I'm a little bit of a Hallo-weeny.

Halloween. For some it brings back memories of trick-or-treating, churchy Fall Festivals, homemade costumes...and for some it's about the fear factor, blood and guts, horror, being scared out of their wits, ghost stories, murder mysteries...you get the picture. As a little girl, I remember being a black cat for approximately nine years in a row: black tights and leotard, a homemade safety pin attached tail, triangular felt ears hot-glued to a headband, my black patent leather church shoes and a few whiskers drawn on my freckly cheeks with Mama's eyeliner. Jessica, Noah and I, along with the rest of our neighborhood crew would set out down our street, stopping at each house to run up the driveway, and press the doorbell fifty times and yell trick-or-treat as soon as the door was cracked. We knew which houses gave out lame-o candy like tootsie rolls or dum dums. And we knew which ones were the jackpot houses, like the "glass house" at the end of the street, (always our last stop). They gave out ice cold Cokes and king sized Snickers bars. I know. I'm sure our parents were pleased as punch when we returned home with caffeine and sugar saturated half consumed Cokes in our grubby little hands.

Part of me wishes we could have the trick-or-treating and the fun costumes without the plastic tomb stone riddled yards, or the creepy skeletons on the porch. I remember one year we stopped at this house with a coffin on the front porch and as soon as you got up to the sidewalk, it would open and a guy with a BULLET HOLE in his forehead would sit up and scare the pants off of you. It was TERRIFYING. As we walked, (well, I ran), away I lost my shiny black shoe in the pixie grass on the edge of the yard and, as Noah had the flashlight, I was left rummaging around in the dark by myself with my heart in my eight year old throat, scared that the very fires of hell were licking at my heels because of the "dead guy" on the porch. I may have cried. I don't remember. I probably blocked that part out. When I found my shoe, I ran so fast I felt like Michael Johnson in the 1996 Summer Olympics, Izzy and all. I just leaned back and bolted. I probably screamed the quintessential, "wait for meeeee!!" a few times, too.

Anyhow, this blog is proof that I made it home, mostly unscathed, to dump my candy out on the kitchen table or the living room floor for my parents to inspect. We would sort through the "good" and "bad" candy and the rejects would be put in a big bag to be taken to the prisoners at the local jail where my Dad and some of his buddies had a prison ministry. I know. Unwanted candy taken to the prison? I don't even know what to say. We would share some candy with my parents, trade amongst ourselves, (although I'm pretty sure I got duped into giving away the good stuff because Noah and Jessica were pretty good negotiators back then), and then put away our candy for the days to come. My candy would usually be gone in about two weeks. Noah's would last until Easter. I'm not sure if he had ten times as much as I did or if he was just very disciplined as a ten year old. Either way, I marveled at his endless supply of Skittles, M&Ms, and Milky Ways.

As an adult, I love to think back on the excitement of thinking up a costume and the anticipation of trick-or-treating. But I also worry a teeny bit about those kids that dress up as Zombie Bride, a Dead Surgeon, or George Bush. What lessons or values are they learning through this American tradition?? I guess it's up to the parents, but still. If I was scared of the neighbor's 18 year old son with a stick-on bullet on his forehead, I'm not sure a ten year old dressed as Freddy Krueger is such a fantastic idea.

To each his own, I guess. But I still shiver when I'm walking the neighborhood and I see a tricked out house just waiting for a few little kids to venture up the driveway. I, for one, will be staying on the street.


Notable Achievements

Instead of posting on all that I haven't accomplished in the last ten or so days, I will post on a few notable things juxtaposed to that blessed and proverbial check mark. Glass half full, mm?

1. Half of the curtains are hung in our apartment. Score. This is an accomplishment because, A] we have cinder block walls on all outside walls (can't nail or screw into them without special equipment) and B] I made two of the curtains myself and I have one pair left to make.

2. Andrew and I paid off half of our credit card yesterday. Cheers to being [almost] debt free!

3. Sometime between the months of August and September I completed 30/30 days of Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred. They were not consecutive days because I was one giant hematoma after about a week straight of killer work-outs, but more like every other day with long walks on the "off" days. I lost just a couple of libbies, but I could tell a big difference tone wise. I think the biggest thing for me is monitoring what I put in my mouth. And I like brownies.

4. Today, I did Level 1 on the Shred DVD after not having done it in about a month. It was brutal. And I'm being kind. But I finished. Barely. So, it's an accomplishment in my book.

5. Chubby bunny.

6. It's less than a month 'til my birthday. My Dad's birthday is on Friday. He'll be 35. ;)

7. This list is no longer resembling the list that I set out to make. Oh, well.

8. I started looking for a Christmas card yesterday. Loves it.

9. I love Martha Stewart, but I know there's no way that she freakin' makes all those pies and cakes and decorations and crap. I mean, get real. But, I love her.

10. For the life of me, I wanted to make this list a consistent and congruous catalog of accomplishments, but pretty much the first three are the only legit achievements for today's inventory. But three is a good number. Makes a balanced arrangement. Adds height and dimension and interest.

Yep. Thanks for reading.


Hearth & H o m e

Staring down the barrel of the monthiversary of my auspicious employment, I will say it has flown by. As well as, dragged on. Lord, help us get through this year. But not just get through it. To savor it. Because as I have learned the Lesson of who I Am, somewhere between the Holy City and the City on a Hill, I will [am] learn[ing] where, exactly, my Home is. And one thing is for sure, for real: home is not a place, a house, an apartment, a city, or state. It's a feeling. It's an easy breath. A place of belonging. Peace. Comfort. Restfulness. Security. Trust. And I only know One place like that.

Today, the tenth of October. Sunday night. The fuzzy place between weekend and workweek. Laundry is done, scrubs are ready. I still need a fabulous picture of Andrew and me for my locker. I'm thinking towards all of the humdrum and all of the excitement this week holds. Which is how it should be. We're not quite ready to digitally reveal our newest home [little "h"] but here's a sneak peak at the front door:

Potential. Other than the "lead paint" clause in the contract, it's nearly perfect. ;) That is to say, it has character. I'm heading up on Wednesday to push full-steam ahead and try to "finish" it by the time I leave for work next week, so hopefully, we'll have pictures to post sometime in the near future. And by "we" I mean me. It's an illusion of my own design that Andrew has anything to do whatsoever with this blog. Other than, of course, he is many times the subject matter. Bless him. And as far as the Big Reveal goes, this isn't Extreme Makeover--it's our same ol' stuff in a new-to-us place. So while you're holding your breath, I won't hold it against you if you cheat and breathe through your nose a little bit.