The weekend after Thanksgiving jumpstarts the Christmas season – especially for my itty-bitty family.  We put up the tree and decorate the house, start playing some of my favorite holiday music, and watch classic films. 

This year was incredibly special for my husband and I because we were asked to take on very special roles in Island Moving Company’s performance of The Nutcracker.

It was held at the gorgeous and majestic Rosecliff Mansion in Newport, Rhode Island. The Newport Mansions are always transformed into stunning works of art this time of year, and this building is extra special because a ballet takes place inside of it.  Rather than a traditional stage, Island Moving Company believes that the audience can truly be a part of the production.  We would move room to room, following the performers as they travel throughout their Christmas Eve celebration – from the welcoming of the guests, to the unveiling of Christmas gifts under the tree. 
When midnight strikes, the Nutcracker comes alive to face the Rat King. A vicious battle takes place on  the Rosecliff Mansion’s famous staircase. One can’t help but be in awe of the magnificent artistry that it took to create such a building. While the mice and soldiers fought on the stairs, Blake and I were hiding up in the wings…waiting for our cue!
We were the Snow King and Queen, and were able to make a grand entrance down that staircase. We followed behind a snow fairy, greeted the rest of audience, and were even dressed in formal wear, complete with capes – and for me – a darling tiara!  
My intern from The Rhode Show, Kelly, came along with us for the performance, and was able to record the ballet. 

Blake and I had been asked to dress in something relatively fancy, which wasn’t a problem for my hubby, but it could have been for my newly budding pregnant body.  I own many gowns and dresses, all of which are flashy colors, and meant more for cruises than formal events.  My go-to dress store, Sonya’s, has always had something for me to wear – but I wanted to jump back in my closet and try my own dresses on one last time.  At the very end of the line was this black dress, which screamed winter formal/snow queen to me.  Believe it or not, it still fit!

We sat in thrones for the snowflake scene, and I was the happiest I had been all week! I knew that Blake, as embarrassed as he may have been with all eyes on him, was living out a dream – pretending to be a king in a castle! As for me, someone who adores snow and winter, I couldn’t help but smile and think about how I can’t wait to tell our child about this experience one day. How his/her mom, who still thinks snowflakes are magical, was a *Snow Queen!*
The Sugar Plum fairy and the rest of the dancers put on an extraordinary show for us all, and I don’t think I will ever be able to see a more interesting and breathtaking performance of the Nutcracker.  Being in a relatively small group of about 150 or so, having an intermission where cookies, cider, and egg nog are served, and watching the little children sit on pillows – inches from the dancers – is an experience I will never forget. 
 Our itty-bitty family is filled with holiday cheer!