Ashley at Twentysixcats is hosting the Carnival of Beauty this week, and though I might be a little late (hey, I just heard about it last night!) I thought I’d submit a piece.

This week’s topic is The Beauty of Autumn.

And my submission?

The Importance of Pumpkins.

Our family’s obsession with pumpkins started five years ago, on October 17, 2002. My (then) boyfriend’s family tricked me into the church nursery so I could “help move boxes.” But there were no boxes.

There was candlelight. There were rose petals. There was dinner for two. There was quiet instrumental music. There was my (then) boyfriend. There was a pumpkin.

After a fantastic (Quiet! Uninterrupted! Of the likes I haven’t seen in over two years!) meal of lasagna and apple pie, he led me to the table which held the pumpkin. He had promised we would carve a pumpkin. He picked up the knife and carved off the top.

Let me just say this before I continue. I had no idea what was coming. I was simply assuming that, having done nothing this romantic ever, Josh had come to the conclusion that it was due. I was enjoying myself.

Continuing on: He pulled off the top of the pumpkin, and revealed to me the depth of his ingenuity. As I peered inside, I was not met with the usual slimy, seedy innards of a pumpkin. There was a ring box. Eyes and mouth agape, I turned and saw him on his knee.

That evening, for the first time, we carved a pumpkin as a family of two – our most romantic pumpkin.

The obsession continues. October 30, 2004. My mind is whirring. Should I say anything? What if my suspicions are just that? Suspicions. Voicing them out-loud would make them real. I want this. I really do. But it would change everything. Am I ready for that? Are we ready for that?

We’re going out to a pumpkin patch; I’ll just ask him to stop by Wal-Mart on the way. We’ll pick up a test.

That night, for the first time, we carved a pumpkin as a family of three – our most life-changing pumpkin.

*This just found! Our first family-of-three pumpkin! Now I just need to find that engagement pumpkin…*

October 30, 2004 – The Olivia pumpkin

October 14, 2005 – Olivia’s first pumpkin patch.

October 14, 2006 – Olivia’s last solo visit through the pumpkins. I was three months pregnant with Benjamin.

And coming soon, October 2007 – Benjamin’s first pumpkin patch.
*Updated: Here it is!*

So when I think of Autumn, I cannot help but think of pumpkins. They are entwined and entangled in our family. They bring feelings of warmth, familiarity, change, growth, and most vividly of all – giddy happiness.