Tag Archives: Halloween

“Bumpdate:” week 39

Wow, 39 weeks have come and gone. I can’t believe we’re now “full-term” and that Jedi could really come any day!

This week Jedi was the size of a mini-watermelon. He measures a bit over 20 inches and weighs about 7 pounds. He’s continuing to fatten up so that he’ll be able to regulate his temperature after birth.




It was REALLY windy that day, so my hair was a bit out of control!

This week was full of calls and visits from friends and of course, Halloween!

Last Sunday night we went over to Trent’s parents’ house to watch the Walking Dead… OMG… seriously!?! After that super intense episode, I can’t believe I didn’t go into labor! Trent’s sister and brother-in-law were there with our nephew Cohen. He was playing dress-up with the Santa suit. He made a very adorable Santa! He even let uncle Trent sit on his lap.



Monday morning, I visited my old campus, Copeland Elementary/Walker Intermediate. I ate lunch with one of my favorite students from a few years back and had a great time seeing my old co-workers and other students I used to work with. It worked out perfectly because right after I finished my lunch with her, I went to visit Trent for lunch as well. I just missed his actual lunch period, but I stopped by for a short visit anyways and hung out with his boys and him.

Tuesday evening we had another visit with our midwife. She checked me again and although not much had changed, she said I was dilated more and that my tissues felt much softer than last time. She said that it is likely that I won’t dilate or change much more before I actually go into labor. Jedidiah came down even further but is still at a -1 position, so for now, we’re just waiting on him to start the labor process!

Wednesday was a very social day for me. I talked with several friends (some from half-way around the world) and it was great to catch up with them. Then my friend Abby called- she was on her way to New Braunfels but changed her mind about her destination. She wanted to know if I was up for some visitors. So she and her three kids, along with another two that she watches, came over for the morning. We had a great time! We shared a picnic lunch out on our back patio and then the boys played outside. They chased the neighbor cat (who was REALLY good with them), they swung in our yard swing and kicked the soccer ball around. It was a nice change from the quiet days I’d been having. I needed some social interaction! Plus, those kids are so darn cute. I really had a great time.




As they were leaving, my other girlfriend Sandy was just pulling up. She and I spent the afternoon chatting until she had to go pick up her son from school. It was so nice to have visitors! I’m so thankful for my friends. 🙂

Friday evening we had our first Halloween party- it was at DeVoir Fitness, just down the road from our house (on FM 78 near 3009). It was a costume party. Trent and I dressed up like zombies, and made a zombie baby look like it was breaking out of my belly, then we headed out. Everyone there was pretty much working out, but because of all the make-up we were wearing, we decided just to hang out. Some families had brought their kids and their reactions to my costume were awesome! They were very cute, but they let me know that they thought it was pretty creepy! And it was… Anyways, by the end of the night they weren’t so much creeped out by it anymore, they just thought it was funny. Trent and I did win the costume contest and I got a few free classes. (YAY!)


20151031_163031 near focus



After the party, we headed over to “Nana” and “Popo’s” house to watch the Spurs game. They were still out to dinner with my sis-in-law and her family (which was good, because I think we were too creepy for our nephew). We had some time to wash off all the makeup and remove the zombie baby and look a bit more “normal” by the time they came home. Too bad the Spurs lost, it was a hell of a season opener!

Saturday also came with some Halloween festivities. Trent and I decided to change up the costumes a bit (it’s more fun that way) and this time we exchanged roles as well… I was a white-trash-y, beer-bellied man and Trent was my lady. The reactions to our costumes were pretty priceless, and if I do say so myself, Trent makes a very pretty woman. 😉 We spent the evening with friends and took the kids out trick-or-treating before heading home.



Notice the "rat tail."  Yeah, I went there...

Notice the “rat tail.” Yeah, I went there…




All in all, a good week! Just waiting for our little man!

Symptoms this week: So many Braxton Hicks contractions, but no real ones. There was one day this week where I thought I might be in labor because I had such bad abdominal pain… but as it turned out, I just had to poop (How embarrassing!). I’ve been having a much harder time sleeping and really just moving in general. My belly is getting SO BIG. I’ve still been doing zumba though, trying to get baby boy down and dance him out. I am anxious to meet our little man, but definitely nervous about labor and delivery. Prayers are welcome for us and for Jedidiah!

week 39

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Posted by on November 3, 2015 in Uncategorized


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Down the Rabbit Hole… a murder mystery

Last Halloween, in keeping with a tradition started by our friends the Mosbys, we had another murder mystery party around Halloween time. The hosts, Zach and Heather, remained the same, but the theme this time around was “Alice in Wonderland.” (If you want to read about the last murder mystery party, you can read the post A Halloween Harry Potter Murder Mystery). Now I’m not the biggest fan of “Alice in Wonderland.” Ever since I was a kid, the movie freaked me out, and even as an adult, Trent and I tried to watch the newest version (with Johnny Depp and Anne Hathaway), but I couldn’t get through it. Even so, that didn’t stop us from having a great time at this party!

Much like last time, Heather sent out our character descriptions a few weeks before the party so that we could begin preparing our costumes. Trent was going to be the white rabbit, and I was the rabbit’s maid (thanks Heather for always giving us “couples” roles). The night of the party we got dressed up and headed out to find a taxi to get to the Mosby’s apartment nearby in Qingdao (I always wonder what the taxi drivers must think of us crazy foreigners all dressed up).



As always, their setup was amazing! The decorations, the food, their costumes… it really was quite the wonderland!







Everyone else arrived in their costumes. We had the Mad Hatter and the Queen of Hearts (our host and hostess), Alice and Cheshire (our friends Kelly and Antonio from work), The White Rabbit and his maid (Trent and I), the Duchess (who literally “borrowed” our friends’ baby Elijah to use as a prop!), Tweedle-Dum (Matt, another friend from work), the cook who loved pepper, and three detectives (friends from work and church).

Here is a group shot of all of us and a few others of the different characters.


Our wonderful hosts!

Our wonderful hosts!

Trent and I

Trent and I

Antonio as the Cheshire cat

Antonio as the Cheshire cat

Kelly as Alice

Kelly as Alice

The duchess (Nicole) and the Queen of hearts

The duchess (Nicole) and the Queen of hearts

Tweedle-Dum (Matt), Valerio as a detective, and the Mad Hatter (Zach)

Tweedle-Dum (Matt), Valerio as a detective, and the Mad Hatter (Zach)

Trent and I with the "borrowed" baby Eli.  Pretty shortly after this, Catherine and Justin came to get him (they lived in the same apartment complex)

Trent and I with the “borrowed” baby Eli. Pretty shortly after this, Catherine and Justin came to get him (they lived in the same apartment complex)

Erik as one of the detectives and the cook who loved pepper

Erik as one of the detectives and the cook who loved pepper

Heather ordered my costume on Taobao, which is China’s version of Amazon, and I think Kelly and Antonio also got their costumes on Taobao. I also know that Heather used it to order lots of the props for this party.

We sat down to dinner and began to let the mystery unfold. As usual, the scripts guided us along, revealing different clues along the way. I have to say that Trent did an AMAZING job acting his part. He kept freaking out and pointing to his clock (which was our bathroom clock that we attached to him with an old chain) talking about the time. The other actors were excellent too. This was one of the best parties as far as acting went! The wine and food were great, as always, and the night unfolded wonderfully. We laughed and laughed! These parties are so much fun!!!















Towards the end of the evening, we broke out the Limoncello, from Italy, brought by the one and only Valerio. Heather even got these cute little cups for the Limoncello shots. Her attention to details is amazing!




After dinner we headed back into the living room to make our accusations and have dessert- Zach made pie!!! I won’t tell you who did it, but I will tell you that I didn’t guess right. I guess that’s why I was a maid and not one of the detectives!









Afterwards, Zach and Heather tallied the votes for the evening’s awards. Trent and Zachary both tied for best actor of the evening, so they decided to each take half (literally) of the award. Trent also won the award for Best Improviser, which he indubitably deserved!

Tallying up the votes

Tallying up the votes


The best actors of the evening- The Mad Hatter and the White Rabbit

The best actors of the evening- The Mad Hatter and the White Rabbit


We hung out the rest of the evening, talking and laughing and enjoying the camaraderie. Heather and Zach throw the best parties!!!

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Posted by on October 29, 2015 in Uncategorized


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The Walking Dead… in China

So last year, right after Halloween, on the following Saturday night, there was a zombie bonfire hosted by some local expats. Trent and I didn’t personally know the expats running the party, but our friend Matt did and he invited us along.

I should start by saying that my husband Trent LOVES zombies. He has for forever. His man cave (yes, he is lucky enough to have a man cave) is covered in zombie books, games, and other paraphernalia. So basically, this invitation was like his dream come true. I am indifferent to zombies… but for the sake of my husband, I get into things like The Walking Dead and things like dressing up for this party. Trent and I put together some costumes and then he tried his hand at zombie makeup. He did a pretty good job! We felt a bit conspicuous leaving our apartment all zombified… imagine being in a country that traditionally doesn’t celebrate Halloween and then seeing people looking as freaky as we did… I’m sure we were quite the sight to see!

Matt didn’t live far from us, so we hopped on our scooter and headed over to his place to meet him and get him made up before heading out. While we were on our way, we snapped the BEST. PICTURE. EVER. We look uber creepy!

Don't worry, we were stopped at a red light when we took this photo.

Don’t worry, we were stopped at a red light when we took this photo.

We got to Matt’s place and waited for him to come down and let us in to his apartment. While we were in the parking lot, we tried to take some zombie-looking shots. This was the only decent one.


When he came down and got us, we headed up to his place and fixed him up and then grabbed some beers at the corner store. Then we prepared to get a taxi (Our poor driver probably thought we were insane… or terrifying) to go to the beach spot where the bonfire was going to be held.

Trent getting Matt all zombified

Trent getting Matt all zombified

Me being creepy and passing the time while Trent did Matt's make-up.

Me being creepy and passing the time while Trent did Matt’s make-up.

The three of us all set and ready to be ZOMBIES...

The three of us all set and ready to be ZOMBIES…

Trent outside of the corner store, taking full advantage of this opportunity to look the part.

Trent outside of the corner store, taking full advantage of this opportunity to look the part.

We drove down Xiang Gang Dong Lu, not too far past Polar Ocean World and then stopped near a hotel (I couldn’t tell you what it was called). Matt cautioned us then that we might have to “sneak” past the guards to get to the bonfire location. Geesh, now you tell us! Anyways, there really wasn’t much “sneaking” that we had to do. We just went down by the beach and then had to pass through the hotel’s backyard to get to the cliff area by the beach where the bonfire was being held. As we were walking, our other friend Andrew joined us. He was also in need of make-up, so Trent got yet another chance to practice his zombie-making magic.


The four of us: Andrew, Matt, me and Trent

The four of us: Andrew, Matt, me and Trent

It was kind of a nasty, misty night, but thankfully there wasn’t too much rain to deter the actual fire. We mingled with the other “zombies” and hung out by the fire. There were some pretty epic costumes- even a zombie panda (who ended up being a friend of ours from church, but we had no clue until we saw her the next morning).







There was also a gentleman there who was “couch surfing” in Qingdao, just for the night. He came to the bonfire equipped with his accordion and after a short speech introducing himself and where he was from (France, I think), began playing us some tunes.


We all enjoyed his antics until a lady from the hotel came over and told the guy in charge that if we wanted to continue to stay, that we would have to pay her some money. Everyone was willing to chip in a bit of money so that we could stay (bribery at its finest), but as soon as we paid, she changed her mind and still made sure everyone left by threatening to call the cops. Obviously no one wanted any trouble, especially since we were all “visitors” in this country, so we packed up the party and left. There was a bar a short distance away that we decided to relocate to. We spent the rest of the evening there before heading back to our apartment.



All in all, it was quite an eventful evening… never a dull moment in China! Happy Halloween!

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Posted by on October 23, 2015 in Uncategorized


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A Halloween Harry Potter Murder Mystery

A murder myster

Rewind the clock two years to our first Halloween in China. Even though we had just moved there a few months prior, we had made some good friends through church and school. Some of our good friends, Zach and Heather Mosby, hosted this Harry Potter themed murder mystery party for Halloween. These two (well, mostly Heather) are born party planners. Oh my goodness, they are so good!

If you’ve never been to a murder mystery party, I highly recommend them. They are a lot of fun, involve some acting and role play, and are hilarious! Trent and I both received our parts a few weeks in advance and began planning out our costumes. Trent’s role was Ronald Weasley and mine was Rita Skeeter. Now, I wouldn’t call myself a Harry Potter “fan,” at least not in the sense that I know much about it. I enjoyed the movies but I don’t remember many details from them and I never had time to read all the books. Honestly, I didn’t even know who my character was- I had to look her up on Wikipedia to find out that she was an annoying reporter that likes to be in everyone’s business. I did know Trent’s character (I know Harry, Ron, and Hermione at least). After borrowing a few props from some friends, here were our final costumes.



When we arrived at Heather and Zach’s apartment, it was literally like stepping into a whole new world! The decorations and mood definitely transported us to Griffindor. They had candles lit, magic “wands” for everyone, party themed decor and appetizers out on the tables. It was amazing (even more so living in China where you can’t just run to the Dollar Store or Hobby Lobby for supplies). They even had a drink station where you could mix your own “potions.” So clever.








As we arrived, we mingled over appetizers and drinks in the living room. Even the appetizers were Harry Potter themed… she put so much thought and effort into the details!



It was so much fun to see everyone arriving in character and to learn who everyone was dressed as. Here are some group shots of the whole crew.


Characters from left to right. (front row): Professor Snape (Justin), Bellatrix LeStrange (Cat), Rita Skeeter (me), Professor McGonagall (Heather), Mundungus Fletcher (Abigail), Ginny Weasley (Nicole), and Hermione Granger (Kate). (Back row): Draco Malfoy (Justin), Gilderoy Lockhart (Warren), Harry Potter (Erik), Luna Lovegood (Rosana), and Ron Weasley (Trent).

Characters from left to right. (front row): Professor Snape (Justin), Bellatrix LeStrange (Cat), Rita Skeeter (me), Professor McGonagall (Heather), Mundungus Fletcher (Abigail), Ginny Weasley (Nicole), and Hermione Granger (Kate). (Back row): Draco Malfoy (Justin), Gilderoy Lockhart (Warren), Harry Potter (Erik), Luna Lovegood (Rosana), and Ron Weasley (Trent).

After everyone had arrived, we moved to the dining room where the acting began. Heather had already set each place setting with a character card and the table was decorated with all sorts of Harry Potter themed stuff. The set up was amazing!



Everyone settled into their roles as we began our meals with a salad. Now, like I said, I don’t know very much about Harry Potter, but the cool thing about these parties is that during each round, you receive a sort of guide as far as what you are supposed to do, how you are supposed to act, and what questions you are supposed to ask. It was so much fun watching everyone engage in their roles. We laughed and laughed. We continued on to the main course, spaghetti and some delicious bread. The plot continued to unfold, accusations began to fly, and the banter was hilarious between characters. I have to admit, I was a bit jealous because my husband’s character was being extra flirty with Hermione… but it’s all a part of the game. Here are some pictures of our dinner and the acting that went along with it.










After dinner, we moved back to the living room to make our final accusations. We drank a delicious butter beer that Heather had made while munching on desserts. Everyone wrote down their guesses as to who the murderer was down on a piece of paper and then they were read aloud. I won’t tell you who the murderer was in case you ever get invited to a Harry Potter murder mystery. But I will tell you that it was a lot of fun! There were also awards given out at the end for best acting, etc. I won a small pumpkin for doing such a great job of portraying Ms. Rita Skeeter (I am pretty proud of that fact, since I didn’t even know who she was). We stayed and chatted and laughed until it was late. Then we thanked our wonderful hosts for a wonderful first Halloween in China and headed home.









What a wonderful night. Happy Halloween everyone!

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Posted by on October 22, 2015 in Uncategorized


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