Posted in Making Memories, Ramblings Of A SAHM

Love Unexpected.

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“I didn’t plan on falling in love with you, & I doubt if you planned on falling in love with me. But once we met, it was clear that neither of us could control what was happening to us.” The Notebook

To start off. No, this is not some super mushy, lovey dovey, cliche Valentines Day post. So if you are looking for all the artificial, commercial, we met, we fell in love stories…you probably should just move along.

You see, I’m a girl who has always had a distorted view of WHAT exactly love was. I didn’t grow up in a home with a Mother & Father who doted over one another. The only happy endings I knew that existed only happened in fairy tales.

You see, I am a product of divorce. I grew up with a single Mother who worked ridiculously hard for everything that we had. I was raised by an incredible tribe of people who loved me unconditionally, but when it came to relationships I wasn’t really sure WHAT one could look like.

So for most of my young life, I searched for LOVE and ACCEPTANCE. I craved it like it was a drug. I didn’t care where I found it, or how messed up it might be. I just wanted to be wanted by someone.<<More importantly by a man, because I felt so rejected by my biological father.>>

I know what you are thinking…Typical girl with Daddy’s issues…and you would be right. I have had my fair share of horrible relationships. Relationships that have left me bruised and broken. Relationships that tore me down to nothing.

I’ve been threatened to be kicked out of my own car for the radio being to loud. I have had my phone broken. I have been cheated on multiple times. Told that I wasn’t enough. I have been used. And the list goes on and on.

In my last relationship, I’m not exactly sure what broke the camels back. But enough was enough. I was so tired of being isolated from my family. So tired of being blamed for things that I could not control. Tired of being emotionally abused at every single turn.

So I left. I packed up my belongings, and headed home to my parents home. I had no desire to be in a relationship ever again. How could anyone love me, if I didn’t love myself?

Little did I know that, that very night I would meet the man I would end up with. Now, you might be thinking…didn’t she just say she didn’t want a relationship? I didn’t. I needed a friend. Someone who would listen without judging. I needed someone to see the raw, real me and just say it’s OK.

And that’s what he did. He picked up a broken shell of girl in the front of her house in the middle of the night with mascara stains down her face, in basketball shorts, and a scary looking ponytail. He drove around for hours & hours listening to me cry, and share my heart and soul with him.

I told him everything under the sun that was wrong with me, and instead of judging me. He accepted me, flaws and all. He was a friend. He was exactly what I needed.

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“The best kind of love awakens the soul; and makes us reach for more; that plants a fire in our hearts; and brings peace to our minds.” -The Notebook

That night I absolutely did not plan on falling in love, and I doubt he planned on falling in love with me. But once we met it was clear that neither of us could control what was happening to us.

You may not believe in soul mates, but I do. I believe that this man was sent to me at the exactly the right moment. You see, we grew up only 11 miles from each other for 19 years, yet never once met. We had mutual friends, we were interested in many of the same things, but never met. I bet we probably walked past each other multiple times over the years, yet never knew it.

So why then? Why that moment in time? I can’t help but think it was serendipity.

Now, don’t think that this ends with “And They Lived Happily Ever After.” because while we are happy, we have had our fair share of struggles.

From sneaking around at night due to parents not being on board with our whirlwind romance, to parents boycotting our wedding (they did attend), to moving over 1,000 miles away just two months after tying the knot, to having a baby 11 months after we got married, to our home being repossessed, and much more.

But we have endured those struggles together. And that my friend is what love should look like.

Struan is not exactly who I pictured I would marry and spend my years adventuring with, but he is exactly who I need. He is smart, funny, hardworking, loyal, dashingly handsome, quiet, passionate, an excellent cook, motivated and so much more.

Bottom Line: I was looking for love in all the wrong places, I was looking for someone to sweep me off my feet. And the truth was I needed to learn to pick myself up. He taught me that. He didn’t pick up the shattered pieces of my broken heart and put them back together that night, he helped me figure out how to do it myself.

And still to this day, he helps me figure things out for myself. He never tells me what to do, how to dress, or how to act. He loves me for me. Which is exactly how it should be.

To the girl who is still searching for love. Stop. Stop searching so hard. Stop trying to create something out of nothing. Stop trying to force something that isn’t there. Trust me. I’ve been there.

Love will happen when you least expect it. So for now, love yourself. Treat yourself the way you should be treated. Find friendships. Build relationships. The right one will come along and it will be absolutely worth it.

So instead of searching for love this year, why don’t you devote this year to loving yourself more? You might be pleasantly surprised at how joyous it could be.

“It’s not selfish to love yourself, take care of yourself, and to make happiness a priority. It’s necessary.” -Mandy Hale


In honor of Valentines Day I want to encourage you to treat yo’self. Grab a cute new pair of pjs, or a new workout item, and just dote on yourself a bit.

Feel free to go to Adore Me to snag a cute set of Jammie’s or Adult Dress Up Clothes (wink, wink) for $24.95 + free shipping!

Posted in Making Memories, Mom Life, Raising Kids, Ramblings Of A SAHM

Enjoying The Journey

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Before We Walked Into The Zoo.

Yesterday the Clark family went on a fun adventure to the Memphis Zoo, something we ALL love to do.

Struan and I decided we would surprise the kids, so we got them dressed, packed them a snack, and headed out.

The kids were so excited, and spent the majority of the drive making guesses. The Fish Store (Bass Pro Shop, you can guess where Daddy likes to go!), Walmart, Mississippi?

But the minute we pulled up to the Zoo they knew EXACTLY where we were! They couldn’t WAIT to go in and see the animals.

As per family tradition, we asked them each their FAVORITE zoo animal (we always make it a point to visit each favorite animal).

Adeline squealed FLAMINGOS (this truly is her favorite animal, and she always is disappointed when we don’t get to see a flamingo egg hatch. One day!)

Tavi thought for a moment. His usual answer is a giraffe, but this time he yelled ELEPHANTS! He recently discovered a HUGE stuffed elephant on one of our shopping trips, and sobbed the entire time because mean ol Mom wouldn’t buy it.

Struan and I then chose our favorites, his is the giraffes and mine are the penguins. If only I could figure out how to smuggle one home! Kidding…or am I?

We then set off on our Zoo adventure.

We showed our Zoo passes (which I TOTALLY recommend) and went towards the penguins exhibit, they were the closest.

Immediately, Tavish (4 years old) was upset. He didn’t WANT to see the penguins, he ONLY wanted to see the elephants.

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“I JUST Want To See The Elephants!” 

He pouted through the penguins, the komodo dragons, the monkeys, and the pandas.

We FINALLY made it to the elephants. He was SO happy. But then it was time to continue our adventure & leave the elephants behind. The tears began to flow.

He continued to pout the rest of the time while we were there. His legs hurt, his tummy was hungry, he was sleepy, he just wanted to go home.

Even though we had a GRUMPY Gus on our hands, the rest of us still enjoyed ourselves.

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Adeline & Daddy at the flamingos.

When I got home last night, I couldn’t help but think that sometimes I’m like my little guy was at the Zoo. I refuse to see the BEAUTY of my life around me, because I’m not where I thought I would be at the moment.

So many time we tell ourselves, When I reach *this* then I will be HAPPY.  I CAN’T be happy YET,  because I haven’t reached what I set out to do.

We fail to ENJOY the actual journey!!!

My son was SO wrapped up in seeing the elephants, that at times he turned his back to rest of the animals. That photo above was taken in front of a BRAND NEW baby monkey that was SO adorable, but he REFUSED to look because it WASN’T an ELEPHANT!

Because he was so FOCUSED on the elephants, he missed out on so much!

Should we have goals and dreams? Absolutely! But should we be SO focused on getting there that we fail to see what is actually unfolding around us, right here, right now? No way!

“Life is a journey, not a destination. There are no mistakes, just chances we’ve taken. Life is a challenge, not a competition. You can still smell the roses and be on a mission. Just take a moment to get in touch with your heart.” India. Arie

Remember that in between goals, there is this thing called LIFE! LIVE it! As my good friend Ferris once said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

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Excited To See The Zoo! 

Yesterday, was an AMAZING day! One that will be remembered for years to come, especially the lesson that my little four year old taught me.

No matter our circumstances, ALWAYS remember to “Enjoy The Journey”.

XOXO Makala

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“Enjoy the Journey” wood carving by my father in law Wade. 

 

Posted in Making Memories, Mom Life, Not A Pinterest Mom, Wanna Be Chef

Wakey Wakey Eggs & Bakey

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6 AM Morning Glam Shot

Mornings are SO not my jam! So in turn BREAKFAST is not my jam either! I can do breakfast at 10 am if I don’t have to make it. My husband is the KING of breakfast and I let him proudly wear that title.

Unfortunately, my daughter inherited her Daddy’s love of breakfast. For years I have been able to get by with mediocre breakfasts, but a few weeks ago Adeline BEGGED me to make FANCY (her words) breakfasts before school.

There I sat with a decision to make. How was I going to look at that sweet, adorable face and say NO? But how was I going to pull my body out of bed every single morning at 5:30 AM to make breakfast. Trust me when I say, LOVE just isn’t enough. (Kidding, or am I?).

So, I decided the BEST solution would be to rely HEAVILY on my Slow Cooker & Instant Pot.

There were a few MAJOR let downs (french toast in slow cooker…big thumbs down) but we also have had some BIG wins as well.

So I’m excited to share with you our family’s Top THREE favorite breakfasts thus far.

  1. Apple Crisp found here. This recipe was made in the Instant Pot and took only EIGHT minutes to cook. I know Apple Crip is considered a “Dessert” but think about it. Apples – GOOD  Oats – GOOD! Therefore we count it as a delicious breakfast. Did I mention we had NONE left in the pot?
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Apple Crisp Recipe Found At CenterCutCook.com

2. Sausage Gravy Breakfast Pizza found here. This one actually took a little extra prep. No slow cooker & no instant pot. BUT the kids devoured the pizza, so it was totally worth the 30 minutes I lost in sleep time. Plus, it makes a LOT of pizza, so we were able to save some for snack later in the day.

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Sausage Gravy Biscuit Recipe Found At Flavorite.net

3. Slow Cooker Peach Oatmeal found here. Oatmeal is a STAPLE item in our home. Usually I rely heavily on good ol’ Mr. Quaker, but this was just as easy to make. We put it in the slow cooker right before bedtime, and woke up to a yummy breakfast that was ready to eat.

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Slow Cooker Peach Oatmeal Recipe Found At YummyHealthyEasy.com

So while breakfast still might not be my favorite cup of tea. I am slowly warming up to this style of breakfast & the smile on the faces of my kids each morning totally worth it.

“If more of us valued food & cheer above hoards of gold it would be a merrier world.” J.R.R. Tolkien

XOXO Makala

Posted in Making Memories, Mom Life, Raising Kids

Southern Style Snow Day!

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“The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a MAGICAL event. You go to bed in one kind of world and wake up in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment then where is it to be found?” -j.b. priestley

Backstory: On Tuesday Adeline came home from school all sorts of excited. She was CONVINCED that it was going to snow. I looked up the forecast, and from what I could see there was no sign of snow. (For those that don’t know…we live in Arkansas near the Mississippi border)

Me: Adeline…I just don’t think it’s going to snow.

Adeline: Yes it WILL, Mom! You’ll see!

I don’t know WHERE she get’s here stubborn attitude from. It must be from her Daddy’s side. *insert sassy girl emoji here*

By Thursday the forecast DID predict snow, but we still weren’t convinced. Adeline’s school had sent a text telling us that they did NOT anticipate cancelling school but if they did we would know by 530 am Friday morning.

545 am we got the text. NO SCHOOL. It was in fact a SNOW DAY! We couldn’t wait to tell the kids. For us Idaho grown kids this was something we celebrated on many occasions growing up, but we knew this day was RARE!

We woke the kids up and had them each look outside at their “SURPRISE!” Both were SO excited and couldn’t wait to go play! Tavish tried to head out the door in SHORTS!

Struan figured he had to work, because where we are from this would NOT be considered a snow day. Major bummer! So we kissed him goodbye and crossed our fingers he would be able to come home and play with us. As luck would have it, he did! We ended up with about an inch of snow , and the truck drivers didn’t want to drive in it. So he headed home, with Sonic in tow!

After our yummy lunch  we threw on our snow clothes (ok, let’s be honest here…we didn’t have snow clothes…so we made do. Pajama bottoms under jeans. Layers of socks, and rain boots would have to do) and went out to play!

Daddy hitched up a KNEE BOARD (insert laugh here) and tied our trusty dog Moose up to the board to run the kids around the yard. The concept was FABULOUS, the execution not so much. Moose was not thrilled & Struan ended up pulling the sled instead.

After our MAGICAL frolic through the snow that lasted hours and hours on end….

Ok…it lasted MAYYYYBE ten minutes and that is me being generous. We tromped back inside to enjoy some nice Hot Apple Cider. Put our clothes away and snuggled up in blankets to warm our freezing selves.

Later we decided to make gingerbread houses (we may have forgotten before Christmas…whoops!) so Adeline and Struan teamed up…while Tavish and I were ready to kick some major gingerbread booty.

Tavi and I tried to put one wall together, but when we went to secure the other it all came toppling down. There was also an icing incident that we won’t go into detail about. So instead we sat there munching on gingerbread house remains dipped in icing…cheering on Adeline & Daddy.

As you can see we didn’t even come close to winning. Who invented this tradition anyway?! I mean seriously!? I don’t get it. It’s a tedious tradition…one I am likely to pass on for the rest of my time as a mother.

After that it was baths, dinner, and downtime. We are currently watching ALL of the Star Wars movies and Friday called for Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

Tavi is obsessed with Jar Jar Binks. Adeline wants to be Padme…and Me…I am still trying to figure out what the BLEEP is going on. I THINK I like the movies..but the verdict is still out…did I mention this is my first time seeing Star Wars? True story!

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I am proud to say Snowmageddon was a SUCCESS in our home. One that was filled with many memories we will cherish in years to come.

It was most definitely NOT picture perfect. There were tears (snow in the face), a few temper tantrums, and some moments of stress. But I have decided that I like it that way.

Perfect day’s are boring, besides when is any day 100% picture perfect? I’ll give you a hint…they aren’t! If you are looking at perfect pictures on the internet of other Mom’s…thinking you wish you had their life…remember you are seeing one TINY piece of the BIG picture. You don’t know their life…trust me when I say…it ain’t as glamorous as they make it out to be…they have kids too…and unless they are robots…their kids have issues too.

So remember THIS: The ONLY thing that matter is YOUR front porch looking in, and how you choose to view it.

Me? I choose to see the good moments for what they are, and the not so perfect ones I try to find the humor or the lesson hidden behind it. Some of my most favorite days are the days that were complete disasters…I look back and can’t help but laugh.

Go easy on yourself! You do NOT have to be a Pinterest Mom..You do NOT have to be PTO president…You do NOT have to be the Mom who has it ALL together. You just gotta do what you can do…and accept that YOU are enough! That nobody else can do your job better than you! Nobody else can raise your babies…this is YOUR gig..and you are more than qualified to handle it!

HI! I’m Makala Clark, and I’m a Mom. I had my first kid when I was Twenty One years-old, and I’ve been running late ever since. My days are filled with taking care of my kids, and my home, and my dog, and my husband, while trying to figure out what the *BLEEP* I’m supposed to do with my life once they leave the nest.  At least once a day, I feel like the worst mom in the world, and I cry in closet.This chick may seem like she’s got it all figured out. But I feel like I’m screwing up all the time.

Still, I love being a Mom.

And I know you do too! So just enjoy the journey girl! You got this!

XOXO Makala