months of treatment.

Quote of the day: The greatest gift you can give is your time.  Not money, not items, not food, not pretty cards with handwritten sentiment, but time.  People need your presence.  The way you can help a soul the most is to simply be there. Richelle E. Goodrich

I uploaded a video so you could see a little bit of what I am describing below. Before Peter would leave the hospital to go to work, he would always say good-bye to Mattie. He had to do this because if Mattie learned that Peter left for the day without him seeing him, that made Mattie very anxious. As Mattie's treatment continued it wouldn't matter if Peter said good-bye to him in the morning or not. Mattie would just become inconsolable when the three of us weren't together. On December 2, 2008, (7 years ago today) I took it upon myself to figure out what the problem was and after researching the issue through my computer (thanks to my university's library system) I learned Mattie had Medical Traumatic Stress. However, until I figured it out and labeled it, NO ONE provided me with any answers! Shocking no???? How I determined this in my frazzled, stressed out, and lack of sleep state is really beyond me, but I knew something was wrong and we needed to address the problem ASAP! As I always say.... you are your BEST doctor!

Tonight's posting below is from December 2, 2008: 

Mattie held his own last night during chemo. He was still up when Peter and I went to sleep. He went to bed while watching a Scooby Doo video. He has trouble relaxing and shutting down, more so these days than ever before. Mattie was up several times during the night because he had to go to the bathroom, not unusual considering the quantity of fluid being pumped into him. As one point during the night, Mattie did not make it to the bathroom in time, and Peter and I were lifting him with the help of Melba (Mattie's nurse) and trying to place clean sheets under him. Between the bathroom runs and vital checks, it felt like a very busy night.

This morning Mattie was resting peacefully, but I had to wake him up since the hospital was changing all the mattresses in the PICU. I did not want the staff to move Mattie, so I woke him up and got him cleaned up and transferred into the wheelchair. Mattie did not take well to being woken up and this started a chain of other reactions. While in the wheelchair I tried to offer Mattie different activities to do together. I even asked him if he wanted to visit with Brandon or go to the childlife playroom. He refused all ideas. It was then that he asked where Peter was. When he found out that Peter left early for work, all hell broke lose. Mattie started to scream, "I want my Daddy. Daddy, Daddy, Daddy!" At first I understood Mattie's desire to be with Peter. But the more hysterical Mattie became, the more I was unable to reason and rationalize with him. I tried every thing possible. I listened, I empathized, and then I explained that when Daddy can't be there for him, I am. I even called Peter at work three times during the day to let Mattie talk with him and they exchanged two e-mails. I thought we would break through this fixation on Peter by mid day, but no such luck. The issue became more pronounced as the day wore on. By noon, my parents came to visit and they couldn't get over what they were seeing. By 12:15pm, I couldn't take the screaming, crying, and the irrational behavior. Mattie was also not allowing medical staff into the room. So I went out to the nurses' desk and asked that Mattie be given versed, which is an anti-anxiety medication that works instantaneously, but its effects only last for about 20-30 minutes. The medication calmed him down a bit, he was still upset, but not looking like he was going to jump out of his chair or hitting me with his leg.

But by 2:15pm, Mattie was screaming again in full force. Again, I asked for the medication to calm him down. During the afternoon, I kept growing more and more concerned with the behavior I have been observing and experiencing with Mattie over the past 12 days. But today's behavior disturbed me because I could no longer console and comfort Mattie. In addition, I couldn't rationalize with him. So at which point, I went out to see when our psych consult was coming to visit us. The residents gave me some excuse that they couldn't get a hold of the psychiatrist. It was at that point, I started yelling. I told them this wasn't acceptable. That I had been waiting all day for this doctor, and if they can't get someone from the hospital to help me, I was going to find someone on the outside. That seemed to get results. After my tirade, I went back to the room, and in between holding Mattie and dealing with his fits, I logged onto the George Washington University's library database system. I have learned when all else fails, research the problem. So I started using all sorts of keywords, until I found something that intrigued me because it described Mattie's situation to a T. It is "medical PTSD." I have felt for a week now that Mattie has PTSD like symptoms, but I was unaware that one can develop PTSD from a medical procedure. It certainly makes sense, but I found reading the abstracts fascinating. In addition, parents of children with cancer can also get PTSD, you don't have to personally experience the traumatic event to be able to get PTSD. It can be your emotional reaction to observing the traumatic event. Not that this describes me, but I found it interesting what a profound impact cancer can have psychologically on a patient and his/her caregivers.

I had the opportunity to meet with a psychiatrist today who got to see Mattie in full form. In order for me to talk with the doctor, I had to hold Mattie's ears closed and wrap his head in my shoulder. The psychiatrist understood and observed my concerns and agreed that prescribing Mattie anti-anxiety medication is a good way to proceed in the short term. However, like we both know that will not get to the heart of the issue. But I feel unless we stabilize his behavior, he won't be able to comply with treatment, he won't be able to participate in physical and occupational therapies, and certainly he will sink further into social isolation. I am very conservative when it comes to psychotropic medications, but in this instance, this is in Mattie's best interest. The psychiatrist told me that most parents under these circumstances would have cracked along time ago.

December 1, 2015

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Tuesday, December 1, 2015 -- Mattie died 324 weeks ago today.

Tonight's creation was sent to me this morning by my Facebook friend, Tim Beck. Tim lives in Phoenix and my joke with him is.... if he lived near me I would insist on us meeting. I love his creativity and his charitable and compassionate spirit. In November, I asked Tim if he would consider doing a Christmas themed composition for parents. He asked me to send him some photos! Which I did... I sent him photos of Mattie through the years at Christmas time. Here is the wonderful result! To me the center photo looks like an angelic butterfly and I love all the gold stars and ornaments with photos of Mattie on them! I told Tim that this was a wonderful surprise to receive this morning. As returning home is always hard for us, as are the holidays. 

Quote of the day: Real love never fails, never fades, and the greatest expression of it is giving. Gena Showalter

It is hard to believe but the candy is still coming in! Keep in mind that our last collection date was November 13. Each year we analyze how we could do this better or differently and what I come to the conclusion is so much is out of our control. We can't control when people have their candy ready for pick up or drop offs. If it was only a matter of picking up candy and delivering it, that would be hard enough. But all the candy has to be examined and sorted. That is a feat onto itself and it is labor intensive. Each October my greatest hope is that I will be finished processing candy in November. But I haven't succeeded yet, it always runs into December. Now if I had a dollar for every piece of candy, the Foundation would be doing very well. Not sure how to convert candy to fundraising, but what stuns me every year is the amount of candy that comes our way. It almost seems impossible to think that this much post-Halloween candy is circulating around our area! 

Any case, I am adjusting to being back to grayness and rain, as well as jumping right back into Foundation work! I know we had a hard start to our day, as being back home can be somewhat depressing to us as well as knowing that the holidays are looming. It is like living with a grey cloud inside your mind and heart and some days it is hard to break through this feeling. I know this is where Peter was at today and he is usually days ahead of me, because I typically block out things to function. But if eventually catches up to me.

November 30, 2015

Monday, November 30, 2015

Monday, November 30, 2015

Tonight's picture was taken in November of 2006. Mattie was four years old and doing one of the things he enjoyed to do.... paint things on the floor of our dining room. Sometimes Mattie would do hand and foot prints there and other times he would build wooden models and paint them. As you can see he built a dinosaur and was painting it that day. Mattie was always eager to take on a building project and to create! He could do all these activities for hours. Then he would incorporate his creations into his play schemes. Mattie was never boring. 

Quote of the day: And she was well-enough acquainted with loneliness to understand that the worst part wasn't having nobody caring for you - it was having nobody to care for. Tessa Dare

The Los Angeles International Airport is ALL decked out for Christmas! There was this beautiful tree in the middle of the American Airlines terminal, there was Christmas music playing all over the airport, and what caught my attention was up over my head..... where the flags in this picture are located. 

A wonderful toy Christmas Train was chugging along. It was moving overhead, all around the perimeter of the tree! The train made choo choo sounds and I know if Mattie were with us, this train would have been very exciting to see!

Here is a close up of the train. Got to love the little polar bear sitting on top of the car in the back. 

We went from sunshine this morning in LA, to grayness and rain in DC. However, after a week away in which we celebrated Thanksgiving and my mom's milestone birthday, we can say that we are safely back in DC after a successful trip. 

November 29, 2015

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Tonight's picture was taken in November of 2006. Mattie was four years old and I liked the colors Peter and Mattie were wearing. To me it seemed like an adorable Fall photo to capture on our couch. It was a spontaneous photo, so much so that Mattie wasn't even looking at the camera! 

Quote of the day: What we spend, we lose. What we keep will be left for others. What we give away will be ours forever. David McGee

Today we visited the LA Arboretum. This is a spot we took Mattie to and he used to love walking and exploring the gardens. Peter hasn't been back to the Arboretum in years. But today's weather was perfect to walk this expansive property.... 127 acres, which is filled with not only incredible flowers, trees, and plants, but wonderful birds and memorable peacocks. Some of our sightings are posted here!

There are many water elements to the gardens and within this one pond were many noteworthy birds, such as this Black Crowned Night Heron.

Another wonderful sighting was this Chinese Pond Heron.

I saw the previous two birds in this large pond, which also featured this lovely White Heron.

On the property is this charming "Queen Anne's Cottage." It was built by Lucky Baldwin, who was considered the first mayor of Arcadia (the city where the Arboretum is located). 

Elias Jackson (“Lucky”) Baldwin’s Queen Anne Cottage was constructed in 1885-86, probably as a honeymoon gift for his fourth wife, sixteen- year-old Lillie Bennett. “For a year after she married Baldwin (May, 1884), this little girl was queen of the ranch,” wrote the Los Angeles Times. Lillie’s father, architect Albert A. Bennett, designed the cottage, but the honeymooners apparently never enjoyed its beauty. Lillie and E.J. separated in 1885, and the fanciful house was converted by its owner into a memorial to the third Mrs. Baldwin, Jennie Dexter, who had died in 1881. A stained glass portrait of Jennie stood welcome in the front door and an almost life-size oil painting of her was hung in the Cottage parlor. Both items remain today.
The Baldwin cottage (the designation “Queen Anne” was added in later years in reference to its architectural style) was the Santa Anita Ranch guest house. Cooking and dining facilities and Baldwin’s personal quarters were located in a modernized eight-room version of the old adobe house found on the property at the time of purchase. Friends, relatives and business associates of Lucky Baldwin, including stars from the Baldwin Theater in San Francisco, partook of ranch hospitality until E.J.’s death in 1909.

On the property are many wonderful orange trees, and this photo captures some of them with a back drop of blue skies and palm trees. 

The Arboretum is known for its movie and TV history. Several things have been filmed on this property such as Hitchcock's movie, Notorious, and the TV series, Fantasy Island. 

As we walked, we also did some climbing. At the top we found this wonderful vista of mountains. 

Peter and I in front of the impressive waterfall at the Arboretum. 

We came across several butterfly friendly bushes, filled with monarchs! 

There were many Mattie sightings today. Mattie would have loved this large turtle basking in the sun! 

Peacocks freely roam the property! They are literally everywhere. These peacocks are the descendants of the original peacocks brought to the property from India in the 1800s. The peacocks were something that Mattie LOVED and truly it is an unforgettable experience to walk with the peacocks. We are not just talking about one or two but hundreds! 

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Tonight's picture was taken in December of 2005. That Christmas we took Mattie to Boston to celebrate the holiday with Peter's parents. Mattie got to do something Peter grew up doing....sledding down the hill in the front of his house. As you can see Mattie had a huge smile on his face as he enjoyed the thrill of going down hills in the snow. 

Quote of the day: The manner of giving is worth more than the gift.Pierre Corneille

This evening, Peter and I held a birthday party in my mom's honor at a restaurant called Bistro Garden. When I was in college and would return home to visit my parents, we would on occasion go to this restaurant. It is a very memorable place, for its food but also for its charming garden setting! 

You can get a feeling for the gardens inside the restaurant with its huge picture windows. 

Living on a different coast than my parents, I wasn't going to plan a surprise party or arrange for anything that they did not want. I find birthdays are special, but also we all have our own way we want to acknowledge them. Therefore, before planning this dinner, I checked it out with my mom. 

Here is our group of 10 tonight at the Restaurant! The restaurant was all dressed up for Christmas and it was truly magical inside with white lights, poinsettias, a Christmas tree, and big tasteful ornaments hanging from the ceiling. 

A photo of Peter and I with my parents. 

Another photo of the four of us. 

I have known Angel and Sarge since I was a teenager. They were our neighbors who lived across the street from us. I haven't seen them for over a decade and it was truly a gift to reconnect with them tonight. 

This is a photo of my parents with their friends, Marie and Gary. 

My mom with her friends, Cecile and John. My mom has known Cecile for thirty years!

A photo of me with Angel!

My mom right before blowing out her birthday cake. This was one special cake. The outside of the cake had this amazing toasted coconut and inside the cake itself was very light and fluffy and filled with fresh strawberries. 

The flower arrangement for the table! I counted this display and there are over 40 roses in it and its fragrance is intoxicating!!!