Max & Nat on the swings!

swings maxwell natalie maggie whitley

The kids and I have been stopping at the park to play a few times each week, and I feel like it’s at the playground their growth is noticed the most. Once we get there Max has to check on Natalie first, which makes her SO HAPPY!

The other day I realized I’ve hit gold with the swing set. It’s an activity they both love and it’s a good container for a little blondie I know. When on the swings, Max can’t be pushed high enough and Nat can’t stop watching her big brother. And yes, I know she’s taking notes on life ;) They are forming their friendship, and I’m all heart eyes over it.

Maxwell & Natalie on the swings! from gussy sews on Vimeo.
 

Having them so close in age is so much fun. But, I’m super relieved it’s gotten easier for me, because for a long while it was HARD. Going about our daily tasks, like getting the kids downstairs and into the stroller with Bauer in tow, are a cinch now. When do I take a shower? Who do I feed first? When do I give Max 1-on-1 time? Should I take a nap today?, these were all serious questions I was asking myself for months.

But you should see me now! Playing, meal time, diapers, creative projects, play dates, exercising, bedtime routines solo, showering — I’m definitely impressed with my progress ;) And on Sunday we began bathing both of them in the tub, and I could hardly handle the cuteness. This mamahood gig is a real treat, that’s for sure.

Los Angeles’ infamous “June gloom” is almost over, the blue sky appears flawless, my creativity is flowing, and I owe it all to running each morning with the kids. Running has been a real game changer for me, more on that soon. (But in the meantime, here’s a post I write on how to run with your kids.)

See you back here at 1pm PST for my homemade pizza dough recipe ;)

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An adventure to the pumpkin patch!

pumpkin patch west hollywood

I love when our weekends are filled with so much HAPPY! It all starts on Friday — there’s usually tons of anticipation over Zack wrapping up his work/heading home. We usually stay up a bit too late on Fridays, which means the morning always comes too soon ;) You can usually find us in our jammies as we talk about our day while playing with Maxwell and Bauer. We have wooden cars and puzzles surrounding us, the books are scattered and we slowly sip our coffee (which Max calls “hot”). Suddenly it’s lunch time and sometimes we haven’t even left the apartment yet. Oops! This past weekend we knew we wanted to finish up some things around our home and after naptime on Saturday we wanted to visit a local pumpkin patch.

pumpkin patch west hollywood

In Los Angeles it’s not uncommon for a seasonal site, like pumpkin patches or Christmas tree farms or ice-skating rinks, to rent out a lot in the middle of a neighborhood. We’ve done all three now that we’ve been here for two years, and it’s kinda fun to see palm trees amongst pine trees or bales of hay ;) Besides, it’s a huge time saver having these seasonal sites set up in a neighborhood. Driving to the other side of the mountains, where there’s more space/nature, is definitely fun but it can take foreverrrrrrrrrr with traffic.

This was Maxwell’s first visit to the pumpkin patch but I think I had just as much fun as him. We love “stepping back” a bit and watching him take it all in. Seeing what he takes interest in (pony rides! face painting! bounce house!) and watching him pick up pumpkins — it’s adorable.

pumpkin patch west hollywood 2

We found a neighborhood pumpkin patch in West Hollywood to visit on Saturday afternoon. There was a small per-person admission but the total cost went towards any pumpkin purchase. We picked out a super cute lil punkin’ and two smaller gourds for our living room, and I love how vibrant the orange and yellow colors look against our brown accent wall. Kinda makes me want to make some sort of fall garland to really cozy things up ;)

pumpkin patch west hollywood

pumpkin patch west hollywood

pumpkin patch west hollywood

Speaking of adventures, Zack begins a new chapter today in his film/commercial/visual effects career and I’m so excited for him. This is a huge blessing/answered prayer for our family and I’m super grateful. And pinch me, but word around the water cooler is he’ll be home at dinner time, regularly. Yes!

I think we’ll all be reminiscing about all the family time we had this past weekend as today carries on… mixed with anticipation on when exactly Baby #2 will be making his or her debut into our family. WE ARE READY FOR YOU, BABY! ♥

We had such a lovely weekend and I hope you did, too. And if you live in a city where the leaves change colors then I’m a little envious of you!

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Mountains, camping & a car battery.

Cachuma Lake maggie whitley

camping maggie whitley

Cachuma Lake maggie whitley

bauer maggie whitley

Cachuma Lake maggie whitley

We’ve had “go camping” on the calendar for months, but last week was so tiring and so hard, and I wasn’t sure if going would be a good idea. Maxwell had some sort of teething thing going on, so his afternoon nap was kinda non-existent (a pregnant moms worst nightmare). Zack worked late most nights. And for myself, I was plain exhausted and a bit crabby. But we pressed on, packed up the Jeep super early on Saturday morning, and arrived to Cachuma Lake Campground in Santa Barbara before lunchtime.

We joined our friends (and their kiddos) and for two full days we stared at the mountains. It was glorious. The days were hot but the nights were cool. Everyone was dirty from nature; I wore the same shirt & shorts for two days in a row. We were up early in the mornings, had campfires once the littles were tucked in bed, and I even went swimming twice. Glory hallelujah, swimming is my favorite.

I think the best part of tent camping last weekend was how it seemed to reset all of us. The fresh air relaxed us and being away from modern technologies was so refreshing. We live in a small space, and even though I love how tiny it is — how intentional we’ve become with our possessions and time, it made me even more grateful for a home with hardwood floors, a nearby bathroom & shower ;)

Also noteworthy is how amazing my husband is! On Monday, as we’re packing up the Jeep to drive back to Los Angeles, our car battery dies. The nearest auto parts store was about 18 miles away, but Zack kept the car from stalling as we drove down the mountain. We were all so dirty and tired, but I felt so grateful for Zack’s knowledge. He makes me so proud.

A few more updates (because lists are fun!):

* Happy 32 weeks today to my baby bump! I’ve been so, so warm these last few weeks, no one wants to see the outfits I’ve thrown together while at home, ha! But I’m hoping for a bump update to appear on the blog soon.

* In anticipation of Baby Whitley #2 we’re hosting a Baby Bundle giveaway on October 6th. We’re also preparing for our 2014 Holiday Gift Guide (October 1 – December 15) and are offering a special pre-book rate now through September 8th. If you’re a small business owner and are interested in sharing your products with the MWD community, click the above links. We’d love to hear from you.

* Lastly, I feel so very content with life right now. I have been praying over a few things and feel so much peace from these prayers, it’s wonderful. Things certainly aren’t easy for us but I feel way less overwhelmed and so I’m giving myself a thumbs up for happily navigating adulthood.

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A weekend in the mountains.

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We are home from an instantly fun weekend in the mountains, and I’m honestly not sure who is more tired right now: Zack and I, Bauer or the babe. We’re all pretty whooped. Camping, you sure know how to make your own fun (yeow!).

We left Los Angeles mid-afternoon on Friday and arrived at our camping destination just as dusk began to set. Good thing, because the rain had started to fall (really, rain?!) and our tent needed to be pitched and the Jeep unpacked. We were able to hang with our friends for a tiny bit before running off to our own tents for the evening. The rain came down hard, and Zack was such a champion, cooking our hotdogs while I set up our giant family bed. (Boy, that was an experience.)

All week I prepared to leave town for the weekend. Even though there was a lot of last-minute work to do, I was making my list and keeping at it each day, and truly counting down until we could leave the city. It’s been almost six years since Zack and I have had a vacation, so our weekend away in the mountains was refreshing in so many ways. I felt like we were on set of The Sound of Music, the mountains were lush with greens and the sky bright blue. The air was cold but the sun was hot. And as I write this Zack says to me, “I can tell you washed your hair.” I asked him what what meant and he said something like, “your hair is more… tame.” Ha! Apparently the “no shampoo for 3 days” look was a little wild for him.

And Bauer… oh my, Bauer. Let’s just say he was the first to get a bath last night. He LOVED being in the mountains and I have to admit, so did I. There’s something so special about getting away and reconnecting with your family, sans electronics :)

We didn’t do much, and we didn’t talk about much. We were simply “in the mountains” for the weekend.

And I can’t wait to go back.

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