I spent the beginning of the week in DC at conference for work and I had the priviledge to listen to a wonderful keynote speaker. Commander Kirk Lippold spoke of the terrorist attack on his ship, the USS Cole in October of 2000. The entire room was entranced listening to him describe the sequence of events. Admittedly I was learning about the attack for the first time since I don’t remember when it actually occurred. It took a lot of quick thinking and level-headedness to secure the ship against additional attacks as well as keep it afloat. Commander Lippold wrote a book about his experience, “Front Burner” and I highly recommend it if you’d like to learn more about this important event in our history.
Another speaker of note was Natasha Alexenko, who is the founder of Natasha’s Justice Project, which is a nonprofit organization that seeks to assist survivors of sexual assault. Natasha was recently featured in the film, Sex Crimes Unit on HBO. The documentary focuses on the dedicated unit within the New York City District Attorney’s office that’s dedicated to the prosecution of rape and sexual assault. Her presentation described her personal story of being brutally raped in 1993 in NYC and how the evidence collected at the hospital sat on a shelf for almost 10 years. Before the statute of limitations ran out, the evidence was examined and the DNA profile of her rapist was obtained. The only problem was that it was an unknown profile which didn’t match any known profiles in CODIS (a nationwide DNA database). Fourteen years after the original assault, a match was made. The suspect was tried and found guilty. Natasha spoke of the importance to work on the backlog of rape/assault cases like hers. What a powerful speaker!
I will say conferences are great, but really exhausting. Monday and Tuesday were the longest days ever. Even though today is Thursday, it feels like it should be Tuesday, but not two days ago, rather next Tuesday. That’s how long this week has felt. Perhaps I’m just super excited to get on a plane and head to
Colorado tomorrow! Woohoo! I should edit that statement to say that I’m anxious to be in Colorado tomorrow. The flight there… ugh, I’m dreading. This will be our fourth round-trip flight with the boys. They are still technically young enough to sit on our laps and not require their own seat, but it’s getting harder and harder each time we fly. They’re toddlers, they are active and fidgety and don’t want to sit still on our laps even to read a book at home sometimes, so I can only imagine how our 3+ hour flight is going to go tomorrow.
For the most part, we’ve been lucky. Random passengers will help us with our bags or pick up toys that the boys have tossed. Heck, I’m pretty sure I even handed Caleb over to some lady so I could sit and buckle my seat belt without dropping him! Seriously, FAA (or whoever), design a seat belt you can buckle one handed! Our kids aren’t big TV watchers so I don’t think loading up my Kindle and iPhone with cartoons is going to help much. I guess we’re just going to hope that they’re well behaved and if they aren’t, then we’ll hope for our neighboring passengers to be patient with us! They surely remember what it was like to have young children who didn’t always behave? And if they don’t have kids well then I’m sure their parents can vouch for the fact that they too were once a cranky toddler, right? Anyways, wish us luck!
Oh and FYI, we will NOT be bringing our nice stroller, but rather the two smaller umbrella strollers on this trip. No need to relive Strollergate 2012!