Nicholas has trouble saying spooky, so it often comes out sounding like "booo-ky." Christmas lights are still "pretties" and Halloween decorations, particularly gory ones, have become "spookies." Nothing surprising there, but we did have one shocking thing happen today: I manage to have one of those now rare "Life is Good" days. Yes, I know it happens from time to time, but after the past week, I was not expecting anything remotely uplifting so soon.
I simply was not at all looking forward to Halloween. It was highly anticipated until a few weeks ago, and then I just lost all interest. Sad, because Halloween is "our" holiday. We even planned Peter's R&R around it, as we all love the dressing up, decorating the house, putting up lights, hanging skulls from trees and playing spooky music for hours on end. However, by yesterday morning I was completely ignorant of everything Halloween related.
No candy had been purchased and whatever decorating that had taken place was courtesy of the kids. I simply lost every ounce of interest and would have been thrilled for it to come and go without one iota of participation on my part. Then we headed out to Annapolis to a friend's house last night for a pre-Halloween party.
I was a bit of a grumpy gus (internally), but still tried to enjoy myself. I was surrounded by a few new folks who didn't know me (or my "history") and it gave me a night to ignore the situation. The hostess, also a friend of the Salty Dogs, is a fabulous cook and treated us to gourmet delights all evening long. She even offered the girls pre-gutted pumpkins for carving delights (a good 2 hour activity there) and Nicholas spent the evening alternating between the sand pile, the toys and the hummus.
We were all appropriately exhausted after a few hours and headed home, with most of us heading to bed early (excepting me, of course). We were up early as Kelsey had to sing in the church choir, which was followed by Sunday school. Cait then had a CCD party in the early afternoon, I had a "yummy food party" to attend and the kids and Pete still had to shop for Halloween treats.
I didn't expect it, but apparently the yummy food party was exactly what the doctor ordered. Getting out of the house, not focusing on the issue at hand, stuffing myself with treats (and ordering quite a few) made the day a bit brighter. Then I noticed the hostess's family members were busy decorating for Halloween...and I am not sure what clicked, but suddenly I couldn't wait to get home and do the same.
I arrived home before the kids and managed to get the cool wall stickers up, find the lights and cobwebs, and find all of the necessary candles for the luminaries. The rest of the crew soon appeared and joined me in the fun. Before I knew it, the house had a bit of a spooky air, and I could almost smell the fun the kids were set to have.
Our neighborhood held a block party for several hours prior to the commencement of trick or treating and we finally met a few of our neighbors that we don't always see during the day. The kids played up and down the block until night fell and we hurried home to get the Halloween bags and to prep the candy for the onlslaught.
Realizing that Nicholas's haul should probably be kept small, we hit two streets as a group. After the second round, the Little Guy and I were ready to head home and dole out candy with Scary Daddy. The girls went around the neighborhood by themselves (woot!), and we waited on the front stoop with Peter for 45 minutes with nary a treater. Finally, as we were loading up to head to our friends' house to view their amazing decorations, a few stopped by...but nothing like what we expected. Extra candy, anyone?
Our Halloween night then finished up at Jack & Janet's house. They are long-time friends who are known for their terrific Halloween displays that grow more grandiose each season. Sadly, I am not known for my photography skills, so you will not get the complete picture. However, it was not just their house that was uber-decorated; the entire neighborhood participated, so the girls ran off and enjoyed raking in even more loot. Nicholas, on the other hand, decided to hang around and chat with Jack and admire his talent with Halloween decor.
We finally realized it was well past a certain LG's bed-time, bade our farewells and drove home. The Little Fireman was sleeping soundly in full gear upon our arrival at home, and even had a lollipop clutched tightly in his hand. A rather thrown together, last-minute sort of day and yet, it was absolutely perfect for a change. Now for an appropriately scary movie and a bit of Thai take-out to round out the day...and the real trick? To figure how to keep the happy go lucky, even keel bit going. Oh, and yes, look closely at the above picture...that is a real smile (slightly strained, but real) on my face...who knew it was still possible?
*If you are wondering about Cait's costume, she was Annabeth from Rick Riordan's Camp Half-Blood series. She worked on the costume for months and even requested the Yankees cap as a birthday gift. The coup of the night? While hanging out with Jack and Janet, several trick or treaters (about her age) stopped by. As they ran away, one of them shouted, "Hey, did you see Annabeth?" After worrying for ages no one would recognize her, she was over the moon with excitement that her simple and relatively inexpensive costume was spot-on!