I am sipping coffee very slowly from my favorite Elvis mug on this quiet Saturday morning after sleeping as late as my brain would allow.
I am still recovering from one of the most incredible weekends I’ll probably ever have in my life.
Today’s wish: that all the blessings from that weekend will stay with each of us who got to experience them, forever.
It started last Thursday, when I took a break from my “day job” at Riley Children’s Foundation, and joined an incredibly talented TV broadcast team for the Drum Corps International World Championships at Lucas Oil Stadium. For the past eight years or so I’ve been on the sidelines of the quarterfinals “Big, Loud and Live” cinecast, which goes out to movie theatres all over the country through Fathom Events. As much as I love seeing the corps’ breathtaking performances from just a few feet away, I’m even more swept away by the great people on this broadcast team, led by Tom Blair. How cool to be surrounded by a team of such smart, fun, sweet and uber-talented professionals, on camera and behind the scenes, many of whom routinely cover Super Bowls, Olympic games and NFL, PGA or NCAA events.
If you’re not familiar with Drum Corps International, and you have any musically-inclined people in your family, go check it out next summer at Lucas Oil Stadium! It’s described as “marching bands on steroids,” or “marching music’s Major League.” The DCI organization is headquartered in Indy, and the performers come from all over the globe. Amazing!
The very next night, I headed to Conner Prairie with my mom, 6-year-old daughter Daisy, and some of my dearest friends, Andrea, Eric, Kristina and Tim, for an evening of Beatles music (performed by Classical Mystery Tour.) I knew I would love spending time with these people I love so much on a warm, summer evening with delicious wine and food to nibble on. I was right about that. I was right. They were absolutely perfect company.
But I had no idea this concert would bring out the 60’s party girl in my youngest daughter. Daisy May wanted to be right up front by the stage, dancing her cute little tail off. I loved watching her slow down and raise her hands into the air, waving slowly side-to-side during “Imagine.” Her face was pure joy.
I looked around and saw couples of all ages dancing together, and parents and children sharing magical moments together just like we were. I always love Symphony on the Prairie, and will make a point to get to more of these next year!
While we were enjoying the Beatles music, some much-awaited news arrived: my new niece, Thea, was born! My brother Brian and sister-in-law Kelly (in the Chicago area) already had two boys, and this little bundle was the first girl in our family after a streak of four boys.
Thea’s face is stunningly perfect, isn’t it? I can’t wait to hold her!
The next day was a small and BEAUTIFUL wedding celebration for my sister-like friend Jill. Her mom and I helped her get ready, and I gave her some last-minute nerve-calming advice. I wiped away tears as Jill and Will said their heartfelt vows.
The happy couple looked like movie stars, as they always do.
Then, it was a PARTY. It’s surreal to celebrate a moment this big with such a close friend – a love-filled, special night I’ll treasure forever.
THE (PERFECT) BALLGAME
The next morning, it was baseball mom mode. My 13-year-old son Cal was in a Gameday USA All-Star tournament at Grand Park in Westfield. The kid LOVES playing ball, and especially pitching. On this day, he was absolutely on fire.
On the mound, he was focused, relentless and full of cool determination. I knew he was having an amazing game. But I didn’t realize until the final strikeout that he had thrown a PERFECT GAME. No hits, no walks, nobody on base, no runs scored – perfect.
They needed to win two more games to take home the championship ring. Cal came back in to close one game, and pitched a few key innings in the final game. His bat was hot too – knocking in a tying run, plus another extra-innings run in the championship game.
Watching him accept the ring after such a jaw-dropping performance that day was unbelievable. How can a mom even handle this much pride?! THIS IS MY KID, EVERYONE! CHECK HIM OUT!
Cool Cal, not much for displays of affection, didn’t even protest when I hugged him. It was a big moment.
He has now been invited to play in the Gameday USA Disney tournament over the New Year’s holiday. Somehow, I’m going to figure out how to make that trip happen.
TIME TO CHILL. EXCEPT…
After such an epic weekend, I am grateful for some legitimate chill time right now. I need it, badly.
All I have to do is go sing the National Anthem at the State Fair.
Never a dull moment…