Thursday, August 25, 2011

free pizza and some more birthdays

We went to my parents house this past weekend and realized on our drive home that we pretty much had no food in our house. So what did we do? We called up Susie (who currently doesn't have a kitchen due to remodeling) and begged her to feed us dinner. "Uh...sure," she said, "I'll figure out something." Thank goodness. Next obstacle, Brad's lunch for Monday. Luckily my dad had sent us home with a whole rack of BBQ ribs. So I whipped up some veggie dip and sent my dear husband off to work with some meat and carrots. I babysat all day Monday, which meant no grocery shopping for me. Hmm...dinner? Brad is currently playing on a soccer team, and they wanted to practice downtown Monday night in preparation for their game today, Thursday. Perfect, I thought. I have a 50% off coupon for a pizza place down there.

After an uneventful and quite boring soccer practice we headed to Max's Coal Oven Pizzeria. Max is a little boy from the oldest class at the preschool I worked at last year. His parents own this pizza place downtown, and for his birthday they took his whole class (about 30 kids) to their restaurant. Upon their arrival back to school, they gave all the teachers coupons. Well, I love pizza, so naturally I took about 5. We've been wanting to get down to this pizzeria for some time now, but our plans never seem to work out, so we were happy we were finally going to get to go.

We walked in and were seated and immediately served drinks. Water for Brad, Sprite for me (hey, we're getting 50% off, I figured I could splurge a little). I handed the waiter our coupon to which he responded, "I've never seen one of these before." I explained where it came from and why I had it. He said, "Awesome. We'll take care of you guys." We never ever ever order appetizers...ever, but we figured with our coupon and all it would be a nice time to do so. Plus I really wanted those yummy sounding garlic knots. Our fantastic waiter brings out not one but two orders of garlic knots and an order of lobster fritters. "On the house. We just doubled you up." "Wow. This is really cool," we thought. I quietly whispered to Brad that I didn't even know Max's last name, and they were treating us like we were really good friends of his family. But I definitely wasn't complaining.

We order a 16" pizza (we're splurging, remember?) - on a side note, do you know how insanely ginormous a 16 inch pizza is? It's huge. We didn't even eat half of it. As we're eating, the waiter comes up and sits down beside us. He was a seriously cool guy. We really liked him. Well, he started talking about the preschool and Max. So, I told him that I was a teacher in the youngest class and didn't really ever get to associate with Max's class. I told him that I had never met his dad and only talked with his mom a handful of times. I even told him I wasn't working there anymore. Well, come to find out, Max's dad (still don't know his name) owns everything in Atlanta that Ted Turner doesn't. He's worth some 250 million dollars. This waiter is the go-to man when Max's family comes in. He is always the one to take care of them. He eventually decided he'd probably better get back to the rest of his customers, and told us to enjoy the rest of our meal. And did we ever. Delicious.

Well, remember how we still had over half the pizza left? He kindly brought us a box and put the rest of the pizza in it for us. "You guys are good to go," he said. What? We hadn't paid yet! "Are you sure?" asked Brad. "Absolutely," he said. So we left him a $20 tip and a nice note and jetted out of there before they could change their minds. This was seriously one of the coolest things that has ever happened to me (I know, exciting life). I have never gotten free food anywhere. Especially somewhere like this, where we ordered a ton of stuff and should have spent a lot of money. I was so excited I called my sister to tell her all about it. (Sorry you have to hear it again BB.) I'll probably still be awing over it for a few more months.


On a completely different and unrelated note, I have yet again missed some more birthdays. August is like a giant birthday on crack. I swear someone is having a birthday every single one of the 31 days in August. Just yesterday was Valeri's birthday.
Photo courtesy of Neil Andersen. Great job Neil.

Valeri is my sweet, down-to-earth, and amazing sister-in-law. Every time I'm around her I'm smiling. I feel like we've been friends forever, even though we've only known each other for 3 years. She's the first one to tell you all about her mistakes and how to avoid making them yourself.  She's the first one to tell you about how hard and yet fantastically wonderful her life is. I've told her several times, but I absolutely love reading her blog. Unlike many of the other family and mommy blogs out there, Valeri tells it like it is. She doesn't sugarcoat anything. She doesn't pick out only the great parts of life and tell you about how wonderful they are. She also tells about the hard parts and how difficult they are. She is great at relating to everyone. She's a perfect writer and is constantly making me laugh as she tells stories about how hectic life can become with two children. She's extremely talented and has been blessed to be able to do what she loves. This:

Aren't we just adorable.

Lend her children out to other people when she tired of them. Just kidding :-) She's an excellent photographer. In fact, more than half of the pictures we have hanging on our walls right now were taken by her. Sometimes I feel like I'm a walking advertisement from her, and I'm sure my friends have gotten tired of hearing about how "my sister-in-law Valeri is a really great you have any friends in California?" But she really is great. And I'm not just saying that because we're related. See for yourself and check out her website or facebook page.
We love you Valeri and seriously cannot wait to see you in three weeks at Lake Powell. (Oh, and just for the record, we excited to see everyone else who is going also.)

My father-in-law David also had a birthday recently on the 19th.
David is the most kind and well-meaning person I have ever met in my entire life. He would do anything he possibly could to help anyone out. I've loved living so close to him and getting to know him better. In fact, just the other day I went and surprised him at his house. Just because it's close, and I could. Although I wasn't able to stay long, I enjoyed just sitting and talking with him and hanging out. He is always quick to compliment and is constantly asking about how Killer is. Silly, I know. But I think it's great he cares about our little pup and likes her so much. He's always playing with her when he and Susie come over.

So, here's to free pizza and birthdays!

Love, Brad & Courtney


  1. Love your blog! And totally love free pizza! =P

  2. you got a sweet hookup at that pizza place! and i can vouch for valeri that she is an amazing photographer! (and I am not family, and from california!) haha...

  3. Courtney, I am truly blown away. As I finished reading your post Neil started laughing at me. Know why? 'Cause I was crying. Yep, you got me good. Thank you so much for your kind words. While I think you give me far too much credit, I am going to be gracious and say thank you, from the bottom of my heart. Love you, little sister. 24 more days!!!

    Awesome pizza story, too!