Life around here…

Maxwell maggie whitley


– climbing all things climbable

– gathering all the pillows and cushions on the floor so he can jump on them

– practicing, “no thank you, mama”

– fascinated with all the construction sites and fire trucks in our neighborhood

– so good at sharing his toys with Natalie

– loving drinking from a real cup

– singing songs to me (“twinkle, twinkle”, “happy birthday”, and “head, shoulders, knees & toes”)

– eating every kind of fruit

– wanting to take Bauer on walks (alone!)

– asking to go to the beach every day.

Natalie maggie whitley


– basically trying to feed herself (Am I too slow for you, darling?)

– loving our Noah’s Ark toy set

– now taking a bath in the big tub

– very ticklish on her feet & tummy

– eating tiny bites of soft/solid foods

– still napping 2x/day (keep it up, baby girl!)

– “clicking” her tongue to make a new sound

– squealing at the sight of Maxwell

– a proud homeowner of two bunny teeth

– tapping her knee when she gets excited (the cuteness is almost unbearable).

+ + +

It is no small thing when children, who have so recently come fresh from God, love us.

–Charles Dickens

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Max & Nat on the swings!

swings maxwell natalie maggie whitley

The kids and I have been stopping at the park to play a few times each week, and I feel like it’s at the playground their growth is noticed the most. Once we get there Max has to check on Natalie first, which makes her SO HAPPY!

The other day I realized I’ve hit gold with the swing set. It’s an activity they both love and it’s a good container for a little blondie I know. When on the swings, Max can’t be pushed high enough and Nat can’t stop watching her big brother. And yes, I know she’s taking notes on life ;) They are forming their friendship, and I’m all heart eyes over it.

Maxwell & Natalie on the swings! from gussy sews on Vimeo.

Having them so close in age is so much fun. But, I’m super relieved it’s gotten easier for me, because for a long while it was HARD. Going about our daily tasks, like getting the kids downstairs and into the stroller with Bauer in tow, are a cinch now. When do I take a shower? Who do I feed first? When do I give Max 1-on-1 time? Should I take a nap today?, these were all serious questions I was asking myself for months.

But you should see me now! Playing, meal time, diapers, creative projects, play dates, exercising, bedtime routines solo, showering — I’m definitely impressed with my progress ;) And on Sunday we began bathing both of them in the tub, and I could hardly handle the cuteness. This mamahood gig is a real treat, that’s for sure.

Los Angeles’ infamous “June gloom” is almost over, the blue sky appears flawless, my creativity is flowing, and I owe it all to running each morning with the kids. Running has been a real game changer for me, more on that soon. (But in the meantime, here’s a post I write on how to run with your kids.)

See you back here at 1pm PST for my homemade pizza dough recipe ;)

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Life around here…

hair maggie whitley

It’s time for a little “life around here” post, yeah? :)

So I’ve got a new beauty secret for my curly hair. Wanna know what it is? A shower cap. You can stop laughing, I’m for real. On days 2 (and 3) of no shampooing I use a shower cap to preserve my volume. To refresh my curl, I flip my head down and spray my hair with water from a spray bottle. Then I flip it back, tousle it a little, and sometimes finish with a light hairspray. That’s it! It’s the best thing ever :) Literally yesterday Zack looked at me in the morning as I was drinking my Chai tea, and before he could say anything I cut him off and said, “yes, I woke up like this.” Volume. It’s been crazy fun.

bauer maggie whitley

It’s Thursday night as I type this post, the rain has just begun to fall — it’s supposed to rain all night, which is the perfect ending for a cloudy week in Los Angeles. We’ve had a bit of a schedule change-a-roo. Zack’s been working crazy hours and I accidentally took a few days off from running. It’s been interesting to notice how strong I rely on my daily exercise. It’s been a really good thing ;) but I can always tell when it’s time for another run. Bauer has loved running, too. He’s like, FINALLY, LADY!

home maggie whitley

When we moved our apartment around in March we were able to create a little play nook for Maxwell. One of the chairs in our living room hides his toys well, and then this bookshelf stores his work bench, bin of building blocks, his tool box, and doctor kit. We also use a wicker basket for his stuffed animals and smaller toys. I give him a few play prompts (read a book to your stuffed monkey; can you fix Bambi with your doctor kit?; can you build me a tall tower?) and then watch his imagination take off.

I’ve also been making a lot of pizza dough. It’s been fun to bake bread this way, and I love how quick it is to make a pie. My favorite topping to add is sun dried tomatoes (marinated in an herb olive oil). #hearteyesforever

natalie maggie whitley

Now that Natalie is 6 months old she’s not only found her squeaky voice but she’s obsessed with moving her arms and legs! It’s hard to snap a photo without it being totally blurry. She’s also started laughing totally on her own from little things Maxwell does or says. It’s so cute and I melt inside every time I hear her raspy laugh. This is such a fun stage. They all are, actually…

maxwell natalie maggie whitley

Babies, babies, babies!

sewing machine cover maggie whitley

Earlier this week Max and I snuck over to my sewing machine to make a cover. He’s become very interested in trying to touch it, so this new cover is my secret trick to keeping him away from all the knobs and buttons ;) So far it’s working.

running los angeles maggie whitley

Wednesday and yesterday I got back into my running zone. AND IT’S BEEN SO GOOD! I’ve been focusing on 4 miles/day, gone for about 90 minutes total (including stops to talk to the kids, having Max walk alongside me, and a visit to the water fountains). And doing my run in the morning is essential, I’m learning. Once the afternoon hits, if I still haven’t logged a run I feel like suddenly it’s time to prep dinner and get the baths drawn. It’s gets to be cranky town over here. Running in the morning is definitely what we need to be doing, for this season of life. In my dreams I’m running a few times each week without the stroller or dog, if you were curious (ha!). Soon… Soon I hope to be doing that again.

Happy Friday, loves!

PS. double stroller c/o Britax and coral capri leggings c/o Albion Fit

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Maxwell’s second birthday party!

maxwell's 2nd birthday maggie whitley

We celebrated Maxwell’s second birthday last month with a construction themed party at the park. His first birthday party was so fun (and smooth!) that we decided to hit “repeat” and meet at the same location a year later.

maxwell's 2nd birthday maggie whitley

We brought with us a huge bundle of blue, yellow and white balloons and a double layer round birthday cake (made by Grandma Whitley). Since it was a late-morning birthday party we served fresh fruit, yogurt & granola, pastries from a local bakery, water and juice. We decorated a few picnic tables under a big tree with some toy trucks, traffic cones and couple of Max’s larger construction trucks. It was adorable :)

maxwell's 2nd birthday maggie whitley

Max is big into tools, building, and making “crashing” noises — anything that requires dirt basically, so it was an easy decision to give him a construction-themed party.

Max party invites pear tree greetings maggie whitley

Our friends at Pear Tree Greetings gifted us with party invitations, thank you cards and return address stickers. They coordinated with the birthday theme perfectly. I added “Whitley Ag” to the excavator which gave me +10 points with my father-in-law :) The entire time I was addressing the invites I had a little smile on my face. Needless to say, we are big fans of Pear Tree Greetings for celebrating life’s moments (one of my journalism major college friends even works there).

Maxwell birthday cake maggie whitley

The weeks leading up to Max’s birthday were spent practicing the Happy Birthday song, including when to yell, “STOP!” — because that’s what’s important when you’re two years old, right? ;) We practiced “the happy song” multiple times a day, which worked out well because after he blew out his birthday candles he requested we light them again to sing another round. And so we did!

Nony friends maggie whitley

Natalie’s ankles are crossed (such a lady) while her friends coo over her

And I just have to share, picking out a few gifts to give Max on his special day was so amazing. It felt more like a gift to Zack and I, we enjoyed it that much. The morning of his birthday, March 12th, he received from us a talking Mickey Mouse doll, a new set of watercolor paints, a new pad of art paper, and a doctor’s kit. His grandparents spoiled him with a super hero cape, rocking chair, a couple of outfits, and an excavator (it plays country music, oh my gosh, adorable!).

friends maggie whitley

My best girl friends: Cristina, Rhiannon, and Joanna. We were ALL pregnant at the same time (for like 3 days) in 2014 and our babies were born in February, July and October. These women are so dear to me, and I love that we gather often to eat and drink and talk. We meet for book club monthly, have beach days, share advice, and celebrate our many accomplishments. My transition to Los Angeles a few years ago would have been very different if not for these women being in my life. I love them and cherish our friendship.

Celebrating Maxwell’s birthday with our friends was such a blessing. Zack’s mom was visiting at the time and it was wonderful having her with us. Last year, for Max’s first birthday, my parents were in Los Angeles visiting. We love having our families celebrate with us!

Nony balloons maggie whitley

family maggie whitley

These are joyous memories, and having Maxwell as our son is a cherished gift.

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