Earlier this year I started my fitness transformation, and for the first time in my life dedicated myself to a real plan with two friends. As my results started to show and my energy shifted, a friend challenged me to try a 10k run. I thought sure, I am game! And as the days approached, I did not think I had it in me. I didn’t sleep well the night before… and was so nervous on the ride to Boulder, CO. The BolderBOULDER is one of the largest 10K races in the country, and WAHOO I DID IT! I am totally stealing this pic until my prints arrive, lol. See all my pics here. Here I am waving at the camera. ME173

Sex Offender Proximity Notification

If you live near me in Colorado, please let me know if you want detailed information about this offender listing. If you live in CO, some of the information below will be pertinent to you. If you live in other states in the US, you might want to check your local county and state governments to see what the protocol is for notification in your area, find the websites you need, and bookmark them. I was pleasantly surprised.

Could you think of another legitimate email subject line that is more sinister?

I am glad. I am glad we have the technology that we do. I am happy there is a sex offender registry because I know that these cretins have been around as long as man has existed, and it is up to us to do what we can to protect ourselves and our children.

I am glad my county has an excellent reporting system, that we are using technology to be as proactive as possible in keeping people up to date. I am glad we have a (really nice) live person to talk to when you have questions about these creepy emails that come with links to the criminal’s web post, listing his felony crimes, committed against a child this past March.

I do not pretend that I was somehow safer before he and his family moved in across the street. I do not pretend that being in a nice area of town somehow shields us for the world. We live in a scary world. It just sucks when the scary world comes too close for comfort and you have to scare the living daylights out of your innocent young children in an effort to keep them safe.

I am really bummed out. I just had to have an awful conversation about “bad strangers” with my kids during dinner. We have had this conversation before, in fact it is an ongoing dialog in safety and listening to mom and dad. But it has always been a little ambiguous, fuzzy details, and evil bad guys with dastardly smirks and greasy hair.

This past week everything has changed.

The email from the sheriff’s office with that awful subject line arrived to tell us that a registered sex offender has moved in across the street, right across the street… paces away. In my neighborhood. On my block. Here. The flurry of emails from all of my neighbors was amazing.

I am angry. I am angry that my kids, at ages 8, 6, 5, 3, had to take that turn in their minds where “bad strangers” and “stranger danger” has taken shape into reality across the street. I am worried they will be up at night wondering. Looking out their window at the bad guy’s house. If the 13 year old predator is coming to get them. Yes, he is 13.

I am worried. I am worried that my kids’ minds would run amok with visions of this bad stranger. They have no idea about what a “sex offender” is, and we didn’t go there with this one. We tried to stay as general as possible, talking about the things that bad strangers could do (take kids and steal them), and left it at that.

I am worried that we have done it wrong. That we have scared and scarred our children. I have shown them all the sex offender’s picture from the county registry. He looks like a cool kid, someone my 8 year old would look up to. He is only 13 years old. 13.

I know it is a good lesson, I understand that they need to know. But I am angry that they chose our street and have caused us to alter forever the carefree attitude my kids had an hour ago. I know that people have a right to live wherever they wish, I just wish they didn’t pick here. Across the street. Outside my kids’ windows.

I am afraid. Not that this kid is going to come over and target my kids… well, maybe I am afraid of exactly that. It is just scary when someone whose boundaries, morals, and lines-to-stay-within are not anywhere near what “we” would consider normal or acceptable.

I spoke at length with the sheriff’s officer that manages the sex offender registry, and the information the woman there gave me made me shudder. In particular, she was able to assure me that this kid is Bad News, and that a 13 year old on the online registry is an unheard of thing that He Earned Due To The Nature of The Crime. She could not give me any real details about his case, due to the law protecting the victim, but what she did share was upsetting.

In general, she shared these tidbits that might be something to think about for your own safety, information, and peace of mind.

  • She said that in this particular case she is actually not allowed to disclose many details, which is the law in place to protect a minor victim. She said you are always welcome to visit the police dept where the arrest took place and request a paper copy, but in many cases so much information is redacted to protect the victim.
  • She did say that it is rare for a minor to be made “web eligible” (his listing is all online), and this kid is web eligible for a very good reason. She said that in most cases of a minor assaulting a child, it is a younger family member who is involved, and that this was NOT the case here.
  • I asked her if this was a case of “a mature 13 year old boy misbehaving with his 13 year old girlfriend (and not actually a predatory situation)” and she said that it was certainly NOT a situation like that.
  • She said that this 13 year old offender should be treated with caution, and our children should be told he and his house are off limits.
  • She said that when you see someone on the registry site whose file is not “web eligible”, it could be for any number of reasons and is not an indicator of the seriousness of their crime.
  • She said that when you see someone in the registry who was convicted of “attempted” sex crimes, that is not to say they did not actually complete the act, it simply means that they were only *convicted* of the crime listed. Think about the judicial system in the USA and how people can accept a plea to a lesser charge, and be mindful of that.
  • Also, one of the (many) reasons why they do not release the details of sex abuse crimes online is because most of the time the crime is one of opportunity, in that when the victim is a little boy, that is not to say that all girls are safe. So, the best practice is to just keep every child away from a predator.
  • She said that when you see a new listing out there with no information in it at all, it is her way of notifying us that there is something happening in our area, but that the law limits what she can share with the public.
  • She suggested that from time to time you check the registry and the CBI website to stay abreast of when these people move OUT of your neighborhood. The CBI site is:
  • The Douglas County Colorado Unified listing site is here. You can sign up to receive notifications for your area, and choose a radius of proximity when you do so. I imagine there are similar listings for other counties in Colorado… please look into yours.

A good day

Life at our house is an exercise in doing your best. Especially, when it comes to cleaning, and keeping up on the household chores. Living in our house you learn to overlook the sink full of dirty dishes, step over and around (or even play in) the pile of unfolded laundry, and you make sure to look before you plop yourself down on the couch. Walking barefoot is something you do at your own risk on my floors because you know, intuitively, that there will be sandbox residue, crumbs, dust bunnies, writing implements, and possibly a matchbox car or two in your way. Don’t even look in my car…

I never used to be this way. We never used to be this way. Back in the days before children we were still not perfect about folding laundry, but there was a lot less of it then. We were tidy, however, and seemed to have all the time in the world to get the house cleaned.

Even when my son was born, my anal-retentive side had all of his clothing laundered separately, folded in uniform piles of equal height and matching width, every single day. I relished the image of the tiny dresser loaded up, each drawer a Martha Stewart photo of cuteness and perfection.

Fast forward to present times, when we are now 4 children deep, and a lot of those little niggly things have fallen by the wayside. My house is usually a mess. Not dirty, just a wreck. Toys are everywhere, clothing lay where it falls, and the wood floors look a bit… shall we say, nubby?

Clothing is folded in haphazard piles, in the living room, organized by owner sometimes. The dishes from lunch are still on the table…

This morning my husband and I made a plan to get cracking on the house. We had a plan. We would start in the kitchen, he at the sink, me in the pantry, and we would get this place into ship shape. About an hour into our day of cleaning and organizing, the kitchen is clean, the pantry purged and organized, and tummies were looking for lunch.

So, we stop to get fed, get the kids dressed for a friend’s birthday party this afternoon. Oh, and the gift shopping on the way… might as well get moving now.

Four hours later, the three younger ones and I are now home from the party. I was excited to get home and back into the cleaning project we made the big plan for today. I see my gleaming kitchen, smile that we got at least that far. I realize that it is dinner time.

I am resolved at this point that we’ve done all we can today. And I am grateful that it doesn’t really matter all that much to me. The kids are running around with their balloons, they are totally spent after a completely full weekend. My husband is still out with my oldest son, and life is good.

The cleaning can totally wait…

Little birdies whispering in my ear…

I don’t believe in coincidence…

I woke up yesterday morning with the strangest and most pressing need to call the engraving company that handles the memorial tiles we install at the RTF Angel Memorial here in CO. I figured it was the universe giving me a nudge because something was going on with my current order for tiles. Worried, I sent an email as it was before office hours.

We have a butterfly release memorial event coming up on June 27, so there is a deadline in place, if self-imposed, to have everything installed prior to that day.

As I wrote the email to my contact at the engraver’s office, I found myself asking 2 questions. 1 – will there be any trouble meeting the June 27 deadline, and 2 – is there any reason to suspect the tiles are going to be discontinued any time in the near future? Question #2 fell out of my brain at the minute… I wasn’t even thinking about the stock.

We need a couple hundred tiles for our walls, but only order them as needed. There have been a couple dozen memorials ordered in the 18 months since the statue dedication, and so it will be some time before we have occupied all of the space on the two walls we have there.

I got a call this afternoon from my contact who said, “Funny that you called, I just got word from our distributor that your tile is being discontinued and they are off-loading all of their inventory. You will want to purchase the balance of your tiles and store them here, I think.”

I am grabbing my tape measure and going tomorrow to calculate how many tiles we’d use.

*thank you* to the little birdie who gave me the nudge!!

Tuesday’s Blog Party Giveaway – WINNER!

Thank you to everyone who stopped by and entered my give-away! I have had a lot of fun making new blog friends and have already won one item myself! WAHOO! Thanks to you, we have raised over $2500.00 for Pediatric Cancer Research! How incredible is that when entries are all about $1. YOU ROCK… yes, YOU! The item up for grabs was my faboo desk set basket in stripes and dots: And the winning comment number is: Which belongs to JESSICA over at Denekefamily: