Hello, dear friends!
I posted on social media last week that at the end of this week I would share the first of 3-4 upcoming Light Creative announcements. These announcements will be made over the next couple months, and today is the first one!
I’m excited to say that it’s a very big announcement and one that will affect my personal life forever…
Andrew and I are expecting a baby at the end of August!
This is my first pregnancy, and we are very excited to welcome a little one into our family!
I hope this blog post serves as a good way to answer some questions that often come with baby announcements, as well as share a little about how baby Hudgins fits in with Light Creative!
When is your due date?
My estimated due date is August 26! This is really special, because my mom passed away in 2010 on August 23. I believe there is something to that - that these two dates are so close to one another. I miss my mom a lot, but I know her presence is still with us.
How far along are you, then?
Today I am 15 weeks and 4 days. We heard our baby’s heartbeat and saw our little one (like an itty bitty bean) on the ultrasound exactly 9 weeks today (how has it already been 9 weeks…?!) and I’ll be 16 weeks pregnant on Monday! I’ve been in the second trimester for a couple weeks now.
How are you feeling?
It feels great to be in the second trimester, knowing that the risk of miscarrying is lower - I haven’t had experience with this, but there’s always the chance and could happen to anyone. My heart is with those of you reading this who have experienced that kind of loss. Overall, though, I have felt really well my entire pregnancy so far! I am so, so thankful that I did not have nausea my first trimester except for a couple of nights, and then I just went to sleep a little early. Look at you, God. I don’t function well when I’m nauseous, and I assumed I would be feeling really sick, so this is a huge blessing! Other than that, I’ve had a few headaches and have been a little more tired and hungry than usual (give me all the ice cream please), but I’ve really felt great.
Are you going to find out if it’s a boy or a girl? Do you have any guesses?
We are NOT finding out! It’s going to be a surprise to us and to everyone when baby comes into the world! Andrew revealed his guess to me the other night - he said it’s just this feeling he has - but I really have no idea. I don’t have the first clue how to begin guessing. I guess I haven’t gotten that “feeling” yet… and maybe I will, maybe I won’t! We just want a healthy baby. We’re not interested in getting stereotypically-gendered clothing or items anyway, so it’ll work out just fine not knowing for sure if it’s a boy or a girl. If you’re interested in gifting us anything, feel free to keep it gender neutral, but also know that we don’t mind one bit putting a baby boy in pink or a baby girl in blue.
Have you talked about names yet?
Andrew’s front-runner right away was Albus Severus (Harry Potter, anyone?) - so we’re referring to baby as Al for now, but NO, that’s not staying come August ;)
We’ve talked about names and have a few favorites for both boys and girls - first name ideas, at least - but we don’t have anything concrete yet. We’re at the hear-a-new-name-consider-it-share-it-if-you-like-it stage. We’re still discussing anything and everything that pops out at us at this point, haha.
How did you tell your family?
Andrew saw “big brother” doggie bandanas online, but we knew we didn’t have enough time to order one and receive it before we’d see his parents. Our friend Joanna graciously helped me make the one Jack’s wearing in the photo above, using a t-shirt scrap and her Cricut machine! We visited Andrew’s family for a Christmas get-together mid-January, and the first night we were there, we sent Jack downstairs wearing the bandana. We tried to keep him with us, but he was racing downstairs! His parents & sister definitely had a moment of wondering, “Are y’all getting another dog…?” until I told them I’m pregnant! Andrew’s mom and dad both said, “Are you really?!”
We’re in a fantasy football league with my family, and my brother is the commissioner of the league. We’ve been doing it for a few years, but this is the first year that we got together for a “fantasy football league owners’ meeting and banquet” at my dad’s house. It was really intentionally cheesy and awesome. My brother Ben surprised us all by coming in the house wearing a suit, sunglasses, and a golfing glove on the hand he held the championship trophy in. He even bought a GAVEL to use in the owners' meeting (from Amazon, of course). It was pretty spectacular. Conveniently, Andrew’s team won the league this year, and he got to give a trophy acceptance speech. At the end of his speech he said, “And if it’s alright with the commissioner, I’d like to take this opportunity to show everyone our new team uniforms for next season…” Then, he pulled out a JMU onesie (the cutest little onesie you ever did see), and everyone was shocked!
How does Jack feel about being a big brother?
I think he’s feeling great about it for now. I call this photo series: “Denial. Acceptance. Love. There’s gonna be food scraps on the floor?!”
Will you capture your pregnancy & your newborn with professional photography?
OF COURSE! You probably could have assumed that… I don’t know why I even included this question. Andrew’s taking weekly baby bump pictures for me now, and our lovely friend Maggie (ahem, “Aunt Maggie”) took these announcement photos for us. I’m talking with one of my photographer friends about maternity and newborn photos! It’s so important to me to capture this time and to actually BE in some of the photos, instead of just me taking alllll the photos of baby (which will still happen anyway, of course). I’m so excited to have maternity & newborn photos around our house this fall! And, of course, to have our little one with us in the first place!
What will maternity leave look like for you?
This is the business-related question! The good news is, as a small business owner, I’m able to decide what maternity leave looks like for me. I’m really thankful for that. The not-as-fun news is, maternity leave isn’t paid leave when you work for yourself! I don’t have hard-and-fast cut-off dates for photographing sessions and weddings yet, but for sessions, I’ll be able to play it by ear for the most part. I plan to slow down on sessions by the end of July, and maybe taper off before then if I feel uncomfortable or if it’s just really HOT. I plan to take good, solid away-from-business time after baby comes, and I’ll likely return to sessions and weddings in November. That gives me 10 weeks with full-time focus on baby, myself, and our new norms as a family (assuming baby comes on time), and the max amount of time I’d be gone for a session after that is about two hours, so that feels manageable right now. I do have available weekends late fall / early winter for weddings (and in 2020!), so still let me know if you have a wedding in that timeframe!
Do you need anything?
As far as tangible baby items, we didn’t HAVE anything until just a couple days ago! If it weren’t for the Carolina Kids Consignment sale, we still wouldn’t have anything. We’re not in too big of a hurry to start stocking up - and we’d like to keep things as minimal and simple as possible, so we don’t want to go overboard if we’re able to get hand-me-downs. That being said, we’re all about some secondhand items, so please let us know if we can buy something from you instead of buying it retail!
Quick plug for the children’s consignment sale in Smithfield, NC - it happens twice a year, and there are sooo many secondhand items (clothes, books, toys, decor), in good condition, at amazing discounts. I found 7 pieces of maternity clothing (jeans, shorts, and 5 tops) for $21 total. I won’t divulge how much I spent on onesies, books, and a couple toys, but let me tell you it was a steal. We’re talking $1-2 items in most cases.
So let us know if you have baby items you don’t need anymore, but other than that, please pray for us! I’ve been so thankful for a healthy, problem-free pregnancy so far, but I’m well aware that it doesn’t always stay that way. Please pray for a healthy baby, a healthy momma, and a daddy who can keep his energy up for now while he’s working 48 hours a week between his two jobs. He’ll need some kind of energy left when August 26 rolls around! I have my next check-up this upcoming Tuesday, and an ultrasound a couple of weeks after that at 18 weeks.
Aside from prayer, continued community is huge! We’ve loved sharing our news with people individually in person, on the phone, and via text, and it’s been so fun sharing our excitement with you all - including those of you who are finding out now for the first time. We really feel like we have an awesome community of friends and loved ones who are here for us. I’m humble enough to ask for help when baby comes, so please keep offering if you mean it! Most importantly, we’ll want to keep hanging out with you! Obviously life with a newborn will take some getting used to, but at least as I write this right now, I’m sure we’ll want to keep having you over for dinner, going on hikes with you, and enjoying lunch together after church, and now we’ll just get to add play dates to the mix if you also have kids. If you don’t have kids, come on over so you can act like a kid with us - and allow us to have some not-kid-centered conversations too. :)
Thanks for joining me on the blog today!
There are at least 2 more exciting announcements coming in the next couple months! This one is, admittedly, the most exciting and personal one for obvious reasons - but the others are still exciting for my business :) Sign up for my newsletter TODAY for sneak peeks of the other announcements! Newsletter subscribers almost always get the inside scoop before everyone else. I’ll send this newsletter out on Monday!
I love you all - thanks again for your love and support!
In light & love,