dress up

Grandma ByerMom aWhen my grandmother, Hattie Byer passed away, her girls ended up with a lot of jewelry. Grandma loved her jewelry, and always looked so pretty in it. Of course, at the time my sisters and I saw the pieces my mother, Collene Spencer received, we thought many of them were pretty old fashioned…although there were some timeless pieces, because not all jewelry goes out of style. Still, Mom kept and cherished her mother’s jewelry, mostly I’m sure, because it was her mother’s. Now that Mom has gone to Heaven too, my sisters and I have been going through her things, and we have come upon her jewelry, as well as her mother’s jewelry. If Mom could have gotten her hands on all the jewelry we have come across, she would have been simply floating on air. We have found pieces that would have gone with so many of her outfits, and yet she always wore something else with them, because it was difficult to get to the stored jewelry.

Now, don’t get me wrong, there has been some stuff that we have looked at and wondered what the person who bought that piece was thinking! When you buy a necklace made of little plastic pineapple beads…dozens of them…well, let’s just say that since they were plastic anyway…they will be part of the little girls’ dress up jewelry. There were also pieces that, while one of us would never wear them, one of the others would. We all have slightly different tastes when it comes to jewelry, so very little of it has been left there with the thought of figuring something out. There were also pieces that, while most likely none of us will ever wear, we can vividly see our mother wearing. Those pieces when drawn for fall into the category of never to be worn, but it’s a Mom Necklace, so it will be kept. There were also pieces that, while probably not valuable, were obviously quite old. Those will be kept and treasured for the treasure they are, and probably only worn on special occasions.

The thing that amazed us the most, was the sheer volume of jewelry Mom had. Every time we come across another jewelry box, shoe box, or drawer with jewelry in it, we have thought, “Wow!! How much jewelry did she have, anyway?” We have even ventured to say that she simply had too much jewelry! Then I got to Too Much Jewelrythinking…can a girl ever really have too much jewelry. I love jewelry, and I have a lot of it too. Like my mother and grandmother, mine is mostly costume jewelry with no real value to anyone but me, but it’s all jewelry I like…and wear. Now I find myself with a lot more jewelry than I had before, and I find that I am going to need to go through what I had before, decide what to keep and what to give away, and figure out where I am going to store it all. The good news for me is that I wear jewelry every day, so it will get used. Besides, I don’t know what outfits I’ll have in the future and what colors I’ll need. I suppose that some day, my own girls will say that I have too much jewelry, but seriously…can any girl ever have too much jewelry? I don’t think so.

Pretty little girlBaby girls are always so pretty. It doesn’t matter what they look like, baby girls are just pretty…each with their own look and pretty in their own way. Some people may not agree with me on that, and in fact, I know of people who will tell you that babies aren’t even cute, but there is something about a baby girl that has a cuteness all her own. As they grow into toddlers, they start finding their girly side, and feeling really pretty in their little dresses, or playing dress up in their mom’s things.

Then come the adolescent years, and it seems like everything is off. No matter how much the girl tries, she just doesn’t like the Awkward Yearsway she looks, and she really wishes that people would not take her picture ever again, because everything is all messed up. Unfortunately, for many of us, those years go on far too long, and she becomes convinced that she will be living in the awkward years…forever!! Of course, those years aren’t nearly as long as she thinks they are, but rather it is that, while she is living in those years, it just feels like forever.

Finally those years are over, and most of us realize that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and that those who really matter can see a beauty in us that we can’t even see ourselves. Nevertheless, I am of the opinion that every girl deserves at Beautiful Marlyceleast one picture that, when viewed by others, brings the same reaction…”Oh, you look beautiful!!” That one picture that is simply, undeniably beautiful. Of course, beauty really comes from the inside of a person, and maybe that is why the picture I ran across of my sister-in-law, Marlyce, looked so beautiful to me. The essence of this picture was so clearly about the beautiful girl my sister-in-law was. Her sweetness, kindness, and gentleness glowed from her face. When I saw that picture, I was unable to look away for a few minutes, because I had never seen such a great picture of Marlyce before. She was beautiful, inside and out. This was her perfect picture…the one every girl deserves to have at least once.

Sometimes, I look at a picture, and a story seems to emerge that may or may not be reality, but it sure seems to be the case. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but maybe pictures are made up of a thousand words. As I looked at this picture of my niece, Lacey, I could see that she had been playing dress up. The frilly blue dress, over the long sleeved T-shirt gave that away. I could also see that she had been eating something, candy or something like that, because there are spots on both dress and face that gave away her little secret.

What I couldn’t say for sure in this picture is whether or not she was sleeping or had she just blinked at the moment the photo was taken. I suspect though that she was not sleeping, since there seems to be a hint of a smile on her little face. She might have blinked, but it occurred to me that maybe she was playing hide and seek. That would make perfect sense to me.

When Lacey was a little girl, she used to love playing these kinds of games, and most especially dress up with her cousin Siara. They were as close as sisters or at the very least, and maybe even more so, they were best friends. It didn’t matter that they were in different grades as school…Lacey is 6 months older than Siara. They still hung out together at school and after school. They also spent the night together as much as possible, and since Siara is my sister, Cheryl’s granddaughter, they often stayed at my mom’s with Mom, Dad, and Cheryl. They always had a great time together, often well into the night, giggling and talking in bed. Of course, that meant that getting the two of them up for church the next day was…well, a huge effort.

Lacey graduated last year, and Siara this year, and both are going into the next phases of their lives. Lacey is studying to be a Cosmetologist, and Siara is just starting her first year of college, and doesn’t know exactly what she wants to do yet, but I know that both these girls will be highly successful and will always make us all proud of them. No matter where life takes these girls, we will always love them very much, and we will never forget the little cuties they were…in their frilly dress up clothes and makeup.

Long before there was such a thing as a Diva, my niece Chantel was one. That little girl posed for every shot of the camera, and even if no one was taking a picture. It was just second nature to her. She was posing before she could walk. Chantel was a teeny little girl, who still only stands 4’10” and she is a mom. So those days she was just the cutest little Diva there ever was.

It’s funny how some people are just born with style, and they really don’t worry about the current trends, they just wear what they like. That was and always has been how Chantel is, and since she is a fashionista, she need not worry about it anyway. I must admit, however, that when she was younger, her idea of fashion was a little different than what I would have worn, but that is probably pretty normal, considering that I am her aunt, and not the same age or even close.

There was also the whole game of dress up, which we all know little girls love to play, and those outfits, like this one, can be pretty comical…especially the wearing of the adults glasses or sunglasses. They look for funny on those little teeny faces, but as we all know, they are the finishing touch to the whole ensemble!! And what outfit is complete without the heels. I mean really, a girl has to look amazing for her adoring fans…right!! And if you are liked Chantel, who is very short, those heels help put you in the height category of the big kids…very important, you know!!

Chantel will always be one of those people who doesn’t even have to try to take a great picture. It all just comes naturally to her. She is very photogenic, and enjoys having her picture taken too. Yes, Chantel always was and always will be a fashion diva, and that’s ok with us.

Little girls love to mimic their moms. They see their mom getting ready for the day, and putting on their makeup, and taking great care with every detail, and they learn that this ritual is something very important. Little girls want to be just like their mom, because they love her and they think she is the most beautiful mom in the whole world. These are moments you wish could last forever…the moments before you become a total embarrassment to your child, as most parents do when their kids reach adolescence. For a time…a short time, you are just exactly what they want to be…until you become old fashioned, that is.

Like most girls, Corrie and Amy loved to play dress up, and makeup was a big part of that. I had to really keep an eye on my makeup or I might just find out that it wasn’t lasting quite as long as it really should. Of course, Corrie, being the oldest, was a little better at getting enough makeup on her face than Amy was, until Amy was a little older, that is. My girls always wanted to do the things I was doing, and not just in the area of makeup. I guess it is part of the whole finding yourself process. Before you can find yourself, you have to try out a few different possibilities.

Sure, as mom’s we look back on those moments as maybe a waste of good makeup, or a mess we had to clean up, but in reality it was so much more than an inconvenience…it was a rite of passage, I suppose. Boys are encouraged to have a rite of passage, so why not girls. It is part of becoming a
woman, but it certainly can be funny as they try to get it just right. And to ask them, it was perfect.

It is just what little girls are all about. It is in their makeup, pun definitely intended. In a desperate attempt to save my makeup, I finally bought the girls some of their own…the kid variety of course. They used the fake stuff, until they realized that it didn’t show up on their faces, and then we had to get something different. They went around with all sorts of different looks. It didn’t really matter, because girls will be girls, and I have seen some very different looks on bigger girls than mine.

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