Welcome to Fall, that special time of year when the leaves change colour, the wind gets cooler, and the world becomes obsessed with all things pumpkin. We officially retire our bathing suits for another season, and cover up our tan lines with cozy sweaters, and our favourite pair of worn in jeans.
Now is when the hunt begins for that perfect pumpkin to display on your front step. I'm not completely sure what the full criteria for a perfect pumpkin is, but what I do know, is that my daughters are painfully selective when it comes to deciding what will make the cut for Halloween.
What I can guarantee is that after awkwardly struggling to carry the very large pumpkin through the store and pack it into the car, I always take a moment to stop and reconsider the idea of joining a gym.
Next is the carving of this monstrosity. In theory, this is one of those picture perfect, lasting family memories. A fall tradition where the family gathers around the table, bakes pumpkin seeds, and joyfully talk about their day, as the husband skillfully carves an intricate face onto a beautiful pumpkin that you display proudly on your front porch until Halloween.
Does that scenario actually ever happen with anyone out there? Because I'll be honest, every year I imagine that carving a pumpkin is going to end up like that, but let me tell you how it actually happens.
We still gather around the table, and the kids eagerly watch in anticipation as my husband cuts off the top of the pumpkin, however one look inside and both kids quickly refuse to help hollow it out. Through the looks of disgust in my family's eyes, I'm stuck scraping the entire thing out myself.
After hollowing out that ridiculously large pumpkin, I am determined to bake seeds that would put Martha Stewart's Halloween recipes to shame. I spend the better part of an hour separating the gooey slime from the seeds, pop them in the oven, then decide that this is way too much work to ever attempt to make again.
While my seeds bake in the oven, the family and I argue over what will get carved on the pumpkin. After major debate, we settle on a witch, with a spooky cat at her side, and a ghost flying over top. My husband pulls out a knife, and this is when we soon realize his carving skills are subpar. Our spooky cat quickly turns into a sad looking dolphin, which then turns into a huge hole on the front of that oversized perfectly picked out pumpkin!
As my kid’s eyes start to fill up with tears over the fact that daddy has now destroyed Halloween, I quickly hand out sharpies, and stickers for us to decorate the variety of random squash and vegetables I luckily had on hand for supper.
The girls adorn their butternut and acorn squash, with jewels and sparkles. Dad uses a sharpie to skillfully draw a stick figure of what I think is a zombie eating a hotdog onto his spaghetti squash, and mama? Well mama gets a zucchini, because we've now ran out of squash.
But you know what? In the end, nobody cared that we no longer had our large pin worthy pumpkin. Nobody even cared that we had to order in pizza because our supper was now decorated and perched on our front steps. The night didn't go as picture perfect as I had hoped, it had turned out even better.
The memories weren't made with a prizewinning pumpkin. They were made in the everyday challenges that life throws at you. The mess and disaster that sometimes comes with raising a crazy family, and the burnt pumpkin seeds I forgot about in the oven, but we enjoyed them anyway!
Steph is an over caffeinated mama of two tiny humans, with a major in marketing, and a minor in entrepreneurship. After moving to Kelowna five years ago from Calgary, she developed a strong love for supporting local, especially when it comes to wine! She constantly tries to show the good, the bad, and the hilarious when it comes to the everyday struggles that parents face.
Join Stephanie’s daily adventures by following her on Instagram @moderndaywonderland