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Zack & Azriel Post


Zack and Azriel Post are the epitome of the term ‘millennial.’

Not in a trite or overused way, but millennial is a term that totally describes them, and they’re not afraid to own it.

Zack works at a local startup and is a freelance graphic designer – most all of his clients come from Instagram. Azriel has hopped from job to job after graduation pursuing her own creative endeavors and just landed a job in Texas – which she first heard about through a message from a complete stranger via Instagram.

“Sometimes to people, it seems like we’re really different or doing thing unlike the typical normal person would do. I don’t think we’re trying really hard to be hipsters or millennials or whatever you want to call it. We’re just doing what we want to do and I think a lot of people put us in the category of being a millennial or a hipster, which, ultimately, we’re just who we are and we like what we like,” Zack said.

Get the picture?

But like Zack said, this is the way he and Azriel have always been.

When Zack and Azriel met in college things just clicked. They recognized their differences, but also saw the world through a very similar lens.

They’ve spent the last 9-ish years in a state they never thought they’d call home, and now that they’re about to leave, they’re starting to feel a little sentimental about the place where they met, fell in love, got married and started a life together.

And while they couldn’t be more excited about their next great adventure, moving is still hard. The packing is one thing, but Zack and Azriel said it’s also made them think about what this means for their story.

“I don’t know, it sounds weird and cliche, but sometimes it doesn’t feel like you’re going anywhere but ultimately what you’re doing is figuring out where you belong and what you’re supposed to be doing,” Azriel said.

Zack and Azriel are just a young couple trying to figure things out – how to take risks, let creativity lead, follow their guts and understand what ‘success’ looks like for them.

They’re not trying to be ‘cool’ or ‘hip’ or whatever word you want to throw at it, they’re trying to be true to their story and all that comes with it.

“I think, like, our story is just defining success for ourselves,” Azriel said. “And then hopefully that can show people that it doesn’t always look the same for everyone, and its ok to do your own thing if that’s what it takes.”

Lawrence De Villiers


The son of a notable French politician, a member of the aristocratic De Villiers family, a comedian and a chef – Laurent De Villiers has been all of these things, and now he’s a Nebraskan.

These days Laurent goes by Lawrence, but that doesn’t mean he’s forsaken his heritage. He’s French through and through. You can tell by his accent, his general mannerisms and the fact that he owns The Normandy, a local French bistro.

His story is complicated. It spans continents and is marked by periods of rebellion, confusion, joy and renewal.

But Lawrence says his story really started went he met his wife, Renee.

The two met when Lawrence was doing volunteer work with a Catholic Franciscan order in the Bronx. Renee was working at a local shelter and the two quickly became friends. They were from very different backgrounds – Lawrence grew up in a high-brow, political family, Renee grew up in the small, laid-back town of McCool Junction.

After they started dating, Lawrence and Renee moved to Paris for a year before coming back to Nebraska and settling in Lincoln.

It was around this time that Lawrence noticed the lack of French cuisine in Lincoln. He craved it and realized the only place he could find it was in his own kitchen. So, he started small. He opened up a booth at the farmer’s market where he sold crepes and pastries and then started catering authentic French meals to his more eager customers.

Lawrence knew that he needed a full-scale restaurant, and Renee encouraged him to keep exploring this idea.

So, after a short stint in the Railyard’s Public Market, Lawrence bought a former bar and grill at the corner of 17th and Van Dorn streets and transformed it into his French bistro.

“It looked nothing like this when we moved in,” Lawrence said, looking around at his manicured dining room. “But it also took time.”

He was patient when it came to growing his business. He started with authentically French food that he catered to the palettes of Nebraskans and his atmosphere followed suite. In France, he said, you find a lot of small mom and pop shops that serve amazing food and that’s what he wanted to create in Lincoln.

He knew it didn’t need to be complicated, but it needed to be done right and that’s what he did.

Having a local restaurant in Lincoln is hard, it takes time, resources and lots of patience, but Lawrence does it for his family. He and his wife now have three daughters, and carving out a place for his restaurant and his family have become a major part of his story.

It’s a story he didn’t anticipate being his own, mostly, because it’s the opposite of so much of his early life.

Lawrence’s childhood was full of expectations. His family was wealthy and well-known and they hope he’d follow the same path, but early on Lawrence knew that wasn’t what he wanted.

He wanted to start something, run his own business, make and earn his own money – he wanted to be free of his family’s expectations. This search for freedom, along with marrying his wife are what led Lawrence to Lincoln.

It’s a place that’s vastly different from France, but also so different from his elite childhood. Lincoln has quickly become his home, and a chapter in his story that he’s proud to share with his customers.

“We’re not rich, but we’re making it,” he said. “I couldn’t find a better place to raise my children, for my marriage, for my relationships with people – we’re very blessed here.”

Ben Welstead


Ben Welstead has a good story, and he knows exactly when it starts – 2007.

Back then he was a church youth group director who was busy organizing events, meeting with kids and taking the occasional summer missions trip.

It was these trips that got him thinking about alternative ways to fundraise. He noticed his youth group kids lived in t-shirts and jeans and they were always looking for a cool new shirt to add to their collection, so Ben thought he’d try screen printing for himself.

Ben has always been somewhat of a jack-of-all-trades, so screen printing seemed like just another hobby to add to the list.

He bought a screen printing starter pack and then watched YouTube videos to fill in the blanks. It was a very trial-and-error process with lots of frustration and mistakes, but when Ben finally pulled his squeegee over his very first screen he realized he’d finally figured it out.

That was the start of Basement Ink, Ben’s literally basement-run print shop.

At this point, Ben and his wife, Renee, were both running businesses out of their home. It was busy, stressful and new. They were keeping their heads down, working, making deadlines, figuring out how to run businesses and pushing forward.

And then the phone rang.

While Ben had been starting his business, he and Renee had also become foster parents, and that phone call was about a possible placement.

Two girls – sisters – and then came the question, ‘Would you be interested in possibly adopting them?’

Umm, maybe? The next few months were filled with weekend visits, meetups and a lot of hard questions and conversations with friends and family about what it meant to be parents.

Were they ready? Could they raise these sisters? How do you love a child who you barely know?

It was a hard season with desperate moments and little sleep. The girls moved into their house, they figured out routines, likes, dislikes and on National Adoption day in 2011 they made Cora and Ruby their daughters.

Being parents is revealing, said Ben, and as they adjusted to the joy and pain of being a family a few things surfaced.

Ben realized he couldn’t work at home anymore. There was too much stress, too much anxiety and too much loneliness. Sure, he was in his own house and around his family, but he was constantly thinking about work because it was in his house. It became unhealthy, and as Ben reached a breaking point, Renee handed him a listing for a rental space.

On the day he signed the lease on his new work space, another call came – twins, biological siblings of their daughters.

“We just knew they should be with us,” Ben said.

And six months later, Louis and June became Welsteads too.

For a while things worked out OK. Ben’s family had tripled in a matter of years, it was crazy, in a good way but also a bad way. Ben was still putting in an obscene amount of hours, he was constantly apologizing to clients for missed deadlines and more importantly he felt disconnected from his family when he was home.

Something had to give, but he was at a loss for what needed to happen.

Then, he got a text.

Another screen printer in town, Jason Davis of Screen Ink, had a job opening and wondered if Ben would be interested in merging operations. It was the answer Ben needed, and a few months later he sold his printing equipment, left his rental space and joined Screen Ink.

These days, Ben doesn’t spend weekdays mindlessly printing shirts alone in his basement, he’s collaborating with a team for the first time, finding creative ways to stretch Screen Ink and then biking home with a freed mind to his family.

On the weekends he cheers at soccer games, takes the kids on family bike rides and carts them to birthday parties. The days are busy and full, but so much better than before, he said.

To say a lot has changed over the past nine years of Ben’s life would be an understatement. Everything changed, but Ben wouldn’t have it any other way.

The way he told his story was honest and sincere. It wasn’t some nice spin on things, it was unfiltered, rich and raw.

It’s a story with so much struggle, but also so much beauty. It’s about becoming a family, being a family and embracing change.

But it’s also a story that’s not finished, there’s more to come from Ben and the rest of the Welstead clan, and that’s a story we’re excited to watch unfold.

Jason and Cindy Nabb


There’s something about the Nabb’s house that just feels like home.

Maybe it’s the smell of freshly brewed coffee, the toddler teetering around with an orange in her hand, the two kiddos sitting at the dining room table working on their school work or the morning sunlight filtering into the living room where we sat and chatted.

By the end of our time together, I knew what made their home feel so welcoming – love. Now, before you jump to any conclusions or start asking about what philosophical kind of love I’m talking about, just read this story.

Jason and Cindy Nabb have been married for nearly 17 years. They have eight children ranging in age from 18 to almost 2 years old. But Jason and Cindy don’t have a typical love story, and certainly not a love story that they thought would lead them to where they are now.

“She was dating one of my friends when I met her,” said Jason, he and Cindy looked at each other and laughed.

That’s basically how their story went. They were two dysfunctional youngsters who had an extremely broken and dysfunctional relationship.

Their early love history had a weird pattern. Date, get engaged, break up, drink, date, break up, drink some more, don’t talk, get pregnant with somebody else, just friends, don’t talk.

Cindy said on the day they were supposed to get married (the first time) they met up and got coffee in Lincoln before she traveled to Minneapolis and Jason moved to Tulsa. They literally couldn’t have been going in more opposite directions.

But then Cindy gave birth to her baby, Olivia, and called Jason to tell him she had become a mommy. He got the message after he’d been at a Super Bowl party and thought to himself, ‘What am I doing?!’

The next year, on their would-have-been one-year anniversary, Jason asked Cindy to marry him in front of their entire church in Lincoln.

A year later, Jason started the paperwork to adopt Olivia.  

As Jason and Cindy told their story, I watched as their daughter Ashley sat quietly and listened. It didn’t look like the first time she’d heard this story, because she kept smiling, looking as if she was glad she knew the way the roller coaster of a tale would end.

But getting married wasn’t the end of Jason and Cindy’s love story. If anything it was the beginning. They went on to have five more biological children – Simon, Isaac, Meredith, Ashley and Sam – and a few weeks ago they adopted two more children from foster care.

The Nabbs have a full house, and you don’t even want to know their monthly grocery budget. Cindy said a lot of people who don’t know them look at her like she’s crazy to have this many children, but the people who know them understand that it just makes sense because they know Jason and Cindy.

When they bought their current house, they knew they wanted it to be a place they shared with others. Sure, they had a big family, but they also had extra room.

They opened up their basement to a single mom and her daughter who stayed with them for a season. It was a sad, difficult and messy situation, but it didn’t scare them out of serving.

“We want our kids to know that there’s a sacrifice that comes with serving,” Jason said. “There are people who need help and they’re worth sacrificing for.”

This is when the Nabbs seriously started considering foster care.  

“Especially coming from the backgrounds that we have…we feel so redeemed,” Cindy said. “Why wouldn’t we want to give that to someone else in return?”

After going through the process of getting licensed, the Nabbs received lots of calls for kids to be placed in their home. The call that led to a placement was for two sisters who were 3-months and 3-years-old.

And so it began. Therapy appointments, learning assessments, meeting with and encouraging the girls’ biological parents, talking through the situation with their children, praying.

It was a hard situation to enter into. It was hard on their marriage and their family. It was sad to see the stories of two, young girls and their parents struggling and oftentimes failing, but it also showed and taught them how to love more deeply.

“I think of commitment as a synonym for love more than anything else,” Cindy said. “You don’t change your commitment to your kids or your spouse because circumstances change.”

It’s about choosing to love, despite your weaknesses.

Their love and decision to love led them to the courthouse on January 19, 2016 to make Crystal Elizabeth and Luna Isabel part of their family.

Jason and Cindy said they didn’t set out to adopt – they also didn’t set out to have six biological children – but that’s the beauty of it all, right?

They would be the first to tell you that they haven’t loved well at all times, they’re not perfect, but love is a big part of their story.

The Nabb’s story is one that’s about more than the mushy, gushy love that quickly feels artificial.

Their story is about an imperfect love for each other, the overwhelming love of their community and the unfailing love of a God who multiplies their love for one another.

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