I laid in bed scrolling through everyone's post. There were ten Elsa's at the preschool party! Family fun at the pumpkin patch! Look who carved his pumpkin by himself! Look who won the costume contest at the ward trunk-or-treat! OMGosh, that haunted house was so scary! I can't help but get a little homesick around the holidays, besides the end cap of candy body parts at the $2 shop, you wouldn't even know a major holiday was right around the corner. But this time around it wasn't nearly as bad because I knew we had something special in store. Last year's Halloween party went down as one of our favorite Halloween's yet so we just had to do it again. Lots of cliche Halloween food (dirt dessert for the win!) then trick or treating, a first again for several of their friends. Not everyone passes out candy, we probably lucked out every third house or so, and sometimes we got oranges. Or carrots. The kids were thrilled about that. After going for a while they had a handful of candy and one of the kids was so excited and yelled, "we got heaps of lollies!" If only they knew. But I love that they don't, because getting excited about a small handful of candy is priceless, and also taught my own kids a lesson in gratitude. I just loved seeing their looks of excitement as they ran from house to house. Of course we had to make a repeat visit to the graveyard, but this time instead of just a walk through, we had a scavenger hunt. We teamed up boys against girls to see who could find a headstone with an angel on it, or someone born in December, or a grave with fresh flowers, etc. The boys won and they weren't shy about rubbing it in our faces. Then we went back and roasted s'mores around the fire. I didn't think we could manage to create a better Halloween than the one last year, but I think we succeeded. I'm sad this is our last Halloween (and sad to be starting our "lasts"), I mean, Halloween just won't be the same without a graveyard right down the road. Next year we'll be back to a full calendar with parties and pumpkin patches and "you've been boo-ed" neighbor treats and family home evening pumpkin carving and trunk-or-treats and bags filled to the brim with candy and streets filled with little princesses and super heros and obnoxious blow up pumpkins in yards. It will be fun being caught up in the spirit of the holidays, but I have a feeling that a part of me will always ache to be back here during Halloween.
And Grandma Judy. Halloween just won't be the same without her. Our daily lives just won't be the same without her.