Need a holiday dress that’s perfect for holiday photos? Thanks to Girls Dress Shop for sponsoring this post about creating holiday memories. #HolidaySparkle
When I look back at holidays and special occasions as a child I remember always being the kid who was in a fancy outfit finding a way to do everything you’re not supposed to do when you’re all dressed up. Hiding under furniture, hunting for frogs in the backyard of a relative’s house, barefoot in the dirt running around. You know…
Kayla is clearly my child. I send her to school each morning looking fairly put together and each afternoon I pick up a bedraggled looking child. On one hand, it makes my heart happy to know she’s having fun and not being the child who cares too much about getting scuff marks on her shoes to go run in the dirt. On the other, my goodness it’s rare that I get a chance to capture her looking fancy. So this holiday season I vowed to do just that before she grows up anymore. It’s happening so fast I could cry!
Rather than take her to sit on Santa’s lap or get staged holiday photos I figured I’d take her to a place she loves and let her be a kid. If there is one thing I have learned about taking photos of your children it’s that you’ll always get the best ones if you don’t force it and you don’t tell them what to do. Just let them be, talk to them, make jokes and snap away. So if you get your kids dressed up for a party or to visit Santa this season and you live in a place where the climate allows for it I highly suggest making a stop on the way home at a park a trail or elsewhere and just let them be little. You might get a photo you’ll treasure forever there.
We headed to the Fullerton Arboretum – a place I’ve talked about before. Kayla and I both love it here because it’s just so full of nature. She started by carefully inspecting one of the ponds for turtles.
Then she did what all kids love to do in wide open spaces – she ran like a little crazy person. Sure her dress was fancy, but it was also very comfortable. It gave me so much pleasure to see Kayla in such a beautiful dress but also watch her still be able to be the curious, nature loving child she really is at heart.
She made her own “fishing rod” using a couple of long blades of grass. Something she has been doing since she was four with no trophy catch to show but still continues to do which makes me smile every time.
While shopping at Girls Dress Shop for a holiday dress I looked for one that would suit her style (glitzy) but that would also allow her to move, bend, run and just be a kid. I expected shipping to take much longer than it did and was shocked when this gorgeous dress showed up at our doorstep just a couple of days later. Always nice during the holiday season!
We climbed into our favorite giant tree, Kayla leading the way because you know she’s a big kid now.
Then we found a bridge with some ducks passing by underneath and watched them for a while, feeling no rush to be anywhere else. Which was nice. Really, really nice.
And I just knew the bridge was our spot. She was so happy there. I let her kick off her shoes and play. At first she started out playing shy. This is the moment when you strike up a conversation.
And while deep in thought about what she might ask Santa for this Christmas I caught this photo. I can’t put my finger on why, but it just felt special to me.
Then she did what all little girls want to do in a fancy dress. She twirled. At all opportunities let your child twirl. In fact, stop what you’re doing and twirl with them. That slightly dizzy feeling you get, doesn’t it remind you of being a kid? Of simpler times?
I love that Girl’s Dress Shop is all about making memories, having special moments and just letting kids be kids while expressing themselves. Their selection for ages newborn through 12 years is laid out in a way that that makes it easy to shop based on occasion (hey you just might find your own daughter’s holiday dress here) and they have some styles I wouldn’t normally find in the places I tend to shop for Kayla’s everyday clothes.
So this holiday season treat your child to something special they can wear and let them be a kid in it. I bet you those memories and pictures will be ones that stick with both of you for quite some time! This was a good reminder to me that we should do this more often. Of course I’ve got the next dress picked out. I mean how cute is this one?