Girls in White Dresses

What childhood memories make for you.

By Heidi Elnora

It’s funny what you remember from your childhood and how those memories influence the person you are today. As a little girl, my mom would always sing me My Favorite Things by Julie Andrews. She would also take me to rock concerts. She loved Crosby, Stills, and Nash.

I grew up going to the beach and eating lots of soul food (My grandparents taught me that vegetables were good for the soul). As for the song, My Favorite Things, the only part that I really remember is “girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes.” I always imagined all of these girls; maybe they were debutantes standing around in these white dresses with all different color blue sashes.

Wait… I just had an epiphany. At my wedding, all 13 of my bridesmaids wore white-collar tops and blue skirts. Weird moment. Ok, so that all just made sense to me. That idea has been in my brain since I was three. The whole concept of me being a wedding gown designer was engraved in my brain since I was little. It’s weird how when I write these articles my entire existence starts to really make sense to me.

As for the rest of the song, I didn’t think that I really loved all of those things but here are a few verses that remind me of growing up.

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens

Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens

Brown paper packages tied up with strings

These are a few of my favorite things!


Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes

Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eye lashes

Silver white winters that melt into spring

These are a few of my favorite things!

So, I have been thinking. What are all of my favorite things? Besides spending time with dear friends and sweet family, what makes Heidi truly happy? Do you ever think about that? Have you ever taken a few moments to just write it down?

I think of my dear friend Jeana Lee Fleming. She is always pretty happy, but Africa and accessories make her super happy. Those are both so random, but you would have to know Jeana Lee. They make her heart smile.

My husband Jeff is a pretty simple kind of man. His favorite things are Coca Colas that have been sitting in the ice chest of the freezer. They aren’t frozen – just chilled to perfection. He also enjoys air conditioning, Krispy Kreme donuts, and live music on CDs. I know it seems odd, but as I reflect on what he has shared with me about his childhood, it really makes good sense. His family owned Baker Dairy in Irondale. When Jeff was a little boy, he would help his family at the dairy. They had huge freezers full of ice cream and cold milk. Jeff has always told me that it was the coldest drink he ever drank.

When it comes to my list of favorite things, it is way longer than sweet Jeffrey’s. There are all kinds of things that I would consider my favorite things.

1.  Cheese. Any type, texture, or flavor.

2.  Oil of Olay (My Nana would put this on every day and every night. The smell reminds me of her.)

3.  Anything with lavender (This takes me back to my college trip to Provence, France)

4. Warm chocolate chip cookies and cold milk (Comfort foods)

5.  Sketching out new wedding gown ideas (This is something that I have done since middle school.)

6.  Long hot baths (Who doesn’t love bubbles?)

7.  Catching up with old friends while I am driving in my car

8.  Shopping at Home Goods for random things that I do not need

9.  Breathing in the ocean air

10.  Thunderstorms (When I was young, they would scare me to death, but now I really love them,)

11.  Traveling to NYC for fabric shopping (My first trip to NYC was when I was 19. I can’t even begin to count how many times I have been since then.)

12.  Alaska (My first visit was last fall, and I can honestly say that I am in love.)

13.  Venice (One of my favorite places.)

14.  The month of October. (I’m obsessed with Halloween.)

15.  Dave Matthews in concert

16.  Soul Food: Love Niki’s West

17.  Sam Edelman shoes

18.  All things Prada

19.  Ballerinas

20.  The 1980’s (This is when I was born. I love Flash Dance.)

If you have a free moment, take the time to write down your favorite things and elaborate on the reasons why. You may find it interesting to ask the people closest to you to make a list of their favorite things as well. It may surprise you to see how much your childhood reflects the person that you are today

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