• Katherine Bultema

Family time: Valpo style

We hit “pause” in the middle of our busy Saturday. We dropped the long to-do lists, hopped in Andrew’s truck, and headed to Valparaiso, just the four of us. The destination was The Rolling Stone Baker for a pizza night.


It was one of those semi-warm late afternoons. The weather had finally decided to turn, making us feel like spring really was just around the corner. It was the perfect night to just be outside together. This season has a way of reminding me to make these spur of the moment trips; the trips that start with excitement and joy, ending with sleepy kids and a quiet drive home.


That evening, in particular, our ride home would consist of kids dozing off in the back seat while Andrew and I chatted in hushed voices. With our hectic schedules these days, it is not often that we get to have a conversation beyond- What does your day look like? Can you pick up the kids, I have late showing appointments? What is for dinner? Did you call “so & so” back? It was refreshing to have those few moments with Andrew at the end of our night.


To start our spontaneous and relaxing evening, we decided to grab a pretzel from Ben's Pretzels. Of course, Deklan knew the way because he has been there before with Grandma Terry. Both kids knew just what they wanted which made me laugh--Just how many times has Grandma treated them to this delicious spot?


We ate our delicious pre-dinner snack and let the kids run in the open area by the amphitheater. Elli performed for us on stage while waiting for the pizza to be ready. I couldn’t help but think, one day she will be up on a stage similar to this one performing for her fans. If you know my Elli, you know how outgoing she is and that she will break into a dance or song at any given moment. Deklan ran after her on stage trying to distract her and force her into a game of tag.


Next thing I knew, both kids had Andrew chasing them through the pavilion better known for ice skating during the winter months. Giggles were flowing and Deklan kept finding places to hide in hopes he wouldn’t get tagged. The giggles faded as our name was called at The Rolling Stone Baker, play time was over.


The sun was just barely peeking over the horizon still. The temperature was dropping right alongside the sun. We were growing colder and my heart was growing more and more grateful for a late afternoon with just the four of us. Valpo was the perfect setting... families strolling around the downtown area with hot chocolate in hand, skateboarders huddled around park benches, couples heading to the hot dinner spots. Such a busy little town yet that “hometown feel” kept creeping in. What a great place to call HOME or just pop in for some family time and good pizza.

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