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It is well

When peace like a river attendeth my way
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, thou has taught me to say
“It is well, it is well with my soul.”

A few years ago, my dad told me that this hymn was the one he wanted played at his funeral. Horrorstruck, I asked how he could think of something so sad at this point in his life, and he explained to me that his funeral would be one of joy because he’d finally be home with his Father. That even though it would be sad for those of us left to mourn, that we would be able to rest in the assurance that my dad would be with his Maker. And though I didn’t understand it at the time, I think I’m finally starting to now.

Something I haven’t talked much about on my blog is my the fact that my mom’s struggled with chronic illness for the past 18 years. When I was 6, my parents were preparing to take our family to China to serve as missionaries. We were living in Florida so my parents could attend seminary in order to be able to teach once we were overseas, and things were moving along quite nicely when my mom’s health took a sudden and serious nosedive. She found a strange little bug bite on her leg, and shortly thereafter became scary sick. Words like “cancer” and “leukemia” were being thrown around, and we spent more time in and out of doctors’ offices than I can remember. In the “end,” they diagnosed her with Lupus, an autoimmune disease where your white blood cells turn on your body and start attacking vital organs. Despite most of that year being a bit of a blur, I remember the first Christmas after she was diagnosed with Lupus with razor sharp clarity; she was so sick that she couldn’t even roll over in bed to sip a glass of water. Since my dad had to work that Christmas, I stayed with her to make sure she was hydrated. I remember being utterly terrified, not knowing exactly what was going on, but knowing that something was terribly wrong. Shortly after that, it became incredibly clear that China was no longer an option for our family with my mom being as sick as she was, so we moved back up to Virginia.

Over the past 18 years, my mom’s Lupus came and went in waves- some years were better than others, some were harder. Every morning she’d take a handful of various medications to keep her body from rebelling against itself, and every so often it’d rebel anyways. She was always tired, always sick. And I spent a long time being angry with her for missing out; band concert, football games, wedding planning.

Then last summer, my mom started to explore the possibility that she may have been misdiagnosed all those years ago, that maybe the reason she wasn’t getting any better was that because they were treated the wrong thing. After months of more doctors’ appointments, we finally found out that she was indeed misdiagnosed- that bug bite? It was from a tick. She has Lyme Disease. Tears of relief were shed- after 17 years, we finally had an answer. Hope began to swell in all of us- maybe now that we knew the problem, she could start to get better. Maybe she’d get her energy back. Maybe we’d finally see a glimmer of her old, boisterous self.

The thing about Lyme is that if you catch it early enough, with intense rounds of treatments doctors can usually eradicate the disease from your body. But with 17 years of Lyme rooting itself firmly in my mom’s body? From where I sit, the outlook is a bit bleak. She was prescribed a year and a half of treatment cycles. That’s a year an a half of more medication, of self-administered shots, of fatigue so intense that she can often sleep for 48 hours straight. A year and a half of impaired cognitive function, of missing out on family gatherings downstairs while she rests in my parents’ bedroom. The side effects of the treatments were severe enough that my mom had to temporarily stop working as an elementary school teacher this past Spring.

Throughout all of this, I’ve been battling to keep hope. I’ve all but stopped praying for a cure because after 18 years of watching medicine fail, I’ve lost faith. And after months of watching insurance companies (pardon my language) screw my family over when their job is supposedly to BE there for you, I’ve become resentful. Angry with a system that’s failing us, angry with the universe for the hand we’ve been dealt, angry with God for letting my family suffer in all the ways we’ve suffered. Angry that I was robbed of the joys of planning my wedding with my mom by my side, frustrated over all the things she missed when I was growing up. I feel robbed, jipped, slighted.

But God never promised me this life would be easy. Being a Christian doesn’t mean you suddenly get an EZ Pass to blow through the “trials and suffering” lanes. Quite the opposite- he tells us to prepare for the suffering we will endure. 1 Peter 4:12 says “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you…” WHEN it comes, not if. And the beauty of having my trust in Christ is that I know it’s NOT all for naught. That’s there’s some purpose behind all of this, that even though I may not be able to it right now, I can trust in the Lord with all my heart to lead me and love me through it all. So that even when my parents’ appeals are rejected and the insurance company refuses to cover her Lyme, even though it downright sucks and I’m on the brink of hopelessness, He’s still there. THAT’S what the song “It Is Well” means. Peace in the face of fire, faith in the face of hopelessness. No matter how bad things get, Jesus is my rock and my salvation, and then when everything else seems unstable, I can cling to Him and He will keep me grounded.

Being a Christian doesn’t mean that I can’t get angry about the injustice of a broken insurance system, and it doesn’t mean that it’s wrong for me to cry out to God when I’m hurting. But it does mean that I have the peace of knowing my God has NOT forsaken me, and even though I don’t understand the purpose behind these 18 years of sickness and suffering, that I can rest assured that none of it takes God by surprise. That he will never leave me and my family, never hang us out to dry, never let us alone to figure it out without Him. And though it’s frustrating, uncomfortable and sometimes rage-inducing, that He will always be in control. And that as bleak as the outlook may be, it’s never hopeless.

Jeremiah 29:11- “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Happy Wednesday, friends.

Melissa Kate - February 11, 2013 - 12:41 pm

Wow. I’m not even sure how to reply to this post, but I felt absolutely compelled to comment and tell you what a beautiful post it was. Thank you so much for sharing <3

Kaitlyn Phipps - November 30, 2012 - 7:47 am

beautifully written abby

Sarah Goodwin - November 29, 2012 - 9:37 am

XOXO

Beth - November 29, 2012 - 7:51 am

What an awesome testimony, Abby. I work with students at church and lately we’ve been talking about being thankful in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). It is so difficult to be thankful even when we’re facing hard times, but I think you’ve said it so well – we can ALWAYS be thankful that we don’t have to endure it alone. Thank you for your honestly and willingness to use this trial to speak truth to your readers.

Karen Field - November 28, 2012 - 9:25 pm

PS:The photo Abby chose is from her brother, Ethan’s, wedding. The look on my face is not sorrow, but joy about his happiness and fatigue from the day. That partial face to the far right is Abby’s other brother, obviously having a good time!

Karen Field - November 28, 2012 - 8:43 pm

I’m Abby’s Mom and I love what she has shared above. I’ll only add to it that through all of these years my trust has been in my Father to get me through it all. While Abby and the family were downstairs celebrating a birthday or family dinner, I was upstairs in bed crying because I couldn’t join them. To combat the frustration, I chose to think of the things I had to be thankful for. That is the perfect antidote. I couldn’t change the pain and health challenges but I could find things to be thankful for. That brought an irreplaceable joy and continues to this day, while I still struggle. That’s what I tried to teach my kids and I think Abby seems to have taken this to heart!

Dad - November 28, 2012 - 8:42 pm

Wow, thanks Abby, and all your friends and blog followers!

Michelle Williams - November 28, 2012 - 2:15 pm

I love this song. It has been meaningful in my faith walk as well. My heart breaks for the struggles your family endured. It doesn’t make sense but “it is well.” Prayers for your mom and family.

Raiza - November 28, 2012 - 2:14 pm

Abby I’ll be praying for you and your family. Thank you for sharing. Your words were beautiful and a good remember of what being a Christian really is.

Rebekah Carter - November 28, 2012 - 1:26 pm

Wow, I had no idea about your mom. I am so sorry. I have tears running down my face just from reading thing. I pray that God will bring you & your family peace during these difficult times. I can’t imagine the struggle you all go through each day w/ this.

molly - November 28, 2012 - 1:15 pm

my heart breaks for you, abby. my mom was sick for many many MANY years before she passed and i know what it’s like to watch your parent go through that and to watch your parent be in pain and not be able to do the things she wants to do. please know that i am praying for you – and even though we’ve never met in real life, if you EVER need someone to talk to about this that has a little inkling of understanding of what you’re going through, please don’t hesitate to let me know. <3 you.

Sarah B. - November 28, 2012 - 1:06 pm

Thanks so much for sharing, Abby!

Rebekah Hoyt - November 28, 2012 - 12:59 pm

Thank you for sharing this, Abby! How wonderful that we have a God who has our best interests in mind, even if it doesn’t seem like it at times. Your family is resting in the palm of His hands – the most secure and safe place to be. I’ll be praying for you and your mom!

Shawn - November 28, 2012 - 12:46 pm

Hey Abby, thanks for sharing! I’ve had a similar experience, watching my mom suffer with illness. I really look forward to when Isaiah 33:24 is fulfilled.

Jean - November 28, 2012 - 12:11 pm

Your Pawpaw warned me to get my tissues out before I read this! It has been a long struggle and I, like you have gone through periods of being angry, resentful, feeling hurt or cheated. Watching my once vibrant, beautiful daughter being chronically ill has been scary and heart wrenching for me. Thanks for being so honest and for the compassion you show in this post. My prayers go up every day for Karen and the rest of your family. Love you so much!

Rici - November 28, 2012 - 11:40 am

This is a beautiful and honest text of you Abby. Beautiful because it shows that none of us are alone. That we all struggle. I love how you are honest with yourself and us, the readers, because the bloggosphere is not always bright and smilling and positiv thinking. some days are different and made for sharing from the heart and sharing pain. I think it´s courageous!!
~ Tanti salutiiii.

Heidi - November 28, 2012 - 11:13 am

Oh, Abby. This brought tears to my eyes. I know what it’s like to struggle with chronic illness (low thyroid and other hormone problems), and I have a lot of friends who have chronic Lyme. (Including Kelly Sauer – you know her, right? You should talk. She knows a ton about what works and what doesn’t work as far as Lyme treatment goes.) It’s not easy, none of it is easy, but you’re right that God will never hang us out to dry.

Jennilyn - November 28, 2012 - 11:04 am

This was such an amazing post. Thank you for your honesty! It could be tempting to sugarcoat a topic like this.

This hymn has been especially meaningful to me personally, mostly because whenever I sing it or think about it, I am reminded of the story behind the hymn (which I’ll include at the bottom of this comment)….it was written in the midst of such terrible loss and it always helps me to look at my own circumstances differently.

It also reminds me of my favorite verse:
Therefore we do not lose heart, though our outward nature is wasting away, our inward nature is being renewed day by day.
2 Corn 4:16

It makes me think that no matter what is going on in our lives, God is working on our hearts.

Thanks again for sharing!!!

_______________

“This hymn was written by a Chicago lawyer, Horatio G. Spafford. You might think to write a worship song titled,
‘It is well with my soul’, you would indeed have to be a rich, successful Chicago lawyer. But the words,
“When sorrows like sea billows roll … It is well with my soul”, were not written during the happiest period of
Spafford’s life. On the contrary, they came from a man who had suffered almost unimaginable personal tragedy.

Horatio G. Spafford and his wife, Anna, were pretty well-known in 1860’s Chicago. And this was not just because
of Horatio’s legal career and business endeavors. The Spaffords were also prominent supporters and close
friends of D.L. Moody, the famous preacher. In 1870, however, things started to go wrong. The Spaffords’ only
son was killed by scarlet fever at the age of four. A year later, it was fire rather than fever that struck. Horatio
had invested heavily in real estate on the shores of Lake Michigan. In 1871, every one of these holdings was
wiped out by the great Chicago Fire.

Aware of the toll that these disasters had taken on the family, Horatio decided to take his wife and four
daughters on a holiday to England. And, not only did they need the rest — DL Moody needed the help. He was
traveling around Britain on one of his great evangelistic campaigns. Horatio and Anna planned to join Moody in
late 1873. And so, the Spaffords traveled to New York in November, from where they were to catch the French
steamer ‘Ville de Havre’ across the Atlantic. Yet just before they set sail, a last-minute business development
forced Horatio to delay. Not wanting to ruin the family holiday, Spafford persuaded his family to go as planned.
He would follow on later. With this decided, Anna and her four daughters sailed East to Europe while Spafford
returned West to Chicago. Just nine days later, Spafford received a telegram from his wife in Wales. It read:
“Saved alone.”

On November 2nd 1873, the ‘Ville de Havre’ had collided with ‘The Lochearn’, an English vessel. It sank in only
12 minutes, claiming the lives of 226 people. Anna Spafford had stood bravely on the deck, with her daughters
Annie, Maggie, Bessie and Tanetta clinging desperately to her. Her last memory had been of her baby being
torn violently from her arms by the force of the waters. Anna was only saved from the fate of her daughters by a
plank which floated beneath her unconscious body and propped her up. When the survivors of the wreck had
been rescued, Mrs. Spafford’s first reaction was one of complete despair. Then she heard a voice speak to her,
“You were spared for a purpose.” And she immediately recalled the words of a friend, “It’s easy to be grateful
and good when you have so much, but take care that you are not a fair-weather friend to God.”

Upon hearing the terrible news, Horatio Spafford boarded the next ship out of New York to join his bereaved
wife. Bertha Spafford (the fifth daughter of Horatio and Anna born later) explained that during her father’s
voyage, the captain of the ship had called him to the bridge. “A careful reckoning has been made”, he said, “and
I believe we are now passing the place where the de Havre was wrecked. The water is three miles deep.” Horatio
then returned to his cabin and penned the lyrics of his great hymn.” (http://www.biblestudycharts.com/A_Daily_Hymn.html)

Holly - November 28, 2012 - 10:42 am

This is really, really good, Abby. Praying for your mom and peace for all of your family.

jamie - November 28, 2012 - 10:13 am

I do not always understand the why in suffering but I am learning that God wants my heart to trust Him even when I can not see. It is not easy, often a wrestling for me. 1 peter 4:19. I will pray for your mother’s recovery and treatments!

Ashley - November 28, 2012 - 10:12 am

amen amen amen!!! it downright SUCKS when stuff like that happens. then you’re like, “why me, God? i’m not strong enough for this.” at least that’s how i have felt these past few months. it doesn’t make sense now, but it will one day. whether on earth or in heaven, you’ll see God’s plan in all of it. just stay strong and trust God. this will all be used to bring glory to Him and will be okay in the end according to His plans. keep your head, girl! i will be praying for you and your family to have strength, rest, patience, hope, and trust. stay strong and know that God is right there with you! <3

Lauryn - November 28, 2012 - 10:11 am

Oh Abby, I am so sorry to read this. I completely understand those feelings. My mom was misdiagnosed for years before we finally discovered she has MS. I remember the anger and confusion. I remember the relief, and then the realization that even though we knew the name, there was still trial ahead. Im so happy that this song gives you peace. I hope your Mom will be healed!! Dont stop praying boldly. Hebrews 4:16 is a great reminder. Thank you for being so open and honest friend!!

Before we say “I do”- Greg & Jackie’s Fairfax e-session

She has this way of using her hands when she talks that draws you in; it’s hard to pinpoint why, but you find yourself hanging on whatever she’s saying. She smiles a lot, especially when she’s talking about Greg, that sort of smile that crinkles your nose. And Greg? He’s one of those joyful souls, the kind of person who isn’t phased by the small stuff. His laugh is this infectious chuckle that makes Jackie smile every time, the kind of laugh that’ll ease any tension. They laugh a lot together, Greg and Jackie; their relationship is one of those rare gems that bolsters those around them. The two of them together breathe life into their surroundings, and it’s so perfectly simple to understand how they ended up together.

After deciding not to pursue things past their first date, Jackie saw Greg at a bar six months later. This time she didn’t hesitate- she marched right up to him, initiated a conversation, and they’ve been together ever since, leaning on each other through it all. So when Jackie ascended the two flights of stairs to their apartment one night with arms of groceries in tow, she was initially a bit miffed that Greg hadn’t come down to help her. Miffed, that is, until she stepped in the apartment to find Greg on one knee with a sparkly ring and a question for her.

Greg & Jackie, thank you so much for the opportunity to photograph your love! I had such a good time with you both and I don’t know if I’ve ever laughed so much during an e-session. I am SO EXCITED for your wedding in May!! And a huge thanks to Ashlee Virginia Events for linking us up!

We began in the apartment where Greg asked Jackie to marry him…

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LOVE!!!

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Happy Tuesday!

 

Matt - November 28, 2012 - 8:07 pm

Those are some great pictures! I love the dog, he looks like a lot of fun!

Kristen - November 28, 2012 - 3:17 pm

I would love to have something technical and intelligent-sounding to say, but…these are simply gorgeous! And your favorite is my favorite too :)

Ursha - November 27, 2012 - 10:11 am

Abby, this is stunning! Love the gorgeous tones!

molly - November 27, 2012 - 9:19 am

AHH! loveeee these, abby!! seriously! these are so gorgeous!

Alison Mish - November 27, 2012 - 8:43 am

I love how they started the session in their home! So Sweet! Beautiful session, as always :)

Clarisse Coble - November 27, 2012 - 8:42 am

WOWZA! Such an adorable, happy couple! I love how totally original this e-session is! It’s so cute that they’re at home baking a pizza :)

Monday Mash-Up

Ok, so we can all agree that it’s finally universally acceptable to listen to Christmas music, right? Fantastic! Because I’ve been holding out over here and it’s been killing me! It’s now painfully clear how good of a job my mother did at instilling in me that “CHRISTMAS MUSIC BEFORE BLACK FRIDAY IS A SIN.” I tried really hard to listen to my Christmas Pandora station a couple of weeks ago, but I got 8 seconds into the first song and had to switch back to my Disney station. It must have been hilarious to watch, because I know my face was most likely contorted some sort of horrible grimace and I probably looked like I was struggling against an invisible force to keep myself from changing the station. Speaking of Christmas, I’ve been super jealous watching all my friends Tweet about bringing Christmas trees home already, but Matt and I agree that neither of us are capable to keeping a tree alive for over a month, so we’re waiting til December 1st to get ours. Rest assured, though- I’ve got all my ornaments ready to go and have my retro lights in tip-top shape for their debut this Saturday.

As always, lessons learned from the past week:

  • From hereon our, before making plans as to where we’ll spend Thanksgiving, we will be checking the Dallas Cowboys schedule. Should they be playing the Redskins again on Thanksgiving Day, we will plan to spend the holiday alone, holed up in a dark room until the game is over. Or at least, that’s what I’m planning on doing.
  • I have a bone to pick with you, JCrew Factory store. We stood in line at 11:00 pm on Thanksgiving night for over an hour and the line barely moved at all, and I’m pretty sure the only reason it DID move was because people in front of me were fed up and decided to go home. What’s up with that?? They were only letting 10-15 people into the store at a time, and those people inside the store were taking their sweet time. Never again.
  • If you’re picking up the last bag of rolls at the grocery store on the Wednesday evening before Thanksgiving, try not to do your rendition of a touchdown dance and shout “BAM! I GOT it!” You’ll look like a jerk. (speaking from experience)
  • If I never heard the song “Christmas Shoes” again, it’d still be one time too many. It’s one of those songs that’s designed to make you cry, and it makes me want to punch an elf. (that was unnecessarily violent, I apologize).

Hey look! My film scans from RU came back! Fall in the New River Valley is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen- the trees are ablaze with autumn foliage and the drive down 81 will take your breath away. During my time at Radford, I’d tell myself I really NEED to take photos around campus, but would always come up with an excuse as to why “right now” wasn’t convenient. And then I graduated… so I managed to go four full years at Radford without ever having taken the photos I wanted. So when I was down at RU in October, I made sure to have my Contax with me in case any leaves were left on the trees. Sure enough, they were! I’m actually glad I waited until now to finally take these photos, because I hit campus at the PERFECT time and got to capture the foliage on film instead of digital. I’m definitely framing some of these around our house.

Radford University Virginia filmRadford University Virginia filmRadford University Virginia filmRadford University Virginia filmRadford University Virginia film

The Bonnie, where I spent nearly every lunch hour with other CRU peeps, and my  PO box  where I received many a care package (thanks, Dad!).

Radford University Virginia film

This one is my favorite. It’s an image of the classroom where I took my first film class.

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Preston Hall, where I played in countless band concerts!

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And then a few images from the day my grandparents and I spent on the Blue Ridge Parkway…

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I love them:)

New River Valley Virginia film

Mabry Mill Virginia filmNew River Valley Virginia filmHappy Monday!

Sarah B. - November 28, 2012 - 1:11 pm

Abby, I am right there with ya on the music after Thanksgiving. I waited and waited! But it has been worth the wait! :D

I’m laughing a lot about the rolls…. lol.

And, I TOTALLY agree with you about the song Christmas shoes!! Seriously!

Megan Guernsey - November 27, 2012 - 8:41 am

Your grandparents are so cute together! Love the film photos.

Brittany Claud - November 27, 2012 - 1:25 am

I’ve never been to Radford…but what a beautiful campus! I was at Longwood and never took that many photos of campus either…totally need to go back and do so. And your grandparents are so freakin adorable!

TL - November 26, 2012 - 9:12 pm

Ah, Radford. So different, and yet so much the same. Love that place. And Mabry Mill in the fall. It doesn’t get much better than that. Love all the photos, and your granparents really are precious :-)

Matt - November 26, 2012 - 12:24 pm

Well, I don’t think it was that bad on Thanksgiving… but I guess that’s because I was on the other side of things. I am sure I would have been just as upset if the situation were reversed.

molly - November 26, 2012 - 12:08 pm

i LOVE your scans! and your grandparents are the cutest things i’ve ever seen. seriously. i hope john and i are like them one day!!

Hannah Rancourt - November 26, 2012 - 10:57 am

Everything is SO beautiful on campus!!! I love the mountains <3

Jean - November 26, 2012 - 8:39 am

Great photos, Abby! Memories of that fun day with our beautiful granddaughter. Looking forward to many more!

Dani - November 26, 2012 - 8:30 am

First off, I love your grandparents. Love them and I don’t even know them. Second, monday mash ups are so hard for me because I feel like I am needing to leave a whole paragraph in your comments section. JCrew Factory store – so lame of them! Christmas Shoes – I cry every time, it really should be banned.

Lena - November 26, 2012 - 8:23 am

Can totally picture you doing the touchdown dance with the rolls. lol

Wine Wednesday- stemware

I have a sort of weakness for stemware…. the second shelf in our cups/glasses/mugs cabinet has been completely overtaken with various wine glasses. I can explain, though! Sometimes when you visit a tasting room, you’re given a branded wine glass to take home with you, and I can’t help if I have a few of those, right? Right. And then there was that time when I had to buy those adorable geometric pink glasses for the Shel Silverstein shoot, and that time I attended a wedding where they gave vintage/antique glassware as their favors. So really, it’s not my fault.

When it comes to a basic arsenal of wine glasses, there are three generic shapes to have: one for big reds, one for smaller whites, and one for bubbly! If you want to get into particulars, there are actually hundreds of different shapes of glass based on the different grape varieties, blends, and even years, but basic wine enjoyment calls for just the three mentioned above.

First, a bit of basic background on wine glasses- ever wondered what the purpose of the stem is? It’s to keep your hands from warming the wine. There’s argument over whether or not red wines benefit from the warmth of your hands, but anything chilled should undoubtedly be kept away from fingers. The stem also keeps the bowl of your wine glass from unsightly fingerprints! Because the ideal serving temperature of wines can vary from 45-65 degrees, fluctuations due to body heat can change the flavor and aroma of your wine. Whites, as a general rule, should be held by pinching the stem. You can do the same with reds, but it’s not incorrect to hold a red by the bowl- some argue it helps in aging the wine a little as you drink it.

Wine Wednesday

The first glass in our lineup (on the left) is a standard red wine stem. Generally, the larger the red wine glass, the better! A large glass gives your wine room to breathe, which is also why when you pour, you’ll only want to fill your glass 1/3-1/2 of the way, and you’ll want to stop pouring when you reach the widest part of the bowl. This opens up the wine at the largest possible surface area, allowing the wine space to decant and aerate. Some of the fuller-bodied reds do best when decanted (poured into a big bulbous crystal vase-looking thing for an hour +), but if you don’t have a decanter or don’t feel like waiting an hour for your glass of wine, make sure you have some big fat stemware to pour it into.

The second glass (middle) is a white wine glass (for non-carbonated whites). Red + white glasses are similar in shape (they both have the sort of tulip shape) but white glasses are typically more narrow. This is to KEEP them from oxidizing (breathing) as quickly as reds- most whites will be lighter in flavor than reds, and they don’t need as much time/surface area to aerate.

The third glass (on the right) is a flute- use these for anything carbonated like champagne or sparkling wines. The reason for the narrow opening is to reduce the surface area of wine coming in contact with the air, slowing the wine from oxidizing too quickly. Ever seen those wide-mouthed champagne glasses? Don’t use those- your champagne will go flat in about three minutes. And flat champagne is gross. Flutes are another glass you’ll want to grip by pinching the stem to keep the wine from warming.

See? Easy peasy! You can get a basic set of four red, white, or champagne glasses at Bed Bath & Beyond for $20. When you’re looking for glasses, remember to buy CLEAR, delicate glass- anything too chunky will make your wine tasting more cumbersome.

Happy Wine Wednesday!

Brittany Claud - November 25, 2012 - 12:35 am

Lovin these Wine Wednesdays Abby! I never hold my wine glass by the stem! I’ll give it a try next time I’m drinking some white :)

Christine Jehu - November 21, 2012 - 9:20 am

Timely information to take home for the holiday! Happy Thanksgiving Abby!! :)

Katie Nesbitt - November 21, 2012 - 8:52 am

I know it’s wrong, but I like drinking wine from mason jars:)

Jean - November 21, 2012 - 8:44 am

So….do the blue glasses make your wine taste clunky? Just wondering.

Anna K. - November 21, 2012 - 8:27 am

Thanks for sharing Abby! I seriously had no idea why they were all so different!

More lovely faces- Anna’s Lucketts bridal session

Every so often I’ll arrive to shoot a wedding and as the bride pulls her dress out of it’s garment bag, it stops me in my tracks. Anna’s dress was exactly like that- I LOVED the drop waist, the delicate crochet detailing, the elegant cut. Everything about it was gorgeous. And then Anna put it on and everyone around her started squealing- it was so perfect for her! Her sweet, southern self was giggly and giddy, ready to rush out and meet her groom for their first look. Because the day’s schedule became a little bit crunched, we unfortunately didn’t have much time for bridal portrait on Matt & Anna’s wedding day, so Anna and I scheduled a “day-after” bridal session to give her another chance to put her dress on! YESSS! Y’all know how much I love bridal sessions :).

Anna’s a wedding photographer in the Frederick, MD area, so she knows how to work in front of the camera. I could photograph her all day!! She’s absolutely stunning, has the cutest little laugh, and her soft smile? It’s killer. We met up in Leesburg on a cloudy fall afternoon for what have definitely become some new favorites of mine.

Virginia bridal session on film- Abby Grace PhotographyVirginia bridal session on film- Abby Grace PhotographyVirginia bridal session on film- Abby Grace PhotographyVirginia bridal session on film- Abby Grace Photography

Virginia bridal session on film- Abby Grace Photography

Virginia bridal session on film- Abby Grace PhotographyVirginia bridal session on film- Abby Grace PhotographyVirginia bridal session on film- Abby Grace PhotographyVirginia bridal session on film- Abby Grace PhotographyVirginia bridal session on film- Abby Grace Photography
Virginia bridal session on film- Abby Grace PhotographyVirginia bridal session on film- Abby Grace PhotographyVirginia bridal session on film- Abby Grace PhotographyVirginia bridal session on film- Abby Grace Photography
Virginia bridal session on film- Abby Grace PhotographyVirginia bridal session on film- Abby Grace PhotographyVirginia bridal session on film- Abby Grace PhotographyVirginia bridal session on film- Abby Grace PhotographyVirginia bridal session on film- Abby Grace PhotographyVirginia bridal session on film- Abby Grace PhotographyVirginia bridal session on film- Abby Grace PhotographyVirginia bridal session on film- Abby Grace PhotographyVirginia bridal session on film- Abby Grace PhotographyVirginia bridal session on film- Abby Grace PhotographyVirginia bridal session on film- Abby Grace PhotographyVirginia bridal session on film- Abby Grace PhotographyVirginia bridal session on film- Abby Grace PhotographyVirginia bridal session on film- Abby Grace PhotographyVirginia bridal session on film- Abby Grace PhotographyVirginia bridal session on film- Abby Grace PhotographyVirginia bridal session on film- Abby Grace PhotographyVirginia bridal session on film- Abby Grace PhotographyVirginia bridal session on film- Abby Grace PhotographyVirginia bridal session on film- Abby Grace Photography

 Happy Tuesday!
molly - November 23, 2012 - 10:15 pm

holy moly she is gorgeous and the setting and model and everything is just GORGEOUS!

Anna Kerns - November 22, 2012 - 1:01 am

Thank you so much Abby! You are such an artist! I started to tear up when I saw these for the first time… and second time… and I’m sure a third time tomorrow when I show my grandmother at Thanksgiving!

You gave me such an incredible experience and made me feel beautiful! My wedding day was so lovely and exciting, but having this bridal session gave me a chance to breathe and really enjoy being a bride! It was the perfect thing to do before putting away my wedding dress. Thank for creating and capturing all these beautiful, sweet, and joyful moments! Love you girl.

ashley barnett - November 20, 2012 - 1:23 pm

Abby these are LOVELY! I love the ones by the Winnebago! Now, where is this antique place?! I NEEEED to go stalk treasures! :)

Rebekah Hoyt - November 20, 2012 - 8:21 am

Beautiful Abby!! Anna, you look gorgeous!! Love this sesh :)