Notre Dame

101 in 1001 #47: Sign a petition for a cause I care about.

Hi guys. 

I don't talk politics as a general rule, but I think this is too important not to share. In the wake of last week's election results, the level of outright horrifying stories of racism, sexism, and xenophobia hitting the media has left me with a continual sense of disgust and pessimism about where we're headed as a nation. While I've refrained from chiming in, watching my friends in groups that have been attacked or called out by our president-elect discuss their thoughts, fears and apprehension on social media has opened my eyes and made me wonder what I can do to help out, even in the smallest way. 

All politics aside, nobody deserves to feel afraid, ostracized or endangered going about their day-to-day lives in this country, or anywhere for that matter. As such, when my fantastic friend and fellow piccolo alum, Colleen, shared this letter on Facebook, I was compelled to sign, 

Notre Dame has a long history of supporting human rights and doing what is right instead of what is expeditious or popular. My four years there were a cocoon of safety, freedom and openness that I think every ND student deserves, regardless of race, religion, sex or creed...or legal immigration status. Though I believe that immigration reform is critically important, creating a culture of fear and hostility is not the approach to fix a broken system. As such, I was proud to sign the petition so articulately presented by members of the Notre Dame community to designate my beloved campus as a sanctuary. See much more articulate/well-expressed excerpts below: 

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The hundreds of signatures the petition has garnered in just hours makes me proud to be part of a community that supports human rights and believes in being an agent for change and acceptance. 

Notre Dame also held an interfaith prayer service on Monday, closed to media, to foster unity in light of the divisiveness being spewed lately. I really loved the coverage posted by WSBT...it restored a little of my faith in our generation and the world at large. 

For my ND-affiliated friends, the petition can be accessed and signed here. Even if you're not a Notre Dame grad, feel free to sign to show your support. As always, love thee Notre Dame! 

For more 101 in 1001, head here

101 in 1001 #51: Throw a dinner (BRUNCH) party.

Doesn't throwing a dinner party sound all grown-up and lovely? I thought so, so I added it to the brunch list. Then I realized that I'm not a stellar cook, at least not of the traditional "meat and potatoes and a side dish" variety. Then I further realized that most of my friends aren't, either...we're much more along the lines of a "takeout and Bitesquad and quick-and-easy meals for one" type crowd. 

Then...I realized that I am EXCELLENT at brunch. (See: Eva's bridal shower, this summer) And my friends? They looooove brunch. So when Notre Dame played Syracuse with an 11am kickoff on October 1st, I decided, along with Hal, that we should turn that oh-so-grown-up dinner party into a good old-fashioned gamebrunch rager. 

And we did! Starting with the bar: 

Iced coffee, plus major champagne with three different mixers for mimosas (pomegranate, blood orange, and peach Bellini)...or harder options in the back for those who preferred it. Please note the stylish presentation in Hal's beverage bucket along with the football napkins and fall-appropriate pumpkins and mums, because we believe in aesthetics at the House of Hal and Lizzie. 

I went a little nuts at Party City on blue, green, and gold serveware...although with a crew of 17 coming, we couldn't really class it up beyond paper plates and napkins and plastic utensils. We just don't have enough dishes! Something to aspire to, I suppose. 

On the menu, clockwise from top left: 

-Hillary, a friend of Hal's and a new friend of mine, brought absolutely precious "breakfast pigs in a blanket" and they were as delicious as they were adorable. 

-spinach-and-artichoke egg bake, as served at Eva's shower, recipe here

-Gruyere-and-sausage egg bake, also as served at Eva's shower, recipe here. I stuck with tried-and-true crowd pleasers for the main dishes...nothing like playing it safe with a crew this size!

-pumpkin coffee cake with brown sugar glaze, recipe here. You guys. THIS WAS SO GOOD. It was gone before the party was over, and I made it again for a brunch at work where it similarly vanished insanely fast. It is absolutely decadent. Make it. Everyone will be impressed and you won't be sorry. 

I'm still impressed we managed to cram the crew we did into our space. The couch and every chair in our apartment (including Hal's piano bench!) ended up doing duty during the game. I'm not sorry. 

Creeper shots abounded. 

My favorite bros in action discussing Iowa losses and Notre Dame victories! 

And finally, most of the crew assembled! (There are a few more miscreants off to the side that I couldn't fit in the frame!) Hal and I had so much fun hosting...and, if the 12+ bottles of champagne we went through are any indication, hopefully our guests had fun too. 

Here's to being better at hosting brunches than we are at looking normal in photos! 

For more 101 in 1001, head here. And if you want to come over for brunch, let me know! I'll baaaaake! 

Dear God, Thank you for college football weekends. Love, Lizzie.

NOTRE DAME WEEKEND! 

Oh my gosh, Notre Dame-Miami weekend was the best. It was exhausting and exhilarating and everything in between. Michael, Ben, and I rendezvoused at O'Hare last Friday after a highly eventful day of travel involving flaming planes and Uber car accidents, hitting the road over an hour later than anticipated. As soon as we landed, I started getting snaps and texts from my family and Laura, Drew, and Haley, who were all already in South Bend. Could not wait to get there. We picked up our rental car, and I mayyyy or may not have driven 85 all the way from O'Hare to Exit 77. 

Our destination? Campus after dark. 2:15am, to be specific. Just us and the dozens of undergrads fleeing back to their dorms after parietals started, on Halloween Friday. Hilarity abounded, campers. 

As it was Ben's first time on campus, I wanted to make sure his introduction was as special as possible. It was a gorgeous night, and the Dome always looks beautiful lit up. Even better: 

Nothing beats the Grotto after dark, especially on a game weekend when every candle is lit. We stopped for a quick prayer, then headed to Library Quad and the stadium before looping back to the bookstore and off to the Reuvers' cabin. 

We all woke up a little slower than anticipated on Saturday...the three of us after a late night, the rest after a hard night at the Backer. (Well...crazy Michael got up and went running at 6am! Luckily, he crashed for another hour or so when he got back and we were all asleep.) All our grand plans for starting gameday at the crack of dawn? Yeah, right. Should've remembered that we always start slow on game Saturdays.

Fortunately, Paul Reuvers is a champ and knew the only way to start a gameday was by hopping right back on the horse...aka by heading to fulfill a classic Irish tradition at Knute Rockne's grave. I had never been before, so this was a new experience for all of us! 

Soon we returned to the cabin, where shenanigans abounded. 

While it may look like the boys dominated our lone game of beer pong, Laura and I sank both balls in the same cup to come back and win it all for Team Lady. 

Then things got silly, and we filled up our coffee cups to head back to campus for a day of Irish celebration! 

Not without a quick Schwegmanigans photo, though :) 

We cut across Stadium Lot, and paused to check out the new construction by daylight. I am NOT a fan, friends. From there, it was off to the Bookstore (where we bonded with half-naked water polo players), Player Walk (my first time ever!), and then to Bond Hall to see this guy: 

ROOMIE! (Disregard my blurry eyes. Drew brought me two four-packs of White Girl Rosé in honor of our INSANE shenanigans over Laura's birthday weekend, and yours truly may or may not have overindulged in classic basic white girl fashion. No apologies.)

This was the first time my parents had met Hal's, and I'm fairly sure it was love at first sight (much like their respective children). 

Along with enjoying our front row seats for Concert on the Steps, we met up with my darling former Candyland pseudo-roommate, Melissa, and her husband Jordan! From Concert on the Steps, it was a mad dash to Main Building for Trumpets in the Dome, where I shamelessly elbowed my way to...you guessed it...the front. Don't come between this girl and her nerdy band traditions. 

Basic bitches take hugging photos in front of campus landmarks. So good to see Melissa - it had been since her wedding over a year ago! 

We parted ways and headed to the stadium, where I admired my view for pregame...

...and enjoyed the excellent company of Hal's family through a tumultuous game. Oh, Irish. Loving you has taken DECADES off my life at this point. 

After a nail-biter of a fourth quarter, and being right in the perfect position to witness our game-winning touchdown, the fun was just beginning. Michael, Ben, and I scored post-game field passes through Irish Upgrade, a new-to-me way to score cool behind-the-scenes or add-on experiences. We had unlimited access to the field and sidelines, in a group limited to just 40 people. It was my first time back on the field since my graduation day...needless to say, I was a bit nostalgic. The boys, on the other hand, were dying for a football. 

We made do, however, by running around like pros (them) and snapping close to a hundred photos (me). All while reveling in that Irish win up on the scoreboard, naturally. 

We slowly made our way out the Tunnel and back to the cabin, where a giant ribs-and-pasta feast awaited us courtesy of the Reuvers family. Riley lit a bonfire while my parents had us all in stitches around the picnic table...and I could have died and gone to heaven with general contentment. Three of my four Schwegs plus so many of my favorite friends, at my favorite place, after an Irish win? The only thing that could have made it better would have been mustering enough energy for the Backer. 

That's right. WE FAILED TO BACKER. Eternal shame is mine. (I'm just going to tell myself we had to leave something on the Notre Dame bucket list to get Ben back sometime soon!)

Sunday dawned soggy and drizzly, but we made the best of it after saying our goodbyes at the cabin. Ben left absurdly early for O'Hare, while my parents and Jonny headed off to Michigan to move him into his big-boy apartment! Michael and I went to Studebagels with Laura, then paid a visit to the Basilica...nominally for Mass, but mostly so I could lose my mind over the stunning new organ. 

All too soon, it was back in the car, back to O'Hare, and back on a plane to the Cities. Notre Dame weekends' only flaw is that they are never long enough! Saying goodbye to those blue, gray October skies is always hard, but knowing there will be more football victories and fantastic times with friends and family in my future makes it so much easier. 

Proudly in the heavens, gleams thy gold and blue, indeed. Go Irish...love thee, Notre Dame! 

Off to ND...Go Irish, Beat Hurricanes!

You guys - I'm officially taking off tonight for my first Notre Dame home football game in THREE YEARS. And I couldn't be more excited! 

I started planning this trip with Michael back in, I kid you not, March...over oysters before the opera. Since then, I've managed to assemble quite the assorted crew of friends and family to join me! Michael and his friend Ben are flying from North Dakota to O'Hare, and I'm hopping a flight at MSP to meet them.

We're renting a car, and rendezvousing with Laura and her friend Haley en route to South Bend.

When we get there, MY PARENTS and JONATHAN will be waiting! So excited - my family hasn't been back to campus since my graduation weekend...

...and haven't been to a game since my senior game in the fall of 2010.

On game day, we'll see roomie Hal and his family...which means I'll see more of Hal at ND than I do at home...in our shared apartment...ha!

We're all staying at the Reuvers family's "cabin," which is less than a quarter mile from the stadium, and is truly stumbling distance from Heaven on Earth...aka THE BACKER. The cabin is one of the coolest places to stay...from the Longhorns on the wall to the hundreds of framed photos, and of course the life-size Irish Guard in Paul's old uniform!

I cannot wait to spend the weekend doing all my favorite things...visiting the Grotto, watching morning marchout, doing piccolo cheers at Concert on the Steps and inevitably crying during pregame. Shouting all the songs at the top of my lungs at the Backer while trying not to drown in the sludge or get ceiling drips in my Long Island. Singing the Notre Dame "Lord's Prayer" at Basilica Mass and picking up The Shirt and the 2016 holiday ornament at the Bookstore. Maybe even Studebagels, Papa Smurfs, and Cambodia Thai for good measure! 

This trip marks Ben's first Notre Dame trip after a lifetime as an ND fan, and I can't wait to show him campus. Jonathan is legal now, and I'll be taking him to the Backer - our first time going out together! I'm sure there will be drinking games, shot-skis, and cherry bombs with the Reuvers family too - two schools, one heart at its finest. 

Needless to say, this weekend will be one for the record books. Here's to dreaming of an Irish victory over Miami - if Virginia Tech can do it, I like to think we can! Even more importantly, here's to not forgetting my Backer shoes...

GO IRISH! BEAT HURRICANES! 

talk derby to me!

In honor of the Run for the Roses, a photo-heavy, text-light throwback post to the hot sick mess that was Senior Derby. Here's to the fastest/most exciting two minutes in sports, crockpot mimosas, inappropriate bus drivers, and grilled cheese and tacos having fights! 

pounding crockpot mimosas on the bus

pounding crockpot mimosas on the bus

getting sloppy in the stadium parking lot

getting sloppy in the stadium parking lot

bes fraaaan (post crockpot mimosas, pre bonding with Lyle)

bes fraaaan (post crockpot mimosas, pre bonding with Lyle)

free Mike's for "naming" "all" the "Top Gun characters" (including "Kodiak." Riiiiight.)

free Mike's for "naming" "all" the "Top Gun characters" (including "Kodiak." Riiiiight.)

first julep!

first julep!

RIP Inflatable Derby Kitten.

RIP Inflatable Derby Kitten.

sneaking in mimosas in pill bottles: advil dust pre-emptively cured the hangover maybe?

sneaking in mimosas in pill bottles: advil dust pre-emptively cured the hangover maybe?

Derby mom!

Derby mom!

Derby bead makeout challenge? Came, saw, conquered. 

Derby bead makeout challenge? Came, saw, conquered. 

long live the BP Babes

long live the BP Babes

the thirty seconds in which I actually paid attention

the thirty seconds in which I actually paid attention

get your hot face outta my face.

get your hot face outta my face.

bffs do Dirty Derby (bus driver life story not included)

bffs do Dirty Derby (bus driver life story not included)

jacket swag

jacket swag

helmet swag

helmet swag

hat swag

hat swag

...horse skeleton hat swag?

...horse skeleton hat swag?

desperately seeking grilled cheese and tacos

desperately seeking grilled cheese and tacos

Ah, Derby. Took a few weeks off my life, probably is the reason I bombed my econ final that Monday, but so worth it. Thanks for the memories, see ya eventually Churchill Downs :)