Bowling for Love

Last week, Danny and Kevin and I traveled to Chicago for the wedding of my brother Patrick.  Since our flight left Paraguay in the middle of the night, we put the kids to bed for a couple hours before we left.  Danny and Patrick hugged goodbye before bed.  Maria stayed home with a sleeping Patrick while Brian took me, Danny, and Kev to the airport.

Kev stayed busy on the six-hour flight to Panama by taking lots of short naps.  Danny kept busy by watching “The Incredibles” for four hours before he finally fell asleep for the last two hours.

We landed in Panama around 7am as the sun was coming up and we boarded our connecting flight to Orlando.  In Orlando, we took two trains (Danny loved it!) to our gate and boarded our last flight to Chicago.  Kev had a disgusting and disastrous diaper failure as we boarded that flight.  It was gross.  Kev got a new outfit and I had some wine.

We spent the next two days hanging at my parents’ house, going to doctor appointments, getting the boys haircuts (Kevin’s first!), and spending time with family.  Danny got to see the movie “Beauty and the Beast” with Aunt Sheila (in the picture they’re both pretending to be the Beast).

Finally it was time to kick off the wedding weekend celebrations in honor of my brother Patrick and his fiancée Amy.  

The two lovebirds met when they were 10 years old and on the swim team at Butterfield Country Club.  They went to high school together at Hinsdale Central and continued to be close.  One night in fact, they stayed up on the phone chatting all night and the next day Patrick, worried that the late-night conversation would negatively affect Amy’s performance on an exam she had that day, lovingly decided to pull the fire alarm right before the test in order to give her more time to study.  During high school Paudh and Amy were planning to go to a homecoming dance together, until some of Patrick’s misdeeds resulted in severe grounding including a prohibition on attendance at the homecoming dance.  Amy’s parents called to try to convince my parents that the punishment was too severe since it also punished their daughter who had already bought a dress and made plans for the night.  My parents remained firm and refused.  (I think Amy’s parents have only recently forgiven my parents for this.)  After high school, the two stayed in the Midwest for college, with Patrick in Minnesota and Amy in Michigan.  One weekend the pair met up with family and friends at a Notre Dame football game for a tailgate.  Patrick, a talented chef and eager to impress Amy, went way beyond the typical burgers and hotdogs and brought an elaborate spread including marinated lamb chops.  Over the years, the two remained in contact here and there and dated others.  On Christmas Eve 2014, Amy’s twin sister fell and hurt her foot.  Amy, remembering that my dad is an orthopedic surgeon, called Paudh asking if my dad could help her sister.  With that phone call, they were reconnected, and began dating soon after.  The rest, as they say, is history.  In July 2016 Patrick proposed to Amy who happily said yes.  And look at the gorgeous ring.  Nice job Paudh!

On Friday night, we started the wedding weekend celebration at Holy Family Church  (the same church where Brian and I got married 13 years ago!) for the wedding rehearsal. On the way to the church, we drove past the tv show “Chicago Fire” being filmed.

Unfortunately, the church wedding coordinator got the time of the rehearsal wrong, and showed up 45 minutes late.  Since I had two very active, less-than-patient little boys with me, we ended up leaving the church before the rehearsal started.  Before we left, the boys had fun with their aunts and uncles and Danny loved Aunt Mary Kate’s selfie stick!  Holy Family, the second oldest church in the city, is beautiful.

As we left the church, we drove past the condo where Brian and I lived when we were first married.

On the way to the dinner, I dropped Danny and Kevin off with Brian’s brother Jay and his wife Michele.  Danny was very excited about eating pizza at their house and playing with them after Kevin went to bed.  Poor Kevin, exhausted from the travel and a bit stressed to be without me and Maria and Mercedes, was not the best guest.  Danny couldn’t have been better behaved, thrilled to be playing Connect Four with Jay and Michele and helping them to take care of Kevin.  Jay and Michele put Kevin in the crib at 730pm, but he didn’t go to sleep for about three hours.  He spent a fair amount of time rolling around and whimpering in his crib, and eventually got up and started running laps around the crib while yelling “goal!”  Finally, the little guy fell asleep and started snoring.  By 630am, the boys were awake and ready for a new day.  Jay and Michele were ready for a nap!

While Jay and Michele had their hands full with Danny and Kev, Brian and Patrick were at home in Paraguay monitoring the news there, after a secret congressional vote regarding presidential reelection led to unexpectedly violent protests. 

Here’s Patrick’s take on the news of the day.

Meanwhile, I was having lots of fun at the bowling alley, where Paudh and Amy had a really fun rehearsal dinner. 

We had eight lanes reserved for our group. 

The “guest book” for the night was a bowling pin signed by all of us.

My sister Nora, due next month with baby #2, was not the only one with a nice round belly!

We had a fun couple of hours bowling and eating pizza!

For the first time in a long time, my parents and all of the siblings were together in the same place at the same time.  The bowling shoes really add a nice touch to this picture, don’t you think?

In honor of a song they danced to at a swim team banquet more than 25 years ago, the two lovebirds danced to “Killing Me Softly.”

We had a fun night together and were all excited for the wedding the next day!

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