Sunday, October 14, 2012

Who We Are

This is my absolute favorite time of year. I love that the weather is ideal to snuggle up on the couch with a blanket and a good book or movie. I love that the leaves change to brilliant colors of fire, transforming our landscape into God's mural. I love the preparation and anticipation for the fall and winter holidays, the decorations in the house and the abundance of comfort food.

Above all, I love family, friends and tradition.

Today we made our annual visit to the pumpkin patch at Carlton Farm in Lake Stevens. With rubber boots on, we ritually paraded through this year's crop and chose our three prizes. As we left, I asked the boys how many years we would continue to do this. Their answer was "forever."

I hope so.

When asked what we would take with us if our home was burning down, many of us think of photographs. I would most certainly try to grab our wedding albums, family albums, laptop (more photos) and a special frame in our bedroom containing our wedding invitation, our betrothal letters from our Engaged Encounter weekend and a photo of Jason and I before one of my bridal showers.

But what is it that we photograph? Most often it is our rituals.

Birthday parties, holidays, sacraments, weddings, babies being born, proms, the list goes on and on. Of course, I also try to take photos of our everyday life. But the majority of our pictures are a record of our rituals.

And this is because our rituals, our traditions are a reminder of the time that silently sneaks by without much notice. Here we are - another holiday season to prepare for. How many of us are befuddled, wondering where the last year has gone?

I browsed our photos from last fall to remind myself what our children were like one year ago. Of course, the most change has been in Veronica. Last year, she was full of baby's first babbling and learning to crawl. I found this video:

Our rituals remind us to reflect back like this and appreciate the passing of life. If our house was burning down, I would definitely try to grab those photos if I could. But besides our family, the most important thing I would take with me is not something that I would have to grab. It is something that stays with me wherever I go, no matter what happens. It is what all of those photographs are attempting to document.

If our home was consumed by flames, I would surely take with me our rituals. For it is our rituals that make up who we are.

Joshua at the pumpkin cannon - a highlight of the outing

Veronica's new cheesy smile she pulls out each time she sees a camera

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