Love Language

Love Language

photo (45)If you thought this was going to be a post about marriage and communication and deep, important things like that I’m afraid you might be disappointed. Really, it’s about pizza. Last night most of the girls from my beloved Bible study gathered around the table to say goodbye to Lisa as she prepares to move back to Texas in a couple weeks. Three-and-a-half hours later, we were still around the table, a table now littered with empty plates and a few crumbs of chocolate cake. We had originally planned to make it a Mexican affair with Cinco de Mayo and all, but we weren’t sure about crowds and impatient servers. So, we switched to Old Venice Pizza Company. Pizza. My love language. I had the Daddy Crawdaddy pizza which has cream cheese, mozzarella and crawfish so really there’s no way to go wrong in my book. We ate pizza and breadsticks and chocolate cake and laughed so much I had to wipe the tears from my eyes with my napkin. We are an eclectic group, our little Bible study. All moms, some having been mom for years, others for only six weeks. We love talking and eating and laughing and we especially like to do all three at the same time. We don’t always stay on topic, and we don’t have a problem speaking our minds. We are always late and usually breaking some rule. But that group of girls has shown me love and community and sisterhood in a new way. We won’t be the same without Lisa. That’s what I love about a really great group of girls. Each girl adds something unique. And Lisa definitely adds something special. I’ll always remember last night and hours around the table eating pizza and chocolate cake and laughing. And waking up the next morning knowing what we had was something truly special.

I take my love language seriously, and I’ve done extensive research in the field. As soon as we get to Rosemary Beach, I want to stop by Bruno’s and get their Ultimate Veggie to go. I could eat Memphis Pizza Cafe’s Greek pizza every day, and Trolley Stop Market’s Margharita pizza is loaded with fresh mozzarella and big chunks of tomato and basil. And Aldo’s vodka cream pie–spicy and creamy–yes, Memphis has some good pizza. And I don’t know how many pieces of Lou Malnati’s Chicago Classic we ate the week we spent in the Windy City for Matt’s 30th birthday, but that pizza lived up to all the hype. We love to make pizza at home too. My favorite crust is Ina Garten’s from her White Pizza recipe. That white pizza is amazing, but the crust works for any type of pizza. It is easy and only has to rise for 30 minutes. A couple things–I split the batch into two balls and make two pizzas instead of six individual pizzas and the temperature is crucial. Bake at no less than 475 or the crust won’t be crispy like it should be.

Now, what to put on top. We love BBQ chicken pizza. Throw some chicken and water in a crock pot until it shreds easily. Add some BBQ sauce to it. Stretch out your crust on the pizza stone. Smear a thin layer of BBQ sauce on top. Layer on the BBQ chicken, fresh mozzarella and diced red onion. Sprinkle red pepper flakes on top and bake. Or a summer favorite is Bruschetta pizza. Stretch out your crust and sprinkle salt and red pepper flakes on top. Smear a thin layer of pesto on top. Layer fresh diced tomatoes (try and get as much water out of the tomatoes with a towel first) and feta cheese on top. It’s a great way to use summer tomatoes and basil. The white pizza is a winner too. When I make Ina Garten’s white pizza, I use feta, mozzarella and goat cheese and leave off the arugula. I prefer my salad on the side.

Matt and I joke that my love language is pizza, but really it’s what pizza represents to me. It’s one of those foods that puts people at ease. You can eat it with your hands and get messy. You can make it yours with a limitless combination of toppings. My favorite people are the same–comfortable in their own skin, not afraid to get messy and okay being unique. I love the pizza, but really I love the people sitting around the table with me.

To my Bible study girls, you are all of those things. What we have is something special.

And to Lisa, thank you for the fashion advice, that pink champagne cake, the running tips and all the laughs about certain “running ailments.” Thank you for making every Wednesday a little more fun and for never being afraid to say what you think. Texas is lucky to have you coming home, and we’ll be heading out for a road trip and that Cinco de Mayo Mexican food we missed very soon. We love you, and we’ll miss you like crazy!



Donuts, Pink & Rodents

Donuts, Pink & Rodents holiday that incorporates chocolate and the color pink is a favorite for our oldest. Lydia has been counting down the days to Valentine’s for two weeks now. While Matt and the kids were still asleep this morning, I snuck out to the donut shop to surprise them with a sugary start to the day. I’m sure I will pay for this in a few hours when they’re bouncing off the walls, but Daddy gets home at lunchtime on Fridays so at least we can go back to man-to-man coverage then.

A little Valentine’s Day happy for you… the photograph is from Kelli Trontel, a crazy talented photographer. Every month she puts out a new photograph to download and use as your lock screen or home screen on your iPhone or as the desktop image on your computer. I love change and I get a little giddy when I change out my lock screen photo each month. You can follow her on IG so you’ll know when to go download the new one each month.

The first Valentine’s Day Matt and I celebrated together he made reservations at our favorite restaurant. Archestratus no longer exists, but they had the most delicious crab cakes and I could drink their comeback dressing out of a pitcher. When we showed up on the evening of February 14th we were shocked when they handed us a menu a quarter of the size of the usual menu and double the regular price. Excuse me?!? That was our first and last time to dine at a nice restaurant for Valentine’s Day. The next year we swung to the complete opposite side of the restaurant pendulum and went to Chuck E. Cheese and ate bad pizza and tried to beat each other at Skee Ball so we could rack up tickets to buy the other one something *real nice* at the ticket counter. Much more our style. Some people like diamond earrings. I got a slap bracelet and a spider ring. Perfection.

Ironically, we kept the Chuck E. Cheese tradition for many years, but after two kids we decided to skip the scary rodent and just eat pizza at home. Last year, I baked Ina Garten’s White Pizza with feta, mozzarella and goat cheese. This year, I think I’ll swing by Coletta’s and celebrate Memphis style with a BBQ pizza. Later, after the kids are in bed, we’ll pull out the glasses and toast to this sweet life we share. This will be our thirteenth February 14th to share together, and we’ve definitely made our fair share of mistakes but we’ve also learned a few things. One being that true love isn’t necessarily found in expensive meals with limited menus. True love–be it crab cakes or Chuck E. Cheese pizza–is a daily choice to die to self, to love my spouse more than I love myself. We love because He first loved us. 

Happy Valentine’s Day!