Hallmark: Back to School Style

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So the first day of kindergarten happened today, and I’m still processing all of the emotions (there’s a lot to process). Until I write about how these first couple of days felt for all of us, I’ll start with something easy…what we wore.

During first day preparations last night, I happened to check Instagram to see my dad posted photos of my own first day of kindergarten. Which brings me to the notable interjection of why in heaven’s name did I show my dad how to use Instagram? It is now only used on his behalf to post photos of the past (my buck teeth and permed bangs) and Photoshopped works of art with my head on other bodies. I digress.


Looking at those photos from twenty-seven years ago, I can’t help but smile. My mama’s style is repeating a generation. I love my girls in saddle shoes; I dig collars tucked over layers; and cuffed pants, a good bang trim and hair ribbons are little girl essentials in my book.

I noticed after the comments on a few photos I posted to Instagram yesterday that a little one’s budding style whether it be independent or parent-influenced is fodder for mama discussion much like breast feeding vs. bottle or homeschooling vs. public. Some mamas frown on cartoon character clothing while some hold true to “whatever makes them smile.” Some mamas love school uniforms for their ease and equality while some love the expression interchanging outfits provide. And all mamas fall somewhere along the line of rooting for our kids’ creativity and independent style while still breathing out our own to them, perhaps even unintentionally, by the choices we make. It’s why Lainey slips on a Bears jersey on Sunday afternoons in the fall–because she knows it makes her daddy smile.

And my girl’s first day of school outfit? It says a little bit about us both. It says I only have two kids right now and can manage to find the time to evenly part hair and tie ribbons. It says Mama loves tweed, Lainey loves red, and the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree because I see my own mama’s style in there too. It says this is probably the last year she’ll be happy to wear t-strap little girl shoes with double buckles. It says we did a potty practice in it twice before school to make sure she could unbutton and reposition on her own.



And as much as it matters to me–this nostalgic first day and what she wore–my girl sadly doesn’t quite get it yet, evident by tonight’s preparation for Day Two tomorrow.

After packing her lunch tonight, I held up three dresses for Lainey. “I pulled these from the dryer, and they all smell good. Which one do you want to wear tomorrow?”

She didn’t even have to look up to answer. “Nuffing. I’m not going back to school.”

I smiled. “Alright then, so the striped one it is. Let’s go brush our teeth.”


Do you remember any of your first day of school outfits? What do they say about your own style? And what do your kids’ back-to-school ensembles say about you or your child’s style this year?

Oh, and I’ll be back late tomorrow to talk about the memorable first day. It was very hard for both of us. But in one day…we’ve learned so much.

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  1. I remember crying franitcally and so did both my boys:) ..But all was well for all of us in first week itself! It is a big milestone! Congratulations!

  2. A red corduroy jumper with saddle leggings. Big bangs and headbands. Oh, the headbands.

  3. Great post :) Love the pictures of you on your first day of school.
    My heart also hurts for you and Lainey and the hard first day, but things will get better :)
    And maybe I chuckled a bit at your response to asking her which dress she wanted to wear. Good job mama!

  4. I just completed day 4 of my first year teaching Kindergarten. I am beginning to understand your feelings, but from a different point of view! I’ve comforted my kiddos lots of times this week, and made sure to give parents extra smiles and reassurance, too. :)

  5. All I remember about back-to-school shopping with my mom and grandma is that my grandma was very conservative and old-fashioned and always wanted me in dresses. I had my own whacky style and preferred a mis-matched combos of shorts or a skirt and t-shirts. For shoes it was almost always either rain boots or moccasins (or no shoes at all).
    My daughter is 6 and for her it’s all about the dress and matching shoes. My grandma (who passed away earlier this year) always bought her new clothes for her birthday and it was always dresses or skirts–fancy ones at that. My daughter loved it! So I guess my grams finally got her girly-girl :)

  6. My Sophomore year in high school I was wearing a red Ralph Lauren tee, Ralph Lauren dark denim jeans and brown shoes. I thought it was cool to wear RL… name brands were (are?) such a thing! I also wore Polo Sport for Women fragrance.

  7. As I walked on campus for my first college class just last year, I received a text from my parents from my very first day of kindergarten 13 years prior to that day exactly. What did I wear? I remember it perfectly. I wore a pink and purple striped t-shirt and a purple Gap Kids jumper. Complete with white tights and tan suede mary janes. A side half pony and a purple monogrammed L.L. Bean backpack completed the look, and I rocked it. I will never forget that day, ever.

  8. Third grade – cowboy style boots with fringe, a long denim skirt, brown belt, and a white button down shirt. It says NOTHING about my current style, thank god.

  9. I don’t remember my first day of Kinder at ALL! But my husband walked to school with his mom, they said their goodbyes, she left. He high-tailed it back home. I think he reached as far as the playground before he agreed to be the Principal’s “Special Helper” that day. On day two, he joined his classmates. I can’t wait to hear how Lainey’s first day went!

  10. I went to school in the UK so my first day of school I wore the uniform pinafore with turtle neck and knee-high socks.

    My house literally backed onto the school and I could see inside my classroom from my bedroom so I was excited to go to school rather than anxious.

    Now I live in Australia and my little 5 yr old cherub wears a school uniform too. But last week they had a free dress day for the school Walkathon and it just happened to be the day she got her first honour certificate so I was there to take photos. The outfit she chose for that day was 100% Bella. She loves bright blue so she wore bright blue skinny jeans, a striped blazer and a headband on her head but OVER her hair (seriously, I can’t convince her to wear it any other way

    My computer is so slow, I can’t open the exact post to show you the pic but the post is called “Being There” http://www.twenty5seven.org/

    Gorgeous pics, kelle, and I’m glad Poppa is on IG… now we just need to work on nagging him to get his own blog ;o)

  11. Oh I remember some of my first day of school outfit…from my high school years specifically and all they say about me is duuudddee you totally didnt have any style!!!

    I love her first outfit and just like everyone else says, in a few days (weeks? she will be running into the school happily, I’m sure!

  12. My first day outfits in kinder, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades were always dresses that my mom made for me. I loved these, until the kids at my new school in 3rd grade started teasing me for my homemade outfits. Then I started wearing things I thought the other kids would be wearing. Of course I realize how how special it was to have those dresses, and I love and appreciate that my mom was showing her love for me through creating something that no one else would have. I love Lainey’s outfit!! Adorable!!!

  13. Sadly, I don’t remember any of my first day of school outfits. That’s a tradition I want to start with my daughter. I want to take her picture of each first day of school, while holding a sign saying what she wants to be when she grows up. :)

    I love all of your instragram pictures today!! A few of them made me cry, but I guess that’s really not hard to do. Lol. I can’t wait to hear all about it!!

  14. I remember as a child my mother loved me wearing dresses and skirts. As a little girl I liked it too. I remember in Kindergarten I wore a blue dress with white socks that had silky ruffles on the edge and shoes similar to Lainey’s but mine were black. My hair was long and curly, like it still is, and my mom took tons of pictures. I finally got tired of smiling and started getting aggravated. I was also quite shy when I was that young and I was too scared to ask if I could use the restroom so I held it almost all day until I couldn’t wait any longer. Oh Gosh memories…my son, Jeremiah is 6 and started 1st grade this year. He has autism so he’s in a special class for autistic kids. Everyday I think of him and hope he’s okay amd having a good day, making friends, etc.

  15. You both made it thru day 1. Such a wise momma with your reply to Lainey’s “not going” comment. Praying you both get some good sleep tonight and day 2 goes well for all. ((hugs)) Transition is NOT easy. I was never very good about going back to school each fall. But it was helpful lessons for life.

  16. Her little red shoes….I can hardly stand the cuteness of it all!! Adorable…..as a side note, although I don’t recall what I wore my first day of kindergarten(although I’m sure there are pics, I’ll have to consult my mom!) my mom says that after walking me to my classroom, I looked at her and said “You can go now”…She still talks about that….at least she laughs about it now!

  17. I only have one first day of school outfit that I remember… Kindergarten… Very frilly lavendar dress and what I thought were orange shoes (looking back, they were a brownish color…. Not nearly orange) And I was horrified that my shoes didn’t match. So funny that I can still remember 28 years later.

    I love your sweet girl’s outfit. I want it for myself! *ha!*

  18. Oh those shoes!!! I had a visceral flashback looking at those and the smell and newness all came flooding back….

  19. We already had to wear a uniform, the summer blue plaid dress, with white knee highs and black buckled shoes.
    I haven’t got a photo with me, so can’t remember if my hair was already cut in a bob style or if I had pig tails. If there’s one thing I will do when I have children, and that is get their hair cut by a professional. Geez I know money was probably tight with a family of 5 children but my Mum cut my hair until I was in high school, and you could tell!

    My poor brother loathed having his hair cut, and I can still recall the circus involved in getting him to sit still long enough for Mum to do it. My mother had a hip problem so couldn’t run, so she would get myself and a few of my siblings to chase James and sometimes literally sit on him to allow her to cut his hair. Needless to say his haircuts were probably the worst!

    Can’t wait to hear the full download of that first day.
    Hope tomorrow morning is not as traumatic.

  20. Z Cavaricci’ s and a peach IOU shirt. I so wish my parents had taken a photo. It was 1990 and my first day of high school. My parents really never could afford clothes like that, so I cherished that outfit. My mom always wanted me to be happy with my childhood. It’s funny how we remember certain things.
    On a different note, Kelle, thank you for being honest and open, and sharing your family’s life, the way you do. It is so refreshing to see a mother’s love like yours. After reading your book many months ago and following your blog, I have been so touched by you. You have been an inspiration to me. Again, thank you. Your family is precious. So very blessed. <3 dani

  21. I remember mine well… We had uniforms…green plaid uniforms…I wore them for 9 years straight but I also remembing having the cutest mary jane’s to go with that uniform. Every year we would get new uniforms, shirts, t-shirts, shoes.. and we wouldn’t be allowed to wear any of it until the first day of school. That smell of new stuff always brings me back to the 1st days of school.

  22. Loving your Lainey’s style. My oldest wore a dress with shoes similar to Lainey’s. Back in those days the parents had to wait outside while the kids lined up and went in without us. My girl heard that whistle blow, got in line and waved “bye Mom”, she didn’t even turn around to look at me.

    I made sure I took those first day of school pictures every year until they graduated.

    Cherish these special days, they go by in a heartbeat.

  23. I certainly do remember my dress from the first day of kindergarten so long ago. I recently found an old black and whit picture of that memorable day, me standing next to my proud Grandad and my envious little sister. I was so excited and couldn’t wait. I also recently found a quilt top that my mom had carefully pieced together made out of all the scraps from my old dresses and sure enough, there in the middle were pieces, all bright and brand new, in that beautiful quilt top telling the story of me. My mom has been gone for five years now and so, this quilt top is now being carefully finished with a bright backing. I love it. The first day and the memories and now, I can wrap myself in them!

  24. I don’t remember the outfit exactly, but I wore Guess on my first day of Kindergarten! Plaid skirt, red shirt I think?!
    Sadly I had no sense of fashion all through school… especially high school! I remember my first day of grade 10 outfit: white tank, black fleece hoodie & bright yellow pants. It was BAD.

    I can’t wait to hear about your big girl’s first day!

  25. My mother did not put much emphasis on what I wore…that, or I just don’t plain remember. What I do remember is balling my eyes out. I think the other kids in the class thought I was getting shots or something. I remember them staring hard. BUT, I had such a good, caring, & kind-hearted, teacher who smoothed my transition thoughtout that first year from momma’s girl to a big girl in school.
    Love ya in Tejas,

  26. correction:
    ‘transition throughout’
    good-night, it’s late.

  27. I just remeber first day of school clothes being uncomfortable…so they must have been ugly :) This year my girls are in uniforms – kind of boring, but I hear it is easier.

  28. I think my first day of kindergarten included me wearing a white, frilly Christmas like dress, maybe with shiney black shoes? Mom was kind of a hippy and let me wear whatever I wanted to school, even play clothes, which is exactly how I would classify that dress.

    What it says about me? All day, everyday…frilly and girly.

  29. I was six and I wore a pink, fluffy knitted sweater. I only remember the sweater, I will probably never forget the sweater. Or the hair, which was boy short, with a “rat tail”. Oh 80’s.

  30. I do not remember this AT ALL, but rumor has it I didn’t want to go back after my first day at school.

    And now, here I am, at school EVERY year as a grown up. And I love it. (And I ended up loving school growing up, too!)

    I’m sure I looked horribly dorky, too. Kids here start the day after Labor Day, and I cannot WAIT to see first day of school outfits!

  31. I don’t have my own kids yet, so I’ll have to indulge you in stories of what I wore on my first day of school. It was 1992 and my mom let me throw down my own brand of creativity which is why I wore bright pink and blue paisley-print shorts, a little mermaid t-shirt and brown saddle shoes.

    Oh and it was the 90’s, so I was almost definitely sporting a scrunchie. Or two….or, um, three? (I wore those suckers as bracelets.)

    Cheers Kelle! Lovin’ Lainey’s socks hard!

  32. I have one outfit in particular that stands out from my “first days” memory file. It was the first day of 8th grade–1991–and I was wearing white denim shorts with black stars on them, rolled up to “daisy duke” length. I had on black “bike” spandex shorts under them and a black t-shirt with the sleeves rolled up just-so. My feet held two pairs of socks on each foot, black and white on one and white and black on the other (yep, they were in a different order on each foot), rolled down from the tops and a pair of LA Gear pink/black/silver high-top sneakers with two sets of laces…silver and black. My hair was very freshly kinky curly permed with my sky high bangs that resembled a wave of some sort.

    Yes. It was 1991 and I thought I was cool.


  33. I only remember school pictures. My mom never took pics of us, so I have very few to remember that sort of thing by. That will not be the case with my girls;)

  34. I remember my Dad taking me, as it was easier for him to take the morning off work. My Mum was a teacher at a different school, so had the hard choice of being with her new class for the first day – or with her daughter for the special big first day. I wore a uniform, as it was compulsory. And had a funky red case as my bag. I was nervous, and excited. I was shy. I remember an older girl catching eyes with me, and saying “What are you looking at?” in a very mean tone – making me shy away more.
    And as my firstborn starts school in January, I am already filled with so much emotion.

    Lainey rocked that outfit. She’s gorgeous in so many ways.
    Hope she does face up for day 2.



  35. I can’t remember what I wore (my folks weren’t big on pics) all I can say is that I am thankful my little Miss Mietta will have a uniform next year for her 3yo Kinda. I would have her kicking and screaming had I dressed her in that cute kit you dressed Lainey.


    PS: Lainey is a little “mini me” of you but in a golden blonde version :-)

  36. Just wanted to say that Lainey’s first day of school outfit is absolutely precious! She is a doll!

  37. Man – I don’t remember any of my first day of school outfits. But I did dress my daughter in a peach and white striped cotton dress for her first day of preschool. And my son wore a grey soccer shirt with navy blue shorts. :o)

    As an aside, I have always found the second day of school to be the hardest. It’s like they make it through the first day and they think they are done. My babies weren’t so keen on day #2. :o)

  38. How bout none, cause I never went! :-O

  39. Her outfit is adorable. I hope her 2nd day is better….for both of you.


  40. There is a video of me with my Grammie (mom behind the camera) on the first day of kindgarten. I was wearing my navy blue mary janes and a dress my mom had made for me. Similar to Lainey, my mom had pulled my fine, blonde hair into pigtails with ribbons. We laugh when we watch the video now, because as Grammie and I walked toward the school bus, hand-in-hand, I wouldn’t let go and almost dragged her up the bus steps with me. The video then cuts to the bus driving away and me waving out the window.

    There is a follow-up video of me getting off the bus that afternoon. My dad says, “Oh, she;s smiling… no, she’s crying!” The tears were not because of school, but rather the school bus and the big kids. I loved school, but it was a long time before I agreed to take the bus again.

    Congratulations on the first day of school! I believe we sometimes learn as much about our relationships with loved ones when we are apart as when we are together.

  41. I am 3 years away from my son’s first day of kindergarten and I’m already in tears reading about Lainey’s first day outfit. Hugs to you both and lots of prayers for all of her year’s of school… they will be amazing!

  42. That outfit on Lainey is adorable…perfect for a JCP Fall catalog! But come on…REAL life happens and kids need COMFY, easy to access clothes for when they are in the potty line and out having recess….you know that ensemble is no where near comfy and practical for a Kindergartener….poor child! I think the dress up should be left for at home not school where the teacher is no the child’s personal mommy.

  43. My mom did not take a picture of me on the first day I went to school.
    Christmas and Birthdays were pretty much the only picture worthy days in my mom’s book. Needless to say she was not the scrapbooking type.
    She did however, make me the most amazing Strawberry Shortcake print jumper for my Kindergarten field trip and another mom took a picture of me in it and gave it to her. I do treasure that picture.
    I look exactly like you Kelle- brown bangs with big eyes looking up from them and pigtails tied with ribbons that matched the jumper.
    I love that picture. My daughter has to wear uniforms but we rock a myriad of hairstyles and barettes. I take a ton of pictures.

  44. “Nuffing. I’m not going back to school.”

    You are so much braver than I was! I sent mine to school that first day and I would not leave! I stayed outside the room! When they told me later that week I could not stay outside the room, I waited on the playground for them (I have twins and I felt I was leaving both my heart and my soul in that building!). My daughter was fine in school as long as her twin brother was there with her, but he wanted to come home. After ten days my husband finally suggested that we homeschool.
    I am such a softy that when I read your little one’s comment I just wanted to scoop her up and tell her she didn’t have to go. I know, I am pathetic!
    I have friends that homeschool, public school, private school and some that send some to traditional school and then homeschool some of their other children, depending on what is best for that child. Only you know what is best for you and your right now and it may change back and forth year by year. No matter where she goes to school, she will do GREAT having such a good caring Mama!
    BTW, after homeschooling my twins the entire way through school, they began college on Monday. Yep, I let them go without me and I didn’t even wait on the playground this time! I’m really growing up!

  45. I am loving reading about Lainey’s Kindergarten adventure! I feel so much emotions in your post… which is making me nostalgic remembering my early school days, and also focusing on enjoying the time I have left with my two year old before he goes to “real” school. Oh, and my first day of kindergarten outfit was made by my Grandma… along with a matching one for my Cabbage Patch Doll. Great memories!

  46. I had a brown and white “jumper”- like pinafore type dress. Brown tights and red patent mary janes. Two pigtails tied with those fat, fuzzy-type ribbons. Does anyone know what I mean? Like twisted yarn? Anyway, I was excited and happy to go to the school where my Daddy was a teacher. Although I didn’t see him all day, it was good to know he was nearby. And I LOVED my teacher. That made all the difference.

  47. First off, I LOVE LOVE Lainey’s outfit! Oh my goodness. It’s just too much! I hope that I can tap into my child’s sense of style and use what little I have to pull off something that will bring tears to a stranger’s eyes like those photos of Lainey all ready for her first day of school. Oh my! I remember loving my first day of school outfits every year. Except for kindergarten. My mom bought me saddle shoes and I hated those things. I cried that first day because of my shoes. I feel bad for my mom to this day because of that.

  48. That is the cutest 1st day of school outfit ever….LOVE it!!!! It made me sad when Lainey said “Nuffing, I am not going back to school”. That has to be so hard on them the 1st day too….she will adjust and learn to love it so much!!! Can’t wait to hear your recap of the 1st day!

  49. My mom dressed me for my school picture day in Kindergarden – white peter pan collared shirt, navy sweater, green plaid skirt, mary-janes… and right before my picture was taken, I put on my polly pocket necklace. My mom was mad, my dad loved it. He considered it my act of defiance, my small example of expressing myself. I love that picture.

  50. I vaguely remember little white sneakers, a denim skirt, and pigtails. Mostly I remember sobbing that my mom was leaving…until “naughty matthew” ran up an pinched the teacher on the hiney.

    Naughty Matthew would come to pull a lot of antics like that throughout the year.

  51. I remember all of my first day of school outfits…I LOVED picking them out once I got a bit older. I remember one in particular that was my favorite. Before my first day of third grade, we had spent two weeks in Florida visiting my aunt and cousins. My aunt took my sister and I out shopping for new school clothes, and basically bought out the whole store. I wore a dark pink button up pantsuit (keep in mind, this was 1986!), with a bracelet and necklace with colorful airplane beads, and purple jelly shoes! Still love that outfit to this day!!
    I’m so glad Lainey had a great day!! I remember as well thinking that I wouldn’t have to go back because everyone made such a big deal about the first day, there can’t possibly be any more! ha! Little did I know there would be multiple YEARS more!!

    Hope you’re enjoying your time with Nella before the new wee one makes his or her arrival!! Sending you all hugs as you get through the first week of school!! :)

  52. I let my son pick out his own first day of pre-k last year, a missed matched pair of blue and orange basket ball shorts with an orange t-shirt with brown trim. (since they both had orange he thought they matched). His teacher was awesome and thought it was great he picked out his own clothes and often had comments for him! BTW my son loves pre-k and was happy to go back this year (misses the cut off for K) and I am happy he is only going twice a week again, gives us a nice balance of holding on and letting go!

  53. Lainey’s outfit is darling! And so perfect for back to school! Hope this transition gets easier for you- I’m glad I still have a couple of years before it starts for me!

  54. awe, you both have gorgeous style! I’m working on my kid’s clothes, but boy clothes are only half as cute as girl clothes!

  55. Oh gosh, reading this brought back so many memories of my 4 and their first day of school. Reading Lainey’s remark of, “I’m not going back to school”, reminded me of my oldest son. He was my quiet second child and I suppose the “middle one” until number 4 came along. He climbed in my car after his first day of Kindergarten and I smiled and asked, “So, how was your first day of school?” He looked down at the floor and said, “I don’t have any friends there.” We talked and talked about making friends and when I got home, I went into the bathroom and cried my eyes out. Day two comes along and he smiled when he got into the car and proclaimed, “I made a friend today!” It all works out!

  56. I remember many first days- for 1st grade, 3rd grade, 6th, etc. etc.! There were 7 kids in my family, and when we were little we would shop at SEARS! and we could pick out a new outfit for the special day!! It was always a big deal for me.. the first day of first grade I wore my hair in 2 pig tails with 2 barretts that had ribbon braided through and dangling with little charms at the end. I wore a brown and cream colored dress with a maroon colored vest, knee highs and saddle shoes- I felt pretty- but I was SCARED as could be to start a new school. But then i saw a girl who was entering my same class, in the same exact outfit and I knew I had a friend!!! 😉 thinking much of you and lainey.. i’m sure the transition will happen quickly and the both of you will be very happy with the new arrangement soon!:)

  57. I’ve been ready your blog for a couple of years…love it! My first born is starting kindergarten on Monday…oh my! This mama is feeling a little heavy-hearted about it all. It’s helped my soul to read your posts this week. xo

  58. Mom always picked my outfits for elementary school, but the first day of sixth grade I got to choose: an acid wash jean skirt, purple t-shirt knotted at the hip and keds with slouched socks. Can you say 1988? And then seventh grade was a Units ensemble (but sewed from a pattern by my mother) – remember the tube belts and blouse-y tops and pants? I’m sure keds were worn with that outfit too. I guess the outfits say that I try to be on trend without caring about brand names.

  59. I haven’t looked at your dads Instagram feed, because it makes me feel all stalker (Which is silly since I like probably every photo you and Heidi post.), however when I see any photo you post of you at Laineys age, she seems like your blond clone. :)

    Her outfit was absolutely darling. I hope today goes better for both of you. I miss the days where I could dress my girls. At 8 and 10, well yeah, it’s not my choice anymore.

  60. First, I think our mothers are the exact same person. I swear I owned that argyle sweater. Secondly, first day outfit is a big deal in our home. My daughter and I just went shopping for her back-to-school-outfit and the 5 minutes I spent in that dressing room was life changing! I wrote all about it here: miabellavida.com

  61. I remember every single first day outfit I wore kindergarten-high school, and my husband thinks I’m crazy. VERY big deal, though!! :) My son really didn’t care too much about his first day outfit, but I still picked it out with him, laid it out, and I made sure it was extra cool. :) His new black shoes with a “swoosh” that make him run fast and jump high were the high light for him…..

    I’m taking the denial approach to kindergarten thus far and really enjoying his reports on his day and the way he and his litttle bro greet each other in the afternoons….

  62. Love Lainey’s outfit! She’s cute as a button!!

    And as a Kindergarten teacher I want to give you a big THANK YOU for potty practicing with Lainey’s outfit!!! If I had a nickel for every kid who comes out of the bathroom with their pants around their ankles because they can’t button their pants, I’d be rich! It’s SO GREAT when parents encourage their children to learn how to manipulate their clothing and it’s a little thing that can really help their transition to school.

  63. Way to go momma! If you are nonchalant about the return to school hopefully she will follow your lead! I know I have to play off drama with my boys bc the second they sense I’m upset, worried, mad, etc they mirror my emotions almost every time!
    She is gonna be loving school in no time, and picking out her own outfits for the next day bc she is so excited. I just know it. Hang in there.

  64. P.S. I have a vague recollection of my first day of Kindergarten outfit…It involved a patterned sweater of some sort and coolots(sp?) But I distinctly remember my lunch box. Because I wanted it so bad. It was Teddy Ruxpin with a matching thermos <3


  65. I love back to school shopping. My ten year old is doing that with her Grandma today :-) I would pick out my outfits weeks in advance and hang it on my door. My son who is four is not so into that as me and my girlie but I still buy hims something new for the first day to wear. He is in preschool (2nd year). She looked really cute. Hope school continues to get better and better for her.

  66. I distinctly remember going to the department store with my mother and getting clothes for school. I remember the weather was always cool; we had windows rolled down in the station wagon. I always got leather mary janes and one year I remember I got the cutest outfit. It was a brown polyester jumper dress that had a little Snoopy character in the place where you would see an Izod or Polo logo and turtleneck was also polyester with lace brown trim, it was white with the word “SNOOPY” in brown printed all over it. (Ooops, this shows my age, doesn’t it?) I absolutely loved that outfit. My mother also knitted me a light pink jumper that year and paired it with a hot pink turtleneck and hot pink tights with little ribbons to match. I always loved the smell of my brand new Crayolas each year. :) Fond memories, I’ve tried to re-create them for my children too. By the way, my daughter has that Hello Kitty thermos you had in one of your pictures and I’m here to say it works! She comes home with ice in it every day after school. Hope Lainey has a wonderful year of Kindergarten!!

  67. I’m impressed she can get out of that by herself to go to the bathroom! Very cute outfit!

  68. (I’ve been a long time reader and this is my first time commenting. I feel like a tool for starting my comment by stating that, but, I want you to know how much I immensely enjoy your blog!)

    I don’t recall my clothes on the first day of school but I do remember distinctly when I began third grade because I had a rockin Strawberry Shortcake bag! I loved that bag so much. I clutched it close on the bus because I remember thinking that the other kids would want to steal it because it was so cool. What’s totally awesome is that my mom MADE my bag – it was a plastic canvas kit. I’m quite the crafter and sewer now-a-days, her prowess in that department rubbed off on me for sure.

    I have twin girls who entered second grade this year and they both wore comfy clothes – nothing handmade unfortunately because this Mommy’s been a tad busy. Maybe next year! My Lydia wore all blue – blue shirt, blue shorts, blue ribbons in her hair (and blue underwear!) and blue socks! Her choice. My Arlene wore khaki shorts and a tshirt with an ice cream cone graphic.

    My style comes across in my girls’ style in that I don’t get hung up in only wearing what’s currently trending; we wear what is comfortable, colorful and age appropriate!

  69. Love, love, love her first day outfit. I think you will need to post her outfit every day so we can see how cute she looks! Best of luck to both of you!


  70. My mom saved my first day dress and I am going to repurpose it for Ellie to wear, it is a little snug and short(hence the repurpose) She is taller then I was. I can’t wait to post side my photo’s of us. But I only have to send my girl once a week for a home shcool coop, so it is not traumatic. I did however have to send Sam to special ed 4k this week and that was super hard. I was the mom that asked the teacher 20 questions and told her 30 things she had to know about Sam. Oh well, such is being a Mama! Hope today was better for Lainey.

  71. I can’t remember as far back as my first day of school. But I certainly remember by first day of high school. To this day, I can’t believe that I wore a neon dress covered in multicolored flowers and sported my huge box-style Nevada backpack. Wow…what was I thinking?! Glad I can laugh about it now!

  72. she looked so so cute as always…

  73. I could always be found in jeans, t-shirts and saddle shoes. Oh, and rolled socks. Girls gotta have rolled socks.

    I can still be found in that outfit, just add sandals or some flips. Minus the rolled socks.

    My kid prefers ‘cute dresses’ which pretty much rules out anything I have laid out for her LOL

    The transition is hard, so extra hugs to you all.


  74. I don’t remember exactly what I wore but I’m sure it was a girly dress with maryjanes and I’d wager my long hair was definately tied in pigtails or long braids with those fluffy cotton ribbons tied in bows.

    I’d remember more if I hadn’t landed on my head after being pushed off the back of a tall slide during playtime before the bell rang… or if said head injury wasn’t a concussion that had me throwing up during class infront of everyone. Everyone’s first day was better than mine :)

  75. I had plaid and curls. The plaid shirt was button all the way to the top. Lainey looked beautiful! Can’t wait to hear about her first day.

  76. They always started out with some over the top outfit that I knew I would never wear again. Big, frilly, poofy dresses in Kindergarten, 1st, and sadly 2nd grades, some crazy, neon-zebra striped t-shirt dress and “bicycle shorts” in maybe 3rd or 4th grade. By 5th grade, I pretty much made up my mind I just wanted new underwear and socks, no frilly dresses, no crazy cooked up off the wall outfits my friends suggested…just shorts and t-shirts. I refused to sacrifice comfort for style.

  77. ,,,it was always dresses for me. dresses with peter pan collars, in plaids, stripes with a bow positioned somewhere about the dress. cheers to your response to lainey’s comment, “nuffing, i’m not going back to school.” how was her second day?,,,

  78. Glad you’re on the other side of the first day! It gets easier. By the time you get to your third’s first day you’ll be an old pro, and will barely stop the car’s engine to allow him or her to get out the door. Really.

    Also, I was wondering if you could tell me where you got your kitchen chair cushions? Love them.

  79. Oh my word…It was 1972 for my first day of kinder and it was sooo awful…lots of plaid and bell bottoms. Wish I had quick access…you would LOVE these photos. But after 2nd grade we went to private catholic school and every “first day” picture from then on was in the same bibbed, pleated plaid uniform with a white colarred shirt and mary janes with white socks. the only thing that changed was my hair and how many teeth were missing from my smile? tee hee. I do love Lainie’s outfit though….super cute. So glad to here you practiced going potty though because the first thing I thought when I saw the pics on yesterday’s post was how that might be hard. My oldest goes to Kinder next year…I am already stressing about it. I hope this is a great and easy transition for you all.

  80. I don’t remember any first day of school outfits in particular, but man, you would’ve loved my unicorn jersey shirt with pastel rainbow striped sleeves!

  81. Thank goodness it’s the weekend. I’ve always dreaded back to school, as a child and now as a mummy. I’m sure she’ll pal up with someone soon and a friend makes everything in life so much easier.

    Love your comment about your dad! So so funny. Is he on holiday at the moment by any chance?

    Have a fab weekend together family Hampton x

  82. Yes, I remember my first day of kindergarten and my outfit! Purple shirt and matching skirt and the socks had to be rolled down to the ankles! Lainey’s personality is so much like our son. My heart is with you guys!

  83. Oh Lord!
    My hair was BOY short.
    My wardrobe consisted of 5 pairs of tough skin jeans (that NEVER wore out) ordered from the Sears catalog & 5 button down dress shirts in different colors. Brown waffle stompers by Buster Brown adorned my resistant feet.
    Oh, and I had chappd lips. Always. The kind that left a ring all the way around my lips.
    A week before starting at a new school, I was playing on the school equipment (we lived down the street). A girl who would soon become a fellow classmate, admitted later that she had told the other girls that she met a new cute boy who would be in our 4th grade class. Yeah. And I have a boy name, too.
    Do I have scars? Yes…..hahahaha!

    ‘Tis the reason I wear my hair long today, and my style is eclectic….I like to wear LOTS of different things (except dress shirts and jeans with knee patches!).

    My boys wear uniforms (and don’t mind), so we’ve always gone all out on character jammies and shoes that make them run faster ;). And now with Nora? I live vicariously…..until she wants to choose. But I pray she will always love long, pretty hair dos and girly clothes…..

  84. What a sweet post, I feel the exact same about the back to school outfit. I have 4 children and each the first day outfit is key! This year, my 9 year old had an opinion, a strong opinion that included named brand ‘American Eagle’ and it broke my heart! Thankfully I still have 3 younger ones that still let me choose their clothes. I wish I could tell you it gets easier, back to school year after year, but I don’t feel like it does. I cry every time they get on that bus, eager and excited to go and learn.

  85. That is the most darling first day of school outfit I’ve ever seen! My boys are grown, but those first days always brought a few tears. Mine….

  86. My oldest starts school on Monday and I’m so sad. So sad for me. I’m not sad for him and he’s not sad at all, but I long for him to be little and safe. It’s hard sending them out into the world to make their own great adventures knowing you can’t be there. I’m sad to be missing those adventures and its scary to know that in those moments he feels insecure that he cannot come running to you for courage. Hopefully I’m not that crazy Mom sobbing on my way out the door.

  87. On my first day of kindergarten, my Mom took a photo of me in front of our house. I am wearing a homemade blue gingham dress, with ribbons on my pigtails, curled-under bangs, and my foot is tucked in just like Lainey’s in your “small things” close-up. In 2 weeks my big boy is going for his first day of kindergarten (we live in Canada) and that picture has been on my mind….. I’m so excited (and nervous) and am already imagining trying to capture, in a photo, the same kind of image for him to look back on. To me, my photo reminds me of how special and loved I was by my Mom… the care and thought and celebration of me!

  88. I had those same red shoes when I was her age (a long time ago)!

  89. This is a note for that little girl with the gorgeous chestnut hair and beautiful brown eyes. I know you’re still in there.

    You are beautiful. You are good enough. You’re a great kid. You’ll grow into a fine, strong woman who will cringe when she hears her own daughters doubt themselves the way you’re doing now. She loves them so very much and doesn’t want them to hurt, but she can’t protect them from doubting themselves. I know if she talked to you now, she’d look you right in the eye and tell you the same things I’m telling you. Self doubt is okay. Without questioning yourself, how will you be sure you’re doing the right thing? That’s normal and okay, too.

    I just wanted to remind you that you’re a really cool kid, it’ll be okay, you’re doing fine and I’m so proud of you!


  90. Love you, Kelle. Everything is gonna be all right.

  91. SUch a big milestone. We all wear school unifroms here in
    Australia and we start the school year in February. Cooper started last year and LOVES school,
    I was way more distressed than he was! ( he has cerebral palsy and is mainstreamed and it was very hard for me initially) . Best of luck to you both and I hope Lainey loves her first day. Xx

  92. So cute- thanks for sharing. I feel for you- my oldest always has a hard time adjusting to new teachers, being away from mom, etc. Hang in there….don’t throw in the towel yet! It will get easier for you both! You have I expect that there will be a bit of an adjustment, since it sounds like it’s her first experience at an new place, with new teachers and children she doesn’t know. Hang with it for a bit and she’ll probably learn to love school :). Don’t think of it as a bad thing that she’s a little shy at first (not that you would think that- you’re so supportive of your kids). I hope you’ll keep sharing your experiences (and photos) with us. I can relate to you so much as a mom- I love the encouragement and honesty you provide with your blog. Thanks, again!

  93. I put my little girl in a smocked dress with apples on it for the first day of 1st grade with lacey socks….and sparkly Chuck Taylors tennis shoes. My Mom loves smock, I’m a Tennessee girl and I love it too so I can relate in the Nana Connection. Last year, getting dressed was always a hassle because we often disagreed and I would get so annoyed and then go to my classroom and get advice on this from my 8th grade students. A dear friend of mine lets her kid dress herself and as much as I applaud that, I realize my own ego is wrapped up in what Anna Cate wears to school. She’s helped me to realize, though, that what I should do when I’m ready is buy less outfits and more plain things so what she puts together might match. :)

  94. I tried to get a pic of my baby’s 1st day of preschool this week, but I completely forgot (placenta brain). I thought id get one in the afternoon & pretend like we’d done it in the morning, but she was asleep within 5 min of being home. Oh well.

  95. The red shoes….I wore red shoes to my first day of kindergarten and on most first days of my other elementary years, a well. I loved them, always, and I can still recall their leathery scent. I remember them looking exactly like Lainey’s. Red shoes were the best! Red shoes are the best! Can’t wait to read more about the big day….Wonder if my girl wants to take some red shoes with her to U of M this week? :)

  96. A great post and I love Hallmark as well! Richard

  97. I don’t recall my first day of kindergarten. But I do remember taking my sweet baby to her first day of school ( she’s 31 years old now), Ruffled socks a pretty skirt and a blouse with ruffles and her hair was extra bouncy ( curly). She was excited to be at school. She kissed me and ran into class as I waited in the doorway to make sure she found her seat. On my way out tears welled in my eyes and my shoulders lay low. I noticed a crying mommy standing outside and started a conversation with her. Then we went for coffee. Your sweet Nella will be missing her big sis. Hugs all around!

  98. My oldest has always worn a uniform so we usually have to make the tough decision between a red polo or a white one. Skirt or jumper? BUT we just moved and my sweet pea will be starting a new, public school tomorrow. I have to say I am dreading the lack of uniform-she can be a bit indecisive in the morning-but she is so excited to start wearing normal clothes. She has her brown floral sundress laid out with her new pink sandals all ready for tomorrow morning. Sniff…sniff…second grade already…. Can’t wait to hear about Lainey’s first day!

  99. Kellie, I have been checking your blog a few times a day to hear how lainey’s second day went.
    BTW, you rock as a mom! I had some hard to get on and off outfits as a little one and I always felt they were so worth the trouble! Part of being the incredible mom that you are, is that you have been Lainy’s teacher from day one. You didn’t leave it for the teacher, to “be her personal mommy” as someone so rudely commented, but you taught her how to take care of herself. You rock!

  100. Tell me that you will divulge where you got her shoes!!! I am in love with them and need them for my girls!!

    I loved this post. I adore Lainey.

  101. I rocked my first day in school uniform and red shoes I made my mother hunt the north of Scotland for (shoes could be black, brown, blue or red. I insisted on red :)).

  102. first day of school… well being that its MI we arent sure if we are going to be wearing our pants and a jacket or shorts and a tank top. i’m thinking somewhere in between. :)

    and i have a terrible memory…i dont remember what i wore to school. my actual clothes memories dont really start until you guys came along.

  103. Been reading your blog for a couple of years now- it always encourages my heart. I re-read this post today after dropping my little dude off at preschool and losing it. You so beautifully expressed the words I just didn’t have today- and it made me feel better. Thank you.

  104. Oh mercy… I was hoping my 5th grader would wear the cute cotton dress and leggings she picked out a few weeks prior, but both my 5th and 3rd grader ended up in t-shirts and athletic shorts. That probably says something about me because I’m a sucker for comfy clothes too, and for some reason wearing something comfy helps ease my anxiety. This is why I kept my super cute, comfy cable knit hat on during my entire appt. with my woman doctor (who I love but it’s not ever a comfortable check up). And it was raining the first day of school and I was so unaccustomed to being up that early I forgot to even take a first day photo! A 2nd day (ahem 3rd day) one will have to do.

  105. OMG, you poor thing! My mom also decided that the way to make bangs lay flat is to cut them all the way back to the very tip-top of my head!!!! UGH!!!

    But I do love Lainey’s outfit, right down to the red shoes. She looks so grown-up!

  106. I love reading about your journey with your babies!! My “Big girl”, now 15, wore a navy jumper with white yurn down socks and navy mary jane shoes on her first day of Kindergarten ….just a few years ago! I couldn’t help but smile at your Lainey’s response to the 2nd day of Kindergarten. We had one about on the same line. While packing lunch for the 2nd day, I asked Britt what she would like (either Spaghetti-O’s or Ravioli’s). She looked up at me and said in her matter-of-fact voice “Oh tomorrow…..I’m not going back tomorrow!”. We gotta love these baby girls!!!

    Thank you for continuing to share your babies with us!!

  107. I love reading about your journey with your babies!! My “Big girl”, now 15, wore a navy jumper with white yurn down socks and navy mary jane shoes on her first day of Kindergarten ….just a few years ago! I couldn’t help but smile at your Lainey’s response to the 2nd day of Kindergarten. We had one about on the same line. While packing lunch for the 2nd day, I asked Britt what she would like (either Spaghetti-O’s or Ravioli’s). She looked up at me and said in her matter-of-fact voice “Oh tomorrow…..I’m not going back tomorrow!”. We gotta love these baby girls!!!

    Thank you for continuing to share your babies with us!!

  108. Yes, my first day of Kindergarten I wore a blue striped cotton dress and my mom made me stand in front of the hibiscus tree we had in our house which was also blue. I may have been wearing blue tights too. I loved that dress. :)

  109. I’m not usually a blog commenter, but I just had to give major kudos for the potty practice! I’m a teacher, and when I first glanced at your post I groaned to myself, thinking “Oh what a CUTE outfit, but ughhhh what a bathroom nightmare!” I was overjoyed to then read about the potty practice — this is a HUGE gift to her teachers!! You have no idea how many little ones haven’t the faintest clue how to undo (eek!) or re-do their new fancy school clothes :)

  110. I love seeing your school picture and hers in the same post! Very cool.

  111. Love to see both generation in different era of life:)your outfit is adorable specially bella tee

  112. I clearly remember my first day of school outfit for 7th grade. Neon flourecent was all the rage… Neon Yello tank with neon yellow hairscarf (tied in typical madonna style fasion, OF COURSE)and these dangle neon triangle earings. Boy was I cool that day.

  113. “Potty practice.” Why didn’t my mom think of that?! Lainey/Mama’s style reminds me a lot of what I wore in the early 90s. In the first grade (1992), I wore the most adorable floral romper to school one day. It was a grayish blue with little pink and white flowers all over, and buttons all the way up the back. I had to potty suddenly in the middle of reading time. I raised my hand, was excused, and walked all the way down the big scary hall to the girls bathroom. Once inside the stall, the panic set in. I couldn’t get out of that romper. I RAN back to my classroom in tears. I had to pee, and I had to pee RIGHT THEN. My teacher unbuttoned me, and I, once again, made the long trek to the bathroom, bare-backed and undies blowing in the breeze. I then had to return to my classroom, completely mortified, and ask my teacher to button me back up. Needless to say, a note was sent home asking my mom to please not send me in that outfit again. :) Good times. Good times.

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