A quick overview of the date weekend....(you remember my explanation of date/dances in this day and age in Utah and the kids' penchant for making them into full weekend events rather than just day of, yes? If not...scroll back a bit and check out Homecoming.)
First of all, it is important to note that the girls made a conscious decision to make this a "wardy" (wardie?) date. Wardy meaning from the same church ward. This is apparently, unusual. I think the reasoning behind it being that if you date someone from your own ward and things go badly, well... then awkwardness ensues. But we have some rockin' awesome guys in our ward. And they are all such great friends normally that the girls decided for a casual date like Halloween, wouldn't that just be loads of fun? (Payton is the only one who did not ask a boy from the ward seeing as she wanted to take her actual boyfriend...and rumor has it, he is from the stake at least.)
Friday evening the "girls" ie: Rebekah, Jenny, Kirsten and Payton picked up the "boys" ie: Tyler, Daniel, Ethan, and boy-I'm-not-sure-the-name-of and went to Jenny's house to carve pumpkins. Pumpkins completed, the group made their way to Black Island Farms....a local corn maze/haunted house/Halloween carnival. After a few hours of Halloween merriment there, back to Jenny's they went for pizza (provided by yours truly) and a spooky Halloween movie.
Fast forward to the next day....nothing was scheduled till later in the evening which meant that we went shoe shopping for cowboy boots. Seriously, is this a new tradition? Homecoming afternoon we were shoe shopping for sparkly Cinderella shoes. Not a bad tradition, necessarily...but a little worrisome in that what if we don't find what we need immediately? We might someday regret not giving ourselves more time. We've been lucky thus far. (And always had a back up plan....)
Prep time for getting ready for the Halloween dance vs. Homecoming was very different. Semi-formal vs. casual and all that. But realistically maybe that had more to do with the fact that the coordinating Halloween costume Rebekah and Tyler had agreed upon was cowboys. Nothing too complicated about that.
A Cafe Rio dinner was originally to be held at our house. But a couple of days before the "big day" Payton asked if she could have the dinner at her house. Something about having a big dining room and wanting to decorate...or something. Though it meant I was off the hook for making sure the house was spotless, well...darn, no pressure to make sure the house was spotless! (I'm better at cleaning under pressure.) Plus, no picture opportunities. But yes, dinner at Payton's house. Totally fine. And thankfully Payton's parents did take group pictures and I was able to snag one. (Score!) After dinner the group headed across the street to the Shadows of Fear haunted house that some neighbors were putting on to raise money for charity. Appropriate, seeing as 7 of the 8 people in their date group lived in the neighborhood. Way to support and all that. Apparently they were SO impressed with the haunted house that Rebekah even called me while on her date to tell me that I needed to get over there with the other kids stat and go through the thing.
After all of this, they finally made it to the actual dance. Rebekah regaled me later with stories of all the creative and fun costume choices she saw while they were there. After a few hours of foot stomping fun they headed back to Jenny's once again for some dessert...and maybe some games? Not entirely sure. All I know is that Rebekah showed up a few minutes late for her curfew. Luckily for her I'm a bit more lenient on big date/dance nights such as this. From all I've heard...seeing as I know the parents of all (but one) of the kids on this big group date....a good time was had by all. The group, such good friends already, felt so comfortable with each other they were able to completely let loose and have some serious fun. I'm glad.
Did I mention that Rebekah has already found a date for the Christmas dance? And so it continues....
(A couple of outtakes that made me laugh....)