First of all, thank you for your kind words in welcoming me back to blogging.
Second of all, although I've been away from blogging the last several months, I have not been away from capturing events through photography, specifically iPhonography (yes, it's a real word...or at least, as real as anything on Wikipedia ever is). In many ways it's fair to say that Instagram ate my blog.
Now that I'm making a real effort to write again, there will be some overlap in posting pictures. If you follow me on Instagram and Facebook, then some of these pictures you'll be seeing for the third time. My apologies for the overkill...I have actually spent real time worrying about this, and I decided that it is what it is and that is how it goes.
Even though we're almost halfway through November, I'm still a little bit stuck in October. I think some of it has to do with the jack-o-lantern that is burning on our back porch, and the candy wrappers I find in the house. Everywhere. All day long. And it's entirely possible that I'm the culprit for about half those wrappers.
But fortunately October wasn't candy filled until the very end. It was pumpkins and leafs and festive banners and candles and sweaters and cider pressing and visits with family.
My dad's cousin hosted the cider pressing party, and they live on a piece of property that looks like something straight out of a Sunset magazine. From the fire pit to the tire swings, to adorable out buildings and a beautiful barn filled with freshly cut flowers from the handsome gardens...absolutely gorgeous. Honestly, it was like visiting a Pinterest board. The tipping point: apple cider served in mason jars.
We are usually there in the summer for a family reunion, but this year we moved the summer reunion to the fall, and it was perfect autumn weather.
While the first 30 days of October were rather grand and glorious, I would be remiss in not mentioning the girls' favorite part of October.
To say that they look forward to Halloween all year is not an understatement. They start planning out costumes months in advance, and can hardly sleep the night before trick-or-treating.
It's funny because Jason and I do pretty much nothing to help promote Halloween, nor do we have a strong sentimental attachment to the holiday. We don't dress up ourselves, don't put scary decorations on the house (I am naturally paranoid of spiders, why on earth would I further complicate my paranoia with fake webs and spiders?). Even though I grew up trick-or-treating (a bit of an abnormality in our fairly conservative circle), it was pretty low-key because we couldn't do any trick-or-treating in our rural neighborhood, so my grandpa would just drive us around to visit family members. We could not have visited more than half a dozen houses though I always remember having plenty of candy at the end of the night.
These days every church in town throws some kind of Candy Extravaganza, and the local Main Street businesses hand out candy. But we have exactly one stop for trick-or-treating: Jason's parents neighborhood.
And every year, you'd think the girls had never received a candy bar in their life the way their eyes light up at the sight of their bags growing heavier after each house.
Addie was a little slow to warm up--Jason, his parents, and I had to take turns carrying her for most of the night--but she beamed with joy after each piece of candy appeared in her bag.
"It's so...magical," she whispered after receiving candy at one house. "Oh, mama. I love you!" I take full credit for Halloween, yes, I do.
Seriously. Have you seen a cuter little Minnie Mouse? Twice when stopping by a house the wife made the husband come to the door to see Addie. It's hard not to love a bright eyed, curly blond Minnie.
Of course, Sydney and Jules got plenty of comments from a certain fan base too.
Hermione and Ginny may have received extra candy from those who recognized the Hogswart School crest on their robes though, of course, not everyone could quite figure out who they were.
"Ohhh," someone would remark thoughtfully while handing over a Snickers bar, "are you two girls students?"
"I'm Hermione," Sydney would say, and a split second later Jules would say, "I'm Ginny."
I wouldn't wait for the blank stares before quickly adding, "They are characters from the Harry Potter movies." Yes, I know. They're characters from the books, but when candy is at stake, there is no need to be fussy about the details. People would smile and nod. Admittedly, we were a rather tame group, particularly since the group of kids we followed for most of the evening were pretty scary looking (zombie, wounded soldier, Scream face, and mummy--Addie was a bit of a wreck every time she caught sight of them, let me tell you).
And so another October come and gone. We still have pumpkin cookies, and yes, the bags of candy that will remain from now until candy season is over in April, but the leaves are quickly disappearing, the crisp air is turning damp, and the fun and frivolity of October has been replaced with thoughts of Thanksgiving and holiday shopping.
November may be the time we are more deliberate about being thankful, but October had its own measure of gratitude too--in leaves, in pumpkins, in bags of candy, and happy kids clutching treats.