Yesterday, I left off with my bad math skills and my poor dinner guest manners.
We walked in the door of the Thoman’s house many hours later than what we planned and we all got a good chuckle out of that. Fortunately, we have amazing friends who just laughed it off, poured us a margarita and we caught up on life. We got to hug on our Godson, Jackson, and enjoy the company of many of our children’s Godparents.
It was lovely. Beyond, actually. Tim and Cathy, thank you opening your home (so late, too!) for these eight weary Texans.
We tried to do something along the way for each one of our kids. Luke adores cars, so the Indianapolis Motor Speedway it was. Unfortunately, I forgot to call and confirm they were doing track tours (our sole reason for going). Rookie mistake. But, we just made another trip the following morning. Luke, take note, that’s how much we love you bud. He did take great care in picking out the perfect car. That kind of greatness can’t be rushed.
We enjoyed lunch with friends at Bazbeaux and even got to hug the neck of one of our favorite neighbors, of all time. Mike is a sports reporter and my boys were in ESPN heaven.
Then, it was home for nap – boy, did we need it – and Daily Mass with Fr. Kevin. It sounded like such a good idea at the time, but ultimately it was a disaster with the littles. Baby cries are always magnified in a small chapel and I swear, all of my kids had to visit the facilities. I was like, come on y’all. Can’t you wait 20 minutes? Evidently not.
The biggest highlight of the day? Hugging the necks of our dear Italian friends and Will’s Godparents, Fr. Kevin and Carla. The weather was stunning and the company even better. Anna-Laura enjoyed a little quality time with her Godmother, Lynne.
We even had a chance to spy our old house – our very first! She sure looked good. Back in 2002, on the left, and on the right was 2015. We built that house and put a ton of sweat equity into it. It sure does hold some good memories. We were thrilled the neighborhood looked even more beautiful than when we left it 12 years ago.
The next morning, we hit up the speedway (again) and this time? Success. There were so few people there, we had the whole bus to ourselves! I don’t dare try to remember just how many times we’ve been on this tour!
We tried, oh so hard, to see our good friend Fr. Rick Nagel at the downtown parish, just a block from Lucas Oil Stadium (where the Colts play), but he was busy hearing confessions. So, we prayed, took a selfie by the confessional and texted it to him. Close enough. Next time, Fr. Rick!
Will is a HUGE Colts fan. Hazard of being born in Indy. That boy bleeds blue and white. To be on hallowed ground at Lucas Oil pretty much made his trip.
The troops were starving, so we enjoyed an a-mazing homemade lunch with John Paul’s Godmother, Gachia, and her husband Ray at the Our Lady of Mt. Carmel parish playground. Our former parish holds some pretty spectacular memories. Fr. Richard even crashed the party. While the adults chatted and toured the new convent right next door, the kids played and played and played. It was a great way to spend our lunch hour.
With fuel for the body, the troops rallied and we met our sweet friends for a fun afternoon at Conner Prairie, an interactive Indiana living history museum. The tickets were courtesy of Will’s Godfather and while I wasn’t too sure how the gang would fare, it ended up being a great afternoon. They even had an awesome sauce nursing room for Gianna and I to catch our breath.
Hey, what’s that we spy? The Whitaker Store!
We ended our day of Italy by attending the Italian Reunion Mass with Fr. Kevin. There are few words I can think of to describe my joy in seeing my two boys altar serve. There the rest of us sat, at the front, feeling some serious love in the room. All those in attendance had participated in an Italian pilgrimage with Fr. Kevin sometime during the last 15 years. Our two Italian pilgrimages brought Scott and I back to the fundamentals of the church, encouraged us to consider NFP and renewed our faith in marriage. To celebrate that Mass was no small occasion. Even sweeter was seeing Gianna flirt with Paolo and having his son, sweet Stefano, sit by my girls.
Afterward, we had one heck of a pitch-in. So many friends were there. So many people who really shaped the “Scott and Kathryn” many know today. Our time in Indy was life-changing, faith-changing, really. When it came time to say goodbye, there were tears. It’s hard to hold back with people you consider family. I only took one photo (and it was with my phone!) because we were too busy enjoying ourselves.
Our night ended back at the Ball’s house – the great family who hosted us while in Indy. And would you believe that I didn’t get ONE single photo of any of us? What the what? I did take a picture of the cake, though. Priorities. Back in the day, Scott and I both worked for the National FFA, me for the organization and Scott for the foundation. The Ball’s were so gracious to invite a few friends over for sweets, beer and laughs. What a great way to say we love you Indiana!
There are few things in life sweeter than an old friend. Molly and the entire Ball family? Thank you for letting us invade, eat all your food and wear out your kids. Y’all were sweeter than tea. Love you!
And with that, I’ll end our time in Indy. Next up? The long trip home. But it includes liquor, so you may want to stick around.