Before you sign off for a long weekend…

palm trees maggie whitley

Can you believe Labor Day is almost here? Sheesh, I’ll be holding our newborn babe in about nine weeks! Before we head out for another weekend in the mountains with friends, I wanted to share a few things with you…

* Have you heard of Hope*ologie? It’s an inspiring site with fresh content every month, including exclusive articles, podcasts, printables & video (the videos are my favorite), and I tell you the truth: it’s been super refreshing to log-in each month. It’s a member-based site, but I promise the $12.99/month rate is worth it. I’m a member and yes, the two sisters are my real-life friends, but I promise (again) it’s something you should be investing in each month :)

* Tuesday was a R O U G H day for me. Naptime was cut short for Max, I didn’t have a chance to rest myself, and dinner time wasn’t as easy as it normally is. I knew deep down I was exhausted (31 weeks pregnant and I’ve been doing too much) and that’s why things were falling apart. So we turned out the lights at 10:30pm and I tell you, getting 9 hours of sleep that night was glorious. I often forget how important rest is, not just during the daytime, but at nighttime too. We aren’t built to “do it all”, I must continue to live out this motto.

* My friend Hayley and her husband Mike recently launched an ethically-made clothing company for kiddos called Wildly Co. and they’re so close to finishing up their Kickstarter campaign. If you like supporting small businesses and feel inclined to help in any way, here’s a direct link to their fundraiser. (We’re cheering for you, H+M!)

* I’m on the lookout for a large-ish living room rug. Any favorites or recommendations?

* Even though I know I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be, with family and work life, sometimes it’s hard. The past six years running a couple handmade businesses were wonderful, but to be honest I’m definitely missing having a large studio to work in creatively. Will you pray for me? I’m kinda feeling blue and I don’t want to miss out on the now because I’m too busy A.) feeling sorry for myself (wah, wah), or B.) wishing things were a little different. I know these years at home are precious and short. Often He has bigger, better, funner plans and I want to make sure my eyes are focused on Him.

* If you haven’t yet, click over to enter to win one of our August giveaway bundles: back-to-school or cozy fall essentials.

Enjoy your long weekend, and I’ll see you in September! :)

August giveaways: cozy fall essentials & back-to-school

As we wrap up the Summer season and prepare for the change Fall brings along, I felt it would be just too fun to host TWO giveaway bundles this time around: Cozy Fall Essentials & Back-to-School. We have prizes totaling over $700 from 17 ultra creative handmade shops/businesses:

cozy fall giveaway bundle maggie whitley
COZY FALL ESSENTIALS BUNDLE: 1. $50 gift card to Be Still Clothing Company, $50 value// 2. Limited Edition Moccasins (winner chooses color & size) from Freshly Picked, $60 value // 3. Hand Knit Poppy Cowl from Saffron and Nutmeg, $35 value// 4. Modern Embroidery Kit from Lovely Messes, $22 value // 5. Crochet Boot Cuffs (winner chooses color) from Craftee McGee, $20 value // 6. “Happy Fall” Chalkboard Banner from The Burlap Bungalow, $27 value // 7. Fleur de Sel Caramel Sauce from The Caramel Jar, $14 value// 8. Lacy Bow Ear Warmer from Love City Crochet, $16.50 value // 9. Turquoise + Wood + Natural Stones Bracelet Stacking Set from Pineapple Bling, $100 value.

* * *

back to school giveaway bundle maggie whitley
BACK-TO-SCHOOL BUNDLE: 10. Allison Butterscotch Camera Bag from Jo Totes, $89 value // 11. Personalized Lunchbox – Deluxe (winner chooses style) from Bugaboo Announcements, $43 value // 12. Fox and Friends Mini Art Caddy from Kiki B Omi Designs, $15 value // 13. Leather Shoulder Bag from A Great & Many Things, $105 value // 14. Coffee Cozy from The Love, Mich Collection, $21 value // 15. Preppy Plaid Bow Tie from adventuresNnonsense, $50 value // 16. Handpainted Burlap Wristlet from Lily Patch Boutique, $25 value // 17.  Tablet Sleeve from So Sew Organized, $18 value.

To enter the giveaway, please use the Rafflecopter entries below. None of the entry options are required so please keep an eye out for all 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!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

PS. We’ll be hosting a baby shower themed giveaway in early October in anticipation of Baby Whitley #2. If you’d like your handmade shop to be included in our next bundle please send Jenn an email: jenn AT maggiewhitley DOT com.

Wonderful things.

baby bump maxwell maggie whitley

How about a little TGIF? ;) I remember when that was “the” Friday night TV lineup. And you can bet I was gathered in the family room with my brother, sipping a homemade chocolate malt (thanks mom!) and so wishing I also had a Trapper Keeper. I didn’t dream of doing anything else. I loved the family time and ease of another weekend within reach. And now, even 15 years later, I still enjoy Fridays for the very same reason… just with a little less TV. We haven’t owned a TV in years, but that’s a topic for another blog post.

In celebration of it being Friday I thought I would share some a few wonderful things going on right now…

* We’d been in a long period of “just wait”, and this expanded over many, many areas of our lives. I am definitely seeing the blessings that come with waiting come to fruition and friends, it’s so very encouraging. Many things are falling into place for our family and I’m so grateful we had the patience to hold on and continue the wait.

* I bought two tiny newborn nightgowns for baby #2 and I just might wash them up and tuck one under my pillow at night. I’m so very excited for baby girl or baby boy to arrive. The countdown is on: 10 weeks to go!

* Maxwell loves to read and has been coming to me with a book in hand, ready to sit in my lap. It’s one of my favorite activities right now.

* Strawberries. Sweet strawberries that I can’t stop eating :)

* I’ve got a tonnnnnn of energy right now so I’ve been working feverishly on my baby to-do list. We’re making great progress, which is super exciting. But I have to say, I’ve been on the hunt for a dresser (Craigslist) for the kids to share and two times now we’ve been second in line, and then BAM! it sells to someone else. Maybe this weekend will be our lucky weekend?

* Yesterday we had a routine ultrasound and little baby actually smiled at us… oh my word, and we caught it on (digital) film! That’s is my new favorite photo.

 

I feel so blessed over the answered prayers we’ve had, the increase in energy I’ve felt, the family that surrounds me. I hope you have a lovely weekend and can take a few minutes to reflect of a few of your own wonderful things :)

PS. Maxwell’s moccasins are c/o Freshly Picked (currently on sale!); heart foil maternity top is c/o Asos (also on sale!), bermuda maternity shorts are Old Navy (wow, these are on sale too!).

The easiest way to find joy when you “stay at home”.

maxwell playing Maggie Whitley

Sometimes it’s just a bit too easy for my focus to be on keeping our home super clean and tidy — only then will I be happy, I think to myself. But really, that mindset is a huge lie. Especially for our mama hearts when we already feel like we are juggling a small circus for 12 hours a day ;)

But I’m determined to not let that kind of discouragement into my home.

If I’m spending all of my time cleaning and tidying (or even too much time, since cleaning a small space doesn’t take long) then other areas of our home aren’t being tended to.

Things like…

– loving on the people inside our home

– going on long walks where our hearts and minds are exercised

– feeding my family through meals and conversation around the table

– the purpose of our home: to grow and learn and rest and encourage one another, daily.

I try to reserve two small windows of time each week towards tidying our home, usually at the start and end of the week, so we (I) can fully enjoy the weekend in all it’s glory. This easy exercise has helped me find the joy in a lived-in home, especially since I “stay at home”.

Walking around plastic toy hammers, and blocks, and books, and the dog’s toy, and don’t forget about the laundry drying on the rack — these all shout LIFE to me, and life should be celebrated. If my focus is on putting all of these things away, what kind of message am I sending out?

It doesn’t take much for our home to feel unclean or untidy since we’re in a small space. But I’ve learned to know the difference between a home that feels comfortable to us and our friends, or a home that feels uncomfortable.

baby bump Maggie Whitley

And perhaps the most important thing I’ve learned with all of this: when I set too high of expectations on myself it’s not just our home that suffers, the people who live inside our home suffer, too.

It’s not my ability to clean and tidy well that should bring me joy…

It’s the day-to-day of life that brings me joy: having a messy kitchen, owning clothing that needs to be laundered, having floors that need to be swept of beach sand and pretzels, and tidying our toys because we play with them.

And this joy? It also brings me freedom.