How to survive mamahood in Los Angeles.

One of my dear mama friends (she has two littles: a four-month old and a 2-year old) taught me early on how to survive living in Los Angeles. You bring your kids to the beach, and you start going at an early age. And oh my, yes I couldn’t agree with her more. The weather in the city is pretty consistent — mostly blue skies, breezy sunshine and 75 degrees.

maxwell maggie whitley

But it’s also a super crowded, bustling, traffic-crazy city.

Except when you’re at the beach during the week ;) We notice mostly tourists here during the weekday (hooray for us, we’re the oddballs!), so it kinda feels like we’re on vacation. Except we live here year-round.

the beach maggie whitley

santa monica beach maggie whitley

When we go to the beach, we go for the entire day, like 10:30am until 4pm. Our kiddos play together and they play independently. We take multiple trips down to the water to splash around. We spy dolphins swimming near the shore. We brush off sand. Again. We keep our littles hydrated and full of energizing foods. We chase them around our umbrellas and beach quilts and trip over buckets.

palm trees maggie whitley

And then the most miraculous thing happens: all the littles take an afternoon nap. At the same time. And for at least an hour are able to catch up without getting up, but funny how fast that hour goes by :)

maxwell beach chair maggie whitley

It’s not so hard taking your kids to the beach. Maxwell went a few times last year and maybe a dozen times already this year? We continue to go and so it continues to get easier and easier. Going to the beach is one of my best tips for surviving mamahood in Los Angeles.

olivia maxwell maggie whitley

maxwell palm trees maggie whitley

Also! Once we’re home and the sunscreen’s been washed off, it’s not long before everyone is in bed for a good night’s rest.

Here’s one of my favorite photos with Maxwell from our trip to the beach yesterday. It makes me so happy that I wanted to share with you it’s full-size frame:

maxwell maggie whitley

I’ve only and always been a mama since we moved to Los Angeles. I’m sure it’s different for moms all over the country, but knowing “how to survive” seems to be something we can all do differently while still feeling so very connected to one another. I’d love to read your tips on surviving mamahood in your city. See you in the comments? xo

Crazy town, two friends and sunshine.

whitley-family-gussy-sewscustom family illustration by my dear college friend, Lisa of My Little Buffalo

Whoooo. It’s kinda been crazy town over here. The mister has been working lots of hours lately (like 60/week) and so Max, Bauer and I have been trying to hold down the fort on our own. We are only kinda succeeding ;) Our part-time baby sitter has been on vacation, so I’ve been juggling all of the home/work/baby stuff solo. It makes me appreciate having a hubby to share life with even more! I can get by on my own for a little bit, but we’ve been pushing an entire week of crazy so I look forward to his work slowing down a little (hopefully?). I guess I didn’t realize how tired I’ve been, until two nights ago when I went to bed at 9:30pm and got out of bed at 7:30am… a total blessing. I knew I was exhausted and any work I attempted to do that night would be poor, unproductive work. So to bed I went!

I’m so thankful the weather has been absolutely gorgeous for about a week now — think 80′s and bright blue sky! I even dug out my flipflops for our walk today. Whenever Zack works a lot, or I have a lot of work myself to do, I’ve found getting out of our apartment for a bit helps so much. It keeps my focus on being productive when at home but I have the freedom to relax and adventure out when we leave the apartment. I’ve been researching free activities in our neighborhood that we can walk to and I’m super excited about what I’ve found so far.

For Christmas we received a few Starbucks gift cards, so grabbing an iced tea during the late morning/afternoon and sitting outside to drink it has been a real treat for me. Bauer and Max love the extra attention, too. There are so many restaurants and shops where we live, it’s a great walk getting there. AND! Once we get home both boys usually crash for a nap :) Bonus!

Yesterday one of my favorite friends, Joanna, came by with her daughter to play with Max while I checked a few things off my to-do list. It was so amazing. She even brought homemade cookie dough to bake in my oven (!) and Bauer may or may not have ignored even command to stop stealing the baby’s toys. Joanna’s visit was another blessing.

Zack and I have been praying hard, trying to be even more intentional and specific and receptive of what the LORD wants to share with us. I want to do more than just read a quick devotional in the morning, so I’ve been trying to linger on the verses and pages longer. It’s been really rewarding to see some of the difficulties settle down that life likes to throw at us :) Ya know?

And then also recently, another one of my favorite friends, Lisa (we met at Central Michigan University because our now husbands were roommates), sent me these two illustrative portraits. Do you just melt over how cute Maxwell looks? His blonde hair is starting to get so wavy and dare I say… curly! I kiss his sweet little head about 50 times a day. And then there’s Bauer. Lisa captured his cute-but-naughty personality perfectly. Zackary is looking as handsome as ever, and I just love seeing my pink moccasins on my feet. This family illustration is so special to me. It’s a great showcase for two parents who are working their dream jobs with a baby crawling around their feet, and a pup desperately trying to hide from the baby. Ha! Our lives right now may be a little crazy town but we are all healthy, happy and Zack and I are madly in love. (Eww, right Max?)

So. Deep breaths. :) I’m so specifically thankful for Joanna and Lisa who have blessed us this week with their gifts. And also for the posts I’ve read recently over on Edie’s blog… they are amazingly encouraging.

What act of kindness could you do for a friend this week? :)


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Let us help you with your Christmas shopping.


With Christmas just over a month away, a group of us thought it would be fun to host a giveaway of some of our favorite things. Can I get a yeow?! This giveaway is special to me, it’s a collaboration of lovely items from some of my friends, whom are also bloggers. Read on for the full details on each item being given away (see photo above) and of course how to enter to win :)

This giveaway is hosted by:

Jessica from The Mom Creative, Kristen from We are That Family, Kristen from Rage Against the Minivan, Lisa-Jo from Lisa-Jo Baker , Lisa from Lisa Leonard Designs and Maggie from Gussy Sews.

Use the Rafflecopter below to win one of these six prizes:
    1. A Quinn infinity scarf from Krochet Kids. The scarf is handmade in Uganda. Krochet Kids creates sustainable economic development programs that support holistic growth of individuals and communities living in poverty.
    2. $50 gift certificate to Krafty Kash designs – jewelry with your favorite word featured from a vintage dictionary.
    3. $50 gift certificate to Lisa Leonard Designs, a company that creates hand-stamped jewelry and gifts
    4. $50 gift certificate to Gussy Sews, a handmade shop full of brightly colored ruffled and sassy accessories
    5. A beautiful scarf and leather wallet ($50 value) from fashionABLE, a non-profit organization supporting women in Africa
    6. $50 gift certificate to anything @ The Mercy Shop, a fair-trade marketplace for products (art, jewelry, inspiring accessories) made by residents at Mercy House Kenya

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck! I hope you win!! xoxo