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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Spring Break Recap (with some help from Amy Poehler)

Hi, Friends!

I hope you all had a blessed Easter and if you were lucky enough to be breaking in the spring last week like we were, I hope you had a fun Spring Break. I'm so glad to be back here with my keyboard after being away and I'm just as sure as I'm sitting here that you've been waiting with great anticipation to hear about what's been happening in my life. ;-) So let's start here:

We started our Spring Break with visions of a NCAA Basketball Championship dancing in our delusional little heads as the first round of tournament pitted Texas vs. Northern Iowa. I suppose that time really does heal some wounds as that glint of hope seems like years ago despite the fact that I thought I would never recover. I'm happy to report that I am not bearing too many emotional scars. And also, I didn't break anything. Neither in my house nor on my person.

The game started at almost 10:00 pm Eastern Time last Friday so the only people who lasted until the bitter (and I do mean bitter) end were Kyle and me.  If you didn't see this shot 7,435 times on ESPN the next day, here's a look at the last three seconds of the game which caused Kyle and me to go through the full gamut of emotions that March Madness so often provides.

As you might imagine when our guy tied it up with 2.7 seconds on the clock, we thought we were in for overtime so Kyle and I were all "BRING.IT.ON":

And then that darn kid wearing the wrong color jersey went and launched the ball across more than half of the stinkin' court and into the basket, so about .8 seconds later we were like this:

Dear Basketball Season: You're dead to me. #don'tletthedoorhityouonthewayout

Things started looking up on Palm Sunday when we went to see Third Day and Brandon Heath in concert and it was just as amazingly perfect as usual. I was reminded of yet another favorite song I need to share with you, friends. Consuming Fire is one of Third Day's first songs. For those of you who are my age, tell me you don't hear a little Pearl Jam influence in there.

The highlight of the early part of our week was when Kyle and I had the opportunity to volunteer as greeters for an Honor Flight which arrived at Reagan National Airport. Honor Flight flies US veterans into DC to visit their memorials. On Tuesday, Honor Flight brought in a group of "Rosie the Riveters" who worked in the factories during World War II as partners in the war effort. They were the most beautiful women - gracious and proud. It was such a joy to thank and welcome them.

Later in the week, we loaded the whole family in the car to go visit some colleges as we are nearing the point where one of our kiddos might venture out into the cruel, scary world  leaving me to cry rivers of tears seek to expand his horizons and delve into some higher learning. We visited Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, Duke and the University of North Carolina. I have to say that listening to the admissions folks and the students talk about the classes offered and the opportunities for internships and specialized study got me all fired up about my kids' futures. It's just so exciting. I'm sure that Joe was mighty embarrassed, but I was pretty much like this during the whole information session at Virginia Tech.

But then later I would think about actually dropping my kid off at college and leaving him there and I was more like this:

Anyway, I'm going to stay in denial about the part of college when the parent doesn't actually live in the dorm and attend all the classes and join in on study groups at the Student Union with the kid. Whatever.

In other slightly delusional news, here's a photo of Joe and me in front of the chapel at beautiful Wake Forest University. I felt it important to point out all the area churches and chapels in the college towns we visited because obviously when he's not studying, he'll be at the chapel.

As usual we had to find our way to a baseball game or two so we went to see Virginia Tech play Notre Dame on Thursday and North Carolina play Georgia Tech on Friday. In general, if my kid is not playing I am not fully engaged in the baseball game, but we were able to see some pretty amazing performances at these two games. There was a kid on Notre Dame's team that had a day at the plate the likes of which I have not seen since T-ball when everyone gets a hit no matter if they're swinging for the fences or picking their nose. This kid hit three home runs, a double, a triple and had 9 RBI. We spotted his dad a few rows in front of us and I was stunned by his stoicism. Each time the kid hit that ball, Dad just leaned forward ever so slightly with a very calm, respectable golf clap. And I gotta say that if that was my kid I would have tried really, really hard to be all classy and calm like that. But I'm pretty sure it would be more like this:

As we left Blacksburg for Chapel Hill, I grabbed a USA Today which told me that UNC was having an exhibit at their Wilson Library titled 'From Frock Coats to Flip Flops: 100 Years of Fashion at Carolina" and I just about came out of my stylish shoes I was so excited. I figured the guys owed me one, so I informed them that we would be expanding our horizons at the exhibit before the baseball game. They were full of delight at this prospect. I'm pretty sure in the rear view mirror I saw this:

We rolled into Chapel Hill in plenty of time to see the exhibit and still make it to the first pitch of the game only to find out that the library is closed on Fridays. So I was all:

But oh joy of joys, this meant we could make it to the game a full hour early!
The Tar Heels stadium was beautiful and they won, and the guy on the mound pitched a gem, so blah, blah, blah.

We wrapped up our week celebrating Easter at our church which was bursting at the seams with people. I love Easter. I love singing "Christ the Lord is risen today!" every single year, I love the little girls in Easter dresses. I love the lilies on the altar and the cars spilling out into the grass because the parking lot is so full. I love the passages read defiantly asking, "O, Death, where is your sting? O, Grave, where is your victory?" I love how God takes us out of the desperate, dark misery of the Crucifixion and shines a blindingly bright light of hope on the whole broken mess of us. I'd say Amy Poehler's friend, Ms. Tina Fey sums up how I feel about Easter. It's pretty much like this:

It really was a great, relaxing and fun break. I enjoyed so much the lack of schedule and being with my guys. And I wasn't sure I was ready to get back to real life to tell you the truth. I'm starting off a little overwhelmed and stressed out thinking about what the season of spring sports and a move into a new house and the frantic activities of the end of the school year will bring. So, I'm going to try really hard today to look for all kinds of opportunities to high five a million angels. I just know they're out there. Let's not let go of the shining hope and light we felt on Easter morning. Let's go out and find those angels today, shall we?

Have a great week, friends!

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