Joe and I are not particularly spontaneous people. This is a fact. And this is ok. It's just who we are. We like to plan and discuss and plot out the details, particularly when we travel. But last week after looking at our February schedules and seeing every weekend booked up, we decided last Wednesday to head up to Omaha for the weekend. Just two days notice for Joe's parents, look who's spontaneous!
We quick made plans with friends and family for meals and hanging out and new house visits and of course cupcakes to celebrate Joe's upcoming Valentine's Day birthday. We traveled up on Friday night and then on Saturday morning after delicious blueberry pancakes cooked expertly by Joe's step-dad John, newspaper reading and chatting with the parents, and plenty of relaxing, we headed out to visit Katrina, Matt and their boys for lunch. Katrina and Matt just moved into a beautiful new house, literally a week ago. But despite the boxes, though they were shockingly organized and unpacked for such a recent move, the house is perfect for them. Their triplet boys, Alex, Zach and Josh all have their own bedrooms, each with hilarious keep out signs on their doors. Visit here to see them, so good. Great kitchen, finished basement, a perfect kid filled cul-de-sac. It was wonderful to hang out with the boys, hang out with Katrina and Matt and catch up. Sadly no pictures. We forgot and frankly no one wants to have their house photographed after they just moved in. Next time, I promise. But just scroll to the end and pretend these photos are from last weekend.
After Katrina and Matt's we gassed up and grabbed a quick coffee and headed back to Joe's parents' house. I don't know why but the little sticker on top of my cafe latte just made me happy. And Joe's face too.
We hung out with the dogs at the house, did some writing and reading and once Joe's parents got back from the Creighton basketball game, we all got dolled up and headed out to a celebratory birthday dinner at Biagi's. It was a great meal, lots of healthy light pastas and seafood, and again dinner with three of my favorite people. After dinner, we headed over with birthday cupcakes to visit Joe's grandparents. Janice and Gus had a short list of fix it projects that Joe got to tackle with a full audience. Moving and rehanging pictures with running commentary from the peanut gallery, fixing the volume issue on their new flat screen TV and even I got to help solve a Walgreens photo website issue. They are such funny, kind, independent people that it was wonderful to be able to help them a little bit. And believe me, Janice will tell you exactly how she wants her pictures hung.
Sunday morning we had coffee and gossip with the parents, though Sherry was seriously pushing her delicious blueberry buckle, we had to decline since we had brunch plans with Hillary and John and their girls. Hillary and John's twin girls are about a year old and so friggin cute, Arianna and Helena are walking and feeding themselves pancakes and they have these poke-able belly buttons and edible cheeks. Sophia and I sat next to each other and colored and played with my bangle bracelets and discussed magicians and haircuts and the fact that butterflies are not the same as flowers. And of course we talked to Hillary and John too.
I have to say, (though sorry, Hillary, we aren't moving to Omaha,) that Omaha is one of my favorite places. After more than ten years of visiting, it feels like a second home. And I like that. It is filled with such a wonderful mix of friends and family and people that I'm thrilled to have in my life. It's a welcoming, friendly city that has a small town feel with all the amenities of a larger Midwestern city. And it's close enough that spur of the moment we can be there in just a couple of hours. After a long and frigid January I really needed a change of scenery. Even just a quick trip to Omaha and time spent with these fantastic people was enough to clear my head and get me out of my funk. So thanks, Omaha, and our Omaha peeps, you brightened my winter and perked me up, just in time for Snowpocalypse 2011!
Most photos by the frozen Joe Sands.