It’s been a big, birthday weekend for vivacious Vivian, who turned 28 last Thursday. I was up in Omaha to celebrate with her and spent some quality time over the weekend, which was wonderful.

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On Thursday, we went out to the Outback Steakhouse with her parents to have a bloomin’ onion, which was a sort of birthday tradition for Viv. Afterwards, we went back to her parents place so Vivian could open presents from her folks, which included Italian dried salami imported from San Francisco, new clothes, and some black and pink suede shoes that Vivian spent more time petting than wearing. Afterwards, we got to have some of the amazing Birthday Cake that her mom had made for her. It featured a little fondant sculpture of Vivian, dressed as a swing dancing angel holding a guitar.

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On Friday, Vivian and I had both taken the day off, so we got to spend some quality time together doing as little as possible. We went down to a little Diner (simply called “The Diner”) next to the Old Market downtown to have some hamburgers. We’d wanted to eat there for ages, but they’re closed after four and on Sundays, so we were never around when it was open. Afterwards, we took a walk in a gorgeous little neighborhood I had discovered completely by accident off the NW Radial Highway. It had beautiful little brick houses and towering trees with leaves that were just starting to change color. It was the perfect weather for a long afternoon walk.

That evening, we went out with friends to Old Chicago and then went to the Eagle’s Lodge for Vivian’s birthday dance. The photo comes courtesy of Cliff, who has gotten picture of all three of Viv’s birthday dances so far.

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On Saturday, we finally had our big party for Vivian with all of her friends down at the Lazy Onion Ranch, an event Eric quickly dubbed “Vivtoberfest.” I had my work cut out for me preparing for the event, baking my very first cake ever with a couple heart-shaped pans I borrowed from Viv’s mom. I also rounded up some baked potatoes for a dress-your-own potato bar for the gang when they arrived. We played badminton and fenced with a couple foam scimitars I was able to procure, and then I frosted up the cake so Viv could blow out her candles and open presents. We got her a number of fun presents, including board games and a new digital camera. I also gave her a little present I’d found on eBay months ago and have struggled to hide from her ever since in my apartment: a Punky Brewster doll in its original, unopened box. Vivian had had a doll just like it when she was little but had to leave it behind when her family moved, so I hoped she would enjoy seeing it again.


Sunday came, and Vivian and I went to church together before dropping by the last Lindy in the Park for the season. We all got to bring food for a pot-luck style cookout with our friends for one last dance together on the Gene Leahy mall. We couldn’t have asked for better weather: sunny, warm, and very windy. Afterwards, we dropped by Maggie Moo’s one last time with Eric and Micah, and then Viv and I went back to her parents’ place to have cobbler and play with Diggy.

Vivian and I crashed at last at her place and watched The Last Mimzy together. Viv wanted to put all of her presents on the table to get a picture of all the loot her generous friends had given her this weekend. She also took down a list to send out Thank-You cards, something that’s going to be keeping her busy for a while, I’m sure!



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