Life has been crazy here.
Football, football and more football.
Our beloved Fighting Irish played a huge game in Oklahoma over the weekend.
Most of the family was in attendance but Alex and I stayed home.
The weekends get a little crazy when they start on Wednesday morning and end Sunday evening.
We thought a little quiet time might be enjoyable.
That was not the case.
We both spent the day pacing and fretting, anxiously awaiting any glimpse of our boys on tv.
By game time we had worked ourselves into a frenzy.
The Irish brought home the victory without any injuries which is high on this mother's wish list.
When I talked with Victoria on her way from Ohare to South Bend early Sunday morning, another wish list item was checked off.
Tori: "Mom! You wouldn't believe it!
Everyone! EVERYONE was so nice to us!
They all thanked us for coming and are so excited to come to ND next year.
We made lots of new friends!
And Mom, they even thanked us for coming
AFTER THEY LOST THE GAME!
It was so cool Mom!"
Thank you Oklahoma fans.
I have been busy designing and decorating our new condo.
The last four years we have rented a condo
near the Notre Dame campus
to enjoy our family and friends
and our beloved college football team.
We finally decided to buy.
These are photos of one of the collages
I have been working on to adorn the walls.
Victoria is back at school and snugly enschonced into her
Even she thinks time is flying
much too swiftly.
Our Alexandra has flown the cozy
suburbs to experience the excitement
of city life in Chicago
as she starts a new and challenging
consulting career in the city
and a new apartment in Old Town.
Stevie will enjoy a final year working
with his father and
and cheering on his team mates
before his life takes an
adventurous and exciting turn.
*details to follow at a later date.
In the meantime,
being present in the moment
is as always,
my secular and spiritual challenge.
Wishing you and yours
a fabulous new school year
filled with appropriate challenge
and sweet success.
p.s. I think I may have to rename this post due to
all of the "challenges" I noted upon re-reading!
How about "New Year New Challenge"?
and then changes again.
That is what I know for sure.
Some of our boys
are graduating and moving on.
They will be starting new careers in many fields.
Their employers will reap the benefits
of their quick minds and open hearts.
I know it's time for me to start thinking of them as men.
I know that is how they think of themselves.
Ready to conquer the world.
And they are in many, many ways.
And in many ways, they will always be our boys.
Fun-loving and care-free.
Always ready to share or play a joke
on the next unsuspecting person to walk into the room.
Always there for each other at a moments notice.
These young men we have grown to love as our very own.
Boys to men in front of our eyes.
Men who play on Sunday.
Another 4th of July weekend has come and gone. There are still loads of laundry to do and straightening up here and there. Lots of mattresses to stow and beds to be made. Shirts and socks and shorts that have lost their homes and the inevitable phone charger left behind.
But the very best thing that was left behind are the memories. Ah, the memories. I know these boys look like men, big men. But underneath their disciplined and muscled exterior, they are the funniest, sweetest, dearest and most sincere young men I could ever imagine knowing. And talented.....don't even get me started on their amazing gifts; each as unique as the young man himself. I won't tell them though. I will let them swagger and boast, tease and jab, wrestle and fight as men need to do. They can't fool me. I can see into each of their hearts. Each of their wide open hearts that they hold a little at bay, just a touch wary of who they let in to see their true selves. They can't fool me. Not these boys. Not my men.
Wow! I cannot believe how life jumps right up and sweeps you away on a seemingly never-ending roller coaster ride! I have been so busy I have not had time to post to my blog or to visit with my many bloggy friends until today. I am not going to feel bad about not getting on the treadmill either. We must keep our priorities straight!
Anyway, before I have a boatload of pictures from Prom and 2 Graduations to post I thought I'd sneak this one in. A few weeks ago Steve and I drove over to South Bend to celebrate Stevie's initiation into the ND Monogram Club. It was a very low key and elegant evening. We were so very proud of our young man and how much he has accomplished in his short life. One of the speakers brought up the student athletes' coaches over the years and how much they have contributed to each young man and woman. I leaned over to Stevie and whispered "We should send a photo of you in your uniform to Coach Manny," his first football coach when he was in 7th grade. Stevie leaned back over to me and whispered, "I don't think so. You and Dad were the ones that got me here."
Another football season has begun. The Chicago Tribune commented that "Notre Dame annually leads the country in "pomp and circumstance". That may be true but I like to think of it as "tradition". There are so many traditions at Notre Dame. Traditions that reach back hundreds of years and grab each new generation in an all encompassing, warm and embracing bear hug. It makes us feel connected to our past, our present and our future. The Tribune may be saying it tongue in cheek, but the enormous out pouring of love for this college, this community and all of the varied members of it's long line of family is emotionally over whelming. Especially on game weekends.
And Notre Dame does not care one iota if you attended the University or not. We are all Her family. She opens her arms and heart to her alumni and their families as well as those unable to attend college, let alone Notre Dame. My family was one of those "subway" alumni. We followed Notre Dame and the Fighting Irish since I was a young child. One of my father's dreams was to attend a football game in Notre Dame Stadium. He never realized that dream. But his grandson has taken his grandfather's dream to a level my father did not dare imagine. His grandson attends Notre Dame University. His grandson plays for the Fighting Irish.
I like to think of my father looking down with a tear in his eye on Saturday afternoons. The love of a proud grandfather beaming from ear to ear, as my son Steve runs into Notre Dame Stadium and kneels to offer a prayer of gratitude. "Pomp and Circumstance"? So be it. Maybe we need a little pomp and circumstance in our world today. If only to help us to feel connected to something larger than ourselves.
May all our young men and women find a loving community to belong to and share their triumphs as well as their tears on this journey of a life-time. All people, all countries, all religions.....remembering we are truly "One" as children of God.
P.S. Go Irish!
I have been away from my computer for most of the spring and summer working on new projects. I have kept up with my blogging friends but have been amiss at leaving comments. Our home has been busy and full of activities so this post is an attempt to catch up with lots of family fun.
Victoria played the lead role in Neil Simon's "Rumors"at the end of her school year. She was fabulous and yes, I am a wee bit prejudiced!
Victoria's 17th birthday was celebrated in the midst of the Chicago Blackhawks incredible run for the Stanley Cup. We also attended a Chicago Cubs game that weekend having lots more fun than any of us could imagine. Sports, sports and more sports seems to be our theme song this summer!
Next up was Alex's 23 Birthday. We had a weekend full of celebrations and dinners of all sorts. Lots of friends and family and fun.
Victoria spent two weeks in South Bend at Notre Dame's Summer Scholar program studying Pre-Law. She met lots of new friends and took some very interesting field trips to Federal Courts, District Courts and jails- (oh my!) I thought she was envisioning Reese Witherspoon in "Legally Blonde" but it seems Tori got a pretty good idea of what it will take to become an attorney and she is still excited about the possibilities.
Whew! July 4th found our home "home" to ten of Stevie's friends. There are no words to describe the fabulous time we had hosting these wonderful young men for four days. Each one a gentleman with a little bit of that mischievous little boy peeking through. Mom Heaven to be sure! (One is missing from this photo.)
Thank you for stopping by for a visit and catching up with me and mine. I hope everyone's summer has been as full of family and joy as mine has been. I will be back to my "normal" blogging schedule soon with lots of new adventures of my own to tell you about. "See" you all soon!
Wow. The summer has just begun and I feel it has already gotten away from me! Victoria's last day of school was Friday and Stevie left yesterday to return to South Bend. His summer is over. Two classes and football everyday. Victoria will follow him to South Bend in a few weeks to begin her Summer Scholar program at Notre Dame in Pre- law (she is envisioning "Legally Blonde" and I hope she won't be too disappointed!) and Alex starts grad school in August. I know there are many countries where the kids go to school all year 'round but I am just not used to it. I miss the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer. No alarm clocks, just sweet songbirds serenading you awake in the early morning sunshine. Life is so crazy and competitive these days for our youngsters. Sigh.
I have been "missing in action" from my blog as of late. I am in the middle of quite a few exciting new projects and I plan to be sharing them with you real soon. They have taken me out of my comfort zone "big time" and that is a good thing! I did have a couple of articles published in the online edition of MORE magazine for woman at MORE.com. I was very excited! My last post made it to the front page of the BEAUTY section!
Meanwhile, HOW ABOUT THOSE HAWKS!!! We celebrated Victoria's 17th birthday in the city and the kids went to the game. Chicago is rocking! GO BLACKHAWKS!!!