Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Halloween is a favorite holiday in our house - as I'm sure it is in most houses with young children. I'd like to say the excitement centers around the traditions of the ancient Celts who celebrated the night before the new harvest season with games and tom-foolery. That would be a lie, though. Everyone knows it's all about the candy. When the kids were younger, their costume choice was taken almost as seriously as the chance to get loads of free candy. But as they get older, costumes are thrown together the night before, and in the case of Eden (13), the "costume" is created by wearing a regular outfit someone might wear to school, but one she, herself wouldn't be caught dead in.

Davis, being the youngest, began planning his costume on November 1, 2010. Last year he was the Transformer Bumblebee. Since then, he's insisted on being Optimus Prime, Harry Potter, a Lego Hero Factory guy, Iron Man, or a Mormon Missionary. Over the course of the year we came full circle back to Optimus Prime.

Not sure why he chose the sandals, but I try not to question Optimus.

Katie decided about two weeks before Halloween that she was going to wear the devil costume Abby wore last year. However, in true 9 year-old style, she waited until October 30th to begin looking for it. She was able to find pieces of it, but decided to hold out for a better option before committing.

I usually wait until October 30th to buy the give-away candy because I know myself and my kids and if the give-away candy sits around too long it quickly becomes the hide-away candy that gets eaten when no one is watching. Target is a bit of a mad house on October 30th anyway, but add a woman in a wheelchair (still recovering from ankle surgery) being pushed by a super excited yet completely unfocused 9 year-old, and you have people diving behind displays while continuing to brawl over the last Smurfette costume in the region. We were forced to peruse the costume aisle, though, because Abby didn't have a costume yet and despite wanting to be a Greek Goddess, she was born to a mother who has neither the skills nor the desire to conjure one up. Although pickings were slim, we ran across a vampire costume that went perfectly with her latest obsession - Twilight. Unfortunately, when we got home, she didn't like how the costume fit, so she threw it to Katie (who loved it) and put on my only back-up adult Halloween costume. I keep one on hand just in case we someday get invited to a costume party we can't worm our way out of.

At least the sweatshirt matches, right?

My go-to costume. A bit big, but at least its modest.

When Eden came out in her "costume," I said, "You don't even look dressed up as anything."

"I am totally dressed up!" she said. "I'm a ballerina. Watch this!"

(Blank stare from mom)

"Fine. Who cares? I want candy."

I hope she enjoyed her last year of trick-or-treating.

This year for Halloween we had a super special treat that wasn't candy but just as sweet. Kyle's sister Kaylene flew out from Utah to spend the week with us. I swear the kids died and went to heaven. She took them shopping, danced with them, played with them, let them share her room, and eagerly listened to endless and sometime pointless stories.

I'm not sure who was most excited to have Kaylene here - me or the kids. There are a few areas in the "mothering" job description in which I fall severely short. I'm not big into fashion (I usually just buy what's on sale with no thought as to what might go together), I'm a very reluctant and often pathetic party planner (with the exception of Davis who has never had a party, each of my kids has only ever had one friend birthday party), and depending on the holiday, I'm usually content to let it pass with minimum fanfare rather than go full force into actual celebration.

This is why having Kaylene here was such a treat. She has amazing fashion sense and took the girls' shopping one-on-one to find things that can be mixed and matched and actually coordinate. Katie had a birthday the week before Kaylene arrived and Kaylene agreed to throw a friend party with about 11 of Katie's closest friends. She made it a black light dance party and despite the "black lights" being more like "purple faint glows," the party was a huge success complete with glow sticks, glow balloons, black lipstick, pajamas, and lots of squealing.

Halloween was so much more fun, too. Kaylene had a mini-Halloween party complete with scary music set up for the kids when they walked in the door from school.

Kaylene, if you're listening, we need you back.

On a side note, how is it that my three girls are almost the same height? Okay, Katie is wearing one-inch heels, but still.

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