Monday, October 10, 2011

A Surprise Birthday Weekend + Husker Game

We are officially home from our Husker weekend in Lincoln and Omaha. Months ago, Aaron's mom planned a surprise trip for all of the Nix kids and their families to come to Nebraska to surprise Aaron's dad on his 60th birthday.

We left Friday afternoon, stopped at DFW and were shortly in Omaha. Aaron's brother and his wife picked us up and we went to the hotel we were staying at. Aaron's oldest sister arrived earlier than everyone else, so she and Aaron's mom told Chris (Aaron's dad) that she was the only one who would be in town for the weekend. When we got to the hotel, we went to their room and the boys texted their dad "Are you asleep?" and "What are you doing, Dad?" They then knocked on the hotel door. Chris' face was priceless when he saw the boys. Then Tiffany, my sis-in-law, and I walked around the corner, too... Chris was overjoyed to see his boys and they were so happy they could be there to surprise their dad.

The last surprise(s) arrived from Dallas on a late-night flight: Tiff, Rob and Imogen. We told Chris that they wouldn't be able to come to Nebraska because they planned to move from Dallas to Denver on Monday (which is true). But they rolled in at around midnight, as we all sat in our pajamas and tried to keep from falling asleep! When they arrived, we got a little bit of a second wind, but it was such a long travel day, and everyone went quickly to bed.

The next morning we woke up ready for a Husker day. We went to Lincoln for the game, but first we grabbed pizza at Valentino's, Aaron's favorite pizza place. Going back to campus was such an awesome experience. It was my first visit back since December 2009, and Aaron's since May 2009. We just felt so at home, just as we always felt in our years at undergrad there. It was like we never left, and yet, so much has changed for us in less than two years. Marriage, graduate school and a baby on the way have changed so much about us, but walking around campus took me back to the early days of our relationship, when we would go to movies at the Ross Theater and take late-night walks around campus and contemplate what our futures would look like, and silently, what our future together might hold.

For years Lincoln and UNL were our home, and being back confirmed that this hadn't changed despite everything else, which had.

The game was an exciting win for the Huskers, and being back in Memorial Stadium was exhilarating. It was a little different standing at the front of the student section this time, 20 weeks pregnant, in the rain. I couldn't stand the whole time, and I was exhausted by the end of the fourth quarter. Nonetheless, it was a dream to be there. To think, the next time we'll be there will be with our baby! Now that is truly strange, and wonderful, to think about.

A win solidified the great weekend. We drove back to Omaha that night, woke up too few hours later and were on our way back to Tallahassee.

Looking back at this weekend, when we first started planning our trip to Lincoln, I had imagined and hoped that we might be living back in that part of the country by the time this weekend rolled around. That dream still has yet to be realized, but at least for a weekend, we were home, celebrating with our family. I couldn't have asked for anything better to fill up my heart.

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