Exactly how it feels when I run.

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and healthy mama®, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #gethealthymama http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

I woke up, and even before my feet hit the floor to pick up Natalie from her crib, even before I knew the day was starting out earlier than I wanted it to, I was ready for my morning run. We’ve been outlining what we want to accomplish each weekend because the two days go by so fast if we’re not bossy with our time, so naturally it was already on my mind.

healthy mama energy drink maggie whitley

My first cup of coffee was just as I hoped it to be: warm and comforting, with a touch of hazelnut. I sipped it slow and played with the kids on our woven rug. A little while later, I made breakfast for the family and then got ready for my run.

healthy mama energy drink maggie whitley

It’s been nearly five months since I became a runner, can you believe it? What’s inspired me to keep on going, to work through the pain and the wobbly legs and the daily commitment to exercise, is remembering how it feels when I run.

It’s something like this:

It’s an overflow of peace. I can run fast or I can run slow. I can turn a corner quickly and run down the adjacent street, or I can jump up the curb’s edge, or I can leap over a crack in the sidewalk. I can (and I do) run up steep hills, and then as I walk back down and reach where I began I turn around and run up the hill again. All because I can.

running maggie whitley

When I’m out running, it’s just me and the sound of my tennis shoes. The beat coming from my ear-buds encourages me to maintain my speed. My body feels light and my hands are free. Practice makes perfect, my body has tightened up and becomes more familiar. The only thing holding me back is the clock, but even so, I boss it around and decide how I’ll use my minutes.

My running workouts are almost always planned. During the week, as I’m behind a double stroller, I hand out water and re-position rattles and call after our dog, but during the weekend I am boundary-less. I am an overflow of peace, and I run to catch myself.

running maggie whitley

One of the most common reactions is something like, “HOW do you run with two babies and a dog?” And I almost always respond with, “I don’t know how I wasn’t running before February.” Sure it’s hard to get the stroller downstairs, along with the kids and Bauer, but you find a way. Some mornings are harder to get going, of course. The kids don’t always sleep well, or I am restless myself, when the new day arrives. The clock tries to threaten me with time, but I always find a way to boss it around once more.

healthy mama energy drink maggie whitley

I like to have a little something in my stomach before we leave in the morning. Usually a muffin or a banana to give me fuel, along with a cool drink to help keep me hydrated. Target carries a new line of prenatal/postnatal products called healthy mama®, which includes a caffeine-free protein energy drink. Obviously my interest was piqued since Natalie is still nursing. I tested it out over the weekend and am here to report back a positive experience. I’ve only had a few protein drinks before, but this one surprised me with its pleasant taste. Also fun, the full line of healthy mama® products at Target have such creative names (Tame the Flame!, Nip the Nausea!, Calm the Crazy! —wink), but I hear there’s a “while supplies last” deadline for purchasing.

running maggie whitley

Over the weekend I finished my 4-mile run in 57 minutes. I am proud to be chasing my goals to become a better version of myself (self-care is so important!). What goals are you chasing today, and how does that make you feel?

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A great purpose.

park chalk kids maggie whitley

Today I’m doing something I’ve never done before: I’m speaking to a summer enrichment class at UCLA in the morning. I’m not nervous, I know what I want to share with this group of pre-college students. I’ve been reflecting on my presentation all week, when I’m at the park with the kids or making their lunches or reading with them as we’re cuddled on the loveseat together, and it all comes back to this…

The community of handmade has given me time with my family I wouldn’t have had otherwise, and it’s encouraged me to dig deep to find my purpose so I can share it with the world. It’s not similar to my neighbors purpose, no, but the fact that we all were born with a great purpose is what ties us together. I keep going back to my creativity from my childhood and am finding so much affirmation that what I’m doing today is definitely linked to what I was doing then. I love that. (And I can’t wait to share more about how this morning went!)

PS. a book that has inspired & encouraged me so much? A Million Little Ways by Emily P. Freeman.

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Love your (curly) hair.

smiles natalie maggie whitley

Natalie is 7 months old and already she has big, loopy curls with lots of natural volume. Her hair is so fun (hello, hair bows!), and it’s made me think about how important it is that my actions & thoughts reflect positivity. Not just because I have a daughter, but because I also have a son, and my children will have women in their life they need to be a positive light to.

What is beauty? What makes someone “beautiful”? Why do we stop believing we are beautiful (or suddenly believe we are)?

What if we considered exactly how we were made, our natural features and all, and declared it as perfect?

Zack sent me a link to a Dove Hair commercial and it about did me in (video is below). I couldn’t agree with it more, and wanted to share it with you today. Really though, their mantra doesn’t stop with loving curly hair. We all need to love our hair, our curves, our smiles, our handwriting, our height, our freckles, our laughs, our quirks, our personal strengths/gifts.

We are women created with purpose to share our selves, our talents with the world.

And so with that I wish you a happy, positive, light-filled weekend.

Remember you are perfect, and by the way… your hair is amazing.

See you Monday :)

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What is your purpose?

zack maggie whitley

It’s been almost seven years since I wrote my first blog post. I’m not going to link to it or re-read it, but I can only imagine it holds a bit of scatter-brain text, with the purpose of those posts being vastly different from my posts five years ago, three years ago, and even, this year.

Seven years ago Zack and I were living in Detroit and had been married for just a couple of months. Seven years ago we didn’t have a strong vision for our family or our financial goals. We didn’t have our dog or our two babies, and we certainly had gone on a lot less adventures & moves. Seven years ago I was getting ready to walk into the handmade scene and begin my five year journey as a shop owner.

notes maggie whitley

Seven years ago I barely had a purpose statement for my blog or my day-to-day life. I wasn’t bothered by that, but I also had much less going on compared to today. And to think seven years ago I was “always so bored” ;) Side note: I hardly remember what bored feels like. The things (and people) that kept me busy seven years ago are vastly different from today.

Take the broken terra cotta pot on our counter. I’m honestly not sure when I’ll re-pot it, but the grace-filled truth is that’s fine with me. I am not losing sleep over that broken pot. I kinda like it’s broken self and seeing it’s roots throughout the day. It’s bearing it’s authentic soul to all who pause to look.

home maggie whitley

Today we are living in Los Angeles. Today we have two healthy, gorgeous, happy babies. And don’t forget about our energetic, spunky dog! We are living in a cozy apartment with very limited space and items, but just like you I suffer from owning too much stuff (and at times, struggle with not owning “more”). We are deeply invested and aware of one other, that’s for sure.

Today we have a very concrete vision for our family and our financial goals. I am so happy with our goals in these areas, oh my goodness. I feel challenged daily and in wonderful ways, and I feel so overjoyed to be creating a home alongside my husband. He’s the best mate for me, the best friend, the best anything-I-need-him-to-be.

texture maggie whitley

Our purposes with our careers and our roles at home have shifted a little bit in the last seven years. Because my heart is set on specific goals it’s been a bit impossible for me to commit to the same amount of time to this blog as I have in years past. But at the same time, I very much take delight in who is taking up my time :) They sure are cute teammates.

My purpose has changed compared to seven years ago, but it has changed for the better. The reward of having such specific goals is better than any “impossibility”.

Year after year I continue to write here because I enjoy this community. Despite what an average day looks like, how much time I have to write or how little time I have, I enjoy the process of blogging. It blesses me that we can share our struggles and our highlight reels and general lists of “things I learned today”.

plants maggie whitley

Just like running helps me to clear my mind, writing is restorative as it helps me to see life from a different angle.

It has been incredibly valuable to spend time at least once per year asking myself, what is my purpose? I apply this question to my personal life and my career life, and I remind myself there is no wrong answer.

ergo kids maggie whitley

Here are six additional questions that have helped me find my purpose:

How do I want to remember most this year?

What personal/career obstacles am I trying to overcome?

What brings me great joy?

What activities do I avoid?

What strengths do I assign myself? What strengths would my family assign to me?

Do I realize saying “no” can later become “yes” (and vice versa)?


I believe we grow insurmountably as women when we recognize it’s OK for our purpose to change from year to year.

If what I was doing today was the same thing I was doing seven years ago then I’d be missing an immeasurable amount of life.

It’s easy to wonder with doubt: What if I have failed to notice that my purpose has changed?

But even better than that: Thank God I recognize I have a purpose (and it can change every year).

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