November 16, 2018
I always dreamed of becoming a wife and a mama-- two titles that I knew would be more fulfilling than anything I’d ever been called. I prayed for and thought about my three babies (whom I will forever call my babies), that make my heart swell (and my head swim, ha!) more than they will ever know. It’s important to me, as a mama, to create meaningful family traditions (like my parents did for my brother and me).
Creating those same memories in my own home quickly became a top priority for me. I wanted to create new traditions for our family that were simple, yet special-- memories they will laugh about and silly moments that will shape their little hearts.
I also wanted to establish routines and rhythms for our family that made life easier. With twins and an older kiddo, we’re just so busy. After the twins were born, Bryan and I started doing Friday Night Pizza Night on the living room floor out of a sheer, “Phew, we survived another week! Let’s celebrate with pizza!” mentality. But, as C and T grew, and we started eating pizza together on Friday nights as a family of five, our pizza nights quickly became a family favorite.
Our Friday night pizza parties have evolved into Freschetta Fridays. Over the years, we’ve tried all sorts of pizza and Freschetta is our fave. We put our phones away, tell Alexa to play our favorite songs, and give B, C, and T our undivided attention. In these few hours, we are the Leys doing our favorite things-- listening to each other’s stories, belly laughing, dancing, and stuffing our faces with the freshest and most delicious pizza.
When I was diagnosed with thyroid disease back in 2016, I became very aware of the foods and ingredients I was feeding my family. We still splurge on the occasional cake pop after school (and of course our Friday night pizza nights!), but I try to steer clear of preservatives and fake ingredients whenever possible. Because I value ingredients as much as taste, I absolutely fell in love with Freschetta pizza! It’s made entirely from scratch with 100% real cheeses and premium meats and veggies; and one of my favorite things about Freschetta is their preservative-free crusts. The hit in our home is the Naturally Rising Crust Four Cheese Pizza.
We just moved into our new house and our oven is low to the ground. Tyler and Caroline stand on their tippy toes at our oven door and patiently monitor the rising crust, which makes me smile knowing how excited they get for our weekly pizza night. Brady, of course, sets the “table” (a blanket on the floor of our family room). I don’t want to wish these moments away, but it even makes me excited for each season of their lives and how our pizza parties will evolve over the years.
Our Freschetta Fridays are served with, as Caroline would say, “fancy” napkins. Pineapple napkins and paper plates may seem insignificant, but they separate one night of the week from a typical school night. Plus, little-to-no dishes- total mom win! After dinner, we play games or watch a movie, or have a good old dance party with Alexa (our very favorite). Don’t even get us started. We really know how to bust a move (especially Tyler).
Some of our family routines only last for a season, but I know this tradition is a keeper. A plan to unplug, unwind, and enjoy my family is a permanent plan I want in every one of my Simplified Planners for years to come.
Over the years, as we’ve shared our Friday Pizza Nights, we’ve seen so many of you post yours as well! We’d love to see how you celebrate #FreschettaFriday. Click here to find Freschetta Pizza near you.
This post was created in partnership with Freschetta Pizza. What a joy to work with a brand we truly love around here!