IT’S DECEMBER!!! My favorite month of the whooole year! Nevermind that it’s almost 60 degrees outside, it’s CHRISTMAS TIME! We picked out our tree yesterday and then spent the afternoon and evening decorating for the holidays with my niece- garland around the banister, ornaments on the tree, and Nutcrackers for daaaays. This is our first Christmas in our new house and I’m determined to do it right! Our town house isn’t too easy to decorate with lights on the outside, so I stuck with simple candles in the window and left the more elaborate stuff for inside. It smells like a Christmas tree in our living room and I’m SO HAPPY about it!

We go to Krop’s Crops every year to get our tree! It’s an awesome family-owned farm in Great Falls, and though we normally choose to cut down a tree, we took the easy way out this year and chose a pre-cut one.


As always, lessons learned/events that transpired over the past week!

  • Did you know there are approximately 47 varieties of “snow” scents at Yankee Candle? There’s Sparkling Snow, Jack Frost, Flurries, Snow Dusted Woods, Snow Is Glistening, Cherries on Snow, Magical Frosted Forest, Snowflake Cookie, White Christmas and Winter Garden. Holy freaking cow. Who knew frozen precipitation had so many iterations?
  • Speaking of which, I’m burning a Sparkling Snow two-wick candle as I’m typing. It smells like pine trees and fresh laundry!
  • Decorating with an 8-year-old niece is far more entertaining than doing so on your own. “Let’s make a popcorn garland!” she said. “Ok, you’ll need a needle and thread for that,” I replied. “No, just some twine- popcorn comes with holes in it and you just poke the string through.” Oh, ok Isabella. Let me know how that works out for you.
  • Turns out popcorn does NOT come with pre-cut holes for twine. And since I couldn’t locate my sewing basket, we ended up throwing on some butter & salt and eating our garland materials.
  • It snowed on Wednesday!! We got something like 3-4 inches altogether, and though most of it melted the next day, it was so beautiful! I think I got it from my mom; I get SUPER giddy when it snows! And these were some seriously fat flakes coming down. So I commemorated our first snow in the new house (I have this thing about wanting to document all our FIRSTS as homeowners) by making Lily take a few pictures on the front stoop. Doesn’t she look thrilled?

Christmas with the Springmanns- Abby Grace Photography

You guys! There are only 3 seats left for the February date of A Practical Wedding Workshop! And with the TURKEYDAY code that gets you $100 off expiring tomorrow night, if you’ve been thinking of attending, hop to it! You can snag your seat HERE.

A Practical Wedding Workshop, by Abby Grace

And look! A sneak peek from one VERY sweet anniversary session this past weekend :). Anyone remember the two newlyweds??

Virginia Anniversary photographer- Abby Grace

Finally, everyone? Meet my Nutcracker collection, est. 1993. Or something like that. I finally unpacked them all after having them boxed up the last few years and had so much fun remembering all the birthdays and Christmases that brought me these beautiful pieces! And these aren’t even quite all of them- I had 5 more that wouldn’t fit on the dresser top.

Nutcracker collection- Abby Grace Photography

It began with an obsession with ballet- after years of living in a pink tutu, my mom managed to enroll me in classes at SBT when we were living in Orlando. This guy was the first nutcracker ever given to me- I think we picked him up at a yard sale or something, but I LOVED him. He’s a bit worse for wear now :).

Nutcracker collection- Abby Grace Photography

When we moved back up to Virginia, my mom again managed to find a way to make classes happen, this time at Conservatory Ballet (best studio in northern Virginia!). Nothing could taint my excitement for Nutcracker that year- my birthday was on opening night! And for Christmas that year, my parents started a new tradition- at least one new nutcracker was gifted to me each year. As I grew older, it became a thing between my dad and I- during his travels to Europe, he’d take special care to pick out a new Nutcracker just for me. My favorites are the ones from Steinbach, THE Nutcracker designer. This little teeny Mouse King one is definitely in my top 5, as is this fat king nutcracker!

Nutcracker collection- Abby Grace Photography

I’m concerned I might have just made you all think I’m a crazy cat lady. But I’m not, promise- my collecting habits are strictly limited to new photo equipment and Nutcrackers :).

Happy December 1st!

Monday Mash-Up

December 1, 2014

  1. Natalie says:

    I am obsessed with that nutcracker collection! Ah! I don’t have a single one! Better get on that…. 😉

  2. That is a SERIOUSLY epic Nutcracker collection girl. Jelly!

  3. Jean says:

    I knew you had a collection of nutcrackers but was surprised to see how many you do have. They make a lovely Christmas decoration!

  4. Abby! I Love your nutcracker collection! Our daughter Ellie is almost 4, and recently has been enamoured with Nutcrackers, and the ballet. Her top wish from Santa this year is a nutcracker, and your collection has inspired me to create a new gift tradition for her in our house! xo

  5. Kate says:

    I love how excited you are for Christmastime! 🙂 And that candle sounds amazing! I will definitely have to get a Sparkling Snow candle myself!

  6. Dad says:

    The problem now is finding a different one each year, may I will find a traditional photographer nutcracker

  7. Rosie Omar says:

    I love the nutcracker collection! I can’t wait to buy and home and be able to decorate for the holidays.

  8. SWOON!! I have a Nutcracker collection, too! It used to be a tradition for my mom and I to go see the Nutcracker every year (we live too far apart now), and I got my first one after the show. I wanted to start a collection like my grandma used to have! I only have 11 – my husband won’t buy me any more because he hates having a lot of stuff, and I already have four other boxes of Christmas decorations! Eeep!

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