Friday, March 8, 2013

"7 Quick Takes Friday" # 8: The Notre Dame Edition

--- 1 ---
If you read my blog on a fairly regular basis, you know that my family is filled with rabid Notre Dame fans.  The Pearl alumni roster is long and growing.  My husband, his father, his three brothers, and all five of our sons have matriculated at ND (our youngest is currently a sophomore Domer).  We had a niece graduate from Our Lady's university the same year as our 4th son, and we have a nephew who's a freshman there right now.  Two of my husband's sisters went to ND's sister school, St. Mary's College, along with seven of our nieces (two of whom are currently seniors and one who is a sophomore).  So as you can imagine, the Pearl family practically bleeds blue and gold.  We all get together out in South Bend at least once every football season for epic tailgaters.  We were on a high after every game during the 2012 season...until that final one against Alabama on January 7, but I don't want to talk about that today.  It's too soon.  Too soon.  The hurt is still so raw.

But it's not just the Fighting Irish football team that we love; it's Notre Dame's breathtaking campus, dotted with beautiful Catholic imagery everywhere you look--a slice of Heaven on earth where Our Lady keeps watch from Her perch atop a gleaming golden dome.  It's the rigorous academic programs that ensure preparation for successful careers after graduation. It's the presence of only all-boy and all-girl dorms, making the living arrangements such that parents can feel confident that the university is acting in loco parentis--that the school's administration is striving to guard the Faith and morals of their students to the best of their ability in this fallen world of ours.  It's a place where on any given Sunday, you can find a Mass to attend at almost any hour--from morning Mass at the spectacular Basilica of the Sacred Heart to 10:00 p.m. Mass at your son's dorm, in the basement chapel which is a fixture in every single dormitory on campus.
Notre Dame doesn't always get it right; she caves sometimes to the pressures of a world that appears to be working hard to render belief in the Faith founded by Our Lord Himself irrelevant or obsolete.  For instance, it was with heavy hearts that my husband and I listened to the commencement speaker who was welcomed onto the stage by Notre Dame's president, Fr. Jenkins, with open arms during our 3rd son's graduation ceremony in 2009.  This man who still occupies the White House was and is an unapologetic proponent of abortion, and he is no friend of the Church and its teachings; truly, we could not understand why Notre Dame would make such a scandalous and dangerous choice (and we were certainly not alone in our distress).

But we believe Our Lady is present at the university that bears Her name.  And we believe that in the end, Her Immaculate Heart will triumph there just as it will triumph--as promised--everywhere on earth.
--- 2 ---
We're into early indoctrination in the Pearl family.  We buy our little ones Fighting Irish jerseys, t-shirts, hoodies, hats, etc., and get them sporting blue and gold apparel--or Kelly green apparel decorated with shamrocks and leprechauns--as young as we possibly can.  There is nothing cuter than a wee Pearl child (not that I'm biased, of course)--except perhaps a wee Pearl child wearing a miniature Notre Dame football jersey.  Am I right?  I mean, look at this picture of my granddaughter, Cutie Pie, sitting on Papa's lap sporting a pint-sized Kapron Lewis-Moore jersey.  (I think it's just a tad smaller than the one the 6'4", 306-lb. ND defensive end wears.)

What's also incredibly cute is a wee Pearl girl child in a miniature Notre Dame cheerleading uniform.  If my husband and I had produced any girl children, they most certainly would have owned those.
--- 3 ---
And speaking of Notre Dame cheerleading uniforms, even big Pearl girls can't resist donning them when the occasion calls for it.  Here are my husband's four sisters at a Friday night pre-game party out in South Bend last fall.
My sisters-in-law range in age from 44 to 55, and just look at them!  They're so youthful and gorgeous, aren't they?  And I'll have you know that these outfits were found in the GIRLS'--not the women's--section at Wal-Mart!
--- 4 ---
As part of the aforementioned early indoctrination process, my husband and I bought this little board book for our twin granddaughters at the Hammes Notre Dame bookstore during one of our football weekends last fall.
Bonny Babe and Cutie Pie are 21-months-old now, and they can recognize and pronounce the names of iconic Notre Dame images, like the golden dome,
and the grotto,
as well as the Fighting Irish leprechaun, the library (with the famous "Touchdown Jesus" mosaic on it), and even the intertwined "N" and "D" that is a trademark of the university. When they see those letters, they say, "Dame!"
--- 5 ---
Just in case you didn't really believe what I said in #4, watch this short video of Bonny Babe identifying the ND logo on Papa's shirt.   Be prepared for some serious cuteness here.

--- 6 ---
Happiness is: being with two of my favorite people on earth, at one of my favorite places on earth.  The handsome young man on my right in this photo taken last fall is son #3, and the one on my left is son #5, my baby.  We are standing in front of Notre Dame's faithful replica of the original Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes in France, where Mary appeared to St. Bernadette in 1858.  I love Notre Dame's grotto.  And I love these two boys to pieces (their three brothers, too, of course!).  I am a very proud mama, as you can see, and very blessed indeed. 
--- 7 ---
I can't believe that we haven't gotten any Notre Dame gear for our newest granddaughter yet!

We were waiting to see whether this grandchild would be a boy or a girl before we bought any clothing items, Notre Dame-themed or otherwise.  I'm sure we'll rectify the situation as quickly as we can.  Little Gal will only be two weeks old tomorrow...but it's never too early to start the indoctrination process!

Now you should check out the "7 Quick Takes" posts by all the other bloggers who link up every Friday at Jennifer Fulwiler's Conversion Diary.  There are so many interesting people who participate in this weekly event!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!


  1. You're right, that was such a cute video!! :)

    1. My little future Domer! I'm so glad I caught that on video. (What did we do before iPhones?)

      We just got back from spending about two weeks with our girls--they are hilarious, and we miss them so much already.

  2. Beautiful pictures!

    I didn't realize Pearl is your last name. A dear friend's younger sister's middle name is Pearl, so I had thought of her when visiting your blog. It's still a beautiful name - middle or last!

    God bless you!

    1. You are so sweet. I can tell what a nice person you are just from the way you write. I'm so glad we "met." :)

  3. You look fabulous in that green top from #6. Just lovely! And you granddaughter is a sweetie. So cute!

    1. Thanks, Erica. I'm wearing a pashmina (almost the exact same color as the sweater under it) that my husband got for me in Istanbul years ago. He hasn't been there in ages; but because he used to fly that route rather often, and because they were such a bargain over there, I ended up with about 15 pashminas in a rainbow of colors. I love them and wear them all the time. (This one is particularly perfect for St. Patty's Day or Notre Dame football weekends.)

      My husband and I are absolutely crazy about our granddaughters. We are really enjoying the whole grandparenthood thing.

  4. I'm amazed there is a board book!!

  5. You know I love this set of quick takes!