Monthly Archives: January 2021

Walk for Life and a Sushi Anniversary

It feels a bit more like January now, as we had a record amount of snow and temperatures back below freezing once again. This may call for more sledding in the coming few days, but we’ve still been finding other things to do in the meantime.

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Last Saturday, I drove down to Lincoln to attend the Walk for Life, my first political outing since Election Day. It was a little below freezing, but apparently warmer than it had been the year before, as a thousand people gathered on the north side of the Capitol. I got to see a few familiar faces in the crowd as a handful of speakers, including Gov. Ricketts, Don Bacon, and Jeff Fortenberry (and his daughter) spoke to the crowd. A handful of newly-elected state legislators were in the crowd as well, including Brett Lindstrom, Julie Slama, and Rita Sanders. There was a launch of pink and blue balloons that sailed by the capitol once the speakers were done, and then the crowd made its way south on Centennial Mall to the University.

I hung around for a little while afterward, taking a brief tour of a nearly empty capitol building, saying hello to Abe, and then dropping by Pho Nguyenn for some Vietnamese food to bring home for lunch — steak pho, spring rolls, and avocado smoothies.

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The following Tuesday, I dropped by Wildewood for their Men of God dinner, where we had Italian food from Spaghetti Works and got to hear from a few men from Abide, a non-profit organization that buys house since in North Omaha to serve as “lighthouses” for the community there.

Then on Saturday, Hannah received her sash and certificate for her participation in Prims from Ms. Ruth. We used to attend every week at BCC before Covid came along, and I hope we’ll be able to start attending again soon.

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In other news, also finally replaced our old dishwasher, which broke way back in September, and we’d been handwashing them ever since. We got some Christmas money from both sets of grandparents that helped to pay for the cost of a new one, a top-rated Bosch model I’d found on Consumer Reports that was only around $500. I even got one in what that matches our cabinets. It took us a while to get it installed, first because the first set of installers claimed we’d have to have our floor torn out to remove the old one, which we didn’t — it just needed a little extra wrestling to pull out, which I did myself. Then we got a record amount of snow, which kept them from coming back until several days later.

That record amount of snow came on Monday — nearly 12 inches and more than we’d seen in a single day since 1975. I had to shovel the driveway three separate times just to keep up, and then I shoveled Donna’s for good measure (including unburying their car). Vivian made some homemade olive garlic bread to keep warm in the meantime. Hopefully we’ll still have enough to go sledding later.

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In the midst of all this, Vivian and I had a Sushi Anniversary! It was initially on Tuesday, and I wore a sushi tie and brought home some “Lover’s Rolls” from Beijing Tokyo to celebrate. I was so busy shoveling snow and also attending the last of my Screwtape Letters bible study (via Zoom), that we put off our proper celebration for the following day.

Vivian’s idea us for both of us to gather sushi from four separate restaurants — combing our take-out orders into a massive sushi feast! I went to Sakura Bana for sushi and maki rolls (also miso soup and salad) and then swung by Umami in Bellevue for a few more. Vivian went by Golden Dragon and Hutong. I even got some shrimp tempura from Aldi, which was as good as any restaurant’s that I’ve had. We both had our fill of sushi and then some, and I had enough to take with me to work the following day for my lunch.

Happy Sushi anniversary, sweetie!

Haircuts and Hot Wings

It’s been a remarkably quiet week or so as the holidays fade away and a new year begins. Vivian smoked the discounted salmon I got on New Year’s Eve, which was quite tasty on a bagel. I also finally took down our Christmas tree and took it off to the dump to be with its many other tree friends.

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On Saturday, Donna came over and gave everyone a much-needed haircut. I’d been in need of one for some time, as I was reaching mullet territory, and Hannah got a short pixie cut and used some of Aaron’s scraps to make some adorable wigs for her little dolls.

Then on Monday, I went to my parents’ house to watch Alabama crush Ohio State in the National Championship game. My dad made some wings with homemade hot sauce, and I brought along some celery, blue cheese, and ranch to complement.

Roll Tide!

Fondue, football, fireworks, and fun in the snow!

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Happy New Year, everyone! We’ve had a fun and busy week as we usher 2020 out the door and welcome in 2021, and once again we were able to spend much of it with our family.

On Tuesday last week, a winter storm blew through town, dropping around six inches on us and prompting me to take a “snow day” to work from home. It was actually quite nice, as I let the plows do their work rather than slipping and sliding to work, and little Harold kept me company on my makeshift office on the couch. I got a decent workout afterward shoveling our driveway and my in-laws’ before having a burrito for dinner and having a bible study over Zoom.

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Next came New Year’s Eve on Thursday night. The City of Omaha had some fireworks down by the riverfront, so we took the kids down there to watch the show. People were told to park in various lots around the Qwest Center (I know what it’s called now but I don’t care), but we found a spot with a better view down at River’s Edge Park in Council Bluffs, where Loess Fest is usually held. We got to see the fireworks a little after seven with music coordinated with 104.5 FM. The kids snuggled in the back seat (mostly paying with their Mad Lib Elf), and then we slogged through the traffic afterward to make our way home.

We had a dinner courtesy of Taco Bell before watching The Lorax, some TV shows, and playing a video game as the time crept toward midnight. Our neighbors set off some fireworks, which we watched out the window, and when midnight rolled around. Aaron fell asleep on the couch, but we roused him for a New Year’s toast (with sparkling white wine for us and eggnog for the kids) after the clock struck midnight.

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The college football playoffs happened on New Year’s Day, so I went over to my dad’s house to watch Alabama beat Notre Dame via a free trial of FuboTV. I brought along some cowboy caviar, which we had with chips as we watched the game.

Then I returned home to have some fondue with Vivian’s parents afterward. We had a cheese fondue once again with parsnips, shrimp, and other things that the kids dipped for us (but didn’t eat themselves). We also wound up watching another football game, as the Ohio State Buckeyes beat the Clemson Tigers (which made me happy, since we weren’t going to have yet anther Alabama / Clemson championship game).

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We finally got around to getting some fresh air and enjoying the snow on Saturday and Sunday. We went out and threw some snowballs with mommy in the driveway, and Hannah tried to build a tiny snowman on the side of the driveway, but we found the snow was still a bit too powdery to make a real one (that would have to wait until Monday).

Then on Sunday, we woke up to a world with trees frosted white, and I took a brief walk snapping pictures of some of its wintery beauty. Then that afternoon we took the kids sledding down at Bellevue East (on “suicide hill“). It was above freezing and the snow was packed down, which made for good sledding conditions. Several other kids and families were there as well, so we had to be careful to avoid collisions with other sledders. Aaron seemed to prefer rolling around in the snow and making snow angels as Hannah tried repeatedly to fly her way into the ditch at the end of the hill.

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Then on Monday, we did even more sledding down at Memorial Park around lunchtime. The weather was in the 40s and lovely as we sent the kids down the east side of the park. Once again Aaron seemed to want to run around and play in the snow with mommy rather than sled, while Hannah tried repeatedly to hit a small snow ramp someone had made — and she was quite happy when she finally succeeded.

We’ve had a fun week kicking off the start of 2021. I hope the next twelve months are filled with more fun with our friends and family, and the pandemic of 2020 quickly fades into a memory. Here’s to hoping!