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!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

life lately...

Well the school year has come to a close... and summer has begun. We leave for Frontier a week from today. eeeekk! We're getting our bodies and minds ready for our month long adventure in Colorado. Knox however has taken a few steps back... today we found out he has bronchitis. We got antibiotics and Robitussin so hopefully he can shake this before we leave! He's great other than a nasty cough and a lil sleep deprived. Other than being a wild man, his new things he loves are:

playing in the driveway/garage/backyard
going to petsmart to look at the dogs
chicken nuggets
his shoes
quacking like a duck and roaring like a lion
and babies!!!!

Since Knox has been born, I think I've cooked like 3 meals. We either eat something like cereal, eat out, or Will cooks. I've wanted to provide for my family in that way, I just lost ambition (and energy). But this week, I got inspired (thanks to pinterest), and cooked the last 3 nights.

Me: I have planned out our meals for the week! You might not like them, but you will eat them.
Will: That's what I'm talking about.

With all that to say, I'm super proud of myself.

We have also picked a name for baby girl! Her name is McCabe Louise Odom.
 I love it. Back story of her name... When I began college at UT (Univ. of Tenn, duh) I got involved in a small group and my leader's name was Erin McCabe (but we all called her McCabe). In such a pivotal year, (especially for a new believer) she encouraged me, loved me, and pointed me towards Christ. From her I learned so much about how to be relational and present with people. I am forever grateful for who she was to me in that one year and for the years after. So, I couldn't think of a better name for our little girl. Thanks to Buddy and Kathie we painted her room a peach color a few weeks ago and I'm in love with it. Right now, it's our family dance/run around room, because there's nothing in it yet. Little less than 3 months for her arrival. phew! You can take your time getting here August. Now I'm to help Will make his game character costumes, a Ding Dong and Twinkie. (No, that was not auto corrected wrong)

Friday, April 12, 2013


So I finally figured out how to add videos! yay! With that said, I will be making more and here's another recent video. He had just woken up...

15 Months...

Knox is 15 months now and officially a toddler. He started walking last week and has gotten better and better each day exploring new terrains. We thankfully got, not really first steps, but his first attempt at walking on video. You can tell he is trying to hard and is so proud of himself! I love it.

Although walking is super fun to watch for Will and I, we have both agreed that this is a hard age. He isn't a baby anymore, in that he doesn't care for what's going on around him, but he also isn't old enough yet for reason. For example, he sees me put food in the microwave for a minute. He goes bizerk! He doesn't get it yet that it will be done and ready for him in a few seconds. All that to say is there is a lot of whining in our house.

Also, discipline. I'm way over my head. I have no idea what I'm doing. He keeps wanting to get into the trashcan. I tell him no. He does it again. I say no more forcefully and point him elsewhere. He does it again. I say no and slap his hand. He swats at me and goes for the trashcan. Then I pick him and move him to the next room, where there is an all out tantrum and I have to rely on cartoons to take his mind off of it. I know I'm probably doing it all wrong. I just wish I could hire one of the those baby whisperer people to come over and tell me exactly what to do in every situation. If you know of a good book that really helped you, let me know, I am taking any advice!

What he does love is exploring. He could spend all day in our jungle of a backyard and garage finding treasures. But I only am up for this every other day in which I give him a bath. Also, dogs. Looooves dogs. And to touch their wet noses. And birds, thinks they are fascinating.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

I'm sure you've heard the news...

It's a girl! 
Cute tunic pattern
I've had a feeling it has been a girl for awhile. I started pinning on Pinterest everything girl since I found out we were pregnant again. I started getting anxious a couple of days before the ultrasound, doubting my instincts. "What if it's not a girl, and I've just set myself up for disappointment, when that's the last thing I want to be feeling about our baby!" 

We went in to the doctor on Thursday morning. The ultrasound takes a couple of minutes for them to get to the good part... yea it has two feet, yea for seeing all the chambers of the heart...get to the genitalia!! Then the nurse said, "looks like there's a garage sale and y'alls near future!" and wrote "girl!!!" on the screen. I burst into tears! I knew the Lord had set this desire in my heart to be a mother of girl. It was a very sweet moment for my heart to be so full of joy.

Being in ministry with high school girls, I hear so many stories of bad relationships with their moms. With Knox's pregnancy, I felt mostly fear from these stories, and desperately wanted a boy. But within the past year, God had changed that fear into confidence that I can be a great mother to a girl, I don't have to fall in line.

The next hard part is finding a name. We have one that we came across last night that we both really like, but are waiting to reveal til we really know it is right. 

For now, I'll just keep pinning cute things I want to make for her.

and my bet is she's going to be bald...

Thursday, February 21, 2013

When the cat's away, the mice will play.

Will always says no one wants to read a blog that doesn't have pictures. Well, sorry folks because will is out of town for the week. He has the camera and the computer to put pictures on, so your stuck with just words. Will is at Area Director school in Colorado. There he'll be with friends that do what he does and they'll hear speakers and go to seminars and play mafia.  So far, it's been good, gone by fast, but we are ready for papa to get home. 

I was talking to my friend Amber yesterday and she asked what's Knox like now? (she hadn't seen him in awhile) He says "whats dat" about eeeeeverything. And thats pretty much the only new thing. Still no walking. We arent pushing him or anything, I just want him to walk before frontier. The best way I could describe him is he is either super happy or super upset. Very seldom is he just chill, except bedtime/naps (thank God), walking the stroller (but you have to be walking), and first 20 minutes or so of a cartoon.  That makes for a pretty exhausted mama.

Since finding out we are having baby #2 , I've been real tired. Napped every chance I got. I had been feeling down and kinda depressed. All I could think about all day is how I wanted to crawl in my bed in the dark and sleep the day away. Yes, I know I'm pregnant but still my life felt like I was falling into Darkness.  It was a step to recognize it for myself and vocalize it. Will and I knew our lives could wind out of control if we didn't hold on to what we know as true...
That God thinks our voices are beautiful and wants to hear them call his name. So that's what we are doing; Calling out to him, grasping for Light, when all I want to do is run to Darkness. There in the Light is the very Life of God. Pray for Will and I as we are making changes in our life, for us to fall more in love with Christ than we love each other and for Knox and baby to witness the Light we want so badly to reign over our house. 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

For the beggars out there...

Here are a couple new photos...

 Watching ESPN with daddy.
 New bed!
First go round with Cake.