As the year draws to a close, let’s look back
at a few (or a bunch) of highlights from 2018!
- In January, Zoey Happy Johnson became a member of our family. We joined the Kroc Center, had an hors d’eourve party, and celebrated another sushi anniversary. We also had some pizza in Lincoln, and Matt met Ann McElhinney and various politicians at the Walk for Life. There was also Star Wars at the Children’s Museum, and then we barely saw a lunar eclipse.
- In February, we saw Ben Shapiro speak at Creighton University. There was a Super Bowl and some sledding. We celebrated Valentine’s Day, a 40th anniversary with Grammy and Pop-Pop, and birthdays for Kate’s girls and also Gabriel. I also attended a Free Speech event and drove a Dodge Challenger for a week.
- In March, I rubbed elbows with Don Bacon, a few of his friends, and the Vice President of the United States. We attended a St. Patty’s Parade and had a Rock ’em Sock ’em birthday with Uncle Jonny. We had fish fries at St. John Vianney and at home, Jessica had a chili cook-off, and Phil and Jen had a baby. We also went to the Fairy Fair, and I started reading 12 Rules for Life.
- In April, we had Easter on the First (no fooling). Vivian had her first (obstacle course) 5K, and I got to meet the Mads again. I also rubbed elbows with Republicans at the county convention, and I also got to meet Charlie Kirk. Jen had a General Tso’s for her birthday, and Hannah finished her first year of Classical Conversations. Winter also refused to end.
- In May, August and Ben had birthdays. I got to meet Reb Brown, watch a debate, and attend a victory party for Deb Fischer. We visited Lauritzen Gardens, and I made burgers, crab dip, and cake for Mother’s Day. We few kites with the family, played in mud, and lit a fire in our driveway. Hannah and Aaron graduated from Daisies and Rainbows. We also went to the SumTur, saw Frankie Valli at Loessfest (followed by a concert and fireworks), and had a Memorial Day Feast. Hannah also lost some teeth.
- In June, we said goodbye to the Kuehmichels, Aaron played tee-ball, and we ate more sushi. Aaron turned four at the splash pad, and we celebrated Father’s Day with steak, Golden Corral, and some old photos. We had water balloons at Lindy in the Park, and then I got to meet Starship at Memorial Park!
- In July, we saw Much Ado About Nothing and King John at Shakespeare on the Green. There were fireworks at Jon’s house, a breakfast with some politicians, and a parade with friends for Fourth of July. Vivian did the Color Run, the kids did VBS and a cake show, and Grammy had a birthday with Paella. Vivian and I also celebrated ten years of marriage with Schlitterbahn, lobster, and barbecue in Kansas City (also a drone).
- In August, I went over-the-hill (literally) and celebrated my 40th birthday with steak, pancakes, a distillery tour, and a picnic party at Elmwood Park. We kept cool at Louisville Lake, the Stinson Park fountains, the all-play splash pad, and our backyard pool. We saw some planes at the Offutt Air Show, and I saw political tour buses for Brett Kavanaugh and Tax Cuts. We had a night of hot dogs, balloons, and face-painting at B&B, we took in one last movie at the SumTur, and we had some swing dancing with the Gooch (followed by Fazoli’s). The kids also headed back to school.
- In September, I went to Memorial Stadium to see my very first Husker Game with Vivian (followed by Pho and a flat tire). We picked apples in Nebraska City, got pumpkins at Gifford Farm, and saw some balloons at Ditmar’s. Vivian had a birthday with beautiful weather, lasagna, and calamari steak. I also had lunch with Deb Fischer (and Hal Daub and Mike Foley), a pool party with Don Bacon and Pete Ricketts, and a steak fry with Pete (and his dad) governors from Indiana, Iowa, and Texas.
- In October, we had a chilly camping trip to Fremont Lakes with the Mills and all our kids. Vivian went on a Bubble Run and attending a (rainy) Trump rally for the first time with me. We had beautiful fall weather (along with a freak snow) and roasted s’mores and hot dogs with a fire pit or two. The kids trick-or-treated at First Presbyterian and around the neighborhood, and I wore two costumes for Halloween parties with the Jitterbugs and Jenny. I also took the family to Vala’s for our annual visit and had dinner with Pete and Don ahead of the election (along with a New York Times reporter).
- In November, I hung out with Ben Sasse and a few other congressmen, and then I spent election night with Pete Ricketts and his gang. Hannah turned seven with a kitty party and continued celebrating through Thanksgiving. Then we kicked off the Christmas season with tree lighting ceremonies at the Gene Leahy Mall and Union Station, and Turning Point brought their first speakers to UN-O.
- In December, we celebrated Christmas with a murder mystery, a Christmas light driving tour, a Christmas program with Hannah, and parties with Jenny and my workplace. My parents celebrated their birthdays with seafood, I said goodbye to the Bush Train, and I watched a debate with Kara Eastman and Scott Voorhees (among others). Vivian and I had a first date anniversary, we celebrated Christmas with both sets of grandparents, and then we rang in the new year with cards and cheese fondue.