Friday, May 23, 2014

So my friend, Sharon, brought to my attention
kayla itsines, and her instagram. After a couple of days we decided that we were gonna buy her workout program and do it together.

Now I have not worked out since before Knox, so muscles (especially abs) were almost non existent. I ate whatever I wanted which consisted mostly of eating out. So I was starting at ground zero.

What kayla emphasizes is getting stronger, confident, lean, and toned. So after just a week, I felt like a new person, energetic, stronger, dedicated, and even lost 3 pounds. I also started to make more of my meals. Almost after week 3 I realized I was only doing half of the workout. I'm a dummy. So even doing it half way changed a lot for me. What I love is it's 30 minutes and I can do it at home during nap time. It also has made me take more showers, which if you really know me you would know I hate taking showers. So the next time you see me I'll look like this 


So summer is here. It's hot. And we're off to Colorado. 

Will leaves Tuesday for our 6th program assignment. Phew. We have grown to love going on assignment, but this year, just thinking about it makes my blood pressure sky rocket, and my heart to pound a bit quicker. This will be my first assignment with 2 kids. My friend Ali, who will be on our assignment asked me what I was so nervous about,  and I said "Meals, them sleeping (which Knox has had a rough time with in Colorado every summer), the pool, the flights (which I'll be doing by myself), finding time (and energy) to do my workouts that I've been doing, and me losing my mind. So pretty much like every hour of every day".  I want to be excited but the unknown of it is overwhelming. Sooo prayers. I need them. I need Jesus. 

In other news, McCabe is officially on the move. So fun to see her being her own person. Today she crawled to the step into the kitchen and as we were cheering her on, Knox chimed in on the cheering and tried to push her booty up the step. It was so funny. She didn't make it and that's ok. She was content on just seeing us. She's 9 months right now and with Knox I remember saying this was my favorite age. It has made me sad to think that this might be our last time living life with child this age. 

Knox is classic Knox. 
He says goodbye to everyone when we leave the house. "Bye Papa, Bye house, Bye Buzz"
We moved him to a big boy bed and he loooves it. I have loved it to because i won't have to go get him til 9 or so because he plays with his toys in bed when he wakes up.
The way he says monsters "Mawn- sthers" We've been watching a lot of Monsters Inc.

Will has been in heavy program mode the last week and a 1/2. I'm excited to see him do his thing. 
Him and Devin, who is also doing program, are driving up to Colorado Tuesday. I'll be coming up the following Monday. Til then just trying to get my mind right. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Last hiatus?

So I'm hoping this was my last hiatus from here...

It's April, almost May. I can't freakin believe it. Our spring has been unusually busy, with our normal schedule, mixed in with a trip to Knoxville, 3 out of town weddings and all the festivities that come with weddings, redoing our whole backyard, a girls weekend, will gone to 2 trainings, a young life trip, and our spring fundraiser. phew! All just within the past 3 months! 

It's funny that even though we've been busy, my life still feels monotonous. We all wake up (usually McCabe first), play and watch cartoons, eat breakfast (i usually pass but never pass coffee), McCabe naps, I read while Knox entertains himself, then we get out of the house til lunch and afternoon nap, then play some more, eat dinner, watch tv, and go to bed. All that to say, Will and I have been craving adventure lately that won't be cured with a long weekend getaway. We'll see where that leads us.

All the time people ask me, "How's McCabe doing?" I don't realize it but most of the time they're referring to her health. That month was such a blur that I forget that it happened. But she's great, we've never had any issues after leaving the hospital. She's 8, almost 9 months now and literally is a baby doll. She loves people. If you smile at her, she smiles right back. You can't take her anywhere and people not comment on her. Now that it is finally warm, I have LOVED everyday picking out her outfits, this is her still in her PJ's.  

Knox loves her so much. I think we had them at the perfect time. He is getting a lot better at communicating and is more infatuated with her than jealous. She goes by "Baby" in our house.

I am LOVING me some Knox lately. He is so fun and entertaining! He can finally say people's names (mainly grandparents) and it nearly steals your heart when you hear their name come out of his mouth. Right now he is into tractors, books, helping Will water the grass, stickers, walks in the neighborhood, anything sweet, and he loves him some Mama. If I got a quarter for everytime he said my name, I would be one rich mama. We've been to the zoo twice in the past few weeks and he has loooved the petting zoo, which surprised me. 

notice the stickers all over! That entertained him for at least 10 minutes on the plane! Thanks Kakie!

He loves him some "Ice keem"

Will and I had our 5th wedding anniversary while we were in Knoxville last week. We walked around campus and talked through memories that we had. We took a picture where we had met and where we got engaged. We drove by our first house and the house we got married at. We went to a movie (our favorite past time) and window shopped (our second favorite past time) and ate mexican food (our third favorite past time) and topped off the night hanging out with some of our best friends. It was a great day of being with each other without interruption. I'm so so excited for these next 5 years with him and the adventures God has for us! 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

3 Month Hiatus...

You have assumed correctly that both Will and I have got our hands full. 
We are on man-to-man defense. Or are double guarded. But are loving and learning. 

Let me take you back 2 months ago... 
McCabe turned out to stay in the NICU for 4 weeks. She came home September 2nd fully recovered and hasn't looked back. The night before she came home, we stayed the night at The Ronald McDonald House attached to the NICU, where she slept in the same room with us, to help us get acclimated. I hardly slept, mainly because the mattress was awful, but also just being to excited to take her home to finally be a family. 

(My lil sleeping beauty in the NICU)

 (Her first night home, with very appropriate pajamas)

(Our only family pic as of this moment)

 Knox was not allowed back in the NICU so he first got to meet her when she came home with us. He loves her so much.

He gives her kisses all the time. 

But a lot of times thinks she's a funny toy.

Knox might be hitting his "terrible two's" a little early (with sporadic meltdowns), but he is so fun.
 I love being his mama.
Right now he is VERY into cars/trucks. He loves to line them straight  in a line all over the place
"Up" is his favorite movie.
He's saying words that conveniently only I can interpret.
He can mimic a lot of animal sounds. Puppy dog is my favorite because he doesn't make a sound, he sniffs. We never told him to do that.. He's observant, i guess.
Not much of an eater, but does have a sweet tooth.
Loves footballs, baseballs, any ball really and has a pretty impressive arm.

 More of the girl...

Me and her at her first Young Life club.

 We have had a pretty busy fall, but have made time for some adventures!
We went to Phoenix to visit our friend Ryan and Jen. Jen is one of my best friends from high school, and just love being with her.  The weather was perfect and the company was so life giving! We laughed a lot, hiked, gambled, ate good food, met new people, bought and given new shoes, and celebrated Will's 28th birthday! 

We've had family come to visit us two separate weekends, we had a garage sale, football everywhere we look, and I also left both babes with Will to go to Galveston for a Bachelorette Weekend for my friend Carrie.

Knox had his first Halloween Trick-or-Treating. He was William Wallace from "Braveheart". We had so much fun holding his hand and going to each door. He hated it the first time, but by the end he was comfortable enough to grab the candy himself.

And well this is my life, these two nuggets... and the Big Dog. 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Girl

Will here.  With an account of the weirdest, hardest, most beautiful days of our lives.  McCabe Louise Odom was born not too long ago with twisted guts.

My wife says to be known is to be loved.  There are so many who love us, so we want the last week or so of our lives to be known.  I'll let a lot of the pictures speak for themselves.  It's a well known fact that nobody actually reads blogs... we all just scroll down through the pictures.  That's OK with me.  What you'll see as you scroll are two of the most beautiful, courageous women I've ever met.

Let's not get ahead of ourselves.  Let's start at Saturday night.

Just a normal night at the Odom house.  Jess was bathing the eldest.  I was making a shepherd's pie from scratch (no recipe).

Jess walked by and said, "I think I'm going into labor."

I said, "But I'm making a shepherd's pie."

An hour later this was going on:

Game on.

I don't claim to know much about childbirth, but damn, way to go ladies.  I kind of hid in a corner and let stuff happen.  Labor was quicker this time around.  We were in our room by 10PM, and Jess was pushing by 3AM.  She was perfect.

I'd break up our experience since then into two parts:  The first three hours and the ever since.

The first three hours:

Unreal.  Jess pushed twice and out came a screaming, beautiful, 6 pound 10 ounce little girl.

At one point, while all the measuring, cleaning, weighing, registering was going on, I looked at Jess and said that things really changed fast.  A year and a half ago we were kids.  Living a permanent, never ending date.  We'd go to movies when we wanted, stay up late devouring TV shows on DVD, run hard after teenagers through our ministry with Young Life.

And in what seemed like a hazy afternoon, we'd become an old married couple with two kids.  We've long since given up weekly trips to the movies.  It takes us months to finish shows that used to take a long weekend.  We haven't stopped in our ministry with teens, but it looks different.  It includes our kids.  And, to tell you the truth, it's so much fuller.

And here's where the melt of the century happened:

The ever since:

About a month ago our doctors found something on an ultrasound.  It seemed like McCabe had a dilated intestine.  They couldn't tell exactly what was going on, so they sent us to a specialist.  Within a week or so, we had discovered that something was probably significantly wrong with our little girl's bowels... a blockage, an atresia, a disfunction, something.  Ultrasounds, consultations, conversations, new doctors, a couple of scared parents.

The long and the short of it was that McCabe would most likely require surgery within the first couple weeks of her life accompanied by a stay in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit).  We are so grateful for the time we had to process all of it.  We walked into this weekend knowing that and wanting our little girl to be taken from us.  We wanted her to be whole.

It was our expectation that we would have thirty minutes or so with her before they took her to the NICU for scans.  Thirty minutes passed.  Then an hour.  Then three.  I'll admit that I was soaking up my time with her and wasn't complaining.  But as the morning began, I started to become a little antsy.  The plan wasn't being realized.

Me:  Do you all think it's time for her to go to the NICU?

Nurses:  She looks great.  We've given her her first bath.  Her temperature is nice.

Me:  Yeah, but her problem is on the inside, not the outside.

Nurses:  She's so happy here with her mommy.

Me:  I'm happiest when I'm eating a large meat-lovers pizza.  I'm not asking you to make her happy.  I'm asking you to do what's best.

Nurses:  Sir, we've decided not to admit your daughter.  We'll wait and see if anything happens.  Perhaps your ultrasound was a false positive.

Four hours later McCabe was in surgery.
It's not our outsides that need a wash.  It's our guts that are screwed up.

The surgery was exploratory.  The plan was to go in, see what was wrong, and fix it.  It was performed by Dr. Tsao, a pediatric surgeon at Memorial Hermann Children's Hospital.  I've been eating his chicken for years.

After surgery, Dr. Tsao drew us two diagrams.  One was an ordinary, healthy digestive system.  The second one was McCabe's:

You'll notice that McCabe's intestine's look like another stomach and a Knox Odom original drawing.  There were two significant problems.  One:  there was a series of very underdeveloped small intestines (squiggly lines on right, middle) that were failing to let anything through.  That was causing a dilated intestine (what looks like a second stomach on the right).  And two:  there was a total gap in another place as the intestine approached the large bowel (bottom of drawing).  Essentially Dr. Tsao and team removed 20cm of unusable intestine, popped it all together, and my girl will eat cake at her wedding.

I'll never forget Dr. Tsao, and every time I order the General from a Chinese food restaurant, I'll thank God for his hands, hands that made my daughter whole.

Here's the scar:

After surgery, she was taken back to the NICU.  She has been brave.  And strong.  And adorable.  This is her current set up:

She's had visitors aplenty:

She's starting to wear bows:

Knox can't meet her until she's out.  There's a whole lot of this going on though, so I guess it's OK.

McCabe'll be in the NICU for a while.  Today, we are praying for poop.  She needs to learn how to use her new gut before she can come home, and we've barely even started.  It might be a month.  It might be longer.  We have visited her everyday since our discharge.  It's hard to leave her there, but we know it's right.

I've started to read "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" to her while I sit with her.  The NICU is as warm as it could be, but Narnia is a good place for me and my girl to travel.  There's a character named Reepicheep in the book.  He's a mouse the size of a toddler.  A mouse with pride and bravery.  A mouse that carries a sword and speaks as if he's looked into the face of The Lion and been marked by it forever.  And my girl... she's becoming my Reepicheep.  She's so valiant.  And radiant.  And was so worth skipping the shepherd's pie.

Friday, June 14, 2013

life at camp

Life has been so fun here at camp. We are almost done with week 3. craaaazy. my day pretty much consists of following Knox around all day while he does whatever. His favorite things are picking up someone's frisbee while they're playing frisbee golf, flirting with his girlfriend Lily, and shaved ice that I get daily. His least favorite things are sleeping, massive boogers, and camp food minus the desserts which he gets sometimes. A few days ago, a bunch of the older kids were planning on going up to the corral to go ride the horses. Will wanted to take Knox and I was a little hesitant thinking, "He's gonna hate it and I'm gonna have to hold him the whole time and it's just gonna be miserable." I gave in to going only if Will was gonna join me. So, we got up there, Will held him, let him stand by the railing and watch the older kids, then he was the last to go. He was a natural! It was so fun to do something he'd never done before. Here's the video. He likes to watch it almost everyday. We also went to another place later and he rode a mini horse and again loved it.

I've loved to watch Knox interact and play with other kids but one inparticular we hold dear. Here's him and his girlfriend Lily, the most sweet 2 1/2 year old. We share a cabin with her parents, the Schoenleber's from South Carolina. He gets the biggest smile on his face when we walk down the stairs in the morning and there she is on the couch. It's so sweet. There have been times when I listen to her talk and it brings tears to my eyes for 2 reasons... I can't wait to have 2 way conversations with Knox and also for having a girl. She's made Will and I both excited for McCabe to get here and meet her. She looks exactly like I did when I was little so I creepily feel like she's mine and I'm looking into the future. 

I love this pic. It looks like they are kissing behind the dining hall. Really they were playing peek-a-boo. 

We got one more week in us. Keep praying for Knox to sleep well, going deeper with the people we work with, and for Will and the program team to keep breaking down walls within campers hearts with laughter. thanks, we love you all.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Well, we are here!

We made it to camp two days ago and the work crew and summer staff got in yesterday. We are ready for camp! Will's blood is pumping, just so excited for kids to get here. Tomorrow starts Day 1 of camp. Our Knoxville friends are coming tomorrow and I'm really excited to hug some familiar faces. 

Knox is smitten with camp. And camp (guys and girls) are smitten with him. He is curious and an explorer. ie watch him at ALL times. He can't do much other than walk around, mingle, and throw balls, so that's what we do most of the day. He had a ROUGH first night here. I mean up, off and on, crying from 11:30-3am. I dont blame him. It was cold, the air so thin and dry, and in an unfamiliar room by himself, I wouldn't sleep good either. I just kept praying over and over again, "Lord, give him peace. give him rest." But last night I did every precaution I could think of: got a space heater, filled humidifier, and sprayed saline in his nose. And I only had to go in once, which compared to the night before was nothing.

The stairs here are killin me. I mean there's my outta shape self, my almost 29 week McCabe belly, and a 25 lb. toddler I usually have to carry up the stairs so he doesn't take a tumble to his death. Let's just say, I'm winded and sore. 

Will has been hard at work since we got here, but I'm soaking in getting to eat meals with him before campers get here. Knox has really taken a liking to Will in the past couple of days. It might have something to do with him working a lot but he will say "papa. Papa" wondering where he is and we when we do see him he runs to him. Melt my heart. I love my odom boys. 

Pray for our vision to be focused on serving, endurance for us all, that Knox would sleep better, and carving out time with the Lord when all of us would probably rather be sleeping. I'll keep ya posted on how week 1 goes!