A much appreciated hand-me-down costume + two tennis balls and an old red t-shirt = one very ferocious fireball throwing dragon baby.

Andy and I are resignedly aware that no one cares about costumed pictures of (or hanging out with, saying hi to etc.) anyone in our family except Carter. We are simply the vehicles that transport him around his kingdom. Nevertheless, I am posting proof that I dressed up this year. This was my third costume since fifth grade, so it is a matter of pride. Who knows when I will have the wherewithal to dress up again. Most years I have every intention, yet somehow I am caught unaware every Halloween morn with no costume and no ideas.

Actually, this year was no different. We made a last second decision to dress up the on morning of our one Halloween activity the day before Halloween. It was Carter’s church trunk or treat, lest you somehow got the wrong impression that Andy and I are cool enough to actually have adult Halloween activities of our own to attend. Considering we came up with our costumes the morning of (designed around Carter’s dragon costume, of course), and made them half an hour before we left the house, I think we did alright. Thanks to a fashionable cousin who had not one but two furry vests laying around her house, some last minute paper spike rolling and sewing endeavors, and a husband game to wear tights in public, we cobbled together our version of How to Train Your Dragon characters.

On Halloween, we attended the wedding of two beautiful people. Our families are happily connected in so many ways and I am so grateful we could share in their celebration.

We came home and decided to take the baby out on a late night bike ride around our neighborhood to see the Halloween festivities. We had no idea that Palo Alto got so crazy about Halloween; last year, Carter was a newborn and we never left the house.

One year ago on Carter’s first Halloween. He was a sumo wrestler.

It is over-the-top creativity + a lot of disposable income. It felt like a giant neighborhood carnival with each house trying to outdo its neighbors. There were life-size hologram ghosts, houses that looked like they were on fire, zombies, smoke machines, a truck driven by a horse and caught up in a spiderweb, decapitated Disney characters, HUGE inflatable ghosts and every other kind of gory, freaky, pee-your-pants inducing decoration. And a carnival with live performances and a pumpkin tower in Steve Jobs’ yard.

Andy and I debated all weekend about whether this Halloween craziness was awesome or sad. It is sad for the houses outside the three block radius of craziness because no one trick-or-treats there now; the nostalgic part of me feels like friendly, low-frills door-to-door trick-or-treating is special and I don’t want it to die out. On the other hand, it is a pretty incredible display of creativity and fun. The pictures below only capture a fraction of the awesomeness; I was too wimpy to take photos of the other stuff! Happy Halloween!

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