Gingerbread houses, palm trees, and your interests!

gingerbread house maggie whitley

gingerbread house maggie whitley

Our family is preparing for a quiet Christmas at home and I feel so blessed to have two babies to share our traditions with. Buuuut, the Midwest in me is having a hard time not seeing snow on the ground. Los Angeles gives us way different weather than we’re used to, but the sunsets we get here are pretty rad. I enjoy them :)

Over the weekend we went to a gingerbread-making party and basked in the sunshine as we (read: I) ate candy and decorated the cutest little houses. Max played with his pals on the playground and Natalie slept in our arms for most of it. We also Christmas shopped for our babes and set some family goals for 2015. In the evenings at home we lit candles and listened to Max say, “light! bright!” every time he saw a candle — so cute. My mom always had candles lit and growing up I thought that was so magical.

Our weekend was packed full of family memories, a great way to start of the week!

I’ve also been spending a lot of my quiet time thinking about this blog and the content I share on it. I so enjoy writing, it just takes me a lot longer to gather my thoughts into a readable post :) #momistired. And I’ve thought of posting a reader survey for you to take, but I’m unsure. What do you think? Would a reader survey interest you? Really I’m interested in knowing more about YOU and your general interests. And also, what keeps you reading week after week? xo

max natalie maggie whitley

zack maggie whitley

sunset santa monica maggie whitley

Natalie at 1 week old + her birth announcement

If we went back in time to 26 years ago you’d most definitely find me with my two favorite dolls tucked under each arm. I loved my dolls (loved them!) and wanted nothing more than to be a mommy when I was older. I was also really into painting rocks with my nail polish, collecting Lip Smacker’s, and riding around the neighborhood with a radio bungee-corded to my bicycle, but those are stories for another time ;) What’s important about these memories is the things I enjoyed as a child are still things I enjoy as an adult: spending time on creative projects and lovin’ on my babies. How awesome to be able to experience this.

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Since our little pumpkin, Natalie Rose, was born¬†I’ve definitely got my arms busy with our two babies. Max was just 19 months old when she was born, and although he’s very smart (with a great personality) he’s definitely very young. Each day is a blessed day because I’m spending it with my little loves.

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One of my favorite ways to capture the joy my babies bring me is to keep a baby book for each child. When Natalie was just one week old we gathered all our soft blankets and a Moses basket and snapped some photos of our daughter. She was so fresh from my womb and her legs wanted nothing more than to stay curled up, all cozy and compact in the basket. I love that we captured that in these photos.

natalie rose maggie whitley

One of our longtime sponsors, Pear Tree Greetings, helped us create her birth announcements to share with our family and friends. I know the years when our children are young will go by fast (…let’s not talk about that) so I’m glad to be preserving these years with something tangible for their baby books.

pear tree greetings maggie whitley

pear tree greetings maggie whitley

And I need to totally brag about something: this time I ordered our address pre-printed on the back of the envelopes, along with a few extra envelopes for mistakes. Because new moms are often foggy. And sometimes their penmanship is funny looking. Speaking from experience, of course.

And just for fun, here’s Maxwell’s birth announcement from March 2013:

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Do you keep a baby book for your children? Project Life? How do you preserve the dozens of photos you take every day?

(Thanks to Pear Tree Greetings for sponsoring this post. All opinions and stories are uniquely mine.)

Our first three days…

Max nursery maggie whitley

I’ve finished three days of this whole “mama to two babes 21-months-old and younger” and all I have to say is, “this is so hard.” Like, haaaard. Monday was one for the books, Tuesday was 50% easier, and Wednesday was something I hadn’t experienced yet. We’re all running on limited sleep with missed naps and off-schedules. Max is probably wondering who’s coming to visit next, and Natalie is still figuring things on this side of my tummy ;) Some hours are a piece of cake where as others leave me totally unsure how to do this parenthood thing. But! I know this is what I’ve been called to do. The younger version of me has always loved being a mama, but sometimes no matter how much “play” is had the only way to figure it out is to experience it first hand. Right? So that’s where I’m at. I spent some time re-arranging the nursery on Monday and it’s definitely been a good change for our family. But, I think what our family is lacking is some consistency — it’s been almost six weeks of inconsistent consistency. Today, all I have planned is a morning play date. And I have dreams of a nice, long afternoon nap.

Do you have kids close in age? I’d love so much for you to share with me how you make it all work.

These kiddos, they sure fill my heart to the brim.

Cheering each other on.

britax stroller maggie whitley

santa monica beach maggie whitley

zack maggie whitley

I always knew having two babies 19 months apart would be a wild, hard, great adventure — but my goodness it’s been hard. Sometimes I don’t know how to meet Max and Natalie’s needs at the same time, so I juggle the moment until we figure out a solution. We ride the beat until it steadies itself out.

Today is the last morning our families¬†are visiting from Michigan. We’ve been blessed with five weeks of help, but the transition (once again) to our new routine will take time. It’s going to take a lot of intentionality from Zack and I, which is good — but I know the beat won’t always be steady.

And while we’re on the topic of intention, Zack and I have been on a couple of nap time dates lately which have helped me so much. I’ve had a hard time figuring out where “Maggie” fits into all of this. I know this has been something I’ve shared before, but in the past it’s usually been because my handmade business has kept me super busy. Now it’s my babies making the days zip by, and it’s a different kind of hard. I think all of us women have certain things we struggle with. Even as our lives transition, our struggles continue to show up with every new phase. I always overlook how much I enjoy painting my nails, so why do I make excuses for not having the 20 minutes it takes?

My best girlfriends threw me a baby shower on Saturday. Toward the end, each guest spent some time sharing how we met along with something they appreciate about me, and I can’t even begin to tell you how much that blessed me. Just like Joanna said, it’s so easy for us mamas to forget about our strengths or who we are aside from mamahood. It was a really neat experience to hear each guest’s story.

So on our date yesterday Zack and I talked about our cozy apartment and how to better organize it, how I’m ready to take everything off the walls and start fresh with our decor, and how I’m officially on the lookout for a roll-top secretary (And I’m very excited about this search!). Is this postpartum nesting thing normal? Someone say YES! :)

I feel good, I feel so blessed, and I’m really grateful for this community — for you.

And I’d love for you to share in the comments a struggle you have so we can cheer each other on.

PS. don’t forget to enter this $75 giveaway from Pear Tree Greetings! #holidaycards