Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Alexa at 6 months

Some things I want to forever remember about Alexa at 6 months:

- Started sleeping through the night!!!
- Easy smiler. 
- Loves her puppy Ellie.
- Started eating solids. Loves sweet potatoes, peas, and carrots. And celery makes a wonderful chewy.
- Started sitting up on her own at 5 1/2 months.
- Wearing mostly 3-6 month clothing with a few 6-9 month ones thrown in.
- Has gotten really good at rolling front to back and back to front.... no longer are the days of leaving her unattended on the bed.... or anywhere really!
- Started doing an army crawl across the floor. 
- Loves bath time, walks, and singing songs.
- Reading books has turned into eating books.
- No teeth yet... and mommy is kind of happy about that.

Don't grow up too fast my baby girl. We are really enjoying you at this age!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Quilting Dreams

I haven't really made anything for myself since Alexa was born (almost 6 months ago) and I'm really starting to feel that need. To just see something come together with my own two hands. A quilt sounds like the perfect thing at the moment because it's something I know can't be finished fast so I should have no expectation of that. And I can do one piece at a time when I find little bits here and there.

The only thing I can't decide is if I should do something minimalistic and neutral or bright and bold. I love both and found so many fun examples on pinterest. Isn't it all to easy to fall down the pinterest hole? The inspiration can go on and on and on until you end up just wanting to make and do everything and then really are left with no time to do any of it. Really though half the fun in making is collecting inspiration and then turning it into your own.

I'm leaning towards a Gingham Patchwork Quilt like this because it would be easy and it's simplicity is so darn pretty. You can see all the quilts in my inspiration collection over on my pinterest board.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Contrasting Moments

Life is full of so many contrasting moments right now. Quiet moments alone while the baby naps, long walks through our neighborhood where all I will hear is the sound of my feet and the stroller bumping along, a new pocket of time with John after Alexa is in bed for the night where we both I think are feeling like.... what now? It's been so long, but so desired. These moments are followed by loud squeals of delight, crying, dog barking, errands, laundry and dreaming of too many things I wish I had time to do... none of which are currently getting done and that I'm ok with. I feel a lot like I'm living a split personality life. There is mama, and me, and I'm just waiting until the two become fully one still.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Finding Freedom in Our Stories - Postpartum Anxiety

Today I read my friend Kate's blog post titled "Finding Freedom in Our Stories"... hence my super original name for this post (wink). It hit me right in the gut with some issues I've been trying to tackle head on and made me realize that I wanted to be open about in a way that would hopefully give me the strength to overcome them.

Since Alexa was born I've been suffering from anxiety. Lots of anxiety. The kind that makes my heart race, makes me fearful to leave my home, makes me forgetful and unable to fall asleep, makes me desperate for escape. After Alexa was born I didn't leave my home for 3 months except for the absolute essential doctor appointments, mail drop-offs, and the occasional craft supply run... though with modern online shopping so easily at my fingertips you'd be very surprised how infrequently I had to leave my home. At the time I thought it was ok... maybe even normal for a new mom to be feeling that way. I didn't have much family around and friends visits were always spent adoring my admittedly adorable baby so I didn't have anyone to speak with about this or to point out the fact that it was unusual. I didn't come to realize the grasp it had taken on my life until very recently and now that it's been pointed out to me it seems glaringly obvious that not all was well.

I wont give anymore examples, but there were many more that should have been great indicators... and really it doesn't matter because what happened is what happened and now it's time to accept that and try to move forward. I share lots of happy moments here on my blog, but today I just wanted to share a struggle in order to find freedom from it. It's easy to share the beautiful parts of life, but that just doesn't complete the picture. My action plan is set up and I'm going to overcome this. It is a part of my story of motherhood, but it will not define my life.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

June Instagram Update

Again it catches me by surprise that another month has passed us by. June was full of family trips, walking the neighborhood, quite moments at home, Lexi's first little cold bug which passed in just two days, and lots of smiles among the struggles of having a little one this age. I'm so grateful for all the time we get together as a family. Just yesterday I was looking through some photos from her first month of life and realized my little tiny baby is just growing up so fast... she looks so grown up in just 5 short months and has a handful of new tricks. Oh this time just passes by so fast I'm trying hard to soak it up. 
1. Hmmmm.... Sometimes God has a sense of humor. This morning I pulled out a double batch of chocolate chip cookies for our camping trip from the oven and flipped over my #50promises devotional card for the day to read this. God give me self control!
2. Finding time for Him.
3. Loves Blowing Bubbles. 

4. Handmade flowers bringing me joy.

5. Working on sitting up!

6. My everything.

7.  My happy place is outside with the sun shining and the pavement passing by under my feet. When all else fails I put the baby in a sling a walk away my stress. Still very sleepless over here.
8. Bath time at the cabin.
9. Sick baby = everything is getting cleaned this weekend. Just the sniffles so far, but it made me have a good look around my home only to discover baby drool and dust bunnies everywhere. Ick! 

About Instagram Updates:
All photos were taken on my iPhone 4s and shared through instagram. If you'd like to see more photos from my instagram series you can check them out here or start following me @jennalouodegard

Friday, June 13, 2014


23/52 : This week as I was browsing instagram before bed and I came across a story of an infant death. I was instantly swept away and consumed with a grief so deep and raw. The tears came and they did not stop for a long time. I've felt the pain of lost loves ones, of dreams unfulfilled, of jealousy and anger, but this was none of those.  I cried for the mothers who don't get to hold their babies anymore or never have. And I cried for every time I felt any bitterness towards you. I cried for being selfish. And most of all I cried because I truly knew that you are not mine... you are Gods and His plan for you is not something I can control.


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Finding Time for Him

Last Fall I joined a group of women studying a book of Mathew through BSF. It was the first time in my life that I truly tried to study the bible. Of course I had a background of many of the bible stories that we all hear as children, but going through an entire book, chapter by chapter, was completely foreign to me.

I struggled and struggled through the first months of the study. Always feeling a little behind everyone else, though never judged for that. Each week I would open my notes and try to wrap my brain around the message. It wasn't until I just let go and let the message come to me that I because to really absorb it (easier said than done!). And it created a craving in me for more.

This summer I picked up a couple small devotionals to read. Right now I'm really liking Kristin Schmucker's Joy in Christ devotional. It is a simple quick study of Pilippians and Colossians and it fits perfectly into my day during Alexa's sometimes short and unpredictable napping.

Other readings I'm enjoying:
- Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe
- The New Daily Study Bible
- Jeasus Calling daily devotional

On my reading list:
- No More Perfect Moms
- Love Does
- One Thousand Gifts