Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween...a little different this year

I've been saying all summer that my house better be done by Halloween. Here we are and I can honestly say that it is about as close to being done as I can expect. Being in a new place, I guess it's pretty easy to compare with the last twelve Halloweens we spent in Herriman.

Just like at Riverton Elementary, Westfield has a Halloween Parade. It starts bright and early, at 9:30 am. Portia and I went to the school to catch a glimpse of Bianca walking with her class through the school. I was able to shoot a picture of Bianca with her new best friend. I'm so glad she was able to find a good friend so quickly.

Portia and I spent the morning rocking out to our Halloween mix (blasting it through our house with the 80's style intercom system I wasn't quite sure I'd ever use). Portia had to practice her cello and it was just so cute to see her do it in her costume that I decided to video her playing Lightly Row.

Portia has been saying she is a Gargoyle Cat Fairy for a month now. We got the gargoyle fairy costume and then Portia wanted to add these cat ears and tail to the costume. She loves being "kitties" still and is better than any kid I've ever seen at imaginative play. I went to the school again in the afternoon to help with Portia's Halloween party at kindergarten.

Bianca was a Gothic Mummy this year. I've had the costume since last year and Bianca was putting up a bit of a fight about it (I've seen the face below a lot when discussing the matter). Here she is, doing her best "deadly" face.

Straight from school to Eric's work for trick-or-treating through the cubicles. We stopped on our way home from trick-or-treating at Dad's work to pick up a pumpkin-shaped pizza and Eric made pumpkin milkshakes. Ah, ice cream only on a Halloween as warm as this one!

When I was clearing up the dishes, I looked out the window and saw the silhouette of an owl on the nearly naked tree in our backyard. The owl flew off with huge flapping wings. I can't tell you how many times I've wondered if moving here was the right decision. Probably every single day since we've moved in. But on nights like tonight, it's clear why we're here. This is the kind of stuff that makes me so happy. And what are the chances that I would see the owl for the first time on Halloween night!

In our Herriman neighborhood, we would have close to 200 trick-or-treaters on Halloween. It's already 8 o'clock and I've only had the doorbell ring twice. Those were some lucky trick-or-treaters, though, as I have a whole lot of candy to pass out!

Eric took the girls out for an hour and they're back already now. Portia and Bianca are categorizing their goods now.

Here are the girls right before going out tonight, with the jack-o-lanterns we carved this year. The one to the right Bianca did with absolutely zero help from anyone. Not bad!

Here are the girls sitting on the bench we put in the front entry of our house. We added these metal grates so that the radiator heat is ventilated. Those awful baseboard radiator covers were one of the reasons we considered not buying this house. We've covered most of them with these old decorative grates and I think the difference is night and day (you can see others in the above pictures)!

So it's different here, that's for sure. But so far, so good. Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

"Come," said the wind...

I love autumn. It's hands-down my favorite season. The colors, the smells, the anticipation hanging from the branch of the exciting things around the corner.

This weekend, I spent a fun, autumn-filled weekend with my mom and sisters, Betsy and Susannah. I literally checked off a list of the all the fun autumn things we did:

  • Picked ripe apples from the tree (you should have seen Susannah trying to do a shoulder stand to reach the good ones)--Check!
  • Shelled pecans fallen from the tree in my mom's yard--Check!
  • Hung around a bonfire and made s'mores--Check! Check! Check!
  • Drank hot apple cider--Check!
  • Ate come-said-the-wind molasses cookies in Halloween shapes (and sang "Come said the wind" with Susannah and Mom)--Check!
But the real reason we all came together was to run the Zombie 5K. This summer had been the first since I can remember that I didn't jog. I blame the stress of moving and remodeling, but I started running about a month before for this little gem (thanks to Susannah's update texts on where I should be in order to have my body ready to run). But this was all about strategy--staying in groups, swinging your arms just the right way to keep zombie hands from grabbing my flags, taking just the right course around mud and zombies. I wished I had trained with bursts of sprinting mixed with walking, which is what the race ended up being. Luckily, all three of us actually made it through with at least one flag in tact (which means we all made it out alive). That was a big deal, especially with the crazy obstacles at the end--the mud pit (which I spider crawled through so that I didn't have mud splattered all over like Susannah did), the pyramid that required hands to keep you from protecting your flags, and the big barrels you had to climb with a rope and slide down. With the craziness of everything, I really didn't think about the fact that I was supposed to be afraid of the zombies! At the end of it all, I was so glad I did it and so hope I never have to again! 

I don't think I mentioned that it was 35 degrees in the morning when our leg of the race was. So after the race, we stopped at Starbucks for hot chocolate. Here we are showing off our beloved flags. 

It's strange to be away from my kids even if it's just for a short weekend but wow, I'm glad I went! I needed this weekend, especially with the stress of this year. Now, back to my unfinished house...