Friday, April 19, 2013

Friday Photos 15: Sweet Sweet Spring

Every Spring I rejoice at the return of warm weather, blooming plants, and the longer days of sunshine. But this Spring is even more sweet because it's the first with my niece. 

Much like the flowers around us, my little McNugget is changing so much everyday. It's a joy to watch her grow and learn new "tricks".

She is the happiest little girl, and I pray that she stays this way always. Her laughter is music to my ears!

"The day the Lord created hope was probably the same day he created Spring." ~Bern Williams

May you have a sweet, sweet Spring!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Friday Photos 14: National Champions

It happened. This is real life. 
The Louisville Cardinals are the 2013 National Champions.

Tears were already welling in my eyes during the National Anthem.

Knots formed in my stomach as Spike sank shot after shot.

But with 3 minutes left in the first half, MOP Luke Hancock cut the Cardinal 12-point deficit down drilling 4 three-pointers in a row.

And then Siva lobbed to Harrell for a monster dunk, and I nearly tripped on my rug and fell, exploding off my couch with excitement.

The captains continued to lead the way.

And Dieng said "uh-uh-no" to Burke.

Chane went into beast mode and with 4 minutes left, I started dry-heaving, wishing the clock would hurry up.

And then finally, the last second ticked, and the celebration began.

As the confetti fell, so too did my tears.

Denny Crum, the two-time National Champion, Hall of Fame Coach who started it all, smiled in approval.

And on the very day when Pitino was officially welcomed to the Hall of Fame, he became the first coach to win two National Championships at two different schools.

They really did it.

They won it for Ware.

And the city of Louisville rejoiced.

It couldn't have happened to a better team.

Louisville First. Cardinals Forever.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

It's Time

The last time Louisville won a National Championship, my brother and I looked like this:

And let's face it: I wasn't old enough to appreciate it.

For 27 years I've heard about "Never Nervous Pervis" & Company and how glorious a National Championship it was.

But 27 years has been more than long enough to wait. 

It's time to finally cut down those nets, Cardinals. 

I want a National Championship that I can tell my niece about when she is old enough to appreciate it.

Go Cards. Beat Michigan. It's time for another National Championship.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

April Awesomeness

I know that the NCAA basketball tournament is all about March Madness, but seeing as how the Final Four is taking place on April 6, I think it's only appropriate to call it April Awesomeness. 

For Cardinal fans, these first few days of April have been all about awesomeness. Which is remarkable, considering that there was a moment on the last day of March when tragedy struck for guard Kevin Ware. But what has transpired for the University of Louisville since that horrible injury, has been nothing short of glorious. 

Let's take a look back at all of the awesomeness that has been the past week, shall we? And while we're doing that, let's go ahead and treat our ears to B Simm's "You Don't Want These Cards", 'cause it's awesome too.

1. Kevin Ware is a rockstar.

I'm pretty sure I  had never heard his voice until this week. But between the interviews he's given for ESPN, CNN, Good Morning America, and the way he owned the Top Ten list on Letterman, I couldn't be prouder that this young man represents the team I love so much. His grace, strength, and humor in the wake of breaking his leg can only be described as awesome.

2. "Louisville First" is a message that's been heard loud & clear.

Just when I thought I couldn't love this team anymore, they stared adversity in the face and overcame it--together. From Luke stepping up (like the captain he is) to make sure Kevin wasn't alone in his time of need, to Kevin holding back his own tears to encourage his teammates to win the game, this special group of Cardinals have epitomized family this week.

3. Two Final Fours proved to be better than one.

After watching our men's team defeat Duke by 22 points to reach its second consecutive Final Four, we switched the channel to watch our women's team take down the overall number 1 seed Baylor. Then on Tuesday, we watched as the women defeated Tennessee to earn their own Final Four spot! In the words of T-Pain, "all we do is win, win, win--no matter what."

4. Blackshear, Smith, Behanan, and Siva earned individual accolades. 

Russ Smith was named a third-team All-American. Wayne Blackshear earned the Elite 89 Award, given to the player with the highest cumulative grade point average participating in the Final Four. Chane Behanan won the Pepsi Max Dunk of the Year Award for his knee-to-face monster jam against DePaul. And last but not least, Peyton Siva won the Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award. From the Basketball Hall of Fame: The Frances Pomeroy Naismith Award is named in honor of James Naismith’s daughter-in-law. A panel of representatives from the National Association of Basketball Coaches selects the recipient. To earn the award, the recipient must demonstrate leadership, character, loyalty, all-around basketball ability and excellence in the classroom.
Do I need to quote T-Pain again?

5. Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer declared Friday "Ware Red Day".

Like I was gonna wear any other color. Do we have an awesome mayor or what?

6. Rick Pitino is a Hall of Fame coach.

Word on the street is that he is expected to be selected for the 2013 Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame class. The official announcement will be on Monday.

What. A. Week. I'm probably forgetting something, but as far as I'm concerned, there's never been a better time to be a Cardinal fan. I wasn't old enough in the 80s to appreciate those glory days of basketball, but I imagine it felt something like this. 

I can only hope that Louisville can keep the April Awesomeness up and win the school's third Men's National Championship, and first Women's National Championship.

Let's. Go. 


Friday, April 5, 2013

Friday Photos 13: Smoky Mountain Getaway

If you've never visited the Smoky Mountains, I suggest you remedy that stat. 

I just got back from a Gatlinburg getaway with my fam and I loved it so much, I knew I had to share with you the beauty that is the Smoky Mountains in this edition of Friday Photos.

Whether you're in Downtown Gatlinburg,

in Smoky Mountain National Park,

or cozied up in a cabin,

you can't help but appreciate how gorgeous the Smokies are.

Take it from my niece--you won't be disappointed with a visit to the Smoky Mountains.