Monthly Archives: March 2015

Holy Name and Homemade Pizza

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It’s been a busy week here in Omaha, with lots of fun involving food (of course). On Monday last week, with temperatures pushing their way into the 90s, the whole family took a trip down to Lincoln. I had some freelance work to attend to, and Vivian took the kids to Lost in Fun for an afternoon of bouncing around. Hannah had been there when she was just one year old, but now she was old enough to visit more exhibits than just the ball pit, such as the big ceiling-projected video game in the “dark room.”

For dinner, we drove up to Big Sal’s and gave Hannah and Aaron her first taste of mom and dad’s favorite pizza place in Nebraska. Yes, Aaron got to nibble on bits of black olive and pizza crust, and Hannah managed to finish a whole piece by herself.

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The next day was St. Patrick’s Day, so we got to imbibe in our annual tradition of corned beef and cabbage, Irish soda bread, and red potatoes. Every store was selling out of corned beef up until March 17, and then the price plummeted to less than $1/pound, so we picked up some that on sale to have a couple reubens down the road (which were, in fact, invented in Omaha. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.)

No green beer or Bailey’s, however — I’ve given it all up for lent.

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On Friday, we had our second Fish Fry of the year, heading up to Holy Name in north Omaha with a cluster of our fabulous friends. I’d heard about this fish fry from our mutual friend Lisa, primarily being one of the first and biggest fish fries in the area. It was also notorious for having one of the longest lines, which was quite ironic, because when we arrived, there was absolutely no line at all. Seriously, we were able to walk right in, but we stood in the hallway for some time just to get the whole standing-in-line experience. (A crowd outside was hanging around for the same reason, I expect.)

The cafeteria was packed pretty tight, however, steaming hot and filled with the smell of fried fish that stuck to your clothes. The fish itself was hands-down the best I’d had at any fish fry before. We had freshly-battered chunks of pollock that were steaming and delicious the moment they were put on your plate. I washed it down with a can or two of Cheerwine that I smuggled in from outside and a fun night of goofiness fueled by deep-fried goodness.

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Then on Saturday, we celebrated Uncle Jonny’s birthday down at my parent’s house. Jonathan had been wanting to relive his childhood, so my dad put out the lawn flamingos and spent the afternoon playing Intellivision and eating homemade pizza for dinner (literally the way mom used to make). Vivian also brought along one of her legendary chocolate cheesecakes.

We brought the kids along, too, of course. They got some time being cute with grandma and grandpa, which included learning the joys of chasing a red dot from a laser pointer all over the house.

Spring Breaks

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I think spring is here at last, with the last of the slow melting under highs creeping into the upper 70s. That also means it’s time for our first Lenten Fish Fry of the season. Of course, we had to go to St. John Vianney’s, and this time we took the Mills with us. Lexi had never been to a fish fry before, and Nate hadn’t been to one since his days in Michigan, so we braved the crowds to feast on batter-dipped cod, tomato soup, grilled cheese, french fries, et cetera (as in pancakes). This was also the first time Hannah (and Sammy) had been able to actually participate in the fish-eating feeding frenzy as mom and dad got to “bah bah bah” along to Sweet Caroline courtesy of our favorite Lenten guitarist and his (probably tipsy) backup singers. Good times never seemed so good.

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Of course, family trips to the park are now practically mandatory with short-sleeved weather upon us. We got to drop by our favorite neighborhood park with my folks on Saturday for some quality time pushing the kids on the swings and trying to send Hannah flying off the X-Wave teeter-totter. The weekdays were even nicer, with lunchtime weather nice enough for a brisk walk up the Keystone Trail or even our first family picnic on a blanket at Stinson Park.

We got a brief moment of extra excitement when Vivian was interviewed by WOWT Channel 6 for a story on child safety. They ran the story during the ten o’clock news on Saturday, so check it out if you’d like to see a glimpse of us during our typical romp in the park.

Saturday Morning and Dr. Seuss

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One of the traditions I had back in my college days was getting up on Saturday morning to watch an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 with my dad and having one of his omelets for breakfast. This was back when MST3K was on Comedy Central and we didn’t have to watch it on “circulated” tapes. My dad decided to give it a try again on Saturday, so I brought Hannah over and we all had breakfast with the grandparents (and Uncle Jonny) before watching a bizarre exploitation film by Ed Wood called The Violent Years. Hannah and Grandma got to have quality time together while the rest of us enjoyed the company of Mike and the Bots.

We had a potluck lunch after church on Sunday, which included Johnny Marzetti and lots of happy smiles from my little boy.

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On Monday, it was Dr. Seuss’ 111th birthday. That meant the Bellevue Public Library held a “Seuss-a-Thon,” which included cupcakes and a book reading by Bellevue’s Mayor, Rita Sanders. Then on Wednesday, Hannah and Aaron went to the Fontenelle Forest Nature Center for Mudpies. Miss Kate showed everybody and Owl, and Hannah got to spend her morning painting and dressed up inexplicably as a turtle.

These are some of the weekly activities I unfortunately have to miss out on having full-time employment to keep me busy during the week, but this time around Vivian was nice enough to take some pictures. I do occasionally get to join in on some of this weekday when I have a day off here or there, which will happen again soon as Annunciation Day is just a few weeks away.