Halloween Costume History

Six years ago today – October 31, 2013 – I put on a Halloween costume for the first time in several years. I was inspired by my then four-year-old nephew Gabriel and two-year-old niece Lucy to find a fun costume and trick or treat with them. In 2012 I had trick or treated with them and decided then that the next year I was finally going to get into this costume thing.

I was never the kid who really got into costumes. Finding a costume was a task I had to do in order to get to the fun of parties and trick or treating. I had a couple of moments of costume brilliance in my 20s, such as when I dressed up as a devil:

I tried Wilma Flintstone once, but that doesn’t count because I botched that costume by not having the right dress with the right neckline due to very last minute shopping in between a Hawkeye football game and the Halloween party for which I was purchasing said costume:

So when I decided to go all in during 2013, I wanted to get it right. Gabriel was dressing up as Iron Man, and Lucy was going as Belle. I wanted to tie into one of those. As a real life godmother, I thought being a fairy godmother would be fun. However, I did not want to be the elderly godmother from Cinderella. I wanted to put a Lucy spin on it. I came up with what I thought Lucy would love her fairy godmother to look like:

Yes – lots of pink! 🙂 We had a blast on Halloween night, and now I was hooked.

By the time Halloween 2014 rolled around, I had adopted Percy the puggle. Since Percy was a part of the family and went everywhere with me, I knew he and I had to be a duo on Halloween night. I cut it close with the online shopping, but our costumes managed to arrive just in time:

Catwoman and Batman!

In 2015, I had to engage my artistic side and free hand a Starbucks logo:

Starbucks Barista and Pugkin Latte!

I was tempted to go with food costumes in 2016 but then found a classic costume that also seemed to be a fun tribute to my brother Mitch who was serving in the Navy at the time:

Sailor Girl and Sailor Dog!

By the time the fall of 2017 rolled around, I was wondering how on earth I could top the last few years. It always came together at the last minute, and this year was no exception:

Princess Leia and Chewbacca!

Last year I had a new challenge: One more dog to coordinate!

The Incredibles!

Now I was REALLY getting into this Halloween thing. We participated in our first Spooky Paws Parade, in addition to going on our annual trick or treating night with our favorite little people.

So that brings me to this year. I had it down to two themes well over a month out from Halloween – planning ahead for the first time ever! – and ended up choosing the Peanuts theme. I bought a human 3T t-shirt for Percy and managed to find a dress for Gemma. And my costume is proving to be perfect for the especially cold weather:

Charlie Brown, Sally Brown, and Snoopy!

We participated in our second Spooky Paws Parade last Sunday and will be dressing up to go trick or treating in Bennett tonight. Stay tuned for more photos!

We also entered our very first online costume contest this year. Percy and Gemma’s doggy daycare, The Barking Lot, is announcing the winner later today. Thank you to everyone who liked, loved, shared, and commented on our photo! We had a blast during the process, so win or lose, we will definitely compete again next year.

Happy Halloween, everyone!


Seester Sunday: Keeping It Real

Welcome back to Seester Sunday! Today I had every intention of wearing a cute outfit to Mass and documenting our day. Instead…..I woke up at 4am to Lucy announcing she had been sick in her bed and it was all in her hair….I digress, you don’t want to read about that. The point is that I didn’t get to go to Mass today due to having sick kids. I also didn’t get to go to Mass last weekend because I was on day 3 of a terrific fever, body aches, headache and general I-feel-like-crap virus that never ended. I ALSO didn’t get to go to the weekday Mass I’ve been attending due to a sick child. *sigh* We have had sick kids for 3 weeks. They’ve shared viruses and all have taken their very own days to get through the illness, instead of all just doing it at once (my preference, but no one asked me)!

Anyways, today I took a shower right after J left with the ‘well kids’ for Mass and this is what I wore the rest of the day with 3 girls at home with me. Real life right here, folks. Adidas pants that are just about my favorite and a tshirt that we tie-dyed as a family a few years ago. At least I’m clean! I did change later in the day to do some painting. So this is as good as it gets. Kateri either wants me to hold her 24/7 or she’s climbing on me like a jungle gym, literally, OR shes unrolling all the toilet paper. If you’re wondering why there’s a pile of blankets behind me, it’s because there has been a kid on our floor almost every night for 3 weeks. They rotate, depending on who’s sick. It’s quite a trip…

Maybe next week I’ll have a decent What I Wore Sunday post. Until then, I hope we can get well and STAY well!


Thankfully we have no flu virus at our place, but I did have to refill Percy the Puggle’s allergy meds last week. He was getting itchy again, and this time I caught it before we had full blown hot spots and all of that mess. The vet said that this has been a crazy season for pet allergies.

Rather than post my going-to-mass outfit today, I’ll keep it real like my sister and post another option: my Snoopy costume!

Percy, Gemma, and I participated in the Spooky Paws Parade in the East Village of Des Moines on Sunday afternoon. The weather was a bit chilly, but I was plenty warm in this year’s costume. I had the idea for Charlie Brown, Sally Brown, and Snoopy a month or so ago, and the theme came together nicely. I ended up buying a child’s size 3T shirt for Percy and then found an actual dog dress for Gemma. While we did not win a prize for our costumes, we did win a random drawing for a $25 gift card to Jett & Monkey’s pet store. So cool!

We have entered this photo into our doggy daycare’s Halloween costume contest, so Percy and Gemma will win a huge gift basket full of awesomeness if we get the most loves/likes on the photo. If you click here and love or like the photo, we would appreciate it!

Wishing better health to sister Sarah and her family! Stay tuned for a Halloween post on my blog Mel’s Musings later this week!

Fridays with G and L: Christmas!

December 23, 2011

Christmas Eve Eve 2011.  I was looking forward to this day with G and L.  I love Christmas, and I love G and L.  So much fun!

On this morning I was greeted by a fabulous Christmas gift:

Steve Jobs and Peeps: perfect combo!

When I told my sister Sarah thanks, she informed me that L woke up in her crib with the book one morning, and G picked out the Peeps.  They insisted she wrap them up for Christmas gifts.  Ha ha.  Love it.

G was loving the Christmas tree and decided more than presents belonged under there:

Boots, of course!

We had lots of fun play time in the living room, with G and L attached at the hip (or by feet) as usual:

On Christmas Day, we all got together at Nana and Papa’s house in Durant.

G cooking some food on his new grill
L and her new purse. Tastes good!

Holidays are so much more fun with a niece and nephew!

May Recap

Yes, May recap.  I’m only one month behind with these.

Could be worse.  You will understand when you read the June recap.  🙂


Rainbow International of the Quad Cities 20 Year Anniversary Open House

Thanks to the Quad Cities Chamber Ambassadors for joining us at our Rainbow International of the Quad Cities 20th Anniversary Open House!


Scott County Republican Women Spring Luncheon

Packed house for our annual Scott County Republican Women Spring Luncheon with nearly all candidates and local elected officials in attendance. Lesson: Emceeing is exhausting.


Jen’s Iowa Bridal Shower

The best part of Jen’s Iowa shower was the series of after party adventures in and around the town of Creston. Here the future groom and bride are in serious discussions regarding margarita pitchers.


Out of college for 11 years on May 19th

Where on earth did the time go?!


Shelly’s Bachelorette Party

Shooting at a bachelorette party = awesome.


Clinton Chamber 140th Annual Awards Dinner

The Clinton Chamber’s new logo and slogan. Yes, I am a chamber nerd.


Dead Car Battery

On my way to BNI, last Wednesday of the month.  “Click, click, click, click”.  Thanks to Matt at work for the jump start and the guys at Batteries+ for the $5 labor fee to change it.  Smurfette is still going strong!

2011 from A to Z

A big squeal of delight when bestie Jen told me she was engaged on Christmas Eve

Bus captain for the Iowa Energy Forum on Iowa Straw Poll day in August

Cards – still selling them, love SendOutCards

Downtown Davenport resident, as of February 15

End of long hair

Found snipers on nearby rooftops when Obama stayed two blocks away from my place, at the Hotel Blackhawk

Gabriel, or simply “G” – LOVE him and so blessed to be an aunt and godmother

Headhunting for A-PLUS Recruiting

Iowa Federation of Republican Women secretary

Jagger Q greets me at the door every time I come home.

Kathie Lee & Hoda, guilty pleasure

Lucy, my niece, was born on April 26.  Sweetest little girl ever.

Mel’s Musings

National Federation of Republican Women Biennial Convention in Kansas City

Organizing.  Constantly.

Photos with presidential candidates

Questioning the status quo every day

Red Cross Picnic on the River event decorations and signage

Scott County Republican Women veep and Scott County Republicans secretary

Target Optical

U2 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis

Ventured into accepting a new job at Rainbow International of the Quad Cities

Wine 🙂

X‘d off many to do list items, and that makes me happy.

Yoga (Hot) with sister Sarah

Zoom – 1st speeding ticket in 10 years.  Let’s hope it’s another 10.

Fall Is Here!

Today is the first day of fall 2011.  Woot!  We might as well embrace it because fall is here whether we like it or not.

I remember moving back to Iowa just over five years ago, on September 9, 2006.  While I enjoyed the Houston weather most of the time, I forgot how beautiful fall is in Iowa.  The colors actually change here!

I remind myself of that when I am on a county blacktop and stuck behind farm equipment moving at 20 miles per hour.  And I remind myself of the beautiful scenery even when I can’t see it while driving during early evening after we fall back to standard time.

Crisp fall air greeted me this morning as I headed out to my car, and I ran the defrost just a little bit to clear off Smurfette’s windows.  There’s something cozy about being cold and then welcoming that blast of warm air.

Fall ushers in falling leaves, great football, and new episodes of my favorite TV shows.  Winter is around the corner, but let’s not worry about that now.  Fall is here!