Saturday, August 20, 2011

An update

It's been a while since I have posted. And, I thought I would give a very brief update on my life. So here we go...

1. I am back in full run training now. My Christi run is scheduled for September 25th. (I am raising money for one of my favorite organizations. Ever: Kids Cancer Crusade. Any donations would be greatly appreciated! This is the only race in NYC that fit into my schedule for the fall. It's meant to be a marathon training for NYC marathon runners and is 18 miles long. I will NOT be running that distance. I'm aiming for 7-8 miles and will be using it as a good gauge for the half-marathon I am going to be running in Disneyland in January with some amazing friends of mine. I can't begin to tell you how excited I am for this Disneyland run. Seeing my friends is the highlight, though I have to admit that the prospect of running in a pink and yellow tutu is also up there on the list of reasons this is going to be one amazing adventure.

2. Did I tell you my family got a dog? His name is Charlie and he is a riot. Training is....going. Being a Nunez family dog, he understands Spanish (quite possibly more than English). He mostly understands "sientate" (sit). We're trying to work on "salta" (jump) but it's a slow process. He loves sardines which I fully appreciate. He also loves tortilla chips and, for some reason, when he sees me eating them, he automatically assumes he can jump up and grab it from my hand. It's funny...except for that one time he managed to get into a bag (LITERALLY) and eat a ton. My snack was gone before I could even enjoy it.

3. As you may know from previous posts, I went on 30-day sugar free challenge. It was a really great experience. So much so that I am adopting it into my lifestyle permanently. This does NOT mean I won't be eating sweets. It just means that they will be naturally sweetened and processed sugar will be enjoyed sparingly, if at all. I am making a few other health changes these days which I will go into on another day.

4. I am looking forward to the fall. Really, really, really looking forward to the fall. I do not like the summer. It's too hot and way too humid and in NYC, that just means it is really gross. Fall is my favorite season. (October possibly being my favorite month). I love the crisp air and the way the leaves change color. I love the sound of the leaves crunching under my feet when I run and walk. In my opinion, there is no better time to run outside than in the fall. I am counting down the days to running outside with no heat or really disgusting humidity. I am already looking forward to buying crisp apples and delicious (sugar-free) apple cider at the farmer's market near my work. Fall also means I get to wear sweatshirts and go apple-picking and eat sweet potatoes or my favorite black bean and avocado soup. Fall also means I can enjoy my favorite bedtime tea and I can bake without feeling like my kitchen is the oven. This list could go on, but I will stop now.

5. I have started watching the show Bones thanks to my amazing friend, C. who sent me seasons 1-3 for my birthday. I was resistant to watching it at first, I'll be honest, but boy did I get hooked! (I apparently really love crime shows.)

I hope you're all doing well. More soon!


Monday, August 1, 2011

Happy Birthday, Manny

Today is Manny’s birthday. He would have been 31.

I love birthdays. If you know me, you know this: I absolutely love birthdays. (Especially when it’s my own!), but I think birthdays, in general, are pretty awesome. Sixteen years ago I realized just how very precious they are. You’re never promised a new day, yet alone a whole new year. When a birthday rolls around, you have to honor it. You have to celebrate your day and all of the hope that your new year offers. If not for yourself, than at the very least for all of those souls (& their loved ones) who wish they could blow out their own candles just one more time. Birthdays are a blessing, a gift that the Universe bestows on only some. They deserve to be cherished and filled with as much love, chocolate laughter, silliness, gratitude, and life we can muster.

I woke up today thinking about Manny. And about birthdays. I remembered just how much I love celebrating Manny’s birthday with him. I loved baking his cake— chocolate with vanilla frosting…and as many sprinkles as the cake could hold. I loved selecting his birthday card (A task I always take seriously. The card is my favorite part of any gift. A great card says as much of love and thanks and friendship as you can put into words. Selecting the right card is essential. Finding the right words even more so. ) I loved spending the day with Manny. I loved celebrating him, and seeing him smile, and hearing him laugh. It’s been a very long time since I have been able to do any of this; I remembered it all today. Not in a sad way that makes me think of what I have lost, but in that gentle way that makes me smile and realize the great gift I had in my life for 11 years: Manny.

I spent some time thinking of ways I could appropriately honor him. I may have even sent up a little prayer asking him what he thought would suffice. Manny answered. Of this I am completely sure because out of nowhere, I heard his voice: Just have fun! Do what makes you happy. Spend time with people you love. Just like that, my big brother sent me his birthday message.

His birthday now, is not only a day on which I can remember him and our many moments together, but a day on which I can honor Life and chose to live it. Completely. And I did. I ran really great Christi run. I read an amazing book that I simply can’t put down (April 1865). I shared cookies I’d baked with friends (peanut butter and chocolate—yum!). I asked Ylaria to give him a big hug for me. I laughed a lot and hugged friends too. I noticed the sky. I called abuela just to say “Hi” and “I love you.” I went out to dinner with my sisters. We didn’t talk about it really, but we all knew why we’d made a special effort to be together tonight. And, on the way home, we played Bon Jovi and sang “Livin on a Prayer” at the top of our lungs. Manny was there for all of it.

Happy Birthday, Manny. We love you.