RIVERTON, Utah (ABC4 News)- Emily Blodgett puts on a tiny hat, adds some mascara and touches up her hair. “Oh, yea. Now I’m ready.”
She’s getting ready to do something most moms and dads don’t dress up for – greeting her kids as the school bus stops outside her home. She walks out, a few minutes before the bus arrives, in a pinata themed dress she made herself. Her neighbor and friend Kim Simmons makes sure the dress looks good. Then grabs her cell phone camera.
“This is why my pictures look so good – because of Kim.” You see, Emily is going to document this moment.
As the school bus stops in front of her house – her kids and a few others get off and are greeted by Emily, her colorful dress, a pinata, maracas and a bowl of candy. It’s an exciting and energized scene – that gets the attention of the kids on the bus. And this scene is not new.
It’s actually the 100th time, this year, she greeted the kids in some type of outfit. Emily says “The fun is the challenge. The fun is just excitement. How can I pull this together? How can I make this happen? How big and ridiculous can I make this? The thrill of the challenge is so fun to me.”
Emily is known in her neighborhood and online as the “Bus Stop Mama”. And while her bus stop greetings have become pretty elaborate over the course of the school year – the mother of four says it started with just a costume unicorn head and an interesting dance.
“My husband – it was his idea. He said, ‘I want to wear it,’ but he didn’t want to be on camera. So, I said ‘fine, you film me’ and so I went out and danced to be a total dork.”
This school bus greeting was followed by Star Wars day. A few other themes happened here and there. But then things really escalated in December with elf on the shelf or elf on the driveway – especially after she found out what some kids on the bus were saying.
“What was a really big deal to me was at Christmas time there were a lot of kids that would tell my kids – what a big deal it was to them and what it meant to them.”
Emily says the elf greetings also meant a lot to her.
“It made it my very best Christmas season ever. I’ve never, I don’t recall a time I ever enjoyed Christmas more – because it was all about making fun for someone else and it just brought the Christmas spirit alive to create all the scenes and to do all of this.”
And the elf era also included the biggest bus stop mama production of the year.
“On the last day of elf on the shelf we had a massive nativity – I think there were about forty people came and it was absolutely incredible. A lot of family friends – a lot of friends that I have known came out and were part of that. And that was a really special thing.”
Day 15/15 His love still lights the world #lighttheworld #elfofftheshelf #emilytheelf #elfontheshelfchallenge #livenativity #santa #surroundedbylove #babyjesus #christmasspirit @kimberlymsimmons @fallontonight @christinethall1 @forpinksake @janehyte @doug.jenson @angela__broomeolsen Thank you to everyone who took time to make this possible today!
Emily says she makes some costumes, borrows others and has even had a few donated to her from companies.
“That poodle skirt – a company sent me that.” She adds that sometimes these moments are days in the making and other times – well, not so much.
“I just started coming up with ideas – they just come up the day before – some of them twenty minutes before.”
It takes a lot of time and money to do this a few days a week, but Emily says the effort is worth it – if it brings a moment of joy and a smile to the face of a child on the bus.
“To make people laugh. That’s all I want.”