in the garden.


Eliza calls the shots for Halloween costumes around these parts. And, I will force a family costume for as long as I can, gosh darn it. So, after dodging a few bullets (No, I will not be all the characters from Frozen) Eliza decided that she wanted to be a butterfly this year! And not just any, but it had to be a "Mon-awk Butta-fly." It made me smile.

She loves butterflies. When you ask her what her favorite animal is, she says "Butterflies, flamingos, and pigs." As for the specific request for a monarch, I blame it on the wonderful nature school that she is a part of. I need to devote an entire post to nature school, but just know that it is the cutest and best thing. She knows so much about creatures and plants, and when she sees a bug she immediately picks it up to study it- whereas my natural instinct is to flick it away. I love that about her.

Eliza's costume was super easy this year. My good friend gifted Eliza these butterfly wings awhile back, and she has always loved them. So, I just glued a smattering of little butterflies to a leotard and pinned some in her hair. She was super stoked about the antennae for some reason. I bought them thinking that we might not use them because I thought she would rather have a butterfly crown. But, after she spied them on the table one day she ran up to me and whispered, "Mom! I saw some things for my butterfly costume!" as she wiggled her two fingers on her head. She wore them around the house all week long. I was the most excited about the face paint! I found a decent set of paint on Amazon, and we did a few practice sessions. The first few attempts were terrible. Like, awful. But, I would like to think it got a bit better. I don't want the extra paint to go to waste, so I have been practicing to go pro by painting Eliza and her friends' faces when they come over to play. It's fun!

Once we had the butterfly costume, I had to figure out a way to tie in the family- and the garden bugs were born. After playing with a few ideas, I decided chubby-faced Sadie needed to be a caterpillar. No question. And, it only made sense for her to be a monarch caterpillar. I made the swaddle and bonnet out of fleece, while binging on a new show on Amazon Prime. It was a great night. I miss doing projects, and it felt good to create- even if it's just a striped tube to shove my cute baby in. Sadie won "cutest costume" at our church carnival, and stole many hearts Halloween weekend. She was seriously cute. 

I made my snail costume with this tutorial. It was actually really simple, and only $3 worth of paper and styrofoam balls. It was surprisingly light and easy to wear, except that I bumped quite a few people. I decided it was also a good excuse to by a gold, crushed velvet dress, too. Score.

Sam, in true Sam Gray fashion, waited until the day of to make his costume. We talked bugs for a couple of months before Halloween, but he could never settle on one, until... he saw this kid's costume. This roly poly is amazing. Apparently, the kid and his dad took months to make this after studying and literally dissecting pillbugs to design the structure. Sam says that his is not as legit, but I was pretty impressed with the finished product. He used vulcanized fiber (really thick paper) to make the plates, by spraying them with water, shaping them, and letting them dry. He then spray-painted them, and taped them together so that they could still have mobility. I made the legs out of an old pair of sweat pants, and we just pinned them to his sweatshirt. It looked great!

The older Eliza gets, the more Halloween festivities she gets to go to! Her friend had a birthday party- a "monster mash dance party" where the kids danced around with glowsticks, and Sadie "oooed" and "ahhed" at the disco lights. Then, we played at our church carnival where Eliza timidly played a few games, and used her tickets to buy a Madeline doll and a couple of books at the prize table.

Unfortunately, she got sick the night before Halloween and I had to keep her home from preschool, which broke my heart. So, I walked down and asked her teacher if she could come march in the parade and she was happy to have her. So, I dressed up my snotty-nosed butterfly and she marched at the front of the parade with Teacher Nelly. It was the cutest thing. They walked around the square block, jingling tambourines, while all the parents skipped after them trying to take pictures. I seriously cried a little, she looked so happy and so grown up. 

After resting up the rest of the day, we headed out to trick-or-treat! Eliza got to go door-to-door with her best friend, Sage. She was so brave, and the two girls went up to every single door by themselves. Even if no one was obviously home, they needed to check out every one. And after knocking, they just sort of silently stood there with their bags open and little smiles on their faces. It made me so happy, and I couldn't help but laugh every time she ran back down from the porch exclaiming, "I got candy!" as if she still couldn't believe it. We went to a little haunted house run by a neighborhood kid (which was a little too scary for the girls!) and hit up Russell Street for a little. But, by then the kids were in a daze, and it started to rain a bit. But, Eliza brought home a good, little haul of candy.

Poor Eliza has been recovering from that cold all week, and I'm sure the excessive amounts of candy she's been eating haven't helped! But, she had such a good time. I love how much our family loves Halloween! Oh, and a caterpillar costume is the best choice for a little one. Sadie has never been so content as she was wrapped up in that thing all weekend. I'm thinking I need to make it a regular thing.

Happy Halloween, friends! We hope you had fun!



  1. Awesome costumed playtime. Someday I will have to write an essay on how we handled y'all's candy. Ha ha.

  2. Well, you were raised as a Southern girl and we just don't do bugs. Eliza is so pretty in her costume and Sadie's adorable!