On getting off-track, and self-care.

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the constant pull of the waves on Easter Sunday, taken just after sunrise

Even though I’ve been blogging for more years than I can count on one hand, there are still times when I get super off track when I sit down to write a blog post. And even though I always have a running “things I should work on when I have a spare moment” list, also known as a to-do list, sometimes I get off track. I don’t know about you, but knowing these kind of things about my favorite people encourages me. Knowing my friends aren’t perfect? Yes, let’s chat about that over a big bowl of homemade macaroni & cheese. (She writes, perhaps from experience.)

So this morning started out on the best foot possible, considering I was up more times that usual with Maxwell. I’m sure it has everything to do with waking up at 5am yesterday for an Easter sunrise service on the beach, but really it could be that plus he’s getting a few more teeth. Regardless, last night was super un-restful (is that a word? I’m getting a red squiggly line) for me. But cinnamon rolls in the oven, hot from the oven, and a cup of coffee made it so much better.

And so as Maxwell takes his morning nap and I sit down to type out this post, I’m reminded of my random thoughts and how easy it is to get off track. Like how instead of writing a post I should be doing ______ , when really writing this post is what would be the most refreshing for me.

Lately I’ve been focusing on more self-care for myself. Not fu-fu self-care, but practical/necessary/important self-care.

Getting a haircut (this actually helps me spend less time on my hair in the morning (because when it’s cut well my hair curls 100x better, and then all that’s really required is a spritz from the water bottle)).

Sitting down to prep our meals for the week and buying yummy produce and energy-giving snacks.

Reading a devotional in the morning, before the day really starts.

Making plans to meet with my girls, so conversations with volume can be had.

Reading this (again).

Learning how to embroider.

OK. I can feel myself getting off-track here ;) If you’re interested in even more self-care chatter leave me a comment below, or join the conversation happening over here.

Enjoy your Monday, for real.

 

Walking in Venice.

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Sometimes, when the days seem to all mesh together and you know doing something totally different is in order… you drive over to Venice in the morning for a long walk.

You walk with the dog, walk with the baby, walk with your sunglasses on. You walk with your hair blowing in the ocean’s breeze, as it’s soaking up the scent of sunshine and coconut oil and salt.

You walk by shop owners setting up their tee shirts and sunglasses stands, and henna artists are sitting in what’s left of the morning shade, ready for a full day of work.

You walk men passing out CD’s (uhhh, no thanks) and hear the sound of skateboarders grinding up ahead. You walk past the smell hot dogs cooking and whooooooooo, a biker speeds by.

Oh, and hello little blue lifeguard stand.

I can always tell the locals from the tourists. The locals are bundled up during the morning hours (or anytime it’s below 68*), chilled by the breeze that whips around them. (Kinda makes me giggle. They don’t know what cold really feels like.) The tourists look quite the opposite, wearing flip flops and short shorts and tanks, trying to soak up the warmth as if they can bottle it and bring it back home.

One of my favorite things about living in Los Angeles is how many different places there are to walk, but no matter where I go I can usually always see the ocean, the mountains, or the cityscape. And always the gorgeous flowers. Growing up in Michigan we didn’t have these kinds of views, so walking in Venice is a real treat.

I need to drive over there more often. Venice is just a few miles from where we live, but walking their beach front is so refreshing…

My life is enough.

lemon maggie whitley

beesential hand soap maggie whitley

painted daisies maggie whitley

special cards maggie whitley

bible verse maggie whitley

crayons maggie whitley

These may not look like very special photos to you, but they are so, so special to me. Just over a year ago I became a mama to the biggest, sweetest, cuddliest baby boy, Maxwell. And over the last 12 months my life has been slowly changing and evolving and shaping me into the woman I am today, right this moment as I type this post. My days are no longer filled with endless sewing and product dreaming — although that was an incredibly fun season (almost 6 years long!).

Now, my days are more often filled with cooking healthier foods and washing hands practically every hour. When we’re out on our daily walks my eyes catch the beauty, there’s so much beauty around us, for all of us to experience. I enjoy praying for my family more (Psalms 119:105 is very encouraging). I am encouraged and warmed by every piece of mail we receive from family & friends, and display it proudly in our home. Who cares that there are cards connecting Christmas to Valentine’s Day to Zack’s birthday to Maxwell’s birthday? I don’t care, and in fact — the wall in our kitchen where the cards are taped makes me smile every day. Seriously. And crayons, I can’t forget about the crayons. Maxwell is just starting to get the hang of how to hold them. Although many are broken and have little bite marks (Bauer? Maxwell? don’t make me check your teeth). And just the other day I saw a little streak of crayon color on our couch. Such is life… marked by the people in our lives who mean so much to us.

I’m so inspired by our firstborn. How he laughs so easily and giggles & shrieks when I walk in his room after naptime. I’m challenged every day to be the best mama, and not just the best… but the best …for Maggie. I have my imperfections and moments where I feel like I’m unraveling. But I have more moments where being a mom is so incredibly easy. Ahhh. My heart is just so full.

I may not have those same long days of stitching with my Kenmore, but I’m no less blessed. I’m being stitched together in brand new ways, every single day. What a huge heart change this has been for me to accept this new phase of life with such open hands.

My life looks different than it was a year ago — it’s filled with the shaping of many lives, and that is enough.