Finding the Perfect Tree

I love traditions, especially holiday ones that you get to experience year after year — those traditions that leave you feeling incomplete without fulfilling them. My grandparents started this tradition of photographing the whole family with our empty stockings every Christmas Eve, and another photo with full stockings on Christmas morning. My grandpa always operated the camera, fussing with the self-timer and then running over to join us all in the shot. We never questioned it — it was just a thing we did. This will be my first Christmas without my grandpa, and being so far away from California, I definitely have a need for my own traditions this year.

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Now that I have a baby in a different state, I’m trying to start traditional things we can do as a family. We just made our second trip to Country Cove Christmas Tree Farm (last year we had just relocated and I was pregnant). It was really cold! Luckily, there was some complimentary apple cider and hot chocolate to help warm us up.

We found a tree tucked in the back of the farm that belonged in our home.

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It was very quiet and peaceful out in the tree groves, probably because it was such a cold weekend and most people were staying cozy at home.

Some tiny snowflakes started fluttering down on us as we were loading up in the car to leave, making our day an authentic winter experience.

See you next year, new holiday traditions!

I Love the Nashville Flea Market

Have I mentioned that I love the Nashville Flea Market?

On the fourth weekend of every month, there is an incredible flea market at the Nashville Fairgrounds. It is way better than some little city swap meet. Visiting the market has become a family routine for me and my husband, and we try to go as much as we can. We love the thrill of the hunt, and finding that unexpected treasured item you didn’t even know you always needed…

I planned to work this morning at the hospital, but in an unexpected turn of events I wasn’t needed, so my husband suggested we head to the flea market instead. So far, Black Friday weekend has been my favorite visit to the flea market yet! There were more vendors than usual, and a lot of items were priced to sell for the holidays.

And then I saw it, that shiny little red reincarnation from my childhood…
There was a beautiful little red tricycle, just like the one I used to ride, sitting on its lonesome next to piles of old wicker furniture and rusty antiques.

Kids flocked to the tricycle, one after another. One girl sat on it and then clapped her hands gleefully. A sweet little boy tried to take the trike for a spin, and his mother pulled him away. I could hear the poor little guy whimpering all the way to the other side of the market.

“We can’t afford it,” my husband said. He was thinking what I was thinking. The trike was retro, it was adorable, and kids flocked to it like it was made of candy. It had to be more than we wanted to spend.

“Shouldn’t we at least see how much it is?” I asked, “What if it’s something crazy, like twenty bucks?”

He reluctantly hunted down the trike’s owner, and the lady said it was $25, but for us she would let it go for $20. My husband and I looked at each other, and we knew we had to take the little bike home.

I looked down at my baby in his stroller, picturing him riding the tricycle some day in the not-so-distant future.

So yes, I love the Nashville Flea Market. Today I scored a beautiful little tricycle straight out of my own childhood for twenty bucks, and I can’t wait to use it as a photography prop. I’m already planning ahead to do my first official mini sessions in the spring, and the tricycle will be my shining little star.

Fun at the Farm

Autumn is my favorite!

The best thing about autumn this year is that it’s Baby’s first autumn… so all of those fun seasonal things that make the fall so great — crisp air, falling leaves, pumpkin spice flavored everything, cozy comfy clothes, hay rides, treats, and everything else I love — I get to experience with the baby for the first time.

He’s still a little young to make memories, but I imagine these fun experiences are shaping his personality. Exploration is good for little ones so that they can start learning about the big wide world out there.

This weekend we visited a place in Middle Tennessee called Walden Farm, and we had so much fun! It is a wonderful place for families and I can’t wait to go back next year and make it an autumn tradition.