Over the weekend, our friend and Vivian’s roommate Jenny celebrated her 27th birthday in style, and that meant a day or two of food, dancing, and party hayhem in general for all of our mutual friends.
On Friday, we kicked things off by crashing at Famous Dave’s down in the old market. There’s no better way to start off a birthday weekend than by stuffing your face with rib tips and garlic mashed potatoes. We had over fifteen people show up for the event before heading on over to Jitterbugs, and it was a grand old time seeing old friends and taking goofy pictures of ourselves with the digital cameras we brought. Viv left hers at home again, so she had to take a couple cute ones with her camera.
After dinner, a bunch of us went to the Eagle’s Lodge for Jitterbugs Night Put, as usual. Both Jenny and Cliff got to have their turns in the birthday jam, and I got to practice tossing my camera back to other people in the circle as I ran up to get my turn to dance with her (trying oh so skillfully not to knock her on her face). I also made sure to get some pictures of Cliff dancing, since he’s the Jitterbugs unofficial photographer and rarely gets the chance to have his own picture taken.
On Saturday night, we had Jenny’s official birthday bash out in her friend Hugh’s big house in west Omaha. It was a costume party, and Jenny dressed up in a very nice flapper costume she got from Target, looking very authentic as she stopped to do the Charleston in the living room. We had a good crowd that seemed to come and go throughout the night. Vivian and I showed up promptly at seven, which meant mostly waiting around an hour or two for the guests actually to arrive.
The party was actually a costume party, so we were all encouraged to dress up as something or other before we came by. Venche, Bente, and Robin came as a trio of cheerleaders and tried to do a pyramid (“You guys are definitely junior varisty,” Benta said with an eye-roll). We had plenty of great costumes all around, but the guy who really took the cake (and first prize, awarded by Jenny) was Rob, who arrived in a full SpongeBob SquarePants outfit made out of a large cardboard box and convoluted foam from his mattress.
Vivian and I came dressed as Wine and Cheese, with a foam cheese hat Viv ordered straight from Wisconsin, and a cork hat I was able to make that afternoon with some supplies from Menard’s. We had some pumpkin carving going on in the living room, so Vivian and I both got to carve up some pumpkins we’d bought that afternoon at Wal-Mart. I haven’t carved a pumpkin since I was a kid, so it was loads of fun, and Viv was able to save the seeds for some potential pumpkin seed roasting.
Toward the end of the night, things started to get just a little bit crazy. Vivian and Jenny got into a boxing match using some borrowed boxing gloves, and Olin decided to reveal his true feelings to Jessica by putting ice cubes down her shirt.
On Sunday, Jenny was baptized at Trinity Church in Omaha, along with a couple dozen other believers who got up to take the plunge during and after the morning service. It was such exciting testimony to see so many men and women devoting their lives to Christ, some of them a long time coming, including an atheist of over 30 years who had nearly committed suicide before coming to the Lord.
That afternoon, Vivian and I joined some of her long-time friends at a Fainting Goat farm just north of Mead, Nebraska. There were dozens and dozens of people here who all knew Vivian and family through a chain of acquaintances, all stemming from her one-time nextdoor neighbors down in Bellevue. There were all kinds of food for us to stuff our faces, including some delicious stuffed jalapeno peppers that Viv’s mom made for the occasion. We also had a roaring fire for making smores, and there was some caramel apple dipping, leaving our hands plenty sticky for the whole afternoon. Vivian and I got to play around with the goats, too. It was the first time I remember ever holding one of those little guys. Apparently, they were being raised for being pets, dashing any hopes I had of trying some goat cheese.