Monday, January 16, 2017

My Sunday Best: The Notre Dame Edition

I have a lot of resolutions for 2017: to eat better; to exercise more; to pray more and to strive more intentionally for sainthood, which is of course the whole purpose of this life on earth (and to remember in particular to pray to the patron saint chosen for me this year from the Saints Name Generator, St. Vitus--but more about that later); to write more (in particular, speaking of striving for sainthood, to write the amazing story of my dad's brave, heroic, and holy last weeks and hours on earth before his death on Nov. 25)...and the list goes on and on.  But included in the resolution to write more is the plan to blog more here at String of Pearls, as this is an activity that has brought me more joys and blessings (not to mention new Internet friends) than I ever could have imagined when I started out almost six years ago.


Here I am again, not bleeding onto the page with the story of my father's beautiful death (I just can't do it yet, and I don't know why), but just posting something lighthearted and fun.  And what could be more fun than a "My Sunday Best" post by yours truly?  (I can hear some of you saying, "Um...I can think of a few things."  But here I go anyway.)
My husband and I flew out to South Bend this past Friday, leaving NH at oh-dark-thirty and arriving before lunchtime.  Two of his three brothers met us out there later that day, and together we worked to finish setting up the house my husband and his seven siblings bought recently (as an investment property, to rent out for Notre Dame football weekends and other university events).  So we landed at the South Bend airport and rented a Budget moving truck, and our first stop was Big Lots, where we picked up a queen-sized bed, an enormous leather sectional, a rug, and various and sundry other items that we couldn't have hauled away ourselves if we'd just rented a car.

So it was just me being "one of the guys," which is sort of my wheelhouse after raising five sons.  We spent the rest of the weekend moving furniture, hanging pictures, mounting television sets on walls, and shopping for different household necessities.  (The house has already been rented from Feb. 1 until the end of the summer, from a construction company working on a project in the area.  So right from the get-go, it's already proven to be a good investment!)  Then at quitting time, the four of us stayed up til all hours, talking and laughing.  It was a very productive, but also a very enjoyable, weekend.

One of the best things about being out at Notre Dame on a Sunday is having the opportunity to go to Mass at the Sacred Heart Basilica on campus.  It is one of the most breathtaking churches I have ever seen (and now that I've been to Europe a few times, tagging along with my husband on his working trips, I've seen some indescribably beautiful churches).

I wasn't wearing anything particularly wowser for Mass.  It was my usual uniform of black skirt, black tights, black leather flats.  In the winter I most often pair my black skirt with a sweater of some kind, and yesterday I had on a well-loved and much-worn royal blue cotton twinset.  But never mind that; instead, I thought I'd show you the jacket I was wearing, because it was a killer find at our local Goodwill (where I went shopping after Christmas with my similarly frugal daughter-in-law, Regina).  The brown quilted jacket is by Lands End, and on careful inspection it was obvious that it had never been worn. And despite the label and the pristine condition, I got it for a mere $6.00!  Score!  (The brown lace mantilla is one I made for myself.  It's not nearly as pretty as the ones they sell at Veils by Lily and similar retailers, but it's not too bad.)
My husband--who is a fashion photographer extraordinaire--snapped this picture while I was standing in front of the "God, Country, Notre Dame" door at the Basilica.  This is a favorite spot of ours, as it has been the backdrop for several military commissioning ceremonies in the Pearl family over the years.  Notre Dame has always supported our armed forces, and has ROTC programs for every service branch. I love that about ND.

And when you're at the Basilica, as a bonus you have a nice view of its next-door neighbor with that iconic golden dome on top, and the statue of the Blessed Mother perched up there, watching over all.  (Hi, Mary!)
Needless to say, I had a wonderful weekend, and a wonderful Mass experience at Our Lady's university.

But now I'm back home.  And now I need to head on over to Rosie's and see the Sunday Best outfits worn by some of the other bloggers I've come to know and love.  You might want to check them out, too.  (And you might want to check out the Saints Name Generator while you're at it, to see which heavenly friend has been chosen just for you in 2017.)


  1. South Bend in January, you brave soul! Every time we have a cold day here, I don't miss the Midwest winters I experienced in college at all ;)

    What a great find that coat is! I never have much luck at our Goodwill but I'm hopeful that some day I will :)

  2. I do love your cost. I would also love to see pics of the house in South Bend.

  3. Look at you guys with investment properties! Very cool. Nice coat find. I think thrift store finds depend on the area you live in. I feel like I never find any "wows!" here.