The alley.

LA alley maggie whitley

We were out running the other day and I passed by this alley. I don’t usually stop while we’re out (only for the water fountains!), but this blue garage totally caught my eye. It’s easy to focus on the overgrown weeds, the cracked driving path, and the “forgotten about” buildings, but I can’t help but feel like I know this place… This alley reminds me a bit of my grandparents neighborhood in Indiana. Not because of how unkempt it is, but because it reminds me of the gardens my grandma cared for in her yard and the workshop my grandpa had at the back of their property.

And then my eyes shift upwards toward the poles and black wires, which are running for miles, just like me. There’s nothing in this photo that even whispers “city life”, and certainly nothing that makes me feel like I’m far from Indiana. Even so, I know I am.

All it took was a quick glance into this alley to stop my run, and since then I haven’t stopped thinking about the memories I have of my grandparents home. I’m so glad I made myself go back for a second look. But, I wish I could slip into the back door of their fence and tell them, hello — and then head inside to fill up on a big plate of homemade Mostaccioli :)

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Hey, YOU!

feathered heart prings maggie whitley

Exciting announcement: we are working on our Summer giveaway bundle which will publish later this month. One area blogging has blessed me with is a strong community of handmade makers, mamas, and women of creativity/inspiration. I’ve always love this, being a blogger. If you are a shop owner and would like to join us for our June giveaway please click here. We’d also love (so much) if you shared this opportunity with some of your creative maker friends. Have a wonderful, relaxing weekend! See ya Monday!

PS. Tomorrow morning I’m meeting for coffee a small group of women who are local to LA and I can’t wait. What are your weekend plans?

(Photo credit is Feathered Heart Prints who is donating this “Organized Adulting” notepad.)

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Yesterday. Today. Tomorrow.

fruit maggie whitley

Yesterday we spent the entire day at home. It rained on & off, so I went outside only to rotate our clothes drying on the laundry rack. I didn’t get to run, and it absolutely did not surprise me how much I missed my run. (I have a healthy addiction.) A sparkly highlight from yesterday was recording a podcast with Jenn Sprinkle in the afternoon for their book club podcast on 31 Days of Prayer for the Dreamer and the Doer (click here to buy the book). I loved how sharing a bit of my story reminded me this season of life may be what I’m called to do, but it isn’t always easy. I enjoyed chatting with Jenn so much!

Today begins our first “weekly beach trip of the Summer” season with my girlfriends, and I can’t wait! We did a practice run on Sunday with Zack and I have to admit, it was a lot easier than I thought it would be. Taking Max to the beach every week last Summer was one of my best parenting tips for success :) and my plan is to hit “repeat” this year. Note to self: bring way more food than you think you’ll need.

Tomorrow we are (finally) getting Natalie’s name plate engraved on our heirloom baby cradle. We’re only seven months late to the party, but maybe I’m the only one keeping track? I wonder which of my cousins will use it next… or if it’ll be our family? ;) That is not an announcement. Oh, and I just realized she’s the first great-granddaughter to have used the cradle. So sweet…

Do you take your kids somewhere every week during the Summer months?

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SEVEN!

leaves maggie whitley

Our seventh wedding anniversary was yesterday and we celebrated all weekend long, hooray! We booked our favorite babysitter on Saturday and hopped around to a couple different restaurants, then spent Sunday together as a family. Something I very much appreciate about Zack is how selfless he is, which in turn makes it easier for me to be more selfless. It’s easy to get into the habit of “keeping score” of the kind/good/better things one does over another, but Zack’s always good at resetting the score (and reminding me we shouldn’t be keeping track, anyway). We are like springboards for one another, always wanting to spur the other one on.

natalie maggie whitley

We spent yesterday morning at Playa Del Ray, introducing Natalie to the ocean and reuniting Maxwell with his sand box. Zack and I exhaled as the kids went down for naps and we welcomed a quiet afternoon; a rare sound most of the time ;) All day I was reminded just how rich our lives are. The evening wrapped with a walk and dinner at home, with baths drawn and bedsheets changed. And just like that, our anniversary was nearing its end.

family maggie whitley

Time goes so fast, especially when it’s enjoyed time, and we have the past seven years as proof.

Here’s a fun recap of the anniversaries we’ve celebrated together:

SEVEN years of marriage, check! June 7th, 2008 was a happy day for us (and our families).

Since our wedding we’ve moved SIX times. The longest home we’ve lived in is two years (Minneapolis, MN) and the shortest is two months (Lansing, MI). We’ve had quick moves, long-distance moves, and even a within-the-city move that included a lot of brown paper bags. (Who needs moving boxes?)

maxwell maggie whitley

I worked on Gussy Sews for FIVE years before slowing down to focus on our family. Right now I am knee-deep in motherhood, which is exactly where I want to be. It’s been hard (a lot of the time) to continue pursuing creative projects, but it’s been a good exercise for me. My entrepreneurial self has evolved over the past five years, ultimately preparing me for what I’m doing today: enjoying a slow ride on handmade motherhood. Life is really good!

We’ve found adventure in FOUR cities so far: Lansing and Detroit, MI; Minneapolis, MN; and Los Angeles, CA. Each city has given our family something of great remembrance. Lansing was our first address as a married couple. Detroit was Zack’s first industry job, also the city that unemployed both of us for a total of seven months. Minneapolis is where Gussy Sews began, and Los Angeles is where both our babies were born.

beach maggie whitley

We have lived in THREE different states: Michigan, Minnesota, and California. Guess which is my favorite state? All of them :)

zack maxwell maggie whitley

We’ve welcomed TWO beautiful children into our family: Maxwell (26 months old) and Natalie (7 months old). And, we pray we’ll be blessed with a few more :)

And we have ONE spunky dog, Bauer. We adopted him in Minneapolis when he was just 12 weeks old. He’ll be 5 years next month. Oh, the memories we’ve had together so far…

family maggie whitley

Seven years! We’re proud, we’re happy, we feel like our marriage and friendship is pretty darn special. Thanks for celebrating with us!

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