#ftf (Favorite Things Friday) · #ilovemyman · #proudmommoment · #teamELF · daddy/daughter · family

#ftf – FirstDayOfSchoolTraditions

#ftf = Favorite Things Friday!

Traditions tend to be a big deal in our family. I’ve often joked that we could never do something cool just once – since one of us would claim it needed to be done again, since it was now a “tradition”.  Some of my favorite (legit) traditions involve “First Day of School” activities.

It began back in August 1993 when our oldest, Brittney, was headed to Kindergarten. Back in 1993, Plano offered Half-Day Kindergarten and kids came in the morning OR afternoon.  Since our girl wasn’t a morning person, we chose the afternoon and began preparing weeks in advance for the transition (ok…truth – it was actually ME that couldn’t imagine getting myself out of bed with two kids before lunch…but I convinced myself that it was definitely better for her as well – obviously! I’m such a good mom!).

I’ll never forget the night before Britt’s “First Day”, she was FINE (hello- she had been in preschool for several years), but I began to panic. As I shared my concerns with Tom, it became clear that I was not going to publicly handle this well (as I couldn’t even talk about it without becoming an emotional mess).  Since I was a rookie at this whole “Drop My Child Off to Public School” thing, I didn’t want to look like a crazy mom crying as I made Britt pose for pictures and was afraid I might cling to her as the teacher asked me to exit.  Tom sweetly announced, “OK…I’ll handle this.  I’ll run home at lunch and take her.”

I had mixed emotions about it and honestly, the control freak in me came out as I was afraid he wouldn’t take enough pictures or let the teacher know what a privilege she had been given to have our girl (I’m kidding…not really).  I took several (hundred) pictures – keep in mind this was when we were paying for FILM and for each roll to be developed – but this was my favorite….

Had her apple ready for “Mrs. Rains”!

All in all – she did great, I got over the “MY BABY NEEDS ME” complex, and the first day of 1st grade rolled around a year later.  I never gave taking her to school a second thought – I was prepared (dare I say, COULDN’T WAIT…it had been a long summer), but the night before Britt mentioned, “Daddy ALWAYS takes me on the first day…right Daddy? It’s a TRADITION”.

And so it began…1st grade…2nd grade…all the way through high school…all three kids EVERY.SINGLE.YEAR.  Here are just a few…

Somewhere along the line we added “The Night before The First Day of School” traditions…it began with a special dessert to celebrate and a bottle of sparking juice served in fun, fancy glasses. We began the tradition of “toasts” and some that we shared that first time are still ones that make us laugh now…

“To Mom’s Pants” < – no idea why and I wish I knew what I was wearing the first time this was shared!?!

“To Jeffrey Wong” <-one of the kids in school with the girls

“To Toots” <- cause evidently it’s not just little boys that think the word “toot” is funny?!?

The cool thing about traditions…they become more special as time goes on.

I remember the first day of COLLEGE when Britt was scared and lonely at The University of Tulsa. We dropped her off and left her on a campus where she literally knew NO ONE.  She had shared her class schedule with us, I posted it on the frig and Tom took note.  On that first morning she texted me saying how awesome it was that her Daddy had called as she walked to class…wanting to make sure he kept their tradition of him “taking her” on her first day. He did this EVERY year…with each one.


During college years we had to get creative on how to keep these traditions alive…sometimes we were in different cities and had to skype to offer “Cheers” together – like this time when Brooke thought there was really a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT (“I just knew one of them was going to tell me that I was going to be an AUNT!”) and couldn’t believe it was “only” our back to school event…

Or, like when we moved Brooke in to her freshman dorm at OSU and then had a “toasting PAR-TAY” in the lobby of her dorm before we all hugged (and cried)….

And then THIS year, the ”First Day” took on a whole new meaning.

Our girl, Brooke – she’s a real live TEACHER now!! After graduating from OSU in May, she landed an awesome job in our area.  What an amazing thing to celebrate her SECOND “1st Day of 4th Grade” this week.  It was a blast to include her fiancé’ and also her nephew, #lukethomas, in the celebration (niece #aisleyelizabeth was sleeping)! We loved having Breanna here (missed Jeremy) and Brittney and Phil joined over facetime.  It’s amazing how quickly each year we go to –

“To Mom’s Pants”…“To Jeffrey Wong”…“To Toots”

(Some things never change!)



Another cool thing about traditions, while some parts can stay the same – they can also morph into something new or different.  For instance – from the newest toasting participant (#lukethomas)…

“To Pooping on the Potty and No more Diapers at Nap Time”

(pretty sure that one is for his mommy!)


“To Darth Vadar Cakes and Star Wars Birthday Parties”

Oh – and did Brooke’s daddy take her on her first day…are you kidding me?!? Like he was going to miss that?

I love that it was never even a question….they both knew it was going to happen. So- they both left at 6pm, drove their own cars, stopped for starbucks on the way, took a picture outside, and then he watched his GROWN UP GIRL walk in to 4th grade.  Pretty sure there were a few tears…from both of them.

We love you, Brooke and we are sooooo proud of you!  You are going to ROCK this year!

#secondFirstDayOfFourthGrade #BestNewTeacherEver

P.S. Hey #lukethomas, when you stick your arm in Brooke’s dessert, you better believe she’s going to lick it off!

#teamELF #ilovemyfamily





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