It was another busy weekend at the Jorgensen household. We both felt like it was a three-day weekend; I guess we just packed in a three-day weekend's events into two, which tonight, leaves me feeling a bit overwhelmed as I look to the week ahead. This week is a short one at home for me. In two days, I'm embarking on an adventure without my two boys. I was given the opportunity to attend a wonderful conference in Washington D.C., and couldn't pass it up. I'm going with three other great colleagues for what's sure to be an exciting opportunity and a great way to energize my mind and spirit for the upcoming school year. With that said, however, it's never easy leaving this baby of mine, especially as we inch closer to the end of my summer at home. I just feel like every day is so precious, and as the days keep filling up, I can feel it slipping away. So, these days, I try and fill up with as much joy and fun as I can possibly squeeze in.
This weekend, we squeezed in lots of summertime.
We sat curbside, caught a rainbow assortment of Tootsie Rolls, and watched Grandpa Curt in the parade at Waverly's annual, Heritage Days celebration. I love parades, and realized how much better they are when candy is involved. The streets were bustling with young and old. Kids with rosy cheeks and swimsuit tops threw candy with all their might to their friends. Adults marched on the hot pavement, passing out American flags and red carnations to
Cruz loved the parade. There he sat curbside between Beau and I, fedora on his head and beads around his neck, gladly welcoming the frequent 'treats' tossed in his lap from a parade participant who thought he was cute. Twizzlers and Domino's Pizza cups, McDonald's cookies, a map of the state of Iowa, and a Frisbee.
And of course, freezy pops.
Four generations! Notice Cruz's scrunchy smile. These are genes he got from his Uncle Jordan, who was known for this look as a baby (with lots of pictures to prove).
After cooling off at Dad's shop and grabbing some lunch, we headed home for a nap and a plan to use up the produce we scored at the lovely Farmer's Market. Our collection of fresh basil and rosemary, eggplant and pepper, and tomato and garlic begged for a homemade pizza night. There is nothing better in the world than a pizza crust, some fresh mozzarella, and summertime produce, cooked on a hot pizza stone, and paired with a glass of red wine.
I love pizza nights, and must say, we're getting better (and smarter) about them all the time. We started pizza-making business Martha Stewart style. We even bought a bread-machine in order to perfect the homemade pizza crust. To this day, we have five different kinds of flour in our pantry and at least that many types of yeast. We'd settle on making two different sauces, as we could never come to a compromise, and would spend entire afternoons chopping every possible pizza topping known to man (as we could never come to a compromise). The pizzas always turned out great, as I don't think I've ever had a 'bad' pizza, but by the time we were finished with our process, we were exhausted and ready to put the pizza cookbook away for the time being.
Saturday night, we simplified. We purchased two store-bought crusts from Wal-Mart, as well as two pizza sauces. Both were Classico, stored in a tiny little glass container, and found by the spaghetti sauces at your local grocer. One was a green pesto sauce, and the other, a sun-dried tomato tapenade. Going easy on the crust and sauces allowed us to go nuts on the toppings. We caramelized onions over the stovetop until they tasted like candy, sauteed mushrooms in fresh garlic and butter, and roasted eggplant and red pepper in the oven until soft and sweet. We sliced fresh mozzarella, an absolute MUST-HAVE in homemade pizza making, and formed a pizza-making competition, judging on appearance and taste. We drank wine, discussed what we would serve at our very own Italian restaurant, and introduced Cruz's taste buds to flavors of basil and eggplant, red pepper and pesto sauce.
Pizza #1: Ashley's 'Green Machine.' A thin layer of pesto, paired with mushrooms, onion, and eggplant, and topped with mozzarella.
Pizza #2: Beau's 'Pizza-tini.' A more traditional style pizza, with red sauce and pepperoni, mushrooms and red pepper, garlic and fresh rosemary.
So who won out in the end? While both were delicious and masterfully done, we decided Beau's, 'Pizza-tini' took the award for best presentation, while my 'Green Machine,' won on taste. And it turns out, they warm up pretty good for breakfast, too.
Aside from our parade-going, pizza-making weekend, we managed to find time for a few other joys of summertime...
...like some time in the pool. The pool that Cruz now thinks he can crawl out of...
...and fresh berries. We are all big fans around here.
...and parks. The other night, we welcomed a quick, unexpected rain shower, followed by a much needed break from the scorching heat. Beau was at a late appointment, so Cruz and I escaped to the park. Dressed in his Captain America best, we walked the paved trails, watched the Mother Goose parade around with her babies in a row, and played catch on the bike bridge. Cruz has just recently learned to play catch, and it's our new favorite pastime. It was so still out, so quiet and calm, and felt so lucky to have each other.
Cruz is officially a crawling maniac! He is into everything, and getting pretty good at traveling from room to room. He gets really excited when he sees something in reach, especially if it's his friend, Jade.
He's also becoming a little ham. His scrunchy face is his latest trick, and he pulls it out at the funniest times.
More in store this week, including a basement project that's just about complete. Wishing you lots of summertime and some relief from the heat!