Now, finding an age appropriate dress for a 16 year old who is only 36" tall and 25 lb. isn't easy! Most of the dresses her size are toddler mini bride dresses or flower girl dresses which look like they were designed for a 3-4 year old. Ditto fancy shoes. I vowed to make Claire feel special & like any other 16 year old, so I found a jaw-dropping princess dress on Amazon which could be made exclusively to fit each individual person. The seamstress we worked with was fast & very skilled, and the dress arrived a good week before we needed it. And let me tell you... IT. WAS. PERFECT. Just like our badass, strong girl. It could not have been more "Claire-esque" if I'd designed it myself. 😍
We spent the afternoon putting in rollers, painting fingernails, and letting Claire snooze so she might have a fightin' chance of staying awake later that night. I reeeeeally should've hearkened back to 2012 when we tried Bantu knots, which were such a booming success, but alas, I did not. Let's just say, I pert near (I have always wanted to use that phrase in a sentence!) paid the price. See below for my overzealous roller action...
|Sleepy girl getting some beauty rest before her big night!|
Classic positioning having Claire's feeding pump in the background. 😏 Oops!
We were told they had a party bus as well as a limo in which the attendees could ride around the large parking lot, so we decided to brave the bitterly cold weather & winds to check it out! The party bus had already left and no one was inside the limo, so we quickly jumped in for a spin. To our relief, it was about 85 degrees inside the limo with the heater on blast, which our Mimi LOVED! (Scott's pit stains might have disagreed though... HA!) The music was blaring, the ceiling lights were flashing and changing colors, and SHE. WAS. IN. HEAVEN!!! This might have been her favorite part of the whole night. The last time I saw Claire this into the lights was in Vegas at New York New York where the little bubble lights lined the ceiling of the entrance. Her eyes immediately darted up as soon as she entered the limo, and she stared in awe at the ceiling the entire few minutes we were inside. It was so visually stimulating, and we enjoyed watching our girl take it all in, feeding off her happiness & delight.
We decided to venture into the dance hall itself, again unsure of what to expect. We were in complete awe when we saw this...
'Bout to get our swerve on...
I'm not sure who was having more fun that night -- Claire, Scott or me! The DJ was slaying, the videographer was capturing everyone dancing & projecting it onto a huge screen, and the rest of us were gettin' down with our bad selves!
"Hold me closer tiny dancer..." ~Elton John
We were so stoked to get to meet one of our online friends in person whom we had known on Facebook for almost 4 years. Brianna & Claire were like long-lost besties after 30 seconds! They kept stealing looks at each other, almost like, "Hey girl, nice tiara!" "No, yours is soooo much better, girrrrl! OMG!" "Is your Mom annoying you as much as mine is?!?!" "Totallyyyyy. Let's ditch these losers!" We were cracking up at their reaction to one another! Both looked simply stunning. ❤
"Cuttin' a rug" with her Daddy!
For more video footage of this breathtaking night, CLICK HERE for Aviator Church's video highlights (peep our girl at the 1:08 mark!) or visit THEIR WEBSITE for more info about this event, ways to donate, or learn how you can be a part of this touching event next year. Please know that even if you don't have a child with superpowers who is 14 years of age or older, you can still be a buddy/volunteer in your area! Scroll to the bottom of THIS PAGE to locate a Night to Shine Prom in your state. Join the mailing list. Check out the #nighttoshine hashtag on Instagram. See the pure joy on the faces of all who take part in this unbelievable night. I SO wish we had known about it sooner!
Lastly, thank you, Tim Tebow, for ALL you do for individuals like our Claire. The world is such a better place because you are in it. We are eternally grateful for your giving heart, your ability to see the beauty in places most cannot, and for "fighting for those who can't fight for themselves." We bow to you & are so proud of you for being a voice for not only Claire but also for others who are unable to speak and be heard. THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts. 💝