Each year, it is our tradition to host a pumpkin carving party. I got this great idea from my dear friend Jenn who lives in the most amazing ‘hood, where neighbors get together ALL THE TIME. (J and I are jealous, Jenn – tell us when an affordable house comes on the market.)
In all reality, people show up for the Husker football game and the women (bless their hearts) oblige my crazy desire to carve pumpkins during halftime. But now that some couples are having kids, the excitement for the party is becoming less about the game (at least for the women; the men only move for food, and to potentially pull two children apart – but only maybe) and more about the thank-God-you-got-me-out-of-the-house-to-have-an-adult-conversation-with-someone-other-than-my-spouse. Not that our spouses are bad; we also enjoy time with our same gender.
But this year, the pumpkin carving didn’t even take place. First, we had to all meet one another and the kids had to discover new toys at our house (mucho thanks to my mama for saving a giant box of duplo legos from my brother’s childhood and passing it on). Then, everyone had to eat. And the family of small boys always ask what’s to pick in the garden – and you know I always leave something for them. 🙂 So, we picked a few tiny pumpkins, peppers, and most important – strawberries (“only the red ones, guys”)! All this happened in the course of two hours (insert quick breath here). Normally carving would happen at this point, but with a year old, 18-month old, 3-year old, and 5-year old, we opted instead to trick-or-treat at HyVee – an awesome free event they host each year! (see photo of Baby O with his future hunting buddies)
Normally, I would be so upset about not carving my annual pumpkin, but this year, I was relieved. After prepping for our company (which really wasn’t that much work – real friends are very forgiving and our house was surprisingly well in-tact at the time), I was grateful to chat with my friends whom I don’t see often enough. And J is THE MOST helpful dad of all time, but…the game was on. And his buddies were there to watch it with him. So I was willing to give the guy a break. It was so good to see these girlfriends I never get enough time with. It was fun to hear laughing, children playing, and see people smiling. I felt relaxed and sincerely enjoyed the whole day. I felt less Martha-ish! I was having a great time!
So much thanks to all our friends who supported my Martha recovery. But next time? Let’s have wine.
Lord, thank you for rest and recovery. Thank you for friends. When I’m feeling stressed and struggling to smile in the upcoming weeks, remind me of this time to renew my heart with the beauty of friends, football, food, and my favorite season: fall.