School is Cool, Fool.

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August 28, 2014 |  by  |  Branded Content

If you listen really closely, you might hear the cheers and dancing of parents in the streets across our great cities and suburbs… or maybe that’s only me, running up and down our lane screaming like a wild man, as the gray hairs that have accumulated over the past few months fall onto the sidewalk.

Only SOME of my kids are heading back-to-school very soon. It may just be 2 and 4 days a week, half-days, respectively, but I’LL TAKE IT.


It’s not the cheese on my Ristorante melting, that’s my heart.

Honestly, it’s been a great summer and I don’t want to sound ungrateful or bitter, but chasing after two toddlers while wearing a 7-month old on your chest for ten or twelve hours a day can really wear you down.

I’m often reminded by parents with teens and grandparents that these years will be gone before you know it and that I should try to stop, smell the roses, breathe and enjoy it.

And we have… I have.

Both Ava and Charlie loved swimming at the pool over the last few weeks, with Ava almost completely comfortable on her own. We visited the local orchard a ton of times (which reminds me to get over there and pick up a flat of tomatoes so I can start canning my own sauce), picking wildflowers, strawberries and blackberries.

We went on hikes and nature walks and occasionally gathered at the playground on Friday nights in the neighborhood with a frosty beverage and waxed nostalgia with the other parents.

As a kid, I always kind of hated summer coming to an end, but then again, got really excited about going back to school. There was the lying to my dad that me, my brothers and mom all did, about how much those Air Jordan’s really cost, the brand new Trapper Keeper and fresh Lee jeans, poppin’ collars and maybe even using my first cologne.

Adrian and Travis on front stoop at orchard road

Somehow I managed to swindle mom for the Air J’s.

It was always fun to get ready on the first day and see who had changed the most in two or three months.

As a parent, I’m excited to take the kids to get new lunchboxes and backpacks, to finally master my hair-braiding abilities and watch them proudly walk through the front doors… hopefully smiling and waving and not throwing a complete meltdown-tantrum.

They may only be going to school for half-days and not have a terrible amount to talk about, but one thing that my wife and I are really trying to get better at is having a family dinner together.

As I’ve mentioned before to you guys, my brother-in-law and sister-in-law have a nightly tradition with their kids, called ‘peak and pit’ and they each take turns going around the table discussing the high’s and low’s of each of their days.

These family dinners and interaction are increasingly important to us as our kids get older. There’s always been something so easy about sitting around inspiring discussion, using food as the centerpiece.

One of my most distinct memories from childhood were those Friday nights when my brothers and I would pile onto the bench-seat of my dad’s work truck and surprise mom with pizza and potato chips (the chips might be an East coast thing).

EDITOR’S NOTE: I think my love for pizza is forever anchored in this memory and I apologize if you’ve had to read it more than once.

Pizza always seemed like a delicious and easy thing to do after everyone was exhausted from a full week of work and school. Plus, it’s arguably one of America’s favorite foods. Yes, I’m arguing. It’s the best food.

The toughest part for us right now is that I’ve got some picky eaters on my hands, but that doesn’t totally mean that I have to give in every night.

There’s no reason that my kids can’t have homemade plain (they despise toppings, how dare they?) pizza bagels while my wife and I enjoy our favorite Ristorante pie, so long as we’re together at the table at the same time.

Maybe as your kids go back-to-school, you’ll have a few of these moments, too.

You like how I weaved Dr. Oetker in there, didn’t you?

Ristorante August Thumbnail

This may be a sponsored post, but the thoughts and opinions are my own.

The facts are clear, however. Ristorante makes a damn good pizza, in less than 11 minutes, which I appreciate.

With eight varieties, including Mozzarella, Spinaci, Funghi, Quattro Formaggi, Vegetale, Speciale, Pepperoni Pesto and Formaggi & Pomodori to choose from, you really can’t go wrong.

Ristorante is the #1 selling frozen pizza in Italy and they may have made their way to your home town. For the Americans. Because we LOVE pizza.

DOR+Logo_4cTo learn more, about Dr. Oetker (including how it’s a 4th-generation family-owned company) check out Ristorante on Facebook or on their website, and if you want to bring some of these incredible pies home to surprise your spouse, use the store locator.