Hair color, learning how to thrive, and new bangs!

bangs apartment maggie whitley

My friend Allison (her husband and my husband are childhood BFFs) has awesome bangs — well, honestly her entire hairstyle is awesome (always), and yesterday morning I finally declared, It’s time for me to have bangs again! Allison and I have similar hair texture and color, and every time I see her or a photo of her I take one step closer to having bangs cut. So yesterday I snuck out in the afternoon and had them cut, and would you believe I love them? :) They’re so fun.

Last year around this time my hair was darker (not my natural color though) and I had bangs, although they were more of a blunt/straight across cut. Now my hair is more of an auburn/blonde/light brown mix to match my natural color — paired with side-swept chunky bangs. This time around my hair feels more natural and easier to style.

For months, and I really do mean months (since February) our family has been praying for Zack’s work schedule to lessen. It has been a really long year, but I’m seriously grateful to see our prayers being answered and his schedule slowing down. It can be so hard to be patient and wait, can’t it? And to be honest, I wasn’t always quietly waiting… There were many days since February where I cried and complained and questioned WHY we needed to wait. My guess is it wasn’t just about answering our prayers but having God work on our hearts, too.

And so during that time I clothed myself (in a sense) in maintenance mode. Knowing the days would be very long and sometimes lonely… Knowing I would have to balance taking care of Max and caring for our home and encouraging Zack, grocery shopping and play dates and bath time, walking Bauer multiple times a day and praying fervently and resting during naptime — these things consumed my time and mind, and auto-pilot kicked in.

I hate admitting this, but after a few months I began running off maintenance mode: not really thinking about what would make me happy, but instead putting my family first so that they were happy. What I missed out on was recognizing how important both of these things are! It’s not about putting myself first as though there’s greater importance to my needs, but rather knowing when I hold both my family and myself on the same level both areas thrive, together.

I want to remember these past eight months as encouragement for the future. I remember a few years ago, when we lived in Minneapolis, going through something similar: something in life caused me to put myself on pause while we worked through a hard season. There was much learned, but I don’t think I processed it the healthiest way.

And now our family is growing! In such a short amount of time I’ll be in a newborn haze, but I’m so looking forward to experiencing that once again. And this time I’ll have my chunky bangs to hang out with as we navigate another hard season… and also maybe a new stick of raspberry-colored lip stain ;)

37 weeks baby bump.

pregnancy maggie whitley

pregnancy maggie whitley

pregnancy maggie whitley

maxwell pregnancy maggie whitley

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pregnancy maggie whitley

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Happy 37 weeks to my baby bump!

And my goodness, is it getting cramped inside my tummy! ;) I’ve kinda resorted to picking things up with my toes, asking Max for help… or just leaving it until Zack gets home at night. We had an ultrasound the other day and the technician was able to record the baby’s weight. Would you believe they estimate our baby to currently weigh around 8 lbs? I do love a chubby baby, so I’m not complaining. (And to think I didn’t even buy newborn size diapers a few weeks ago, I skipped right to size 1. Mothers intuition, anyone?)

Zack had some additional time off work recently so we spent it finishing preparations for Baby #2 and just simply being together at home as a family. It was seriously one of the best weeks of my life. While Zack was home we cranked out a few projects — like painting a nightstand for the nursery, sewing a rocking chair cushion set, hanging extra towel bars in our bathroom for our family visiting, and installing the infant car seat. The whole time I was like, Yahooo! We’re checking off another “to do”, this is awesome! #dork

Even though I’m nervous about the birth and what our experience will end up being, I do have a lot of peace. I share with Zack pretty much weekly how grateful I am to not have the tension that comes with feeling like there’s too much to do each day but not knowing how to get it all done. Now, if I could only find the energy to stay awake once Max goes to bed so I can work on a few things just for me ;) I’m reminded this is a (short) season in my life and it reminds me of my childhood. So many memories of taking care of my dolls and hours of creative play come flooding back to me. I’m doing exactly what I always envisioned myself doing :)

By the way, I listened online to Angie Smith speak recently on how to be better at being present in the moment, and it was so refreshing. I’m not sure how long the videos will be up, so click over and watch as soon as you can.

Maxwell is noticing a bit more that things are starting to change within our family. Instead of only talking about the baby, the visual clues are appearing: we have a cradle for the baby to sleep in, a car seat for the baby to ride in, clothes for the baby to wear, little diapers tucked next to Max’s on the changing table. He’s noticing, and as much as we are keeping things as routine as possible, he’s having a hard time. And you know, I’m just so grateful that my only requirements each day is to be the mama God has created me to be. It’s easy for this to feel like too much, but it really is enough.

I’m reminded it’s OK for Max to struggle a little with the upcoming changes because I have the time each day to help him process them.

I feel encouraged, blissful, tired, excited and grateful. All good things! xoxo

October baby bundle giveaways: $880+ in prizes

October is a very special month! Not only does it signify a change in seasons but the 29th is our estimated due date for Baby #2, and I’m already sooooooooooooo excited! This past weekend we finished up some big projects around our apartment that will help us ease into a family of four. It’s a wonderful feeling :)

We also have TWO baby themed giveaway bundles for our Maggie Whitley Designs community, starting today, totaling over $880 in prizes. Our 16 sponsors have donated some fantastic items, sure to spoil two of you! See below for the bundles & entry details.

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BABY BUNDLE #1: 1. Baby Carrier We from BabyBjörn, $139.95 value // 2. Bow Tie Onsie from Pea Pods Boutique, $15 value // 3. Welcome Baby Banner from Hawthorne Ave Arts & Vintage, $30 value // 4. Lovey, Bib and Burpcloth Set from Delva B. Tree, $30 value // 5. Fabric Keychain from Studio Risa, $25 value // 6. 75 Thank You Cards with Envelopes from Small Moments, $75 value // 7. $25 gift card to Little Sapling Toys, $25 value // 8. Sweet Dreams Pillow from Drawstring Studio, $22 value // 9. Siblings Shirt from E & LuLu, $26.95 value // 10. Dear Baby Journal from Paper + Spark, $32 value. TOTAL BUNDLE VALUE: $421

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bundle1
BABY BUNDLE #2: 1. Hooded Baby Towel from Little Lily Bamboo, $38 value // 2. 10 Custom Bun in the Oven Announcements from Little Elephant Crafts, $70 value // 3. Bunny Blankie from Running Wild Designs, $26 value // 4. Baby Bib from Bella and Tate, $10 value // 5. Baltic Amber Teething Necklace from Spark of Amber, $21.99 value // 6. Purely Yours® Ultra Double Electric Breast Pump from Ameda, $299 value. TOTAL BUNDLE VALUE: $465

To enter the giveaway, please use the Rafflecopter entries below. None of the entry options are required so please keep an eye out for the entry options that don’t require social media, there are many :) One winner for each bundle will be selected at random and notified via email. Please note: both giveaways are open to US residents only. Good luck!

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

Small Spaces: Tip #1

small spaces tip #1 maggie whitley

When we first moved to Los Angeles, just over two years ago, we hardly had any material possessions. We packed our Jeep and drove from Minneapolis to LA, and I was not quite 14 weeks pregnant with Maxwell. We brought with us an heirloom baby cradle, my sewing machine, a box of sewing notions/fabric, minimal clothes, a small selection of meaningful items/decorations, Bauer’s dog crate, and plenty of tools should the Jeep need any servicing. We actually planned on sleeping in the Jeep on our drive out here, but as we were selling/packing/cleaning out the house we were renting in Minneapolis I found more and more things I just couldn’t leave behind. We had never made a move this large or far away and didn’t quite know what to expect. (Our families have the rest of our valuables and meaningful items stored in Michigan.) Suddenly the Jeep was full of “absolute musts” to bring to Los Angeles, so there wasn’t room for sleeping (or packing much else).

Funny, we didn’t bring more than a few boxes of stuff, but what we did bring took up a lot of space in the Jeep.

As hard as it’s been, I’ve learned over the last 25 months that it really is possible to live with less.

It’s an incredibly emotional process — especially how we’re indirectly trained to become attached to things — but it’s taught me so much.

Once we found our first apartment in Los Angeles we started making small purchases for our home. Of course all of this took lots of time, lots of saving, and a lot of discipline to not spend money on unnecessary things.

There are still things and clothes and furniture I think we need that we haven’t purchased yet, and the reason why has mixed results. Do we really need this? Can we afford it? And so we continue wait.

I remember clear as day showing a friend our first apartment after we had settled in. She saw our closet and then asked me, Where are the rest of your clothes? I thought to myself, They’ve been sold. And for a minute I actually felt embarrassed over my small wardrobe.

But that’s a perfect example of how we live with less, and how it’s been a discipline not to make a purchase “just because”.

Living with less shouldn’t feel weird or wrong. In fact, it’s actually taught me a lot about myself and personal tendencies. I’ve learned how to decorate our home with our favorite, most-cherished things instead of packing them away “for another time”.

When we display memories of our adventures, or make space in our cozy home for things that have value, we re-ignite life moments that once made our souls feel something. And how inspiring is that?

I’ve been trained to look at the big picture in life instead of a small, Maggie-centered life. Because of what we put inside our home, when I walk outside I actually notice the beautiful pink flowers growing on the branches. I rocked our firstborn to sleep in a cradle that once rocked me, and once again it’s in the nursery, anticipating another baby. My nightstand holds a bird lamp, a gift from my parents — one that “I really really really realllly wanted” about seven years ago. One kitchen cupboard shelf — which was once empty, is now full of coffee cups given to us by family & friends. They each tell a story of adventure and friendship in California. The bed quilts inside our closet hold meaning and are handmade, and the books on our bookshelf are incredibly inspiring, funny or from our very favorite authors.

My point is our home may be small but it’s incredibly large with meaning, and that brings me deep happiness.

Tip #1: have your home showcase the things that mean the most.