"I don't think so," I replied. "I don't know what they've got planned."
Aaron, it turned out, had a hankering to see Mom for her 70th birthday (today), and wanted to drive from Idaho to surprise her. I told him she'd love it, but to talk to Dad about logistics, and within a few hours, a plan was formed.
"Oh, and Erica is going to come with me," he later told me in a quick phone conversation.
Erica is my niece, adopted officially about two years ago. I had met her once, in passing, when in Idaho for Echo's funeral in 2013. I literally laid eyes on her for maybe five minutes, said, "Nice to meet you!" with a distracted smile (she was still fostered with a different family then, but she would visit Aaron and Susanne at their home because she is the biological sister to my nephew Tyson). We were only in Idaho for a couple of days, and obviously, our purpose in visiting wasn't a happy one.
Since Erica became part of the family, Mom and Dad have gone to visit, but I had to work. So I've been the Aunt-From-Afar, sending birthday and Christmas cards. So I was excited to get to spend some real time with Erica this weekend.
She turned out to be just awesome.
Aaron got off work at midnight on Friday, went home and roused Erica and her BFF Tara (who ended up coming with them), and they left Idaho at about 1:00 local time, because Aaron is crazy. Okay, I kid. But he's definitely a glutton for punishment or something.
By about 10:00, they were pulling into Lincoln, and Dad went to meet them to help them find their way to the house, where Mom was watering her garden and I was sitting on the patio furniture playing with my phone (but actually getting ready to take pictures).
Before long, we heard Aaron's baritone singing, "Happy Birthday to you..." and Mom jumped about three feet in the air before turning around to give him a bear hug.
We all sat on the patio for a bit catching up, then Aaron and the girls went to check in at the hotel and have a rest. Later on, Mom, Dad, and I picked them up and we went to Old Town Pizza in Lincoln.
|Tara (left) and Erica (right). I promise we did not all spend the|
whole meal on our phones.
Aaron was exhausted, but the girls were raring to go, wanting to have some fun. A little while after coming home from dinner, I got a call from Erica. "Aunt Meg...could you take us to the mall...???"
So I spent a couple hours with Erica and Tara at the mall, and while I made a silly post to Facebook about it, I was actually having fun. They're cute girls.
|Nope, didn't buy it. I'm being Ms. Frugal these days.|
|Sorely tempted...but nope.|
|In the Disney Store. Erica had foot surgery recently, but that|
scooter isn't slowing her down. Tara and I had to race to keep up!
|Aaron collects post cards. This was his sole reason for coming|
to Old Sac. Even though I send him about three post cards
|Star Wars knock-offs.|
|I so love old buildings. So many lovely details.|
|We made a new friend.|
|Erica climbed up there, boot and all.|
|At lunch (the nose rings are fake).|
|We walked on to the Delta King for a few minutes and I got|
some fun shots.
Sunday evening, we had a long-planned dinner at the club here in the neighborhood. Dad had invited four couples they are friends with to have a birthday dinner for Mom, and of course I was invited as well. When Aaron announced his visit, Dad called to add a few more seats. We ended up having a party of 14, and a marvelous time.
Then it was back to the house for cake and ice cream. Mom had a great time.
After everyone else left, we took a few family pictures.
|Meg and Mom <3 nbsp="" td="">3>|
|Soldiers handing out candy.|
|Red, white, and...purple hair.|
|This was the creepiest thing I've ever seen in a parade. Yes,|
that is supposed to be Jesus.
|A horse in a hat.|
It's been a great weekend. Busy, full of family. I am glad Aaron was able to be here, and I was glad to get to know Erica better--she and her friend Tara are both really with-it and mature girls (both 16). Really smart and funny. We all had a great time, and Mom is left feeling very blessed, indeed.