Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Series Of Events

We started out last week with the Senior Baccalaureate Mass at a beautiful cathedral.


This was a picture Jeff took of Isaac in kindergarten.  It's my favorite picture ever of him.  He just looks so cute, and confident and sure of himself.

I asked Isaac if we could go to the same park and take the same picture and he was totally into it...from finding the right shirt, the exact bend in the road, the perfect stick to hold.  We laughed so hard when he made the exact face I could hardly take the picture.  I have both photos framed now.

Right before the graduation ceremony.

 It was awesome.  I am just so happy for him.  I didn't do the ugly cry just so you know.


That night we gave Isaac his present.  It was a big surprise we were keeping for months and months.  I made sure he knew it was NOT a car or an IPhone just so he wouldn't have any false expectations.  He wanted to me to tell him so badly, but I am awesome at keeping secrets and it wasn't hard to keep this one...there was NO way he was going to guess it anyways.

We had him unwrap little hints and he had no idea till the last present was unwrapped.  It was a flight to Ireland to visit my brother and sister-in-law and their sweet little boy for 10 days.  He was SO surprised and happy and grateful and nervous too...but excited nervous.  (And yes the "hints" were super queer...what does Lucky Charms have to do with Ireland?  But I did the best I could with what I had access to!  See the toy airplane from the Thomas the Train set?)

We had gorgeous weather for his graduation party 2 days later, thank you God.  The weather channel called for thunderstorms and 90+ degree heat but they were wrong, wrong, wrong and I was sure happy about their bad call.  It was breezy and balmy.

These were my simple and easy center pieces.  You know I'm into simple and easy right now.

I set up a table with his scrapbooks and this beautiful quilt made by my friend Jane.  I'll show more of it later...I love it and so did he.

And two days later he was off.  I didn't realize how hard it was going to be to tell him everything he needed to know:
1. He hasn't flown/been in an airport since he was six months old.
2. He had a connecting flight to make at a huge airport.
3. He was flying to a different country.

We did the best we could with our instructions, and prayed that there would be no major glitches.

So far so good-at least we know he made it to Ireland and Andy and Rose have him in their possession.  I just can't wait to talk to him about it all.  I told him-if you can navigate this all by yourself-baptism by fire really, you will have the confidence to go anywhere in the world for the rest of your life.  And I want that for him more than anything.

61 comments :

  1. What a great gift! Experiences beat stuff any day of the week. I've been to Ireland and it's beautiful.

    I love the quilt. I've been saving t-shirts for some time to do this but since I don't sew, I don't see it happening any time soon.

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  2. I just loveeee your blog. Your honesty when you wrote something. I'm in my early 20, from different country of yours (I'm Asian) and still have a lot of things to learn but you inspired me a lot though. I hope Isaac will growth to be someone like you :)

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  3. Oh my goodness...the picture of Isaac in the park as a little boy and then big boy...actually made me cry..real tears...My son is 13 soon to be 14 and it's terribly beautiful scary and amazing watching them grow...so quickly...how nice of him to pull the same little proud boy face for you...xxoxox

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  4. I think I am feeling more teary about the graduation than you are...I guess because I think of my own boys and know it is right around the corner. And doesn't it seem like once the first one hits a milestone the others follow so quickly. What a neat gift. An experience is a present he will enjoy forever. Thanks for the good idea!

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  6. What a beautiful gift. I love your blog - your honesty and thoughts on family are a blessing every time I read.

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  7. What an amazing graduation gift! Your son looks so young to have just graduated ~ Your ugly cry will be coming soon. (Maybe, not... ) Daughter #2 moved out last month and I had the ugly cry for about 2 weeks. Why do they have to grow so fast? I am so thankful I won't have to experience this again for 14 more years!

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  8. Sarah...i've been an avid reader for years...as a 46 year old mom with a man child who moved to California...it will be fine...my dad was a RC priest when he came to this country but decided he wanted a family and left the priesthood....we instill values in our children...its up to them whether or nor they accept them (religious wise..but his father was jewish and he identifies more with the jewish faith)...he is a great kid...even I have strayed and accepted more of a buddhist way...but in the end..its about beiing strong, kind, loving, respectful and doing what it right....Isaac will do great!!!

    looking forward to seeing the new cutest baby!!! hugs and love from just north of the MI border ) -though we still go to Bass Pro Shops in Maumee?! (NYC girl here lol)

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  9. I could cry! This may sound so strange, but as a follower of your blog for quite awhile, I feel like I almost know your family, and I am so proud of Issac! What an amazing job you did raising him. Good job Mama!!

    -Kyie
    www.absolutelyarkansas.blogspot.com

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  10. i had to read old posts to be sure isaac was really graduating from high school... he is so cute and looks so young!! (sorry if he hates that.) cute, cute boy.
    it is certainly the mother in me that is screaming-- college? flying to another country? he's still a baby!!?
    {deep breath}
    i have 5 years till i have to deal with this transition...

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  11. What a wonderful gift! Love all the photos and thank goodness the weather was good. Great idea for table decoration and so simple! Love all your ideas.

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  12. Looks like a perfect graduation! I also really love what you said about "if you can navigate this all by yourself-baptism by fire really, you will have the confidence to go anywhere in the world for the rest of your life." I'd never been overseas or flown by myself - I was very scared the first time (prob. two years older than Isaac) but you're right that it was so confidence building. Four months on my own in a new country and I felt like I'd grown two feet taller.

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  13. this brought tears to my eyes - the two pictures - what an idea! and the gift...he will remember that for a lifetime, much more than a car or iphone or whatever! (ok, well maybe not a brand new spanking car haha)

    You are the mom I wish I could be!

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  14. Amazing post! I loved the two kindergarten/graduation pictures - great idea! What a great graduation gift - i hope your boy has a wonderful trip.

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  15. What a wonderful gift! I love that last bit of advice you gave him!

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  16. Simple and Sweet graduation party is all that they need. Visiting family is the perfect gift! I'll be doing that next year when my oldest daughter graduates. Congratulations, and I pray many blessings upon his future endeavors...and yours! Take it easy :)

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  17. That is awesome! I love that you let him travel by himself. You are letting him learn he can do hard things by himself. Excellent. (and if that was O Hare, then yes, baptism by fire!).

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  18. What a great gift!! How did you restrain yourself from only buying one ticket? I would have rationalized that he needed me to be with him...just so I could go back to Ireland!!!

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  19. Those two pictures of him made me cry, which is weird b/c I don't even know you guys. I hope his trip goes well. What an awesome experience.

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  20. oh my gosh I just love the re-enactment of his kindergarten picture, what an awesome idea!! Patrick looks so much like Isaac! Also love the quilt and his graduation gift was very thoughtful and I am sure will give him some new experiences and memories at exactly the right time in his life.

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  21. Oh, gosh! I love the photos..... precious! And the gift? WOW! I know how you feel, for Christmas we gave Elizabeth a trip to Phoenix to visit a friend and it was so scary to watch her board that flight!

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  22. best graduation present EVAH!

    Best of luck to that young man.

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  23. I just cried myself looking at those two pictures. WOW, this will all be over before I know it. You always give me a good dose of reality which I love so much. Awesome graduation gift.

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  24. I could cry at that picture! Everything looks simply beautiful...good job, Sarah. Yay for good weather, the quilt is gorgeous, and I love Patrick's face on the walkway :)

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  25. I don't know why I am teary-eyed after reading your post... As a mom, I think it is the picture of Isaac from kinder to senior and then it's your (brilliant) idea of giving him wings to fly instead of material gifts for graduation. I love your blog! Keep up the good work and take care of yourself too! :)

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  26. I got a little teary-eyed reading this entry. It was beautiful, but I would have ugly cried the entire time. My oldest in enter into Junior High and I had be bite the inside of my mouth to keep from crying during her 5th grade graduation - I will be a mess when she is old enough to travel to Ireland alone. That was a great gift and will bring him beautiful memories - far more than an iphone.

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  27. What an amazing graduation...I love the Cathedral!!! It looks like it should be in Europe! You guys are wonderful parents...Isaac is very lucky! Love the picture of him in Kindergarten and now! I have a while until I have one graduating from High School, but I will take notes from you :-)

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  28. What a wonderful post and a wonderful gift for your son on his graduation. Although, I have to say, he does not look old enough to be a high school graduate. He must have very youthful genes!

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  29. What a wonderful gift, and such a great experience to have before making his way to college! I remember traveling to Europe for the first time in my 20s for work and it does give you such a sense of independence...so exciting!

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  30. Isaac has such wonderful, thoughtful parents!

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  31. Lovely post, as usual! I love, love, love those matching pictures of him...what a treasure to have! You have done well, Sarah. :)

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  32. What awesome memories he has! I love those two pictures, I will have to remember that. We are letting our oldest fly to a conference in july in DC. It makes me nervous but it will be ok. She will fly out of that same airport, DTW right?.

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  33. What awesome memories he has! I love those two pictures, I will have to remember that. We are letting our oldest fly to a conference in july in DC. It makes me nervous but it will be ok. She will fly out of that same airport, DTW right?.

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  34. Last year was my youngest child's senior year. An older sister was in England with her family and had flown the next-to-youngest sister out to help with the children for four months.
    So for Easter break we sent the youngest to England for two weeks and bought Chunnel tickets for the two youngest to go to Paris, France and stay with friends of ours for four days.
    They had a blast in England and France!
    Someday we'd like to take the two youngest back to Italy. They were too young to remember the whole family there before.
    What a great idea for a graduation gift! The future is calling!!

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  35. Wow- what a fantastic graduation, celebration and present! You have given him so many wonderful gifts - his journey is just beginning! The photos are precious!

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  36. I love everything about this post. Your blog is one of my favorites because it is just about life. Thanks for letting us be a part of your life.

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  37. That is the coolest gift ever!!! He will grow so much more in confidence and maturity. My parents gave me the same gift, l went to Italy and boy did it help me forever! This summer l'm sending my kids to Australia (where we're from) on their own and l know it will do a world of good for them, but l must admit l'm a little nervous.

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  38. Well, I am getting teary reading this post! This is wonderful, such a gift. Both the trip and his Mom's confidence in him. I hope to be able to do/feel the same for my boys some day!

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  39. what a special day for Isaac! I hope he has a wonderful time in Ireland...what an amazing gift for him in so many ways, I am sure it will be life changing for him!

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  40. Why does MY heart hurt just a little watching and reading this post? He is just darling but I simply cannot believe how well you are handling all of these changes- especially while pregnant. I would be a mess!! Holy moley- you are a rock.

    I get all teary at the end of every school year. And not bc all 4 kids will be home with me every single day (HA!!!) but bc I am grateful/proud/somewhat disbelieving/ beyond all belief of everything they are becoming and also somewhat sad that another school year is behind us. The time just goes by way too quickly. I guess I need to get a grip.

    Love your entries and YOU!
    Amy W.
    Chicago

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  41. I'm the same age as Isaac, just finishing at my catholic sixth form in the UK, its so interesting to see how this all plays out in America, such an amazing present to go to ireland, I've got A lot of family over there as my mums irish, but I've never even been!
    xoxox

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  42. Perfect, perfect gift. Tangible 'things' are just 'things'. This gift is allowing him to build lasting memories and is instilling lasting self confidence. WAY more important than a phone or a car.

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  43. Congrats on making through the last week Sarah! I'm so excited for you and your sweet boy. All grown up! And what a perfect gift to prove that. He will have the trip of a lifetime - one he will never forget. Such a special time for your sweet family. Congrats again!!

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  44. What an accomplishment for Issac. Love the gift... perfect!! Hope he has a great time and I hope you gave him a camera to take along. I am sure we will all want to see pictures.

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  45. and don't you love how I changed the spelling of his name?! Isaac. Sorry, Sarah! lol...

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  46. That picture made me do the ugly cry.

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  47. What a wonderful present! Isn't it so hard to believe that they are the same small boys we held a few years ago....well more than a few.

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  48. I'm almost crying over this beautiful post about your son. The two pictures of him are incredible! I love that you were able to recreate it.
    What an exciting present and time of life for him. You are an incredible mother and he is blessed to have you.

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  49. So incredible Sarah!! Please share more on the quilt!!

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  50. I have to agree...the two pictures of him (one young and one older) are so...so...so precious! I know you will forever cherish those. What a wonderful and meaningful present to give him. And, I'm glad to hear you held back and didn't do the "ugly cry". :-)

    Can't wait to see and hear more about the quilt.

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  51. i love everything in this post.

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  52. Wow, I got chills reading that . . . and smiled to think of how brave you are sending your oldest out into the world. I hope that day never comes! Just kidding- I know it's great to have successfully parented him to go off on his own.

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  53. What a fabulous graduation present! I love all of the photos and wow to the cathedral, I think it's more grand than the biggest and oldest we have here in Sydney! My eldest is just in year 1 so we have a long way to go but I can just imagine how special it is for the first to graduate!

    I hope he has a wonderful trip away and am sure he will come back a little older and more independent

    Corrie:)

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  54. Oh, Sarah. Congratulations. I just love this post.

    That photo of Isaac in kindergarten looks just like Patrick! How precious. Love that you recreated it.

    And a trip to Ireland! That's great--what a special, wonderful gift.

    I've been meaning to tell you--my oldest left on Tuesday of this week to spend the summer in Rome. He's going to be a State Department intern in the office of the U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See. I'm so proud of him! :)

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  55. Wow! Congrats Isaac! Ireland!! Hope he's having a great time...what a great gift :)

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  56. Oh Sarah, what a beautiful post.

    Congrats to Isaac.

    I cried at this post - the pics of him in the same place.... he's growing up so beautifully... and then how you said if he can fly off to Ireland and do this grand adventure, he'll be set.

    Just beautiful!

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  57. I got teary-eyed looking at the pictures of Isaac in the same place. What a great idea! You're blog is so fun to read. You're such a great mom! I only have one child now, but your blog makes me want to have a house full! You seem like such a fun, close-knit family.

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  58. Congratulations! What a great gift! He doesn't look old enough to go anywhere by himself. I had to read over old post to make sure you said highschool and not middle school.

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  59. "Men For Others" makes me teary every time I see the words. Love the motto and love the Jesuit schools! Our Jesuit football team is actually going to Ireland to play a game in September. I think half the school is tagging along. My boys are so bummed that they are in college and not getting to be part of the "Jesuit Delegation" ha!
    Congrats to you on the graduation and good luck as he goes off to college. I wish I had had a new baby each time one of my three left. It so would have helped the transition!!!

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  60. Wow, that is an AWESOME gift. I hope he's taking pictures. I cannot believe your son has graduated. Craziness!

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