Pizza/Anniversary/Barnum Serenade/Homework Extravaganza! – Monday, May 17, 2010

On Monday Larry and I headed back to Mom and Dad’s house for dinner and to our delight an anniversary celebration! It was really relaxing to just sit at that table eating pizza, enjoying wine and just chatting – we even received an impromptu singing concert by Brian (Brian, you are FABULOUSLY TALENTED!)and we all enjoyed helping Emily with her Social Studies homework – and I realized that, you know, if you don’t keep up with things, you WILL forget – I was stumped with some of the questions! Emily you did a great job!

Thank you to everyone for such a special weekend – we hope to see Bea, Eric (we KNOW we'll see YOU!), Brian and Emily again very soon!

It’s Official…Eric is an Alumnus of the University of Notre Dame! – Sunday, May 16, 2010

After setting the alarm Saturday night post dinner & dorm room fun, for some reason I was thinking the 4am wake up call would not be an issue. Was I deluding myself that since I was now in close proximity to a college campus I would somehow through osmosis be remarkably spry like I was in college when I pulled all-nighters to study or a late night out on the weekend for fun?

Well, let me tell you...when the alarm went off at 4:00am, I felt like I was kicked in the head – quickly realizing that my theory of osmosis was in fact a crock.

So Larry and I managed to get ourselves together, rolled into Bob Evans at 6:00am for breakfast and were on campus shortly thereafter – we even “beat” the rest of the clan to campus!

We didn’t think it was that cold out, but as we were walking to the football stadium for the general graduation ceremonies, the wind started to kick up and we were freezing, so we walked back to the car to collect all the blankets we could for everyone – we May’s come prepared! :)

With blankets in tow we met up with the rest of the group and found some great, albeit very narrow, bleacher seats. Mom, Dad and Brett brought donuts and hot chocolate, which definitely hit the spot on a cold morning.

The bleachers started to fill up and the sun came out and suddenly it was hot!

There were quite a few graduates filtering into the stadium, so it took awhile, but it was just really nice seeing how excited everyone was.

The ceremony was lovely, but I have to especially mention the commencement speaker…Brian Williams. I have to tell you – Larry and I have always liked Brian Williams – great at reporting the news, funny on John Stewart and just seems to be an all-around good guy. Well, his speech was just fantastic! He was funny and serious and just a phenomenal speaker. I’m including the link to his speech – watch it…it’s great!

After the ceremony we took some photos as you can see here and then Mom, Larry and I went to lunch before meeting up with everyone for Eric’s actual graduation for his degree from the Mendoza School of Business – the number 1 ranked business school in the US!

The ceremony was great and it was really nice that we were a part of Eric’s special day.

After the ceremony we all took a walk around campus: seeing the library (Touchdown Jesus, Main Building, where Eric worked in the Admissions Office – with the phenomenal paintings, which took 17 years to paint, and the Grotto) – what a gorgeous campus. An interesting note about the "Hula Girl" - apparently the painter was tired of painting tassels in the painting and showed his sense of humor by painting her - you'd miss this creative detail if you looked quickly - Eric, thanks for sharing the history of the building with us!

We were also able to meet Eric’s girlfriend Emma – so that was a real treat too.

Then my feet gave out and the 4:00am wake up hit Larry and I and we all headed back to Illinois.

Eric – thanks for sharing with us this amazing weekend – we had so much fun!

We’re all very proud of you!

Let the Graduation Festivities Begin! – Saturday, May 15, 2010

Saturday morning Larry and I we’re able to sleep-in a little before heading off to South Bend – the plan was to meet up at some point in on Campus, since we were going down to ND in 3 cars. Unfortunately, Carol and Johnny couldn’t make it because Johnny was sick – but I'm happy to report Johnny is feeling much better! Carol and Johnny: we missed you!

The game plan was to meet up on campus before the commencement mass at 5:00pm. Larry and I needed to check into our hotel first, which was in Goshen, about a half hour away (or so we thought). Unfortunately we completely forgot about the time change (ND is in EST) and we hit local road construction, so by the time we got to the hotel, changed, got back in the car, hit road construction/traffic again, it was passed our meet-up time.

SO…while the rest of the group made it to the Joyce Center for the mass, when Larry and I arrived at 4:30pm we were directed to the North Dome (Hockey rink) for the mass which would be shown on closed-circuit TV. But the funny thing was, we initially didn’t realize we weren’t in the main area for the mass and we’re wondering where everyone was and actually wondering out loud…”Gee, why did the university encourage people to come early for seats…there’s PLENTY here!” Oh well. But Larry and I did enjoy the mass from said hockey rink and we had plenty of seats to choose from! :)

After mass, we did manage to meet up with everyone for dinner at Carmella's Restaurant. This was definitely the place to go because EVERYONE was there – I’m not kidding…the place was packed – thank goodness we made reservations awhile ago!

Dinner was fabulous: just a lovely night of fun, food and even a serenade of the ND alma mater song by Eric, Charlie and Emily! I was quite impressed, because I will fully admit that I don’t think I EVER remember learning Dayton’s song and I had 4 wonderful years there – either that or I’m just blocking it out, but honestly I have no recollection of it!

After a fun-filled night and with full-bellies, we all wanted to see Eric’s dorm room, so we headed to campus to check out the digs.

I will say that as soon as we entered the dorm I was hit with memories of UD and my own dorm room – kind of a sweet remembrance of years ago and then being smacked in the face with reality that I don’t think I could ever live in a door room again! But I will say it was nice to see Eric’s room: the famous/infamous orange couch we have all heard about (Eric: I will admit that I actually like the pattern – very fashion forward!), the mini-fridge, Nanna’s ND-colored throw that she made, the bunk bed, the sink in the room and last but not least the flat screen TV – which I will fully admit I am very jealous of.

And lest we not forget…the college guy we almost walked into on the way out of the dorm who was walking back from the shower in his towel, which we all had a laugh because quite frankly, yup, that would happen to us. The scene might have been lost on Lydia, but it was amusing for the rest of us.

After the trip back to memory lane, we all headed back to our hotels to get some sleep before the graduation ceremonies in the am.

Eric’s Graduation from Notre Dame Weekend – Friday, May 15, 2010

During the weekend of May 14th, the Mays & Vassallos we’re thrilled to be a part of Eric’s graduation from the University of Norte Dame.

For the past four years we’ve been very lucky to have had the opportunity to get to see Eric on a regular basis while he was at ND – at Thanksgiving at our house, Easter at Mom and Dad’s, and various weekends in between – it’s just been really great to have the Midwest contingent of the Fritz-Vassallo-May family grow. And we are even more thrilled that Eric received and accepted a job in Chicago – so Eric, the Vassallo-May’s are like glue…you’re stuck with us and we can’t wait to see you in Chi-town!

AND we hope to see more family on a regular basis!

The graduation festivities were kicked off with Bea, Brian and Emily coming in for the event and staying at Mom and Dad’s before we trekked to South Bend for the weekend.

It’s been 12 years since Larry and I have seen Bea (at Lynette and Steve’s wedding) and we were so excited to be able to catch up – actually, we didn’t even need to catch up, it was like we had seen her just yesterday – but it was so nice to be able to chat face-to-face and enjoy having family together etc. for this special weekend.

What was really wonderful is that we were able to get to know Brian and Emily, who would have been too young to remember us, so this was an added bonus to the weekend! And we were able to pick Brian’s brain about the exciting event in his life coming up: graduation from high school and entrance into the Naval Academy – way to go Brian! And Emily shared her plans for the Summer: Barn Camp and getting excited for going into the 6th grade.

Larry and I went over to Mom and Dad’s for some pre-South Bend activities – a BBQ – yum! I pretty much am a happy camper when anyone mentions BBQ, so if you combine Friday night + hamburgers and hot dogs with family and to me that equals fun! Thanks for the great spread Mom & Dad!

We spent the evening catching up and just plain vedging – perfect for gearing up for the packed graduation weekend schedule to come!

Let the Summer Activities Begin! - May 2010

It’s been a little quite here at a Farmhouse Revised…well, at only in blogland…because there has been a bevy of activities that happen in May and I’m just now coming up for air! Not even thinking about all the things we have to do in June, in May alone we’ve had Dad’s (May 1st), Charlie’s (May 1st), Mom’s (May 5th), and shortly Lydia’s (May 30th) birthdays; 2 anniversaries: Brett & Carol (11th) and Larry and mine (11th); planning for an upcoming neighborhood garage sale in June that I’m spearheading; Eric’s graduation from Notre Dame; and our anniversary trip to Madison, WI…I’m exhausted even thinking about it now!

And now that I think about it, May is just the start of the Summer “busyness” – so I better suck it up and hold on tight lest I be carried away with all the activity…at least I will be enjoying the ride!

Summer fun…here we come!