Monday, November 14, 2016

A Halloween Election Conspectus

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"Election Conspectus!" Sounds like a spell from Harry Potter. And while I don't intend to wax political, I can't help but draw a slight parallel between Halloween and this year's Election.

Initially I titled this post Wizardry, Bravery, and Stealth. Which pretty much sums up these five on Halloween. Three wizards. One brave Rey. And Cat Woman on the prowl. 

But when I began this post Wednesday after the Election, I thought, "Geesh, those three words could be the title of a 2016 Election post."

Thus, this very brief conspectus:

Doug and I stayed up past 1AM last Tuesday night to see the new President Elect address the world. I sat there, stunned. How did we get here? The Donald as Commander in Chief?! How did our country allow this demagogue to rise so far? Was it wizardry? Stealth? Un. Be. Lievable. 

No one can be criticized for voting this way or that. Everyone had their reasons, their strategies, some heading to the polls with more nose-holding and personal concessions than others. But wow, I did not see this coming. And by morning, bravery assumed a new light. 

I mean, you gotta give props to a third party candidate like Evan McMullin. While he didn't have much of a chance, I loved his message, his courage, and his impressive range of experience. And Hillary's concession was one of the most inspiring political speeches I've ever heard. So gracious and moving. I haven't been a fan in past years but she had my respect that morning.

What a political year. And now, what's done is done. So we move on with optimism and kindness, remembering this wisdom from Barbara Bush, which I'm sure you've heard, but it helps me come back to what I can control.

"Your success as a family, and our success as a society, depends not on what happens in the White House, but on what happens in your house."

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While we have seen administrations change society, I do believe what we accomplish and teach at home, can trump (is there really no other word that fits here??) what goes on in the world. 

So here's what went on at our house for Halloween. Ron looks like he's ready to protest the election. Or maybe having a bath. Or the fact that I asked him to do his own laundry that week.

Everyone carved their pumpkins (mostly) on their own this year! 

Before trick-or-treating, Doug served dinner at his Halloween restaurant. The Graveyard Grill.

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You never know what will show up on the menu. Last year's Werewolf Vomit was such a bust the kids and I can't order said soup anymore at Corner Bakery. Just can't stomach it. So I requested the word vomit be removed from the menu this year, and Doug acquiesced.

Short video of what the kids ate. And thought. Pardon the feline attitude and pumpkin pee pee (?!). Maybe focus on Michael Jackson in the background?

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The kids were anxious to hit the streets, so they painfully suffered through photos, shoving and annoying each other as they tried to stand still. 

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Gordy lost his wand in the canal. But knowing if we paused to retrieve it, I would lose everyone for the evening. So he stood like this. Weaponless and unamused. (We did find it afterwards.)

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Ali loved being Rey. Our kids are growing up on Star Wars, thanks to Doug's lifelong obsession with the movies. And I love it. Note our costumes further down.

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Ali's hair-do was a fun one.

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These two besties loved being Ron and Harry. (Spencer as Ron. Gordon as Harry.)

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Sami helped them memorize a bunch of spells before Halloween. The Harry Potter books are going over big at our house right now. Ali and Sami are almost ready for the 6th one. And Eliza plowed through three this weekend, finally giving in to her sister's pleadings to read along.

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Can you tell what Harry is doing here? 

Extracting a memory...

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Someone said we ought to keep the hair color going so they could tell the boys apart! And you know, I did grow pretty fond of this ginger boy and his freckled face.

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Here they are pre-hair color. Jumping into the big maple leaves piled up in the canal.

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And of course, Sami was Hermione. Such a fun costume for her.

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Liza did her own makeup and I straightened her hair. Man, she's growing up. She was excited to trick-or-treat with her best friend, Katherine. 

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And darling Caleb. Who led the way for the first ten minutes or so.

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All the kids came home with plenty of loot. Which they promptly began to devour. 

A Halloween sugar success. Oy!

A few other Halloween moments:

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Our favorite tennis teacher, Jane! All my kids have loved summer and fall tennis with Jane. She cares about every single kid, really gets to know them and loves them. And she is a fantastic instructor. She even dressed up on their last day of tennis!

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Teachers and mentors like this don't roll around every day. 

I hope you know, Jane, how much we adore you. How grateful we are for your time and goodness.

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We went to Cornbelly's with the kids. A Fall Harvest Festival. Spence was the first to be buried in kernels. 

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Doug and I celebrated our 42nd birthday. No one else I'd rather share candles with.

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We dressed up as Kylo Ren and Leia for Deb and Will's Halloween party. Their final Halloween shindig. And we're sad about that. But in our humble opinion, R2 was their best piƱata yet! Big thanks to Liza for doing my buns. And to Deb and Will for so many years of amazing Halloween parties!

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Our cute neighbors, the Fredricks, had their Halloween party too. And look who I found? Leia Cubed! Love these VandenAkker girls. That night, I didn't have time to do my hair in buns, so we decided I would go as "Leia lets her hair down." 

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And here's our crew in full! Wizardry, Bravery, Stealth, and... the Dark Side. That could work for an election post title too. But we'll leave it at that. Hope all your Haunts were safe and happy! 


  1. Jacqueline here...I just wanted to say that you have some very lucky kiddos! Both you and your husband go above and beyond. Every year I think parenthood gets a bit more complicated. Congratulations for a job well done, as always!

    1. Complicated. You are so right. We are just starting to get a taste of it. Can't quite wrap my brain around the years when all five of these kiddos are navigating teenager years. Oh my! xoxo

  2. Thank you. I always enjoy your perspective, it is extremely calming and right on. Thank you for your thoughts. Plus your joy in motherhood and your halloween activities are delightful!

    1. You have always left me the kinds comments Chanel. Thank you. Happy Thanksgiving to you! xo

  3. Thank you. I always enjoy your perspective, it is extremely calming and right on. Thank you for your thoughts. Plus your joy in motherhood and your halloween activities are delightful!


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