Monday, July 16, 2018

Almost Two Weeks Done!

On Wednesday, Camden and I will have been working on our Amerithon Challenge for two full weeks. So far we have hit two milestones and are about halfway to our third. We are having a lot of fun and staying motivated! We have made it 162 miles so far.
Camden and I like watching the fly over videos that show us the virtual journey that we are taking. He also likes reading about the landmarks that we hit along the way. He is really looking forward to earning the first piece of our medal but that is still quite a few miles away. Last week's heat slowed us down a bit so we are hoping the cooler weather this week will motivate us to pack in some more miles!
If you are interested in giving the challenge a try, I'd highly recommend it. The facebook group is really inspirational, and it is fun to read about people finishing their Amerithons that they started in 2016 and 2017.
I can't wait to see how far we go by the end of the summer!
My Shirt
Camden's Shirt


Shirt Backs


Thursday, July 5, 2018

AMERITHON!

July 4th my middle son Camden and I embarked on a super cool journey together-we started the 2018 Amerithon Challenge. I came across the facebook page for Run the Edge and started reading about their challenges. Camden is a super active kid and I am someone who needs a little extra motivation! I thought that this would be a fun thing for the two of us to do together. I registered us for the challenge and got our individual accounts up and running last night. We are using walking, running (Camden not me!), swimming, and biking miles to complete the challenge. In all we will need to get 3,521 miles together which equals the total distance from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Washington Monument. Our team name is Pizza Party! If I have any friends that want to follow along on the journey, I will be blogging about it here and you can follow us if you are also doing the Amerithon Challenge. We ordered one basic kit and one kit that comes with the cool swag to help us track our journey. Out next milestone is 25 miles which we hope to hit today! We didn't order an Amerithon shirt as they don't have kid sizes and I figured I could just make us some on our own. I anticipate that this will be fun and challenging...and motivating! Wish us luck!

Monday, January 1, 2018

Farewell 2017

I have enjoyed watching and reading many people's reflections of the past year. I figured I would do some writing and reflecting of my own. I realized that 2017 was a pretty awesome year for me which made writing this post that much harder!
Without further ado, here's...

Cassi's 2017 Top 10 List:

Number 10
I got to go see Book of Mormon is Sioux Falls.
I laughed a lot, and I am glad I went. It was the first time that I saw a professional musical in a very long time and it did not disappoint. I am including is this taking my boys to see the high school production of The Little Mermaid because it was also a musical and it was equally spectacular! Cyver just loved everything about it! Camden got to see it for a second time which he didn't seem to mind at all.
Number 9
Delight Donut opened in Yankton.
I got to eat my very first maple bacon donut and it was heavenly. I see many of these lovely treats in my future. We have enjoyed many stops at Delight for a morning treat before school or before church. Cohan loves the cheese bagel. Camden loves chocolate glazed. Cyver is all about the yummy bite-sized donut holes. 
Number 8
Cyver discoved his love for LuLaRoe.
His spunky personality fits with his funky leggings styling. My favorite part was trying to get him to call them pants so Matt wouldn't be so against them and Cyver sternly correcting me (or anyone else for that matter) by telling me that they were NOT pants; they were leggings! The kid never ceases to make us laugh.
Number 7
Matt and I took a little trip to Omaha to just get away.
We went to two different movies in this very cool theater that served supper. The food was amazing and the experience was completely new. We ended up going twice just because the first time was so cool. When we weren't hanging out in a dark theater, we shopped a bit. We bought some new games and just hung out playing games and reconnecting without kiddos. This trip was also shortly after Matt changed jobs which was kind of a scary move when he had been at Avera for so long. It was a very positive move as he has been much less stressed, and he has been home more.
Number 6
Seeing the Lumineers in concert in Sioux City.
It was one of the best concerts that I have ever been to. The instrumentals in their songs are the parts that draw me in and getting to hear them live was AMAZING! It was a great way to spend an evening with Matt. My favorite part was when they unplugged and went mic free for a few songs at the edge of the stage. It was very cool.
Number 5
Traveling to St. Louis in November for the NCTE/ALAN convention. It was a reader's dream come true! I got many amazing ideas for my classroom, and I got to meet SO many amazing authors! I stood in a lot of lines, shipped three full boxes of books home, and met some coold teachers from all across the US. I also got to go and see the St. Louis Arch which was a fun thing to experience with a teacher that I met from Montana. The food was pretty amazing and I discovered a yummy root beer that I won't soon forget (If you visit St. Louis, be sure to check out Fitz's root beer)!
Number 4
Buying a new van and traveling to Minneapolis with Camden for his first Midwest Regional Swim Meet.
He worked hard to get his qualifying times! We enjoyed staying in a hotel that we originally couldn't find because Google Maps took us to the back side of the hotel. Camden fell in love with traveling by air rail-something tells me this kid is going to grow up to be a city kid! We spent hours walking around them Mall of America and even took some time to stop and get a foot massage together. It was fun to just have some one-on-one time with him.
Number 3
Cohan joining Oral Interp.
This definitely breaks the top three! I always knew that dramatics would be his thing, and I was not disappointed. I enjoyed working with him, helping him with an intro, listening to him practice, and watching him improve. It was pretty awesome to watch him earn first place in his very first oral interp contest. I was one proud mom!
Number 2
Family vacation in May.
We traveled to Spook Cave in eastern Iowa. The drive out was long and construction filled but the drive back was scenic and peaceful. The cabin we stayed in was just right. The little lake that was close to our cabin had a kayak which made most of us fall in love with the peaceful activity. We also enjoyed things like mining, exploring a cave, playing on playgrounds, catching tadpoles, making smores, catching a toad, and perhaps best of all, driving a golf cart. We let Cohan drive around the campground and all I can say is, when it comes to teaching the kid how to drive, we'll have our hands full! We even ended up venturing over to Wisconsin where we had ice cream for lunch so the kids could check it off their list. The hotel we stayed in actually had 2 sets of bunk beds but was otherwise downright comical. The fact that I also got to take my dad with us on this family vacation was pretty awesome..which leads me to number 1 on my top 10 list...
Number 1
My dad come to visit for two months.
Getting to see him, vacation with him, and just watch him play with the boys was so much fun. We had a fun little trip up to Minneapolis to pick him up. We even took the boys to their first ever coin show in St. Paul. They loved looking at all the cool coins and were always thrilled when one of the guys would hand them a coin or two for free. Dad said that they don't see too many kids at coin shows so they are happy to get them interested when they are around. The boys spent plenty of time going through coin rolls with grandpa and finding some pretty sweet coins. They can't wait for him to come back and visit again.

This list was a lot harder than I thought it would be! I could have easily made a top 20 list for all the things that I had to leave out. I cannot wait to see all the 2018 has in store for my little family! Wishing you the very best in 2018!

Monday, August 14, 2017

CRASH!

According to my records, I have been writing for my little blog here for a little over five years and in that time I have blogged about a lot of biking. Until just over a month ago, I had not crashed my bike. In fact, I had not crashed my bike since I was a kid. It has been so long that I literally cannot remember the last time I accumulated even so much as a bit of road rash. I have had some close encounters (with darkness and a downed tree) but nothing that resulted in injury...until Friday June 30th at 6:15 am.
Thursday night we had a little storm move through giving us a bit of much-needed moisture. I spent the evening running through my rummage sale prep list and going over all the things that I had left to do before our 4 pm rummage sale. I knew I still had a number of things left to do, but I also knew that the kids only had one activity each from 8 to 9 am. Piece of cake! My dad asked about a morning bike ride before heading to bed and I told him that I was up for it.
Fast forward to Friday morning at 5:30 am. I got up after my alarm went off, checked my phone, drank some water and filled my water bottle in preparation for the bike ride. My dad got up shortly after and we were on the road by 6 am. We were taking our new normal route thanks to all the road construction and everything was fine until we went under Broadway. As we followed the trail under Broadway I noticed a lot of mud on the trail. I tried to slow my speed a bit while still maintain enough momentum to get up the hill on the other side of the bridge but there was too much mud. As I turned my bike to go up the hill, my bike slid right out from under me. I don't know exactly how to explain how I fell other than to say I was headed for the ground because my bike was no longer under me. The first part of me that I felt hit the pavement was my chin. It hit HARD! I still remember as the pain shot upward through my jaw I kept thinking, "I hope I didn't just break my jaw!" I think my knee and upper lip made contact about the same time because I noticed those pains at the same time. The last part of my crash that I remember before coming to a complete stop is the front of my bike helmet scraping the sidewalk.
My dad heard the crash, stopped, looked back and asked me if I was okay. I didn't respond the first time he asked because I was trying to figure out the answer. My eyes darted around as I lay splayed on the trail. I assessed where I felt pain and noticed blood dripping onto the sidewalk from my mouth. My dad asked again if I was okay since I hadn't responded and wasn't moving. I told him that I thought I was okay except that my mouth was bleeding. He asked if I knocked my teeth out as I lifted myself up off the sidewalk. I had not thought about my teeth so my tongue explored my mouth and discovered that there was something missing. In the same instant I looked at the sidewalk and did not see any teeth/tooth fragments. I felt around inside my mouth but still nothing. I told my dad that I thought my teeth were in my lip. He gave me his handkerchief and asked if he should call someone. I was still trying to assess my injuries. I noticed some road rash on my knee and could tell that my mouth was bleeding pretty good but I was calm and felt like I could bike home as long as my bike was functional.
My bike had slid up against the embankment that borders the hill of the trail. Upon picking up my bike I didn't notice any damage. My basket was no longer attached. It actually slid across the trail in the opposite direction but not one thing spilled out of it (a few weeks later, an inspection of my bike revealed that my basket actually sustained the brunt of the crash-it was dented in four places). My dad helped me wrench the basket holder back into place and reattach the basket. I looked the bike over again and it seemed fine other than some mud. I wiped away the blood on my chin and got on my bike to go home. My dad said it would probably be easier and quicker to get back on the road and off the trail, but I have to admit-I had no idea what I looked like battered up after the crash and was happy to avoid people as much as possible. We did eventually get off the trail on the way home to avoid some hills that I was not in the mood for.
Dad went in the house first with me trailing slowly behind. He told Matt that I had wrecked my bike. Matt pretty much leaped out of his chair asking if I was okay. I told him that I needed to go to the ER (I haven't had to go to the ER for myself since Cohan was a baby LOL). I relayed to my dad where the kids needed to go for their activities for the day before I let Matt get me in the car and wisk me away to the ER (thanks to my dad and my mother in law, everyone got to where they needed to be). I didn't want to ruin their morning since it looked like mine was toast! Matt rushed me to the ER (even though I told him to slow down-I was okay) until a cop pulled out in front of him and he was forced to slow down the whole way to the hospital LOL.
I got back to a room right away and they assessed my injuries and let me know that it was going to be a bit of a wait as they had an urgent case coming in. They gave me a shot of morphine and a tetanus shot. We waited and Matt made phone calls making sure everyone was okay and trying to rearrange his schedule so he could be with me in the ER. While waiting I made an unhappy discovery...
Morphine is NOT my friend. I was thankful that I wasn't feeling the pain from my mouth but I rather suddenly started having abdominal, chest, and back pains. It came in a slow wave that I can only compare to contractions when I was in labor. It started mild and then came on strong to the point where I was sweating and unable to get comfortable. The ER staff was worried that it was actually crash related but I knew-just knew-that this was med related NOT crash related. I always have odd reactions to medicine and I don't think Matt always believes me when I tell him about my adverse reaction but this one he got to see first hand! I do not like morphine!
While we waited, tooth fragments were slowly working their way out of my lip. I was taken in for a head, neck, and facial CT to make sure that there were no broken bones and to see the status of my broken teeth and my lip. Eventually I was able to get my lip stitched up-twice (once before the CT was back and once more after it showed a large tooth fragment was still hiding in my lip). I was finally able to get out of the ER a little after nine with seven stitches and some prescriptions.
My next stop was the dentist. Thanks to my facial CT, we knew that the roots of my teeth were not damaged. Good news! I still had not looked in the mirror so I had no idea what the status of my teeth actually was. I spent almost two hours at the dentist. They assessed things and then got to work covering the giant gaps in the front of my mouth but putting "fillings" where my teeth once were. My dentist is nothing short of a tooth sculptor. One tooth was pretty much 90% gone and the other was really just a pointy fragment.  He told me that they would have to be crowned after the trauma of my mouth went down but I was amazed-no one could tell that I had knocked my teeth out. Now, after two more dentist appointments, I have my permanent crowns and they look great. I was even able to get them in and all taken care of the last day of our dental insurance!
So, now that I am six weeks post-accident I am doing pretty well. I did have to make some appointments with the chiropractor as I seemed to have messed up my lower back and my neck/left shoulder. I feel a lot better after a few visits though. My teeth feel great with my permanent crowns. My lip still has some numbness and pain. The scar tissue causes me some pain, especially if it gets bumped or when eating or drinking. I can hear a difference in my speech (even if others can't) and I struggle a little with keeping small foods in my mouth because the scar tissue doesn't let my lip move like it used to. I feel a bit like a sloppy little kid sometimes. I am happy that I can eat and drink without worrying as much about my teeth being so sensitive. I guess I'll just have to take what little victories that I can get. All in all, I have to say that it could have been so much worse!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

"Women's Issues" are Everyone's Issues

I am not an outwardly political discussion type person. I tend to hold my beliefs close and share them only with those that are close to me. I sit back and read and research the things that are presented to me. I think about the people and situations surrounding the issues. I try to put myself in their shoes. I try to be empathetic. I don't appreciate the attacks that I witness on both ends of the spectrum. I don't appreciate the hateful posts and outright lies that the internet spreads like wildfire. I don't appreciate that people cannot simply respect the beliefs of others without believing that their rights are violated simply because someone believes differently than they do. I support all women in whatever fight they are fighting. I support young women, old women, single women, married women, impoverished women, transgender women, ALL women. When we live in a world that values and respects women, everyone benefits.

The Women's March was about women-all women everywhere
I am so tired of the rhetoric surrounding this march that the women who participate were whiny, privileged little girls who had nothing to protest. I am tired of people stating that women DO have equal rights (in many areas we do but it's not like we've had them for very long and people are trying to make sure that it stays that way). We live in a country where the wage gap between males and females has been proven time and time again. In our country there are women who are overlooked for employment because they plan to have children. There are people who see no problem with this and yet we are supposed to believe we have equal rights? There are people who talk of women needing to serve their men, stay in the kitchen where they belong, care for the children and provide for the family while also working full time. These same people do not hold men to the same standard. If that isn't gender inequality, I don't know what is. But the thing is...the Women's March was about so much more than that. It was not just about the women in each community, each state, each country where the march took place. It was about women who are oppressed across the globe. It was about women who are forced into abusive relationships. Women who are kept around simply to have children. Women who endure gender mutilation. Women who are silenced. Women who are sold into sex trafficking. Women who are denied an education. Women who are forced into marriages at a young age. Women who are treated like second class citizens. Female children are dying at dramatically higher rates in certain parts of the world because they are denied basic necessities at greater rates than male children. Women are treated as disposable. Women are born into these lives-they don't choose them and many of them die before they are old enough to fight for a change. We are lucky that we were not born into those lives. We owe it to our foreign sisters to be their voice for change. That is what many women were marching about and that is a cause I can stand behind.
I am also sick of hearing people say that they cannot support the march because some of the women were acting out in inappropriate ways. They were vulgar and rude. Here's the thing, I had friends and family participating in the march across the United States in at least 10 different locations and I heard wonderful stories of the support and friendship that they felt together with these other women coming together to globally support women. (I also heard similar things from the men that I know that participated.) People need to stop judging this gigantic march by the actions of a few. I don't judge all men or all presidents by the words and actions of Donald Trump. That would just be absurd. Stop generalizing.

The media does not divide us-we divide ourselves.
People like to make the media the bad guy but forget that we have a choice to research and fact check the information that we are presented with. WE choose how to feel and act based upon this information. So many people think that the freedoms offered to them in our country means that they can simply live in their own little bubble and stand at the edge of it criticizing and putting others down for refusing to be in their bubble of belief. They think they can simply pick and choose what "alternative facts" they think support their beliefs and tell people that they must feel the same way when presented with these facts. Because we have freedom of speech, does not mean that we should use it to spread hate. Freedom of speech does not mean that we can tell others to stay silent as we shout above them our own message from our own bubble. Freedom of speech is not freedom to be a jerk without consequence.

You don't get to decide other people's personal beliefs-they do
You can be pro-choice. You can be pro-life. You cannot tell someone else that they must change their beliefs to match yours. You are welcome to give your reasons for your beliefs just as much as they are welcome to give their reasons for their beliefs (both sides-stay away from fallacies). You cannot, however, decide what they must believe.
For myself, I am pro-life. I could not choose abortion for myself. For others, I respect their right to have a choice. I am thankful that I have never been in a situation where I was scared for my future and the future of my family. I have never been a victim of sexual assault, I have never been raped, I have never been molested, I have never been forced into an incestuous relationship, I have never been forced into sex trafficking. I am fortunate. So many women are not. To tell women in these situations that you get to say what they can and can't do when their bodies have been abused and their mental state is in disarray is pure insanity to me. Women in these situations need our support and our comfort not our judgement and our personal beliefs shoved down their throats. I am against legislation that puts men in suits in control of the bodies of female victims. I am against telling these women that they MUST continue a pregnancy created through a criminal act. I am for giving them options. I am for THEM deciding what happens in these situations because they have already been through more than enough. I am against forcing them to continue a pregnancy that very well could end their life. Roughly every 9.5 days, 21 mothers die in childbirth in the United States (numbers are much higher in other places across the globe). Are the people legislating the victim's uterus willing to accept responsibility for the death of this woman? Is her attacker now going to be charged with murder? I think not. Have you even seen the "consequences" dished out to these men that commit violent crimes against women (if they suffer any consequences at all)? A man can alter a woman's life forever, be found guilty, and get away with as little as a few month in jail.
Now, I also understand that not all women in the situation are victims of sexual crimes. So many people in poverty have trouble getting out of the cycle of poverty for many reasons. One of those reasons is a repetitive cycle of unplanned pregnancies. In the past few years, we have made progress in this area by providing contraception free of charge. Abortion rates have dropped to a lower rate than they were back in 1973 when the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision was made. Unfortunately, some people who are against abortion are also against providing these women in poverty with the birth control that can help lift them out of the cycle. They are against women trying to prevent the very pregnancies that people judge them for in the end. Then, when these women don't prevent the pregnancy (because they cannot afford birth control) and don't get an abortion (because people say the woman does not get to make decisions about her body), and people complain that they "have too many kids that they can't afford" and are "living off OUR tax dollars." They are abusing the system! Wait...what? They aren't abusing anything-they are stuck in a cycle that they can't seem to escape.
We like to pretend that the only reason people engage in sex is to create a child and yet, behind closed doors, we know that this is a lie. People pretend that they do not engage in sexual contact for pleasure but the truth is-sex is good for you. In study after study it has been proven that sex provides stress relief, heart health, hormone regulation, better sleep, and an improved immune system just to name a few things! We tell people in poverty without access to birth control that it is SO simple: don't have sex! Forget the benefits listed above-you know because people living in poverty are never stressed and are incredibly healthy (sarcasm intended). Unless you plan to feed, clothe, and financially support the child that you are forcing a woman to have, you don't get to judge them and tell them what to do. Where are the torches and pitchforks when the men walk away from these women and leave them without support? Why is it not okay for a woman to have an abortion but no one bats an eye at the man who also made the child? Why is the woman the only one called out and criticized? It takes two to tango my friends! Why are men not held to the same standards and criticism for unintended pregnancies? Because this gender inequality exists. As much as children are an amazing and wonderful gift, the truth is that they can be a financial burden-especially to people already in poverty. The average cost of raising a child from birth to 17 is over $200,000. It's no wonder people can't seem to climb out of poverty.

No one HAS to support the person who holds the position of the presidency in our country
I will argue that we should show the president the same respect that he or she shows toward the citizens. I do, personally, have a problem with the things that our current president has said to and about women but that does not mean that I have anything against the people who do choose to support him. No one should be saying that any president should be assassinated. No one should EVER be criticizing the young children of the person holding the office. But people SHOULD be holding our leader accountable for their actions. We live in a country with checks and balances for a reason. Our political leaders should be fact checked. Their interests and motives should be investigated. Critics should not be silenced simply because their ideas are in opposition to the person who holds the office of the presidency. On the other end of the spectrum, those who agree with the president have just as much of a right to voice their support. All parties on both sides need to tone down the hate speech and get rid of the Us vs. Them rhetoric. Quit finger pointing. Quit telling people to "accept it." Quit pretending that every president in the history of our country was always welcomed with open arms. Be open to facts. Don't be a troll. Read the information presented to you before jumping to conclusions or jumping down someone throat. Read more than headlines. Research. Fact check. Don't rely on heavily biased sources for information. Check multiple sources. Don't spread false information. Apologize when you are wrong. Not only will you feel better for being a decent human being, the people around you will appreciate your respect as well.

Even if you disagree with my beliefs, I hope we can agree on this: 
Your words matter. Your tone matters. Your phrasing matters. Your words are powerful. 
Be kind. Use them for good.
You won't regret it.

Sources:
https://girlsglobe.org/2014/04/17/the-oppression-of-women-exists-everywhere/
https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2223rank.html
https://www.reference.com/world-view/many-babies-born-day-42294b58b04fdff7
http://www.globalissues.org/article/166/womens-rights
https://www.rainn.org/statistics/criminal-justice-system
http://www.webmd.com/sex-relationships/guide/sex-and-health
http://www.forbes.com/sites/learnvest/2017/01/24/the-233k-cost-of-raising-a-kid-and-how-to-prep-your-finances-as-a-new-parent/#f5f0dd550e8e
http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/01/17/509734620/u-s-abortion-rate-falls-to-lowest-level-since-roe-v-wade
https://www.ucsf.edu/news/2016/01/401251/poor-health
http://www.medicaldaily.com/chronic-stress-killing-people-poverty-women-especially-cdc-report-336170

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Photo Fun

I have been spending the week playing with my new camera. I wish I had taken it on my Tuesday morning ride. I did get some nice photos with my phone though. Yesterday's ride I almost hit 6 1/4 miles. I love when it is a bit cooler out but I wish I had remembered to bring my water bottle. I decided to skip the top of the bridge knowing I didn't have it. This morning I made sure to grab it before heading out the door. I took a different route than usual to completely avoid sprinklers and protect the camera. I went up the South Dakota side of the bridge and there were a few people headed up as well which motivated me to charge up with a but more gusto than usual. I wanted to charge up all the way to the top instead of my usual good effort start and then panting and inching forward after making it half way up. My legs felt like spaghetti when I made it to the top but I was damn proud of myself! Even with the different route, I still rode over 6 miles and distance wasn't even my goal today.
Rain in front of the sun on my way home

Favorite shot from Tuesday morning




Rain in the distance

Here are some random photos from the new camera. I can't wait to take some more time to learn the features and play with different settings. I really like the 50mm lens that I bought, it takes some nice lower light photos.

This is my favorite photo with the new camera so far!

Trying out some flower shots

Morning ride


Top of the bridge facing Nebraska

Discovery Bridge





Monday, June 27, 2016

If You See Something, Say Something

This line was used at the wellness conference attended and it was never more relevant to me than it was yesterday as I drove to Sioux City.
I had an open Sunday so I decided to visit some friends in Sioux City. I also had some Kohl's Cash and a need for some more shorts for myself and a rash guard for Cyver. Cyver and I rolled out of town around 11:45 with a bin of clothes an full water bottles. He was asleep shortly after we hit the road and I had some nice mellow tunes playing from my iPod. As we neared Meckling, I noticed a black compact car in my rear view mirror. As it got closer to me, I saw it travel over the yellow line a couple times. I also realized that it was soon going to be passing me which made me a little uneasy. The car passed me as I slowed down for the change of speed for Meckling and I felt relieved that it was past me. That only lasted a little while as I watched it weave across the opposite yellow line, across the dashed white line, drive down the center of the two lane road for sometimes 20 seconds at a time before weaving back into the other lane. Watching this kind of driving made my heart race. I told myself that I had to do something, but what was I supposed to do? I thought the police should be aware of this reckless driver but I obviously don't have the number for the Vermillion Police Department in my phone. Dialing 911 seemed extreme but, as I watched the car bounce and weave down the road, it seemed like more of an emergency with each passing second. I grabbed my phone and dialed 911 and told myself-if it happens one more time, I'm calling. It did. I repeated-just one more time. It happened again so I hit the green button my phone. I had no idea what to expect but a very kind operator answered and took all the info I could provide. They wanted the plate number but I explained that I didn't feel as if I could safely get close enough to read the plate (I tried and they were weaving too much that I worried they would wreck and I didn't want to be close to that). I continued on my route toward Vermillion constantly updating where I was as they dispatched an  officer to the area. Passing through Vermillion I watched them continue to cross the lines even as traffic grew a but heavier. Finally, they turned off by Walmart which I told the operator. I then saw an officer headed in that direction and hung up with the operator as I had given them all the info that I had. In my head the thoughts of-please don't let them hit someone continued as I drove down the road.
I have to say that I really didn't want to make that call. I could have easily just said-thank goodness they are by me, nothing more to worry about. I tried to tell myself that but it kept coming back-what if they hit someone else, and I could have stopped it with one phone call? How many other drivers saw her behavior and were just happy she didn't hit them? What if she caused an accident that killed someone? Those thoughts are why I called and they are the reason you should call too if you witness something similar. I think we are all guilty of crossing a line at one time or another but this was different and I knew it-you will too. PLEASE don't just let these people continue down the road where they might hit and hurt someone! Make a call-you won't regret it.
About 20 minutes after I hung up, I received a call from the Vermillion Police Department. The very kind officer thanked me for calling and reporting the driver. He told me that he was able to locate the car and stop the woman. She had been on the road for over an hour and saw that she had several text messages so she decided to respond to them while traveling down the highway at over 70 miles per hour. She thought those messages were more important than my life, my son's life, her life, and the lives of all those she was sharing the road with. She more than deserves the $100 ticket she was issued. The officer did say that she was very upfront and honest about what she was doing. He said that he informed her that her driving behavior while she was texting was consistent with that of someone who was driving while intoxicated. He said she seemed pretty surprised by this. This should be no surprise to anyone. The info is out there, we see these accidents in the news. People need to stop thinking it won't happen to them.
Put down your phone and drive to your destination safely. Want to read or respond to a text? PULL OVER. If you have other passengers in the car, have them read and respond to your messages for you. My husband and I do this all the time. I even have my 11 year old read and respond to messages for me. I also have students read and respond to messages while I am on trips for interp. There is NO message worth your life or mine. Period.
I am a person that many people would refer to as a "carseat crazy" because I am passionate about keeping my kids safe while in the car. My 7 year old just graduated to a booster in November. My 3 year old is still rear facing. None of this is because I think I am a bad driver. I do it because there are people like this woman on the road EVERY DAY! Their first line cross or dramatic swerve might be right into your vehicle. I could not live with myself knowing that I could have done something to protect my kids and didn't even if the accident wasn't my fault. If you feel like you could be better informed about carseat safety there are plenty of resources available to you. Here are a couple of the best ones I know:
Carseats For the Littles
The Carseat Lady

On a lighter note, Happy Monday: