pretty pictures

Hello blog, it’s been awhile!

It’s been very busy around here with our growing family and all of the holidays, so here is an update. I kind of left everyone hanging after our gender reveal party back in July where we found out we were expecting a little girl due December 8th. Well, she is here!

Hadley Graysen

December 1, 2013

7 lbs. 11 oz. | 20 inches

newborn photo shoot

But let’s back up a little bit. I’m very fortunate to have a talented photographer as a friend who recommended a maternity photo shoot. I wasn’t too excited about it at first, I mean, who wants a ton of pictures taken of the heaviest stage of life? But my friend Tiffany worked her magic and these pictures are some of my favorites EVER…mostly because it was so fun to capture Hayden during this sweet time before transitioning to family of four.

Maternity Photo Shoot

This tomboy wild child is a total mama’s girl, which I did not expect. I promised Tad that Hadley would be all about daddy and that she will love nothing more than kisses and cuddling.

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One of my favorites of the little imp:

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Some good captures of our family:

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A few months ago, Hayden really started to understand that there was a little person in my belly. She started calling her “baby Hadley” before she was born (pronounced “Bay-ba Add-ley”) and seemed not to be too surprised when she visited us at the hospital to meet the real baby Hadley.

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And some belly shots. Lucky for me these were taken just days before the swelling set in, about 5 weeks before Hadley was born. I’m so thankful I had a healthy pregnancy and I felt pretty good up until the end, despite the fact that my ankles and feet looked like an elephant’s. To be honest I was so nervous about having another newborn that I kept saying she could stay in there forever. Well now that I’m no longer pregnant I realize how uncomfortable I was, and am so thankful Hadley is on the outside. Pregnancy is not for the faint of heart. Go tell your mom thank you!

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PS. Long black stretchy dresses are the way to go. They hide a lot!

The big day: I made it through Thanksgiving and even picking out the Christmas tree. After a few days of contractions, labor began on November 30th. I wanted to stay at home as long as possible because of going in waaay too early with Hayden, so after my water broke at 4 a.m. and things got crazy {painful} we got to the hospital around 6 a.m. I had recently decided to deliver without medication using the Bradley method and to be honest I was really just curious to see if I could handle natural childbirth. I’m ridiculously competetive and I like a challenge; call me crazy (I certainly did many times that day). After six more insane hours of contractions and 15 minutes of pushing (thank the Lord), Hadley arrived.

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Am I a fan of natural childbirth? I’m not sure. Would I do it again? The jury’s still out. But I’m still overwhelmed by the following:

  • The miracle of pregnancy – what an amazing Creator we have to design a woman’s body to carry and deliver a baby (and live to tell the tale)
  • My husband’s amazing job coaching me through one of the hardest times of my life physically. I truly couldn’t have done it without his calm voice (and cold wash cloth and bunch of papers used as a fan). He was so patient and such a servant.
  • The miracle of new life. I’ve never been a baby person, but babies are truly a tiny miracle. When Hayden was a newborn I was in survival mode and frantically trying to figure things out. I’m trying to really soak up each short stage, and marveling how a year ago, Hadley didn’t exist. But now she does. A new person who will grow up and live for eternity.

My talented friend Tiffany also captured Hadley at five days old:

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Newborth Photo Shoot

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We’re pretty smitten with her.

I wanted to combine our Christmas Card this year with Hadley’s birth announcement, so Tiffany also took some family pictures on a chilly day.

Christmas Card family photo shoot

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All of a sudden our fist baby seems so big. I can’t believe she’s a big sister!

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A very belated Happy New Year to you all!

Christmas Card

All of this to say, having good pictures of this precious stage of life is invaluable. Not only can they be documented for memories in picture frames, photo books, and blog posts, but I used many of the pictures above as Christmas gifts for family members. What grandparent can resist a calendar of the grand kids? I even had a calendar made for us this year, and am so glad many photos are a step up in quality from my quick-draw iPhone camera. For anyone who’s local, I really recommend Tiffany Nicole Photography. She is so talented to find those magical moments and is excellent at getting smiles out of finicky toddlers.

Thanks for stopping by after a long break! I hope to be back soon with Hayden’s fun Two at the Zoo birthday party.

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