Halloween in the US is very very different than Halloween in New Zealand. And if you know me well, you know I am a sucker for the holidays. I LOVE them. I love decorating and holiday traditions and celebrating to the fullest. And this year was no different. Yesterday (day before Halloween) we had a little neighborhood block party to carve pumpkins and eat delicious Halloween treats. Riley wore her lovely Halloween pajamas, and Mark carved his very first pumpkin EVER. And I tried SO hard to get just ONE nice picture of Riley sitting next to her pumpkin, smiling. Ha. That didn't happen.
Mark tried to "help" get her to smile by doing something ridiculous behind me, and this is what we got:
Close, but not really what I was looking for. She then figured out that she could take the top off of her pumpkin, and fill it with acorns that she found on the ground. Oh the joys.
There are currently about 15 acorns in her pumpkin, including some stuffed in the eyes. Here's what it looked like all glowing in the dark. Can you see the acorns still in there? And feel free to compliment Mark on his amazing pumpkin carving skills. :)
And then the REAL Halloween celebration was today! We started off by visiting one of our favorite family friends and attending their school Halloween parade. Of course, Riley loved it. She loved being surrounded by bigger kids, and getting to see all their costumes, although I didn't get any pictures as we were frantically trying to find out little friend Jill in the parade. And of course, we had to put Riley in her costume as well! She was the cutest little cow there!
Again, I had to bribe her with crackers to get her to stay still and look at the camera...
Later that afternoon we had a mini "photo shoot" at home, which lasted all of 45 seconds before Riley had had enough. Oh well, I tried, and at least I got a couple of good ones.
Then the real adventure began! This was Riley's first year trick-or-treating, so we met up with some friends to go trick-or-treat in their neighborhood, which was supposed to awesome (since we're currently living in an apartment- not so awesome for trick-or-treating).
And here we have Mark, Riley, and Jamie the transformer. I tried to get a picture with Jillian as well but Riley had had ENOUGH with the photos, and was ready to be outta there.... this baby likes to be free to roam.
And then we were finally ready to start our trick-or-treating rounds, and our dear friend Ashley hands Riley some skittles. Riley hasn't really had much in the way of candy in her life, aside from a tiny taste here or there, and she's definitely never had skittles before. Welp, the girl was hooked. She spent the next 20 minutes following Ashley around because she knew she was the skittle lady.
Once we finally were able to pry that little red packet our of her hand, we convinced her she could go door to door and people would give her MORE candy. She wasn't too sure at first, but she figured it out pretty quickly.
And if you didn't believe there are some outrageous (and awesome) Halloween decorations around here? Well, there are. There were TONS of house completely decked out with lights and pumpkins and spider webs, tombstones and mummies and ghosts, the list goes on. A couple houses even had a fog machine and spooky music. They even closed off the street to cars because there were so many kids running around!
Overall, total Halloween success. Riley got a ton of candy (which we are eating for her), and we still managed to get her in bed by 7:30. I'm a little sad it's over, but now we can begin the countdown to the next series of important events: Jennie's wedding, Thanksgiving, our return to NZ, and then Christmas!