The Night We Turned into Lego.

On Friday night, I found myself putting on makeup while squinting at a tiny Lego Minifigure for reference. The night before, I was designing a hoodie and yoga pants – while studying that same minifigure to guide my fingers.

There are far too few times in life that this occurs, but our family made the most of our big opportunity.

Because here’s the deal: We are a Lego Family. My husband has loved these bricks since he was a child, and even claims to have somewhat decided his career based on them (“My job is just like building Lego – except with 3-D computer models instead of by hand.”)

In addition, we design a trunk for our church’s Trunk and Treat every year, always themed around something quirky.

So the fact that The Lego Movie came out this year meant that this was his chance. His chance to enter into every childhood fantasy, and to show off his mad brick skills to the world.

First, our costumes, as compared to the movie characters:

Family Photo with Lego Movie Characters

Ali is the ever-positive Princess Unikitty, Noah is “The Special”, also known as Emmet. I am WyldStyle, later identified as Lucy, and Chris is the villain, Lord Business.

If you’ve seen the movie you understand why Chris had to be Lord Business.

Because he is Lord Business.

My Lord Business stayed up until 1am two nights in a row designing this for the back of his truck – out of his own Lego (and a few from the kid’s collection.)

Lego Movie Trunk Treat

I watched him meticulously design a diorama so complicated that no passing kid at Trunk and Treat would ever fully absorb it, but such trivialities don’t matter to Lord Business.

Lego Building

Luckily for you, though, I am here to explain it.

The concept is that there’s a stadium with screaming fans. The game being played is Chess.

Lego Stadium

Like football, Chess can be brutal, requiring medics and stretchers.

Lego Chess Set

In the stands can be found all pertinent, themed, and slightly sketchy minifigures.

Lego Stadium Minifig

(Chris put me in charge of assembling the minifigs, and I might have enjoyed my job a bit too much.)

Quirky Lego Minifig

Some were important enough to get skyboxes, such as the stars of The Lego Movie and important Hobbits.

Lego Skyboxes with Emmet and Lucy

And others perhaps took their skyboxes with dark magic or by practicing the spells they were learning in school.

Lego Skyboxes

In front of the stadium are the tailgaters, and perhaps those that didn’t pay for an actual ticket into the stadium.

Lego Tailgating

And of course at every good tailgate, you have a satellite dish and a Grillmaster.

Lego Grillmaster

(There are so many layers of Chris in this project. So. Many. Layers.)

He set it all up in his truck, along with exact replicas of the signage around the Lego sets in The Lego Movie.

Lego Themed Trunk and Treat

“But babe, some people will see those signs and not get The Lego Movie reference and just think you’re being a turd.”

“That’s okay. Because I’m half serious about the signs, too. I don’t want all those kids trying to touch my Lego!”

“You’re SO Lord Business.”

“Yes. Yes I am.”

Lord Business Costume

His bravery gave me strength: If he could risk the exposure of his Lego to thousands of juvenile passerby, then I could do my part, too.

Lucy Costume Wyldstyle

(I had to add my pink and blue hair once I arrived to meet him, as the ones I ordered from Amazon didn’t come in, and I spent all day Friday at the doctor and had to send Chris to Sally Beauty Supply to buy my hair extensions. I knew he’d do it because he will do anything thing for [Lego] Love.)

WyldStyle and Princess Unikitty Costumes

Noah was Emmet all the way down to The Piece of Resistance, which Chris rubber-banded and binder-clipped to his back.

Emmet Costume

And Ali was a fantastic Princess Unikitty thanks to an amazing blog reader and master crochet artist, Stephanie, whom I texted less than two weeks in advance, and she miraculously created this masterpiece for me:

Princess Unikitty Hat

(I added the braided tail. Because that’s the extent of my construction capabilities.)

Lego Movie Kids Costumes

And then we got to work. Handing out candy to hundreds (thousands?) of kids,

Lego Trunk Treat

and torturing our children with the sudden cold snap that came just in time for Halloween.

Princess Unikitty Cold

That night, as I tucked Noah into bed, I was asking him about all of his favorite parts of the event.

“What were your favorite costumes?”

Sleepily, he answered me, “I only liked yours, Mom.”

Endlessly loyal to Lucy: He’s the perfect Emmet.

The next morning, Noah woke up and squealed, “Daddy said we could play with all the Lego tomorrow and now it’s tomorrow. All of them!! ISN’T HE NICE?!?!?”

Playing with Legos

So maybe he’s not a total Lord Business after all.


Appendix:

– Clearly, we have a lot of minifigures, which are really the most fun part of Lego in my opinion. To create this giant collection, I bought Chris these minifigure sets three Christmases in a row. They have fantastic characters in them, and, in Lego standards, are inexpensive (well, two out of three are, anyway.)

– Thanks to the overcrowding of Frozen costumes this year, Lego Movie costumes were impossible to find (which made us the only Lego Movie characters that we saw all night, so at least we were unique.) Noah’s jacket, however, I found here, and I’m sure he’ll wear it every other day for the rest of the winter. Ali’s hat was custom crocheted for her by Stephanie at Spring Valley Special and quite reasonably priced, and I am positive it will be Ali’s go-to winter hat. Chris made his headpiece out of a couple of UPS boxes, a Lego Store container top, a couple of styrofoam cylinders, tea lights, and spray paint. If he wears it all winter, I’ll let you know. I created my outfit with a black hoodie and multicolored duct tape, and some pretty fabulous hot pink lipstick.

The Year We Were Vaguely Arabian.

We’ve found ourselves in a bit of a Halloween Tradition: decorating our trunk and handing out candy for our Church’s Trunk and Treat. But the problem is, when you spend your first year dressed as a Pregnant Mary, Donkey, and Angel, it’s seriously hard to ever top that.

(Nor will Noah ever live up to his role as Jesus-in-Utero. But that’s not really the point right now.)

But this year, I found inspiration in the International Section at Unclaimed Baggage, and bought all four of us authentic but mysterious outfits (for $6-12 each, might I add.)

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(So yes, we built our Halloween on the backs of now-naked international tourists.)

These pieces, by the way, made me feel seriously icky about the quality of American clothing. They were so thick, so luxurious, so delicately hand-sewn, so opulent…

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I admit to having no idea exactly what nations our outfits came from. A good homeschool Mom would have researched them tirelessly and done a unit study with each child on their country of origin.

But I am not that Mom.

Instead, we titled our trunk “Vaguely Arabian” and whenever pushed for more detailed information regarding our theme, explained that there was no absolute truth to the story of our trunk, but we didn’t have a Genie, so we couldn’t be Aladdin.

I’m guessing that Ali’s dress was from somewhere in South Asia – Malaysia or Bangladesh perhaps. Noah’s definitely looked Middle-Eastern-Muslim (and came with white cotton pants that were way too big for him.) His still had the tags on them, so I imagined that someone had taken a holiday to Dubai and lost their grandson’s souvenir.

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I’m nearly positive I was wearing an Indian Sari and Chris was wearing…I really have no idea what Chris was wearing. But it was awesome.

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His Full-Length embroidered robe could have been worn by the North African Monks guarding the Ark of the Covenant. But perhaps without the tennis shoes and cargo shorts.

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As for our background, it was…well, it was bad.

I could give many excuses, like being out of town for the last three weekends, serious hecticness the days we were home, the fact that trunk and treat had to be adjusted two hours earlier to avoid the rain storms and therefore was in my trunk instead of Chris’ so we couldn’t make our background as high, and since it was in the daylight it looked more crappy than it would’ve appeared in the dark, but…

It was what it was.

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$4 Flying carpets from Wal-Mart tie-wrapped together, our castle recycled from last year with leaning Arabian Turrets…and that’s pretty much it.

Fortunately, Noah didn’t care. AT ALL.

Noah Jumping

And Ali was so excited about handing out candy that she didn’t seem to notice our lacking in detail either.

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She asked me when it was going to start once a minute every minute, and as soon as she started to see “Customers”, she was giddy with excitement.

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She worked frantically, picking out the right two pieces of candy for each child with a level of OCD that would even make Sheldon proud.

Noah was entirely too busy chain sucking all the Dum Dums, but every now and then he would be inspired, grab a hand-full of candy, and give a lucky kid quite the bonus.

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That is, unless he was shunned.

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Some kids just prefer their candy not be covered in Dum Dum grease, I guess.

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Everyone got tired after a while and retreated to the Arabian Resort, offering lodging for other poor exhausted candy-collectors.

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But somehow, when it was time to set out with their Vaguely Arabian Father to gather their own loot, their zeal was miraculously restored.

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So if you know where our clothing was really from, or just care to make a random guess, please do.

The North Pole of Halloween.

You might have noticed that my husband has a bit of obsession with Christmas.

…Which would explain why he was willing to dress as a donkey to get me in a Pregnant Mary outfit two years ago.

So as my husband encourages me ever quickly down the slippery slope of becoming a Holiday Liberalist, we found ourselves, yet again, in a Christmas scene for Halloween.

Halloween

…except that Chris got a promotion – from sweaty donkey to ridiculous elf (in a pair of boxers that he so fortunately won four years ago.)

…and Noah got a demotion – from the unborn Son of God to Token Polar Bear in Random North Pole Scene (RNPS).

…but he did add a bit of interest to his costume, as he preferred the Abby and Brittany look.

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Although Noah ran from every photo opportunity,

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and only allowed me side shots of him in full costume as he desperately declothed his head,

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Ali stayed true to her Princess ways and allowed a full photoshoot, requesting that I be sure and place them on my blog, not Facebook and Twitter, so that more people would be able to see them.

So here you go, blog – you’re welcome.

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But while I was busy photographing the children, Chris was already at Church constructing his beloved RNPS.

Upon arrival, the kids were…well, they were more impressed than they looked.

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Ali remembered the extreme businesslike attitude that it takes to hand out candy to 3,000+ kids, so she did a few stretches, planned her candy sorting strategy, and watched as the crowds drew nigh.

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(While Noah tried to stash as many suckers as possible in his Polar Belly.)

The superheroes landed, and Ali set to work.

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Noah watched, slurping down candy, confused as to why his sister would give it all away.

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But more exciting than 100 pounds of candy was the arrival of someone very important…

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Pop, back from Memphis, with his own “custom” Halloween costume, or eye at least.

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Ali exhausted early and was swept away by her Fairy Godmother to go candy-collecting,

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And so I re-recruited Noah – just to see if he would actually give the candy away.

Surprisingly enough, he did.  But he painstakingly made every kid wait a good fifteen seconds as he contemplated letting go of the goodness,

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and then was the King of Awkwardly Long Eye Contact, just daring them to not appreciate the gift of which he bestowed.

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Noah and I broke away to check out the other trunks as he sucked the life off of yet another sucker stick.

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My favorites included the 50’s Soda Shoppe,

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The Italian Ristorante,

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The iPhone that dropped candy out of the bottom upon choosing an app,

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CANDY MOUNTAIN, Charlie(!!),

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An extremely happy Mexican Restaurant,

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And, strategically choosing the last stop of the trunks, Heaven.

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It was a long night for Polar Bears everywhere.

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But fortunately, there were substances available in a high enough volume to drown any amount of sorrows.

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And because there just haven’t been enough already, here’s a gratuitous cute photo of my kids.

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Because that’s the real meaning of Halloween.

(That, and stealing all of the good candy after they go to bed.)