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…

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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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Birthdays, running, and other “catching up”-ness.

maxwell natalie maggie whitley

Our home has been buzzing lately with lots of good things! March has been a great month so far :)

Zack’s mom visited for two weeks and we got SO MUCH DONE. I know she thrives on home projects so I made a long list of things I wanted to tackle while she was visiting. And guess what? We checked off just about everything — hooray! Our biggest project was re-arranging our entire apartment. Oh my gosh. It was so much work, but it was even more rewarding. I really need to take a few photos to show you :)

We’ve had lots of family birthdays so far this year (and there are even more within the next month), including Maxwell’s second. We celebrated by going to the Los Angeles Zoo on the 12th and then on the 14th we had a little construction themed party with our friends at the park.

Any spare time I’ve found has been spent working on a big writing project or reading Still Alice for book club, and of course catching up on sleep. (Always trying to catch up.)

shoes

Oh, and I’ve finally recovered from a set of week-long shin splints. I guess I was a little too enthusiastic with my running when I started a few weeks ago? It was such a bummer to have to slow down, but it was super encouraging to know that walking produces results, too. In two weeks I lost a handful of inches overall, which kinda made my jaw drop. My goal isn’t to lose a certain number of pounds — we don’t even own a scale — I just want to tone up.

And then lastly, I’ve been wanting to write here more frequently for quite some time now, but usually when I sit down to write the cursor blinks in my face, like it thinks it’s funny that I have such little time to sit down and process a complete thought. I know the more often I write the easier it is, so that’s my goal. Zack and I have found a good rhythm at home with our two babes, but the busyness of having young children is picking up speed. Some days I can’t keep up ;) Like yesterday, I did seven loads of laundry!

maxwell natalie maggie whitley

Once again I’m reminded of the beauty that comes with slowing down and focusing on our home. These are happy, energetic years. But I will say, transforming our apartment has helped us find some extra space to create an office. And you know what? My sewing machine is sitting on my desk, just like the good ‘ol days ;) My hope is this dedicated space gives me a little more time to write and create with Max.

Besides, I think I have a few cuts of jersey fabric waiting to be sewn into headbands for Natalie. Maybe I’ll make myself one, too? Ya know, since I’m growing out my bangs once again…

PS. summer has basically hit Los Angeles and I am thisclose to testing out highlights a la home bathroom. Am I crazy, or am I crazy? Someone tell me the truth. I’ve thought about this for a couple days now, and I think I’ll give it a shot. I mean, it’s about time I change my hair, right? (lol)

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Happy 2nd birthday, Maxwell!

Maxwell-Zackary-gussy-sews

Today is Maxwell’s second birthday and my heart so swollen with joy, I can’t believe this special day is here. We had just returned home from Tanzania, Africa when I found out we were pregnant with this little guy. And oh, what an answer to prayer this pregnancy was for our family! I’m so thankful, my pregnancy was so easy and I enjoyed every moment of it. Like, seriously enjoyed it. Then on March 12th, 2013, Maxwell moved from my womb to my arms…

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zack and maxwell beach

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maxwell in crib

maxwell tiger maggie whitley

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maxwell maggie whitley

…and I’m so, so thankful I was chosen to be his mama. I remember all the things I had to learn once he was born, whether it be nursing or sleep schedules or learning to crawl or interactive play. We have enjoyed every stage of Maxwell’s life, which has made the last two years go by so quickly. Every day is an adventure with Max — and he has not only learned so much, but Max has taught us so much. It’s just fantastic that we get to be his parents. It’s like we won the lottery :)

And then there’s Max’s fun personality, nodding his head yes so convincingly when he wants something, which totally makes us laugh and give in to his requests ;) He is so confident in his role as a big brother to Natalie, that’s perhaps the most heartwarming thing to see. But for sure one of my favorite parts of mamahood is seeing the way he looks at his daddy, it’s quite the sight. Having a family that’s just bursting with love is what I live for, that’s for sure.

So we wish you the happiest second birthday, Maxwell. We love you so much, sweet boy!

Love, mommy & daddy

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