Last night Dave and I hosted our first Halloween gathering in 5 years. Our last one didn't go very well. We invited another family and for some reason they missed out the "costumes" part on the invitation and when they arrived they brought their problems of the day with them. Instead of sharing haunting Halloween stories we sat through 2 hours of why their so and so appointment didn't go so well. My frosted spider glasses were scowled at and my bread fingers complete with almond fingernails were considered "gross". We hadn't tried another Halloween party since that night.
Mostly it was because of having a small young Keiran. This year though, with Keiran being nearly 4 1/2 years old, we felt they were ready for this. We always have family meals together, even when inviting friends over. Last night though we hired a babysitter, ordered the children a pizza, bought them juice squeeze and stuck them down in their grandparents apartment that is attached to our home.
We invited two other couples that have children in our school. One of the husbands of one couple had a last minute business trip and so we were down to 5. But as Dave and I readied for our evening we were very excited. When we lived in the UK before children, we used to love to invite friends and family over for dinner. We loved bringing out special dishes to serve food on, our crystal wine glasses, our french sugar cubes and especially preparing the food. We both love cooking and especially love to eat. We used to have appetizer night on Fridays where we would make three new appetizers from cookbooks along with cocktail drinks. Those are lovely newlywed days that have long since faded into the chaotic life of parenthood. Last night was different though. We wouldn't have to talk about Big Bird while we ate, or listen to the much loved (children's point of view) potty talk, and we wouldn't have to watch Keiran painfully prepare to eat his meal for five minutes before he even took a first bite. Conversations could flow openly and we could truly enjoy the company of other adults.
I hope this photo isn't too creepy. I know I probably have some setting on my camera to slow the shutter down but I have to wait until my techie brother comes up for Christmas to show me how to find it.
We spend nearly all our time together as a family. Sometimes Dave will have an evening to himself or I'll go yard sailing or to Seattle for the day but as a family we do many things together. This is what made our Halloween gathering very special. But now the sad news. Our other couple we invited, were going out the door to come over our way when their son started to cough and then stopped breathing for a few seconds. It was enough for them to take him to urgent care and discover that he has croup. They had to cancel and look after their son. So our party slimmed down to 3. Luckily, our friend Katie is so easy going that it didn't even phase her that our happening party turned into a quiet small dinner for 3 and one golden eyed Tortie named Sydney. Katie came as an Auction Goddess (she is one of the chairs of our auction committee). She looked so sweet in her goddess gown and golden gavel. Dave was a skeleton which is a costume I thrifted and I was a 40's girl complete with pearl earrings, a velvet hat with white feathers, a vintage 40's dress, Mudd shoes which look very vintage and a pearl necklace that used to belong to my grandmother.
We had an absolutely lovely time, just the three of us. David's roast beef, roast potatoes, roast onion and mint carrots on top of polenta were perfect. I made a pumpkin soup to start our meal and we finished it off with a pumpkin spice cake with icing. It was amazing to spend 2 hours at the dinner table enjoying the flavors of food and having a non interrupted conversation. Do you know how rare this is? Probably a lot of you do. Yet at the end of the evening it was lovely to see the children's smiling faces and feel their warm loving hugs.
ps. tomorrow I'll announce the belated winner of the 100 post as well as catch up on other things. The swap emails went out today. If you haven't received them please let me know. And last but not least thank you for the Mac information. I'm on the verge of ordering one and really looking forward to it.