Two years and a week or so ago, I had my fingers crossed REALLY HARD that the timer on my little bun in the oven would ding in time for Halloween. I wasn't due until the second week of November, but I'd gone into labor a couple of weeks early with Oliver, so I was hoping history would repeat itself to the tune of a Halloween baby. I love Halloween, and have always thought it would be a spectacular time for a birthday - it's a holiday with all the festivity but none of the travel and stress and extended family pressure of other holidays. Judah was apparently in agreement, and made his arrival on October 28th, just in time to dress up as a tiny pea pod and go trick or treating a few days later. I don't have to tell you parents among my readers how quickly those two years have flown, but for those of you who aren't parents, suffice it to say two snuck up on me like a little costumed goblin playing pranks on the neighbors. I am a masochistic idiot when it comes to my children's birthdays... always trying to make everything from scratch and make it super-special, even though there's no chance at all they'll remember 99% of it (really 100%, given that he's TWO). Anyway, given how crazy busy I've been, I limited myself to two attempts at Martha Stewart-dom (both found on Pinterest, btw):

Chapel Hill Event Photography

Chapel Hill Event Photography

Chapel Hill Event Photography(A word of caution about the balloon wreath: the link you'll find in my birthdays board on Pinterest talks about using two 72-count bags of balloons. I don't know what size wreath that woman used, or what size "small" balloons, but I used water balloons on a 14-in styrofoam wreath form, and went through a minimum of a thousand balloons. Thankfully, I used pins rather than floral tacks, though, because I would've spent a fortune!)

(Also: of COURSE I'm not throwing the wreath and all those wasted balloons away... that sucker'll be dragged out for every birthday between now and Judah's 40th, at least!)

We had a party Friday night, which was so lovely - good friends, family and food - my favorite! And Judah was totally awestruck by his cake:

Chapel Hill Event Photography

Chapel Hill Event Photography

(and his Shrek balloon, too)

Chapel Hill Event PhotographyThe night went on so long that we waited until the next morning to open presents. Oliver was very "helpful", getting the paper pre-torn, reading the cards aloud, and making sure all the toys were up to snuff  ;)

Chapel Hill Event PhotographyChapel Hill Event PhotographyChapel Hill Event PhotographyChapel Hill Event Photography

When all the birthday fun was over, we launched directly into Halloween! The balloon wreath came down and the skeleton wreath (not pictured, because it's just a reed wreath with a gumby-style bendy skeleton stuck in the center) went up. We had loads of rain all day Monday until, just in time, the clouds parted for a big night of trick-or-treating. Our friends who live in a neighborhood where the houses are far too far apart for good candy collecting came over, and we hit the streets with a vampire, a butterfly, and a little wingless bee:

Chapel Hill Event PhotographyOliver is so into scary stuff now (but not TOO scary, mind you... the kid is terrified of the tamest of monsters), and this vampire costume suited him perfectly. And as an added bonus, now, after years of silence in the face of the raging Twilight debate, I can officially say I'm on Team Oliver:Chapel Hill Event Photography