Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Erin Go Bragh!

+JMJ+, +St. Patrick, pray for us.+

Ireland forever! It's not too late to talk about St. Patrick's Day, right?

I'm sure many of you have a lot of love for the dear Bishop that brought Catholicism to Ireland, but St. Patrick's Day is extra special for our family because it is also my husband's feast day!

March 17, 2012 in Chicago (our first St. Patrick's Day together). We had been engaged for a month. :)

I'll never forget the first time Michael and I spoke about choosing a confirmation Saint. Like the majority of our conversations that took place when we were dating long distance, we were on the phone. I had shut myself away in the small bedroom that was my own that year I worked as a full-time volunteer in Chicago. I remember I was sitting on the bed with my laptop - ready to pull up any information Michael had questions about as his RCIA classes encouraged him to begin learning about a possible patron.

Sure enough, Michael wanted to know which Saint is the patron of engineers. I had no idea off the top of my head so I entered a quick search. Would you believe that St. Patrick is the only patron of engineers that I could find? Since then I've discovered that there is another - but at the time St. Patrick was our one and only Google search answer (Divine Providence or a faulty Google search? Only God knows.).

I then recited all the random information I could remember about St. Patrick's life and Michael was intrigued. I'm sure he probably considered other Saints along the way, but I think a part of my (future - at the time) husband's mind was already made up that night. He kept St. Patrick in the forefront of his thoughts and come April 7, 2012 he entered the Church and officially took the name "Patrick."

Also from St. Paddy's Day 2012. Photo credit for this candid shot goes to Michael's friend, Boyang.

Beyond all of that, my mother has some Irish blood somewhere down the line, my middle name is Erin, and my older sister is forever one of Notre Dame's Fighting Irish...so I guess you could say I grew up embracing and loving the Irish part of my heritage - however small or distant it may be (did anyone else listen to a Pandora radio station based on the Irish Rovers all day yesterday?).

Michael and I wanted to do something fun to celebrate his feast day, so I reached out to someone I met last week at the local Catholic Young Adults group. Sure enough, she had some friends that were possibly going to gather for a Guinness. Long story short, plans changed, pubs were crazy full (and probably insanely loud - aka not entirely baby friendly), people were generally too tired to go out, and we ended up volunteering last minute to host (and meet!) nearly a dozen other Catholics at our apartment where we spent the evening relaxing, drinking Guinness, and getting to know one another (a scenario I think St. Patrick himself would approve of).

Guinness accomplished.

Honestly, last night was more fun than I think Michael or I could have envisioned! Plus, the bonus of hosting at our place is that we were able to keep hanging out after Gabriel had already gone to bed (as opposed to us always having to leave early and miss out on social time). I'm sure all you other parents out there understand what a blessing it is to spend time with friends without throwing your baby entirely off schedule.

I could go on and on but everything boils down to this: our last minute St. Patrick's Day celebration was such a fun way to celebrate Michael's feast day! We were blessed with good company, good beer, and all of this fun came to us in our own home (which is so great when you have a baby. I feel like I can't say that enough). I'm so thankful for new-found friendships in this new place and seemingly a million other things. Everyone was here for a couple of hours and we had so much fun getting to know them that time seemed to pass in the blink of an eye. Hopefully we will get to spend some more time with everyone in the weeks to come - and I hope all of you also had a festive day in the midst of this Lenten season.


"May your troubles be less,
And your blessings be more.
And nothing but happiness,
Come through your door."
-an Irish blessing


  1. Ok, I grew up listening to the Irish Rovers with my parents and grandparents. I truly thought I was the only person under 50 who knew who they were!

    1. Hahaha, that's what I thought, too. ;) My mom made sure we listened to them growing up! Glad to know there is another fan out there!

  2. That photo of you guys is AMAZING! I hope you have it framed in your apartment somewhere!

    1. Aww, thank you! We do have it framed, actually. The friend that took the photograph gave it to us in a frame as a wedding gift. :) I love it.