For the past eleven years I have missed my sister's big Halloween bash. Eight years living back east followed by three years of too-small babies and untimely conflicts. But this year? This was the year I said, "We. Are. Going!"
Deb and her husband, Will, began hosting this party the year they were married. By popular demand, it's come back every year since. They invite a list of close friends and we siblings get to tag-along.
So these are my four sisters, minus our brother who currently lives in Kuala Lumpur - where Matt Lauer filmed this morning's Today show. (Dave and Shirlee can see the Petronas Towers from their apartment windows. As Matt said, "It's a very, very cool place." Still trying to figure out a way Doug and I can visit.)
Deborah is extremely creative, as you may have noted from my last post. Her invites are always clever, over-the-top, and they arrive in - not an envelope - but a box.
This year they looked like this.
The two oldies gracing the front of the invitation are actually our relatives. Job and Charlotte Welch, faithful pioneers who were born in 1810. I wanted to give them the respect of at least telling you their names, since Deb had to gouge out their eyes for the invite. Below the RSVP, it said, "We'll keep an eye out for you!"
Here are the host and hostess in all their royal glory. Can you tell who they are?
Yup. The Burger King. With this "whopper" of a pendant.
And the Dairy Queen. Clever.
Deb, of course, made both costumes.
I was planning to glide in as Scarlet O'Hara with Rhett Butler on my arm (or is Scarlet supposed to be on his arm?). But as the day approached, I could tell this evening wasn't going to be the best fit for Rhett. With a football game beckoning, and so many long hours crunching numbers and giving presentations (so many he'd had zero down-time and not a moment to himself), I let him off the hook. I told him I would go by myself. (Isn't that what Scarlet would do?)
Rhett was grateful for the reprieve and our parting was sweet. But when I arrived at Deb's, I still had to introduce myself only to explain that Rhett couldn't make it. The mumblings were audible.
"That's so like Rhett."
My response? "Well, maybe I don't give a d---."
And really, I didn't. Not that I wouldn't have loved his company. But sometimes you have to acknowledge what your spouse needs rather than push full-steam ahead what you think they need (or what you want). The result was a happy night for all.
My youngest sister, Rachel, and her good sport of a date, Dan, came as an Angry Bird and the King Pig.
My sister, Becca, and her husband, Neil, flew in as... lemme see... did you guess it?
Here's a clue. Neil is sporting a Smithsonian Institute badge on the sleeve of his jacket.
Still don't know?
Amelia Earhart and Larry Daley, from Night at the Museum 2.
The force was definitely strong with these two - my sister, Sarah, and her husband, Lance. So strong that Leia and Hans won best couples' costume.
Frankenstein and his lovely bride came in as a close second. This big green monster is Will's friend, Silas, with his wife, Amy. You should have seen the Doc Martens he was wearing. Somehow he glued a good four inches to the sole. They were something else.
And this captivating lady? In real life, she's my cousin, Liz. But for the party she was Jadis, the White Witch from Chronicles of Narnia. Take a peek here. Jadis creeps me out.
Liz crafted a perfect likeness, right down to her white eyelashes and icy skin. She won by a landslide for best overall costume. Liz made her wig, found the aqua dress on ebay for a steal, and even came with a box of...
The house was decorated with all sorts of Halloween garb, including two more relatives. These portraits of John and Mary Hunter were painted in Milan, Italy, circa 1875. I wonder what they think each year Deb pulls out their pictures to increase the spook factor for her party. Seeing that they're related to my Dad, they probably just laugh.
Played Graveyard Guests (a guessing game with clues to famous people who died within the last year), then made our way out back for the much-anticipated...
Every year Will and Silas spend hours in Deb's garage bringing some character to life. It's quite amazing. They've made Darth Vader, Sponge Bob, Twinkie the Kid, Claymation Santa, Smurfette, and the list goes on. They work hard at getting even the tiniest details right.
This year it was a Cabbage Patch Kid. Complete with copyright tag on the left hip (1978), and an Xavier Roberts signature on the rump.
Let's take a closer look at that face. And those eyes.
I think it's fair to call this art.
It must have been "pick on the new girl night," because I was voted first batter up.
Always embarrassing when you slice nothing but air. But in the end, I dismembered the poor thing by tearing off a leg.
Out of curiosity, has anyone ever worn a hoop skirt? I felt like I was on a boat for the first five minutes, trying to get used to the sensation of something swinging from my waist. (Being blind-folded didn't help.)
Here's what was left of the Cabbage Patch Kid once his candy spilled out. It brought back memories of the family trip we took when my brother whacked my cabbage patch doll against the ceiling of the car so many times the paint came off her face. Hmmm.
We offered to pay Will a hefty sum if he would walk into the local Burger King in full costume. I think he'd have taken us up on the offer if he hadn't had so many guests to entertain.
Thanks for the fabulous party Will and Deb. We love you.
And what about you? Did you get to play dress-up this Halloween? If so, I'd love to hear about it.