We do Halloween in our house.  We do most holidays, but Halloween, where it’s socially acceptable to ask for and then eat candy all the live long day – that one is one of the more popular.

Every year, we buy pumpkins and then Marc carves them.  Without fail.  I don’t think I’ve carved a pumpkin in the almost thirteen years we’ve been together.  But this year – for the first time, Jessie and Sam carved their own (first and second on the left).  Becky carved Abby’s pumpkin, and Marc did Julianna’s bat pumpkin.   Sam was so proud of himself.  Not that Jessie wasn’t, but Sam was HUGELY proud, whereas Jessie was fairly blase about the whole thing.  Julie was mad that she couldn’t carve it herself.

This was a tough year, pumpkin-wise.  It’s a tough fall, honestly, because Marc’s schedule is so challenging.  He’s working all the time, and when he isn’t working, he’s studying, and it doesn’t leave a lot of time for celebration.  But we managed to squeeze in a pumpkin carving party.

It started the day before, with a very impromptu Shabbat party.  I like to do Shabbat dinner whenever possible, and because Marc had Friday off, I scheduled a playdate for Julianna here that afternoon.  The plan was for Marc to go to the gym, pick up the kids at school and come home for dinner.  Julie has a buddy who attends the same preschool (although because Evie goes on MWF, and Julie goes T/TH, they don’t actually “go” to school together), but since we get the friendship list, we found each other anyway.   She and her little sister, and her mom, came over for a playdate, and ended up staying for dinner.  Her husband came down, my stepdaughters came over and the volume in our house kept going up and up and up.  But the challah was yummy, the kids recited all the blessings along with Marc, and when it was all over, I curled up on the couch and watched Footloose with the girls.

Saturday mornings, we got up and went to the synagogue.  We were at services until after one, and then I met my mother and Becky down at the mall.  We went trick or treating, and lost Sam for a very scary five minutes or so.  I wasn’t scared that he’d been stolen, but I knew he’d be terrified and was desperate to find him.  He had run ahead to find me in the costume parade, not knowing that I had waited for him back at the beginning.  By the time my  mother and I realized that neither one of us had him, he was already halfway down the mall.  So if you were at the Solomon Pond Mall on Saturday, I’m sorry if I shoved past you.  By the time I caught up to him, he was so scared.  Not crying, at least not until he saw me, but he was soaked with sweat and shaking.

We left the mall.  Too many people, too much stress.  We went grocery shopping, and then to the Home Depot for more trick or treating (and to pick up Marc).    By the time we got home (surviving a few sibling battles along the way), we had just enough time to make a quick dinner before starting the pumpkins.   My friend Stephanie stopped by and kept me company while I washed more dishes and started cooking.

By the time yesterday rolled around – everyone was exhausted and nobody wanted to go anywhere.  So we didn’t.  I let Marc take the car, and the kids watched movies and chilled out all day.  I cleaned (although you wouldn’t know it today) and got ready for this week.

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