Monthly Archives: April 2017

{We’ve Got to Adult by Ourselves} 5.1.2017

We’ve just had a really rough week and I want to get some things off my chest before they burn an ulcer in my stomach. Before I get started, I want y’all to know I’m not trying to sound like I’m taking our families for granted. I love my family and my extended family and my in-laws. But the moral of this story is that my husband, me and our boys are *my family* no matter what, and no matter how much my husband drives me crazy, I drive him equally crazy if not tons more and sometimes it’s okay to air dirty laundry. This is my blog and I’ll say what I want on it. Ha. 

We’ve got to adult on our own. By ourselves.

Rewind to the beginning of last week and we were arguing about something so silly. Our argument began that Sunday afternoon, as usual because the mister and me almost always get in a tizzy after a good church service. Damn satan trying to get all up in our bizness. Truth be told, we absolutely love our families, BUTcrap, there it is, I said it and there’s no going back now, we don’t function well as a married couple when we have family around. And we’ve had a lot of family around lately. Does that make sense? Yes, I know I’m sounding like the “B” daughter and sister and daughter-in-law and wife and whatever I am to you. I am owning it right now. Don’t even care. Going to ask for forgiveness after I write this post that’s going to come off horribly.

Back when we lived in Mississippi and just a few miles from everyone in our immediate family, Albert and I argued soooo much. Like, couldn’t go a few days without having a huge disagreement. When we moved to Baton Rouge in 2014, it was like a freakin’ lightbulb went off in the relationship compartments of our brains and it was like we clicked and could function as husband and wife! That was ah-mazing. So amazing.

Things went pretty smooth with a few bumps in the road for about 4 months and then me and the boys had to move back to Mississippi while the hubs went to Texas. We had put everything in storage in Louisiana and moved into an extended stay hotel before deciding whether we were going to Texas or Iowa… and then it happened… we got margaritas on Cinco de Mayo and the next morning I was “hung over” feeling but had only had like three sips. Oh, crap. Hello, Oliver and hello old comfort zone…Mississippi.

I’m going to be completely open right now, when Albert dropped us off at my parents house in May 2015, I had a complete meltdown. A grownup terrible toddler tantrum. I even threw his little plastic three drawer rubbermaid with all his undies and stuff down the driveway. Yep, raging hormones I tell ya. Blaming him for getting me pregnant {HA} and abandoning us back in Mississippi! I wanted to stay together, I didn’t want to go back to the place that made us fight all the time, I wanted to be hours from there with my husband and our family! That was not in our best interest because of my pregnancy and I knew that it wasn’t, so after a few months it finally got better and we survived. I saw Albert three times during my pregnancy from May to November. Three weekends. A week out from my due date, I told him I was going to drink castor oil until my water broke so he’d better get his hiney back to the ‘sip if he wanted to catch his newest baby. {With Miller, I drank 1 bottle of castor oil to induce labor. With Oliver who was a surprise gender, I drank 2 bottles of castor oil, had a pedicure, walked, did squats, used Fennel and evening primrose and NOTHING happened. He was born 4 days after Albert got home from Texas.}

Once again, my mister left to go back to work at 3 weeks post partum. This time he went to Iowa the state [I have to say “the state” because where we live now there’s a place spelled Iowa but it’s pronounced Eye-Oh-Way and the locals get really confused el oh el], 18 hours away, in negative temps and snow. I cried and cried and cried, behind closed doors of course. Nobody knows that I cry; ish is for babies. He didn’t want to come home because we needed that kind of money, and he felt like he really let down his company {which he did because of me, and I regret begging him to come home, I know I could have been stronger. Ugh. Stupid hormones.}, but he loves his family so he loaded up and was south bound and down.

Over the next few months, I prayed and prayed that as soon as our oldest finished Kindergarten that daddy would get laid off and we’d be able to venture out of our hometown once again. Woah, can I tell yall… TWO DAYS after Coop graduated from Kindergarten Albert was laid off! We spent three weeks trying to figure out where he was going to work and then it happened. Iowa, the state. We bought a camper, loaded most everything we had and he left a couple days later, ready for us to join him after my newest baby niece was born. We waited and waited and waited for Hallie G to make her arrival and she had plans for us! She waited to come as close to the 4th of July weekend as she could, so that her Uncle Albert could fly home to meet her then drive back up with us over that weekend. We made our journey to Iowa and after yet another crazy hormonal only-girl-in-the-family road trip, those were the best months in our relationship to date.

Now, we missed our family and we still miss our family. We love our family. Our parents and siblings. Grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins and nieces. We just do so much better when we’re not in a mix of everybody. Every one in our crew has such strong personalities and opinions, we raise our boys a little different and they’re high strung little tasmanian devils running around at family functions… not everybody can handle that! We decided in Iowa that we were going to make the best of holidays and family gatherings by inviting our friends who have become family. It all worked out until we went home for Christmas. For some reason Christmas is not as joyous and cheerful as it should be, maybe because it was 89 degrees this year? Maybe I’m just ungrateful and my negativity and borderline depression overtakes me and I can’t find the happiness I need in order to enjoy the holiday? Whatever it is, I just don’t like Christmas. The holiday has become a twisted jumble of attitudes and fake smiles for the camera and anxiety…boy the anxiety.

We I … Albert went along with my crazy … made the decision to go home for Christmas, rather than stay at our amazingly cozy home in Iowa until December 26 like we’d planned, and we traveled from December 22 at 6pm to late in the evening on the 23rd [camper in tow with the truck, uhaul in tow with the mamavan] and we were back out the door of Mississippi by December 27 to get to our new little house in South Louisiana. I couldn’t handle anymore “family” time. It took a few weeks of mentally and emotionally detoxing, so to speak, before we were back on track again. Everybody I think picked up when we left, that I was unhappy and my anxiety was through the roof and I needed a break. Nobody came to visit for several weeks. We got back on track, the Littles got on a schedule and life was good. Albert and I were functioning as a husband and wife who actually love each other.
Now, it seems like we have stuff going on every weekend and we are falling back into a chaotic state of mind. I really hope y’all don’t think we don’t enjoy the company, we really do! But there is something about the way Albert and I have to get back in check after a long weekend that causes tension. This week though, whew, this week we probably could have benefited from a marriage counselor or a mud pit, either will still work. We have had a lot harder time snapping out of our funky moods and I don’t know if it’s just because we’re overall unhappy with the big grownup choices we’ve had to make lately or that I’m exhausted as a stay-at-home mama and letting it take over my mindset or if he’s stressed over work. I have no clue what our problems are, but I hope they dissolve quickly!

All this being said, I will admit I do get homesick quite often. I was reminded when I went back and read this post so that I could feel those emotions that I miss my family and I miss the porch swing and I miss eating at my grandparents houses. I miss all that! I don’t know if Albert misses any of it, he never says so and he never acts like he gets homesick so who knows. This is where adulting and spousing and parenting all have to outweigh our comfort zones. If I stayed in Mississippi and Albert traveled, we’d have been divorced or just living a flat out miserable life apart. We can’t function civilly apart, we can’t function civilly in Mississippi, but we do so well on our own as adults and parents together without interruptions. We had to make that decision to leave the nest of our hometown, even though we had to leave the crazy ones we love behind. And like every single other family in the entire world, I’m sure y’all got some crazy family members that drive you up the wall so don’t go blaming me for name calling or nothing. Y’all know it’s the truth.

Back to some positivity … my favorite feature of a Monday is that it’s a brand new day and a brand new start and a brand spanking new beginning for a better week! Plus, we were heathens and skipped church yesterday so that we could avoid that after-church-grump because the baby has a cold. Anyways, here’s to Monday! Here’s to a better week after a day full of absolutely nothing but arguing on Saturday and a day full of nothing but grocery shopping and an impromptu visit to an air show between Sams Club and Walmark, as the middle calls it, yesterday. I hope y’all all have a GRRRRReaTTT Monday! Oh, and it’s my birthday. Almost forgot about that! I’m taking the day off. Jk. Y’all know mama’s don’t get the day off. Happy Monday! xo.

{How to Add Social Media Icons on WordPress}

Because I literally laid on the couch for four hours while my two toddlers climbed all over and hit me in the head with toys, I was more frustrated with trying to figure out how to get the little social media icons attached to my blog more than the kids hitting me upside the head!

I have searched through the Internets and Pinterest to find an easy tutorial and have had very little luck until I finally pieced about four different blogs with instructions and figured it out. Whew.

This is seriously the most basic step-by-step guide I can come up with that actually make sense! This is truly step..by..step.. because I felt like I kept missing important steps?! Adding these icons is probably so much easier than I found it to be.

Step ONE

Go on Pinterest and pick out a set of free social media icons. There are lots of really cute options to choose from!

Step TWO

Download these to your computer and open the file. Right click and “Extract All.”

Step THREE

On your WordPress site, look on the left hand menu and find “Media” and select “Add New.”

Step FOUR

Upload the icon images you plan to use {Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, Bloglovin’}

Step FIVE

On the left hand menu, go down to “Appearance” and select “Widgets.”

Step SIX

Scroll down under the “Available Widgets” menu and find “Image Widget.”

Step SEVEN

Drag the “Image Widget” tab over to the “Main Sidebar” and place it where you’d like it to be on your sidebar. {On my page, I have my icons at the bottom of my Main Sidebar under the “Search” bar and they are centered in a vertical line.}

Step EIGHT

Select the Image Widget so that the drop down menu opens up, upload the icon image from your media library.

Step Nine

Clear out the title of the image and scroll down to the “Link.” In the Link box, you will add your website that you’d like linked. To get the link, you’ll go to the home page of your sites and copy and paste {Pinterest home, Facebook home of your page, Instagram home / if you’re mobile only on IG then you’d do https://www.instagram.com/(enter your instagram name here) ..} if you’ve changed any of your profile names then it may only link the original profile name.

For instance, if I added the Facebook icon then I would put in the link box “https://www.facebook.com/lifewiththeclarks” so that when the Facebook icon is clicked, it will take the follower to my Facebook page. But when I added Pinterest and tried to do .com/lifewiththeclarks, I was unable to because my original Pinterest profile name was .com/mrc5189.

Step TEN

You can change the alignment to “Center” if you’d like and then “Save.”

Continue Steps SEVEN – TEN until you have all of the icons added.

One way I made sure that the icon didn’t take followers to my logged-in personal pages, was by logging out / signing out of the websites after copying the link in step nine and then did a “test click” from my blog home page. So far I haven’t had any issues.

I hope that this post has made sense and will be helpful to those of you just starting out a blog and still trying to learn it all! Or even those who have had a blog for over a year {like me} and still haven’t figured this part out! Shoot, maybe there’s an easier way that I just haven’t learned yet. I’m pretty glad that I figured this minor detail out, though. This has been a long journey for me and I tried giving up, but then stuck with it and I’m really glad that my kids were good today because this was about to drive me crazy!! Xo.