Girl, get up and RUN!

how to start running | maggie whitley designs

Maxwell walking maggie whitley

I’ve got a whole lot of “do the same thing every day, all day” in my life right now. And it’s OK — really, it’s OK, and here’s why…

About 7 weeks ago I made a personal commitment to work out more. I mean, we live in Los Angeles where the average daily temperature is like 75*, I can totally do this, I told myself! I’ve always taken Bauer for a daily walk with Max, but since Natalie joined our family in October it was getting harder & harder to load up my crew and head outside for some exercise. Especially if we didn’t go shortly after breakfast. Especially since it takes 30 literal minutes to walk out the door. Especially.

Rewind a few more weeks prior. I saw a photo of myself and thought, “noooooo, no no no”. I didn’t like the woman I saw in the photo because I knew it wasn’t the best version of me. For days all I could think about was how “unlike me” I looked, which meant I couldn’t stop thinking about the photo. [Read more…]

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Because bulleted lists are my new best friend.

coffee mugs maggie whitley

friends maggie whitley

We are in such a good place right now, it almost feels too good to be true. These days when the kids are young and we’re tired all the time, they are hard. But they’re so rich in love and happiness; I am so satisfied. Here’s what I mean…

* When Zack and I first moved to Los Angeles (from Minneapolis) we had very few possessions. Basically, we had with us what was inside our Jeep plus a couple of shipped boxes. And that was it. We downsized in a huge way when we moved to LA, not only with the size of our home but with what we owned and used. It has been hard at times — like when I really, really miss not having certain something (which I rarely used when I did have it, oddly) — but for the most part it’s been a simple transition. And when I look around our apartment, anything and everything I see has a very special meaning. I just love that.

* Max and Nat are doing so well together, it’s absolutely precious to see. One of my favorite things about being their mama is watching Max seek out his baby sister just to give her a kiss on her foot. And I’m convinced Natalie knows her brother is little just like her (and therefore super cool), which is why she gives him such big smiles. Of course she loves her mommy and daddy, but she has a special love just for her big brother.

* For months last year, as Max got older (and heavier) and my baby bump with Natalie got larger, I struggled with figuring out how to get our clothes washed. The laundry room in our complex is downstairs, across the way, and then around the corner — it’s not all that accessible. I don’t like to do our wash only on the weekends, in fact I’ve learned there is way less mama drama (ha…) when I get all of my housework done during the week. So just recently I realized if I wash our clothes in the evenings and then air dry them overnight while we’re sleeping not only do we have more space during the daytime to play, but I wake up to a home that smells like fresh laundry. Bonus! We have two fold-up drying racks and they changed my life. (It’s the small things, right?) Doing the wash is one of my favorite things, I actually told Zack once, “don’t hang up the laundry, I want to do it — it’s my favorite part!” Snort.

* I logged my first workout on February 19 with Map My Run, a simple app on my phone that tracks my route via GPS and records my mileage & time. I am a dork and actually counted, I’ve traveled over 71 miles since starting last month. HAVE I MENTIONED I LOVE RUNNING? There’s no use trying to figure out what has changed, because I have never enjoyed running until now. Like, neverrrrrr. But honestly, I’m loving it and here are a few reasons why:

- it’s something I can do with the babes and dog (and it’s free)

- hello, sunshine

- each day the scene is different (I’ve gone on dozens of runs now and never have I taken the same route twice)

- the day goes by so much faster (usually I run late-morning which means we’re home just in time for lunch & naps, suddenly it’s 3pm and the babes have woken up, and in a few hours Zack will be home from work)

- my overall mood has lightened and I sleep better at night

- the final pounds of baby weight are d r o p p i n g off before my eyes.

I’d love to share more about my running journey, but I think a separate post would be best. I have learned so much and am so proud of myself for committing to working out almost 6 days/week. And one of my favorite parts? I found a routine that works really well for our family and with only two workout outfits. So if you see me around town and notice I wore today’s outfit yesterday, and also two days prior, just give me your best smile. Because I warned you ;)

Happy Thursday friends!

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A tip for achieving “the best”.

new LR maggie whitley

There’s no non-embarrassing way to share this, so I’ll just be brave and say it: sometimes I’m shocked over my ability to make a task overly difficult. Of course I have seasons where I don’t struggle with this, but take heart, I do struggle. It happens the most often when I consider the day at large and then decide something feels overwhelming (thus unachievable). Does this happen to you, too?

I once had a friend share she can get through anything if it’s written down on paper. So, I tried a new approach to being more productive…

[Read more…]

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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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