Before I get too far into this week’s top ten, I MUST say a big Texas THANK YOU to the thousands (yes, as in plural) of votes that were cast for Lonestar Luke as preemie of the year. The official results for the winners in each age category, as well as the overall vote getter, will be announced on November 13 at the Preemie Power event here in Austin. Until then, I am humbled by the feedback Scott and I both received as we worked to get Luke as many votes as possible. Yes, yes. I totally promise to let you know the results!
At the end of the day, this whole campaign was about awareness. Like cancer, prematurity affects people of every nationality, creed, sex and religion. It stinks, big time. I’m just betting you know someone personally affected by premature birth, a special needs child or infant loss. Thank you for helping us show those amazing families that somebody really does understand. All they have to do is log on to Hand to Hold and request a mentor.
This year’s Halloween was such a grand time. My brother, his wife and daughter, Ava, joined in the fun. My parents are the official “candy hander-outers” and they do a mighty fine job. Some folks may know that Halloween is also known as All Hallows Eve, as we prepare for All Saints Day (Nov 1) and All Souls Day (Nov 2). It’s a really special time of year. Without further delay, here’s this year’s…
TOP TEN: FAVORITE HALLOWEEN/ALL SAINTS/ALL SOULS HOLIDAY MEMORIES
1. The costumes. We had a few grumbles about costumes itching and not wanting to take pictures. “This isn’t a photo shoot, Mom,” I heard more than once. Tough luck, buckaroo. Someday you’ll thank me for taking these photos when you’re trying to get ideas for YOUR children’s outfits. Kids are cute, but even cuter in costume. Agree?
2. The neighbors. I won’t lie. Our neighbors rock. It was especially awesome to walk down the street and know so many people. It felt safe and fun and full of fellowship. Just as it should be.
3. Family. It was great to have them over. This is starting to feel like a real family tradition. I think we even converted Ava into a trick-or-treater!
4. Ava and Luke time. The bigs took off after about oh, two minutes. That left Ava and Luke trucking to keep up. After a quick candy break on our front porch, we set them off again, this time at 2-year-old pace. They walked up to each house like pros and even busted out with the thank you’s. Very, very precious. I’m pretty sure Ava is still sleeping with her candy bucket.
5. The sisters. It wouldn’t be Halloween without a stop by the convent. Not only did they give out candy, but scapulars, as well. The kids were most excited about those!
6. The loot. If you’ve ever wondered how much candy five kids collect, wonder no more. It’s a boatload. Thank goodness for our dentist who collects it for $1 a pound! We are heading over there in about an hour to collect on the stash. The kids got to keep 14 pieces of candy (two a day for the next week), the rest goes away. Well, until Christmas 🙂
7. Painting pumpkins. I did some of these the day of Halloween and some Anna-Laura and I worked on for her first grade homework. I may never carve another pumpkin again! Oh, and all those white pumpkins came from our backyard garden. So cool!
8. All Saints Day Mass. Tuesday morning, we all got up bright and early, and attended the school Mass. The sixth graders dress up as saints and Fr. Danny’s homily was all about striving to be holy. It was a beautiful reminder and a very special Mass. I spent the last 20 minutes outside with Luke, but the first 40 minutes were fantastic. HA! We’re already working on Will’s costume for next year.
9. Date day. The crazy big salary may not be a perk of Scott’s job, but days off for Holy Days of Obligation are a perk. After Mass, we took Clare to school and enjoyed a lunch at our favorite restaurant in Pflugerville, Baris, with just one child. Ahhh.
10. For All Souls Day, we plan to pray a decade of the rosary in remembrance of all those family members who are now in heaven. As Fr. Danny so eloquently said during Mass yesterday, your family members are in heaven praying for you, right now. Let’s not forget to pray for them. Thank you for the beautiful reminder, Fr. Danny.