The beat of life.

maxwell sleeping maggie whitley

Maxwell will be 15 months old on the 12th and that is literally fascinating to me. For one, where does the time disappear to?! I’m so grateful for all our memories we have created together since his birth. To be home with our babes is such hard work, it takes consistency and patience, and trying to get enough rest is pretty much a requirement. But these years at home with our babes are years of investment. They are my favorite years. As soon as we started a bedtime routine with Max he started going to bed so gosh darn easy for us. We keep a couple stuffed animals in his crib with him but it’s clear his favorite is Scout, a gift from my brother the Christmas I was pregnant. Once he’s in bed we’ll hear Scout “talking” to Maxwell, and Zack and I just look at each other and smile big cheesy grins. We are so head-over-heels in love with Maxwell. He is such a blessing to our entire family.

The 14 long (to us) months we prayed for our first baby were hard months. When we finally relaxed into the beat of life we found it much easier to be patient, and shortly later we had an announcement to share. And oddly, we find the same mentality to be true once the child is born: relax into the beat of life and your rhythm will come, naturally.

How to love on your children.

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I’ll never forget it — we were sitting in church a couple months ago and Pastor Brad was speaking on the importance of making sure we encourage our children (specifically fathers) and how powerful simply loving on them is, verses always parenting/correcting them. He gave many examples and it was seriously soul touching to see Zack absorbing the pastor’s wisdom.

One of my favorite examples shared that Sunday morning was about a little boy who had just finished playing a game of baseball. The coach was recapping some points from the game, and afterward a father met up with his son. I really enjoyed watching you play today; you did a great job, he told his son. And that was all he said. Pastor Brad made sure to emphasize this father could have repeated the coach’s points, reminding his son of the mistakes made during the game. Instead the father knew the importance of loving on his son through encouraging words.

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As a mother, you desire for your husband and children to have a close relationship. And I love so much that Zack and Maxwell are developing their own special bond… through tool time. Zack has such a leadership heart, and when Max points at the toolbox in the closet I know it is a proud moment for Zack to have such a special “man activity” with his son.

One by one they pull out each tool, and Zack explains what its called and what it does. Max usually puts it down quickly and focuses on holding the next tool, but he’s starting to hold on to them and use them correctly. But what I’m noticing is how Zack encourages Maxwell, regardless of whether he uses it correctly.

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Maxwell is at the age where he’s really beginning to notice things: the way we speak to each other, how we take care of our toys, our routines before a meal or at bedtime, etc. Actually, the other day I noticed Maxwell was putting his little LeapTop computer in the same drawer Zack stores his wacom tablet. He’s watching our every move (especially daddy) and I’m just so thankful Zack is exactly the man he is.

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These are hard years as parents. Very impressionable years. But the reward when we take the time to invest in our children is immeasurable, that’s for sure.

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Our next BIG (little) adventure…

baby bump maggie whitley

baby bump maggie whitley

…begins now! Zack and I are beyond ecstatic to share that our family is growing and come October we’ll be holding a newborn baby. Yesterday was a very special Mother’s Day for our family as we anticipate a baby boy or baby girl, due to arrive late October. We didn’t find out Maxwell’s gender until he was born and we are doing the same with this babe. So exciting! I’ll be 16 weeks on Wednesday. Thank you for celebrating with our family! xoxo ((girl screams))

Let’s chat about being brave.

Years ago my dreams revolved around my career, which is how I defined myself as a young twenty-something married lady. But I can’t help myself and think of this quote by Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, “If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough.”

I’ve challenged myself with the world of handmade for years. New goals, new processes, new ways of refinement. I had huge goals and most often felt like I was sitting on the edge of my seat, just the tiniest bit scared of these dreams of mine.

A handful of years have passed since Zack and I got married, and I’ll be 30 next summer ((yeow!)) — so naturally things have changed in terms of my dreams.

We now have a family and almost two years ago we relocated from the Midwest to Los Angeles, so it’s totally normal for things to have shifted a bit. Right? Even though it’s (once again) a tiny bit scary, I’m giving myself grace in this area.

My focus has shifted and I’m more aware of the people in my family; how can I nurture them and continue to grow into the woman I am? Being brave can be scary, but also exciting!

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Something else I’ve learned these last few years is I don’t enjoy anymore making super defined, advanced plans. I used to enjoy this, way too much. But now — and I think this is the evolution of moving so frequently in a short amount of time (5 times in 6 years) and totally being swept off my feet as each new adventure starts — I find more beauty in sitting back and soaking up the now, instead of always anticipating the future.

We’re not even guaranteed tomorrow, so why spend all of today’s thoughts on tomorrow?

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In January I picked a word that I wanted to reflect on throughout the entire year: Brave. It takes courage to be brave, doesn’t it? It takes a brave soul to try something new, a soul that knows where her treasures are (in heaven).

When we are brave enough to say, “let’s do this”, we allow the unexpected to bless us because we don’t have our noses pressed downward in fear.

And then lastly, another thing I’ve learned this year is that being brave has given me more moments of mamahood. I’m catching them more often, and my goodness it’s filling my heart right up.