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?

Don’t Fear The Reaper.

I know sometimes I go a little nutty in my post introductions, so I will just tell you that THIS happened over the weekend:

face your fears day

There will be a longer story, of course, and photos, whenever I can finally sit down and process it. We drove through four New England states to get home – Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and western Massachusetts, of course, and I feel like it was the ultimate leaf peeping endeavor ever, and we didn’t even set out for that. Now I’m back and alone and it’s gloomy/rainy and I’m feeling restless, rundown, bogged down by photo editing, but also, pretty darn proud of what we did. We did it.

Letting little and big dreamers dream.

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In fact, Scarlet has “Sharing Day” at school today (like Show and Tell) and she’s bringing a little moose rock we bought her in Bethel, and she’s planning on telling her classmates about our moose adventure. They might.. think we’re weird.

Good.

In the spirit of adventure and and love and dreams, and even fear, I’m excited to participate in Tuesday Ten’s “Face Your Fears Day” top ten list. My spin is, “Ten Fears I’ve Faced, But Not Always Well.” We can’t do everything full of grace..

The Liebers

..but we can sure as heck try.

Ten Fears I’ve Faced, But Not Always Well:

1. Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start. I watched Wizard of Oz a lot when my father died. I was also a kid. How else can you better explain having a legit tornado phobia at age seven? I lived in New Jersey. Not Tornado Alley. I asked my mom to take down the wind chimes near my bedroom window because they scared the life out of me. She didn’t. I was on my own. And what better place to face your worst phobia, than when you’re not home and visiting your grandparents in Westfield, NJ? I was SO scared. I was shaking. We hid in the basement and heard the umbrella stand blow away. Then the storm passed and we went upstairs to survey the (outdoors) damage. I survived. Not only that, I was never afraid again.

As my childhood grief therapist said about me facing/overcoming my fear, “Yeah. No one died. THAT time.” Boom.

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2. Earthquakes. What could possibly be scary about the ground shaking underneath your feet? Umm. Everything. My first earthquake was actually in New Jersey, as surprising as the tornado. It was mild. My first San Francisco earthquake was bigger but I slept through it, because I’m awesome at that. My third earthquake was while I was at work as an Innkeeper – the only one on duty in a crowded Bed & Breakfast of 20 rooms. No big deal there. I was helping myself to quiche and heard what sounded like a freight train passing through the streets. My quiche was shaking. My plate was shaking. My hands were shaking. Everything was! I was petrified but trying to appear strong for my guests. Until my favorite family ran into the kitchen and they looked at me and they knew, and they enveloped me into their family hug. I think of you, Donna, Dan & Colton.

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3. Leaving home. Before I went to college, my throat closed up and I could barely eat. Instead of doing the rational thing, and telling someone, I relied on my magical thinking and powers of mind persuasion and sure enough, it went away and never came back. I have never taken leaving lightly. After college, I lived in NJ for several years. It’s when I moved to California that I knew, it was really real. I felt so homeless and parentless and so in-between. I never said I did it well, but I’m still learning how to leave and find home again. I’m still learning that it’s more than a place, but a feeling. That’s life, right?

4. Pregnancy and Childbirth. One of those things is much scarier than the other, and it’s probably not the one you think. Not long after I left home, (above) I went searching for it again. I knew a lot of things were up in the air, but the last thing I KNEW is that I was pregnant. And yet I was. Already six weeks along. Luckily, life gives you nine months (minus six months in my case) to prepare for the wonders awaiting you. I had zero morning sickness, I only gained weight in my stomach, and I was still running around like a lunatic at nine months. If all pregnancies were like Scarlet’s, the world would be even more full of babies. As for childbirth, I’d do it again. In fact I did. And I would do it again. That’s not the hardest part for me.

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5. Submitting writing. Granted, I definitely do things on my own time and in my own way and sometimes it feels like I still haven’t done IT, but I think IT is probably watching northern lights with whales, moose, chocolate, my kids, Tom Petty, Tim Curry, and others, and then writing a best-selling book about it. Since that hasn’t happened, yet, I should point out that I have four big, fat chapters in four books now. Half are about my most intimate of mental health thoughts. So, take that, fear.

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6. Photographing a wedding. Or four. If, at any point two years ago or more, you had told me I would photograph weddings, somewhat comfortably (if you call intense nerves beforehand comfortable) I would never have believed you. And yet, it’s coming together so oddly and magically. And who knows? Maybe I’ll even do three in one year. Someday. Or four. Or more!

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7. Vomit. Do I really have to talk about this, boss? Well since I’m the boss of myself, I’ll let it slide. Let’s just say I have Emetophobia and I also have two kids – one with my stomach, and one who barfed all night twice last year. NOT FUN.

I survived. I will survive.

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8. Traveling, Restaurant, Movie Theater Alone. Not only did I face these three fears in my 20’s, now it’s gotten to a point in which I desire them. I desire to be by myself. I may even see a movie alone today. Pan. I heard it’s bad. Oh well.

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(It’s ok if you want to say it. If you want to say that this photo doesn’t look like me. I had gotten a free spa gift card and they did this to me. It took awhile to wash away the makeup so I needed a photo first. Also, self-care time is fabulous.)

9. Flying after September 11, 2001. Not only that, it was technically an international flight on Cathay Pacific. The plane was going to Hong Kong, but dropped us off in Vancouver so we could get through customs and then go find some otters and glaciers. True story. I was so nervous for the flight that I had plane crash dreams starting three months before my trip. My doctor gave me Klonopin just to get on the plane. I never touched it. And during the flight, I experienced the worst turbulence of my life. I’m talking the plane falling out of the sky a few hundred feet, or so it seemed. And calmly, I looked out the window and ate pretzels. I guess I had already paid my dues during the three months of bad dreams? Cassidy says I’m an enigma wrapped in a mystery, or is it a mystery wrapped in an enigma? He’s right, but I want it to be wrong.

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10. Letting people in and out of my heart and life. What’s harder than that? And I’ve done it and I’ll do it again, and then again, and then again. And I think I’ll survive each time, even if it feels like I won’t. And there it is. Fears I’ve faced.

Some are still there. Some have gone. Some weaker. Some stronger. Some will never come back. Some have yet to form.

What fears have you faced?