My Favorite Christmas Things.

| Posted in: personal

Do you guys feel as overwhelmed as I do at the thought of Christmas already being here? I mean, we still have two and a half weeks to go but I start looking at my calendar and it’s like – when will we go see Christmas lights? And how can I shop with three boys under four!? (Answer : Amazon Prime) And I have to decorate! And bake! And we have to visit family! And then, ohmygosh, it’s Christmas already.

I’m trying to slow down and savor the season and I thought making a list of my favorite Christmas things will help me do just that. We have plenty of time and I’m going to enjoy what I can! So, here are some of my favorite Christmas-y things :

Decorating for the holiday
I get my love for crafting from my mom, who is incredibly creative and an amazing home decorator. She makes everything so pretty and cozy at the same time! I especially love her Christmas decorating. Because of her, I take my three boys into the woods and chop greenery for our mantle then spend all day trying to twist it into something pretty because she made it look so easy!  Unfortunately, I’m not quite as good as my mom at decorating. But I do love to try!  If you need help in the area of decorating-with-greenery, Amy Lynne Originals runs the Winston Salem Flower School and you can attend a class to learn how to make your own wreath or holiday centerpiece! It’s the greatest. You don’t even have to chop your own greenery! Jump on it, though, there are only a couple of classes left this month!

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If you want your house to be pretty this season but struggle with decorating, this is my other favorite thing :

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My friend Kendra is so fun. And funny. And real when it comes to hard topics. She wrote this little guide on how to decorate for the holidays and it is so helpful! And also hilarious. I revisit it every year.

Christmas music
I’m one of those people that won’t listen to Christmas music until after Thanksgiving and then I want to listen to it all the time after that. Some of my favorites are :

A Christmas Album – Bright Eyes
Songs for Christmas – Sufjan Stevens

Christmas – Michael Buble
And White Christmas – Daystar Worship. This is a Christmas EP that my church produced a few years ago and I played accordion on it. How fun is that? Did you know I have that skill? Here’s a video to prove it O Come O Come Emmanuel

All the baked goods.
I love baking. Christmas is a great excuse to bake (and eat) treats all the time, right? Growing up, our traditional breakfast on major holidays (Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas) is this Cream Cheese Braid (originally from Southern Living Magazine). It’s basically the best part of Christmas morning.

Traditions
I’m really big on family traditions. My family was never really formal about it but there were definitely certain things that we did on certain days or around the holidays. One of my favorite things as a kid, and most favorite things as a parent, is the way my parents did Christmas morning (and the way we do it now for our kids). There was no waking my parents up at 5:00 in the morning to open presents. Nope. They put a ribbon across our doorway and we weren’t allowed out until breakfast was ready. Then, once we were able to cut the ribbon and leave our rooms, we didn’t open any presents until everyone was finished eating. The anticipation is KILLER.

Christmas Eve talent show. They’re mostly made up talents. Think that scene from Dan In Real Life. It’s the best.

Silly string fight. My parents always put a can of silly string in every stocking and after all the presents are opened, it’s fair game for anyone to start the fight at any time. We used to do it in the house but that’s really messy and, well, we’re adults now so mom sends us all outside.

Late night Christmas Eve. This is my real favorite tradition. Now that we have kids, Jonathan and I get to stay up late Christmas Eve wrapping and putting together presents. We watch all of The Office Christmas episodes and drink real hot chocolate.

What are some of your favorite Christmas things? Share in the comments!

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*Some photos in this post taken from various linked websites.

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Mary Alice + Burk. Hayes Barton Baptist Church Wedding.

My last wedding of the year was so sweet! I didn’t meet Mary Alice + Burk until the beginning of their wedding day but they and their families were so kind! So many cute moments happened all day long from the smiles while Mary Alice got dressed to the bridesmaids hiding the bride from a surprise appearance by the groom! The simple ceremony was followed by a fun reception at Traine 121, full of good food and a GREAT dance party! What a great end to the 2016 wedding season!

The details : Ceremony Venue – Hayes Barton Baptist Church |Bride’s dress boutique – Anna Be |Bride’s shoes – Modcloth | Bride’s hair – Parlor Blow Dry Bar | Florist – Daniel’s Florist | Reception venue – Traine 121 | Catering – The Garden on Millbrook | DJ – Jason with Stylus Weddings

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Tanya + Erick. New Jersey and NYC Engagement Session.

I have such a treat for you this chilly Tuesday morning! A couple of weeks ago, I packed my bags (and my husband and my baby) to meet Tanya + Erick at their home in Hoboken, New Jersey for their engagement session! These cuties are getting married in North Carolina in May but wanted their engagement session to show a bit of their life in the city. We hung out for a few hours on a Saturday afternoon and did all of their favorite things!

I love that Tanya and Erick put so much thought into their session and what they wanted to do to make it personal. We started at their apartment and made lattes – a favorite tradition of theirs – before hitting the streets and making stops at Tony Baloney for some lunch (hello, brisket fries!!!), and Vivi Bubble Tea (Tanya admits it’s an addiction). After an outfit change in the parking deck for a wedding they were attending that night, we drove into NYC and walked a quick block for some photos in the big city. After spending time with Tanya + Erick, I’m SO looking forward to this wedding. They are so so sweet to each other and treated me like a friend and guest in their city. Plus, they both have great smiles… Am I right? See for yourself!

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The Freeman Family. Winston Salem Family Photographer

| Posted in: family

Can I just tell you how much I love this family? They make it a priority every year to document their family with a portrait session. It’s so sweet to watch these little girls grow and how they change every time they’re in front of my camera. And don’t you love this gorgeous fall light? Old Salem is so perfect in the fall (even when the leaves in North Carolina haven’t changed yet. Um, hello?! so weird).

Freeman family, you guys are my favorites. Can’t wait til next time!

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Codi + Dan. Greensboro Engagement Session

Codi and Dan are getting married in their home state of Wisconsin next July but wanted to do an engagement session in Greensboro where they live now! We had so much fun hitting their favorite spots downtown – including the ball park and Preyer Brewery – and I loved getting to know more about them. They are in the middle of planning a wedding at almost 1000 miles away but Codi didn’t seem anxious at all! They are so easygoing and sweet and just plain cute together! Made my job so easy…

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