The energy of Halloween changes once you have kids. Sure I enjoyed it as a child. I remember getting excited to dress-up and then have to completely cover my costume because of the cold weather. I remember sorting candy with my sisters after trick or treating, trading to try to get the best possible assortment. When I got a little older I went with friends...carrying pillowcases to fill, getting skeptical looks at the door...knowing we were pushing the envelope of being trick or treating age appropriate. Halloween during the college years are appropriately a blur. Now with my own kids I have found that I love Halloween. Their excitement for it is contagious. And rightfully so. This day is about playing dress-up and getting candy. Good stuff.
As per tradition, the carving of the pumpkins.
Extra festive when done with friends.
And not very traditional, the addition of extra gore on our pumpkins this year.
I tend to carve a very boring jack-o-lantern so I was looking for inspiration. In one magazine they showed using nails and other hardware to jazz them up. The other one showed melting red crayons for a blood like effect. Apparently doing both on the same pumpkin just makes you look like a crazy deranged person. Our front porch was extra creepy this year. Probably not what Martha Stewart had in mind.
Each year we let the girls choose their costumes and then I try my best to make it happen. Ava was a horse, no big surprise as her horse obsession grows each day. Layla was a pig vampire. I have no idea where this came from. Her love of pigs no doubt brought that part around, but the vampire? Hmmm...maybe it was the gory jack-o-lanterns that inspired her to insist on vampire teeth and blood on her face. Weird.
Each year we have a Halloween party with our family and friends. Everyone dresses up, fills our house and enjoys this crazy night. Lots of food, a pumpkin scavenger hunt and a long neighborhood stroll with the little trick or treaters. This year it was so warm outside...no coats were needed. We walked for hours as the kids ran from house to house, gathering candy and checking out the creepy decorations. Their energy level so high you could feel it radiating off them and get carried away with it. Finally after making our way back to the house, all the candy is dumped on the floor and the sorting and trading begins. With this little guy stealing a few along the way...
Kids go to bed, exhausted from the day. I get up the next morning and erase all signs of a party. While I'm at it, I get on a roll and suddenly all signs of Halloween are gone. Decorations downs, pumpkins in the compost. The house goes back to itself for the month of November before Christmas throws up all over it.
All signs of Halloween gone except, of course, the candy...
It gets scattered on the floor once again for a second sorting and trading session. Funny enough, after all the trading there wasn't one complaint when I asked them to combine it all into one bowl. Now we will be eating candy for the next year or until I get sick of it and it all magically disappears. All 107 pieces. Yep, they counted.
Welcome November...a glorious month of mellow, cozy nights and anticipation of holidays to come.