The beauty in small spaces.

kitchen maggie whitley

I’ve been a renter for ten years now, renting apartments & homes all over the country.

It all started after high-school graduation. I spent four years at Central Michigan University (2003-2007; where Zack and I met/fell in love) renting dorm rooms, an apartment, and then a house just off-campus. After that I lived in Lansing, MI for almost a year (2007-2008). Zack and I were married June 2008 and shortly after that we moved to Detroit, MI where we lived for a year (2008-2009). We then moved to Minneapolis, MN for three years (2009-2012). And now we’re to the present: living in Los Angeles, CA for almost two years (since 2012).

bathroom maggie whitley

Most of the places we’ve called “home” have been small and perfect for a him & her. For two years we lived in a very generous-sized house in Minneapolis complete with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a backyard, patio and private driveway. At 26-years-old we felt like we hit the rental jackpot.

But towards the end of our time in that large house Zack and I traveled to Tanzania, Africa with Compassion International (truly one of the most life-changing events I’ve ever experienced) — we came home, and pretty much everything about our lives changed.

The amount of space we live in…

The number of physical “things” we own…

The answer to a 14-month prayer of growing our family: your womb is full…

The yard-less yard… (This one is still hard.)

All of these things were suddenly not as they’d once been.

kitchen maggie whitley

When we decided to move from Minneapolis to Los Angeles the size of our home may have shrunk nearly 75%, but our hearts grew immeasurably.

Living in a small space has been really hard for me at times. It’s even hard for me to write that out! :) But it’s allowed me to look deep and hard at what I consider most important in this life…

I don’t share often enough about the struggles that come with living in a small space, but I’m inspired to change that.

Because as I’ve learned: where there are struggles there is also beauty.

accessories maggie whitley

We were not created to be defined by the size of our homes or the number of adventures we’ve been on. We are not defined by how much gorgeous sunlight pours in our windows, or the thick never-ending grass that grows off our patio, or by having a (unachievable) large social media imprint.

There is so much beauty, even in the small spaces of our home, and the best way to find it is to know the asnwers to these questions:

- what is your purpose for this season of life?

- what changes do you need to make so you feel satisfied with the everyday?

- what internal changes would help you feel more confident with where you are right now?

- are you giving your most important people first priority?

From there, however life sorts itself out (in a way that feels totally natural to you), is what you need to be doing. Don’t worry about what your neighbor is doing or what their life looks like.

When all think alike, then no one is thinking, –Walter Lippman

If you’re going to worry, worry you’re missing out because you can’t stop your mind/eyes from wandering elsewhere.

It’s perfectly wonderful to be different, to be brave, to be dancing to your own life beat. And that’s something living in a small rental has taught me.

to be continued…

25 weeks baby bump.

baby bump maggie whitley

I have a pregnancy secret! Wearing a watermelon-colored lip stain has made me feel like a million bucks. I have always wanted to try out a darker pink shade, and honestly since first wearing it a few days ago I’ve kinda worn it everyday since. I feel like it brightens my entire mood, which makes me feel less tired (mentally), chipper and dare I say… sassy.

I’ll be sharing more on the exact lip stain I’m wearing in an upcoming post, but know this: when you feel something you are more likely to exude it. Love that.

*

We’re on the hunt for a wooden dresser for the nursery. Something to hold Maxwell’s toddler clothes and new baby’s newborn clothes. And I kinda wish one would just magically appear in our home so I can start washing all of the cute neutral-colored newborn onsies and blankets and sleepers. Hello, nesting phase. OH MY GOODNESS, newborns are just the best!

*

Maxwell calls everyone’s belly button/tummy a “bay-beeee”. It’s so adorable, but also a little nerve-wrecking. So far he’s limited “everyone” to just Zack and I, so we can laugh about it while we sip our morning coffee at home. But I know one day soon he’s going to say that to a stranger. Any advice? (awkward giggle)

baby bump maggie whitley

So far we’ve made it through all our doctor appointments without the baby’s gender accidentally being revealed. I know in the past I’ve been certain I feel, “we’re having a boy!”. Then one week my feelings switched to, “we’re having a girl!” And now I’m confident I just don’t know. Really, the only thing I know is this baby is a strong kicker (and we’ll be delighted with either gender).

Also, this baby loves food, and whenever I eat (which is often, ha ha) the kicks become crazyyyyyyy.

*

What I’m wearing: foil hearts tank c/o Asos, maternity bermuda jean shorts from Old Navy, braided sandals (similar) from Target, glasses are RX.

This is my first time wearing Asos and I have to share, I’m loving their maternity line. Their tops are lightweight (easy for layering, too) and super reasonably priced. And just for fun, a few additional Asos shirts I love: this daisy tanktop, this boat neck striped top, and this jersey and chiffon contrast top.

Asos offers free shipping both ways when you spend $25 or more.

Oh, and thank you for all the feedback on nursing tops last week!

What’s your favorite (fiction) book?

books maggie whitley

Reading is one of those pastimes that totally relaxes me yet inspires me, all at the same time. Often when I’m reading my mind trails off and my thoughts jump from one idea to another, but the neat thing is I don’t forget what I’m reading about or lose my spot on the page. I recently finished a book, so I’ve been scanning my bookshelf for something new to read — but I don’t think there’s anything in there I haven’t read. So I’d love to know: do you have any book recommendations for me?

Some books I’ve read recently (and loved):

Nesting Place

A Million Little Ways

Chasing God

Blog, Inc.

Bread & Wine

I really enjoy reading fiction; romance novels aren’t really my thing. I think my favorite is a book that leaves me feeling inspired and challenged, with a twist of hope woven throughout :) Also, a lot of the fiction books that Target carries are totally my kind of read. Makes perfect sense, right? Thanks in advance for sharing a title or two!

(Affiliate links included.)

PS. some of my favorite indie biz books!