Tag Archives: memories

#10forNala (and Kayla).

Today, M and I ran our #10forNala tribute run and it was cathartic, emotional, and challenging, all rolled into one.

I woke up feeling a bit exhausted and wondering if we would actually complete the 10 miles today or cut it short. I had posted about running our 10 miles earlier this week, against my usual MO, which is to do it, then talk about it (I fear jinxing myself, having a bad run, etc. and would rather do it quietly, then discuss. But I digress), because I was proud of what we were about to accomplish and, truthfully, was actually confident in this run and our ability to do it justice.

And do it justice we did.

We ran mostly in silence, with some ‘jukebox M’ along the way in his ever present ‘sherpa’ ways, random song outbursts that came right at a time where I’d struggle or start to tire. And M’s latest thing? To change lyrics in songs to something dirty…and it’s hilarious. He’ll just slide something in in place of a different word or phrase and change the tone of the song he’s singing entirely. My husband is hilarious, I must admit 🙂

And when there were moments of struggle, I’d think of Nala, and I’d think of Kayla, sitting at home, awaiting our return, ready to come down and trill her ever cute ‘mewww?’ that greets us as we enter now (and it’s the most adorable voice ever). I’d see a squirrel (aka bunny fake-out) and its fur would remind me of Nala, or I’d see her fur coloring in the leaves that have fallen from the trees, or be reminded of her cute little paws that would tap my face when she’d wake me up at dark thirty for breakfast. And I’d smile. And the struggle in my legs – or my mind – would wane and I’d run happily again.

We finished our run, breathed a sigh of relief, M held my hand, and said ‘we did it. Nala would be proud.’ And he’s right. She would be. And she is. And so is Kayla. Because we weren’t running just for Nala, but for Kayla as well.

As I wrote on instagram this morning: #10fornala completed this morning, #teampeixoto style. It may have been tough, but it was equally worth it and cathartic. I miss her more than anything but as tough as these last few weeks have been, we’re moving forward. And? Ms Kayla couldn’t me cuter, more loving and more ‘there’ for us, as we are trying to be for her. Onward. Sweet Nala. #runsherpa #fursherpa

8.26.03 – 9.25.13

1378053_10151911259141170_1815381529_n

A needed #staycation

Since last Friday, October 4, M and I have been on #staycation2013 (my very first! I have never taken a week off from work and not gone anywhere!), and it couldn’t have come at a more needed or perfect time.

I was forgetting things at work. I wasn’t as sharp. I wasn’t as upbeat. I wasn’t as ‘on it’ as usual.

We were both tired, weary, mentally and physically.

With the recent passing of our beautiful Nala, we just needed a retreat. A simple one, away from the day to day, but at the same time, closeby, cultivating our connection with Nala’s sister, Kayla, with each other, and with ourselves. Just having time to think. And to not think. Time to do the things we have pushed off, the errands, the closet organizing, the dry cleaning. All the little things that just get pushed to the side. Time to also do nothing. To NOT plan. To go planless. 

I asked M to make sure I did not overplan. I started to. I really did. I had something set for every day of our staycation. But as soon as that day hit, I suddenly didn’t care what we did or when, just that we were together and that we kept it simple.

We slept in. Almost every day.

We worked out, sure, but when we wanted to. Not just to get it in or to fit it in between other things. And those workouts felt amazing. We ran 9 for our #10forNala in preparation, and it felt awesome. To feel rested, ready, and in fresh, crisp, beautiful air.

We drank wine. A lot. We made dinners that usually take more time on weeknights. We went apple picking. I baked seriously the most amazing apple pie ever (not to pat myself on the back or anything…), we watched movies, we read our books, we relaxed.

We celebrated our 34th birthdays together too, as we are three days apart, in Boston, overnight in the city, at our favorite restaurant and just soaked it all in.

And today, on the last day of our staycation (M has tomorrow off too though, stinker!), we both feel rested, relaxed, rejuviated and ready for the week ahead. Ready to dig deep and face the latest season of our lives, together. Closer than ever.

…and also ready – so ready – to run #10forNala. As of now, we plan to run it Tuesday. We thank everyone that has run, walked, yoga’d, done anything in their own way to pay tribute to our beautiful Nala.

If you ever have a chance to staycation…please do. It has been an incredible, invaluable week that I feel so fortunate to have taken, at a time when we both needed it most.

7ce925d21ed98ffc9bc114e26efbed52

Remembering Nala.

Every time I sit down to write this post, I cry.

But I want to write it because I want to remember Nala. I want to seer into my brain the decade-long journey of her life and companionship. Not the sickness and pain and final moments that at this time, I cannot erase from my mind, and that keeps floating in and out of my head, when I shut my eyes, I see *that* memory, when I awake in the middle of the night *that* memory creeps in, as much as I shove it away. The best way to tuck those sad memories aside is the remember and celebrate her life, her healthy years, and the joy that she brought me, my family, and Miguel.

263611_10150229135811170_3250760_n

When my childhood cat Shelby passed away in July 2003 from a tumor under her tongue, I was devastated. I loved that cat so much. She was feisty and her mood could shift instantly, but she was our cat, my sisters and me, for 13 years. When she passed, the house felt empty, literally and figuratively. It didn’t take long for me to realize I needed cats in my life. In October 2003, I meandered over to petfinder.com (note: do not do this if you are not seriously considering adopting, because those pictures suck you right in) and clicked on an open house in my area for litters of kittens at a local shelter. I looked at the date and time and then at the clock. It was in an hour. I looked at the litter and knew this was the litter I would pick out my two kittens from.

When I walked into the shelter and over to the litter of kittens, they were so tiny, about a pound each and so damn cute, I started squealing right away.  It was a mixture of tiger kittens and a couple of gray ones too. I knew that I wanted two, I wanted sisters, and I wanted tiger kittens, and at least one of them to be long-haired. I walked over to the cage and they opened the door, and I gaze in and see Kayla first, cowering in the corner (such a fraidy cat, my little fluff!), basically hiding in the litter box. As I was about to say ‘I want her’ – this little short haired tiger kitten walks over to the edge of the cage with her 1 inch legs and leans against me, as if to say ‘I pick you…now pick me up.” I picked her up and she lay right down in my arms and purred. I firmly believe cats pick their owners and in that moment, my Nala had chosen me. I held her for about 30 mins as the shelter staff was helping others. She was so content to just sit in my arms and be cozy and there was no way I was leaving without her, or her sister, Kayla. When it was finally my turn, the shelter staff asked me which ones I wanted and I of course pointed to the little ball of fur in my arms, and then to Kayla. They warned me that Kayla had escaped the cage yesterday and had gotten into the eaves of the building, getting insulation in her eyes, causing the start of an upper respiratory infection and I would have to wait a week to have her, as she needed to be quarantined and given antibiotics. I didn’t care. I would be taking her with me, no matter what. I left that day with Nala, in a Clorox bleach cardboard box as I did not have a cat carrier and she was so tiny in that box, cowering in the corner as I drove home.

I remember coming home and warning my sisters and mom that these kittens were TINY and I would have to slowly let them explore my mom’s big house as I was pretty certain I could easily lose them under a cabinet, in a corner, or under a mattress, they were that tiny. They were so small that they couldn’t jump on my bed, their legs were just too short, and they needed a step stool for awhile. And when I brought Kayla home after her quarantine, I was supposed to keep them separate for a few days, but it was nearly impossible as Nala mewed over the wall into my sister’s room at Kayla, and then Kayla mewed back over the wall at her sister. They could feel each other there and they wanted to be with each other. For comfort. And playing, I am sure. I caved within hours of bringing Kayla home, and when I reunited them, they bound towards each other and start licking and rolling on the floor. This is how I picture them in Heaven one day…doing the very same thing.

From that day forward, Nala and Kayla were inseparable. Nala tended to follow Kayla around more than Kayla following her around, but I would always find them wrapped up in a ball next to each other, or near each other in some way. Nala would play with Kayla’s fluffball tail, and sometimes trick her into thinking she was going to just lay next to her, and she’d start by licking her head, arms wrapped gently around her neck, and then suddenly, they’d be in a full on tussle, Nala ‘bunny feeting’ her hind legs around Kayla and Kayla batting back, with her doubly-big paws and wriggling her way out of Nala’s grasp, running into the other room. Five minutes later, they’d be curled up next to each other again. Typical sisters, right?

As my girls grew up, Nala veered towards my ex-husband and Kayla was a mama’s girl, through and through. But after my separation and divorce, Nala became my loyal companion. She was always there. She would lay in my lap, or by my feet, or on the back of my chair, just to be near me. She would join me for dinner, sitting to my left, trying to get a nibble of food, and sometimes just to sit and contentedly join in a staring contest with me, not blinking until I did.

She was fearless, too. She wouldn’t be afraid of my mom’s dog, or my sister’s, hiding at first, but then she’d come around and try to mess with them. She’d follow them around, sniffing at them, and eventually scaring *them* away from her. She loved to play with toy mice, and she’d immediately bite them in half (yes, in half) and then chew up the leathery tail, and then play with the mouse carcass that remained…and sometimes, I’d hear a gutteral mrewowwwww and wonder what she was doing, and she’d coming down the stairs with it in her mouth, meowing. She’d drop it by my feet, and look at me, as if to say, ‘play with me, mom!’ with the cutest face ever, and I would laugh, and toss it for her to scamper and play with, tossing it into the air, and back down again.

When she began eating like a horse, seemingly insatiable, I took her to the vet for the first time (somewhat eerily, read my ‘open letter to Nala’ on my old blog, and her story then, vs. now is strikingly similar at her conclusion…). And from there, her mystery illness would begin. She would go through this period of insatiable appetite, yet she’d lose weight and eventually not feel well and I would take her to the vet. She’d have dropped weight and become dehydrated, where a round of steroids and antibiotics would do the trick (this after a series of ultrasounds and tests that would yield nothing. no FIP, no cancer, no unusual blood work, no thyroid issue, no parasites, nothing. the picture of health, on paper…). She went through this cycle four times in the past 4-ish years and it would be the illness that would end her life.

Over the years, after her first bout with this mystery illness, I would worry. Constantly. I would feed her as much as she wanted. Milk, tuna juice, leftovers from dinner, anything. When she would wake me up by batting my face, or putting one claw gennnnntly over my cheek or flicked under my nostril at 4:40 am almost every morning, I would oblige and feed her breakfast, even though it was not yet time to get up.  I made sure to have petsitters when we were away, feeding my cats and making sure Nala always got extra. Yet I would worry. And worry. And look at her constantly. And worry. It was always in the back of my mind. Is she too thin? Is she acting herself? Is she eating enough? Was that a hairball or was that puke a red flag for something else? And always, always, I feared the worst, it was so hard to trust faith and God, and know that she was okay.

260269_10150216330381170_3051438_n

I loved Nala so much. I can’t even express how much I loved her. And how much I miss her. So much that it hurts. I go through waves of sadness. Waves of tears. And then I remember something funny that she did. Some funny memory, or antic she used to pull, and I smile. Because I want to remember her that way, not at the end, sick, frail and…dying. I want to remember how much she enriched my life, how much she filled a gaping hole in my heart after my divorce, and how much joy she brought to my home.

Nala…the funniest cat that I truly believe was part dog at times. Loved to ‘fetch,’ loved to talk to us. Loved to be near us.

Nala…the most charismatic cat with a face that when you looked at her, you just gave in to whatever she wanted. Just so damn cute and quizzical.

Nala…the cat that would eat anything. And I mean anything. Eggs, chicken, crackers, Doritos (M even shared them with her), cheese, milk, sometimes yogurt, you name it, she would probably have eaten it.

Nala…who loved to ‘share’ my office chair, curling up behind me as I worked. She would sneak into my chair when I’d get up and I’d come back, and there she was.

Nala…the queen of staring contests. No really, she was a starer. And a face sniffer, face batter with her paws.

Nala…the cat that you could do anything to and she’d come running back. Play rough with her, toss a balled up piece of paper, off she’d scamper and run back with it. You could chase after her, she’d chase you back. Fearless.

To my Nala…my loyal companion of 10 years, I miss you so much and I am so very sorry you were suffering at the end, though I hope you heard me tell you how much I love you and how much of a good girl you were. I hope you could feel me with you, stroking your fur, and kissing you, telling you that it would be okay. And I hope you visit me often, in Kayla, in my dreams, and in my thoughts. Because you are always with me, always.

1231627_10151868508631170_571964269_n

5 things…holiday edition

Awhile ago, I saw some fun blogs (my sister’s included) about 5 things…things you don’t know about me, things I am good at, etc., and I thought I’d do a fun twist on that for the holidays and my awesomer than awesome (awesomer is a word, mmk?) 12 day vacation that is now upon me!! (weekends included. Off from today through Jan 2!!!)

So, without further ado…my twist on ‘5 things’ – 5 favorite holiday memories, 5 things I’ll be doing on my vacation and 5 of my all-time favorite holiday foods.

5 favorite holiday memories:

  1. Waking up in the middle of the night with my sisters to open our stockings from our mom. Seriously, we”d be STOKED and super excited to go to bed, just to hopefully wake up *before* morning to open our stockings together. I distinctly remember falling asleep, hearing my mom wrap gifts (because side-note: we didn’t ever believe in Santa, my mom didn’t want us to believe in it for a number of reasons, but one was the dissapointment when we learned he wasn’t real!), and practically jumping out of my skin excited. So, one of us would naturally wake up when she’d gently place the stockings at the foot of our bed, and we’d (likely) feign sleep for a bit and then wake up and open our stockings together (we shared a room)…and our stockings were legit, STOCKED with awesome stuff. Practically regular-sized gifts in there, not just the little things. Favorite item? The lifesaver ‘book’ that had every flavor in it (even butterscotch, which I’d save for last because I hated it, but would still eat them when all  the others were gone!).
  2. Christmas Eve at my Nonna’s house. This time of year, I miss her so very much…but Christmas Eve at her house was a feast. If you are Italian, you know exactly what I mean. EVERYONE would come over, cousins, aunts, uncles, friends, and it’d be a feast of seafood…stuffed clams and shrimp, and fried fish, and her famous homemade Sicilian pizza. And the obligatory Carlo & Rossi ‘jug’ of wine. She loved with food, and this was her time to shine. She’d watch the mass in Italy (given it was Christmas Day there, by the time the evening rolled around), and spend time with each of us, telling us stories of our childhood and being her loving self. ❤ Nonna, now, and forever.
  3. The year my dad decided to ‘go big or go home’ with our Christmas Tree and get one that was probably 10 feet tall. No joke. Our house, which we’d just moved into (ish?) that year, was a post and beam, which high, vaulted ceilings. And he wanted that tree to reach as high as it could. But try getting that sized tree home and into the house. Besides almost ripping the roof off the car with tying it to the top, it had to come in through our sliding glass doors, as it was far too big to get into the regular door. Oy vei, but man, that thing was colossal and beautiful.
  4. The first year I woke up alone, on Christmas Day. It was just a couple months after I was separated from my ex-husband. Waking up alone in my house, the house we shared…was tough, to say the least. But I remember waking up with somewhat of a sense of pride, because I did it. I was home, I was alone, but had so much to look forward to with my family. And it was probably the best Christmas season I’d had since getting married. No horrible in-laws, just me, my family and anything I wanted to do. It was a pivotal time for me.
  5. Waking up on Christmas morning…with M. This is a to-be-had memory for this Christmas 🙂 I honestly, cannot wait to wake up on Christmas morning, with him, in our first place together. It will be a wonderful feeling. ❤

5 of my all-time favorite holiday foods:

  1. Fruitcake. No, seriously. I used to love fruitcake. And if someone put it in front of me now, I might actually have a taste. But I bet it wouldn’t taste as good as childhood memories recall 😉
  2. Sugar cookies!! Seriously, the best. Add some frosting and a few sprinkles, divine with a cuppa coffee. Cue cookie party 2011 please!!
  3. Gingerbread houses. I suck at making these, but I am going to try and make one with M Friday, perhaps, or myself, if I dare attempt it alone 😉 They are fun and they are SO tasty too.
  4. Butternut squash. Okay, this is completely random and probably screams Thanksgiving more, but I cannot get enough butternut squash right now. I love love LOVE it. Honestly ate it as a snack the other day. Yumtastic.
  5. Polar eggnog seltzer water. Seriously, this stuff rocks. I actually don’t like eggnog, at all, but when I heard about this seltzer, I had to try it. And it is freaking awesome. If your stores sell them, please try it. For me?

5 things I will do on my vacation:

  1. Clean. And namely, my closets. Yes, seriously. When M cleared out his apartment at the end of October, he had more shit than I’ve ever seen before. I think even he was surprised by the mass of papers, junk and random stuff he’d accumulated in the year and a half he lived there! Needless to say, it’s all shoved in three of our closets and it just taunts me. I love a clean home, so our place is plenty clean, but just *knowing *what is lurking behind those doors drives me batty. This will make me happy.
  2. Run and barre n9ne to my heart’s content! This is a given, I know. 🙂
  3. Help my sister Jen PACK!!! They are moving from NH back home and I could not be more thrilled. To have my sister just 35minutes away (ish?!) vs. 1.25 hours means the world to me.  To be able to see each other more regularly and to spend more time with my niece puts the hugest grin on my face. It is truly a blessing and will be a wonderful start to 2012!
  4. Cookie party 2011! Okay, it sounds bigger than it is, but every year for the past few, I have helped my sister Jess bake tons of cookies for the various parties she hosts (they’ve got a big enough place to host a lot of our family gatherings and her in-laws and it’s become an awesome tradition), so Friday, we’ll bake and bake and bake (with our fabulous friend Steph, too!). AND EAT them too. Yep, I definitely plan on having a cookie or two for lunch. And maybe a glass of wine. Rebel, I know.
  5. Have fun, but don’t overschedule myself, either. M doesn’t get any time off for the holidays (and is on call on Christmas weekend, to boot!), so I will eke out whatever time I can with him when he is home, and spend the rest of my time seeing the friends I don’t get to see very often, my family, and honestly, spending some time by myself too. I don’t want this week off to whizz by, because I need it. Mentally.

So, there ya have it. My 5 things, holiday edition! What about you, what are you looking forward to? Share, share! Or better yet, write your own! 🙂

Conversations with my sisters.

As I’ve shared many times, my sisters and I are very close. As triplets, we’ve grown up together, doing everything together, and as we’ve gotten older, we’ve just gotten closer than ever before. Quite simply, we’re best friends.

As such, we have a zillion funny stories that only we ‘get’ and that we can quite possibly erupt into laughter over, half-laugh/half-talking and anyone that hasn’t experienced this eruption just stares, while those that have, just shake their heads and laugh knowingly that it’s ‘that’ kind of moment.

So, while sitting together over dinner with my sisters and my mom tonight (and my beautiful niece!), we had a few of those such conversations, thus spawning this post idea. Here are some of our random conversations…see if you can follow along (and insert random, riotous laughter throughout, with some guffawing and snorting for good measure).

Me: I love goat cheese, it’s sooo good. Have you had it, Jen?

Jen: *funny look on her face* you know, I don’t really like it.

Me: *puzzled look* (given we pretty much like all the same foods). Why?! It’s so good though!

Jen: *giggling* it sort of tastes like udder!

Me: *snort, giggling, guffawing* Udder?! WTF does udder TASTE like?! How would you know?

Jen: *similar snorting and guffawing* I dunno, it’s from a GOAT, I figure it would taste like the udder of a goat!

Cue continuous laughter to the point of tears. To this day, I just have to look at Jen and say “udder” and she starts cracking up in hysterics.

~~

Just this evening, Jen had an interesting observation as we were eating Jess’ homemade chicken soup (YUM, btw):

Jess: Ohh hot! Soup is hot! Don’t you hate that? When the soup is so hot, it like, burns all the way down your throat.

Me: *giggling* Ha-ha, yea, and then you drink a bunch of water trying to ‘cold’ the hot scalding soup shooting down your esophogaus!

Jen: *giggling some more* Ha-ha-ha. But what ever make humans decide it’s okay to pour scalding fluid down your throat, yet when you pick something up hot with your hands, you immediately put it down and say ‘oh hot!’ Like coffee. You pick it up with a cardboard holder but then proceed to pour said hot liquid down your throat.”

Cue giggling and guffawing and lots of impressions of drinking hot liquids and it scalding your throat. Yes, we are 12 at heart.

~~

ANY childhood ‘war stories’ that we opt to discuss at any given moment.

Such as the time Jess threw a jar of peanut butter at Jen’s head and Jen ducked and the window behind her shattered.

Who’s fault do you think that was? (ask either of them and they point at the other, of course)

Such as the time I was arguing with Jen and she went to kick me, which I blocked with my hand. She then broke my pinky bone with said kick.

Who’s fault do you think that was? (ask either of us and we point at the other, sheepishly)

The list goes on and on…and yeah ,these incidents? High school or later 😉

~~

We had a great evening tonight, and it was just fun to spend some time together, talking, playing with an ever-sprouting Isabel and having dinner. Simply perfect way to spend an evening, complete with tea and chocolate chip cookies.

Even more perfect? My decision to head to M’s tonight spur of the moment…just so be able to sleep next to him, even though I saw him last night/this morning. Perfection.