Overcoming an impossible creative hurdle!

Max Natalie maggie whitley

GREAT NEWS! I’ve been working on all sorts of creative projects, mostly little things and mostly with my babes beside me, but it’s progress! Great, wonderful, fun, “making the day fly by so fast” progress. My desk is a mess with various materials, a little (folded) laundry, and my red journal. I love it!

Zack worked all weekend (sad face) but I didn’t let that get me down. Over the two days I was able to sneak in an awesome nap while the kids were napping, I used my sewing machine multiple times, I went on a solo run early one morning, we went to church, and Max helped me make the most delicious pizza dough on Sunday afternoon. Basically, we made the most of the weekend while our favorite handsome guy was away at work. Pizza party to the rescue! ;)

homemade pizza maggie whitley

I can’t stop thinking about Astrid’s description about mothers who create, that it’s a lifeline to make everything else that has to happen each day possible.” Her words are dead on, and I didn’t realize how much I needed to hear her perspective, until I did. So powerful.

By the way, I can’t believe I’ve overcome a once-impossible hurdle of pursuing more creative projects. I’m setting World records, folks! ;) Re-reading my list above of the projects we did over the weekend shows me my personal progress.

painted birdhouse maggie whitley

If I had to pick my three favorite hobbies I’d say painting my nails, working with color (sewing, embroidering, etc.) and reading a paper book.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on motherhood and creating. Do you make time for creating? How exactly do you create? Everyone has different hobbies and relaxation tips, that’s for sure — what are yours?

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A lesson from my neighbor on creativity.

sweatshirt maggie whitley

On Tuesday I shared that I have been feeling pretty empty creatively, but after reading through the comments I suddenly felt so rejuvenated. You are all so smart and encouraging, and I felt my spirits lift as I read through your words. It reminded me of this post from Astrid (her IG handle is @redredcompletelyred):

There’s this myth about mothers who create — that they have figured out the whole raising children thing, and so expand, in need of a new challenge. What I think is more true, perhaps, at least for me, is that the whole raising children thing is such a magnificent challenge in itself that in order to survive it, an injection of creativity is needed simply as a balance, a release, a bit of on-hand, in-home daily therapy. Sewing seems to have, for me, a magical ability to create more energy from the limited supply I wake up with — a sort of fabric-fueled alchemy — and so rather than being a bonus, an extra activity after chores, I kind of see it instead as a lifeline to make everything else that has to happen each day possible. #youaresewloved

And now I want to modify how I felt on Tuesday. Yes, I was (am still at times?) feeling creatively empty, but it’s something I have more control over than I had realized. Like with that striped sweatshirt up there, I have a re-discovered creative project in mind for it. Similarly with me running: I have the power to change my attitude and emotions relating to it. (I didn’t want to work out Wednesday night but I did anyway and I felt so so good about five minutes in.) And then just yesterday, the babes and I went on a much-needed morning adventure. We stopped at the craft store first (because I knew that would light a spark) before playing outside together.

We browsed the aisles and touched a dozen different textures: wooden signs and glass beads, fabric and elastic, candle jars and votive holders, embroidery books and plastic hoops, bird houses and cupcake wrappers, receipt paper and a bouncy ball. It was amazing.

maxwell natalie maggie whitley

Afterward we stopped to get lunch and then ate it picnic-style at the park. Natalie was fascinated with the trees and birds flying above; such a simple thing to see, yet so inspiring. After lunch I spent at least 13 minutes on the teeter-totter with Natalie on my leg while varies kiddos Maxwell’s size hopped on to bounce at the other end :) It was amazingly adorable. (Also, hello thigh workout.)

I think I need to push through these, “ahhh, this is sooooo hard” moments and be creative more often. And I need to involve my children more with my creativity. I need to let something take longer than expected because, well, who cares? The clock isn’t judging me. And I need even more outside-the-house time, even more adventures with the babes, even more moments of honesty so my neighbor and I can encourage one another.

Thank you, honestly, for being my neighbor. It’s a real joy to be sharing parts of my life with you.

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Relishing in the simple moments.

natalie maggie whitley

I’m learning from this mamahood thing with every passing day, and so far my two years of experience have taught me this: the easiest way for me to move through mamahood is by relishing in the simple moments. These notions are my bridge past the hard moments… or even, days.

I have vivid memories of conversations with my mom from her mamahood days. She always speaks so cheerfully about the years she spent at home with my brother and I when we were little. Even though I know she had hard days, the stories she’s shared with me have definitely been more positive and “go with the flow”. And now that I’m a mama I appreciate her wisdom and experience sooooo much.

Natalie has begun teething. (HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE? She was just born.) She has one little tooth on the bottom that’s cut through and so that means a few things: lots of drool, sometimes she has trouble nursing, and it’s a BIG hit or miss how she’ll sleep at night. I typically don’t do well with little or poor sleep (remember this post?), but knowing my daytime hours have very little routine if need be makes the hard nights much (much) easier.

The other day I wore Natalie when I made dinner. Sometimes we snuggle and I nap with her after she’s done nursing. Yesterday I wore clean pajamas. In a few days I’ll likely wear dirty pajamas ;) Sometimes Nat doesn’t want to nap well. Sometimes I don’t put on any makeup. Almost every day we spend the morning hours outside so I can do my workout. These are just a few examples of how we go with the flow.

I’m letting time be of little focus and the real beauty of my entire day being the actual focus.

Simple moments make the days go by fast, and the months even faster. I don’t want to blink and realize Natalie is now too big for me to wear her. I don’t want to sit in that icky moment of regret because at the time I felt too tired or too hot or too [blank] to do [blank] with my babies.

No, I say, the time is now. We are surrounded by simple moments… always. All we have to do is slow down so they can settle in close, so they can fill our hearts with more love than we ever knew could fit. Just like she taught me.

Happy Birthday to you, mom!

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The two things I need every day.

lovefeast heart gram maggie whitley

Every Wednesday morning I meet with a group of women at church for Bible study. One of my girlfriends, Joanna, introduced me to this group of women (over a year ago) and I’ve been going ever since. Our weekly time together is so precious to me and I try so hard not to miss a week — especially because they have excellent daycare and it’s so cute to hear the girls say, “Hiiiiii Maaaaaxwell” when we walk in :) It totally melts my heart (and simultaneously makes me feel so old, oh my gosh). Honestly, Bible study + brunch + daycare = I’m so there.

Just recently our table leader asked me how things were with the babes, how is Zack’s job, and is there anything I wanted prayer over? And here’s what I told her… [Read more…]

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