I'm sitting huddled at my kitchen table with a cup of hot chocolate - today is only down to 50 degrees, but it feels like it's pure winter after the past few weeks of glorious autumn sunshine. We have reveled in it. Trips to the park, playing on the porch, just sitting in the sun. It's why October is often my favorite month of the year. And we sure have been out and about enjoying the autumn festivities.
One activity we really enjoyed as we've been gearing up for Halloween is a trip to Gardener Village to check out their witch displays and track down everything on the witch scavenger hunt. I've actually been out there once before with my mom when Stomper was a chubby little toddler and wee Bitty was just 2 months old. But that was by accident. We had been trying to find a pumpkin patch and we drove for at least an hour trying to find the place only to realize that there wasn't a pumpkin patch anywhere near. But we enjoyed the witches. This year, since we actually went on purpose and knew what was going on, we had a lot of fun. We went with our good friends and the kids seemed to have a ball finding each witch on the list.
We also spent an evening with my sister and her daughter enjoying Red Butte Garden's "Garden After Dark" celebration. That is a hoot for sure, except that it really does happen in the dark, and it's up on the hillside in late October, so it is seriously cold. Also, it's only a few nights of the month and it's very popular, so it gets extremely crowded. But still fun. Painted faces, painted pumpkins, a glowing enchanted forest complete with luminescent bubbles that left glowing paint on your skin where they pop. Fire pits, owl masks, paper flowers. And I think we really only hit about a third of the activities along the pathway. But...when you have a toddler who insists on going everywhere ALL BY MYSELF, but has trouble making much forward progress at any given moment, you're not going to get far. Worth it, though. It was really fun to have some Aunt Margaret time.
Bundle found pumpkin painting extremely therapeutic. She especially loved stirring her paintbrush around and around the paints until she had one mass of grey paint to use.
Bitty's Gorgeous Face Paint - don't mind the nude pose. It was her idea.
Speaking of Aunt Margaret, she invited us to a pumpkin carving party at her friend's home. Probaby most of you were never subscribers to Martha Stewart's Living magazine, but in most issues there was an article about a meal shared by friends, including the recipes and how-to's on the decoration. Needless to say, the locations of the dinners were so spectacular and so well photographed that I'd take one look and instantly give up on any hope of hosting such a party myself. Well, Margaret's friend Jen's party was magazine worthy. Awesome menu: a trio of fall soups with an array of toppings; everything from toasted pumpkin seeds to homemade salsa and sour cream. Fresh bread and corn muffins, hummus and fancy chips - all was delicious. And her yard was adorable with a super cool tree house, chickens, wooden picnic tables, adirondack chairs pulled up around a cozy fire pit. And kids happily carving pumpkins, chosen from a table piled high with the fat round things. Too bad Martha Stewart missed it. She would have loved it. We had a ball. And our pumpkins are actually carved and ready to go - a miracle, still two days before Halloween. Of course, we haven't pulled out a single decoration yet, but like I said, it's still two days before Halloween. We'll sneak it in there somewhere.
(Of course, I'm finishing this late on Halloween night - just FYI, we did get some Hallween decorations up and I will blog about the day....that post should be ready in about 10 days. :)