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 familiesĀ 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

Holiday cards from Pear Tree Greetings, plus a $75 giveaway

As you transition into the weekend — where slow becomes your thing and you’re snuggled up close with your people, I wanted to share with you a few holiday card designs (including a $75 gift card giveaway) from one of our longtime sponsors, Pear Tree Greetings. Ever since we moved to Los Angeles I’ve vowed to slow down my pace. It’s been a hard process to adapt, especially living in such a busy city, but it’s been so good for me. And with Christmas nearing this is a fantastic time to re-evaluate what slow really means.

Colorful Lights Ribbon Strand Christmas Cards

Slow looks like granted permission to hear life’s tick-tock; to view it as a gift instead of using it as a measure of time.

Slow looks like grace, feels like comfort and warmth, and can’t be added to your calendar. Slow just happens.

Inside my home, slow looks like decorating with photos of my people and the heart. Slow does not look like meaningless clutter or decor bought from the store. What does slow look like for your family?

Be Jolly Photo Christmas Cards

There’s nothing quite like the warmth of photo cards on display, especially during the holidays :) Growing up my mom kept a basket of cards in the living room and it was so fun to flip through them as I sat in front of the heat register at our Michigan home.

Are you ordering holiday cards for 2014? Some of my faves from PTG are their ornament cards, ribbon strand cards and spinner cards. They even offers designs that feature Black & White, watercolor, photo overlay & foil stamping.

Fa La La Foil Holiday Photo Cards

And quite possibly the frosting on the gingerbread house this holiday season: Pear Tree Greetings even has Instagram-friendly cards, making ordering, addressing & sending a card super easy.

Have a blissfully wonderful weekend, and may it be glittered with slow moments.

* * *

To enter the giveaway, please use the Rafflecopter entries below. None of the entry options are required and we’d love for you to share this giveaway with your social media communities. One winner will be selected at random and notified via email. Please note: this giveaway is open to US residents only. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thank you for supporting the shops that help support me and my family.

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…

The final days of pregnancy…

living room maggie whitley

I’m having the craziest moments of pregnancy/labor indecisiveness. My internal conversations go something like this,

* we’re totally ready for this baby to be born! Like, today!

* all we have to do is set up the queen bed and re-arrange the nursery, then we’ll be ready

* I’d rather have another c-section than try to give birth (again)

* there’s nothing else we need to buy

* I’ll be ready for the baby once the hospital bag is packed

* no wait, I need to wash a few more loads of laundry before I’m done packing the hospital bag

* maybe we should buy that larger diaper pail we’ve always talked about getting?

* I really don’t want to have another c-section

* I can totally handle two babies (and a dog) in our cozy LA apartment!

 

Someone, please tell me these thoughts are normal? And my sweet husband, he listens to me change my mind multiple times a day while my thoughts run wild. I went on a crazy cleaning kick on Sunday and scrubbed down our entire kitchen. (Yep, and totally over did it.) These final days of pregnancy can be so hard — the simplest tasks feel nearly impossible (like painting my toes), but I know this is all totally natural.

Slowing down is the best way to prepare for a baby, don’t you agree? It’s so good for our souls.