Sunday, November 9, 2014

Halloween 2014

As a child, and even as a teenager, Halloween was never even close to my favorite holiday. In fact, dare I say I dreaded it/almost hated it? I know, I know -- who hates Halloween?? Eek, this girl (did).

Okay, big disclaimer here: I love my parents, I do; we have an amazing relationship, and they are the best parents I ever could have asked for. My mom is the most hilarious, kind-hearted, generous, thoughtful and helpful person I know. She has insane amounts of energy for ANY age, let alone hers, and she's constantly giving her time, energy and/or gifts to others just to make their lives a little easier and better. And my dad? Ugh. Anyone who knows me knows I am 110% a daddy's girl. I hate the bratty connotation that comes along with that phrase, but I can't help it -- I think my dad is THE BEST. He genuinely has a heart of gold, and like my mom, he's incredibly kind-hearted, generous and thoughtful. He's that guy that's always willing to give you the shirt off his back and will help anyone in need -- from a slow turtle crossing a busy street to a homeless man in need of some food to his 10-year-old daughter who just crashed into a swamp while bike riding. My parents are amazing people, and every single day I feel blessed to be their daughter and to call them Mom and Dad.

. . . BUT if there is one thing they're lacking--and they totally admit this, so it's okay I'm posting it to the world--it's creativity. And because of their lack of creativity, my parents were never the parents who asked their children what they wanted to be for Halloween. In fact, my parents--bless their hearts--were barely the parents who even offered to take my brother and me costume shopping. It's not because they didn't want to and/or didn't care; it was always because they just kind of forgot about the whole costume part of Halloween (I know, right?). Because of that, I never really got into dressing up and never really loved the holiday. Fast forward to college--and keep in mind I went to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, home of the biggest college Halloween party in the nation--and I still didn't really care about Halloween. My college costumes were like walking Pinterest fails. Literally.

Perhaps my best costume to date.

In recent years, however, I've come to LOVE Halloween. I love the decorations, I love the festivities, I love the costumes...I love it all. So much in fact that I couldn't even wait until October 1st to start decorating our house this year (sorry, Jordan).

My mom came out for another quick visit to help take care of Sydney while I worked on some projects around the house and also to see Sydney's first Halloween, and it was wonderful to have her here. Now that Sydney is at home with me during the day, I find it sometimes even more challenging to get certain projects finished, so it was really helpful to have her play with Syd all day.

My mom must have worn her out pretty well because she took a loooong nap in the afternoon, and I found myself with time on my hands -- enough time to make a CAKE. Well, "cake."

Okay, fine, not a cake at all. I made these teeny-tiny Nutella things (you can't tell, but the cake above is like a 2" x 2" cube -- so cute!). I didn't really have a recipe; I saw a version from The Pioneer Woman and later on Jessica Garvin's blog Little Baby Garvin, but I threw these together using the things I had on hand: instant cake mix, Nutella, frosting and Halloween sprinkles from the cupcakes I was planning on making before Sydney decided to roll around in flour like a little piggy in mud. I made the cake following the directions on the box (that's about as good as it gets, people) and then cut it into squares. Next I spread Nutella on one of the squares and topped with another cake square. More Nutella and then another cake square, and then I popped the cakes into the 'fridge for a little while to harden up. I frosted the cube-cakes and then sprinkled the tops and voilà! I'm your girl, MasterChef.

When we took Syd out of daycare, I was so sad to realize we were going to miss their Halloween parade -- but Syd's teachers were so awesome they welcomed us back for the day solely so she could participate! It was adorable and so nice of them. We arrived to see none of the infants participated in the parade, but we still had a lot of fun watching the other kids and spending time with the other parents.

Our little monster's first Halloween . . .

We went trick-or-treating with two other families, both of whom have kids around four years old, but we still had fun walking around with them. Sydney went up to a couple of houses (with her tiny "boo" candy bucket!), but for majority of the time she was in her stroller and bundled up with blankets. She looked SO DANG FUNNY in her monster costume! She was so warm and soft and squishy! And such a good trooper -- she never cried or fussed once.

Hope everyone had a wonderful and safe Halloween. I love seeing all the kiddos in their costumes on Instagram and Facebook and may have already have started planning Sydney's costume for next year!


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