I Am Groot: The Best Halloween There Ever Was

I wrote this post four years ago, only a few weeks after my sister’s wedding. So this week we celebrate my sister’s four year anniversary and also remember the time Cassidy took the words “I Am Groot” way too seriously. And it was awesome.

This was to be the year I dropped the ball on Halloween.

Sometimes I have tunnel vision and it’s nothing to brag about. When there’s something big on the horizon, it’s hard to focus on smaller things before or after that big thing. Say for example, it’s senior prom. Say you have a major physics project due the Monday after prom weekend, but you can’t even think about it until after the prom is over and you’re back home and your sister’s boyfriend makes your project for you, and it doesn’t even work, but it’s so special and homemade that your teacher gives you an “A” on it and you don’t even have to take your physics final exam. You get to sit out in the hallway with a book and look in at all of the much smarter (at physics) kids and watch them take the final exam you’ll never take.

Somehow, somewhere, somewhat, sometimes, dropping the ball on something still looks like this:

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Cassidy may call it luck. I may call it that too, but also skill because I’m surrounded by wonderful and creative people and hey, I did take care of Des’ costume, and my own, and I did take a lot of photos and I did write this post, and I helped Cassidy in and out of that costume 17,000 times and I broke a few sweats too. I’m not calling myself completely useless at Halloween this year, but I was not the star to shine. And that was ok. My tunnel vision only allowed for my sister’s wedding, and a ton of photo shoots before and after that. Meanwhile while I was in my fog, Cassidy was dreaming and planning, only SIX DAYS BEFORE HALLOWEEN. And then dreaming and planning turned into working. And sharing that wisdom.

He wrote out a whole DIY of his costume with photos that you can see here.

My brain doesn’t work the way his does.

Heck, my brain can’t even wrap my head around how someone ELSE’S brain could work like this, much less.. work like this.

I Am Groot.

I am Groot

I am Groot

I am Groot

I am Groot

I am Groot

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Since I never met a Top Ten list I didn’t like, here’s my “Top Ten Things I Loved About Halloween 2014.” And quite like the wedding post, I started writing this on Halloween night. It actually wrote itself. So now I present it to you. There’s Halloween. There’s Halloween as a parent. And there’s Halloween as a parent in a really cool town. How about Halloween as a parent in a really cool town, with Groot, Rocket and Superman. You never know, do you? I didn’t drop the ball after all.

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The Top Ten Best Things about Halloween 2014:

1 – In the morning, Des and I went to Scarlet’s school to watch the kindergarten classes make a parade around the entire school in costume. We had some time to kill after the parade and before the half-day dismissal and I had a wonderful hang out and heart-to-heart on the playground with Scarlet’s friend’s mom. Bonus is that Des fell asleep in the swing!

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2 – Walking around all day with the best costume contest winner, which got him a prize ($$$). I was just darn proud. I’d tell anyone who listened to me, “That’s MY husband. He made that costume himself!”

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3 – Walking around town and seeing friends, and clients, and people who are both friends AND clients!

4 – Going to River Valley Market to get some late-night snacks. In costume, of course.

River Valley

5 – The car needed gas and it’s always fun to get gas on Halloween because you’re getting gas next to a clown, a witch, and oh yeah – the woman in front of you is the secretary at Scarlet’s school! You have to love our small city.

6 – Walking in the parade with Scarlet holding onto my stroller with one hand, and holding hands with two friends from preschool with the other hand. They were all telling each other Halloween riddles and cracking each other up.

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7 – Realizing Cassidy’s artistic potential as reflected back from the faces of hundreds of people. Heck, thousands.

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8 – We stopped by a friend’s party after trick-or-treating. There was a giant, amazing, handmade, remote (or radio?)-controlled Frankenstein on their lawn! It could move and talk and had a microphone where someone inside could look outside and talk to kids walking by. It was AMAZING. I was in a cloud of Groot pride and care, but this deserves its own post. I wish I had photos but I didn’t have my camera at that point, because.. Groot, Des, stroller, freezing, candy bags, etc. My friend’s dad made it when he was only 13 and it was passed down to my friend’s family. Seriously, amazing.

9 – Scarlet told me I was the prettiest Snow White she had ever seen! The fairest of them all?

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10 – I stole a piece of candy from Des’ bucket at 1:00am. It was a Milky Way. I hadn’t had one in years!

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*Bonus that he really only said “I am Groot” when people tried to talk to him!

I’m sure I have an honorable mention for every single person I saw out there that night. I know I spout a lot about the online blogging love (which is real and fierce!), but my in-person people are pretty spectacular too.

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Everywhere I walked that night, in a city of thousands, I saw a familiar and beautiful face.

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And like with my sister’s wedding, I’m a bit sad that it’s all over.

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However. Halloween comes every year. (unless it’s Snowtober, in which case it gets skipped, sorta.)

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What on earth will we do next year?

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So, what was the best Halloween of your life?

Time To Get Juicy With Valentine’s Old School Blogging!

When Elaine asked me to co-host February’s edition of Old School Blogging, my answer was a resounding, “Heck, YES!”


I love Old School Blogging, because it reminds me of simpler times – when instead of having my own blog, I read other people’s blogs. (I didn’t even have to know them!) When instead of concentrating at my inside sales job, I stalked the quizzes, surveys, and memes of a bunch of virtual strangers. No, really. They were virtual. Heck if I know what these people were like in real life but I was fascinated that people would choose to spill out their dating stories, embarrassing moments and innermost feelings for the whole internet to see. I was GRIPPED. This was before people used blogging to release knowledge about a whole host of life things – businesses, products, crafts, recipes, photographs, and more. This was when people just spilled. For the sake of spilling?

For the sake of being heard. Remembered. Written in internet stone. I think I get it now. I, too, have made myself vulnerable.

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And I think I like it!

We have a whole host of juicy Valentine & Love questions in this month’s Old School Blogging. The link is open until 2/23, and you can follow along on twitter with the hashtag #OSBlog. Time to visit the old school side of blogging – spilling the beans!

Here are the questions with my answers! Fill in your own answers and link up!:

How do you typically celebrate Valentine’s Day?

These days, it’s about making Scarlet’s valentines for her class the night before they’re due! This year, we bought a king-sized bed together. That’s romantic to me. It was nice to be in a position to buy something together, with hard-earned money. We won’t get the bed in time for the holiday, though! Usually I wear red, he goes to work, and we discuss Pinterest style dinners and desserts. I’ve gotten better over the years about sharing in the cooking/baking. Not..worlds better, but it’s a work in progress.

Sometimes I write him a valentine or blog.

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Do you like to get A) chocolates B) flowers C) a sweet card or D) ALL OF THE ABOVE?

Definitely, definitely chocolates over anything. Always. Umm..flowers and sweet cards are FANTASTIC, though.

Would you consider yourself a “cuddler”? If not, would you at least cuddle on Valentine’s Day?

I do. I’ve gotten better about it as an adult, but I tended to shrink away from people when I was younger. And I still really don’t enjoy close talkers. I don’t understand how you can keep coming closer if you see someone backing away! That said, I’m more cuddly as I’m falling asleep but at some point in the middle of the night, I tend to sleep flat on my back and with my arms raised over my head. Scarlet sneaks into bed with us sometimes and sleeps like a starfish. So we just got ourselves a bigger bed!

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What is your favorite movie about love or with a love story?

Is it weird that I always thought the love affair between Jack and Sally in “The Nightmare Before Christmas” was ultra-romantic?

Do you believe in “love at first sight”? Did it happen to you?

It didn’t happen to me, but my mom once went on her roommate’s blind date in college. I guess the roommate balked, or more likely, met someone else. She sent my mom on the date and my mom does say she took one look at him and was a goner. That was my father. So yes, I suppose I believe. Or I believe you can really know something powerful with one glance/meeting. Chemistry, life stories, depth, etc. I have never had love at first sight, but I’ve totally gotten weak in the knees with something!

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(She was a goner for him! I like putting my profile photo above his too.)

Do you believe love can conquer all things?

Yes. Everyone needs it, or else they turn to darkness. As they say in Harry Potter, it’s the most powerful form of magic out there!

What is ONE of the main things you love about your S.O.(significant other)

A copy & paste from a recent #AskAwayFriday question: He’s strong, mellow and supportive. And he’ll do anything for me, even when I feel I don’t deserve it. And I love the way he loves the kids. And he cooks and cleans incredibly well. Ok, other than that. I love that he’s a passionate dreamer. That he wants things out of life that are BIG. Larger than life. That I’m not married to someone who is content with staying in the same place his whole life, in many ways. And he’s spiritual and inquisitive. He’s a big kid in some ways. I don’t know if our kids know how lucky they are to have such playful parents, but one day they will.

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If you could have the perfect Valentine date what would you and your loved one do?

Go to California together. Does that count? Look for moose together. Oh, right. It’s winter. Pinterest-inspired dinner and dessert! Watching a particularly romantic episode of “Doctor Who,” if such things exist.

Tell me about your first crush!

Well. First we have Michael Jackson when I was four. Then we have the man who built our house – Al. He was already a silver fox when I was five. I wrote him a love letter and handed it up to him while his head was literally through our roof. I believe in grand gestures, and it started young. Then there was my John Stamos era. My first real crush of a boy my age was Chris Jenkins in second grade. He would sneak snacks in front of me in the lunchroom, and then he’d bolt, and get lost in the crowd.

I was happy when I found out it was him, through my friend spying for me.

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Do you have any embarrassing or horror dating stories?

On my first date with my ex, I locked myself out of my apartment. We were all giggly and it was one in the morning and I had to throw rocks at my sister’s window. She was..not impressed. Once a friend’s ex took me out to make her jealous. That was lame.

Favorite flower?

Hmm.. maybe sunflowers. They look human! They smile at the sun and totally droop after that first frost.

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What’s the first type of chocolate you hope for when you reach into a box of chocolates?

Ooh, I’m getting this question in Friday’s Ask Away Friday too! I despise coconut ones and ones with nuts. If it’s See’s Candies, I hope for vanilla cream first. Or strawberry cream! Always milk chocolate and nut-free. Good quality stuff. Caramel, toffee and peanut butter are my friends too but only if it’s the good stuff. The cheap stuff makes me feel a bit ill. I take bribes too.

Favorite love song?

Oh, sheesh. What a loaded question! And I fear it was my own question too. “Thank You” by Led Zeppelin. “Don’t Get Me Wrong” by the Pretenders. “Don’t Let Go” by En Vogue. And definitely “Just Like Heaven” by the Cure. “Take On Me” by Aha, but only for these lyrics:

“You’re all the things
I’ve got to remember”

What is the best breakup song?

“Ghost” by Indigo Girls. If by “best”, you (me) mean “makes me want to crawl in a hole and die.” And there’s always Bonnie Raitt, “I Can’t Make You Love Me.” Siiigh. Oh! And Don Henley’s “The Heart of the Matter.” I’m dying a little inside right now.

Favorite celebrity couple?

Heidi Klum and Seal! Oh. What? They broke up? Crap. Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis. Lucy and Desi. You didn’t specify alive, right?

Overall, are you pro- or anti- Valentine’s Day?

Pro! I’ve always liked it. Single. Not single. Engaged. Married. Married, but annoyed. Married with kids. Married with kids, but annoyed. Making last minute creepy Doctor Who valentines for preschool. I like it all.

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If someone did that “Say Anything” boombox thing outside your window, would you be into it, or call the police?

Heh, this was my question and it’s hard to answer. I think I’d be into it. I love grand gestures.

First thing you notice about the objects of your affection.

It sounds cliché to say eyes, but it really is the answer. The thing is, I more look at shape, depth and what’s in them. I have fallen madly for boys with deep eyes, but couldn’t tell you what color they were! I don’t care so much about eye color. In my line of work, I see a lot of eyes up close..

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What’s the best thing you’ve ever gotten for Valentine’s Day?

Oh, so easy! Valentine’s Day, 1989. My parents had always said no pets. They invited friends over. Friends brought white puppy with pink bow. Mom asked, “Do you know whose dog this is?” Tears were in her eyes. I was kinda waiting for “Full House” to come on, but I said, “Yes, it’s your friends’ dog.” She said, “No. It isn’t. It’s ours. Surprise!”

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Hint hint, Cassidy. I’m ready again. I think.