Halloween Over the Years

I don’t have ONE particular Halloween that sticks out.  As a kid we had fun trick-or-treating, but I don’t remember it being the “event” that it is today.  And my parents certainly never thought the holiday was a big deal.  I have precious few photographs of me on Halloween from when I was a child.

High school – I have not one Halloween memory. In college, it was an excuse to get drunk cheap.  As for my early twenties, I got nothing.  When I was waiting tables in graduate school, it was a very profitable evening.  When I entered the corporate world, I got my ass home early so I didn’t get stuck in nightmare traffic

Then I had children…


 Halloween 2001

It was exciting to live in our first home and give out candy. My little guys were not quite one, so we didn’t take them out – but they did wear little pumpkin onesies.


Halloween 2002

The boys’ first year of trick-or-treating they were Pooh & Tigger, which were borrowed costumes from our neighbors (thank you Auntie Lynn). This was the year I was certain something was wrong.  Barrett was very disconnected and scared of everything we did that night.  It was not fun.  You can see it in my face.


Halloween 2003

This was during the dark period. We had our diagnosis and I was barely functioning.  We lived in a tiny condo in Clarksville, MD, because I couldn’t find the right house for us.  My heart was broken.  The boys dressed up for school, as Batman and Superman, but we did not trick-or-treat and we did not have a pumpkin.  This is the only picture I have.  I’m kind of glad, because there isn’t much I want to remember from that time.


Halloween 2004

Light entered in my life once again. I was the mother of three.  I had my baby girl, Audrey (who wore her brother’s pumpkin onesie).  Hunter (Pirate) was thriving and my Bear (Devil) was still lost, but he had his mom back.  That night there were no tricks, just the treat of hope.


Halloween 2005

We were back in Georgia, in our third new home in five years (we don’t let the grass grown under our feet). All was good with the world.  We were happy, even if the lion (Barrett) and puppy (Hunter) in the picture don’t look like it.  Focus on the happy little witch.

2006 (3)

2006 (1)

2006 (2)

Halloween 2006

We had fun this year. The Lewis family was visiting and our other close friends had just moved to Georgia and were in temporary housing, so they joined us.  As you can see, it was the year of Spiderman.  We trick-or-treated in a pack and Barb convinced us to dress up.  I was a devil woman.  The boys were Thomas and James and my girl was once again a witch.  Yes, this should have scared me.  But I was too happy to be afraid.  All was good in Smith World.  Still, something was missing…

2007 (2)


2007 (1)

Tony Stewart (couldn’t find a #48), Jeff Gordon & Dora

 2007 (3)

Halloween 2007

Number four, my Cammy, arrived that summer. He wore one of the family onesies and joined his siblings in the neighborhood.  Our biggest hiccup was Barrett’s curiosity about the neighbors.  Yes, I had to drag him out of more than one house.  Trick-or-treat or home invasion?

2008 (1)

Halloween 2008

The Lewis family was back and we had a great time. What sticks out for me about this year is the blissful simplicity of it all.  We were in a groove and had a Halloween routine.  Audrey returned to her Halloween roots as a “glitter rainbow witch” and Hunter finally scored a Jimmie Johnson costume.  Bear was a baseball player and Cammy a panda bear.

2009 (1)

2009 (2)


2009 (4)

 Halloween 2009

We didn’t know it, but it was our last Halloween in that home. And it was cold and rainy – yuck.  My Halloween crew consisted of Tom Brady, Super Mario, Sharpay (HSM) & a monkey.


Halloween 2010

We were without a home and a neighborhood! Long story, but house hunting for me was no longer fun – and don’t sell your house if you have nowhere to go.  Iron Man, Tom Brady, the Angel/Devil woman and Woody invaded our old neighborhood.


Halloween 2011

Finally, in our new home. We took the Army Man, punk rocker, Devil Rebel (?) and Transformer to a neighborhood we back up against, because at the time my children were the only trick-or-treaters in our development.  This year was a turning point for me.  The awe and excitement was fading for some of us.  The glitter was gone and I had begun to feel the looming end of Halloween as a family experience.


Halloween 2012

I didn’t know it at the time, but this was the last picture I’d get of four excited, costume-wearing trick-or-treaters. The following year, one would be “too old” to dress up.  I don’t know which is worse – the sadness of experiencing a moment that you know will be a “last time,” or being spared the anguish, but missing the chance to relish it?  To soak it in.  Notice Audrey is back to being a witch.  Help me.  Bear was ketchup, Hunter a ninja and I have no clue what Camden is dressed as.  How sad it that?

2013 (1)


2013 (2)

Halloween 2013

Audrey rocked the Pink Lady costume and Cammy is my Captain America. I wasn’t feeling it last year.  I was still rocked by my brother’s passing, and I felt off balance with two kids staying home.  Adding insult to injury, Audrey ditched us to ride a golf cart with her friends and Rich hung back at a Halloween party.  In the end, it was just Cammy and me.  I ended up carrying him for most of the walk – and with my heavy heart – I was exhausted and numb.

There isn’t one Halloween that I remember as being spectacular, but the collage of years and memories has created a strange brew of emotions for me.  Happiness, anxiety, sadness, joy, excitement, longing, wistfulness.  This year, I’m going to be present for the holiday.  I will not worry about an inappropriate costume, the kids eating too much candy, or the fact that it’s supposed to be pretty damn cold tomorrow.  I’m going to experience it all and relish the moment.  I don’t know how many more we’ll have.  I’m not trying to get deep (maybe I am, but inarticulately at best), or doom and gloom.  Next year, we may not live here.  Next year the Lewis Family may once again join us.  Next year I may have four children who want to trick-or-treat – or one.  There will come a Halloween when my babies will not be with me, they will be off celebrating with their own families, or rushing home from the office to beat the traffic, or drinking cheap at some college bar (when they’re 21).  Until that inevitable time, they are here and I will embrace and enjoy the moment, no matter who goes trick-or-treating with me.

Tell me about your Halloweens over the years? Does one stick out as special?  Were they fun?  Not fun?  Too much work?  What were some of the costumes?


The blog was inspired by the Finish the Sentence Friday Blog Hop. This week’s sentence was “One Halloween…”  This week’s hosts are listed below.  Please visit their posts and show them some love!

Kristi of Finding Ninee

Stephanie of Mommy, For Real

Dana or Kiss My List

April from 100 LB Countdown


If you like this post, you may like:

A Tiny Peek Inside My Autumn World

Halloween 2013 – The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Grateful in November



32 thoughts on “Halloween Over the Years”

  1. You have such a beautiful family. This is my first time here. :) My Halloween experiences when I was a kid, though they are few, I don’t remember ever being really stressful like you mentioned it was for you, too, as a kid. It was pretty simple and we just went trick or treating. For a few years once we stopped celebrating, my grandma would buy us candy, but that’s about what I can remember from them.

    1. Thank you Brittnei! I’m so glad you’ve joined FTSF – it’s an amazing group of women. I look forward to getting to know you better. I long for the less stressful holidays of my youth. But perhaps they were less stressful because I was a kid. When you mom, the holidays are work!

  2. Damn, Allie. You warned me this would be full of photos. You didn’t warn me it would be full of my tears and regrets and the sadness that comes with each passing year. And that it would be so much like my post (do we share a brain when it comes to the whole “it was my last year…” stuff?? Thank you for writing this and for linking it to FTSF. Adore. This and you.

    1. Um, great minds think alike, especially brilliant ones – lol. It does amaze me when we share posts and they’re so similar – and we didn’t even call each other. Cue the jaws music. BTW, I read the Today Show article, you amaze me. How in the world? What are you dressing up as this year? And I did get emotional as I posted the pictures. It’s funny, I used to get frustrated with Barrett and pictures, but in most of them he’s freaking adorable! What what was my deal with wanting the perfect picture?

  3. And I can’t remember what I had for breakfast. You are amazing. This walk down Halloween lane will be such a treasure for your kids in the future. Well done. Once again I take off my hat and scrape to the floor in a deep bow to you.

    1. Yes – my amazing memory is both a blessing and a curse. There were many boyfriends who did not appreciate it, I assure you. But as the family archivist, it comes in handy! Oh, and Kelly – I am printing out you comment to use as an affirmation for the course I’m taking. I’ve never had anyone take off their hat an bow to me before. I like it!

  4. Oh, I loved this. I purposely have not looked through my old Halloween photos because I thought it would make me sad. I’m down to one kid trick or treating, and it will probably be his last year. But that’s just part of growing, and I should look through my photos and remember. My favorite costumes? James as Elvis and Gwen as a zombie bride – Halloween 2008.

    1. Thanks Dana. I was a little surprised by how hard it was to look back over the pictures. It made me smile, but it hurt too. Oh, how I miss Audrey’s cute little cheeks. AN Elvis would be cute! Maybe I’ll do Barrett as that next year. We had TWO zombies this year – and there were may roaming the streets, as well.

  5. Aww, loved the photo bombing here and you did tell you did this, but still my heart was so full from start to finish seeing each year’s memories and progression. Thanks for sharing and Happy Halloween :)

  6. Oh this entire post just cracked my heart open into all kinds of emotions as I read through your journey and embraced every single moment with you, Allie. What a powerful story and testimony to the power and passion of motherhood through the years, through the heart of your precious family.

    Yes- cherish, and relish it all. Every moment matters.

  7. Wow. You are an awesome mom with Halloween photos to prove it. We didn’t take Sam last year and while he couldn’t tell us in words he was mad about it……he communicated it and will take him around the neighborhood…like we have done every other year.

    1. Martha, we took Barrett last night and he had so much fun. I feel bad that we left him home with Hunter last year. He was amazing and he had so much fun! It only took 13 years, but he finally “got” Halloween. Better late than never. I hope Sam had fun as well.

  8. wow! i loved going down the memory lane with you as you introduced us your loved ones and the various costumes they wore! It is amazing to see how they all evolved :)

    I agree with all these years one ponders on the grief and the loss and I wish you peace

    have a funtastic halloween and stay blessed!

  9. Hey, you know what, in spite of all those regrets and the sadnesses and difficult times in between, you’ve made a beautiful collection of memories, and it sounds as though your family has come though the worst times, and into a place where you all have a bit of a firmer footing. I hope that’s the case.

    I do like how you ended with hope for the future, and the good things to come.

    P.S. – I think your little boy may be an X-man in the pic you didn’t remember what he was…

    1. We are in a much better place, thank you Lizzie. As I was sating to a friend yesterday, you have to enjoy the good times while their here – and hold them close to use as beacons of hope during the bad times. As for the costume – it was a Power Ranger:)!

  10. Thanks for sharing the story of Halloween in your family over the years. It’s neat to see how your family is growing and changing over time. I know that my perspective is different from yours, but I think that it is wonderful to see that your kids will have shared memories of growing up together and enjoying each other’s company. And by all means, be present as you live each moment with your family. Those moments are all too fleeting and precious not to be present for them!!!!

    1. Yes, they are fleeting and precious, which is what gilds them with love. For the most pat, I did good last night! I was present and accounted for and enjoyed every moment.

  11. You have a beautiful front porch!! Wow.
    Fun and also bittersweet to look back over the years.
    We’re still in the really fun years right now with both kids being so young. It was a strange holiday for my mid 20’s, though!

    1. Thanks Tamara. I love our porch. Enjoy these years. My husband and I were reflecting last night about how chaotic those young years were – trying to get the kids dressed up and calmed down before they headed out – and carve the pumpkins. This year, everyone pretty much dressed themselves, and one even helped carve. We had fun, but it was much slower passed.

  12. I went as a witch for many years! LOL! Of course, all of mine were all-black and gloomy… no hope in sight. I love dressing up my kids, but since my Butterfly has been born, I just feel like I do everything so last minute! I’m very happy that my son isn’t “too old” for it yet. It would mean he was growing up!

    1. April, I am amazed by how many different types of witches there are now – it’s crazy. In one catalogue, I counted 15 different witch costumes. And I’m last minute too – I ordered my son’s skeleton costume on Amazon – and it didn’t make it in time. Thankfully it was the easy going child, who wore last year’s costume.

    1. Your welcome Kristen. Thank you for visiting. Be warned, it really does go by fats – so have fun and enjoy it. BTW – I loved exploring your site. You have my dream job (although as a New England girl, I couldn’t handle your beat:)).

  13. Oh this made me so nostalgic to read, and I haven’t even known your kids! :) Love this and this is a gift for your kids, too. (PS- I NEVER needed an excuse to get drunk cheap in college. 😉 )

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