On wanting more patience.

maxwell natalie maggie whitley

I took these photos weeks ago. We were so “in the moment” here; me snuggled up with Natalie (she’s about 8 weeks old here) and Zack chasing after the always-exploring Maxwell. When I look at these photos I whisper thanks to God that His plan is always better than my plan.

natalie maggie whitley

natalie maggie whitley

The babies and I had such an amazing day yesterday. To be honest, my only goal was to have more patience for the entire day. Does that sound silly? It felt a little silly at first, but I know it’s something I struggle with as Max gains more independence and bravery. He is so eager to do things himself, and he’s so smart, that sometimes I expect more of him. Yesterday was a good first day of becoming more mindful of this, I decided.

maxwell maggie whitley

When I step back and let us all just “be” I find our days to be more beautiful. Have you ever experienced that? And really, I see that in these photos. They’re so candid, so very “in the moment” for our little family.

maxwell zack maggie whitley

I want to have more days of simplicity through having more patience — where I learn from my mistakes, and instead of feeling guilty over them I move forward with a changed heart. And so I did just that yesterday, and the day was so good. Have I mentioned that yet? :)

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On happiness and “these days”.

baby wearing Natalie maggie whitley

Happiness. Let’s talk about it.

What does happiness look like to you? Do you feel it often enough? Do you have peace in your life, in your home, with your self? I am deep into the book The Fringe Hours, which I mentioned last week, and it’s affirming a lot of happiness for me. I hope you don’t mind me sharing about the book some more :)

For almost two years now, since Maxwell was born, Zack has been encouraging me to take more time for myself. To plan things. To leave the unnecessary chores for later. To make plans with my girls (sans babies). But it has been so, so hard for me to follow through with these things, all of which Jessica addresses in her book. Can you relate?

baby wearing Natalie maggie whitley

I have ideas and goals and hobbies, but too often they are forgotten because something else is “more important”. And so I do that falsely “more important” thing only to have it steal my time and leave me too tired to do what I really want to do with my life.

Last week I started exercising. And stop all thoughts that I’ve joined a gym and wake up super early to workout! (#yeahright) Once Zack leaves for work, the babes, dog and I walk our neighborhood for an hour. I can easily walk multiple miles without actually going that far from home, simply because I walk both sides of the street before moving on to the next block. Back and forth we go, with the sun on our faces or backs and the cool morning air whipping around. It’s so amazing! I had forgotten how good it feels to exercise.

maxwell natalie maggie whitley

I’m pushing myself to get back in shape, so I created a fail-proof workout plan by not over-complicating it. Here’s what I mean: we’re gone for at least an hour and I push the babes in our double stroller. I walk fast, encourage myself to run a few of the blocks, and make sure I’m wearing the right clothes and shoes. Some days I listen to a podcast, other days I focus on the sounds in our neighborhood. That’s it!

Jessica is a dear, real-life friend — and yes she sent me a copy of her book — but because it’s blessing me so much I’m choosing to share it with you. I’ve been processing what I’ve been reading (it’s only been four days) but I can already feel a shift in my perspective. And it is so good — amazing, even. I think it’s hard enough to be a woman with all the expectations society imposes, so learning more about how to get my work done and chase after my passions is so refreshing. With this new perspective I’m hardly multi-tasking (my dream!), yet I’m cooking a lot of meals, playing with my kids, baking, reading, getting more sleep at night, engaging deeper with Zack and friends, exercising, and sewing. I told you this book has been goooooood for my happiness :)

That about sums up what I’ve been up to lately. We’re still tackling away at our debt, I’m working on another meal-planning post, and I got a little haircut over the weekend. We also moved Natalie into the nursery a week ago and it’s been a gloriously easy transition, which I’m so thankful for. What have you been up to these days?

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Sunshine, soul-comforting food, sewing & my DIY story.

Our weekend wasn’t anything extraordinary but it sure was a good one. I think those are my favorite :)

Natalie maggie whitley

Zack and I had a mini-date at home during naptime (sushi & thai tea, anyone?), we went on a long walk one afternoon, and I cooked soul-comforting meals. We napped, baked homemade chocolate chip cookies and visited my favorite thrift store in downtown Los Angeles. Maxwell (finally) kicked his cold to the curb and Natalie turned 12 weeks old. Life is blessing me, big time.

LA park maggie whitley

And then the crazy thing? Zack and I got tiny sunburns Sunday afternoon while at the park. It’s been over two years since we moved here and we’re still getting used to California in January.

LA park maggie whitley

Zack had to work a little on Saturday and while he was away I actually sewed something. (I know!) And it was amazing. Maxwell sat next to me at the kitchen table while I made a new zip pouch that serves as my wallet. And you know what else happened? He kicked me the entire time I was sewing. Ha.

Caroline-made zip pouch maggie whitley

I wanted a larger wallet than I had been carrying so my envelopes would fit inside (we’re back on the Dave Ramsey cash-flow plan), and this new zip is perfect! Being able to whip up something like this is a  perk, for sure :) I had been wanting to sew for weeks and had made so many excuses. I finally broke this project into manageable tasks (plan out design, cut & iron, sew) and suddenly it felt super achievable.

As I tucked my babies into bed last night I felt a wave of gratefulness wash over me. The fog is lifting… I’m feeling creative again. I feel more confident raising two young children. I’m thankful for the relationship Zack and I have. Monday, we’re ready for you!

Oh, and before I forget… today is the LAST DAY to purchase The Ultimate DIY Bundle which includes 76 eBooks & eCourses. The price is fantastic — only $34.95 (with over $1,200 of content). It’s been seven years since I learned how to sew and this kind of library is exactly what encouraged me to learn the trade.

76 eBooks for only $34.95 -- hurry, this bundle ends January 26, 2015! (a $1,200+ value) | Maggie Whitley Designs

I know it’s so easy to talk ourselves out of making something because something similar already exists. But really, the truth is we need your perspective and spin and creative process.

There’s room for all of us. There’s room for my technique and there’s room for your technique. There’s room for me to sell my product and there’s room for you to sell your product. Run with your excitement and MAKE what you’ve been wishing to make :)

Remember how I learned how to sew at our kitchen table in Detroit from a pile of library books and many YouTube channels? My DIY story begins with making mistakes and ruining irons (#oops), but I always “tried and tried again”. It’s been a joy-filled journey and I’m so thankful for DIY libraries like this.


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I want to remember…

baby wearing maggie whitley

maxwell maggie whitley

natalie maggie whitley

painting maggie whitley

– how messy (but worth it) painting with Maxwell really is ;)

– how crazy quiet the apartment feels when the white noise is turned off (and everyone’s asleep)

– how much time is wasted thinking about something verses actually doing. #inspiration

– the way Max plays hide & seek behind the living room curtains (while giggling uncontrollably)

– how I feel when Zack wraps his arms around me

– that Bauer looks like a dog baby when he sleeps

– how grateful I am for community, both in real life & online

– some of the podcasts I subscribe to: hope*ology, Dave Ramsey and Elise Gets Crafty

– that baby hair smells delicious

– how wonderful this book is (and beautiful, inspiring, easy-to-read, and life-changing)

– how freaking adorable Max is when he runs across the room (!!!)

– how BIG Natalie’s smiles are :)

– that list-making is the best way to feel accomplished

- how much joy our children bring me. The days are like small marathons but I get better at running them every week.

* * *

These posts help me to cherish and remember the fullness of mamahood. They help me to not hold back because I fear I don’t have time to “take notes”, but instead I can move forward and embrace life where we’re at TODAY through simple sharing. It’s incredibly freeing and makes my heart feel full to write these. See the rest of my “I want to remember” posts here.

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