the one about letting it go

This will be the 5th Halloween I have experienced as a mama, and the anxiety I feel each year to think of "the perfect costume" for my children borders on…well, ridiculous.

Right around this time in September, I begin scouring Pinterest for clever, ironic, funny, or just plain cute ways to dress my children up to go beg the neighbors for candy they won't really ever get to eat. 

It was easier when Noelle was younger. She would wear whatever I asked her to wear, and I didn't have another child to try and "pair" her with. When Charlotte came along, I had visions of perfectly matched and "theme-y" Halloween costumes, like Dorothy and Toto or Cookies and Milk or this…

Last year, Noelle told me she wanted to be Ariel. I began to labor over her costume, buying tulle to craft into a tail and a red wig. I wanted to make Charlotte a charming mini-Ursula. A week before Halloween, Noelle decided she didn't want to be Ariel, so she ended up wearing a cut up pink t-shirt and bandana, proclaiming herself to be Izzy, the girl pirate on Jake and the Neverland Pirates. Charlotte was a cat.

"We will do better next year," I thought.

I recently asked Noelle what she would like to be for Halloween this year. Imagine my horror when she said, "Anna from Frozen!"

My mind immediately flashed to 300 other little girls wearing the same costume around the neighborhood. I love Frozen, too, but I was hoping we could go the more creative-kitschy route.

"Really? Anna?"

"YES! I can't wait to dress up like her for Halloween!" She was so excited.

I knew from last year's experience not to assume that she wouldn't change her mind…so I held onto some hope that the next time I asked, she would have a different answer.

I have since asked her the same question at least a half a dozen times, and she has remained constant.


Well, if my child wants to be one of a billion Annas on Halloween, I will at least make sure her costume is one of a kind.

So I started searching online for patterns and sales and coupons to fabric stores. I was going to make her the prettiest Anna costume there ever was….

…until I slapped myself upside my own head.

Seriously, Ashley? You are 32 weeks into a high risk pregnancy. The baby could come at any point, and the last thing you need to be doing is slaving away over an Anna costume for love of everything holy. With your luck, the thing will be still in pieces on the floor when your water breaks all over it, and you'll ruin the dress AND your child's Halloween FOREVER!

So, I re-routed and found this very nice replica for less money than the fabric would have been had I made it myself.

JCPenney Anna Costume

This beauty will be at our door in a few days, and I won't have to worry about working my fingers to the bone on a costume she may eventually refuse to put on the night of Halloween.

Halloween shouldn't be about competing with other parents to see who put the most time and energy into a costume. It should simply be about letting kids have a little bit of fun while they dress up as something special…and then eating all their candy after they go to bed.

You might assume Charlotte is going as Olaf or Sven or Elsa to complete the "theme."


She will be a ladybug. A store-bought-with-a-coupon ladybug.

They may be the only Anna-Ladybug pair out there, and that's as original as it's gonna get this year.

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