Some of my fondest memories of growing up in Green Bay, WI, are from Halloween. I remember the cold Halloweens, where my brothers and sisters and I would see how many layers we could fit under our homemade costumes. I remember all of us sitting on the living room floor counting out how much candy we'd each collected and trading Milky Ways for Nerds.
When I got to college, Halloween became something totally different. Even though I attended Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, a group of friends and I would hop on a bus to Madison because we all knew the best party of the year was on Halloween at the University of Wisconsin.
But as I've grown older, the magic of Halloween faded, and soon it was just another night. And I've missed it. Last year my husband and I lived in Northeast Minneapolis, and we thought we'd get to pass out candy to the neighborhood kids. Boy, were we disappointed. Not a single kid stopped.
Then we moved to Golden Valley.
While my husband, my 4-month-old and I were shopping last week, I sent my neighbor a text and asked how much candy we should buy. She sent a text back: "About 50-75 depending on the handful!"
On the advice of some Facebook friends and a family in the Halloween aisle at , we decided we'd be the cool family on the block if we got mini candy bars.
My husband and I are now downright giddy about our first Halloween as a family. Baby Olivia won't remember it, but I'll cherish our walk through the pumpkin patch in Shakopee this weekend and carving three pumpkins into jack-o-lanterns last night.
When I was pregnant, just about everybody told us we'd never sleep again and that we could kiss our alone time goodbye. But the one thing I'll always remember is what one of our good friends told us just two nights before I gave birth to Olivia back in July.
"You're going to love being parents," he told us. "It'll be the most fun you'll ever have."
And he couldn't have been more right. Halloween has already become my new favorite holiday. I've got the camera ready to take lots of photos of Olivia in her costume (she's going to be a strawberry) and of the kids who come to our door to remember these absolutely fun moments.
And here's a suggestion to you to make tonight even more fun: Take plenty of pics of your son or daughter's creative costume, and upload it to us here at Patch. Just and Heidi Klum may actually pick your child as a winner of Patch's Halloween costume contest.
Feeling a little nostalgic? Share some of your favorite Halloween traditions in the comments section below. We'd love to hear from you!