Friday, October 31, 2014

AM~Erica's Record Halloween

So anyway...

My favorite holiday is finally here!!'s Halloween, folks! And I was so ready!!

If you remember when I helped with TRUNK-OR-TREAT THE OTHER NIGHT, I usually use it to unveil my Halloween costume. And it was a beautiful time that night.

Well, it was time for the big night!!

After a crazy-busy day of cable issues, needing to go to the store, needing to bring Teen Girl home from college for the weekend (she loved handing out candy last year & wanted to be back to help out again), getting dinner into the family, plus trick-or-treaters...I'm sitting here blogging in my jammies, enjoying some Antioxidant-Fortified Jesus Water (trying Apothem Dark, in case you wanted to know), and thinking about the magical night we have had.

I did serve Beastly Boo Hash (recipe HERE) for dinner, and then it was off to prep the decorations & our costumes for the night...

First was the the Beastly Boo Hash in the lazy cooker. My hubby & I were so excited for it! Apparently the kids got whiney about it. Well...BUMMER! Cuz it was SO good!!

After dinner, the pumpkin luminaries made their way to the walk way for this cold night of trick-or-treating...

I was really pleased with how the luminaries turned out, along with the front porch set up. Even though we had extra luminaries to work with...apparently we didn't have enough candles. So need to remember that for next year. But still glad we got luminaries all the way to the end of the driveway...

And we were getting on our own costumes, too!

Between Captain America, a S.H.I.E.L.D agent, and Boo (with "Kitty"), they looked great??

Then my hubby & I wanted to do our thing again, too...

And as sinister as my hubby looked...

...he had a plan...

Yeah...he was greeting trick-or-treaters peeking from above in a sinister fashion...and some did freak out...

The scene was set with our backdrop & I put a makeshift, semi-oferena altar behind me to go along with my sugar skull Day of the Dead outfit.

As I opened the door to hand out candy, Teen Girl was there to take the tally of numbers!

It started a little slow. But in 2 & a half hours...we got an amazing amount!!

Last year, I was so EXCITED BY THE NUMBERS...but this year, I did my own dance!! We had a total of...



Oh man, oh man!! I was ecstatic!!

Plus, if you remember from the trunk-or-treat event when a sweet Mexican family came back to my car for a pic...well, it happened again! A sweet (different) Mexican family had to take my pic with the kiddos! It was so amazing!! Plus another family wanted my pic later that night, too! It was crazy!!

And Teen Girl got so many compliments on her adorable costume. I think Hubby kind of freaked people out...which kind of delighted him!

Oh...and out of the 95 trick-or-treaters...not a single Elsa, Anna or Olaf came to our door! Can you believe it?? We did see some creative costumes, and some that didn't try so hard...but it's always worth it to see kiddos (even the really big the same one who came last year as maskless Spiderman) want to join in the fun.

Then the boys wanted us to go check out a few decorations if we could. So, we shut down around 9:00 (good thing...I was pretty much out of candy), took in our luminaries, and we went to see if a couple houses were still done up from when Teen Boy escorted Lil Guy trick-or-treating. One house was still done up!! Another was in the middle of striking their set (that one's for the theater kids out there ), and the other had already closed up shop for the night.

We came back home to chill out. We originally wanted a fire in the fireplace & a Halloween movie, but it was late & we have an early morning!

That reminds me...I need to head to bed!

So despite the fact we had no wifi for most of today, which meant not being able to record the Halloween episodes of the Live with Kelly & Michael, along with The Ellen DeGeneres Show, it turned out pretty darn well!

Hope everyone had an amazing Halloween! I'm still on cloud 9 from the numbers!! Maybe I can break 100 next year?? We shall see...
And I may have plans on treats for next year, too! Like joining the Teal Pumpkin Project, and maybe even some dog for the sweet boxer who came to our door!

Until then...Happy Halloween!!

Stay tuned...(more crazy-business is coming)

God Bless, AM~Erica

Monday, October 27, 2014

AM~Erica Gives Treats from a Trunk

So anyway...

If you remember, this Halloween season started out crazy leading to this weekend. (read the lead-in post HERE) Well...the weekend continued...

It was time for taking charge of the last morning of the Trunk-or-Treat table. You know that meant I needed to attract attention like I have the previous 3 weeks. Amm-i-rite?

I decided to put together & try a costume about 2 years in the making. I got drawn to the striking visual of the steampunk genre. I did not start with it thru books like many have...probably because I'm a visual person & need to see it first.

I began to dig into research it a bit...and the more I looked & was trying to get a grip & understanding of know I had ideas swirling in my brain. Amm-i-rite?

A character began to come to me. I was slowly working collecting pieces to actually WEAR a steampunk outfit. Now I just needed a time to unveil Lady T'luluh Poulpe' to the world. Trunk-or-Treat table, at church, seemed as fitting time as

Everything here was a gift, from thrift shops, hand-me-downs/overs, and clearance.
I even faked a bustle.

It's just the beginning as I am working on the backstory for her. I've got a start of her background. I can't wait to actually get it down there & get other necessary pieces to make the story work a bit more. But in the meantime...I so love this outfit!!
But it figures that it was 80 degrees this late October day in Missouri, so this outfit was making me melt! More than just the love of it...but it was so warm!

But once I got was time to shift focus to Trunk-or-Treat that night. My hubby & I were both doing our cars just to help give numbers in cars. Since we decided on the extra car last minute, I had to do some quick thinking for decorating our other trunk. *THINK-THINK-THINK*

I decided to head out to pick up a couple of things to go with the costume I had planned for that night. (Yes...yet another costume. DUH!) I had a coupon for World Market, so I got a great "Book of Life" ukulele for nearly nothing, since it was also on sale! Yippee!! It would look awesome with the Mexican blanket that belonged to my grandmother, and also the sombrero I've had for quite sometime. See where this is going??
I also hit the dollar store to see if I could fill out a couple more pieces for my theme of Dios de los Muertos. (Did you guess it by now?)

I have dabbled in the beginning celebrations of Day of the Dead (reminder HERE), but I had hoped it would translate to doing a trunk.

I had the sombrero, the blankets, got the tiny guitar for less than $1...actually nearly free (seriously),
and found the skeleton, beads, buckets & battery candles at the dollar store.
I took sharpies to create sugar skull patterns on the faces of the buckets. Easy-peezy.

But, like I said, I wanted it to match my costume for the event. And, even though my hubby was doing his own car, our costumes coordinated! This is a big deal, y'all. I'll explain why after I show this:

How's our sugar skull makeup?? I did it all! Which is actually really fun & kind of meditative...

I want you to keep something in mind about this. Last year, I brought up to my hubby that we have a Day of the Dead get together. A fiesta that includes remembering our loved ones who have passed on before us. As I explained it to him, he was not so keen on the sugar skull thing & refused to do any makeup kind of thing! So the fact that I threw the idea out there this year totally expecting it to NOT the one that DID!! Wha-WHA??? I know, right?

As I explained this to our good friend, and associate pastor, Rob (our "YOO CAHN DOO EET!" guy from the Firecracker Flight - HERE), he laughed & said to me, "Well, if you can start running..."
Touche', Rob. I gave him a fist bump for that one.

We got our trunks up & decorated, along with almost 30 other vehicles.

It was WINDY!! And warm. But still a great turn out! The event was top heavy in the schedule with the crowds since our hometown team was playing in the World Series game that night. So there was a HUGE rush for the first 45-ish minutes. Calmed down a bit afterward, still greeting a few kiddos thru the rest of the time.

But maybe the coolest moment for me was this:
A few folks figured out my overall theme. On one hand I could count how many kids &/or adults brought up Day of the Dead or "Book of Life." But it was the sweet, and well-costumed, Mexican family that came thru. That's the moment I got a bit nervous as to whether or not I may have done them proud or not. Truly I try to do justice to these celebrations & hoped I had transformed my trunk into a resemblance of an oferenda-type altar. I got my answer when they were ready to leave, sought me out at my car, and asked if they all could get a picture with me & my trunk decor! It was a beautiful moment.

In the meantime...I am taking a few days to gear up for Halloween! I am so looking forward to it! I'm sure that doesn't surprise you...but thought I'd tell you anyway.

And you know you'll be hearing about how that goes down. Amm-i-rite?

Stay tuned...

God Bless, AM~Erica

Saturday, October 25, 2014

AM~Erica Hustles for Halloween

So anyway...

As we all should know by now, we are on countdown to my favorite holiday! Just one of the few reasons I love October. And since Halloween comes for me nearly everyday, it seems to be less of a big deal when I dress up more often in October!

I love costumes! Almost to a fault...but not really. At least I don't see it that way! (check out some of my previous costumes & cosTUTUmes HERE)

When October rolls around, I know I get start promoting our church's Trunk-or-Treat event on Sunday mornings in the front lobby. We set up an information table, and I want to draw attention, so I dress up! It's a new character every week!! This year has been no different!

Trunk-or-Treat Info Table, Week 1: Tim Burton inspired

Trunk-or-Treat Info Table, Week 2: Pop Art Comic

Trunk-or-Treat Info Table, Week 3: Carlola

Oh, I do like to have fun with it, if you couldn't already tell...

Now then, if you have been paying attention...or even playing might know I would have to work in a run to this, too. Amm-i-rite?

Well, I'm not gonna lie to ya. As much as I love Halloween, planning, and getting it all thought out...this year has not been as great in lines of thinking. I've been way to slow getting my thoughts together. I like to have much of this holiday with at least a good idea or 2 in motion about 2 months ahead of time. It hasn't happened this year. Much like the Halloween run(s) being planned...

Several months ago, hubby & I decided we would do one or 2 Halloween runs. As October began to fill up our schedules, the more difficult it was to decide if a run would even be possible! The last one we did was the DeFeet Hunger 5k, HERE. It been a while. Even though I did the Out of the Darkness walk at the beginning of this month (HERE), it still didn't help the lack of decent training I could get in for this month.

Finally, last week, hubby & I decided we would take in the Halloween Hustle 5k & 10k (we decided on the 5k distance). The costumes we thought about doing were no longer feasible due to timing. I can't say what they are since we may use it in the future...but just know it was gonna be GOOD!! But still a no-go. So were trying to figure out what we could do for costumes we could run in for the Halloween Hustle. And the wheels were turning...

In the meantime, we went to get our race packets the day before the run. As we went in, we gave our names to the employee at table, we got our bibs & info for the race. We also took in 4 canned goods, each, to get into a drawing for a running store gift card. As the other employee (who is also the race coordinator) took our canned goods & got our names for the drawing, she looked at me and asked if I was the one who blogged on the Firecracker Flight. In fact, if you remember, I did do a blog post about our Firecracker Flight experience, at the end of June! (reminder of the post HERE) She couldn't remember how she got to it, but said she loved reading it since it was from the runner's point of view!
Whoa! That was so awesome! Weird for me...but totally killer amazing!

And, as I was blown away from that bit of info, we went on with our day...still wondering what we were going to wear to run in...

Sadly, it was hard for me to think. I was suffering from a bad migraine that I was trying so hard to keep at bay. Not. Good.

However, I had just gotten new running shoes! They were SO needed as I wore out my other running shoes big time! This was another layer to my yucky training this month. But I did get this fantastic pair of Saucony Kinvara 5's!!

There's a runners' adage that says: "The brighter the shoe, the faster the runner."
BOOM! Get your sunglasses, peeps!

Since these shoes are obviously yellow...I wanted a cosTUTUme to go with the shoes. After a few fleeting thoughts, I made a decision! All I needed was ears. Well, also, another tutu that went perfectly.

I decided to be Minnie!

Ears & tutu to go along with the long sleeves, top, leggings (not pictured here), and headband I already had

Had to get the perfect makeup, too! Even for running!

Now then...since I had a migraine yesterday, I could not partake in usual my night-before-race routine to help insure a PR. So my equation to a PR was thrown off. I would just have to focus on the morning ritual to at least help...

Once I was together, and so was hubby...we headed off, fairly early, to the race. Like...before the bright of early set in. Plus, there was fog. An awesome start for a Halloween run...but not so good trying to see the road since it was still before the bright of early. Remember?

We got parked, valuables locked up, bananas consumed, water taken in, bibs on, necessary electronics in hand...and we were off to where it was all to begin...

And as the sun was rising, more people were coming in. Not a whole lot in costume...but still several.

Pre-race selfie/ussie/runfie after the sun started waking up

Before things got started, there was a costume contest... usual, I just want to be in a class to seem competitive whether I win or not:

Here I am standing with my running friend, Sandy (from the Firecracker Flight),
as we wait to be costume-judged...
OK, so there was some pretty good competition out there...and there was only one winner for each of 3 categories: kids, adults, group. I wasn't in the kid category, and it would be weird as a solo entry in a I was grouped in with a large group of costumed adults...
...and the winner is...
...a guy who dressed as Paul Bunyon!
OK...he did look really good. But it's OK! I loved my little cosTUTUme!

Soon after that, we began to gather at the start line...

The national anthem was sung...the drawing for the running store gift card had a name announced (bummer...not me or the hubby), and we were OFF...!!

Hubby's start of the race...

My mo-cheese-mo start to the race!! Duh!
Like I've said before, I'm not gonna lie...this course was difficult. Absolutely beautiful fall scenery, fog-infused sun rays thru trees...but there were some tough hills! Oh...and a surprise stretch of trail running...with hills! Yikes!
Did see a guy bite the dust on the trail portion. He was OK...but it was scary to see!

And as the race went on, right around mile 3 was recorded for posterity:

Hubby killing the course!

When you don't plan on a PR,  just cheese it hardcore for the camera...

And we came up to the finish line...

BUMMER!!! They missed my signature leap!!
And you know I did it...

After we both finished...and we got our pics with our finisher medals!

No, I did not PR, but I still felt pretty good about my run! I still finished in under 30 minutes!

Heck yeah! I still did pretty OK, I think! Still averaging under a 10-minute mile. That's crazy to me! And 7th in my division? And 33rd overall female; 76th overall?? I'll take it all!!

And you know what? I'm married to a stud! He finished 6th overall & earned 1st in his age division! Plus...he got a PR!! His day was HUGE!!! So proud of my Prince Charming!

Before the day was over, we did get a chance to have a couple of fun pics in there, too:

Yeah...we're cute. We know.

I also had the privilege of meeting a fellow Run JunkEe!! There's an online running group I'm part of that is so encouraging! And there's those of us who do post in there pics, questions, tips, encouragement, milestones, etc. And I remember a couple of recent posts from Melinda. And there she was standing in the parking lot! I went & see if she was a fellow JunkEe...and then introduced myself. She was doing the 10k & I tried to give her some pre-race encouragement.

I saw her again after the race...right after she crossed the line! I was so proud of her!!
Everyone...wave hi to Melinda!!

What a great morning for a run! Overall, I had a lot of fun. PR, but after the crummy training I've had, I was happy to take in the 3.1 miles in a Halloween cosTUTUme!
Plus, I got to meet a fellow JunkEe...and totally root on my stud of a hubby!

Oh...and just in case...
The race coordinator from Bodies Health & Fitness may read this blog again.
If that's the case, everyone, wave hi to Jen!

Now...onto continuing to root on the Royals to World Series victory! And more race planning, too! Oh...and getting together my final Trunk-or-Treat promo costume, plus Halloween costumes...

Stay tuned...

God Bless, AM~Erica