Category Archives: First Date Anniversaries

3 years, 500 miles

DSCF0009.JPGBefore flying down to North Carolina for Christmas, Vivian and I took a moment to celebrate the third anniversary of our first date. This year, we went to the Melting Pot at Village Pointe mall in west Omaha, a cozy little fondue restaurant that we’d been meaning to try. We shared a white wine cheese fondue and then tried a variety of cajun meats and seafood together. The tables have their own individual hot plates, and we each got two skewers to keep simmering in our little pot.

We returned home to finish packing for our trip to North Carolina, and then I had a special present in store for Vivian. Two years ago, on the first anniversary of our first date, I showed her a music video I’d made recapping our year together. This year, I made a music video set to the music of 500 Miles by the Proclaimers. I used Final Cut Express instead of iMovie, which allowed me to do some more elaborate tricks with different shots (such as lip-syncing the soundtrack), and I collected footage of myself singing along with the song over the course of several months. I hope you all enjoy it as much as she did.

Three-year anniversary video
(Music: 500 Miles by The Proclaimers)

Married Christmas

Another eventful Christmas season has come and gone once again. This one was special, of course, because it was our first Christmas as a married couple. I suppose we were fortunate, in a way, to have been able to see my side of the family a few weeks ago when we gathered for Grandma’s funeral in Cedar Rapids, because¬†we were able to celebrate with both sides of the family a bit this year.

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Vivian and I celebrated our second first date anniversary down at La Casa Pizza on Leavenworth, the restaurant I intended to take her to on our actual first date, but found it was too crowded that night.

Then on Christmas Eve, we dropped by the Bellevue Christian Center, Vivian’s old church, to attend their candlelight service. They had a couple very cute skits and several of our favorite Christmas songs to sing together. After the service, we drove up the road to have dinner with Vivian’s parents and open a couple presents. It was a memorable occasion for me, because I got to learn for the first time that there is, in fact, a big difference between “yams” and “sweet potatoes.” I’d grown up calling those orange things mashed up with marshmallows and brown sugar “sweet potatoes.” In fact, sweet potatoes seem to be golden yellow mashed things that you dress up with butter and garlic instead. At least that’s the way Jack does it.

We opened a couple presents, including Dilbert on DVD and a book on marriage from my parents, and Vivian surprised me with a lovely pair of black dress shoes! They’ll be perfect for dancing once I break them in.

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On Christmas Day, Vivian and I made some bacon and eggs for breakfast together and watched It’s a Wonderful Life on the couch, snacking on some egg nog and pumpkin pie fudge throughout the morning. We also opened more presents. Vivian gave me the Star Wars Robot Chicken video, which was hilarious, and I gave her a sushi starter kit among other things.

We gathered at Vivian’s parents’ house together that afternoon. We stuffed ourselves with hors d’oeuvres, and then filled what space we had left with turkey, stuffing, and green bean casserole. Vivian invited Eric and her friends Sherry and Rob to join us. My brother Nathan also came. Sherry is quite an artist, so we enjoyed passing a sketchbook back and forth and “improving” one another’s artwork. We opened our stocking presents later, which included such trinkets as a colored pencil frog, a boxing snowman pen, and mismatched socks. After the presents, some friends left and others came to play an extended two-hour game of cut-throat solitaire together before calling it an evening.

I was busy getting photos and video here and there and put together a brief video summary of the season for you all below. It includes footage of our Christmas tree, Vivian’s office Christmas party, and gathering at her parents on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Merry Christmas, everybody! We’ll see you all next year.


Married Christmas

’twas the week before Christmas

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The Christmas season is here in full swing this week, and Vivian and I have had some extra time to catch up with friends and family. On Wednesday, I went out to Old Chicago with Mike and Bekah, friends of mine since I first moved to Lincoln, and we got to eat pizza and watch their cute kids Drew and Alexa clowning around while we waited for our food.

On Friday, Jenny and Hugh, and Sarah and Ben joined us for Chinese Food at King Fong’s, allegedly the oldest Chinese restaurant in Omaha and located in a fairly stylish old building on 16th street. Their decor looks much the same as it did back in the 1920s, though they didn’t take either checks or credit cards, which made it necessary for me to make an emergency hike down to the ATM.

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On Friday night, the Omaha Jitterbugs had their big Christmas dance down at the Eagle’s Lodge. We got live music courtesy of the Prairie Cats, and they called audience members up on stage to help with the percussion a few times. Vivian, Micah, and Sarah got to play some little egg shakers as “Big Daddy K” Jeff Koterba (who you may also know as the editorial cartoonist for the Omaha World-Herald) lead the band in some swinging tunes for the rest of us to dance.

Toward the end of the night, we had a spontaneous jam circle, and I got to perform in the middle of it with “Little Debbie.” We did an aerial that we had learned at cowtown, and I was so nervous rushing into the middle of it that I almost didn’t get her over my shoulder. The whole crowd let our a spontaneous “ooooh” as it looked like she might not make it, but I got her up there and marched out of the circle with no need to call an ambulance.

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On Saturday, we had our last Lindy in the Mall of 2007. I did a little extra Christmas shopping in the morning, heading over to the Disney Store at Oak View to get Vivian a plush Tigger. She’d been wanting one all year. We had a late start, giving me a chance to buy Vivian’s roommate Jenny a pocket bible for her purse. Then, we danced a couple hours together. I had the chance to show Debbie’s grandparents the arial I showed everyone at the Eagle’s Lodge on Friday. Afterwards, Vivian and I did a little last-minute Christmas shopping before heading on.

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December 23 is the one-year anniversary of our first date, so Vivian and I went to celebrate down at the restaurant we had first eaten at, the French Cafe. It’s a very classy place, and a couple waiters managed to get off the fire alarm with an elaborate demonstration of how to make Bananas Foster. Viv and I took a chilly walk around the Old Market and the Gene Leahy Mall, snacking on fudge from a little candy shop just as we did on that first date one year ago.


Something Beautiful!

I had just one more surprise for Vivian before the night was over. I had spent the last couple of months putting together a special present for her: a music video showcasing little video clips and highlights of our year together. She has been such a wonderful part of my life over the last year that I just had to put together a few of our best memories into a little video that showed how much she means to me.

(The song is Something Beautiful by the Newsboys.)