You see, I've been out of town for about a week. My husband and I flew out to his alma mater to watch ND beat Rice in their season opener on August 30. Most of his siblings, their spouses, and many of our nieces and nephews were there, too (sharing a rented condo)--and of course our youngest son, who's a senior. Our baby, whose mother used to tidy up his room for him and keep his laundry basket from overflowing, is living in an off-campus "Army house" with seven other Army ROTC cadets. His bedroom is a bit of a nightmare. (AAAGGGHHH!!! Why do college boys want to live off-campus when they can live in a dorm, with cafeteria meals and a laundry service??!! Why are they okay with living in utter squalor??!!) But our boy is happy, so I'm happy. And the main part of the house is fairly neat and clean, thanks to the oldest housemate, a former enlisted man who will graduate with our son and be commissioned as an officer. He's got a few years on the other guys, and he's the designated "dad" of the house. Those eight housemates are some of the most awesome young men you will ever meet--and I'm not just saying that because one of them belongs to me. The US of A is in good hands with those lads preparing to enter the ranks of our military forces, I'll tell you.
After the game, we headed over to the Kalamazoo area to spend the week with our oldest son, his wife, and our three precious granddaughters. Then we rounded out our Midwest jaunt with another trip to South Bend for the game on September 6--and this time, our oldest son's family came along to tailgate with us. I decided to forgo my ticket, and our son and his wife got to sit with my hubby and watch ND annihilate Michigan (in a 31-0 shutout!), while I stayed back at our rented house with the wee ones. (Grammy loves ND football; but not as much as those three little girls dressed in ND cheerleader outfits--it's not even close, people.)
On Sunday, we had the privilege of attending Mass at Notre Dame's Basilica of the Sacred Heart, and at one point both of the twins (3-year-olds who are at the top of the growth charts for both height and weight and wear size 4-5 already) wanted to sit on my lap--and they stayed there for quite a long stretch. I often play the role of C.L. (chopped liver, that is) whenever their Papa is available; but suddenly, I was the rock star. They both wanted me, and only me! They burrowed into me, played with my hair, gave me snuggles and hugs. A woman behind me leaned over and whispered in my ear, "You're being smothered with love." I was. And it was HEAVEN. As if going to Mass at the Basilica isn't heavenly enough! It actually brought tears to my eyes at one point, I felt so very blessed. I wondered, as I often do, if it's possible for a heart to actually burst wide open, because it's so over-full of love.
After Mass, we visited the Grotto behind the Basilica, a replica of the one at Lourdes.
|Little Gal and her daddy, saying a prayer together.|
|My little Mass buddies.|
By the by, those three matching dresses the girls are wearing, bought at the Hammes Bookstore at ND during the weekend of the Rice game, were supposed to be Christmas presents. But Papa and Grammy couldn't wait to see them on their sweetie pies...so they were just "I love you" presents.
I've been home since Monday night, and yes, this is Wednesday night...so I suppose I could have gotten a post up before now. But we are out of town so much these days that whenever I do get home to my poor neglected house, I have a list a mile long of things I need to get done. First on the list, of course, is to finish the last few chapters of Erin's Ring! Also, I'll have to find out when I can offer the deep discount on the Kindle version of Finding Grace, and I'll update you on the book club--which I believe is going to be called "Grace-filled Tuesdays."
I think I'll be back here again tomorrow. I'd almost forgotten how much fun blogging is!
Good night and God bless you!