"When you called me to be a Mama, You didn't ask for perfection. But that with every breath, I'd point them to You."

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Halloween, 2015

Now that we're almost halfway through November and Christmas planning is in full swing, it's probably past time for me to post about our Halloween. There just isn't enough time in the day anymore!

((Brandon and the lighted Haunted House he loves having in his room every October. I love holidays through their eyes)).

It's been well documented in years past that I am not a big Halloween person. The only reason I get even remotely into it is because of the joy it brings my kids every year and the fact that it provides us with more opportunities to gather with family and celebrate being together. I do, however, do my best to make the entire month feel special for our boys. After all, there's only so many years offered to us to celebrate these moments with our kids. Before we know it, they won't need us to walk them up neighborhood streets to front porch steps, or to remind them not to run too fast on dark sidewalks and to say thank you at every stop. We spent October adding a bunch of Halloween movies to our Netflix account, read spooky stories all month long, and had our costumes bought and ready at the beginning of September. And as excited as they get for candy, it's funny how quickly they forget we have it after the hoopla is all over with. I think it's the anticipation and excitement of it all more than anything.

We kicked off our Halloween week with a Sunday night spent carving pumpkins. Our traditional UNI pumpkin, a football design for Jaden and Batman for Brandon. As is the norm, our Daddy free-handed all of them, making them extra special. No templates in our house!

It's funny how the boys' reactions to cleaning out the pumpkins changes every year. One year they love the feel of the seeds and insides between their fingers, the next year, they'd prefer a spoon and a clean paper towel nearby. That was the case this year - for both of them. Jaden especially hated having any pumpkin juice between his fingers!

Brandon was very concerned watching Daddy draw his Batman design on his pumpkin. He wanted it to be so perfect, and I do believe Daddy delivered!

Jaden's football turned out pretty good, too, and we are known around here for our UNI pumpkin. Even people that live a few blocks behind us know us as the people that "always have a UNI pumpkin lit during Halloween week."

I not only helped at Brandon's class party this year, just as I did for Jaden in kindergarten, but I also got off work early on the Friday afternoon before Halloween to take the boys trick-or-treating on Main Street. And holy cow, the crowd! As my dad always says when our downtown hosts any kind of celebration, "Only in Cedar Falls..." Throw a party? Our town shows up in droves.

We were shoulder to shoulder for blocks down both sides of the street, so after making it all the way down one side, the boys were more than ready to head on home, knowing plenty more trick-or-treating was still ahead.

High-five for Batman!

Brandon was pretty fascinated with the Phantom of the Opera hanging out above the crowds so my dad thought it appropriate to get his attention by shouting at him. ;)

We definitely got our money's worth out of our costumes this year since Halloween fell on a Saturday, and we were able to spend the whole day in them! UNI had a home football game in the Dome in the afternoon, offering kids in costumes candy as we walked around the concourse levels. Brandon has been an absolute rock star during football games this year, and having candy to eat during four quarters of football didn't hurt either. ;)
Halloween night was spent in three different neighborhoods, starting out at Tim and Deanne's with Ivy...

...followed by a stop at my parents' neighborhood for what was their last Halloween spent in their incredibly busy and bustling cul-de-sac...

...and ending with Ella in her neighborhood before warming up over candy piles on their kitchen island.
Another year older, the boys barely needed us and often left us in their dust as they raced ahead and we struggled to keep up. It was the most confident I've ever seen Brandon, as he wasn't shy at all ringing doorbells, saying "trick or treat" and shouting thank you as he'd race off to the next house. They seemed so old on this night, Batman costume and football helmet and all, once again reminding me that these years are numbered.
It was a good and successful Halloween. The weather was cool but bearable, much better than we get most years, everyone had fun, and the boys came away with buckets overflowing. In fact, we trick-or-treated so much that by the time we had gotten around one block in Ella's neighborhood, Brandon actually said, "Mommy, my bucket is really heavy. I don't want to get any more treats now."
And the next day, on November 1st, as I swapped out Halloween books with Thanksgiving ones, we enjoyed our candy piles in front of Sunday football games, with wide open windows and doors, and sunshine and t-shirt weather. Talk about spoiled!

Now... on to turkeys and twinkly lights and the season of anticipation. We're so ready! Cody even came home from work tonight to inform me that he is taking a full day off work tomorrow, spending the first half hunting and the second half pulling all of our Christmas decoration boxes out of our storage unit and bringing them home. When my husband is actually eager to pull decorations out of storage without being asked? That's an early Christmas present, right there!