Monthly Archives: February 2019

Long walk of winter

We’re still in the midst of a long walk through a winter that’s been taking place since January, with snow after snow after snow that persists in spite of Punxsutawney Phil’s optimistic predictions.


We still try to get the kids out as much as possible, whether that’s a trip down to the Kroc Center to run around or a long stroll down to the Chick-Fil-A, when temperatures drift back into the fifties momentarily. That’s where we went on Groundhog Day, getting out of the house to move around and then grab some chicken sandwiches at our favorite indoor playground. Vivian stayed home and made soup that evening, which we ate while watching the movie Groundhog Day together. It’s been my favorite film for years, and I seem to enjoy it more with every sitting.


The next day was Super Bowl Sunday, so we had all four grandparents (and Uncles Nathan and Jonny) over to watch the Big Game with us. We had the usual assortment of Super Bowl food, including jalapeño poppers, buffalo wings, and a variety of chips and dips. Hannah’s team lost for the first time in her life as the Patriots beat the Rams in a game that felt like it would last forever. It was still good to get together to share the same experience with a couple million other people around the world, even if it meant sitting through Maroon 5 with the sound un-muted part of the time.


The snow continued to come over and over through the following week, but we still found fun things to do indoors. Among them is a group called 1,000,000 Cups, which invites business leaders to talk about their experience and share their thoughts. I got to hear from Scooter’s co-founder Don Eckles, who talked about starting his coffee chain in the mid-90s focusing on a speedy, drive-thru experience. It was enlightening to hear about the brand loyalty of a coffee chain, which only makes sense as people tend to be downright religious about which cup of “joe” gets them going in the morning.

Among my other indoor projects was trying (and failing) to replace a 3-way light switch with a Smart Switch, only to learn through trial and error that every switch in the circuit would have to be replaced, not just one.


Then on Saturday, our friend Kerri and her son Jonah celebrated their 40th and 5th birthdays, respectively. Our whole family joined them for some pizza, nachos, and cocktail wieners (and cake) as the kids dressed as superheroes and watched (most of) The Incredibles II. The little party was held at the most lavish apartment complex clubhouse I’d ever seen, which had its own legit mini-movie theater in the basement, among other things. Lexi brought Sammy and August along for the party, and we got our obligatory photo of Aaron, August, and Jonah together, as the three are growing up together like little brothers.

Next stop: V-Day!

Embracing Life, Celebrating Sushi


We’re still adjusting to the return to normalcy in the midst of arctic temperatures as January wraps up. That includes MPact starting again, and our little Prim and Rainbow got to have a brief mid-year show-and-tell with their groups at BCC. Mostly, it meant watching several volunteers struggle to keep a few little ones from wandering off stage and listening to the older ones recite scripture and sing a few songs for the grown-ups in the audience.

We’re still quite proud of our little ones, of course, and very happy they get to spend their Wednesday nights learning about the Bible with so many of their little friends (and the three different pledges of allegiance they apparently have).


Then on Friday night, I got to attend the 45th Annual Celebration of Life dinner with several of my teammates form the Pope Paul VI Institute. My boss, Dr. Hilgers, was actually being honored in absentia with a lifetime achievement award, which was accepted by his wife Sue. Naturally, I was on-the-job getting pictures and live-streaming some video (thanks to his daughter Dr. Teresa for holding the camera). Several of our elected leaders were also there, including Lt. Gov. Mike Foley (who played emcee), the Governor, and a Congressman or two.

I got to learn a bit more about the world of the newly-renamed Nebraska Embracing Life before hearing from the keynote speaker, Gianna Jessen. Gianna was the victim of a chemical abortion forty years ago and supposed to have been aborted, but she miraculously survived and lived to tell us a bit about her life (and be the inspiration for the film October Baby). She has some physical disabilities from the abortion procedure, including cerebral palsy, so she was a bit unsteady standing at the wheeled podium at the front of the room. She actually called on our Governor to literally stand by her side and give her physical support as she gave her talk, which he did like a true gentleman.


The next day, Vivian and I celebrated our sushi anniversary, marking twelve years since we made things official in 2007. We left the kids with mom and dad and went off to Hunan Fusion in West Omaha, getting our fill of sushi, including Shrimp Tempura rolls, Spicy Crab Rolls, Hawaii Rolls and Black Widow Rolls.

We walked off our lunch afterward and headed down to the Indian grocery store afterward and picked up a few things to make chicken tikka masala later in the week.


Of course, one sushi date isn’t enough, so a few days later, we swung by the Jade Palace for some drive-thru sushi in an impromptu lunch date. For fast-food sushi, it was surprisingly good (and made to order).

In the meantime, we’re enjoying an arctic snap that brought temperatures below zero (for the high) and enjoyed spending a little more quality time indoors, eating pork chops with Grammy and Pop-Pop and spending 1500 of Vivian’s Wii points before the Wii Store closed forever, letting the kids play such classic games as Mario 64 for the first time. Fortunately, things will warm up by the time the Super Bowl rolls around. This year, Hannah’s picked the Rams to win, so we’ll see if her four-pick winning streak holds up! (Aaron’s picked the Patriots.)