Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Picking our Pack of Pickled Pumpkins

Just kidding, they weren't pickled. But it was fun/freezing to go back to Pumpkin Land--the pumpkin patch of my childhood--to buy our pumpkins. The wagon shopping carts were a hit.

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I love this photo by the way.

Pumpkin carving for FHE has been one of the most successful lessons we've had; I may start carving scripture stories onto the sides of pumpkins in the future.

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I helped Amelia carve a bat into her pumpkin and Pete carved very spooky talons into his. I tried to use a power drill a la Martha Stewart to turn my pumpkin into one of her "celestial luminaries" but it didn't work very well. Our drill bit was too small, so I settled for just the candle instead.Here is the finished product:

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Happy Halloween from the Tidwells!


I asked the Dollface what she was drawing today and this is the look she gave me:

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I guess if I'm not mature enough to appreciate her art she can't be bothered explaining it to me.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Fall Fest at the Farm

Babydoll and I visited cousins in Springville and they introduced us to a little farm and pumpkin patch in their neighborhood. (Thanks Em!)

There were animals (sheep, donkeys, goats, a llama and a baby kangaroo or wallaby thingy)

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Lots of hay (which, you'll notice, matched Amelia's hair quite nicely)

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A tractor

And pumpkins.

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And here's my favorite pic of the day:

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Just because.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Adventures in Pumpkin Land

I took the little doll to Pumpkin Land to search for the Great Pumpkin. She was happy enough to dive into the pumpkin patch, soaking up all that sincerity and whatnot,

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until she realized that she could not get back up. Then she panicked.

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But I saved her from an untimely demise by pumpkin. After that she stayed a bit more aloof, keeping the pumpkins firmly beneath her feet.

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We love the Great Pumpkin.

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Monday, October 18, 2010

Picturesque Picnic

As promised, here are a few of the family pictures we had taken a while ago. I've seen probably a dozen versions of the family in the orchard photo shoot, so I wanted to do it a little bit differently. I decided a picnic with beautiful food and lots of bright colors was just what we needed to make our family photos different and memorable.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Reading, Writing and Family Photos

No time to post much, I finished re-reading The Hunger Games last night and started right into Catching Fire so I can finally get to Mockingjay--I know, I must be the last person in the world to read it, and I still have to write my 1,000 words on my novel while the girlins naps. Busy, busy.

But if you want to see a preview of the family portraits we had taken last month, visit the photography blog of the ever talented Lesley Colvin, and then feel the frustration that Les has moved to New York and isn't available to take your family portraits too. Unless of course you live in New York, in which case you should call her.

I'll post a few of my favorite photos on this blog as soon as we get the CD, promise!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

My Heart Books

A while ago my husband shared with me a Weezer song called Heart Songs in which the lyrics list the artists and specific songs that influenced, inspired and directed Weezer’s musical career. I’m not a singer, and I don’t really have a lot of Heart Songs that make me who I am. But I have Heart Books. Books I feel so poignantly about that they have become part of me; that after reading them I could never be quite the same.

Tonight I finished re-reading To Kill a Mockingbird for the seventeenth time. I picked it up a few days ago because I had nothing new or interesting to read and I was trying to fill time until my Mom would hurry up and finish Mockingjay already and pass it on to me. I was looking for a distraction. Instead I was reminded why To Kill a Mockingbird is my all-time favorite book (outside of canonized scripture, of course). I had to wipe tears from my eyes so I could focus properly to read the last few pages. There are some passages in that book that are so beautiful they make my heart hurt in a way I can't really define.

Maybe it’s because the adventures with Jem, Scout and Atticus are over. Possibly it’s because I know I’ll never be able to write something that breathtaking.

Last week I attended a reading with Newberry Honor author Gary Schmidt (The Wednesday Wars, Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy). He’s brilliant. I love his work; a true master of voice and character. When someone asked him about his writing process he said many things, one of which was, “Never be in a hurry. Your writing is never served by being in a hurry.”

Sometimes I am in a hurry. I get frustrated with how slow writing is, and think, “If I was really any good at this it wouldn’t be so hard for me.” I am wrong. Gary says he never writes more than 500 words a day. With 500 words he is able to maintain a level of quality that keeps his books honest and from the heart. At that pace, words mean something. There is a great deal of thought and care that goes into every single one of those words, and it shows; they are beautiful.

I don’t know how long it took Harper Lee to write To Kill a Mockingbird, but I do know it was the only book she ever wrote. Her life’s work.

And so I have decided something; I don’t have to be a prolific or well know writer. It doesn’t matter if I only ever publish one book, as long as that book is as charming, as funny, as heartbreaking and as stirring as my Heart Books, as an author, I will be an earth shattering success.