Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween 2011

We had a great day today. I managed to have a photo shoot with the kiddos this evening before we headed out trick-or-treating. Trying to snap photos of Caitlin before she escapes and climbs or crawls away is quite a feat. My camera's shutter speed isn't fast enough and most of the super cute smiles were missed by my slow camera. But oh well!   

These two still looked adorable and I was just happy to snap these before they both were begging to take their costumes off. Andrew made it about 10 houses in his costume and then stripped down to just a t-shirt, pants, and his boots.

After waiting for awhile for Kevin to get home, we decided to just join up with our neighbors and start canvasing the neighborhood for treats. The traffic home was brutal today! 

This was Andrew's first year ever of trick-or-treating and he was a fan. His speed picked up significantly once he realized that every house had treats at it.

Catie just chilled and watched the kids file past her.

The little dude was especially excited about some of the king sized candy bars he got. I was too. He may never see them again.

After about 7-10 houses, Andrew was dying of thirst and even the idea of more candy did not sound appealing. He started saying that he was all done with trick or treating. I was floored... and a little disappointed. We will need to work on trick or treating endurance next year.

Fortunately a quick drink got him re-energized for some more candy hunting.

For our first round of trick-or-treating we crashed my neighbor Kara's little party and for our second round we crashed my neighbor Sahar's party (and Kevin joined us for the second round). The kiddos were so excited to hang out together and run from house to house.

The sweaty fireman looked more like a paintball target than a fireman... but he made sure to tell everyone, "see I'm a fireman, I have fireman boots on..." just in case they were worried that he was grabbing candy and not in a costume!

Cate lasted about an hour and then Kevin took her home.

To be honest, I was kind of done with trick or treating after about 15/16 houses. By that point Andrew wanted to visit every house in our development... so I bribed him to go home by telling him he could eat some candy once we got there (he didn't eat any while we were collecting candy because he was so focused on his "get candy" mission).

Fortunately that worked and we went home and spent the rest of the night passing out candy, eating jack-o-lantern pizzas, and he ate one bag of skittles. He is seriously not my child. He didn't ask for any more candy after he ate the one small pack. He was more interested in the tiny play-doh containers I was passing out to the trick-or-treaters.

This year without planning to... I completely forgot to buy candy. I had tons of leftover prizes from our Halloween carnival, so we gave that out (and some candy that a neighbor randomly dropped by). The teenagers that stopped by were raving about the play-doh. They were so excited. I thought it was hysterical. I am kind of happy that we won't have tons of B-list candy hanging around for the next month (since I already ate the A-list candy at the beginning of October).

If you want to check out how we spent the rest of our Halloween day, you can see my post about it here. We had a little Witches and Warlocks Party. It was simple and fun.

Now I am tired and completely done with Halloween.

Bring on a month full of gratitude and giving thanks... and full of my birthday celebrations... since I love my "Birth-month!" We are creating our Thankful tree tomorrow!

Happy Halloween!

Vermont Girls Trip!!

Last Friday night I said goodbye to the little kiddos and Kevin and headed east to Vermont with Kevin's mom (Shari) and my two sisters-in-law (Shauna and Liesl) for a GIRLS TRIP!

My first stop was SLC where I stayed overnight at the Caffee hotel. Elise and I grabbed cupshakes from The Sweet Tooth Fairy (I am still dreaming about it) and chatted till late. Then we woke up early Saturday morning for a quick run before I had to go catch my flight to Vermont. 

Isn't my sister the cutest? Loved the sign and the treats!

I have a gazillion pictures (and so do Shauna and Liesl), but here are a few of my favorite pictures from my camera of our trip.

We spent all day Saturday traveling. We stopped at JFK for a brief layover and I managed to eat some delicious NY style pizza and a black and white cookie. Mmm!

Sunday we headed to Sharon, Vermont for church and a visit to Joseph Smith's birthplace. We watched a beautiful movie about his life and went on a tour. Then we relaxed and read in our cute cosy cabin at the Eagles Resort at Sugarbush.

Monday we drove down to the Norman Rockwell museum in Rutland. I love his artwork and managed to find a few of my favorite sporty prints to bring home to frame for Andrew's room.

We also took a quick stop at the Chocolatorium for some treats and then decided to head across the border into New York because Liesl told us we weren't too far away from Buskirk Bridge!

I've gotta say, we were a sight to see as we jumped out of the car at every opportunity we had to snap a picture of the various "Buskirk" named spots throughout the town. I did a little research and discovered that Buskirk isn't even a town... it is a hamlet. Isn't that so cute? The bridge was built by Kevin's relative Martin Van Buskirk and the hamlet was named after him too.

Andrew was pretty excited when he saw the picture of the emergency truck with his last name on it.

We walked across the bridge, drove across it, and took pictures of it too. It is absolutely beautiful!

After that little detour we headed back to Vermont for some outlet shopping in Manchester!

Tuesday we slept in and I enjoyed a delightful run around the darling (and tiny) town of Waitsfield. After we got ready for the day, we headed up close to Stowe for some zipline fun through the pretty trees.

It was a nice small group (just the four of us and one other couple) and we managed to get to see some of the pretty Fall foliage even though it was pretty late in the season. It was freezing!!

We also got to go repelling.

After our exhausting and exciting zipline tour, we drove over to the Trapp Family lodge (home of the von Trapp family after they escaped from Austria during the Nazi regime). We inhaled lots of delicious food at the cute cafe there AND ate a bunch of rich desserts too.

I was so full and tired I practically slept the whole drive home! We ended the night with some reading, hot cocoa, and puzzles. Shauna made sure to build us a cozy fire every night too.

On Wednesday we woke up bright and early (6:30am- ugh!) to start our adventure to Montreal!

We visited the gorgeous St Joseph's Oratory, devoured soups and sandwiches in a cute French bakery, shopped in Old Montreal, and went on a tour of the amazing Notre-Dame Basilica.

Notre Dame

Liesl and I were also on a hunt for Cadbury chocolate in Canada. We loaded up at a Wal-mart before we crossed the border back into Vermont. I will be enjoying the chocolate for a long time- especially the Cadbury mini eggs that they sell all year long!

Thursday we just relaxed, slept in, and I went on a nice run before we got ready for the day. We stuck much closer to home and ventured to the Cold Hollow Cider Mill in Waterbury. They have yummy apple cider donuts, cider, and lots of fun stuff to buy!

How adorable are these kid Adirondack chairs?

Tasting the jellies

Trying the cider

We also went to a Maple syrup shop in Stowe (I'm forgetting the name right now) where the owner told us all about how his syrup is made. It was fascinating! I got Andrew a little man made out of maple sugar. He devoured it this morning with his pancakes!

We ended the day with dinner at Ben and Jerry's. My last visit was almost ten years ago with Etta and Bruce. We did the 8am tour so I think we didn't down as much ice cream as we did on this trip. I loved going on the tour again and especially loved the samples, gift shop, and scoop shop!

The sample flavor of the day was Milk and Cookies. Yum! I will definitely be buying that one again.

We trekked up to the flavor graveyard in the freezing weather. I love that place. It brought back a lot of good memories of Etta and I goofing around last time we went.

We also got enormous sundaes. They were small... but their version of small consists of two large scoops of ice cream. Yum!

I had a sugar headache for the rest of the night!

After all the food and excitement, we went back to our cabin and played games and hit the sack early. All that eating and exploring was exhausting!!

Friday was our last full day and we decided to just relax! I slept in and went running around 9:30am. What a treat! The little town was just adorable and I loved running through crunchy Fall leaves.

(just ignore my big forehead... and you can see all the crunchy Fall leaves)

In the afternoon we explored cute Waitsfield and drove through the beautiful countryside. It was like we stepped back in time. We downloaded a bunch of chick flicks from iTunes rentals, built a fire, and grabbed some treats and spent all evening watching movies.

It was a great way to end our fun girls trip!

On Saturday morning we closed up our barn door garage and braced ourselves for a long day of traveling!

We lucked out and managed to fly through Detroit instead of JFK... good thing too since the North East got a big snowstorm right after we flew out of Burlington!

 After 12 hours of flying (on 3 different planes) and a long layover in Detroit, I finally made it to Oakland. Jessie picked me up and brought me home! (Hooray for awesome sisters!) I was so happy to be home, although I had so much fun on our trip!

This morning I jumped out of bed when I heard the little kiddos stirring and Cate was SO EXCITED to see me. I was worried that she would forget me or be mad at me, but she just snuggled with me, laughed with me, and cuddled with me all morning long! That little girl gives the best kisses and hugs ever! Andrew was also stoked to see me... especially when he discovered that I had brought him lots of fun souvenirs. Mr. Mom (Kevin) was also happy to see me and enjoyed sleeping in a bit to recover from his long week.

I think I should go on vacation alone more often though. Kevin is amazing and a super "Mr. Mom." He cleaned out my fridge and freezer, organized some cupboards, and got lots of much needed to be completed projects done around the house. The house was pretty much spotless when I got home too. He also successfully got Andrew and Cate to all of their various Halloween activities (which I will post about later). Gotta love that guy!! I am one lucky girl!

Thanks so much to those of you who invited Andrew over to play last week. I know Kevin really appreciated the help! We are blessed with so many wonderful friends!

I am also blessed to have such a great mother-in-law who planned this fun girls trip. It was so nice to get to spend time with her and my sisters-in-law without our crazy kiddos! I can't wait till next year!