Tiny wrinkled toes.
Remnants of an umbilical cord.
There’s nothing like a newborn baby.
My husband and I are fortunate to have a large number of friends who are creatives (thanks, in part, to our ministry, which celebrates creative arts as forms of worship and has brought together a unique collective of talented individuals). Therefore, from our engagement to our wedding day, from the birth of our first child to her first days at home, we have had the gift of professional videos and photos to document some of the most precious moments of our life together.
Not even a full 9 days after Charley was born, my friend and former roommate stopped by – fresh out of knee surgery at that – to capture the essence of our fresh little one.
At a mere 6 pounds and only days old, my little peach Charlotte Anna Ree had already captivated us with her beauty, her peace, and her gentle spirit.
Besides its glorious 100+ year old character in every nook and cranny – what I love about our home are the countless unique items of decor we’ve filled it with. These bits and pieces might just be interesting, eye-catching elements to some, but to us, they all have a story. Like this suitcase, for example… still donned with a tag bearing Chris’ deceased grandfather’s name, it was the perfect place to capture our wee one’s newborn nap.
This sweet and tender new daddy got baby ready for the next set of photos – wearing a dress that belonged to my mom, Charley’s grandma (or Nonna as we call her). When both of my mom’s parents passed, she had bears made from their clothing as a gift to the grandchildren.
I adore my set of bears and knowing the fabric that makes them was once wrapped around two of the people I loved most dearly in the world made them the perfect photo prop.
*Note the heater in the background – the success of a newborn photo shoot is ALL about WARMTH! In every photo – especially when Charley wasn’t wearing much except a headband – it was crucial to her comfort and happiness. And this peach was happy and relaxed the whole photo shoot!
Gone from earth but forever imprinted on our hearts. Wrapped in love by her great grandma and grandpa, who would have been smitten with her.
Days before I found out I was pregnant, I donned a LBD and set out to the Fox Theatre in St. Louis with my handsome hubs to cash in some concert tickets I’d received for my birthday. I’d only mentioned to him once that I adored Lindsey Stirling, an incredibly talented violinist, and he surprised me with tickets!
As many women do when getting ready for a night out, I stressed that night, unable to find anything to wear. I felt really bloated.
Days later, I found out there was a really good reason for that. My Charley was on her way.
Throughout the course of my pregnancy, I continued to jam to Lindsey’s beautiful combination of violin/dubstep, confident my baby would love music.
She definitely has long fingers like her momma… might even be a pianist like me!
Or who knows… maybe someday she’ll be the one on stage with a violin!
Breathing in the sweetness.
Postpartum squishiness & a husband’s tender kiss…
After three days without a wink of sleep, Chris and I came home from the hospital on a Saturday and he had to return to work that Monday. Having my husband immediately go back to work as if nothing had changed – while everything had changed in my world – was extremely difficult for me.
Thank God for my mom during that time.
Though she lives in a different state, she stayed with us for a full month after Charley was born. There’s absolutely nothing like a mother’s love.
While I healed from a somewhat traumatic post-birth experience (I don’t recommend hemorrhaging or having your stitches ripped out after a natural birth), she did everything from cooking meals and cleaning up after us all, fetching me pads, and even holding the baby after the first feeding of the night so I could get a couple extra hours of rest before the next booby time.
Maybe having your mother in your newborn photos isn’t typical… but for me, it was essential. Just as she always has been to my survival.
I don’t know what I did to deserve such a perfect angel.
In fact, I know I haven’t done anything. I’m a mess, really.
It’s all grace.
It’s all a miracle.
I grew a person inside my body. And here she is.
6 pounds, 4 ounces at birth, but she is strong.
She is surrounded by more love than she will probably ever understand.
She’s favored, chosen, loved by God.
My tiny, fuzzy, little peach.
Photo Credits (by the obviously and incredibly talented): Heather Leigh