I want to remember…

home maggie whitley

When life is good it ticks by fast, so during this season of “good life” I want to pause to remember…

– the kitchen counter piled high with dishes from a delicious meal

– Maxwell talking to Siri by mostly telling her dada, mama (pronounced “muma”), Nony (Natalie) and no no nooooooo

– babies who nap through the lawn maintenance hour (so odd to hear these sounds in January considering I grew up in Michigan)

– what Max’s favorite things are: running, reading books, the occasional cookie, telling us what things are hot, pointing out who the items in our home belong to (so cute)

– good books within reach (currently loving this design book)

– the awesome relationship I have with my older brother, Matt

– the way Natalie smiles at me when I crouch down to her face and talk to her

– that I’m never too proud to own multiple journals and lip balms

– how we’re teaching Max how to count to 10 and say each letter of the alphabet

– the way Max so generously gives Natalie kisses

– that showering at night is the way to go, and the less hair products I use the better my hair is (this texturizing spray is the good stuff)

– how grateful I am to have Zack as my husband and friend.

*This post is brought to you by baby wearing. Affiliate links used throughout, meaning I will earn a small commission on any items purchased.

 

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On baby wearing and creating.

natalie baby wearing maggie whitley

clay beads maggie whitley

The other day I had a small “aha” moment and it was super encouraging since I’m still in the newborn & toddler craze. Zack was home these last two weeks during the holidays and we enjoyed all our time together as a family (obviously :)). But we also enjoyed a bit of solo time, too. Usually during naptime one of us leaves for a couple hours. It’s always refreshing to step away from something so constant as parenthood and remember that YES, I do exist as a solo person. (Something I need to remind myself often since having a second baby.) I admit, it was hard to audibly say, “Go on babe! We’ll see you in a few hours,” but I knew I needed to push Zack out the door. And I’m so glad I did.

The door clicked shut, I nursed Natalie, and then I put her in a wrap. I wore her for nearly 3 hours as she snored and slept. Maxwell was asleep in the nursery, and I accomplished so much for me. It was almost like it was *I* who had stepped out during naptime, it was that refreshing. While the babies slept I rolled clay into beads and wrote in my journal. The apartment was quiet and full of encouraging energy.

Working with clay is something I’ve been wanting to do for weeks now, but (seemingly) every time I got up to do so my hands were quickly pulled elsewhere. After such a successful baby-wearing experience during naptime, I’d say it was well worth the 9 week wait :)

After Natalie was born, my mom stayed with us for two weeks, and while she was here she encouraged me in my journey as a mama of two. Towards the end of her time with us — as she was watching me get my bearings — she began to encourage me to wear Natalie. And so I did, a few times, but never while doing something for myself.

I’m pretty sure baby wearing is the fastest way to remind myself that yes, I AM a creative person and yes, I DO love the weight of a sleeping baby on my chest, but perhaps most importantly it has reminded me that, yes, I AM still myself. Something I haven’t always felt as of recent, but my goodness this is such a lovely feeling.

I had been putting too much worry in wanting to spend time creating, but without any actual effort. Well, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and you guessed it — it’s a pretty, sparkly light.

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Reflecting on the past & present.

palm trees los angeles maggie whitley

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve sat down to write a post, or try to journal with a pen (a real pen! and paper!), and nothing productive comes of it. I can honestly say I am putting too much pressure on myself to come up with something profound or witty as to not waste your time (or mine). But I haven’t been able to do it. Then, the other day, I realized this is just the season of life I am in.

Five years ago we were living in Minneapolis, sans kids, and I was heavily devoted to learning how to sew and building a handmade community around my business: Gussy Sews.

Now, we’re living in Los Angeles and I’m a mama of two babies — with the oldest babe being just 21 months old.

My life is full. It is rich with memories. My story is worthy, and it is beautiful. And I am perfect, even though I have struggles and make mistakes.

I absolutely adore this current season of life. And my goal for “right now” is to become more brave with writing when I’m able AND hitting “publish” when finished.

palm trees los angeles maggie whitley

writing reflection maggie whitley

I’m still learning our new routine as a mama of two. I’m still learning how to process the fact that I don’t have time to run two handmade businesses — which is what I was doing exactly five days before I learned I was pregnant with our second baby). I can’t tell you how many times I talked myself out of starting Caroline-made. Well actually, I did so many times that it took me two years to launch it. And even though Caroline-made isn’t active right now, I’m so glad I took the leap and opened it in February of 2014. Like, it makes me so happy.

I’m not sewing much right now but I’m still creating, and I’m thankful for the change in mediums and textiles (play-doh, water colors, crayons, chalk, and embroidery).

The status of my life today as I type this is noisy, messy, exciting, new, full of love, and exhausting.

And, I imagine many of you reading this can relate :)

The year 2015 is going to be a year of reflection, I can already feel it. Zack and I are working on our budget and family goals with such intensity, it’s inspiring.

Here’s to trying new things, embracing change, reflecting on the past and present, and worrying a whole lot less about perfection. Cheers!

PS. below are two songs I’m really loving right now…

A Sky Full Of Stars by Cold Play on Grooveshark
Pompeii (Kat Krazy Remix) by Bastille on Grooveshark

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Hair color, learning how to thrive, and new bangs!

bangs apartment maggie whitley

My friend Allison (her husband and my husband are childhood BFFs) has awesome bangs — well, honestly her entire hairstyle is awesome (always), and yesterday morning I finally declared, It’s time for me to have bangs again! Allison and I have similar hair texture and color, and every time I see her or a photo of her I take one step closer to having bangs cut. So yesterday I snuck out in the afternoon and had them cut, and would you believe I love them? :) They’re so fun.

Last year around this time my hair was darker (not my natural color though) and I had bangs, although they were more of a blunt/straight across cut. Now my hair is more of an auburn/blonde/light brown mix to match my natural color — paired with side-swept chunky bangs. This time around my hair feels more natural and easier to style.

For months, and I really do mean months (since February) our family has been praying for Zack’s work schedule to lessen. It has been a really long year, but I’m seriously grateful to see our prayers being answered and his schedule slowing down. It can be so hard to be patient and wait, can’t it? And to be honest, I wasn’t always quietly waiting… There were many days since February where I cried and complained and questioned WHY we needed to wait. My guess is it wasn’t just about answering our prayers but having God work on our hearts, too.

And so during that time I clothed myself (in a sense) in maintenance mode. Knowing the days would be very long and sometimes lonely… Knowing I would have to balance taking care of Max and caring for our home and encouraging Zack, grocery shopping and play dates and bath time, walking Bauer multiple times a day and praying fervently and resting during naptime — these things consumed my time and mind, and auto-pilot kicked in.

I hate admitting this, but after a few months I began running off maintenance mode: not really thinking about what would make me happy, but instead putting my family first so that they were happy. What I missed out on was recognizing how important both of these things are! It’s not about putting myself first as though there’s greater importance to my needs, but rather knowing when I hold both my family and myself on the same level both areas thrive, together.

I want to remember these past eight months as encouragement for the future. I remember a few years ago, when we lived in Minneapolis, going through something similar: something in life caused me to put myself on pause while we worked through a hard season. There was much learned, but I don’t think I processed it the healthiest way.

And now our family is growing! In such a short amount of time I’ll be in a newborn haze, but I’m so looking forward to experiencing that once again. And this time I’ll have my chunky bangs to hang out with as we navigate another hard season… and also maybe a new stick of raspberry-colored lip stain ;)

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