lifestyle photographer

packing my hospital bag for the third baby

The last time we had a newborn was about 5 years ago. It's amazing how different the baby market is now, than what it offered back then. In a lot of ways I felt like a first time mom this time as I created a registry, shopped for my hospital bag and prepared for our little boy to arrive. 

I knew I was going to have a c-section this time, so it was a little different preparing my bag. Now we are at home and have passed week 6 with our little Theodore. Goodness what a joy! 

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But as I pull out newborn items, and use products (some for the first time) that I didn't use with our other two boys, I wanted to create a list of things that have really helped me this time around. I think for my own sake really, because if we have another baby I'd like to remember what we actually found as necessary. Hint: you don't need much.  

I'll start with my hospital bag for this post, but I'd like to follow up with our must have baby items with a third baby. 

When I created my list, I scoured Pinterest for some ideas for a c-section delivery. I found some very helpful ideas and used some from a few different sites. So here's my go to list for packing your bag (keep in mind this is for c-section, but a lot could apply for a natural delivery). 

1. Nursing pads  I think they may actually have nursing pads if you ask for them, but I brought a few just in case. My milk seemed to come in faster with each baby, so I was thankful I had some on hand that I liked. 

2. Burts Bees facial wipes these were super helpful when I couldn't get up that first 24 hours or so after he was delivered. My face felt gross, and it was quick way to make me feel a little fresher without the help of soap and water! 

3. Gas x pills sounds embarrassing to pack (as well as the next item) but were so helpful! Especially with a c-section. You are having a major surgery, and air somehow finds a way to become trapped in the weirdest places. I had gas pains in my shoulder and neck! Taking this simple little pill will relieve some pain for you in a big way. 

4Colace I know this is not so lovely to talk about, but be sure to include this in your bag. Especially with c-sections. You'll want to start taking it earlier than later, as everything slows way down with surgery. I started this right away and was so very thankful I did! It helped a lot. And thats enough about that.

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5. Ginger tea and Ginger brew  after delivery I was on a liquid diet for 24 hours. Hot liquids are encouraged to help move everything along, and having something that will settle any nausea was wonderful. I love Traditional Medicinal teas, and the ginger is really soothing. We also packed some natural ginger ale (the Ginger brew) and both my husband and I loved it mixed with cran grape juice! The bubbles felt good in my belly too! Also you can pick them both up at Kroger, our local grocery store here in Georgia. 

6Prenatals I brought my own prenatal vitamins, because I wanted to take what I was familiar with. I love my New Chapter ones, and they even have a Post Natal one that I'm using now. They are whole food based with organic ingredients, plus an extra blend just for breastfeeding! The hospital gives you a multi vitamin usually but I know how my body feels taking these, and I opted to bring my own. 

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7. A few of newborn outfits and onesies. With our first son I made the mistake of bringing baby clothes that were 0-3 in size. Um, those do NOT fit a typical newborn (7-8 lbs). I learned quickly that they have to be labeled "N" for newborn. I'd bring some in each size though since you never know how big baby will be! I brought about 3 or 4 outfits. The sooner you dress them, be prepared for possible blow outs or wet diapers leaking through those little clothes! 

8. Swaddles I had read that some mom's did not take swaddles and didn't need them at the hospital. Um, nope. We spent many hours awake because Theodore kept kicking out of his swaddled blankets from the hospital. I had wished we'd brought our trusty swaddles from home! They have velcro straps that helped him stay swaddled and sleeping! I linked to a brand that I really like, and that stays swaddled. Really though, ones with velcro are great in general. 

9. A robe  and a pretty night gown once you are out of your amazing looking hospital gown, it's so nice to feel pretty in a comfortable night gown and robe. I always try to get up and walk as soon as I possibly can, because it helps healing go that much faster. Having a pretty robe to keep myself modest was a need. I'd even bring 2 or 3 night gowns, if you will be there for 3-4 days (c-section). It's so much better than pants, since the nurses need to check you regularly and make sure the top is easy access for breast feeding. I picked up a gown at motherhood maternity (linked above) and it was made for nursing and so very comfortable!

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I really wanted to make a nice even list of 10, but these 9 things were the ones I really remembered as being helpful. Of course you can add the essentials like your own toiletries, your pillow, slippers, change of clothes, camera, phone and chargers etc. Being our third time here I knew we didn't want to take too much stuff. 

You should have seen us with the first two babies. We actually had a cart for all our gear. Ahem. 

I hope this list is helpful for you mama who is having your first, your second, your fifth. Wherever you are in this journey of motherhood. What a fun and blessed one it is isn't it? 


Monday's musings

I woke up this morning to the sound of rain pitter pattering on the roof. I had every intention of getting up early, and starting a good pattern for the week. Goals.

I had some great goals.

But the warmth of our cozy bed, ugh. My first goal went right out the door. 

However, I DID manage to get up earlier than our boys and that was still progress. Quiet time without dividing my time and attention between our boys was a really great start to this dark and dreary Monday. 

I wanted to post some musings in the interest of being intentional and sticking to a Monday post (remember, I have GOALS my friends). 

Our life.

A couple of weeks ago we celebrated Jonah's birthday by taking a trip to an apple orchard. We did the same thing last year and because it was such a great day, we decided to dub this a tradition that needed to happen in our family. This year we invited our good friends and my in-laws along. It was a really perfect fall day with cooler temps and sunshine mixed with clouds. Our friends have 3 little boys, and with our 2 added into the mix, it was a lot of fun to watch them pick apples. I love visiting apple orchards and eating apples right off the tree; the crisp, sweet taste of fresh apples cannot be beat. Our takeaway was about a bushel of apples, because I decided to pick up a bag of "seconds" (already picked, bruised apples) with our own bag we had picked. Of course we picked up some apple cider donuts as well and we added in a whole basket of tomatoes that they sold in their market. It was a good food haul! Here we are weeks later and still enjoying the fruit of our labor. Apples for days and days! Here are some favorite photos from our trip!

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We had a blast celebrating Jonah's special day. Plus, we even have a family photo together! (thanks Erin!)


Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:3-11)

There is so much wisdom in this passage, but a couple thoughts that struck me while reading through it. The unlikely are mentioned. The ones you wouldn't think would really need a special blessing. Like those that mourn. 

We've had our days of mourning, following the loss of our third wee baby this past July. But it says, "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted." While discussing this in my core group at Bible study, one lady mentioned something I found encouraging. She said that she wanted to start praying the blessing on those that the verse was mentioning. As in mourning, to pray for them to be comforted. I guess I had never really thought about praying the ending for the ones mentioned in the beginning. Thinking through all the different types of people mentioned in this passage, I started to think through particular people that would fit those descriptions. It's not hard to think of those that are mourning. I've seen many women walk through suffering in mourning. I love praying specific scripture for others and here is just one more way to do that. I am determined to start doing this in my prayer life. 


I read this post this past week and it was again timely for me. I find myself feeling discontent at the lot God has given me, and question if it's good. Is it really good where I am? This post was shared with me a couple months ago, and at the time I didn't fully get where the author was coming from. The second time I read it, I did. It was a great encouragement and a good reminder to be thankful for where I am and what He has done for me and given me (my lot). 

Here's the post by Loving my Lot: 3 things to tell yourself when others prosper and you suffer

Happy rainy Monday friends!

your Christmas card (rethink it this year)

With Thanksgiving well under way (we are two days past as I write), it's finally time to roll out the Christmas decor and crank up the holiday tunes! Our family always waits until after Thanksgiving before we pick out our tree AND turn on Christmas music (the latter being more difficult with radio stations spoiling it for us, ha!). 

Perhaps you've already had your tree up for a good month, and you've had nothing but holiday music in your home since fall weather moved in. It's okay, we won't judge, because we know it's different for each home! We LOVE this time of year and love cranking up "O, Holy Night,"  while we drive by homes lit up with their display of lights. It's a wonderful and very special time of year as we remember the birth of Jesus here on earth many years ago.

But this year we wanted to do something a little different for you!
We love Christmas cards. It's a small way to keep in touch with so many friends and family members that are across the miles. But we also love personalizing things so that your own voice comes through. Literally.
When we launched sound stories as an option with our photo stories, we knew then that we'd want to include it for the holidays, though in a bit of a smaller scale. And that's exactly what we are offering: a Christmas sound story. 

We take your family holiday photos—around your tree, around your table enjoying cookies and cocoa, around your fireplace with Christmas music blaring. A simple holiday portrait session that includes recording your own greeting for your card. 

The final "card" will be a slideshow of your family photos with your greeting playing along with it.
There is something moving about seeing images along with your own voice behind it. It's a very personal new tradition you will love to go back and watch year after year. 

We should also mention these are priced lower, for a special holiday price! With Christmas only a few weeks away, we are limiting the offer to 2 Christmas card sessions (scheduled through Saturday, December 6).

For more details send us an email at: