I’ve never been one to want to go crazy dressing up for Halloween.  Then I became a schoolteacher and realized that even though I was an adult with a grown-up job, I would still be needing to find a costume each October.

My second year as a teacher I had the idea to dress up as Viola Swamp from the Miss Nelson books.  Miss Swamp is the evil substitute teacher who whips Miss Nelson’s class into shape when Miss Nelson is absent.  It turns out that Miss Nelson was really Viola Swamp and acted mean to teach her naughty class a lesson.  I had so much fun pretending to be Miss Swamp.  My first graders were almost positive that it was still me dressed up as Miss Swamp…but there was still a tiny element of uncertainty.  Months later my students would occasionally bring up Halloween and say things like, “We know it was really you. It was. It was really you…wasn’t it…?”

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8And so a tradition was born.  Once a month my Grandma hosts a dinner for all of her children and their families.  My Mom and Grandma had heard all about my costume and wanted to see it in action so they made the October family dinner a dress-up affair and it’s been that way ever since.  Everyone really got into it:

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I think you can pretty much tell what everyone is supposed to be except maybe Dallas who is Nephi and Sarah who is Sonic the Hedgehog.

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Here are some other family members in costume at the dinner:

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Dallas and I got married on December 26, 2003 in the Salt Lake Temple.

We woke up that morning to a HUGE snowstorm:

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I had to wear my snow boots with my dress:

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We snapped a few pictures at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building:

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Then we headed down to Provo to have our reception in the ballroom of the Provo Library:

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Dallas and I met on May 10, 2003 in the Provo Library.  We immediately started seeing each other every day.  One thing led to another and somehow Dallas convinced me to accompany his ward’s youth on their pioneer trek.  My agreeing to do so is a testament of just how much I liked this guy.

We were such a cute little pioneer couple:

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Dallas took me to meet his Dad and this picture was taken:

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Dallas’s stake was in charge of putting on an annual nativity pageant at Christmas.  We were shepherds:

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I think this was the first year my family decided to do a variety show on Christmas Eve.  Dallas and I played a musical duet:

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Things progressed and we found ourselves engaged!  We took a million pictures in the hopes of finding the right one to send out in our wedding announcement.

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Behold, the picture we chose:

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Dallas looked super handsome trying on his wedding tux:

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Here we are getting our marriage license:

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Things were about to get official!