...is the process by which we create, discover, learn and grow with those we cherish most.




On the eve of Halloween, the kids, Aaron and I were treated to a very special visit from our longtime best friends, the Baxters. David and Corbin run their own production company, Soulbox Productions, which we've proudly watched grow from a dream into a successful award-winning videography business. Their creative pursuit is inspiring - and as a recent children's book I am now reading reaffirmed what I've known - it's important to expose our children to talented artists as often as we can. So we were thankful when they came over to spend the evening with us - and overwhelmed when they brought over a tray of fine sweets from a local bakery, and gifts for the kids....

We spent the night reading, playing games, cooking and enjoying each other's company around the dinner table together.


Bedtime came around too soon, and I promised Ava we'd save her Halloween treat. The next morning when Ava woke up, the first thing she asked was, "can I have my treat now?" So after a plate of pancakes, she feasted on her special treat that Aunt Corbin handpicked for her.


I had been procrastinating the decision of how to celebrate Halloween as a family and creating traditions. Will they get scared if a werewolf comes to the door? How do I moderate their intake if neighbors are generous during trick-or-treating? Is it worth battling crowds at the mall for a tootsie-roll?

Halloween is still an entirely new concept for the kids. Last year, Ava passed out treats while Noah in his aluminum wrapped spaceship-walker watched from the window. Now that they both run at full speed, I just wasn't sure... until I stumbled upon an email invite from the Women's Museum to attend their Kids Fall Fest.

We pulled out costumes from the children's dress-up bin, and explained that Halloween is a fun day, where they wear costumes, play games, and get treats. They didn't seem to mind... they were heading outdoors, and that was joyful enough.

They watched the puppet show, The Sorcerer's Apprentice, went on a scavenger hunt, made green slime, decorated cookies, colored pumpkins, and participated in a costume contest...





The kids ran around the exhibits freely, and enjoyed the lights and pictures on display. A marquee with flashing words streaming to the ceiling stopped Ava in her tracks to say, "that's amazing!"

Watching our kids interact with each other and having fun with what they are thrown into by their parents - is probably the most celebrated experience we could ever ask for in return.

For both Aaron and I, our favorite moments were of Ava when she found the first loot on the scavenger hunt and picked one piece of candy to throw into her hollow pumpkin. No one was watching. A basket of candy just sitting there - and she took just one! Then she handed Noah a piece and said, "Noah, you get one too!"


Our second favorite moment was of the kids participating in the costume contest. Their cowboy and cowgirl costumes rounded up their courage to stand in line and be judged by the crowds. We couldn't help but laugh, when Noah kept going back alone to be judged against the older kids...


We left shortly afterwards in an attempt to make it around our block so that Ava could experience a "trick-or-treat" at a neighbor's door. When we parked in front of our house, Ava reminded us that she needed a flashlight to trick-or-treat. Thank goodness for PBS and their safety tips - I love that station!


Our neighbor handed her chocolate, and she humbly accepted and said, "Happy Halloween." And since Noah was sleeping in Aaron's arms, she took the liberty to get his sack and fill it too..


We knocked on two more doors before we reached our neighbors across the street and scored the jackpot - a bounce house!


She didn't bounce for very long - the one frosted chocolate-chip cookie with sprinkles, orange lollipop, 2 Now & Laters, 2 bags of Skittles, and 2 Tootsie-rolls caught up with her. We headed home for baths and dinner - followed by the much anticipated opening of the Scary Movie Watching Survival Kit from
from their very creative Aunt Corbin.


The kit included a "monster-proof" blanket, It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown DVD, 2 spooky sippy cups, and a giant bucket to hold their treats. The Baxters' thoughtful gesture rounded out the evening into a memorable tradition I see us doing for years to come...


Cuddling on the couch with our blanket, watching a scary movie, and drinking milk to wash away the excess sweet we filled our bellies with. What a great family-fun day! Halloween - we had a great time. Thanks for giving us a new family tradition... and adorning us with lasting treats we'll enjoy year after year...


  1. We're so glad to see that you all had a fun, festive Halloween! Ava and Noah made the perfect cowgirl and cowboy! I love the shot of Ava with the Indian and Noah looking up at the werewolf, precious!

    Thanks for posting the picture of the kids enjoying the "survival kit", it just made my heart melt!

    Halloween has really always been my favorite holiday. I don't know if it's the time of year, the adrenaline rush of visiting a haunted house, the excitement of picking out or making a unique, head turning costume or being scared out of your wits with a scary movie. But I guess, who am I kidding, it was the candy, all of the glorious candy!!!

    Much love,

  2. I'm happy to say the children's loot is no bigger than a bowl. Gosh - I'm with you Corbin on the candy... Halloween is all about it. I remember having to make a run back to the apt to dump my pumpkin for a reload. It was exciting to see how much we could get.

    Meanwhile, my parents enjoyed the scary movies while sipping hot tea and eating the chocolates we brought home in batches. What a memory... I personally was always in it for the bubble-gum. Much of my allowance was spent buying bazookas after school - and on Halloween... I got a whole lot for free!

    But my most memorable prize was when an elderly lady opened the door and dropped a heavy aluminum wrapped rock in my pumpkin. I was so curious - I pulled over while Wagma headed for the next door - and opened it to find 100 pennies! I loved it!

    So while the thought of having a lot of candy makes me snicker - I think it was the thoughtfulness and surprises that made them memorable. Thanks for making this year's just that ;)

  3. WOW!!! Corb and I are so honored we made The Art of Family, but even more excited to see Ava and Noah enjoying their Halloween and survival kit (which, I have to admit, was all their Aunt Corb's doing).

    I absolutely loved the kids' cowboy/cowgirl theme...soooo cute!!!

    Corb and I so enjoyed playing with the kids and, of course, our long conversations with you and Aaron!!! (You know we may only see one another once every few months, but our one night together we always seem to get the most out of it).

    We are thrilled to be part of such a wonderful tradition...can't wait till next Halloween!!!

    Hope to see the family again soon!!!

    Lots of love,

  4. those tiny little hands on that little cake....that picture touches my soul.

  5. Dave - the truth is, you and Corbin are so much a part of our family. You were with Aaron and I from the first days we started dating - and you are with us helping us raise our kids.

    We are so proud of your achievements you both have set personally - and as a couple.

    Ava & Noah are so fortunate to have your love and support - and fine example of how to given talents into opportunities.

    We look forward to our next meal together - this time, I'll roast the chicken 2 hours ahead of schedule [smile].

  6. Deb - your soul is full of sweetness - thank you so much for taking the time to comment here and sharing your touching thoughts.

    That photo is my favorite too. I can't think of a sweeter way to take a photo of a sweet - than to capture it the moment her hands reached for it with such delicate anticipation.



Thanks for sharing - I will respond to your comment here as well so check back! xo


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