Summer’s Last Hurrah

Is September here already? The summer is winding down fast, but that means plenty of cool fall days ahead, with each weekend jam-packed with autumnal fun for the family.

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On Labor Day, we took the kids over to Vivian’s parents’ house for a lovely dinner out on the patio. It was the first time Aaron has come along to one of our porch-side dinners over there, so he got to chill as Jack grilled flatiron steaks and potatoes for us and Hannah got reacquainted with her chalkboard.

Then on Wednesday, I got to celebrate one last bit of my birthday with my folks at — Johnny’s Cafe. For the past decade, they’ve had to celebrate my birthday remotely from North Carolina, so it was wonderful to be able to actually have dinner with them at my favorite restaurant in Omaha (with rib-eye steaks, of course).

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On Saturday, Vivian and I had a kind of mid-birthday fling at Fun Plex in Omaha. They had a two-for-one Groupon to mark the end of the season, and since Vivian hadn’t had the chance to go swimming since having Aaron back in June, we figured it was as good an excuse as any to go get wet for an afternoon. We spent time in the wave pool, the lazy river, bumper boats, and of course the water slides, which were much more violent than I remember. Jack and Donna were nice enough to watch the kids for us, but I immediately regretted not bringing Hannah, who’s old enough now the enjoy the half of the park designated for the little ones. Maybe next year.

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That evening, to say thanks to watching Hannah during the afternoon, we took Donna out to a Balloon Glow at Ditmars Orchard. It was a much more popular event than I expected, with multiple fields full of cars and the lawn crammed with people (and their cameras) checking out the lineup of fully-inflated hot air balloons parks and firing off for our amusement. We rode a hayrack over from the parking lot field and were fortunate enough to find a spot at a picnic table (since we’d forgotten to bring our lawn chairs). Hannah stared in awe at the balloons, and Vivian got us some apple cider donuts as the sun went down. There was live music from the Travelin Light band, and I got to dance a bit with both Vivian and Hannah on the grass. Our little girl was a very good follow (for a two-year old).

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On Sunday, Hannah got to spend the afternoon at the Kuehmichel house celebrating Ellie’s third birthday. She had fun running around with all the other little girls (and a few boys), particularly seeing how many of them could fit on a rocker sitting in the yard.

Then on Monday, Mom and Hannah came back to the park for a lunchtime with daddy (which of course included cupcakes). Hannah got to take a shot at the Big Girl Swing and then got a quick run through the fountains. The weather’s turned decided not-too-hot-or-cold, which means getting a little wet outside is still a possibility.

In other news, Aaron loves his ExerSaucer.

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