Friday, March 7, 2014

A Birth in Photos

During naps which are slowly becoming more regular I've been working on writing down the birth story of Alexa Lou's arrival. We had a planned home birth and after 33 hours of labor welcomed our girl into the world. It was beautiful. It was surreal. It was an experience in my life that though the pain has now already faded I want to remember and cherish forever. (I'm hoping to share that full story here when it is finished).

I will always be thankful to the support we had. I couldn't have done it without my husband by my side. His love, encouragement and strong faith in my ability to birth at home made a lasting impression on me, showing me how deeply we are one. He has become a great father and shown me over and over again that I picked a good one.

Our midwifes and doula were incredible and made my journey possible. They gave me the space and time I needed to let my body do what God designed it to do. And my dear friend Mandy captured these photos for us for which I will always love her for.

I was originally hesitant to have a photographer at my birth, worrying it would be a distraction, but it was the opposite of that, and truly ended up being a wonderful addition. Not only did she save these moments on camera for me to enjoy forever, but she also supported, encouraged, and helped me. I don't recall once hearing her camera click, but I will always remember the sweet words of support and joy as we brought Alexa into this world.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Looking back : Maternity Photos

I can't believe it's been over a month since I had my maternity photos taken.

Looking at these photos makes me extremely emotional (could also be the hormones still going crazy from the birth). I can't believe they were taken just 1 week before my life was forever changed by the birth of Alexa Lou. Things were so simple then. Hop in the car and go for a trip... simple. And I had so much free time... will I ever have that again? Time is strange these days. Both very long and very short all at once.... I'm sure all you mama's out there can relate with the newborn stage.

All photos are by Mandy Benson Photography. My dear friend Mandy is a super talented photographer who I met just a little over a year ago. She was due with a little girl a couple months before me so she was always my go to girl for asking pregnancy and mama questions to... plus she totally made me look and feel amazing for my maternity photos.

Friday, January 31, 2014


5/52  :  The transition to being a mom has been so much harder than I ever imagined. Late nights, long days, no sleep, continual need to nurse, burp, and be changed. My heart loves her so much and I know easier days are ahead, but in these moments I'm thankful for such a strong, loving, and redeeming God to get me through when it feels like my own will power isn't always enough.


4/52 : Alexa Lou Odegard arrived on 1.20.14

7lbs 14oz - 20" long - 3:46a.m.


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Valentines Day Favorites

Gifting is one of my love languages and so it comes naturally that I LOVE Valentine's Day. I don't care if it was made up by the Hallmark's of the world. I think it's a wonderful excuse to show those we care about a little extra affection.

Dear friends, let us love one another for love comes from God. 
Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 
1 John 4:7

Sunday, January 19, 2014


3/52 :  Anticipation at 39 Weeks


Friday, January 17, 2014

Living With Less - What Pregnancy Taught Me About My Wardrobe

The last nine months have taught me some valuable lessons about my wardrobe that I want to remember for when I fit back into my pre-pregnancy clothes.

1. Less is enough.
During the length of my pregnancy I purchased 9 tops and 3 pairs of pants in total, and have been rotating through them. At first I was a bit embarrassed to be seen in the same thing over and over, so I tried to strategically plan what I was wearing to weekly events or out to lunch with friends. Then I realized that it really didn't matter and actually it made getting dressed much easier because I didn't have to wade through tons of options that weren't satisfying anyway. And because I learned to wear some items multiple times between washing, my laundry was dramatically cut back. 

I think my greatest lesson learned was that I have too many clothes in my normal (non-maternity) wardrobe. I'm even a little embarrassed now of how much I have, how many pieces I didn't like wearing... and even a few with the tags still on them. It creates clutter and when I was getting dressed in something that made me feel less than my best, I think it probably fueled a desire to shop more when that was clearly the wrong angle.

2. Buy only what you L O V E.
Knowing I was only going to have a limited closet selection made me really picky about buying my maternity clothes. I took my husband along for a second opinion and took my time trying on lots of different options. I found so many things that would have been ok, but buying only the ones I truly loved allowed me to feel good everyday.  I think the most important item for me was my jeans. If you're only going to have 2 or 3 pair to wear for the next 9 months, then they better make you feel like a rockstar!

3. Borrow to fill in gaps + the L word.
I was lucky enough in my last month to get some borrowed tops and even a winter coat to add to my collection from friends. This was such a blessing and though it was only a few pieces, it helped me feel like I was getting a tiny bit more variation at a time when I was starting to get a little bored with my options. I have taken extra care to not stain or otherwise damage the clothes borrowed so they can be returned to the generous donors. I hope to look for chances to do this same thing with friends in the future... it's such a thoughtful gesture!

And how could I forget the L word.... leggings of course! How lucky am I to live in a time when leggings are a hot style? I'm super lucky because they are super comfy and work with so many things.... and because they are so stretchy I continued wearing my non-maternity leggings all the way through.

When I start fitting into my pre-pregnancy clothes again I'm planning to do a major reevaluation of what works and what doesn't and then purge. Maybe not as dramatic as only 9 tops and 3 bottoms, but certainly much less than I have now. And I'm going to try to be a wiser shopper in the future when making any clothing purchases. Quality over quantity is a real thing people!

Do you have any tips to share about living with less? I'm kind of fascinated with creating a simplistic lifestyle for my family and would love to know if you have any inspiring resources.