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

Six Years Being In The Mommy-Hood Gang.

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Adeline “Lion” Marie Clark – Feb. 8th 2011
Tonight, for the last time…I kissed my five year old goodnight. Tomorrow morning when she wakes up she will have magically transformed into a big six year old. My poor heart can’t handle it.

It seems like just yesterday Struan was demanding that I take a pregnancy test, it seems like just yesterday we were rushing to the hospital to have our FIRST baby, it seems like just yesterday she snuggled up next to me for late night feedings….

Yet here we are SIX years later. This girl changed my world. She showed me what really mattered in life. She helped shape and mold me into the person I am today. I am better because of her. She is the reason I belong to a super special group. A group that isn’t something all women are blessed to be a part of, The Mommy-Hood Gang.

In my SHORT six years as a Mommy-Hood Gangster, I have to say I have been in some pretty rough neighborhoods. There have been moments where I have wondered if I was truly cut out for the job. Moments where I have told God I understand if He took her away because I wasn’t doing good enough.

But there have also been those incredible moments, where I sit there and think to myself, I don’t know what I did so right in this life, to deserve such a beautiful spirit in my presence.” If you know Adeline our little Lion, you know exactly what I am talking about.

She is the best combination of Sassy & Sweet. She loves EVERYONE with everything that she has.In fact she informed me that all she wants for her birthday this year is for people to be happy. Don’t get me wrong she is stubborn as hell, and can give you a good run for you money. But she is mine, and as much as I would love to say I have taught her everything she knows…

The truth is..she is the one who has taught me. She has taught me MANY life lessons, but in honor of her turning the BIG Six…I thought I would share my Top Six favorites.

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  1. Learn To Laugh…A LOT! Lord knows you are going to have your good days and your bad days. There will be days when it seems like everything is falling a part. Days where you want to run away to the zoo. Days where you have to decide whether you should LAUGH or CRY….My advice…LAUGH!! Laugh as much as you possibly can. Laughing makes cleaning up the mess so much easier.

2. You Can NEVER Take Too Many Photos! Try to limit the number you share on social media, there will be those friends who block, or delete…but trust me when I say THESE will be some of the only things you will have left. Cherish them. Your memory will only last so long before it starts to fade, capture moments! Lots of them. Be the Mom whose kids roll their eyes and groan because Mom is taking ANOTHER picture. Trust me when I say, they WILL thank you later. Even for the embarrassing ones.

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3. Fed Is Better Than Nothing. Having PB&J’s for the FIFTH time this week? Don’t be ashamed & don’t feel guilty! Repeat after me…FED is better than nothing! I can remember as a NEW Mom thinking that I had to have ALL of my -ish together. That I had to be the PERFECT housewife, which included a spotless home and home cooked meals every single night. I set myself up for failure. For far to long, I punished myself for not being perfect. I’ve since learned to RELAX! Remember the basics…food, water, clothing, shelter. Your kids have all of that? Then you have done your job! Stop worrying that little miss Susie Homemaker down the street makes gourmet meals every single night…and you are throwing cold cereal out on the counter. WHO CARES?! Kids won’t remember 99% of the meals you cooked, but they will remember the time you spent together eating those meals. So let yourself off the hook will ya?

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4. Perfect Doesn’t Exist…Find Joy In The Little Things. I tend to be an unrealistic person with huge expectations. I have an idea, and I want it to go exactly how I thought it up in my head. For example the Zoo trip we took a few weeks back (see previous post), back in my newbie Mom phase I would have counted that day a failure, because it wasn’t perfect. But I’m here to say PERFECT most definitely does not exist.

If I have learned anything from my kids (especially that girl right there) it would be to find joy in the little things. No matter where you are in life, no matter what they day might look like there is ALWAYS something to be grateful for. I have multiple photos of Adeline standing in this exact same pose, in different types of weather, and her face is exactly the same…FULL of WONDER & JOY! Shouldn’t we be a little more like that? Excited for what they day may bring, and full of gratitude and joy for the simple fact that we are alive and get to experience it.

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5. Pick Your Battles. If I have learned anything in this journey, it’s to pick what’s really fight worthy and what’s not. Your kid wants to rock yellow and orange shorts, with a green plaid shirt, and an owl hat LET THEM! Who cares about the looks you MAY get!? If your child likes it, and feels confident, let them ROCK IT! Individuality is something we should celebrate, so let them be who they want to be. Trust me when I say, it’s not worth the fight. You will have many more battles to come, save your energy for those that truly matter.

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6. Never Be To Proud To Ask For Help. I have been BLESSED to be raised by an incredible Tribe of strong, confident, compassionate, and loving women. They all shared a piece of themselves with me, and I wouldn’t be half the person I am today if it weren’t for them. All of them. They say it takes a village to raise a child & I believe in that 100%. So take some pressure off, stop thinking you have to be Wonder Woman and do EVERYTHING on your own.Because you don’t.

Never, ever be afraid to ask for help. Never be to proud to accept what others have to offer. Never be ashamed to admit when you feel defeat. There have been so many times I have called my mother in the middle of the night begging for help. Many times I have leaned on friends in time of need. My kids have been raised by an incredible village of people, and I know that I couldn’t have given them everything that they have if it weren’t for those people and their examples.

Six years. Six years I have been a Mom. Six years of tears, heartache, joy, excitement, and so much more. Six years I would never trade for anything. Six years I wish I could get back. Six years I wish I could freeze in time. Yet, I know that as much as I want time to slow down, it’s only getting faster.

So instead of trying to slow time down, I will take time to slow myself down. To enjoy the moments I have, to take time to study the little things like her little freckled nose, or the way she throws her head back when she laughs, and to savor as much as I possibly can. Because ready or not, she is growing up.

And that my friends is the HARDEST part of Motherhood, slowly letting them go. Knowing that every single year you are loosening the grip just a little bit, only for them to eventually let go and do things on their own.

XOXO

Makala
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Posted in Mom Life, Raising Kids, Ramblings Of A SAHM

Confession: I Have A Gambling Problem

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Hi, my name is Makala Clark, and I have a gambling issue. The last time I gambled was this morning when I let myself lay in bed an extra 10 minutes only for breakfast to not be finished in time & my Kindergartner having to eat breakfast in the car. She wasn’t impressed.

You may not know this, but Mom’s have MAJOR gambling issues. Our lives as Mom’s are a CONSTANT bet between which decision is going to be the better option.

If you have kids, you know EXACTLY what I am talking about.

Do you dare jump in the shower and risk flour being dumped all over the floor?

OR do you go on day FOUR of no shower and PRAY that nobody knocks on the door to see you looking like a homeless troll?

Do I hide the ONE green bean in his dinner and risk it being thrown to the floor?

OR do I just fold and give him his usual PB&J?

Do you go to the bathroom with the door open or shut?

Door shut means you run the risk of your child cutting her hair into a nice mullet and then moving on to her brothers.

While door open means you get to hear your children gag down the hall and ask what smells?

Do you get what I am saying? Mom’s risk their lives and their sanity DAILY for their children. We put our lives on the line here people.

So yes, it is true! I have a gambling problem. I have a mean poker face, I know when to hold em and when to fold em. Every day I roll the dice and pray that my decisions are the right ones.

Someday’s I walk away feeling empty handed and defeated while other days  I feel like I won a million dollars and hit the jack pot. But every day I keep coming back, because believe it or not I am ADDICTED.

Addicted to my family. Addicted to my job as a mother. And addicted to the thrill of Motherhood.

What is a gamble you have had to take recently?

Sidenote: All of the above accounts are real life, legit moments I have encountered in my life. They were not embellished for entertainment purposes, they did in fact happen, and are very much real. Thank you very much!

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 DIY, Mom Life, Not A Pinterest Mom, Raising Kids

Corralling The Chaos

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Let’s face it…Kids = Chaos am I right?!

When Adeline started Kindergarten this fall…I knew we were going to have to make sure we made every morning as SMOOTH as we possibly could. Leaving by 7:30 am each morning is a RUSH!

That means lots of PREPPING. And one of my FAVORITE tricks that I have up my sleeve is the dresser box.

I don’t know about ya’ll but looking for outfits in the morning is NOT my cup of tea…

So every Friday after school, Adeline and I sit down and pick out her outfits for the following week.

It’s so fun to see what she chooses & to have that bonding moment.

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We have gallon zip locks with her name, the day, and number of the day on the bag. We place her clothes in the bag & put them in her basket in the bathroom closet.

Every morning when she wakes up she heads to the bathroom to get dressed. No fighting over what she wants to wear. No mad dashes around the house to find specific items of clothing. It’s all there, and ready for the week.

Another perk…all the clothes that you have folded…STAY folded in their drawers!! Which is a huge pet peeve of mine!

We also do a box for my four year old as well, because well..see above!

So if you are trying to find a way to corral the chaos…be sure to give this a try!

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