Mini Sessions at Summerfield Farms. Pt II.

More super cute families from my Fall Mini Session event at Summerfield Farms! Did you miss Part 1? Go back and take a peek!

I love that these little sessions are perfect for anyone! Families of adults, families with small children, no children, dog children (check out Earl’s face at the end of this post. KILLS me!!!), and some with the memory of a child now in heaven (my sweet Liggitt family brought flowers in Hazel’s memory and it was so beautiful). I loved photographing each and every one of you and can’t wait for the next mini session event!

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Mini Sessions at Summerfield Farms. Pt I.

I am so thrilled to finally share with you some of my favorites from the nine mini sessions I photographed at Summerfield Farms this fall! I knew a lot of these photos were going to be used on Christmas cards and didn’t want to spoil the fun for anyone so I’ve held on to these until now!

It was such a joy photographing so many different family groups and couples. The light was perfect ALL. DAY. LONG. and Summerfield Farms has so many incredible and gorgeous backdrops! It was almost too easy. Part II coming soon!

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Danny + Ceci. Maternity Session at the North Carolina Museum of Art.

I just love reconnecting with past clients! I photographed Danny + Ceci’s engagement session a few years ago at Duke University before they got married in Hong Kong. They are such a sweet couple and so comfortable in front of the camera! I was so excited when Danny emailed me again a few months ago to ask if I would shoot their maternity session! Ceci is due this winter with a precious baby boy and this chilly fall day couldn’t stop these two parents-to-be from smiling! Danny was practically beaming with pride and joy over his gorgeous wife and, seriously, Ceci, could you be a more perfect pregnant mama!?

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My Favorite Christmas Things.

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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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