A Letter to Crystal Veytia

2/22/2012 09:13:00 PM 1 Comment »
My Crystal. I can’t help but think about a million laughs we shared and our talks about life and love and the many shots that we threw back in our countless adventures together. I always said that your impetuous nature partnered well with my restless spirit. I don’t know that my husband would always agree. And I know that our bosses didn’t always agree. When I threw out an idea for adventure, you never told me that it was crazy, or that you didn’t think it would be a good idea or talk me out of it. You didn’t even start planning with me to make it happen. You just encouraged me to do it…And you were ready to join me, no questions asked. 
We sat in the back of my van watching movies at the drive in and cars would slowly move away from us leaving an empty circle around us because of our laughter, or rather, your uproarious laugh. We danced together-I remember one of my favorite times when you held my hands and spun me around the dance floor. You sang-poorly-along with the radio on our road trips. We talked about everything. You called my kids maggots, lovingly, of course. And you laid on my couch after having just a bit too much wine. You were the constant in my family of choice. A few years ago, I joked that if I wasn’t married, and if I was a lesbian, and you were a lesbian, and if same-sex marriage was legal, I would totally ask you to be my wife. Your response was: “Laura, I am incredibly flattered (insert tear(s)). I would be the best wife to you.” You had my devotion. 
When you decided to chase your dreams for a new adventure, I drove you to the airport—twice. I wanted you to live your dreams and have this adventure. I was so damn proud of you and assured you that I would live vicariously through you. Don’t get me wrong, you knew that I was going to miss you, but that was secondary to my desire for you to live awesomely. And you assured me and the girls that you weren’t leaving us. You told us to just think of you as “out getting cigarettes.” 
You’re no longer just out getting cigarettes, and that is just so hard for me to comprehend. Your death has cast me adrift from the woman that I was when I was with you. Hearing the news, I wanted to break down the doors of heaven and snatch you back to run off with me on another adventure. I wanted to invent reasons that would explain your absence from my life-other than the truth. I wanted to, as WH Auden wrote, “Stop all the clocks, [and] cut off the telephone.” I wanted to just stop. But that’s not what you were about. You were all about life. I am trying to figure out how to keep you alive in my adventures. Because if there is one important thing that you taught me, it’s that I need to experience life and be surrounded be people whom I love. And I need to laugh-loudly. 
I’m grieving because you are physically absent from my life. I’ve never known someone so full of life and laughter and vitality. You challenged me to be the kind of person to experience everything that life has to offer. To revel in the adventure and delight in the oddities. I’m just so lost and confused at the idea of living a life without you in it. You take up such a huge place in my heart that it’s hard to imagine you not being there to take up that huge place in my life. 
For you, every once in a while, I will call my kids “maggots” and laugh, I will say “bye soup” to the rabbit when I leave for work, and I will hold our friends close and tell them that I love them. I will ditch work-sorry boss-when an adventure presents itself. I will do my best to, as you instructed, keep your aunt young. I won’t wear “plastic” pants. I will wear red lipstick and low-cut dresses and see through tops. I will sing off key at the top of my lungs. I will make videos of our friends and I doing silly things. I will hike to the top of Cowles Mountain and hear you cursing at me the whole way. I will go to Vegas and feel the velvet. I will not read the instructions every once in a while and just see what happens. I will eat salami at the drive in. I will stay at the bar until closing time and drink one-or more-for you. And I will love you. So much. 
You are my best friend. That won’t change. 
In the words of Tink, who was the companion to someone who also refused to grow up: 
“You know that place between sleep and awake? That place where you still remember dreaming? That’s where I’ll always love you…That’s where I’ll be waiting.”


7/17/2011 02:29:00 PM 0 Comments »
I fell off the wagon: the weight loss wagon. And since I am so heavy, the fall made a loud noise when I hit the ground.

I need to do this. I was on a real roll before. I had lost almost 40 pounds. And then I hurt my ankle playing on the trapeze. And I lost my mojo.

Can someone please tell me where my mojo is? I ask, while I sit here, sipping coffee and eating a chocolate and peanut butter treat.

Before, I was working every day and I had a structure. Right now, the boys are out of school, I am working a few hours twice a week, and really playing a lot. The playing isn't healthy playing; it is pretty unhealthy playing. So I need to set up a structure. I need a foundation. I work well with structure.

Maybe when the boys go back to school Wednesday, I will get that structure back. I hope.


Day 87

6/15/2010 08:12:00 PM 1 Comment »

So I didn't want this blog to turn into a weight loss blog. But it seems like I really talk about this a lot lately. On March 21st, I participated in a rock climbing fundraiser for DS Action. My oldest son was celebrating his 16th birthday and decided to spend it with his friends climbing walls at this fundraiser that my friend was helping out with. It really was a great day. So I was determined to climb the wall, too! I did it...Not gracefully by any means, but I did it.

In doing so, I realized just how much weight I was lugging around, and I realized it was time to make a change. So the next day, I got on the treadmill. That was the first step. I began by walking, and eventually, I started jogging. Now, every day, I start by jogging 2 miles right when I roll out of bed in the morning. Then, about three times a week, I jog an extra 2-3 miles in the evening.

In the beginning, for the first couple of weeks, I didn't change my diet; I wrote everything that I ate down. I calculated just how many calories I was eating per day. I really didn't think that I ate too much. However, after writing it all down, I realized that I was averaging about 2100 calories a day: way too many! So I cut my calories to about 1300-1400 per day. Most of the time it isn't that big of a deal, but I do have my days. I miss night time ice cream :)

Since I began, I have lost 25 pounds. I am not satisfied with how long it is taking to come off. I feel like it should come off quicker. I hit a plateau at 15 pounds and now I've hit another at 25. It really is very frustrating. I know that it will take time, but I would like to see it coming off. I would like to see results.

So there are the up-to-date before and after pics...There will be more after pics to come. I plan on losing another 55 pounds. It's going to happen.

Now...off to jog on the treadmill for a bit :)

Peace Out,

Just trying to figure it all out...

6/01/2010 09:54:00 AM 1 Comment »
For the last few weeks, I feel like I am in the middle of a transition. I don't really know what I am transitioning from or what is going to happen on the other side of this transition. I have taken a step back to really evaluate myself and to evaluate my relationships. I am trying to figure out what I am bringing to these relationships that I have.

To be honest, I think that I am a pretty good person. Do I eff up? Of course. But really, I think that I am a damn good friend and a good mom and a loving wife. Familial relationships are a bit more difficult. Am I a good sister? Probably not. A good daughter? I don't know. I know that I hold on to hurts longer than I should. I know that those hurts morph and develop into other emotions and grudges that I have a hard time letting go of. I also expect a lot of my family. I have an idea what family is supposed to do and be, and that doesn't always happen for me. I know that I have a hand in that, and I am trying to figure out what it is that I can do to make it better.

Yesterday was a hard day for me. It was the anniversary of a day of pain that I am just not ready to let out into the universe. My family knows about it. My best friend was there. So was my sister. But none of them contacted me yesterday to ask if I was okay. I haven't talked to my sister in a couple of weeks, so I shouldn't really expect her to contact me, I suppose. I'm trying to be okay with them not remembering or not caring to remember. Pretending this didn't happen doesn't mean it really didn't happen. It did. And it hurts like hell.

I am trying to find peace. I don't even know what that means to me. I am trying to figure out the meaning of peace and apply it to my life. I know a big part of that peace comes with release and forgiveness. And that is what I have a really hard time with. I think a part of me feels like I should be punished. So I hold onto that pain as a way to admonish myself for what I have done. I also really have a hard time with forgiveness. I can barely forgive myself, so how can I forgive someone else? It's especially hard when the other person doesn't ask for forgiveness...when he/she doesn't think that he/she has done anything wrong. Forgiveness. I say that word a lot...rolling it around in my mouth, trying to play with the syllables, deciphering its meaning...It feels so elusive to me, like I just can't hold onto it.

So for the last couple of weeks, I've let go of some relationships, taken a step back from others, and moved closer in some. I'm okay. It has definitely resulted in less anger, less noise. Even if I haven't figured out how to feel peace yet, it is definitely peaceful.

I have to reconnect with my family, right? Right now, I don't really want to. And that sounds mean. But maybe I can find a way to incorporate them into my life without losing myself in the process. It's not all about me. But I need to be a little selfish. I have a husband and little people who depend on me, and they don't really need me filled with suppressed (whatever) all the time. And no, it's not all their fault either. But maybe the combination is toxic. Maybe what I bring to it combined with what they bring to it just isn't working anymore. And if I'm the only one talking about it and the only one acknowledging it, there's a problem.

Seriously, all I want is peace. If someone knows where it is, let me know so I can get there.

Peace Out,

Lawyers in Training

4/07/2010 09:03:00 PM 1 Comment »
I'm not sure what it is about the job that I detest. Maybe it's the lack of intellectual stimulation. Don't get me wrong, there are many students there who are quite intelligent-you can carry on conversations that will get you thinking...However, many of them don't think that I'm smart enough to bother...

That may be harsh, too...I am not interested in learning about the law like they are. I thought for a minute that I was, but that may have just been because I wanted to prove to them that I could do it. However, I still believe that I can, and will, change the world some day. I think that if I became a lawyer, or went through the training, I would lose that.

It's like they forget compassion. In all of their training on civil procedure and criminal law and contracts, why don't they insert some compassion training in there? I hear the r-word on a daily basis. I hear them talking about each other, competing with one another...I want to have faith that these future lawyers, judges, politicians, and teachers have what it takes to protect my sons' futures.

It is disconcerting to say the least.

Peace Out,

My Riley

4/05/2010 09:54:00 PM 0 Comments »
After being diagnosed with Mono, Riley was lying on the couch, sleepy. I asked him:

So, do you know what they call Mono, Riley?

He said no. I responded:

They call it the kissing disease!
*While wearing a big my-son-is-not-that-kind-of-boy grin*

He said, "But I haven't kissed anyone this week!"


Peace Out,

What the hell am I doing here???

2/15/2010 04:57:00 PM 0 Comments »
Well. I am about to be the mother of a 16 y/o. He will be old enough to drive next month. I really don't know how time goes by so quickly.

It is so easy to recall times that I held him in my arms as an infant. It's so easy to remember sleepless nights and watching him learn to walk and hearing his first words.

And it's crazy to me that the worries get bigger. They grow into worries about school and friendships...

Then worrying about relationships with girls...Will he get a girl pregnant? Will he protect himself from diseases? Will she break his heart? Will he conduct himself with dignity?

And school...Will he get good grades? Will he be able to go to college? Can I get him to stop ditching?

I can't even fathom him driving. I'm worried about so many things already.

Being a mom is hard. :(

Peace Out,