May 27, 2019

Turtle Rock

5/27/2019 — cori

On Sunday we headed up to Wyoming to set out on an adventure at a new park. We learned of a hike called "Turtle Rock Trail" at Vedauwoo State Park. It's only an hour drive from home.

It was such a perfect day to outside.

Surprisingly, the trees still had not leafed out yet.

The best thing about this place is the amount of rocks and boulders there are to climb.

I told the kids that I wanted to see the hike through their eyes. This was one of the pictures Chloe took. It is absolutely stunning.

And this is through the eyes of Bennett. I love the how he captured the pattern of the pine cone.

Bennett was a trooper hiking with a bad knee. No jumping or running for him, which was frustrating because that meant he couldn't do any rock climbing in this natural amusement park of rocks.

It wouldn't be a true hike without some hammocking.

Life doesn't get much better than this.

Chloe asked me, "Mom, lay so you can see me from your hammock." My view. 

I don't know what it is amount rocks and pine trees...but they are our favorite combination.

Happy family.

Beauty is everywhere.

I'm still shocked we are in Wyoming.


Ending the fun with a (cold) picnic lunch. 

May 19, 2019

Silly Girl

5/19/2019 — cori

Chloe just told me this story today. It is hilarious! I just had to share it.

Several months ago Chloe started plugging her phone in at night in our room. But just before that she kept it in her room. She said that one morning she woke up and saw a text from her friend Katie that read: "What?"  She thought that was a weird text to send first thing in the morning so she scrolled up and saw this:

Pay attention to the line that says: Yesterday 4:09AM. Apparently, Chloe had texted Katie at 4 o'clock in the morning to tell her that "nothing's wrong with the dinosaur". OMG!!  So hilarious. I've heard of sleep talking and sleep walking, but not of sleep texting - until now.

Fun in Fargo

5/19/2019 — cori

This past week, Chuck and I left Chloe and Bennett to fend for themselves (for the first time ever) in Colorado while we flew to North Dakota to visit Gavin for a few days. It's such a weird phase of life. Our kids need us and wants us - but they don't really need us that much. They are all perfectly self-sufficient. They cook for themselves, drive themselves places, clean up after themselves (most of the time), look out for each other. I know that's the ultimate goal of parenthood - to work yourself out of a job, but it's weird getting used to. You spend the majority of their lives doing and being everything for your children. Now we're here on an "as needed" basis. It's equally as challenging, exciting, and scary as the first phase of parenting. You want them to know you trust them. You have to give them freedom to prove it. You want them to make mistakes while they're still living with you so you can be there to catch them. You want them to want you as they grow older, not breathe a sigh of relief that they're no longer under your watchful eye. That's one reason why we were so happy that Gavin was just as excited about us coming to visit as we were.

The evening we arrived we went straight to his favorite pizza joint and then walked around the famed Broadway street downtown Fargo.

Gavin also took us to an incredible city park located just behind his apartment called Island Park that he said he enjoys walking around each evening. This is the view from his apartment complex. 

The next morning, Chuck and I walked 16 blocks from the Airbnb house we were staying at Gavin's apartment. Chuck assumed his role as breakfast maker. Also, you see those baggies filled with cookies? My sweet boy baked homemade chocolate chip cookies for our visit. Proof of his undying love and devotion.

I was tickled to see the Meal Planner list that we came up with when he moved in taped so neatly to his kitchen wall. His apartment was spic-n-span. He cleaned it so nicely - and even made his bed (1 of only 5 times, we were told, since he moved in).

After breakfast, Gavin wanted to show us the two local malls. The one in Fargo was very nice, especially since we were able to find him a new pair of jeans. The one in Moorhead, right across the river was depressing, blah, and outdated. It was so incredibly ugly and bad and depressing. The tag line above the mall sign said, "Another great place to shop".... if you're living in the 50s, maybe. It was here that we found a dilapidated antique mall where Chuck found himself modeling an original  sombrero. 

After all the excitement of the Moorhead Mall, we headed over to an Indian restaurant so we could have enough energy for our campus tour that afternoon.

We went directly to the engineering buildings first.

This was his circuits lab.

We even found a basement full of pool tables on campus. After the campus tour, we went grocery shopping for Gavin and then came home and watched a movie.

The next morning we went to two art museums. This one was filled with Political Cartoons throughout American history. It was super fascinating.

This is a large, real life replica of a Viking ship that is house at the Hjemkompst Museum in Moorhead. That entire area of North Dakota and Minnesota was settled mostly by Norwegians and German-Russin immigrants. This particular ship was built in the 1980s and actually sailed to Norway and back.

I can't believe our boy is so big now. I can't believe he lives on his own. I can't believe he lives so far away from us. I can't believe what an awesome young man he has become. But on the other hand I can believe it all. How could it have turned out any other way. He was an awesome, amazing kid. Of course he'd be an awesome, amazing young adult. He always talked of living in some far off place when he was a kid, so it's no surprise that he lives where his heart is. He may be far away, but he's always close to my heart. We talk all the time. He comes home when he can. He loves sharing his world of Fargo with us and we loved seeing it through his eyes. How lucky are we?!

May 6, 2019

A Rough Day

5/06/2019 — cori
So this happened last week. The whole thing was so surreal. I'm still  trying to process it all. Here's the story:

I was coming back from the grocery store. I ran there to pick up a few things between the time I came home from work and the kids getting home from school. As I was out, the weather took a turn for the worse and it started snowing. However, that wasn't a factor in the accident.

I was only 2 or 3 miles from home. I was going straight through a green light. When I was in the middle of the intersection, the other driver turned left, from the on-coming side, directly into my driver's side. I saw the suv out of my peripheral vision less than a second before she hit me.

The sound of impact plays on repeat inside my head 24/7. It is a sickening sound. I remember thinking: Oh no! This is how it's going to happen as I spun around in circles. Once the car came to a stop and I became cognizant, I realized I was still alive. I was shocked. I didn't notice the side airbag had deployed. I didn't realize I didn't have a seat back to lean on. I didn't know where I was.

I'm still not sure exactly what happened as we have not received the official police report yet. But there are a few details I remember. After taking inventory of my body and realizing nothing was broken, I immediately turned off the podcast I was listening to (I didn't want to loose my place). Next, I immediately called Chuck and told him, "Someone hit me" and hung up. Then I knew I should probably call for help but wasn't sure who or how. 

As I was trying to process that, I heard a man's voice outside my door. I heard him say, "...alert female, t-boned, driver's side...". He told me not to open the door but asked if I could unlock the other side. I did. He came to the passenger's side and was still talking on the phone and asking me questions: What is your birthdate, how old are you, who is the president? I answered him correctly on all counts. 

I realize now that I was in complete shock, but at the time I was super calm. I even remember thinking embrace this moment, Cori, this is what is happening right now. It was almost as if I didn't want anyone to panic and get upset so I was speaking very quietly and calmly and slowly. It was very hard to find my words, but they eventually came out. It was hard to think.

Another lady stopped to ask if I was ok. She said she was a nurse. I thanked her for stopping by. It was then that I remembered that I wore glasses and that they weren't on my face. They happened to be on the passenger's side and she picked them up and handed them to me. Although, I didn't do anything with them. Then she disappeared.

It was at this time I realized I didn't have a back to my seat. I just wanted to lean back but couldn't cuz my seat back wasn't there. It was so hard to sit up and I started shaking uncontrollably. At some point the police showed up and then the firemen/paramedics. I answered their questions calmly as well. I kept asking about the other driver and was told she was ok, but shaken up. I had no anger toward the other driver, shockingly.

After assessing my neck and determining it wasn't damaged they tried to get me out, but my door was too damaged, so they had to cut it off.  I kept offering to climb out the passenger side, but they wouldn't let me. That's when Chuck showed up. He couldn't find me at first, so he called me again (thinking it was a fender-bender). When I told him I was in the ditch over the embankment on the side of the road, he started running. Relief flooded me when I saw him.

Once they got the door off and cut away the airbag (which is when the picture above was taken), the fireman covered me with a blanket and sat there talking with me until the police sorted everything out. The paramedics asked if I wanted to go to the hospital with them and I declined because I could walk. They made me promise to go to Urgent Care or the ER.

They walked me up to the street level to where Chuck's car was waiting. We drove home and met Bennett there then up to the High School to pick up Chloe. We all drove to the Urgent Care facility together. After assessing me they said that I needed to go to the ER instead. So we drove over there.
I was given a CAT scan which confirmed that I had no broken bones or internal bleeding. I was sent home with a diagnosis of whiplash and concussion.

Everything was so ethereal. It could have been so much worse.There are so many things I'm thankful for: 1) that only two cars were involved   2) that I didn't hit another vehicle as I was spinning out of control or any other objects  3) that I had no broken bones or internal bleeding  4) the kindness of strangers  5) that where my car ended up was free of trees and rocks  6) that Chuck works from home and could come immediately to help me  7) that my glasses didn't break  8) the invention of side airbags and that my head didn't hit the glass  9) the engineers who designed my car to withstand this type of impact  10) co-workers who stepped up to help cover my classes at work  11) students who texted and called and showered me with love and concern.

I spent the next 5 days and today resting and sleeping. I was incredibly sore, bruised, tired, slow, nauseous, and dizzy. Today is the first day I feel like a normal person again. The concussion was brutal and kicked my butt. But it also taught me alot. It’s a humbling experience being limited by your body and realizing the false idea we think we have of control. This too is good. I’m choosing to see the good and learn in this time of (forced) stillness b/c God knows that doesn’t come natural or easy to me.

There is still all kinds of insurance stuff to deal with and I really miss my car. But all is well with my soul. And that's all that really matters.

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