All Things October

My favorite time of the year is FALL. Specifically October because not only do birthdays abound, (6 of them, including mine, in my family alone!) but it’s also HALLOWEEN. My favorite holiday! There is something sooo perfect about the crunching and smell of leaves as you walk to class (or now around the park), the slight bite of a cool breeze, the coziness of a sweater and boots, and the magic of the movies and colors that Halloween brings. Tim Burton is THE magical-genius-prince of Halloween. The ONE thing that Halloween lacks is a decent playlist that’s longer than an hour (course I could argue the same could be said for Christmas).

But this Fall is different in soooo many ways from any other Fall I’ve ever experienced. Here’s the list of reasons why: 
- Dallas
    - Dallas is still hot as Hades and the leaves ain’t changin anytime soon! So there is no smell nor crunch of leaves to add to the joy of the season. 
- Family
    - Minha familía is not here. That means no autumn craft, no caramel apple decorating, no peanut butter ghosts, no Halloween dinner, no corn mazes, and no leaf piles to jump into. 
- School
    - For as long as I can remember I’ve been in school every autumn. And the first time I can actually enjoy the season and get out to do things it’s not even the season yet! 

So I’m going to have to get creative to make Dallas feel like home and ward off the homesickness. (Yes, I’m FINALLY experiencing some homesickness! I miss my family, the traditions, and the magic of the mountains and their mysterious leaf-color-changing ways! I’m actually not sure if I’ll be able to live here for forever-but that’s TBD) I did find the MOST perfect candle of all candles at Bath & Body Works the other day. It’s simply called, *”Hello Fall”* and it literally smells like leaves, coziness, and all things good in the world. 

I am keeping the traditions alive as much as I can (hello caramel apples!), but it’s difficult to find people to do it with when everyone has their own busy schedules. I can definitely see why people say autumn is 10000000% more fun when you have kids! 

Caramel apple decorating must-haves

Caramel apple decorating must-haves

My birthday is the October 16th (anyone else out there??) and it was AMAZING! We kicked off the weekend by watching the original Halloween (1980) with our friends Kayla & Joe. I was excited to laugh about a cheesily made horror film from the 80's.... you know what I'm talking about. And it was sooooo cheesy. Like the "special effects" and plot were soo predictable, which is what made it fun! There was only one part of the movie that made me jump and BOY! did it make me jump (I may have screamed...). It was at the end when there it was supposed to be resolving and make you feel all good and settled and then BAM! It gets ya. (I'm not spoiling anything because I think everyone should enjoy it like I did.) 

Saturday we went to Six Flags with a BIG group of our friends! It was so much fun! I'd never been before but it was awesome! It was especially good because we weren't there super long. We got season passes which is the BEST way to do it so you don't feel like you have to get your money's worth out of it and stay alll day like you do at DisneyLand. 

We substituted for the "Moonbeams" (3yrs) 

We substituted for the "Moonbeams" (3yrs) 

Sunday, I learned that allll the kids LOVE Nick! I mean look at that! ^^ Haha don't mind the one picking his nose... Then I got home to a sweet package from my amazing mama! And she knows me TOO well! She got me the most adorable, pink, KATE SPADE PURSE!! I'm pretty sure I cried tears of joy! (Please tell me other people do that over Kate Spade!)

THE BIG DAY was Monday and NICK GOT OFF WORK EARLY!!! It was the best! He thought he wouldn't be able to get the day off but he did and it was amazing! He made me (picked up ;] ) breakfast, then we watched New Girl and laughed our heads off for a good while. Then my amazing friend Mary took me to lunch at Potbelly's (amaze-balls sandwiches!) before we went and visited our boss mom-friend Natalie who had a baby like 4 days before! (She makes the cutest boys!) Then, it was time for the BIG Surprise! 

I had "challenged" Nick to surprise me for my birthday (he's never been able to surprise me) and he actually did it! He was taking me out to dinner but didn't tell me where (I guessed it but he threw me off the trail ). Well, we ended up at Uchi! It's THE most amazing sushi restaurant and dining experience I've ever had! Uchi is owned/operated by one of the few American Sushi Masters, Tyson Cole. He studied the art of sushi for 10 years! But you can definitely taste it in the food! He created the entire menu. 

Uchi is different than most sushi places I've been because you can purchase an entire experience, instead of individual rolls. We chose to do a tailored experience (mostly because I'm allergic to carrots) and it was INCREDIBLE! There was one sashimi bowl that had salmon, cherry tomatoes, kiwi, cilantro, and some sauce and it was soo incredible! Every single flavor stood out but didn't clash with each other. I've literally never had anything else like it. They also brought us a pork rib that melted off the bone and had some pumpkin and apple sauce on it. Those were probably my favorite dishes of the night (I should've taken pictures!). It was such an amazing birthday!

But wait! There's more! My in-laws came to town and spent the weekend with us! My FIL had a business trip out here and decided to bring my MIL with him and make a weekend trip out of it! Susan and I went shopping (and spent allll the money Nick gave me for my birthday :] ) while the men were working (haha- suckers!!) and then over the course of the weekend we took them to every food place we possibly could before they left! And of course there was LOTS of Bluebell involved! It was sooo amazing to have them here and I really felt soo loved even though I was so far from most of my family & friends. Y'all are the best and I am so incredibly blessed! 

The week after my birthday was a little depressing after having so much excitement the week before but it was time to hit the gym hard and work off the extra pounds from eating so much! Unfortunately, I got the worst cold and couldn't really do that sooo... I may have just kept the pounds haha. Luckily, Nick got me the sickest training shoes ever so I was STOKED to use them! My cousin & his wife (Austin & Kasey) were in town and came and visited us too!  **OH! The craziest thing happened! When we went to the Nike store at North Park Mall (look it up, it's HUGE) to get my shoes, guess who was walking in as we walked out... EZEKIEL ELLIOTT!! It was one of those things where we didn't realize it was him until we had passed him or else we would've gotten a pic with him! So Zeke, if you're reading this, next time don't be shy and say hi! ;) 

The finale awaits! HALLOWEEN!!! 

Friday was a Trick-or-Treat at Nick's Office and was so much fun! Our friends Jared & Holly have the cutest twins that were STUCK to my side! It was absolutely adorable! Saturday we had a ward Trunk-or-Treat at the Church! I didn't realize it, but it was ONLY a trunk-or-treat so when we showed up almost an hour late it was already wrapping up (dang those families with kids ;] ). But we looked fabulous! 

Nick was out of town for work for Monday + Halloween but I kept busy! Monday, Ken & Rachel had the most amazing Halloween party of my life! It was so amazing that I only took one photo and my friend Maggie so generously sent me one of 2 photos she took... so that's how you know it's amazing! ;) Ken & Rachel legitimately dressed up as Beauty & the Beast! Not just Belle and the Prince, but full fur, horns, yellow dress, the whole shabang! It was incredible! Then they had incredible food, desserts, decorating pumpkins, giant jenga, minute to win it games, and giant Connect 4! Incredible people + incredible food + incredible games = One amazing night! 

Tuesday night was eventful too! Holly had me over and we took the kids trick-or-treating (so much fun!) Then, Holly got the idea to watch The Changeling (1980) because she had watched it in high school and didn't remember it being scary so we thought it would be a good one to watch after the kids went to bed. Well, she remembered wrong because it was actually pretty scary! Definitely NOT cheesy like Halloween was! Like, I was a little scared to drive home that night! But it was fun and definitely one for the memory books! 

If you've read up until this point, THANK YOU! Thank you for sticking with me and caring enough about my life to read what I'm up to! My goal is to have a monthly update on my life and blog every photo session I do! I'll have a few up soon for you to take a look at!


XOXO meli