I love learning new things. Truly.
When I finished college I kind of thought I was done learning. Because…you know…I was 22 and married and super smart and totally had my act together. For realz.
Somewhere along the way I learned that wasn’t so much the case. I mean, I was super smart, so don’t get me wrong. But I was not done learning. By a long shot. Silly me.
I eventually came to understand that pretty much every single day of my life I will learn something new…like it or lump it. And I’ve decided I’ll like it. I mean…it only took me 40 years to decide that. Because learning often isn’t fun. But whatever.
What I learn can be completely useless information, good only for pot-stirring and causing contention and gossip (because that is super easy to learn and even easier to pass along), the occasional lifehack or random bit of trivia, or it can be life giving, meaningful knowledge. It completely depends on where I go looking for it, or at the very least, how I spend my days.
Just lately I decided to try my hand at a task that I’ve attempted and flopped at every time I tried. Big fat belly flopped. Web Design.
A few things of note. I’m a wordpress gal. And my husband is a super geek who hosts his own Amazon server blah blah blah in the cloud. That means I didn’t have to find a host. Because I see him every morning beside me in bed.
Up until last month, I have had to beg and cajole and sweet talk my most wonderful and magnanimous husband into redesigning my sites when they needed updated. But this time I decided to do some research.
Middle Places and A Problem Like Maria were previously set up in the Thesis Theme. And it is a wonderfully diverse theme that many website developers rave over in the tech industry. But you don’t really hear any bloggers talking about it. And after many failed attempts, I know why. Because it is hard to work in when your mind works more creatively than technically. Very, very hard. And it was the cause of my epic belly flops in my attempts to redesign my websites.
Do you know what bloggers do talk about? The Genesis theme. They also talk about Squarespace and Blogger and FoodiePro and lots of other stuff in regards to web design. I know because I read a ton while researching.
So I started poking around and reading reviews and looking at child themes for Genesis. Right about that time I got a paycheck for a little side job, so I decided to invest it into Genesis (which was very reasonable, by the way) and a child theme from LovelyConfetti.com.
And do you know what? THIS IS THE WAY MY BRAIN WORKS! It absolutely does! I was able to use that theme to create two different websites (Go check out True Vine Gifts, home of my BFF’s beautiful artistry and also some fun stories and obviously you’ve seen my brand new spiffy design here at A Problem Like Maria.) in just two weeks!
While there are similarities in the format of the websites, I got to use my design skills to give them their own unique look and I love the way both sites turned out. I even learned how to break code and do all kinds of customizations. Thank you YouTube and also to my most magnanimous husband who is ever so grateful I can now redesign my sites without his aid. He taught this girl to fish-as in “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” ~Confucius Say
After churning out two blogs in as many weeks, I thought “What the heck?” and started on my beloved Middle Places with a child theme purchased from Restored 316, an awesome Christian website developer specializing in feminine WordPress blogs. And I am very feminine. Mostly.
I built that blog in one day. ONE DAY! We won’t talk about how in the behind-the-scenes-action, I started “breaking” real-time parts of the blog and had to expedite my timeline and stay up until 2 a.m. to make sure it looked good for a busy Monday morning on the blog.
I used the Flourish Theme in Navy, the color that’s all the rage in the fashion world right now, and I absolutely love the way it turned out, especially after I tweaked some of the little things to make it more unique. It looks so classic and fresh and minimalist. It even has an affiliate store and an eStore that’s super easy to manage. And it is gorgeous. I couldn’t be happier with the final product. (Affiliate Link: Flourish Theme)
Sometimes a girl has to take the plunge into the same waters that got the best of her before. She may have to start out jumping into the deep end, only being able to stick the cannonball or the ever so un-elegant belly flop. But then with a few tweaks, a little help, some research, the ever-faithful YouTube and the willingness to try again, she can come back and pull off the perfect dive. Or website. Or whatever it is she’s trying to do.
Fall seven times, get up eight. It’s a great life philosophy. Confucius Say. Or maybe it was Proverbs.