This is what happens when temperatures tip over 70-degrees in Montana...Swimsuits come out of hibernation, sprinklers go on & the slathering of sunscreen begins. They spoke of nice spring weather this weekend, and it delivered.
I digress....Friday was like a taste of what the weekend was to come. We got out Ava's new colored bubbles that she got for her birthday to see what they were all about. It was good, messy fun. The bubbles were supposed to be pink, but kinda just looked like ordinary bubbles. However, all of the drips were bright pink and very messy. It was worth it though...to hear the giggles of little girls chasing bubbles through the yard.
Date night was fantastic....a little pizza margherita and a nice bottle of Chianti Classico...
-Heat some olive oil in a sauce pan. Add about a half of a chopped onion and two or three cloves of minced garlic. Cook for around 10 minutes. Add a can of fire roasted diced tomatoes, 1/2-cup of wine and around and tsp of each of the following-oregano, basil, marjoram, some s&p & a pinch of red pepper flakes. Cook all at medium heat for about 10 minutes. Let cool and then put in a food processor and blend until smooth. Cool until you are ready to use.
-Spread the sauce on your rolled out dough and top with thin slices of fresh tomatoes, mozzarella and torn basil. Cook at 400-degrees for around 10 minutes. Enjoy!
Saturday morning we got up our usual lazy way of cartoons for the girls, coffee and staying in bed. Matt wanted to take us out to breakfast and I was feeling a little lazy and not really feeling it. Matt was more insistent, he told me to get my run out of the way and then we'd walk up to breakfast. The perfectly sunny, yet cool, morning was the final motivation to get running so that's what I did. I know I have gushed before about how much I love running outside, but I gotta do it again. There is just nothing like the fresh air to get you going. And, I pulled my i-pod out of it's winter home of the cupboard and enjoyed listening to my tragically outdated music (seriously, it's got Beyonce when she was still with Destiny's Child on there). Running is my thing, it is my time and there is no chance for interruption. When Ava was a baby we got a jogging stroller and I tried one time to take her on a run and never did it more than once. I decided running for me is a selfish thing that I, didn't want to share. No cell phone, no conversation, just me, my music and my thoughts. I do have a vision one day of sharing this passion with the girls. Sometimes on a run I pass this mother and daughter out for a morning run and I could dig that. What a great opportunity to be with your child, talking and enjoying the fresh air together. I would give up the selfish part of my runs for that. So, after my run I got home and we took a walk up the street to a little cafe/deli for some breakfast. On our way we saw the most beautiful tree. It was a flowering tree and just stood out amongst all the trees not yet in bloom. Oh, it was beautiful. I decided right then and there that we need a flowering tree for our yard. We have a lot of lilac bushes, which are by far my favorite, but could use some more color. I'll have to talk to my gardener about that (matt.) We enjoyed coffees and breakfast outside and then ventured to a few stores before heading home. We stayed home just long enough to let Layla lay down for a bit, pack up a picnic, load the girls into the stroller and head to the park to meet up with Amy & Chad and the kiddos. Our first picnic (actually second, Layla and I had one with some other friends a few weeks back…not quite as warm though!) of the year! The kids all played, we sat around and visited and soaked up the sunshine. After a couple hours at the park, we headed home, where Layla took her second nap of the day (I think the sun totally zapped her) and we all freshened up to head out to Matt's parents for the girls birthday dinner with them. There the girls got totally spoiled (Grandma knows how to shop!!), ate way too much food (Quiche, Lebanese rice, shrimp, scallops, salad…the list goes on…yum!!) and caught up with them since we haven't seen them since we were in Florida. It was a lovely evening. Everyone was wiped out and the girls crashed out on the way home. I didn't do much better, I pretended to stay awake for the movie we rented, but probably only watched about ten minutes of it.
Sunday was one of those days that you can tell the moment you open your eyes that it is going to be one of those perfect Montana days. A day that gives us the name the "Big Sky" state. I could hear the birds, see the sun peaking in through the shades and tell that it was already warm out. We opened up the house as soon as we finished our lazy-stay-in-bed Sunday routine, had a little breakfast and then Matt and the girls headed to church and I stayed behind for my own kinda church…cooking. I made some spinach pies for our dinner and some noodles for tomorrow nights dinner. When they got home we headed outside and that is pretty much where everyone stayed the rest of the day. Ava and I left for a little bit to do a little birthday shopping for sisters upcoming birthday. This is the first year I've had them pick out gifts for each other and they both took it very seriously…wanting to find the perfect gift that they knew the other would love. I love the sisterly bond the two of them have. My sister gave Ava some "magic" markers for her birthday to leave messages on mirrors. So, this is what I walk into the bathroom to see...love notes from Miss Ava
It just warms my heart to see their love for each other. I try to remember it when they are fighting and screaming at one another. They love hard and fight fierce.
That evening I wanted to make a perfect meal to compliment the summery day we had. We had the spinach pies, a colorful salad and Mediterranean Tuna. Oh, it was good. I bought some really nice tuna steaks, seasoned them lightly with some olive oil, s&p and a little Italian seasoning and then grilled them to about medium rare. For the topping, I heated some olive oil in a sauce pan, added some sliced onion and cooked on medium for about ten minutes. Then I added a can of diced tomatoes, some kalamato olives (sliced in half, about 1/2 cup) and some garlic stuffed green olives (also sliced in half, about 1/2 cup). I stirred in some thyme and some sea salt and cooked on low about ten minutes and then put it on top of the cooked tuna. Such a fresh, flavorful dinner and so simple to make (except the spinach pies, those are time consuming). Layla chowed down and even Ava, who says she doesn't like tuna, ate it up with little complaining.
After dinner, it was time to throw the sun-drenched girls into the tub to clean off the sunscreen, grass, dirt and weekend fun. We put them to bed all sun-kissed and smelling like summer. Right now the windows of the house are still open and the breeze is blowing gently in. Perfect end to a perfectly wonderful weekend. Now, if it can just hold out for Layla's birthday this Saturday I will be a happy, happy girl.