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Visions of Sugar plums

Have you ever seen The Nutcracker Ballet in person?
The first time I saw it was when I was about 5 years old and my mom took me to
 San Francisco for a performance of it. 
We got all dressed up for our special girls night out and oh I can't even begin to tell you how much I loved it. 
The ballerinas, the dancing, the everything.
 It was amazing. 
It's one of my most vivid memories of that age even now.

So I knew that when I became a mother, 
I wanted to take my kids to the see The Nutcracker

 When my daughter was just starting to toddle around a bit
 we decided to take the kids to see it in the city.
I had 'visions of sugar plums' dancing in my head just knowing how much they would love it.

My boys were probably almost 6 and 3 (almost 7 and 4)  at the time and my daughter was a toddling baby. 
Yeah. I know.  I hear you.
I don't know what we were thinking.

In my defense, we were young parents, we thought the boys would love it and 
revel over the toys coming to life and the Mouse King and all that fun.
We thought my daughter would sit quietly
mesmerized by the dancing and music or she might sleep maybe. 
those young parent thoughts.

Well, let's just say my envisioned ideal introduction to the ballet performance 
of The Nutcracker did not go as planned.

My daughter wanted to roam around the whole time and made quite the stink 
whenever we tried to get her to settle down.  
So in an effort not to squash other peoples happy Nutcracker moments 
my husband walked with her and kept her busy outside the theatre.

My boys kept asking me when it would be over
and were excited when it was intermission~ because they thought it was done.

They didn't have a rosy ballet experience. 
They didn't even simply 'not like'  the ballet.

They hated it.

We have since taken them again- when they were a little bit older
  and they did seem to enjoy it.
(Though they might have just said they did so I wouldn't take them again)


Of course, my daughter after hearing the story of when she was little at the ballet so many times 
took great delight in pointing out all the crying babies and the ones 
who were whining and fidgeting
making their parents crazy
and the dads that were walking around  holding little baby hands as they toddled

These pretty pointe shoes are not from that performance but something about old ballet shoes is just romantic
and sweet and inspiring.
 I knew they would be a perfect prop for styling for photos or vignettes
even if they were never worn dancing my favorite ballet.

Right now, I am thinking about Opera performances for the fall
and we always talk about taking the kids along for a performance
 to experience Opera in all it's amazingness

Actually my husband and I did take my daughter & sister to see Madama Butterfly 
a couple years ago in San Francisco
My daughter was probably 12 at the time
 and she said she enjoyed it..
though she did ask why everyone was singing 

See you tomorrow for Feathered Nest Friday!!

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  1. Very beautiful photos and wonderful story. I have never seen it although I would love to!

  2. Je comprends parfaitement ce que vous aviez dû ressentir à cette époque lors du spectacle. J'ai vécu un cas similaire avec mes 4 enfants trop jeunes pour comprendre !...

    Merci pour le partage de vos magnifiques photos remplies de romantisme.
    Gros bisous à vous.

  3. Courtney,
    I danced in our city's regional ballet company for 17 years and, upon my retirement in 1997, my two daughters followed to be better dancers than I ever dreamed of being! I had the wonderful experience of joining them, on stage (!), for a Nutcracker performance, dancing together with my husband in the adult party scene. It was a real memory maker, most certainly. My oldest daughter was Dew Drop that year, and the younger one was one of the Spanish dancers. My oldest daughter went on to be Clara in a subsequent year.

    I have sold many of her 'dead' pointe shoes for styling (she framed the Clara shoes), and have several in my own decor, including my last pair, with all the blood, sweat and tears that went into every step they took.

    Great post, evoking a lot of memories - thank you!
    Have a great day,

    1. Hi Rita!!!

      What a great experience you've had with your daughters!!! I had 2 boys and would have loved to have had a daughter. Great memories!!!


  4. Picking the right moment to introduce kids to new things is really hit or miss isn't it? My daughter still does not enjoy going to the theatre for anything. My son has come around a bit. He minored in technical theatre. Now and then he will go to a play but ends up critiquing the lighting or staging etc.

  5. Hi Courtney: This post makes me laugh. I, too, loved the Nutcracker and thought my daughter would feel the same. Girls are girls, right? Well, after she got down on the floor of the car, under the dashboard, so she could hold tightly onto the brake pedal when her dad tried to get her out of the car to go to her dance lesson, I figured why bother!! She did go to see the play in San Francisco as a grown adult, and guess what? She hated it!!!..Happy Wednesday..Judy

  6. Beautiful pictures and a sweet story! I have never seen it live but have always watched it at Christmastime every year on TV; love it! Happy Summer!


  7. Remembering 'Ballet Shoes' ..... Noel Streatfield .... <3

  8. This brings back memories of sewing pink satin ribbons onto smooth, shiny new pointe shoes for my daughter. Her first pair were the most special and a rite of passage for every young dancer. I can still here the little tippy-tap of her practicing walking around the house "on pointe!" Thanks for the beautiful photos and triggering those memories! Hugs, Anne

  9. Several Years ago I took my Granddaughter and some of her friends to see it. They were about 10 yrs old. I think they enjoyed it, and its a memory for me and them. They still remember going! Thanks for reminding me. Beautiful photos!!

  10. Gorgeous vignette! I, myself, love the Nutcracker. I think I cry every time I see it! lol
    I brought my daughter for the first time last year, she loved it. My son wanted to know why no one spoke or sang. lol

  11. Beautiful photos!! I haven't taken our 6-year old daughter yet to the Nutcracker, but hope she'll enjoy it some day.
    I can totally relate to your initial experience - we had a similar one with my niece. :)

  12. Hi Courtney!!!

    Isn't it funny when we look back on our memories that we thought it was a great idea and now...Years later we can say, "No, it wasn't!!"

    My parents didn't take us for drives and it was something I really enjoyed (a friends family took me on a family outing). So when I had my boys, I made sure that we would spend the weekend taking day trips.

    I hear now from my 22 year old that he had always hated road trips!!! I was shocked!!! He hates when we refer to a trip and we mention something he had done cute or funny.

    Who knew?

    Enjoy the rest of the week!!!


  13. Aw. haha! Yes, our visions don't always match our little ones' realities. At least you tried! Lovely photos.

  14. It is such a good thing to take our children to these events - so that they may experience the beauty of these arts. I had similar experiences - to the High Museum in Downtown Atlanta - to Flower Shows - toting around three very unhappy children - today, the girls and I share similar tastes - thankfully! The boy, well he's learned to notice what the girl likes so that he might treat her to these events - whether he truly enjoys them or not - which I think he just might - the seeds sown when young may not seem to sprout something right away, but they may grow and blossom as they grow older. Your images are very, very romantic - lovely post,

  15. Just got to this one...I remember taking my daughter to her first Disney movie..she was 4 and I thought she'd sit and watch it with was after all The Aristocats...she decided to wounded the aisle..we went and got some nonpareils..when they were gone..she seemed to settle in for the thing I know..she's settled in leaning in between the seats in front of us eating the popcorn of the 2 girls sitting there..they were ok with it..but I decide to leave and try again in a couple years...guess watching at home in the living room..just isn't as enticing as the theater...
    I must tell you..I so enjoy having you visit my email...this is the one and only blog that I look forward to every day...Thanks for making it ssssso BeautiFul...

  16. Your photos are always amazing!....So love the opera too!!...