Hitting the jackpot.

maxwell natalie maggie whitley

One of my favorite things about becoming a mama is the blurry photos that come along with it. Children are filled with wonder and love and a need for closeness. They are fast and intense and pure joy. And when I capture that, even through a blurry photo, my heart grows. Sometimes it’s impossible to be quick enough to catch it all “perfectly”, but imperfect can be perfect, too. I can’t imagine a better gift on this side of heaven than to be blessed with children, especially because I adore my husband so much :) Something I’ve been reflecting on, with all of the down time I have now that I’ve got another nursing newborn, is how quickly time passes by — it really does. I remember so clear the day we brought Maxwell home from the hospital, and now Natalie has been brought home. In a flash they’re two weeks old, six months old, one year old. And in a time where everything “must be documented and shared online for the world to see” I’m finding the greatest comfort knowing my heart holds so much more than any URL ever could. Children are gifts, our dreams are gifts (careers, families, faith) — and when we say yes to pursing these things first is when we’ve hit the jackpot.

May all our photos be blurry, and may we all feel rich, always…

Natalie Rose: our first week at home.

natalie maggie whitley

maxwell natalie maggie whitley

family natalie maggie whitley

zack maxwell maggie whitley

natalie flowers maggie whitley

Natalie turned one week old on Friday and I am in awe over how easy the transition has been for our family. Of course it’s been a whirlwind since we came home from the hospital, but Max is doing super well with his baby sister and I couldn’t be more grateful for all the love he has for her. I can’t put my finger on it specifically — maybe it’s the family we have visiting, how we’ve been talking about “the baby” to Maxwell since he was 11 months old, that we’ve tried our best to keep to Maxwell’s schedule, but the transition has been really beautiful.

When we came home from the hospital, Zack’s parents had decorated our apartment with pink balloons and flowers. And I love that they used a halloween bucket as a vase! It was such a sweet thing to come home to.

Natalie is such a sleepy, cuddly baby. I can’t stop kissing her head as she squishes into my neck. Having her on this side of my tummy with Max by my side feels like home. She’s had a couple of baths and is nursing so well. And maybe it’s become this is our second baby, but oddly I feel less tired. That’s totally normal, right? Haha.

Maxwell calls Natalie either “nana” or “no-ni”, aaaaaaand it’s adorable. You can feel the love he has for her — it shines from his little heart, and I’m so proud of him. I know it’s not always going to be this easy, but we’re taking it day-by-day, acknowledging all of the joys along with the difficulties. I think it’s important to do that, too — recognize both sets of emotions. Because there definitely are a lot ;)

And speaking of emotions: seeing Zack with our children has been just the most amazing thing. I knew he’d be a great daddy from the very beginning. Zack is super encouraging and helpful with all the postpartum “stuff”, I feel so spoiled.

I’ve had a fever since Saturday night and it’s totally put me in bed ever since. Whoooo, it’s time for this bug to go away! I’m ready for a fresh week with my family :) By the way, all of the cute hats and headbands and outfits for baby girls — they are way too precious and fun! We are enjoying shopping for Nat ;)

 

Now booking for our December giveaway bundles!

pen & paint maggie whitley

via Pen & Paint

Hi lovely! We are in the process of booking for our December giveaway bundles, scheduled for the 1st of the December (and just in time for the holidays). In June we hosted a summer-themed bundle featuring $895 in prizes, in August hosted a back-to-school and fall-essential themed giveaway (over $700 in prizes) and in October we hosted two baby-themed bundles (over $880 in prizes).

If you’re a handmade shop owner we’d so grateful to have the chance to work with you for our December giveaway bundles, based around the theme “Holiday Gift Giving”. We’ll be splitting the prizes into multiple bundles — which means there will be multiple winners! SO fun.

 

You can skip ahead to the giveaway application form by clicking here, or read on for more details:

* we’re looking for handmade/small business who offer products geared towards men, women, children, hostess gifts, winter seasonal, etc.

* our December giveaway is scheduled for Monday, December 1st and will end on Friday, December 5th

* each participating shop will receive two social media links via Rafflecopter for the entry requirements

* we’ll be sharing the December giveaway bundles with our social media communities (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Bloglovin’, an RSS feed, an email RSS feed) — this includes a reach of over 172,000 monthly likes/impressions

* our giveaways are open to US resident only (no need to worry about international shipping costs)

* we’re accepting a limited number of shops. To view the application and apply, please click here, we’d love the opportunity to work with you!

 

PS. I’ve got a secret to share with you! We’ve already secured prizes from Pen & Paint and Red Letter Words for our December giveaways ;)

PPS. Want to get a jump start on your holiday shopping? Visit our 2014 Holiday Gift Guide which includes discount codes from nearly every participating shop.

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Welcome to the world, newest baby Whitley…

natalie maggie whitley

natalie zack maggie whitley

natalie zack maggie whitley

natalie maggie whitley

We are filled with so much joy, our second baby blessing has arrived:

Natalie Rose Whitley

born October 31, 2014 at 11:58pm

8 lbs 3 oz and 22″ long.

Natalie arrived zippy fast via VBAC Friday just before midnight and is the cutest little pumpkin we know. She has a head of thick, dark hair, a tiny chin and is so snuggly sleepy. She’s absolutely perfect — I feel so very blessed to be holding her in my arms, resting at home.

Maxwell isn’t holding back his love for her, either. He’s full of kisses, hugs, curiosity and has even offered her his pacifier. He’s transitioning to his new role very well, although I’m sure some natural struggles will come our way soon.

We are celebrating sweet Natalie’s arrival and like I said, I am filled to the brim with joy. xoxo