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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On wanting more patience.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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”.

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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?

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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.

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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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