Monthly Archives: April 2013

Field Notes from Omaha

Is it spring, yet? We’re get thunderstorms, morning frost, and dandelions in our part of the world, and the whole Johnson family got slammed with a nasty cold that left us somewhat paralyzed this week, but we’ve been otherwise busy having fun with friends here in Omaha, as usual.


I spent some time hanging out with some fellow graphic designers in Omaha. On Tuesday, the full-bearded (and foul-mouthed) Aaron Draplin dropped in for a visit at the Waiting Room lounge. Draplin’s a one-man design studio who I first encountered in a video rant posted on the blog 37 Signals. He had an impressive portfolio (which includes the logo for the Stimulus Package back in 2009) and an appreciation for old school design that I had to admire. I also discovered he’s behind these things called Field Notes books, which are like Moleskine books except that they’re made in America and don’t cost $20 each. (You’ll have to buy your own rubber band for them, though.) They came in handy when I had to write down stuff.

I got to hang out with some designers again on Thursday at the Crescent Moon, which was great. My pocket full of Field Notes came in handy then as we traded design-related stories (and gabbed about Superman).


On Friday night, Grammy and Pops got to babysit Hannah so mom and I could have a night of mayhem together. Mayhem, of course, meant stopping by the Saints Pub for dinner with Mark. We gave him a six-pack of presents to open later and shared a plate of blue cheese chips with the table while catching up with a few friends.

After that, we dropped in at the Eagle’s Lodge, where Vivian had invited a bunch of her co-workers to Jitterbugs Night Out. The crowd seemed light for whatever reason, but Vivian was able to recruit Jitterbug Veteran Dan Wondra to dance with all of them during the night. It definitely felt good to get out and dance again, especially since we didn’t have to spend half our time corralling a little one and keeping her from getting shim-shammed underfoot.


On Saturday, we celebrated Jen’s birthday and welcomed her and Phil back from their trip to Taiwan. They had an assortment of unusual treats from the far east, which included fish-flavored gummy snacks and banana Fig Newton style cookies. They also cooked dinner for us, an assortment of vegetables, fermented tofu, marbled tea eggs, and other things, all of which we ate over rice with chop sticks. Hannah got the chance to try some while running in circles and playing with some of the other tots who dropped by (all of whom she called “Bee bee.”) Hannah’s perspicacity has been increasing by leaps and bounds, and she finally learned the word “mommy,” which delighted Vivian to no end.

Spaghetti and storytimes

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Things have been fairly quiet for the Johnson household for the past week or two, possibly because the weather seems to be settling on “spring” for the time being and everyone is busy enjoying it. On Sunday, Magie and Brittany hosted a spaghetti luncheon to help raise funds for their respective missions trips to Ireland and Alaska, raising around $1200 between the two of them. Pretty much the whole church and then some showed up, which a great to see. One of the things I love about our little church in Bellevue is how easily the whole group can get involved in causes like this with little more coordination that a few lines in a bulletin and a few words before the service.

For the past few months, Hannah has discovered the joys of our local public library. Vivian and I have brought her there frequently to look at books, check out classical music CDs, and also drop in for story time with Mrs. B. I stumbled on this once-a-week activity for little ones a few months ago and we’ve been bringing Hannah by to participate ever since. It makes me feel like a good dad getting her addicted to books this early in life. She now begs to be read to from a handful of books and we actually have to keep them high on a shelf to keep her from getting into them (and bending the pages and tearing them apart) on her own.

Mrs. B has her own blog here.

Hannah Marie: Egg Hunter

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Spring seems to be here at long last, though winter doesn’t seem to want to go down without a fight. After two or three freak snowfalls, it seems to be staying consistently above freezing. That means more trips to the park for Hannah, who’s becoming accustomed to the swings and doing her Supergirl thing on them. Hannah turned Sweet 16 Months old last week and gets to wear more cute girly dresses. She’s also discovering the simple pleasure of going for a walk with mommy and grammy and swinging a bucket around in circles.

On Saturday, I dropped by Dennis and Kara’s place to celebrate their little boy’s one-year birthday. I got meet Kara’s parents while I was there as the kids stuffed their faces with cupcakes and the grownups had chili and wine together.

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On Easter Sunday, Hannah got to wear more cute things for church, and then she went on her very first Easter Egg hunt back at home. She picked up on the concept right away, toddling around the yard picking up colored eggs and bringing them back to her little bucket. If you watch the video below, you might hear some examples of Hannah-ese. Her perspicacity is increasing by leaps and bounds, but it sometimes takes a little creative interpretation. (She calls dogs “Bwah,” which is the sound she makes to imitate a dog’s bark.) Inside, we had Easter baskets full of chocolate and bubbles, and then assembled our standard fare for Easter dinner together with the grandparents.

Hannah’s first Easter Egg hunt