Showing posts with label Family. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Family. Show all posts

Monday, June 30, 2014

Challenge Create and a Very Sick Cat

Skirt Fixation
Audrey and the girls over at Skirt Fixation have created a fun challenge for sewing bloggers: Challenge Create: Fabric Swap Edition. The premise is that participants send each other fabric that fits a theme, and we can use the fabric we receive to create anything we want -- clothes, home decor, quilt -- anything. We sent/received two yards total, and I cannot wait to show you what I've created from the beautiful fabric I received from Amy and Tasha. My post goes live tomorrow. 


We arrived home from vacation last week, and a day later VBS began for the boys at their grandparents' church. It was nighttime VBS, so they didn't get to bed until 9:30 five nights in a row (1.5 hours later than their regular summer bedtime). Our routine was severely out of whack, which is why it took us several days to realize our 14-year-old cat, Mozart, was very sick. (Our cats hide while the kids are awake. Really, who can blame them?)

He didn't eat anything for at least three days. (I suspect it was closer to four or five in hindsight.) Friday night I stayed up with him and held him. Neither of us slept, and although he didn't seem to be in any pain, he struggled to even hold his head up. It was pitiful. Saturday afternoon he couldn't even stand. He lay under the bed, completely still. Our other cat lay beside him the whole time; she didn't eat either. 

We all said our goodbyes. I was a MESS. 

I don't consider myself an animal person. A pet is a pet. A human is a human. I don't treat our cats like people, and while we feed them, clean them, and give them attention, the truth is there is a pecking order in our family and they are not at the top. Dressing pets in clothing confounds me. (LeeAnn is rolling her eyes.)

So imagine my surprise when this all started and I sobbed for two days straight. My heart was broken. As much as I gripe about the puking (which he loves to do immediately after I mop), sweeping up their messes, and cleaning cat hair from every available surface -- the truth is he's been with me for 14 years and I couldn't look at any spot in the house without imagining him there. He sits by me every single night, and if I'm sewing, he's in there with me. I couldn't bring myself to even go in the sewing room. If I'm blogging, he's lying across my lap, so typing on the computer was out of the question. (Which created a challenge for the deadline for the first part of this post, as you can imagine.)

14 years ago I was in a new city in a new career far from my family. Ryan was a poor graduate student in another city, and when a friend told him his wife was allergic to her new cat, Ryan offered to take the tabby home as my Christmas gift. One weekend when I arrived at his apartment in the wee hours of the morning to visit (my schedule was GRODY), I sneaked into Ryan's room to wake him. Suddenly a huge rat skittered across the floor! I screamed, and Ryan said, "Merry Christmas!" 

I certainly wasn't a cat person. My apartment complex (nor his) allowed pets without a deposit we couldn't afford. Mozart was a MEAN kitten. I was not thrilled. 

But Mo kept me company. He kept my secrets and listened to my dreams. He cuddled with me when I was lonely, homesick, or overwhelmed. He didn't mind that I stunk from smoking or stumbled in at all hours of the night. He knocked over my Christmas tree the first year I celebrated the holiday without my family. He rode shotgun with me every time I went home to Memphis to visit. (It gave the drive-thru workers a thrill to see a cat hanging his head out the window, meowing loudly at anyone who'd listen.) He stalked me, and slid down my legs when I'd get out of the shower. (He almost didn't survive that feat.) Ryan and I got married and added another cat to the mix. Mo reluctantly adjusted to that and our adding kids to the mix, too. He attacked me while I was breastfeeding Lee, and after a visit to the vet where I was instructed to "assert my dominance," we had a mutual understanding. We've gotten along swimmingly since.

He's moved six times in 14 years. He's a tough cat.

Late Saturday night I brought food to him again and begged him to eat. He stood up, wobbled over the bowl, and ate three bites. Later when I checked on him he did it again. Then he emptied the bowl. (Our youngest cat still didn't eat to allow him to fill up. If you've seen her -- all 25 pounds of her -- you know that in itself is a miracle.) He's very, very slowly working his way back. He's alert again and moving more easily. The vet recommended watching and waiting -- taking him in could set him back again. 

So we wait. And watch. And hope and pray for just a little more time. And really, I'm also praying for a second chance to show him that even though I'll never put him in a tutu or call him my "baby," he's a pretty important part of our family and I'm glad he's here. Puke and shedding hair and bad breath and all.

Friday, May 23, 2014

This Moment {May 23, 2014}

If you're blessed to see this lovely woman today, please tell her "Happy Birthday" and give her a hug from us.

The world is a better place with you in it, Mom.

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Sister's Mod Top

Here's my sister! And her fiance! She's wearing the shirt I made for her, and seeing how great it looks make me want to do another for the Spring Top Sewalong. It also makes me want to hug her neck -- which I get to do this weekend!

In other news, I didn't finish anything for Kids Clothes Week. I'll finish their Easter ensembles this week and take photos this weekend. (I've been showing sneak peeks of Eliza's shirt on Instagram.)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Day in the Life {January 28, 2013}

I enjoyed the "Day of Twelve" idea, so I thought we'd give it another shot on a random Monday. This time I took pictures (via Instagram, my new boyfriend) each hour on the hour between 6:00am and 9:00pm. It was exactly what we were doing at that moment. Wouldn't it be neat to do this each month -- making our way through each day in the week -- to capture this season of life? Instagram makes it easy enough. Maybe I can remember to do it.

So here you go. A day in our life -- Monday, January 28, 2013.

Friday, November 30, 2012

This Moment {November 30, 2012}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.
via SouleMama

Friday, November 2, 2012

This Moment {November 2, 2012}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.
via SouleMama

Saturday, October 6, 2012

With All My Love

My grandfather died this week. He was a great man. A big man. Physically he was big, but his personality dwarfed his body. When he was in a room, it literally vibrated with his presence. He boomed.

My PaPa loved reading our old blog, Littlest Hayes. It was a family blog -- a place I told funny stories about the kids and railed about how hard this motherhood gig could be. Pretty often he'd send me an email right after he read a post. He would share his reaction and maybe a story from his own childhood.

PaPa called me a "modern-day Erma Bombeck," which thrilled me. He was like that. When he complimented someone, he made it a compliment worth remembering.

Before I made the decision to move away from Littlest Hayes earlier this year, I emailed him. He was about to have a procedure to treat the liver cancer he'd been battling for a while. Here's what I wrote:

Hey PaPa!
I'm hoping you can help with a New Year's project. I'd like to write a post or two (or three) for the blog on the Martini heritage and history. I know you agree it's important for the kids to know about their Italian roots. I've gotten a list of questions together I was hoping you could answer. I thought it'd be easier this way so you can take your time and type them out as you feel like it.

I listed a dozen or so questions about his parents and their immigration to the U.S. He answered back a short time later. Some of the details I'd known, and some information was new. He didn't write a lot. He didn't feel well.

Soon I will type the answers, and maybe I'll share them here. At the risk of sounding like a speaker at a recent political convention, my great-grandparents immigrated to this country with nothing. My grandfather was a successful entrepreneur, and I was the first in my family to graduate from college. It's a real American Dream Story.

Right now, though, the only part I can see in that response email are the last lines he typed:

Some day we'll go into the details further. This would make a great book, and so typical of millions of foreign immigrants. As you know, I am VERY proud of my Heritage and the unbelievable sacrifices and hardships endured by my past family!

With all my Love,

with Lee, October 2007

with Daniel, July 2009

with Eliza, December 2011

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

And Then Her Dreams Came True

Nearly eight years ago Ryan and I lived in separate cities.  I was living in Elizabethton, TN, while finishing up grad school at ETSU.  Ryan had accepted a job and moved to Paducah, KY.  We'd been married for just over two years and had already lived apart once before.  It wasn't easy.  Writing my thesis, taking classes, and teaching classes overwhelmed me.  Ryan's job was stressful.  Living separate lives wasn't ideal.

During one of my sad moments, I wrote Ryan a letter.  It was about my dream for us.  

Here it is, word for word.  (I kept it in the same folder with my diploma.)

When I get sad, I picture us in 10 years.  I can see us sitting on a huge back deck.  We're rocking back and forth, holding hands.  My legs are curled up in my rocking chair and a quilt is thrown over my lap.  You've got a map in your hands, planning out our weekend hike.  Mozart and Millie are sitting behind us, wishing the eight-foot window didn't separate them from the outside world.  The kids are asleep, and we're whispering over our hot chocolate so that we don't wake them.  At that moment, we both stop talking and look up, just like we do every evening at this time.  We look up just in time to see that last bit of orange slip below the mountains.  Now they're starting to turn blue and purple.  Even though we've been sitting there over an hour, we wait until the first stars appear.  Then we go inside, hand in hand.

You think it'll happen?  I pray it does.  I can think of no other dream that would make me happier.  When I picture paradise, that's it.  Of course, we'd have to move closer to Asheville so we could actually see the sunset over the mountains.

Ten years ago we had no idea what the future held beyond when we vowed to cherish each other for life.

This morning as I carried Eliza and held the boys' hands, I had no idea what the future held beyond the moment we carefully picked our way through a mountain stream.

I couldn't have planned this.  Couldn't have willed it to happen.

In fact, my plans would have kept the dream from coming true.

Praise God for healthy kids and neurotic cats.  Praise God for mountains.

Praise God for bringing me a man who inspires, lives, thinks, works, prays, listens, loves, and forgives.

Praise God for dreams come true.

Happy Anniversary, Love.  Words can't capture my devotion, but I'll spend the rest of my life dreaming beside you and with you.
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