Last year, when we went about carving our pumpkins, one of our college student faves, Aaron came over. He carved his own pumpkin and we realized that his presence helped make the experience that much more enjoyable for us and the kids. Fast forward a year and the idea for BYOP Carving Party was born.
Even as I'm typing this, I'm eating another one of those pumpkin muffins. When, oh when am I going to really start getting my act together regarding my food intake?!
Kaela offered to be the photographer for the evening, which really was such a blessing....it's amazing how knowing someone else is looking for the "priceless moments to capture" takes such a load off. This was Mikayla, waiting for the bulk of students to arrive.
Walt thought this bowl of knives was hilarious - and asked if that's what we offered to Trick or Treaters who came to our door. Really, it was tools to be used for carving.
John doesn't mess around when it comes to carving - he goes for the heavy-duty tools.
(which Walt apparently also got a kick out of)
It was not without a little fear that I watched Brayden attack his pumpkin. Just how many times can a mom say, "Be careful!"?
The gentleman behind Mikayla is TJ - he was the one who informed us the World Series was on and that people might be interested. If it's not football at this time of year, we kind of don't know it exists (as far as sports go).
In preparation for the evening, we moved out our rug and coffee table and pushed our couch all the way back. It's amazing how much floor space that opened up for carving.
Chili, cornbread, cider, and treats were all available in the kitchen. From left to right: Kate, Emily, Becca, Michelle, Laurel and her hubby, Matt, Kimmie (and, me)
Heather and Jimmy - I don't think Heather was thrilled with the camera being aimed her way.
This is Cody - we haven't hung with her since last year's Spring Retreat - and Mikayla, especially - could NOT wait to see her!
I thought this was kind of a fun, artsy image
Kate, carving "3 Years" on her pumpkin - indicating the three years her and TJ (pic above) have been dating.
Laurel (Mikayla's soccer coach) - went for hearts.
Joe (engaged to Caitlyn - the blurry gal to the left) - carved GIANTS in his - he was ever-so-thankful to TJ that the World Series was being shown at our house.
Brayden picked out "Mickey Mouse" to carve - I helped him a bit with it, but pretty much it was all him - I love how it turned out!
Becca, Becky, and Kaela (finally getting in a shot, instead of behind the camera)
I'm not sure what the technology convention in this corner was all about.....great smile on Kimmie's face though!
Amanda and Kate, cozying it up in the corner chair
A family pic with Cody and her friend, Sarah - those two totally entertained our kids, particularly Mikayla
On to some shots of finished products:
How fitting that the final image shows a pumpkin with BE JOYFUL ALWAYS as its carving. This is Taylor - what a sweetheart.
So, this is definitely an event we'll want to make an annual occurrence of, but it didn't completely go off without a hitch. I ended up getting a "go-to-bed-immediately" migraine about an hour into it. I took medicine, which did end up helping, but it was a pretty miserable feeling to be around 25 or so people, and not having the energy or desire to interact. I hung in there, though - and didn't leave until there were only a couple of people left.
The good news: when I woke up, John had TOTALLY cleaned up and put everything back. What a job - I was thinking it would take all morning for that to be taken care of. What a hero!