Friday, October 31, 2014

Ghosts of Halloween Past

I'm feeling draped in nostalgia and ennui this Halloween. What better way to nurse said feelings than a waltz down Snapfish lane. 

2006. Indy's first Halloween. Ayla still had that beloved curly hair. I dressed the girls up and toted them out to Starbucks while Noah was at work that day, before trick-or-treating began. I was so proud to show them off. Of course, those stay-at-home-mom days were often lonely, monotonous, and exhausting. Of course I longed for them fiercely today, sending my girls off to school. One last thing, I have adult acne, and it cleared up during both of my pregnancies. Indy was born in August, and I was obviously still awash in those hormones here in October. I can't believe how good my skin looks. It hasn't looked that great since. Adult acne sucks. A lot.

In 2007 we trick-or-treated on Old South Gaylord St, a street of botiques and coffee shops in the middle of the now very incredibly posh (in a fairytale sort of way) Wash Park neighborhood in Denver. When I was little, my parents rented a house a block away from Old South Gaylord and would sometimes walk to Video Vantage for video tapes and free popcorn. Video Vantage gone now. It's an incredibly gorgeous neighborhood with vines climbing up brick and stone houses, curling brick walkways, white picket and wrought iron fences, and rooftops laid to roll like the sea. Also there was a party at my sister's house where my dad dressed up like a Beaver Man and scared the crap out of the kids, really.

2008, the year we had a membership to the Denver Zoo and did the Boo at the Zoo thing. Also the year my dad and I flew to NYC on Halloween, flew home on the day Obama was elected, and the year princess culture had a firm hold on both my girls.


This was the year we moved on Halloween. Into Noah's mom's house. And it snowed. We were moving so that Noah could take a job on the packaging line at Oskar Blues for $9/hr. We were hoping he'd move up and it would pay off, eventually. It did. I love the top picture. Miles and miles of soft babyish skin.

2010: WOW YOU ARE STILL HERE? The pumpkin fest year. Everyone was mad at me for taking pictures this day. I included the group shot because you can tell from it how we were all snipping at each other. Still in the thick of the princess days.

2011: A banner year. Ayla escapes the clutches of princess culture, learns to cross dress. We walk in a children's parade and throw candy at people. We acquire a pumpkin, the size of which is enough to keep me up at night, dreaming dreams.

2012: I take some really great pictures. Seriously I love these pictures.  I objected to the costume Indy picked at Target. It was this tween fashion fantasy of Red Riding Hood or, I don't even know.  Looking now, I see there's nothing actually wrong with it. What really bothered me were the extremely elongated limbs, stretched like silly putty about to split, on the Monster High figurines, Monster High being the monstrosity Indy's costume is from. But Noah was like, it's fashionable, she's into fashion. Let her rock it. And she did. I'm kind of scared of her.

2013: I know, right? Ayla dresses as Samara from The Ring, clips from which she has watched on youtube without our knowledge. She did her own makeup and really gets into character. Indy finally dresses like Red Riding Hood, Classic Version, which I'd been angling for for years. Princess culture might be gone for good. (It's no big deal. They grow out of it, you know.) For some reason, all my pictures of this year are missing from Snapfish, and all that remain are the ones I posted to Instagram. Thank god for Instagram.

2014: Indy decided to be a black cat. Ayla deliberated for weeks between Vampire Queen, Minecraft Guy and Link from the Legend of Zelda, before finally settling on Darth Vader. Tonight we'll eat some hot dogs at the brewery before heading out to trick-or-treat. It's going to be cold and maybe wet.

Happy Halloween.


  1. When I went to University of Denver I volunteered at a place called The Open Clinic. It was on Gaylord St. I have no idea which direction of Gaylord it may have been on. Funny I remember that. We joked that it should be renamed the Homosexual Jesus St.
    Lily and I were talking about past Halloweens today. We both remember the year it was so cold and Jessie was going as Jasmine and refused to wear a coat so I draped her in t blanket and when she'd go up to a house she'd take it off, run up, get her candy, and then I'd drape her again.
    These are beautiful pictures of a beautiful family. I hope tonight is all about treats and there are no tricks at all.

  2. Thanks for the retrospective. I would love to do year. My "girls" are 25 and 28. Macrocosm/microcosm and all that.
    P.S. Menopause is the answer to adult acne.

  3. God, what was the deal about this Halloween being so melancholy! Mine sure was -- both boys were gone, one to a friend's house in Orange County and the other at a party with his girlfriend. Barely any kids came to our house this year, either. Spooky. I loved your trip down memory lane -- your girls were always themselves, it seems. Their's something so penetrating about their gazes.

  4. I was up all night long unable to sleep wondering how the Tuttle girls have spent their past several Halloweens. :-)

  5. What a wonderful gallery! I am always struck by how distinctly themselves each of your girls are, and by the steady way they look out of the frame, the depth and soulfulness in their eyes. I love the way you parent them, and let them be who they are. Such a beautiful family.

  6. I love Halloween so much. So much. Not the gore or the barfing pumpkins or slutty-whatever costumes; but the whole dress up and autumn snap in the air, chilly noses possibility of it. I am so very, very grateful that you've compiled this retrospective of your lovely, original girls. It makes me love Halloween that much more.


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