This year's Halloween has been so much fun. We've taken gobs of photos, and I went all out like never before to decorate. I've wanted to decorate the house outside for so many years. My dad used to decorate a lot when I was a kid,and I always thought I'd have my own place someday when I grew up that I would decorate for my kids. Finally, this year, even though I've owned my own house since I was 26, I finally splurged a bit on decorations and did it!
Totally worth it, too. My kids and every family that came to the door to trick or treat was happy about the house. It's awesome to bring some magic to a holiday like this. Next year I hope to add a bit more.
This was also the first time throwing a Halloween party. So all the family came over, grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles, and cousins. There was lots of food, including chilli and cornbread that I make every year on Halloween.
And as for firsts, it was also the first time we tried to get Clara to trick or treat, but she wasn't having anything to do with it. She still has quite a lot of stranger danger fears going on, so she cried at the first attempt. She'd rather just have brother give her the big bowl of candy that we were passing out to the neighborhood kids.
So here's to a bunch of photos and some stories in between.....
This year we dressed up as clowns. Clara's gorgeous romper is from a small shop called Little Willow Tree, and I'm totally obsessed with Jada's creativeness. When I saw her 'Ella' romper I waited for it to drop, and swooped in like a hawk to buy one before they sold out, and they sold out in like under 5 minutes!
I really wish William would have participated in the family photos this year, but he was having a particularly bad day when we shot these, and also was too cool to participate. Then, of course later on, he wished he would've. I did get some pics of him as the reaper in the above series on Halloween. He helped pass out candy, and then decided, once he saw some friends trick or treating that he wanted to trick or treat one last time this year. So he took off and I took over candy duty.
It's always a challenge to get images of Clara, I mean she's 2, so I never hold expectations, just try to do my best and use lots of positive reinforcement and fun when doing her photos. Towards the end, she was annoyed by my hat and wanted me to take it off, so I did, and then she used the horn to hit Jack across the nose, which gave hima bloody nose. After we got him cleaned up, and tried again she honked the horn in his ear, which you see in our photo below. We laughed knowing she was being an onry toddler, and called it a night. She really loved the horn and balloons though, so that did help to get the photos I have here.
And I got one quick snap of my brother being himself, haha, psycho killer bunny.
Wednesday Addams and Halloween Fashion
Clara has been brand repping for a shop called Rugrats Ragz on Etsy. I picked up a dress called the Neverland dress, and had the gal that makes the clothes make it black with a white collar so I could do some Wednesday Addams inspired pics. Now, let me tell you, these images were tricky. We tried for weeks to get photos of her in the dress. We drove an hour away on the freeway to a small, old town, to a big, old house (Chase house) built by a railroad tycoon, located across the street from where the old brothel was. She hated being on the grounds. She cried and clung to us. No children ever lived in the house either. I attempted to calm her down by nursing her on the steps, also hoping it would ease her into sitting on the steps for a photo. She did calm a bit, but what was spooky, out of nowhere, it was quiet, and it was just her and I, she started busting up laughing. Something caught her eye, and I looked, but there was nothing, and she was just staring, laughing. Perhaps a silly ghost? ;) Still, she wouldn't let me put her down,and she clung to me or daddy. She wanted to be off the grounds, away from the house. None of the usual reinforcers I use, like treats or cartoons worked. She just wanted to leave. So we did. Now I'll say, I don't place expectations on her for photos. I get what I get and that's ok. It takes effort, every time we do images, but I never want it to be stressful for her or for me. I want her to have fun. With that said, I was so bummed, because I first saw this house in 2014 when we worked on an Idaho William documentary video about Payette. I knew I'd go back for a photoshoot at this house. Fast forward here we are, and what I had in mind didn't pan out. But that doesn't mean I won't try again at some point again. Not anytime soon though.
I have to say the neighbor that was sweeping outside her apartment was super nice, and she told us some history about the house, and introduced me to the groundskeeper. The groundskeeper was really friendly, too, but both of her legs were broken. She explained that she sometimes takes people through the house. Her son, at least I think he was her son, was very skeptical about me being on the ground or taking photos. I gave him a card, assured him we'd be respectful, and that I wanted to make sure I had 100% permission to be on the grounds. So I asked if they could call the owners, and the lady said she would. She really was sweet. The owners gave the go ahead and were fine with it. But her son, kept a watchful eye, and grunted a couple times about me taking photos, and then suggested he'd keep my card if I became a millionaire or famous off the photos. Bwhahahahaha! Right, man, right!
I tried a couple times visiting a graveyard for photos, but same thing, crying, hysteria, clinging to us. She was only calm if daddy would hold her. Who knows perhaps she's sensitive to thin veil between the worlds at this time of year, maybe ghosts were spooking her? We could let our imaginations go, but odds are, she was just being my stinker of a 2yo toddler, and only doing things on her terms, as the norm goes. ;)
So I did studio shots and she had fun. Anyways, I hope you get all the Halloween, spooky, Wednesday Addams vibes from these shots.
Her other outfits aren't rep shots, but just some fun outfits I picked out for her. I've been toying around with the idea of opening a clothing shop, so I have been digging around some wholesale places. I don't know that I'll do it, but I sure love scoring a great price on clothes for her when I'm not working with small, mom-owned handmade type shops.
Fave Halloween Books
I put aside seasonal books each year that I bring out only at the time of the holiday. So for the month of October these are our Halloween books, The collections doesn't include our favorite fall theme books, which I'll include in another blog. Clara's fave book this year has been by far, Bone Soup. We picked it up at a used bookstore about a month ago,and she has been obsessed with it. We read it multiple times a day.
Of course, we have our favorite Halloween movies we watch every year, too. Addams Family, Casper, Hocus Pocus, are always a hit. The Hotel Transylvania series has become an instant classic for us as well. Then I like to squeeze in other fave flicks when I can, like Practical Magic, and as many of the spooky, scary classics that aren't g rated, but those are more challenging to get around to these days with a 2 yo running around. American Horror Story this season has been awesome, so we watch that when we can.
Now, there's still gobs of images to sort through from visiting pumpkin patches this fall season, too, and pumpkin carving pics, so I'll have to load those up to blog about soon. But this sums up our Halloween spirit for 2018. It was a fun success! The rest of the year will be a whirlwind from here on out. Peace be with you all, because the holiday season is among us now.