i’ve lived those seven days a thousand times. moments, now they’re all a blur, except for every second and every word.

It didn’t take long after moving to Chicago in late November 2008 that I swore I would never live here to see another winter in this city.  Brr, was that one brrrrrutal!   That was almost two years ago and the weather these past few days has indicated that my third Chicago winter is quickly approaching.  It’s funny because Stef said the same thing, and now she’s approaching her 4th? 5th? winter in The Windy City.  But it’s not winter yet, even if Mother Nature is playing tricks with us here in Chi-Town with the 48 degree morning commutes.  Seriously, do you want Stef and I to move?  Just tell us, give us wonderful jobs in new cities, higher paychecks, and we’re outta here!

I spent another enjoyable day with Stef on Sunday as we ran errands, made holiday cards for soldiers overseas, and stopped by the Halloween store for a creative brainstorming session.  The Halloween Store: The sign that Fall has arrived.  Just seeing that store made me think of the fall…which made me think of college…then Athens…and OU Halloween.  Halloween in Athens.  Maybe you’ve heard rumors and stories, but unless you’ve experienced it for yourself then you have no idea what it’s really all about.

I love the fall!  The crispy, cool (not freezing) air; Drinking hot apple cider, hot tea, coffee, and even an occasional hot chocolate; Boots, hoodies, sweaters, cardigans, and gloves; High school football games and sitting out on the bar patio with a chill in the air.  Taking long walks with all the leaves changing and falling from trees.  I love it all, especially cute little kids in adorable Halloween costumes…and pumpkin spice lattes!  Both are pretty A.MAY.ZING. and I refuse to choose one over the other- although when I see little Hazel & George in their costumes in a few weeks (!) I’m pretty sure that pumpkin spice lattes all over the world will surrender to the cuteness.

But back to Halloween and my favorite place on earth, Athens, Ohio.  As soon as I entered that Halloween store with Stef on Sunday, the aroma of nostalgia took over my whole being.  If I skipped, I’m sure I’d be skipping still.  As I looked over all the Sexy This and Slutty That costumes, I found myself falling in love all over again with Halloweens Past.  Oh Athens, I miss you.  You’ve ruined Halloween for me though because no one’s will ever compare to yours. 

Skimming through the costumes, I found myself lost in thoughts of my first Halloween in Athens.  October 2003.  Seven frickin’ years ago.  We look so young, but then again we were!  Now 3 of those girls are married and the other 3 are engaged or ‘in a relationship’ (via FB)  And the 7th girl in the picture, the girl in some white lacy thing and black top hat, yep she’s still single.  I still cannot believe I wore that! 

That was a great Halloween and my favorite in Athens, by far.  Amanda and I went as Madonna & Britney Spears, respectively, as the VMA shenanigans had just occurred a few weeks before.  Yes, there was a kiss.  A very quick, kiss that is honestly the one thing that I don’t remember from that night.  I really do remember most of the events that took place that evening- some more than others- probably because I was sober for the majority of it.  Halloween lived up to its expectations, unlike most New Year’s Eves.

If I could go back to a time in my life and start all over again, it may very well be that night.  Now there are many more reasons behind why I say this, yet none that I am going to indulge you with today.  Let’s just say that Halloween was not the only memorable day for me back in Fall 2008.  The days that followed were pretty A.MAY.ZING. too. 

It’s hard not to feel nostalgic as I feel the chill in the air or sip my hot apple cider, and, oddly enough, each slutty whatever costume leaves me reminiscent of Athens and those Halloween celebrations- especially my first.  And now that I’m living in Chicago, it’s down-right impossible for me to forget the boy in the Cubs jersey that night who leaves me wishing I could start all over again beginning with Halloween weekend, 2003.

Song of the Moment: Seven Days by Kenny Chesney

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