Janie Had a Little Lamb

Earlier in May, my youngest sister Jane graduated from the University of Dayton. Being the fifth child in our family to go to UD, we all made the final voyage to good old Dayton, Ohio for the grand finale. My parents, Mike and Mo, thought the whole thing was pretty bitter-sweet. They couldn’t believe after five kids and 13 consecutive years at the University of Dayton, it would all be over after Jane’s graduation. I could tell they were excited for the weekend. My mom even emailed us all an itinerary of the events for the weekend, which included dinner reservations, what time the ceremony was, and meeting Miss Kelly the lamb. Yes, Jane had a newborn lamb named after her. More to come on this later.

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I received this email from my mom when we were sitting on either end of the couch. Baby Boomers and their smart phones, am I right? What ever happened to human interaction?

In addition to being excited, my parents were also proud of all Jane’s accomplishments. “Kathleen, did you know Jane is graduating Summa Cum Laude?” My mom said to me a few days prior to the big weekend. I couldn’t tell if she just wanted to share her good news about her youngest child or remind me that I graduate college without ANY honors. Being smart isn’t everything, MOM! “Oh, yea, yea, that’s great,” I said flatly, not even trying to hide the fact that, frankly, being a typical middle child, I didn’t really care. “Honors are nice and everything, Mom, but remember how I had the same cell phone through all four years of college? That was pretty impressive, am I right?!” (NOTICE ME! LOVE ME! Was what I was really screaming inside)

Having the same phone all throughout college is probably my greatest accomplishment in life. I mean does my mom even realize how rare that is in the college environment? Sure, lots of kids graduate from college with honors, but how many are able to hold onto their cell phone freshman through senior year? Not many I bet.

Originally all of us were going to leave on Friday for the graduation, but my roommates, AKA my parents, decided to leave on Thursday night to make it in time for some award ceremony the NerdBomber was being honored at on Friday morning in Dayton. So that meant I had to hold down the fort while they were gone that extra day. AND it also meant I had to be the one to drop Duke off at the dog-sitter’s house. I was very distraught over this. I didn’t want Duke thinking I was the one abandoning him for the weekend! It would be so hard to drive away with his sad face staring at me as I left. Plus, I didn’t want the dog hair in my car. I had just vacuumed it and didn’t want it getting all dirty. Even though I protested, my roommates still made me do it. And they left quite the honey-do list for me to complete after they left. They conveniently “forgot the cameras” and had to have me bring them. Sometimes it’s hard being the glue that holds my family together.

Friday morning came and it was time to drop my buddy Duke off. Luckily, my sister came home and went with me to drop him off. I was so upset I had to stop at Dunkin Donuts and treat myself to a coffee and a doughnut.


“Wait don’t take my picture yet I have something in my teeth.”-Duke


“OMG are you serious?! I literally just told you not to take my picture, I was trying to get a piece of Dog Chow that was stuck in between my teeth out you betch.”-Duke

I felt like a mom dropping her child off at preschool for the first time. “Wow, Duke is going to be really sad when we leave him. He really likes me,” I was explaining to my sister on the way over. But when the time came to leave him at the dog-sitter he was actually excited! He didn’t even look back at me! I couldn’t believe it. I was so insulted. After all the walks I took him on and Pupperoni I gave him through the years, he goes and treats me like this?

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My face as Duke lectures me on how I need to take my car in to get my oil changed and tires rotated. Blah, blah, blah. Classic older bro worrying about his little sister’s safety.

I decided I wasn’t going to let Duke ruin our fun road trip and tried to put it behind me. I quickly forgot about him once my siblings and I started discussing where we would stop for lunch. When you have a five hour car ride, stopping for food is about the only thing you have to look forward to. “I’m fine with just about anything, EXCEPT Burger King. You guys know I ALWAYS have a bad experience at Burger King,” I said. “Oh and Maggie you CANNOT pick the place. You lost that privileged the Dayton Graduation car ride home incident 2008.” What incident am I referring to? Sit tight and I will explain the nightmare:

In 2008 my oldest sister graduated from Dayton. On the way home that weekend we had a three-car caravan going because my parents love caravans even though their children hate them. We had Walkie-Talkies going between the first two cars since this was before all of us had cell phones. My dad and Maggie were leading everyone in the first car. I was riding shotgun with my mom and some of my other siblings in the second car. We had some discussion on where we would stop for lunch over the Walkie-Talkies, but nothing was decided. All of a sudden my father and Maggie get off at an exit. I saw a sign for McDonald’s at the exit so I thought everything was OK and we continued to follow them. Then, to my bewilderment, my father’s car passes the McDonald’s. I begin to panic as I see an Arby’s in the distance and nothing else. “WHAT ARE THEY DOING?! THEY CAN’T BE HEADED TO ARBY’S CAN THEY?!” I scream. My siblings look up from the back seat and I can see the fear also begin to take over them. I grab the Walkie-Talkie from my Mom. “MAYDAY! MAYDAY! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! YOU PASSED THE MCDONALDS!” I yelled into the Walkie-Talkie. But they ignored my cries and parked in the Arby’s parking lot. Apparently my father and Maggie wanted to eat there. The rest of us could not believe we were being forced to eat Arby’s. Had we done something wrong? Did our parents not love us anymore? Sometimes in life things happen that force a child to become an adult. I became an adult that day at Arby’s. Innocence was lost and I was never the same.

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I was having flashbacks to the Arby’s incident 2008 when we passed this sign going through Indiana.

My sister agreed that Maggie was not allowed to pick, so we chose Culver’s. Culver’s never disappoints. Butterburger? Yes, please! (While there my sister Bridget and I got into a mild argument over fries and cheese curds, but I don’t want to air all my family’s dirty laundry here.) After our bellies were full we continued on to what was a pretty uneventful ride. It took us a little longer than planned so we had to quickly get ready at the hotel and then it was off to dinner and then a bar near campus.

Saturday morning we all met for breakfast at the hotel. I must say, Mike Sr. must have splurged on the hotel because the breakfast was darn good. Chocolate milk AND french vanilla creamer for coffee? I mean, I was blown away. Was I at the Ritz-Carlton or the Holiday Inn? I honestly wasn’t sure. We were all texting trying to figure out what time everyone was meeting for breakfast while my mom kept trying to make her room “the party room.” It was getting a little pathetic.


My mom was desperately trying to find friends to hang out with her room while I was overly excited about the chocolate milk.

After breakfast it was time to meet Miss Kelly the newborn lamb. To explain, Jane was an education major at UD and her cooperating teacher who oversaw her student teaching lives on a farm. One of the sheep on the farm had a newborn lamb and Jane’s cooperating teacher liked Jane so much that she named the lamb “Miss Kelly” after Jane. Great, so Jane graduates with honors and gets a lamb named after her. Youngest children get everything. We played with the lamb a lot and then of course my two unmarried sisters and I had to take a “Miss Kelly” picture with the lamb. I mean when is the next time there will be four Miss Kelly’s all in the same place?! At the rate we are going the lamb will be the first of the four of us to become a Mrs.


Four Miss Kelly’s. Each one whiter than the next.


Miss Kelly the aspiring talk show host. Much like the other Miss Kelly’s, she also is a fan of Inside Edition.

After a lot of time taking pictures and playing with Miss Kelly we headed back to the hotel to shower because Miss Kelly was cute, but she smelled pretty bad. And the lamb was kind of dirty too. After that it was off to another party where I stayed out way too late which I very much regretted the next morning.

Sunday was the graduation ceremony so we had to be up pretty early. Thank God I had chocolate milk and french vanilla creamer with my coffee to get me through the morning. We arrived late at the ceremony (classic us) so we were up in the nose bleed section of the UD arena. By the time we got to our seats I felt like I needed an oxygen mask we were so high up. As I was trying to catch my breath I look over to see my Mom pull a glow stick out of her purse and start to raise it above her head. I couldn’t help but burst out laughing. “What are you doing with that thing?! I said laughing. “We’re at Jane’s graduation, not Blue Man Group.” “Oh you little smart ass,” she said. “I’m trying to get Jane’s attention! I texted her to tell her to look for a blue glow stick so she knows where we are sitting.”

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Mo and her glow stick.


Me mocking Mo and her glow stick. And at that moment Mo came to terms with the fact some of her children will always be smart (Jane) and others will always be smart asses (me).

As anyone who has ever attended a college graduation will know, sitting through those things is pure torture. Anyone who says they enjoy college graduations is either a liar or needs a psych consult. We were so high up in the stadium for Jane’s graduation that I wasn’t getting any phone service and they didn’t have any lights on in our section so I couldn’t even read any of the magazine’s I brought so I literally had nothing to do but sit there and make fun of my mom and her glow stick. Time was moving incredibly slow. Once the ceremony was finally over our reward was moving Jane’s stuff out of her house, cleaning up from the previous night’s party and then a five hour car ride home. To make a bad day even worse, we stopped at Wendy’s and it was awful. That red head usually serves good food but this time she disappointed us immensely.  Our burgers were cold and our fries tasted reheated. We all went around and tried to rate our meal, but there was confusion on if we were rating our food out of five stars or ten stars so we all crossed “Food Critic” off our list of dream jobs and left Wendy’s tired and dissatisfied.

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Wendy is my least favorite red-head right now. I was very hangry when I sent this Snap Chat.

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Spoiler alert: I had to do all those things. I reminded my parents numerous times that I shouldn’t have to go to Jane’s college graduation because she didn’t go to mine. She claims she had her “Senior Prom.” I question the morals of any person who chooses music and dancing over the academic milestone of a family member.

Despite our rough Sunday, overall it was a fun trip. While we may no longer have any kids at Dayton, I’m sure it won’t be my last trip to UD. Flyers for life!

Our Trip to Dayton, as Told by a Selfie Stick

February is the most awful month of the entire year. This is just a known fact. I’m sorry if your birthday is in February, you can blame your parents for that. I just thank the Lord it is a short month. The one bright spot February had this year was that I was able to visit a magical place, this place is called the University of Dayton, and it is where I went to college back in the day.

 I took this weekend vacation with my four siblings, numerous cousins, and some friends. We embarked on our journey around 1pm on a Friday. I was already ecstatic because I only had to work a half day, and as I have mentioned before, not working is my absolute favorite thing to do. My mom was generous enough to let us borrow Mama Mini-her stylish Honda mini van with 16 cup holders, ipod hookup, ample legroom, and plenty of cargo space. So yea, we were riding pretty comfortably for the five hours it took us to get from Chicago to Dayton.
5 beautiful ladies riding in a min van-keep your eyes on the road boyz.

5 beautiful ladies riding in a min van-try to keep your eyes on the road boyz, am I right?!

Since none of us had eaten lunch, we needed to make a group decision on where to stop to eat, the last thing we needed was a van full of hangry white betches rolling onto Dayton’s campus and ruining the magical atmosphere. Our lunch decision was a tough one but after much thought and discussion, we decided on Wendy’s. I must admit I started to panic a little bit when we pulled into the Wendy’s parking lot. This is because the Wendy’s was connected to a gas station and I have trust issues with fast food places that are connected to gas stations (Please don’t ask why, the memories are still too painful). There are 3 things I fear when picking a fast food place to eat at while on the road:
1. The fast food restaurant will be connect to a gas station-fear met head on for this trip.
2. The ketchup pump will be out of ketchup-then I have to awkwardly go up to the counter and ask for packets and they never give enough, I really like ketchup.
3. The fountain pop machine is behind the counter so you cannot fill your own fountain pop cup-I’m a do-it-yourself gal when it comes to my fountain pop.
(note: these fears are in no particular order)
It’s just so hard to judge a fast food place based off a sign on the highway. But to my delight the Wendy’s was wonderful-it was clean and the food was delicious-I think it may have been a newly remodeled Wendy’s location. Great work Dave!
I look angry because I could not fit everyone into the picture. It had nothing to do with our favorite red head Wendy.

I look angry because I could not fit everyone into the picture. It had nothing to do with our favorite red head, Wendy. The lunch she served us was amazing.

After a quick lunch we were back on the road, jammin’ out to some tunes and sippin’ on our Wendy’s Fountain Diet Cokes (which thanks to the 16 cup holders, everyone had a place to put their pop). We arrived at Dayton just in time for the Friday night festivities to begin. We ordered some pizzas and had ourselves a few cocktails. Then it was time to head to a house party.
Now, a few weeks ago, I made possibly the best purchase I will make in my entire life-a selfie stick. I knew I had to bring it to UD to document what an amazing trip it was sure to be. My first documentation was at the house party Friday night. Let me just warn everyone out there, if you want to know who your TRUE friends are, go ahead and buy a selfie stick. I would liken being in possession of a selfie stick to that of a lottery winner. You just used to be this average person and then all of a sudden you have this fortune (in my case a selfie stick, but pretty much same thing) and everyone wants a piece of you. People at this house party were coming out of the woodwork just to get in a picture with me taken with my selfie stick. Like excuse me sir, do I know you? Get out of my selfie stick picture. No I am not going to tag you on Instagram. Leave me alone to pose by myself. I mean was I basking in all the attention I was getting? Yea a little bit but I knew deep down these people were not my friends.

Captured this beautiful embrace with my selfie stick.


The peace sign never goes out of style.


Using a selfie stick is quite the arm work-out, especially if you still have the iphone 4S like I do…so embarrassing.


I only know one person in this picture.

The Kelly Family. As you can see Jane was maliciously trying to shove my head out of the picture with her head.

The Kelly Family. As you can see Jane was maliciously trying to shove my head out of the picture with her head.

Unfortunately tragedy struck on our walk home from the party in the early hours of Saturday morning when a piece of my selfie stick fell off and was lost forever. I think I went through every stage of grief-denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally acceptance. We went back to look for it but it had disappeared into the night. It’s probably for the best that I could not take any more selfies with my selfie stick that weekend. I wouldn’t want to have been taken advantage of any more than I already was Friday night. (Editors note: Upon returning home I immediately contacted the company and received a replacement selfie stick, thank God)
Saturday I woke up on my partially deflated air mattress (still working off that holiday weight) with the attitude that this day was going to be better, a fresh start. And it was. It was also the windiest day in America so it sealed the deal that my selfie stick was gone forever. As many of you know one of my pet peeves is the wind but I got past this and had a great day even still. We had some lunch, watched the Dayton basketball game and danced to some amazing songs. Not the crap these kids listen to today but good quality songs from the Backstreet Boys, Nsync and Aaron Carter. We went to a few more house parties, saw my sister’s dorm, and had a fancy dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings. Here there was yet another obstacle for me to overcome when the waitress forgot to take my order. Again the stages of grief set in. Is it so much to ask for a few chicken wings and some fries? I didn’t think so. But again I didn’t let it bother me. After that we went to a bar and then called it a night. There were a few fights between the Kelly siblings, but nothing serious. And might I add that I was the innocent victim in both fights. My one sister accused me of calling her a fat ass hoe which was completely ridiculous. If I called her a fat ass hoe I would have admitted it. Then my other sister said she didn’t love me because I was going to bed and not back out to the bars. Boo hoo like I need your love, I have a selfie stick now and people who own selfie sticks do not need love.
Other than a few minor hiccups the trip was a blast. It’s always fun going back to my Alma Mater, the University of Dayton, my home away from home. I cannot wait for our trip next year!
The Crew

The Crew… and the pole of the selfie stick.