High, Low, High, Low, Trick or Treating We Go

View from our back deck on Halloween morning
High...Halloween Week...there is so much fun to be had around Halloween.  The costumes, the parties, the candy, the festivals.  It feels like there is almost as much activity surrounding Halloween as there is Christmas these days.  Fall festivals, Halloween parties at school and with friends, and endless means of securing candy, including trick or treating at the opthamologist's office gave the kids ample opportunities to wear their costumes...and to go through a few costume changes.  Snow White, Cam Newton, and the Doctor were adorable on Halloween night if I do say so myself!  I love seeing the kids getting to dress up and pretend with their siblings and friends.  Their little minds are so creative, and it's a treat to watch the excitement that comes with all the Halloween festivities.

Halloween snack for class party
Low...So, that's the fun of Halloween...now, here's the part that no one wants to put on Facebook.  The meltdown right before trick or treating because you want to be a baseball player and not a doctor exacerbated by the fact that we don't have a baseball costume.  The screams of thirst and the need to go pee pee!!!! coming from the back seat on the way home from trick or treating.  The disaster at bedtime on Halloween night.  The disaster the next day when all the kids are out of school, exhausted, on a sugar crash, and it's pouring down rain...all...day...long.  Sidebar...the school system is simply brilliant for making a teacher work day the day after Halloween...genius!!!!

High...dinners this week were really fun!  The black bean burritos that the kids love are always so simple to make and so yummy.  A simply superb date night in dinner complete with Green Jacket Salad and Parmesan Chicken over Angel Hair Pasta with a Lemon Butter Sauce was key to surviving the week.  Sharing the Flank Steak and Salad with friends over a playdate at their house was so much fun...I brought the food, she provided the grill and the wine, and the kids had a ball.   Pizza ordered after trick or treating on Halloween night was just what the doctor ordered...literally...ha! (Yes, I just laughed at myself.)  And a simple kid friendly dinner of chicken nuggets, squash muffins, and fruit provided ease of clean up before a date night out with my hubby, which was much needed!

Low...my husband was on call six nights in a row last week.  This meant long days and nights for him, for me, and for the kids; interruptions during trick or treating to answer pages, a delayed long run for me after I was all geared up and on my way out the door with my training buddy, and three birthday parties to juggle with three kids (of course not all of the kids were invited to all of the parties.)  Even the date night in was not as exciting as it could have been because he couldn't enjoy the delicious wine pairing that went along with our meal and continually got interrupted by pages.

High...my best friend was in town on Halloween night and the next night.  She got to experience the pure joy and, in her word, "trauma" that was involved with the holiday and its aftermath :)  We ended the weekend by just celebrating life and everything that's been accomplished over the past year.  She brought a bottle of 2008 Cakebread Pinot Noir, and we toasted to 18 years of friendship and all that the future holds.  We had a delicious, uninterrupted, unrushed dinner out, and enjoyed too many laughs to count once we got home.  It is always so good for my soul to spend time with old friends.  To give you a glimpse into who this wonderful person is, here is something she wrote, recently:

 "I've learned that both inspiration and defeat can come from anywhere - the kind words of a stranger, inadequacies pointed out with just a glance, determination in a child's eyes, friendships tested, strength to know when to let go, the hopeful nuzzle of a dog, heartache of love lost, encouragement from good friends, love in merely a touch. And through it all, the constant assurance of Grace, that with every dawn comes a new day, with every day the opportunity to figure it all out, and with every setting sun the promise that tomorrow you'll get another chance to try again."  -Anne Gooden

Always end on a high, right?  Happy Cooking!!

Oh, and up this week:  Turkey Chili Taco Soup, Chicken & Wild Rice, party food (bacon wrapped dates, toffee fruit dip, etc,) and something made with puff pastry ;)

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