It all started with how we chose to use this movie as our family theme this year. My neighbor had taken her children to see Inside Out at the theatre and texted me while there. “Has anyone been following you around for the past year to learn your persona? Because you are in this movie!” I laughed, thinking it was my energetic, spastic, silly nature and figured she was probably right. I am my elementary school’s tiger mascot (picture included, I requested a sub for this assembly so I could have my alter egos together in one picture) Then my girls and I watched the movie. We were hooked, they were convinced, I should be Joy for Halloween.

Since there are 5 emotions and 5 members of our family, and we always enjoy to go out together thematically (previous years included Despicable Me 2, life stages of a butterfly, 3 blind mice, the cow jumping over the moon, the princess and the pea), the idea was born. Each of the girls exercised real commitment to make their costumes work.

Anger (Kaelyn, 7) wanted me to tease her hair to look like fire. That is not a wig. Sadness (Taylor, 9) chopped hers off in order to depict her character more authentically. Disgust (Ellory, 4) wore fake eyelashes and practiced the snarled lip for about a week. Most of our finds came from local Goodwill searches.

I painted on the floral design to make Disgust’s dress, and found a lanyard to repurpose into her belt. Headbands with hand cut fun foam letters helped to label our characters for those who hadn’t seen the movie. I painted and affixed a pipe cleaner to Fear’s bald purple head, and made a red crushed velvet tie out of some scrap material. Perhaps the most labor intensive piece to make was Fear’s houndstooth sweater vest, which I hand drew the pattern onto the entire vest I found for $1 at Goodwill. I happened to have a green floral sundress that would suffice for Joy’s wardrobe.

The most exciting part of our costume design occurred when Taylor and I realized that rather than wear a headband, Joy’s name tag could be attached to my belly, where our own little Bundle of Joy will be making his/her debut in March 2016. A full family effort and received with much enthusiasm by family and friends.

What we love each year is that it brings our whole family together for wonderful memory making. We also learn that as cool as our individuality is, we are always better as an ensemble. I’m hoping to keep the tradition going as long as our children allow mom and dad to dress up like goofballs with them. They are already talking about next year’s theme. We haven’t won any official contests, but on facebook comments include “I think you just won Halloween” and “epic. best. family. ever” so I figured it was worth a shot to submit for some actual bragging rights!