Because bulleted lists are my new best friend.

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We are in such a good place right now, it almost feels too good to be true. These days when the kids are young and we’re tired all the time, they are hard. But they’re so rich in love and happiness; I am so satisfied. Here’s what I mean…

* When Zack and I first moved to Los Angeles (from Minneapolis) we had very few possessions. Basically, we had with us what was inside our Jeep plus a couple of shipped boxes. And that was it. We downsized in a huge way when we moved to LA, not only with the size of our home but with what we owned and used. It has been hard at times — like when I really, really miss not having certain something (which I rarely used when I did have it, oddly) — but for the most part it’s been a simple transition. And when I look around our apartment, anything and everything I see has a very special meaning. I just love that.

* Max and Nat are doing so well together, it’s absolutely precious to see. One of my favorite things about being their mama is watching Max seek out his baby sister just to give her a kiss on her foot. And I’m convinced Natalie knows her brother is little just like her (and therefore super cool), which is why she gives him such big smiles. Of course she loves her mommy and daddy, but she has a special love just for her big brother.

* For months last year, as Max got older (and heavier) and my baby bump with Natalie got larger, I struggled with figuring out how to get our clothes washed. The laundry room in our complex is downstairs, across the way, and then around the corner — it’s not all that accessible. I don’t like to do our wash only on the weekends, in fact I’ve learned there is way less mama drama (ha…) when I get all of my housework done during the week. So just recently I realized if I wash our clothes in the evenings and then air dry them overnight while we’re sleeping not only do we have more space during the daytime to play, but I wake up to a home that smells like fresh laundry. Bonus! We have two fold-up drying racks and they changed my life. (It’s the small things, right?) Doing the wash is one of my favorite things, I actually told Zack once, “don’t hang up the laundry, I want to do it — it’s my favorite part!” Snort.

* I logged my first workout on February 19 with Map My Run, a simple app on my phone that tracks my route via GPS and records my mileage & time. I am a dork and actually counted, I’ve traveled over 71 miles since starting last month. HAVE I MENTIONED I LOVE RUNNING? There’s no use trying to figure out what has changed, because I have never enjoyed running until now. Like, neverrrrrr. But honestly, I’m loving it and here are a few reasons why:

- it’s something I can do with the babes and dog (and it’s free)

- hello, sunshine

- each day the scene is different (I’ve gone on dozens of runs now and never have I taken the same route twice)

- the day goes by so much faster (usually I run late-morning which means we’re home just in time for lunch & naps, suddenly it’s 3pm and the babes have woken up, and in a few hours Zack will be home from work)

- my overall mood has lightened and I sleep better at night

- the final pounds of baby weight are d r o p p i n g off before my eyes.

I’d love to share more about my running journey, but I think a separate post would be best. I have learned so much and am so proud of myself for committing to working out almost 6 days/week. And one of my favorite parts? I found a routine that works really well for our family and with only two workout outfits. So if you see me around town and notice I wore today’s outfit yesterday, and also two days prior, just give me your best smile. Because I warned you ;)

Happy Thursday friends!

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A tip for achieving “the best”.

new LR maggie whitley

There’s no non-embarrassing way to share this, so I’ll just be brave and say it: sometimes I’m shocked over my ability to make a task overly difficult. Of course I have seasons where I don’t struggle with this, but take heart, I do struggle. It happens the most often when I consider the day at large and then decide something feels overwhelming (thus unachievable). Does this happen to you, too?

I once had a friend share she can get through anything if it’s written down on paper. So, I tried a new approach to being more productive…

[Read more…]

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Birthdays, running, and other “catching up”-ness.

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Our home has been buzzing lately with lots of good things! March has been a great month so far :)

Zack’s mom visited for two weeks and we got SO MUCH DONE. I know she thrives on home projects so I made a long list of things I wanted to tackle while she was visiting. And guess what? We checked off just about everything — hooray! Our biggest project was re-arranging our entire apartment. Oh my gosh. It was so much work, but it was even more rewarding. I really need to take a few photos to show you :)

We’ve had lots of family birthdays so far this year (and there are even more within the next month), including Maxwell’s second. We celebrated by going to the Los Angeles Zoo on the 12th and then on the 14th we had a little construction themed party with our friends at the park.

Any spare time I’ve found has been spent working on a big writing project or reading Still Alice for book club, and of course catching up on sleep. (Always trying to catch up.)

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Oh, and I’ve finally recovered from a set of week-long shin splints. I guess I was a little too enthusiastic with my running when I started a few weeks ago? It was such a bummer to have to slow down, but it was super encouraging to know that walking produces results, too. In two weeks I lost a handful of inches overall, which kinda made my jaw drop. My goal isn’t to lose a certain number of pounds — we don’t even own a scale — I just want to tone up.

And then lastly, I’ve been wanting to write here more frequently for quite some time now, but usually when I sit down to write the cursor blinks in my face, like it thinks it’s funny that I have such little time to sit down and process a complete thought. I know the more often I write the easier it is, so that’s my goal. Zack and I have found a good rhythm at home with our two babes, but the busyness of having young children is picking up speed. Some days I can’t keep up ;) Like yesterday, I did seven loads of laundry!

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Once again I’m reminded of the beauty that comes with slowing down and focusing on our home. These are happy, energetic years. But I will say, transforming our apartment has helped us find some extra space to create an office. And you know what? My sewing machine is sitting on my desk, just like the good ‘ol days ;) My hope is this dedicated space gives me a little more time to write and create with Max.

Besides, I think I have a few cuts of jersey fabric waiting to be sewn into headbands for Natalie. Maybe I’ll make myself one, too? Ya know, since I’m growing out my bangs once again…

PS. summer has basically hit Los Angeles and I am thisclose to testing out highlights a la home bathroom. Am I crazy, or am I crazy? Someone tell me the truth. I’ve thought about this for a couple days now, and I think I’ll give it a shot. I mean, it’s about time I change my hair, right? (lol)

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Happy 2nd birthday, Maxwell!

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Today is Maxwell’s second birthday and my heart so swollen with joy, I can’t believe this special day is here. We had just returned home from Tanzania, Africa when I found out we were pregnant with this little guy. And oh, what an answer to prayer this pregnancy was for our family! I’m so thankful, my pregnancy was so easy and I enjoyed every moment of it. Like, seriously enjoyed it. Then on March 12th, 2013, Maxwell moved from my womb to my arms…

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zack and maxwell beach

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maxwell in crib

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…and I’m so, so thankful I was chosen to be his mama. I remember all the things I had to learn once he was born, whether it be nursing or sleep schedules or learning to crawl or interactive play. We have enjoyed every stage of Maxwell’s life, which has made the last two years go by so quickly. Every day is an adventure with Max — and he has not only learned so much, but Max has taught us so much. It’s just fantastic that we get to be his parents. It’s like we won the lottery :)

And then there’s Max’s fun personality, nodding his head yes so convincingly when he wants something, which totally makes us laugh and give in to his requests ;) He is so confident in his role as a big brother to Natalie, that’s perhaps the most heartwarming thing to see. But for sure one of my favorite parts of mamahood is seeing the way he looks at his daddy, it’s quite the sight. Having a family that’s just bursting with love is what I live for, that’s for sure.

So we wish you the happiest second birthday, Maxwell. We love you so much, sweet boy!

Love, mommy & daddy

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