One Pan Sriracha Chicken

After a few weeks of the sweetest, most wonderful people in all the land bringing us meals so that we didn’t have take our eyes off our sweet baby girl for one minute… I’m back to cooking.  Not an awful lot, no little layer cakes or swiss meringue buttercream… but I am back to cooking real honest-to-goodness food.  Back to visiting the farmers’ market (which sadly, is over for the summer because it is too hot even for plants to grow), back to celebrating summer’s bounty in the kitchen.  Partially because I want AG to grow up seeing me cooking our family real, honest-to-goodness food and putting my cast iron skillets to work, and partially because I’m hungry.

Easy One Pan Sriracha Chicken Thighs | oysters and pearls

A couple of weeks ago, I whipped up this DELICIOUS meal thanks to a tip from a high school friend, Mason.  We share a love of Ina Garten, and she knows my deep love for all things sriracha and hot sauce well. She tipped me off to this Tasty on Buzzfeed video for One Pan Sriracha Chicken, andddddd I ended up cooking it immediately (literally that night).

It lived up to its claim for ease, and it’s truly a one pan meal – and I made it even easier by not draining the chicken fat and just cooked the veggies in it instead.  I ain’t skeered of a little fat.  (In fact, I would argue that it’s good for you, but that’s not the point.)  I made a couple other small changes to make it even easier and speedier – pre-minced garlic instead of fresh, nixed the garnish, and upped the sauce.  The rest of the recipe below is almost verbatim from Tasty on Buzzfeed.  This recipe has earned a permanent spot in my kitchen rotation – the chicken is juice, spicy and sweet, the veggies delicious, and you could change up the sauce/glaze for almost anything if you can’t stand the heat.

Easy One Pan Sriracha Chicken

Serving size: 4

INGREDIENTS
4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
Salt and black pepper, to taste
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, divided into 3 Tbsp.
2 Tablespoons minced garlic (the kind from a jar)
1 red onion, sliced into half-moons
6 small red/new potatoes, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup Sriracha

PREPARATION
Preheat oven to 400˚F/200˚C. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper, to taste.

Place a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat; add 3 tablespoons of butter. When butter has melted, add the seasoned chicken, skin side down, and sear until golden brown, about 5-7 minutes. (This will melt out most of the fat underneath and will leave a nice crispy skin.)  Then remove chicken.

Add garlic and onion to the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently. Then add bell pepper and potato and cook for 4-5 minutes.

Remove skillet from heat and return chicken to the skillet, skin side up. Mix Sriracha and brown sugar together in a bowl until smooth, then pour onto the chicken and vegetables.

Place pan in oven and roast until completely cooked through, about 30 minutes.

Natalie’s Cook’s Note: When browning the chicken (or browning or searing anything), you’ll know it’s ready to flip or remove when you can jiggle the piece of meat with your tongs and it no longer sticks to the skillet.
Easy One Pan Sriracha Chicken Thighs | oysters and pearls
PS – Mason has a blog herself – I’m Just In It For The Parking – go check it out for a good read to add to your blog roll. :)
Until Next Time - oysters and pearls

Hindsight is 20/20: Packing Your Hospital Bag for a C-Section Delivery

So, writing blog posts with a newborn is like, hard.  It takes me days , ahem, weeks to finish a post – I start it one day, and sit down and write a bit here and there, upload pictures, and edit during bits of naptime.  Ya know, when I’m not cleaning up our house, doing never-ending laundry, hosting visitors or taking her visiting, or simply staring at her and quietly crying from sheer joy.  You know, the usual.

What to Pack in Hospital Bag for a C-Section Delivery Oysters and Pearls

photo by Alicia Osborne Photography

I spent HOURS researching what to pack for the hospital.  I read so. many. blog posts.  I polled friends who had delivered babies recently.  I developed one list for a natural birth, then when I found out I would have to deliver by C section, I developed another list for that.  Normally I don’t stress about packing for anything, but this was one event I wanted to be sure I was prepared for in every sense of the word.  I knew I would want to share the list here, because I figured I would need to write it down for my own friends, and then also because, like reading birth stories, packing for the hospital and hearing what others packed calmed some of my jitters prior to delivery.  If I can contribute to calming anyone else’s nerves before D-Day, I want to do just that.  So belatedly, here’s what I packed, what I used, and what I didn’t, with some commentary along the way.

Tallahassee Wedding and Engagement Photography

photo by Alicia Osborne Photography

Packing Your Bag for a C-Section Delivery

In my Hospital Bag…

…for Mama-to-be:

  • ID and Insurance Information – I kept this in a folder, along with paperwork for my insurance and short-term disability policy.  You’ll have to have the doctors sign off on some of these forms.
  • High Quality Paper for Hand and Footprints – I brought two sheets: one for a hand print and one for a footprint.  I also brought the page out of her baby book for the same purpose.  Ask the nurses to do these hand and footprints for you when they’re doing it for the birth certificate.  I kept these papers in my folder for insurance forms, as well.
  • Nursing Tanks – I brought two, but have since purchased quite a few more.  I have been living in these since AG was born!  My favorite nursing tanks are from the Gap.
  • Nursing Bra – I wore one in to the hospital and then had it in case I needed/wanted it, but I never ended up using it.  I bought these two nursing bras on Amazon and still love them.
  • Soft Drawstring Pajama Pants to go with those nursing tanks.  A friend who had a C section gave me the tip to get them in a size larger than you’d normally wear to keep things loose around that incision. My advice is to treat yourself to nice ones that are super soft, because you will live in them for a while.  I am still loving my Eberjey Hailey pants (via Amazon).  SO SOFT – they’re a dream.
  • Cardigan – I like this soft jersey cotton cardi to wear over nursing tanks in the hospital (which gets cold).
  • Slippers and Shoes – Whatever shoes you bring, you’ll want them to be slip-on shoes.  There will be no bending over for you, Mama.  I packed these slipper socks (and wore them – don’t judge), my Minnetonka slippers (never wore them) and my Birkenstock slides.  They were perfect because I could slide them on, but they were very supportive.  The more you get around and walk in the hospital after you’re cleared to do so, the better… but the walking is hard.  Good footwear helps.
  • Toiletries – This is a personal decision as to how much to take, but here are some of the essentials I brought:
    • Dry Shampoo (I had my sister, Anna Jo, who is a stylist at Haute Headz salon in Tallahassee, blow my hair out before checking in to the hospital.  I highly recommend doing this!  It was such a treat, and then I didn’t have to fool with doing my hair in the hospital.
    • Makeup – I didn’t take my full arsenal (which isn’t much anyway) – just foundation, blush, eyeshadow and mascara – make sure it’s waterproof!  You’ll be having lots of waterworks.
    • Burt’s Bees Face Wipes – there will be lots of times you’ll want to wash your face, but won’t want to get out of bed.  Pack these, no matter what.
    • Shower Cap – got to protect that blowout! 
  • Throw Blanket – if you don’t use it (which you probably will), your husband will want it on the couch/chair/whatever.
  • Pillow – you’ll want your own pillows.
  • Colored Pillowcases for Pillows – that way they won’t get confused with the hospital’s linens and you’ll make it home with your pillows and pillowcases.
  • Phone Charger with Extra Long Cord
  • Gifts for Nurses – I did a big basket full of candy with a little sign hanging from the basket.  A friend of mine brought the nurses donuts from a local place.  It can’t hurt to have your nurses love you, right?
  • Nipple Cream – Lots of people swear by Medela Tender Care Lanolin, which I got and keep in my diaper bag, but I much prefer Earth Mama Angel Baby Nipple Cream.  I still keep it by my bed and apply every night (TMI? Whatevs… this whole post probably is.)
  • Robe – This is a must-have.  And you’ll want to make sure it’s a thin, comfortable robe.  A dear friend Sara gave me a really nice Love Ophelia robe as a bridesmaid gift a couple of years ago and I’ve been wearing it non-stop.  I even wore it as a nightgown one night in the hospital.  You will wear it over nursing tanks, alone, or as a nursing cover.  It’s hands-down one of the things I used the most in the hospital.
  • Hair Clip/ Hair Ties
  • Colace – NOTE: this is NON-NEGOTIABLE.  Bring it with you.  Do not rely on the hospital to provide it for you.  Ask the nurses when you can start taking it.  You’ll thank me later.  PS This is mandatory whether you have a natural delivery or a C-section.  Take it early and take it often!  You can’t overdose on colase.  But you will think you’re dying when you go to the bathroom the first (and second, and third) time.
  • Boppy Nursing Pillow – Most people use this when nursing and find it essential in the hospital, but I never really started using it for nursing and never really have since.  I consider nursing my arm workout, and the boppy just seems to get in my way most of the time anyway.  If you’re a first-time mom, I’d pack it so you can try nursing both with and without it.  You’ll be glad you did if you prefer to use it!
  • Snacks, Gingerale, Bottled Water – I packed Gingerales and some natural almonds and dried fruit.  Labor/surgery/breastfeeding/etc. all make you very hungry, so be sure to have some healthy snacks.  I get nauseated from pain medicine very easily, so I was really glad to have the Gingerale to sip on once I was allowed to do so.  If I had had a natural birth, I would have added Gatoraid to that cooler, too!
  • Camera – no explanation necessary.  Bring extra (charged!) batteries, too.
  • Hand Sanitizer – for guests
  • Yoga Pants – Another friend told me that tighter clothes felt better to her because it felt like it was holding her back together, so I brought a pair of those, too.  It’s good to have options.
  • Chapstick – Your lips get so dry in the hospital.
  • Bose Soundlink Speaker – I was SO glad we had this.  It was nice to have relaxing music playing in the background during the day, and we could listen to the news via my NPR app on my phone in the mornings, which was great, too.  We aren’t big TV people, so we never even turned ours on.
  • Hand Lotion – You want soft hands when dealing with your brand new, squishy soft baby.
  • Gas-X Strips – You do NOT want gas when you’ve had a C-section, and you will want to get rid of the gas they got into you when doing surgery.  These help!
  • Traditional Medicinals Mother’s Milk Tea – This served two purposes for me: it gave me something hot and cozy to sip on while in the hospital (I got pretty hooked on hot tea while pregnant) which was comforting on its own, but I swear it helped my milk come in much faster (mine came in the day we check out of the hospital after only a two night stay!).  My nurse would bring two cups of hot water to me at a time, so I was having two cups every time.  I definitely recommend bringing this to sip on throughout the day if you’re planning on trying to breastfeed.
Tallahassee Wedding and Engagement Photography

photo by Alicia Osborne Photography

…for Baby:

  • Coming Home Outfit
  • Soft, Snap-up Gowns – Not really necessary, as diapers and shirts and blankets are provided by the hospital, but I wanted to use our super soft Kissy Kissy convertible gowns on that super soft baby skin.  You’ll be super bad at putting clothes on a baby at first, plus brand new babes are so wobbly and fragile-seeming, so I recommend snaps instead of gowns that pull over their head.
  • Hat (again, one will be provided to you, but I knitted my own newborn hat and also brought a smaller, super soft Kissy Kissy newborn hat)
  • Socks – newborn size socks.  No shoes needed.
  • Swaddle Blankets – the softer, bamboo ones are even better than the muslin ones.  Get your nurses to teach you to swaddle.  I might have to get Wheat to help me show y’all how our dear, sweet, wonderful Nurse Betty taught us to swaddle.  It was a game-changer!  And you can use the swaddle blankets as baby blankets, nursing covers, burp cloths, etc. etc. etc.  You can never have enough!  Pack at least 3 for the hospital.
  • Newborn Pacifier – If you want, but they’ll provide you one if they think you need one or if you ask for one!  Don’t pack a “0-3 Month” size one though – they’re too big!  Or at least, they were for our girl.  She’s just now using that size instead of the newborn size.
  • Burp Cloth – Pack a couple plain cloth diapers if you’d rather use them for a burp cloth.
  • Baby Book and Pen – There will be things you want to record while you’re in the hospital, so be sure to bring a pen with it.
  • Notebook – You’ll need to record bowel movements, urination, and feeding times somewhere, and a notebook is nice to have.  I brought a nice one from The Bookshelf, and wrote down who came to visit, who sent flowers, who brought gifts and what they were, etc. in addition to the other stuff.  Since we came home, I’ve continued to record all the gifts Adella Grace has received in that notebook, as well as any other notes I want to include.  I think she’ll appreciate seeing it all one day.
  • Baby Wipes – some hospitals provide these, some provide dry wipes that you have to wet in the sink yourself.  Bring a pack of wipes just in case yours is the latter (local folks: Bainbridge Memorial provides the wet wipes… Archbold in Thomasville provides the dry wipes!)
  • Neosporin (for boy babies/circumcision)
  • Rubbing Alcohol – My Dad, the good doctor, recommends using rubbing alcohol on the umbilical stump to help dry it up, although some doctors/hospitals no longer recommend doing so or think that it is necessary, but it can’t hurt.
  • Diaper Cream – Bring whatever you want to use, or better yet, a couple different kinds.  Buttpaste doesn’t work as well on AG (she has crazy sensitive skin like her Mama).  We love Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment and use it at every single diaper change.
Tallahassee Wedding and Engagement Photography

photo by Alicia Osborne Photography

…for Daddy:

  • Twin-Size Air Mattress –  A friend told us to bring this, we didn’t, and Wheat ended up leaving the hospital to go buy one.  We had room for it, and it was so much more comfortable than the couch/bed/thing in our room.  In fact, it was probably more comfortable than my hospital bed.  We got one with a built in motor, so every morning Wheat just deflated it and packed it away in the corner of the room.  It was worth every penny.
  • Clothes/Pajamas and Toiletries for 2 to 3 nights (We lived close enough that Wheat went home every day to shower and change).
  • Cash for vending machines (if your hospital doesn’t take debit cards at the cafeteria or something, good to have on hand just in case).
Tallahassee Wedding and Engagement Photography

photo by Alicia Osborne Photography

Things I packed that I did not use once:

  • Nursing Cover – I’ve used mine since, of course, but you lose all shame once you hit the hospital, and anyway, you’re just trying to get the hang of breastfeeding and figure your new little one out.  Nursing covers can be a bit awkward for a seasoned pro (or a somewhat seasoned mom of a 7-week old) so don’t bother bringing it.
  • Nursing Pads – I packed these, and my milk did come in the day we left the hospital, but unless you’re a second-time nursing mama, you probably won’t need these in the hospital.  You may, however, want to pack some Soothies gel pads for those boobies.  I was lucky and didn’t need them, but it’s better safe than sorry.
  • Maxi Pads – you’ll have access to the finest, largest boats of pads available while you’re in the hospital.  Leave yours at home – you’ll need them there.  Enjoy the mesh panties while you can… and be SURE to steal some to take home.  A friend gave me the tip that although they’re disposable, you can wash them and re-use them.  I’m currently wishing I had stolen more.  They let your incision breathe so much better than the regular grannie panties you’ll need later.  (That’s not a joke – be sure you’ve got those on deck at home, too.)
  • Flip Flops for the Shower – Most people consider this essential for their hospital stay, but after my C-section, the first time they helped me up to go to the bathroom and take a shower… I did not care ONE BIT about what was going on with my feet.  That may seem gross, but our hospital room was mopped every single day and looked clean to me.  Again, you’ve just been cut open… my feet were the absolute least of my worries.
  • Velcro-type Swaddlers – I brought one to the hospital but we never used it.  We used swaddle blankets for the first 3 or 4 weeks – they were softer and easier for us to manage.  Once AG seemed a little sturdier, we switched.
Tallahassee Wedding and Engagement Photography

photo by Alicia Osborne Photography

I plan on doing a post on everything that has become something I wouldn’t want to do without since we’ve been home for over 6 weeks, but no promises on when I’ll get it written. :)  Life with a newborn is the very best, but the blog has definitely taken a back seat to life.  Follow me on snapchat (@nataliekirbo) or Instagram (@oystersandpearls) for peeks into this so-sweet season of life!

Until Next Time - oysters and pearls

PS all photos by Alicia Osborne Photography.  Alicia is a friend and an amazing photographer, and I’m so grateful for these images!

PPS There are no affiliate links in this post, meaning if you click through and buy something, I don’t earn a darn thing.  But I wouldn’t mind it a bit if you pinned this post on Pinterest – after all, sharing is caring! :)

Welcome to the World, Adella Grace: A Birth Story

AGK - by Nikki Hopkins Photography | oysters and pearls

photo by Nikki Hopkins Photography

Wheat and I are beyond blessed and our hearts have never been so full. Adella Grace Kirbo entered the world on May 4th, 2016 and ours will never be the same. God is so good.

Wheat, Adella Grace and I are adjusting to life as a family of 3 quite nicely.  We want to thank everyone for all the well-wishes, love, meals, visits, gifts, flowers, and everything PINK!  We still can’t quite believe we got to bring home a perfect baby girl, and we are so grateful for her health and safe arrival.

AGK - by Nikki Hopkins Photography | oysters and pearls

photo by Nikki Hopkins Photography

I wanted to share our story – without any gory details, but if you’re not into a good birth story, ya might as well scroll on by. :)  I debated whether to share our birth story, but I found other blog posts I read in the days leading up to delivery so very helpful and reassuring that I thought it would be good to share.

I’m also not ashamed to share that I spent the night before she entered our lives and this world having an anxiety attack.

I left myself the day before I was scheduled for delivery to spend alone.  I did all the laundry I could possibly do, unpacked and repacked my hospital bag yet again (a post on that coming soon, too), and attempted to relax.  My mom was coming up that evening to stay the night before Wheat and I checked into the hospital early the next morning.  Instead of relaxing though, as the day went on, I let fear creep in.  I know of so many people who have had babies that didn’t make it, whose babies didn’t arrive 100% healthy… babies who came into this world only to immediately be in danger of leaving it again, Mamas who have had their hearts doubled and broken all in the same day.  It got to be too much and I ended up having to leave our table at the restaurant we ate at that night and hyperventilated the entire way home.  I took a hot bath and calmed down a bit, then found a scripture card tucked in my Bible from our Social : Studies group at Maiden South and prayed it over and over and over our baby.

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His steadfast love endures forever. Psalm 118:1

I took the Scripture card to bed with me, and then I took it with me to the hospital the next morning.  It stayed by my side our entire stay there.  Praying that verse over and over is what calmed my nerves and gave me peace.  I slept better that night than I had for months!

AGK - by Nikki Hopkins Photography | oysters and pearls

photo by Nikki Hopkins Photography

The next morning, May 4th, we checked in to the hospital at 5:30 am for our planned C-section delivery.  Baby K was frank breech nearly the entire pregnancy and was very content in said position, with her little head tucked snugly under my ribs and her feet up by her head… hence the planned Cesarean delivery.  They plugged me up to multiple monitors, drew blood, and listened to Baby K’s heart beat for an hour or so.  Around 7 am, they wheeled me back to the OR while Wheat waited anxiously outside the doors.  They first gave me a local anesthetic, then a spinal tap.  After that, things happened VERY quickly!

They helped me lay down as my lower half went numb and paralyzed, and Wheat was ushered into the room where he took up his post by my side (behind the curtain).  He watched the process from a safe distance. :)  The entire process of a C-section is so strange – you are numb and paralyzed, but you can still feel them tugging, pushing, and pulling you around.  It’s pretty disconcerting.  I was pretty queasy the entire time from the drugs, but they made sure to give me plenty of anti-nausea meds any time I felt sick.  The entire team of doctors and nurses at Bainbridge Memorial Hospital was beyond amazing – they were happy and fun that morning, joking around with each other and talking me through the process without making it scary, and were all so excited about our surprise baby!  Dr. Moye did the cutting, and Dr. Robinson did the talking, and he talked me through the entire delivery and told me everything they were doing as they did it, which I appreciated (although he did ask if I wanted him to – I would imagine not every woman would want to hear exactly what scientific term they were cutting and when!).  Finally, Dr. Robinson said, “Now, you’re going to feel a big push on your abdomen,” and I felt them pushing down hard from the top of my belly, right under my ribs (so strange!).  Seconds later, I heard Dr. Robinson say, “And it… is… a… little Natalie!” and before he could finish his sentence I heard her start crying.

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I presume they wiped her down and cut the cord and swaddled her up next, but since I couldn’t see anything but the sheet, the lights, and Wheat’s and Katie, the anesthesiologist’s, face, I’m just guessing here. :)  Wheat went over and got to hold her, and then he brought her over to me to see her for the first time.  No words can explain that feeling, and I never could have imagined it before having her.  It’s the most magical, amazing, happy, sad, joyful, grateful, relieved I have ever felt.  She was perfect.  And she was a SHE!  I couldn’t believe my gut had really been right and we actually had a little girl!

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After what felt like just a second or two of looking at her, a couple of pictures, and a big kiss from Wheat (not to mention an awful lot of happy tears from me), Wheat went with the nurses and our baby girl to the nursery where they cleaned her up, gave her a bath, measured her, vaccinated her, etc. etc. and on the way he got to pop out and announce to our families that it was a baby girl.  I heard my mother-in-law scream from the OR table!  Everyone was completely shocked except my sister – I had convinced her baby K was a girl, too. :) In fact, the Monday before we had gone to get pedicures and gotten OPI’s “It’s A Girl” polish on our toes!  They were able to watch through the nursery window while our girl was poked and prodded and warmed up, which was pretty neat.

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Meanwhile, the doctors were sewing me back together and I was finally wheeled back into my hospital room after another round of nausea meds (pain meds don’t sit so well with me!).  After being along in our room for what felt like an eternity, Wheat came in and waited with me for a bit.  Then they FINALLY wheeled our sweet baby into the room and handed her to me to nurse, and I literally thought my heart would explode right out of my chest.  She was perfect in every way and I’ve never felt more complete or more sure of my purpose here on earth.

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We already had names picked out before we went to the hospital.  If the baby had been a boy, he would have been Bruce Wheat the IV – but we struggled with what to call him.  Although we had talked about it the entire pregnancy, the night before we went to the hospital we seriously discussed it finally – good thing we waited until the night before! – and had pretty much settled on either Bo or IV (pronounced eye-vee).  We figured we would really need to see this baby to figure it out though.  Nothing really felt right.  I told Wheat that I thought nothing felt right because I was pretty certain that it wasn’t a boy and we wouldn’t have to worry about it.

Since I didn’t have a say in the boy’s name, I chose a girl’s name way back in the pregnancy: Adella Grace.  Adella Golden was my mom’s dad’s grandmother (my great-great-grandmother) and Grace Whitman Bristol was my dad’s dad’s grandmother (my other great-great-grandmother).  Both beautiful family names, not to mention “grace” was my word of the year for 2015 and got me through some very tough emotional times. And fortunately for little AG, I have inherited quite a few pieces of Grace Whitman Bristol’s jewelry that will now be passed on to her. :)  Both are very special names, and we plan to call her by both of them as a double name.

AGK hospital photos by Nikki Hopkins Photography | oysters and pearls

photo by Nikki Hopkins Photography

We spent the next couple of days in the hospital, recovering, gazing on all the PINK flowers that were delivered to our room, practicing our swaddling skills (well, just my super-dad of a husband’s skills – I wasn’t able to get in and out of bed yet thanks to surgery), and enjoying our sweet little girl.

AGK hospital photos by Nikki Hopkins Photography | oysters and pearls

photo by Nikki Hopkins Photography

All our nurses were wonderful, but our night nurse Betty was especially amazing.  She taught us to swaddle really well, she helped me with any questions about breastfeeding that I had (she’s a certified lactation consultant), she was kind and motherly, and she even took our girl to babysit her for a bit the first night so we could get some rest, which was most appreciated.  We had the very best experience at Bainbridge Memorial, and I am so grateful for that.

photo by Nikki Hopkins Photography

photo by Nikki Hopkins Photography

I can’t think of a better word to describe the past three weeks, actually.  GRATEFUL.  I am so, so grateful to be Adella Grace’s mama, I’m grateful to have the very best husband God could have given me, I’m grateful for a wonderful birth experience (C section and all!), I’m grateful we both have supportive, loving families for AG to grow up in, not to mention a loving and supportive Church family at Bainbridge FUMC, and I’m grateful that even three weeks in to parenthood, AG is a growing, happy, healthy, beautiful, SLEEPING baby.  I count my blessings every morning and every night. I still can’t wrap my head or my heart around how big my love for her is, but I’m trying. Above all,  I am so grateful. 

And Happy (3 weeks) Birth Day to our sweet Adella Grace!

AGK hospital photos by Nikki Hopkins Photography | oysters and pearls

photo by Nikki Hopkins Photography

Note: Except for the pictures during and immediately following delivery, the photos in this post are by our sweet friend and photographer Nikki Hopkins Photography.  I’m so grateful that I got out of bed that Thursday morning and put on a little makeup, and pulled myself together for a quick photoshoot in our hospital room.  (My sister Anna Jo, a senior hair stylist at Haute Headz Salon in Tallahassee, blew my hair out prior to hospital check-in! Dry shampoo is my BFF these days.)  Adella Grace will never be one day old again, and she’s already changed so much in just 3 weeks!  I’m already so thankful to have these pictures, and I know the feeling will amplify as the years pass.  Soon-to-be Mamas: I can’t recommend having a photographer come to the hospital enough!  And for local soon-to-be Mamas, Nikki is sweet, soft-spoken, and loves babies more than almost any gal I know.  She was the perfect photographer to let into our room to take these precious first photographs.  I can’t recommend her enough, either. :)

Until Next Time - oysters and pearls