Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade!

Boy when you get out of the blogging mode it is hard to get back in it sometimes.  I decided that since it is almost December, I had better get to posting about my Thanksgiving happy little thing QUICK!

Does anyone else love the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade as much as I do?  I was texting my kids all over the country to tell them to be sure and watch the parade.  My two youngest went up to Washington for the week, and with my two girls in Tennesse, I had no one but me, myself and I to watch the parade with.  Big sigh. But that's what I did ... and I still really, really enjoyed it.  I couldn't help but be a commentator during the parade.  (Silently though - note to Elliott:  No son, I don't talk to myself during shows when no one else is around.  I was acutely aware of it during this parade.)

I love Matt Lauer and Meredith Viera as the hosts and the floral arrangement they were sitting behind was absolutely gorgeous. I did notice how much easier it is to descibe these floats as opposed to the Rose Parade Floats.  Once they identify the approaching character, it is pretty much the same info - size and weight.  And occasionally a little tid bit like, "Horton's toenails are the size of hoola hoops."  (Doesn't Meredith have a beautiful complexion?  Seriously.)

I did notice the GINORMOUS Victoria Secret billboards right behind the floats and thought it was a little inappropriate to have such a display of push up bras and panties at such a family friendly event ... maybe the producers realized that too because after they were in-your-face behind the turkey float, they changed the camera angles just a little bit.  Phew!

So here are just a few of my (silent) thoughts during the parade:

I wonder if Meredith ever has a closet sale like Oprah did that one time.  I sure love her jacket.

Jimmy Fallon sings????  I do like the choo-choo train float he is on though.

I think McDonald's should let their good customers drive red, clown shoe cars too - kind of like Mary Kay lets their good sales associates drive pink Cadillacs ... I would for sure qualify.

There is a U.S. Pizza Twirling Team?  (Much less impressive than one would hope for.)

600 cheerleaders with bright blue and pink pom-poms in unison ... AWESOME! 

Kylie Minogue, you're adorable but wearing rings on the outside of your gloves?  Not so much.

Awe, the Jimmy Dean float is adorable too, but I bet this is how the guy in charge had to break the news to some of the participants of that one:  Kay, I have good news and bad news for you.  The good is that you get to be in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade!!!  The bad news is ... we need you to be an egg.

I get how you can fake the keyboard and the guitar but how are these guys faking the drums?

I  LOVE all of the entertainment they have during the parade.  (That's why I watch this particular parade really.  Not to see Peek-a-Choo or Spiderman floating by the New York cityscape.)  Did you see the big group of dancing penquins?  SOOOO adorable!  Just like a live version of the dancing penquins in "Happy Feet!"  I was dying to see Jessica Simpson too. The announcer sure left you hanging each commercial break for that one.  She didn't show up until the very end of the parade in her modest, monochromatic cold weather attire and less than impressive lip-sync of her Christmas tune.  (I still really like her though.  She gets a bum wrap ... let the girl be chubby if she wants to be!) 

One thing that I ALWAYS notice is that there are a lot of really great winter white coats out there.  This year India Arie had on a fabulous, long, winter white coat ...

I want one.  Santa?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I was 8 years old when we moved from East Rochester, New York to San Marino, California.  It was the middle of my third grade year when I started to attend Valentine Elementary School.  Our house was directly behind the school yard, which made it really convenient if we were running late.  (Like on that morning my mother told me that I couldn't leave for school until I had eaten my oatmeal.  I couldn't do it.  I just couldn't stomach that odd texture, and so I sat in front of my bowl, rather defiant.  We heard the bell ring.  My mother said, "You better hurry up, that's the bell."  But I couldn't do it.  The late bell rang.  My mom finally gave in and let me leave.  I haven't ever eaten oatmeal since that day ... fyi.)

My teacher's name was Mrs. Terry, I quickly developed a crush on John Dobbins, and I found a best friend - Kathy Christensen.  Kathy was one of ten children in her family.  All the boys names begin with a C and all the girls names begin with a K:  Cory, Kelly, Kathy, Kim, Christopher, Kristy, Karen, Clay, Covey and Kerry.  And it seemed like half of them had braces on when I moved there.  I wanted braces in third grade real bad, like Kathy had.   I wished for braces all the way through 12th grade, even though I didn't need them.   My teeth were not your perfect shade of white, except for the really big glowing white spot on my front left tooth, which I was very self conscious of, so I wanted the braces basically to cover up my teeth.  (May I just say how fabulous the ability to teeth whiten is?)

My friend Delanie's mother owned a dental office for a few years while we were in high school and one day she asked me if I wanted the dentist to fix my front tooth.  I was all over that!  He tried to paint it with something, but it didn't work very well.  In fact, it didn't work at all.  Bummer.

While I was attending BYU, I was working at Mrs. Fields's and I remember very distinctly the day a customer looked at me and asked if I had a dove tatooed on my tooth.  Really?  Since my middle name is Dove, I really should have just said, "I did. Isn't it fabulous?"

A few years later, after I was married, my dentist at the time asked me if I had ever thought about fixing that white spot.  Well yes I had.  Pretty much everyday.  He and I discussed different options for fixing it.  I could get a veneer ... except that that tooth was already slightly in front of the other front tooth and with a veneer it would protrude that much more.  He suggested a crown, which would mean drilling my tooth to a point and capping it.  I didn't love that idea, but I decided to do it.

The day of the appointment, I was reclined in the chair, my dentist was ready to go to work and I said, "Wait.  No.  I can't do it.  I changed my mind.  I'm sorry."  He was the coolest dentist ever so it wasn't a problem.  He agreed that if I wasn't 100% sure, I shouldn't do it.  I was worried about it looking like a cap right smack in the center of my smile.

It wasn't until I had had all five of my children, had moved to Utah, found another fabulous dentist who happened to ask me on one visit, "Do you want to do something about that spot on your front tooth?" that I finally got the result I wanted.  I had just had a crown put on and he said if I had an extra 20 minutes he would fix me right up.  And that he did.  (He carved out the part of the tooth that was super white and then filled it up with a resin material and you would never even know that spot had exsisted, unless I pointed it out and told you to look really close.  He became one of my heros that day.)

My little Sophie has been begging for braces for at least the past four years.  The difference between Sophie and me is that she really did need braces.  Last week, she finally got them.  And she is soooooo happy!  And I am soooooo happy for her!  (They sure aren't the braces of yesteryear though ... kids used to call you "Brace-Face" for a reason.)

Saturday, November 20, 2010


So ... after my dreary first day back at work, having seen that glorious sunset and then eating my delicious double chocolate cupcake, my mood had changed a little bit as I headed over to McCall's workplace to pick her up to see Sara Bareilles.  I wanted to be excited for the concert because I really do love concerts, I really do love Sara Bareilles, and I really do love being with McCall and I wanted us to have a good time.  I had sent her an email earlier in the day saying that I was in a little bit of a funk.

She emailed back, "OH NO!!!  Get out of it!!!!"  (I was trying to.)

I picked her up and as we were driving out of the parking lot I said, "Did you happen to bring the address?  I remember we drove past the theater that one time and I know it's on State Street."

She looked at me wide eyed and said, "Mom, it isn't at the Avalon theater anymore.  I went to her website and they said there were so many requests for tickets that they've moved the concert to a bigger place in Salt Lake called In the Venue.  I have been there before but I don't really remember exactly where it is, I just know it is by the Gateway."

Well ... that was not good news for me because first of all, we wanted to be early since it was open seating and now that meant that it was further away.  Second, McCall said there is no "seating" at In the Venue, it is just an open area which meant we would be standing.  I didn't like that idea ...  and my mind immediately went back to when I took my three oldest girls to see the group, "Evanescence" in concert in 2003.  McCall was 18, Haley was 16, and Chloe was 14.

Evanescence had just come out with their first album.  The lead singer, Amy Lee, has one of the most beautiful, full, rich voices I have ever heard.  (Okay, I know I have said that about Sara Bareilles too - but they have a completely different style of singing and they are both genius.)  I'm not even sure how to describe what kind of a group Evanescence is because I have never heard anything quite like them.  They are sort of a mix of new age, with some hard rock, but with a swish of classical because their songs always have a full orchestra in the sound track too, which I am crazy about.  I LoVe it when rock songs add strings!

I think Evanescence's first song on the radio was Bring Me to Life and my girls and I just loved it.  When I heard they were coming to Salt Lake and tickets were only $25, I was all over it.

The concert was about an hour away at a (remote) venue called Saltaire.  I knew nothing about it.  (Turns out Saltaire has quite a legacy - click here to check that out.)  When we arrived, the parking situation was a little chaotic.  It was like parking at the fairgrounds, without any lines or really any rhyme or reason.  There was also a really, REALLY long line outside.  My girls and I hiked to the back of the line, passing the other ticket holders with their died black hair (although some had streaks of other colors too), body piercings and tattoos, and spiked accessories.  I thought, what in the world? 

If ever there was a fish out of water ... we were it.

Evanescence was going to be the fourth band of the night to perform.  I had never heard of any of the other bands, nor did I care to once they started to play.  (I should have done my homework, it was pretty much an acid rock band concert.)  At one point during the night, Chloe held my hand and said, "I'm a little scared."  So she and Haley and I stood to the side of the crowd and listened from a distance.

We had lost track of McCall.  She had said she wanted to try and get closer to the front when Evanescence went on, so I showed my i.d. and walked upstairs to the 21 and older level to look for her. I did spot her, smushed amongst the peeps by the stage.  I forged my way through the sweat and noise to grab her and we wiggled our way back to Haley and Chloe.  McCall said, "Ew, everyone was so pushy, I couldn't really get out."  It was a wild and crazy experience to be sure.

We walked out of Saltaire, back into the cool, quiet air, headed toward the car, not quite sure we were happy to have been there and I said, I have taken you children on a field trip to hell.  I am a terrible mother.

We all kind of laughed at the whole thing and just had to agree that we had no idea it was going to be like that ... live and learn, right?

And there I was, driving with McCall, thinking I was headed off on another crazy field trip that I was going to regret.  She said, "No, no.  This won't be anything like that.  In the Venue isn't like Saltaire.  And the crowd will be totally different too."

And it was.  We were standing in line next to groups of young adult girls all fixed up cute, and by older couples - husbands and wives.  One guy walked past us in line and said to his friend, "I've never seen so many women in my life." 

And although it was standing room only, the people were much more polite and respectful.  McCall and I found the perfect place to be.  We stood right behind the sound guys and their mixing boards so we didn't have any heads in front of us and were able to lean against the railing.  (And we got to see Sara's song line-up.  We knew what she was singing before she sang it, and we knew which songs were going to be her encores.  I thought that was kind of cool.)  Whenever the girl behind McCall pushed up against her she would say, I'm so sorry.  And the little gal beside me tapped me on the arm once and apologized if she was getting too close to me. 

Sara Bareilles was adorable in every way, shape and form.  She was just darling, and so personable.  She said we were definitely the best audience she had ever had ... ever.  She was impressed with the fact that the audience (as a whole) could keep a beat and knew all of her words and could sing well.

We loved it ... and we'll see her again ... but it better be in a venue that has seats.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Watercolor skies.

After my dreary day of being back at work yesterday, I decided I needed a cupcake.  So just a little after 5 o'clock I headed toward The Sweet Tooth Fairy. 

Now I have always thought that Utah has possibly the most beautiful skies EVER ... and I think I cemented that thought last night.  As I drove away from my office, I looked at the sky over the mountains to the east of me and thought what a beautiful pale shade of pink.  I decided that I needed to find a good spot to snap a photo where I wouldn't have buildings in my way. 

I decided on the post office parking lot. 

By the time I drove into the parking lot, the sky to the north of me had gotten a darker pink - I snapped a picture ... and then I turned around to the south and it was looking a little more orange - I snapped a picture. 

I got back in my car and turned west into the shopping center where The Sweet Tooth Fairy is ... It was the most spectacular sky I have ever seen.  It didn't even look real.  It had to have been a backdrop for a movie set that someone had painted.

I quickly dialed McCall and told her that she had to leave her desk and go out to see the sky.  Then I called my house to tell my kids to go out the front door and look at the sky.  I walked through the doors of The Sweet Tooth Fairy and asked the little sales clerk if she was alone.  (Would have been much more creepy if I was a man asking.)  She said no, so I told her that she needed to get whoever else was working in the back to come outside and see the sky.

It had changed so much in just that last few minutes, I knew it would quickly fade into night.  It was ABLAZE with color.  I was truly in awe ... and it made me happy that I had been out at just the right time and hadn't missed it.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

"Brave love."

I am back from Tennessee ... at least physically.  I am pretty certain that a part of my heart is still there. 

I am in a little bit of a funk today.  I guess that's normal after time away from your reality, right?  It is hard to just jump back into the daily grind (and it's a grind, so I can say that). 

But my Lisa Leonard necklace arrived.  She calls this one "brave love."  But when I look at this necklace, with all of my children's names on it, I call it "fierce love".

I sure do love my kids ... we had such a great time together in Tennessee.  I can't wait to get my pictures developed!   ;)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My "Shindig" Girls.

I am finally going to get a much needed break after my grueling few months of non stop projects.  I will be heading out tomorrow morning at the crack of dawn with my Utah kidlets to go and see my two little dancin' girls in Tennessee and I couldn't be more excited for the get-away.  (Unless I was already there since the traveling part isn't my favorite thing of any vacay.) 

We get into Nashville at around 2:00 in the afternoon and I am hoping that maybe we will cross paths with one of the artists who are in town for the Country Music Awards ... and you know I'll spot 'em if they are anywhere near me, right?!?!  (And you know that would just make my day!)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Dorothy's gingham.

As a rather ridiculously large fan of the Wizard of Oz ... you gotta know I was freaking out about the adorableness of this party, right?

(The older I get the more this statement rings true to my heart.)

(For more images of this darling party, visit the wonderful blog of Amy Atlas,
party planner extraordinaire!  Just click here.)


Afterthought:  Well what do you know ... after I posted this yesterday, today these pictures are all over the blogosphere!  As it turns out, this party was a collaboration between Kim at TomKat Studios and Kate at Kate Lander's Events, who are both SO amazingly talented as well.  They have even more pictures from this adorable party AND a giveaway.  You can check that out here and here.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Autumn is still in the air.

I know that in the past several years Thanksgiving has become a bit of an overlooked holiday.  After Halloween, everyone is ready to start decorating for Christmas. (Especially, and in particularly, the retailers.  It only ever gets a little corner of the room's attention.)  This year, for the first time, I was sort of ready to do that too. 

On Saturday, I tended Libby in the morning and then she and McCall decided to spend the day with me.  I had an errand to run in Salt Lake and since we were in the area, we thought of lots of other fun places we could stop by and visit.  Most of them were ready for Christmas too.

As we drove around in one of my favorite neighborhoods just so we could both ooohhh and aaahhh, the streets were full of beautiful leaves and spectacular color ... pumpkins were still out on porches ... autumn wreaths were on the doors ... and I decided that I would back pedal just a little bit and not get ahead of myself.

I came home and put up my "Give Thanks" sign in the kitchen, hung my fall wreath on the front door, and decorated my entry way with the beautiful colors of fall.

(So red and green ... silver and white ... pale pink and teal ... you are temporarily on hold ... sorry 'bout it.)

I don't think Libby is quite ready to be bundled and "in" for the winter either!

Pssst, and if I could choose, I decided this is the house I would really like to live in!

Friday, November 5, 2010

School pictures.

When I was a child I didn't particularly care for picture day at school.  It was too stressful.  Then I grew up, had children of my own, and still didn't particularly care for picture day at school. It was still a little bit stressful. 

The notice would arrive home with the kids giving you the date and the suggestions as to what to wear and what not to wear - no light colors, no white.  It was a bit of a debate on picture day as to what I wanted them to wear and what they would prefer to wear.  I always worried about how their hair would look in the pictures too.  Especially if their assigned class time was after recess or, heaven forbid, after lunch.  (When we moved to Utah, there were moms who would come to the elementary school on picture day to help, and specifically for the purpose of making sure the kids didn't look too disheveled before taking their picture.  Gotta love that.)  I think I worried because of the results of most of my own school pictures and those of my siblings.  Boy we had some doozies!

On the morning of picture day, before the kids headed out the door for school, I would tell them to "Show me how you're going to smile in your picture." And they would give me their best cheesy grin and I would tell them how nice it was.

And then a few weeks later, when the packets were passed out at school, they would excitedly run into the house and yell that they got their pictures back.  And I would say, Yay! How'd they turn out?  The girls would usually respond with, Pretty good,  but sometimes they would just shrug their shoulders and say, I don't know.  But Elliott (bless his little heart), would almost always say,  Really good, I like them!  And he was right.  Elliott wins the prize for taking the most consistantly cute school pictures in the family!

A couple of weeks ago, Sophie and I were working together to get the last of Chloe's basement bedroom all packed up and in boxes.  We were cleaning out the shelves on top of her closets which included her yearbooks.  Sophie was flipping through one of them and came across pictures of the school's version of American Idol, called Alta Idol.  She said, "Mom!  I am so mad.  They had sign ups for Alta Idol but by the time I heard about it they said all of the audition times were filled, so I couldn't sign up."  (Kay, first of all, if American Idol can audition over 10,000 people in one day, I certainly think that the local high school can accomodate any and all students who are interested in participating in that activity.  I was not happy when I heard that and told Sophie I was going to march into that office and give them a piece of my mind.  She said she'd rather I didn't.  Hmp!)

Then Sophie asked me if any of her sisters had tried out when they went to Alta.  I gave her a rather confused funny look and asked, "How do you not know that your sister Chloe won Alta Idol when she was a junior?"

She got a little excited. "WHAT?  Are you serious?  How come I don't remember that?  That is AWESOME!!!!"  (Do you ever have times like that?  When you tell a story about something that has happened in your family and certain family members have absolutely no recollection whatsoever of the event?)  And then we started to look for pictures from the year Chloe had won. We turned to the section of the juniors' student pictures ... wait, what? 

I had to take a closer look ...

Say WHAT????  I couldn't help but laugh.  I just shook my head with the biggest grin on my face and thought, That little stinker.  I hadn't even seen that picture before, and then I thought how proud I was of that crazy girl of mine.  She had all the confidence in the world at that age and was going to march to the beat of her own drummer.  (She carried a Strawberry Shortcake backpack all through high school, and a different one each year.)  People definitely knew who she was ... and I bet they all get a kick out of this photo too.  And I bet she probably would have been nominated for class clown if she hadn't transferred to the performing arts high school too. 

Oh Chloe, Chloe, Chloe - you silly, silly girl.

(Freshman year)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Barry Manilow.

Time/evolution really changes the way we do things, doesn't it?  Right now I am thinking about scrapbooking. 

Remember when scrapbooking and Creative Memories first came on the scene?  What a fun idea that was!  And then it changed a little ... the style of scrapbooking changed ... the color schemes, paper and embellishments changed - so much that then it looked like all those books you had put together already looked dated.  I didn't like that part.  In fact, my first two scrapbooks that I ever made (Creative Memories style about 22 years ago) are so crazy/goofy with way too many stickers, way too many "puppet people" (as my sister Spring calls them) that I have every intention of taking them apart and doing them again.  With lots less stickers, lots less cutting out my peeps, and much more clean, classic pages.  (I have learned that lesson, by the way.  I tend to be much more classic and simple when I scrapbook.  But does anybody still scrapbook?  Because then along came digital and BLOGGING and with that, you store your pictures online, you can create scrapbooks online, and can even have your blog made into a book ... which I do plan on doing one of these days.)

But heaven forbid we get rid of our scrapbooking supplies.  As I have been clearing out and organizing (don't worry, one of these days it will be all done and I won't have to keep harping about that subject ... but for now, and maybe for a little while, I have every intention of continuing and that is partly what this post is about),  I have realized that I have so many scrapbooking supplies.  At one point I had actually signed up to be a Creative Memories consultant so I had bought the consultant's kit with all its goodies and excess.  I bought every cutter they had and extra albums and die cuts.  I wanted to be completely prepared for classes.  Then I found out I was pregnant with my 5th baby and I was already overwhelmed with my terrible two year old and I thought, How in the world do you think you can do this, Polly?  So I decided against the whole consultant idea, but I had sure acquired a lot of stuff just thinking about it!

Last weekend, I bought a fabulous shelving unit from IKEA.  I am so completely in love with it, I wish I had more wall space to buy some more.  It holds so much ... maybe even all of my scrapbooking stuff along with all of my boxes of photos.  (I say maybe because it is still in the process.)

Kay, wow, what was I going to post about?????

Oh yeah, Barry Manilow.  So back in the days of scrapbook classes, one of the little tips they taught us was how to preserve all those fun school items that your children bring home (you can't keep them on the fridge forever).  Storing all of those paintings and projects just isn't feasible so they suggested that you take a picture of your child with that wonderful art project and then toss it.  A picture is worth a thousand words, right?  I thought it was a great idea.  So when I came across this Barry Manilow poster, which has never been hung, and has probably been in my storage room rolled up for over a decade, I had the brilliant idea to take a picture of it and then toss it.

Why?  I don't know.  But I figured I would document it since I had had it for so many years.  And it did remind me of the good old days and how in love I was with Barry Manilow, and I can't even believe that I have never blogged about him before when he surely must have been on my original list of happy little things!

My first Barry concert was when I was about 16 or 17.  My friend Marilyn, my brother Drew, and my cousin Mandy and I all went to see him on Long Island.  He was a tiny little speck on the stage and we didn't even have binoculars.  His mother was in the audience that night too and Barry had her stand up and wave.  We all waved back and were just so happy to be there.

Another time he was coming to BYU. There was a concert Friday night and one Saturday night.  I went to both of them and could have kicked myself for not joining the choir that year since he had the BYU choir sing on stage with him.

A good friend of mine and I had the same wedding anniversary, so we took our husbands to see Barry Manilow together, twice. 

I have seen him with Diane at the Greek Theater in Hollywood, here in Salt Lake a few years ago too, but the last time I saw Barry Manilow in concert, I must say, was the best time I saw Barry Manilow in concert. It was in Las Vegas, with my friend Tracy.

She called me up one day and said that she had been comped a few free nights at the brand new Palazzo Hotel and would I like to join her for the weekend.  "Let's go see Barry Manilow's show at the Hilton.  I can get really great seats, like second row!"

Yes please.

As we were standing in line waiting for a taxi to take us to the Hilton, Tracy suggested that we take a limo.  She said, "I have never riden in a limo before.  I don't want to wait in line.  It'll be my treat."

Yes please.

She flagged the limo, we rode (all of) the ten minutes down the few blocks it took to get to the Hilton in style, and walked down the isle of the theater to our second row seats.  Part way through the concert I leaned over to Tracy and said, "I can not believe that after all these years of loving Barry Manilow, and all these concerts later, I am this close to him.  I could reach out and touch him."

Now that is the way to see a concert.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The right to vote.

My friend told me that if you wore your "I Voted" sticker into The Sweet Tooth Fairy they would give you a free cupcake.  A little treat for fulfilling your civic duty ... and for exercising your right to vote.  I exercised my right - this is my cupcake.

Thanks Sweet Tooth Fairy, as always, it was delicious.

Hallow's eve - the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Halloween really is a pretty stressful holiday.  I can remember when my kids were little, spending hours upon hours sewing their Halloween costumes.  That in and of itself was stressful and time consuming.  Once the costumes were decided upon, there were all of the school parties to get to, and those school (albeit adorable) costume parades. 

There's always a party at church, one that usually requires a food contribution - family parties, friend parties, maybe a school dance or church dance.  Make up goes on and make up comes off.  Everyone in and out of costumes.  Decorating, cleaning, carving, trick-or-treating.  There is always way more on the schedule than you think you can handle.

This year was a little different for me ... after I had (finally) decorated my house and felt like I was ready for Halloween, I decided that Saturday needed to be a really productive day around the house for me - in an effort to continue the organizing.

I asked Elliott to help me in the garage for awhile.  I got him up on the ladder and handed him all of the cushions for the outdoor furniture.  He rearranged a shelf so they would fit nicely, out of the way.  He handed down all of the enormous Target Christmas decorations from two years ago that we confiscated on their tear down day (another story, and I need to decide what is going on with those), I handed up camping gear that needed to get back up off of the garage floor.  We tried desperately to hang bikes up on hooks - we put them up, we put them back down - the location of those hooks was no longer conducive since my garage is now doubling as a storage unit.  All in all, I felt like we made a pretty good dent.

I assigned Elliott the task of filling up a hole he had dug earlier in the summer for another project in front of the house.  When he was done he left the shovel stuck in the ground in our graveyard. (A nice touch, I thought.)  This Halloween season he has worked at a place called The Haunted Forest.  I don't do well at haunted anythings so I hadn't visited his place of employment and was feeling a little guilty.  I told him I would definitely take a drive down later that day to check it out.

Vicki called me around 10:30 to see if I was ready to run to Costco to get our candy for the trick-or-treaters ... we had $4 off coupons for the combo boxes of full size snickers and m&m's.  But before Costco, we decided to see if the cute Halloween stuff at Williams-Sonoma was on sale up in Salt Lake.  (It was completely GONE.  We totally missed out because it was such darling stuff and you know I needed it like I need a hole in my head, but still.)  We stopped in at Pottery Barn Kids - love everything in that store, and got some Christmas inspiration at Pottery Barn.

Costco was a complete mad house by the time we got there ... the day of a big holiday and a Saturday to boot, what did we expect?  But it also felt fun and festive and I sure get a kick out of adults in their costumes:

When I got back home I found the cutest little kitty and her puppy on my porch.

I visited with McCall and Libby for a little bit before they headed off to another family party and told Sophie I needed her to cover our family trick-or-treat post so I could head down to The Haunted Forest.

The sky was getting dark and the clouds were grey and looming, which I LOVED on this particular night.  Elliott had told me he was in full costume around 6:30 pm and then the event opened at 7:30.  The characters he played in the Haunted Forest had varied throughout the weeks but his favorite was Jason from the movie Halloween.  He had gotten rave reviews for his portrayal so the manager let Elliott continue to be Jason.  (Such a proud moment for a mother, right?)

So at 6:45, I met up with "Jason", and he gave me a tour ... I followed him, trudging through the dark and damp, muddy, ominous forest, passing a bloody skeleton, a rickety old farm house porch, an old rusted out truck, an enormous tree with faces and hollowed out eyes on it's trunk.  (I was sure that if I had gone through with everyone at their posts, I would have been clinging to someone with my eyes closed, screaming the entire time.)

We reached Elliott's spot, which he said was about half way through the maze.  He explained, "So when someone is approaching my fire pit, there is a sensor which makes this burlap sack start to move.  Then the sack swings back and forth and it's a girl who starts screaming inside. I am hiding down this pathway behind these branches and when the people are looking at the bag I walk toward them with my machete up."

No thanks.  I do like to decorate a little on the macabre side of Halloween ... but I can't handle that insanely scary kind of stuff.  I would say, it must be a guy thing, but two of my daughters LOVE everything scary too ... hmmm?


I drove back home, actually really happy that I had finally taken the time (on the last open day of the season) to show Elliott some support.  He had loved working there and would give me a nightly report on how good the screams were which he provoked.

Sophie was also happy to see me so I could relieve her of her trick-or-treat post.  I love trick-or-treaters. Sadly, this year I only had about 8 groups of 3 kids.  I think the rainy weather kept most kids inside.  BOO!

At the end of day, as busy as my day was, I have to say it was the most enjoyable, least stressful Halloween I think I have had in over 20 years - and the lesson is:

Costumes are what KILLS you!!!!

(Hope you all had an enjoyable Halloween!)

Monday, November 1, 2010

The glory of Halloween.

I really don't like to do any decorating (no matter what the holiday is) until my house is clean.  But with the basement renovation, and the chaos that followed upstairs, it was looking like I wouldn't be decorating at all for Halloween if I stuck to that rule.  So about a week ago I did decorate my front door (that's the least I could do, right?).  And then a couple of days ago I decided it really wouldn't take but a few minutes to get my grave yard out for the trick or treaters ...

And since I LOVE Halloween so much, I decided I could certainly just decorate my front hallway ...

Oh yeah, and I had bought all that Halloween candy on the sisters "runs" to WalMart, so I decided I would go ahead and decorate my island in the kitchen - which led to my kitchen table ...

And as long as I was in the kitchen, I could just grab a couple of things out of my totes and put them around the kitchen too ...

And because we watch T.V. in the family room, I thought I would just put a little something in there ...

But that's it .... the big skeletons, the ribbons I hang around my light fixture, the stick grid Elliott made and the other 3 totes will just have to wait until next year.  This year, I was just TOO busy!