Daddy on TV

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It’s so fun for the kids to watch Daddy on tv this morning while getting ready for school! Here’s what the news anchor, A.J. Hilton said to John’s company’s PR Director following the interview, “I cannot thank you enough for helping us set up an interview with John Mabry. His message…is SO IMPORTANT right now. If we can help ONE person get help– we’ve done our job.” Great job, John!

Posts you don’t want to miss! #1

With all of life’s craziness, I’ve gotten behind on my a number of my popular posts. Here are some I’ll string together for you all into a tidy post package…

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November 29, 2015

My courage and bravery were tested this morning when I saw a little black thing move across my kitchen floor and under my refrigerator. I am pretty sure it was a mouse…and I don’t handle those little critters well at all. I get the heebie jeebies just thinking about them. Eek! I finished cooking breakfast on top of the kitchen counters just in case our new home resident decided to come out and play for a little bit. Today I am thankful for my dad. He doesn’t know it yet but he will be setting traps this afternoon to try to catch that little booger. I pray that the mouse is trapped before my dad heads home tomorrow. Catching mice is a man’s job in my book!‪#‎myweakness‬ ‪#‎keepingitreal‬ ‪#‎morningpanic‬ ‪#‎mansjob‬ ‪#‎mice‬ ‪#‎grossmeout‬‪#‎bedhead‬ ‪#‎makeupfree‬

November 30, 2015

How is it going to be December already tomorrow?!? We decided that tonight was a great time to bring a little holiday cheer into our home. I love when the tree and angel are lit up.🎄

Mabry Living's photo.

The kids and I are entering our 4th week of John being away. Over the last several weeks we have been adjusting to our new normal. It has been a growing experience for all of the Mabry family and I pray we come out stronger because of this transition.

John returns back to the Nashville area on Friday. Being that I have become adjusted to my new normal, I am a little nervous of the upcoming transition of him entering back into our every day lives again. The last time I saw John at the beginning of November was a day I wish I could erase from my memory. He was not healthy, addiction had stolen his soul. I plan to continue living one day at a time upon his return. I know TIME will be our friend as we slowly adapt once again.

Its always hard to know who the person is going to be when they come back from treatment. I am praying that the man I pick up from the airport greets me with clear eyes and a renewed spirit. Hopefully we will both be able to see clearly now that the rain is gone!

Who knows, it could be a bright, bright, bright sunshiny day!

‪#‎wifeofanaddict‬‪#‎onedayatatime‬‪#‎sobriety‬‪#‎healing‬‪#‎recovery‬‪#‎seekjoy‬‪#‎alcoholism‬‪#‎substanceabuse‬‪#‎prescriptionpills‬‪#‎hope‬‪#‎prayerwarriors‬‪#‎addiction‬

December 2, 2015

I love seeing God’s work in progress. A new circle of friendship has blossomed! This morning I hosted a little get-together with new friends that I met by sharing my journey through Mabry Living. These ladies are walking along a similar “valley” in their own lives. I believe our paths were meant to cross, it was no accident. All of us are wounded and are leaning on our faith by trusting God’s plan for our futures. It was nice to witness our pain shift to power as we sat and encouraged one another with hope. We have already decided to call ourselves, “The Valley Girls.” Like new adventures, I never know what life lessons these new friendships may teach me as we continue to support each other one day at a time!


Today I am thankful for friendships-old and new. Like I used to sing when I was a Girl Scout in the 80’s, “Make new friends but keep the old, one is silver and the other is gold.”
‪#‎valleygirls‬ ‪#‎newfriendship‬ ‪#‎hope‬ ‪#‎healing‬ ‪#‎encourage‬ ‪#‎onedayatatime‬‪#‎friendship‬ ‪#‎godsplan‬ ‪#‎trust‬

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December 3, 2015

Today marks the Eve of John’s return to the Nashville area from treatment in Texas. I am still anxious about reuniting with him tomorrow morning at the airport. It’s always awkward to see him after treatment. It’s kind of like going on a first date with someone you never met before yet having the guy be your husband and the father of your kids. What will he look like? How will he act? Will we get along? Oh Lordy, I don’t feel ready to ‘date’ again and rebuild from ground zero.

I never liked dating. It was not something I desired…like EVER! It makes me so uncomfortable. Seriously, look at how silly John and I look in this picture! It’s hard to tell if we are siblings on a family vacation or a couple. We definitely respected each other’s personal space. Don’t even get me started on my pants! This was taken on one of our first dates back in 2002 when John lived in San Diego.

From what I heard, a successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person. So, cheers to attempting to fall in love for the 35th time throughout 11 years of marriage (that may or may not be an exaggeration). Prayers will be necessary for this love story.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

‪#‎wifeofanaddict‬ ‪#‎loveispatient‬ ‪#‎onedayatatime‬ ‪#‎healing‬ ‪#‎recovery‬‪#‎1corinthians13‬ ‪#‎firstdate‬ ‪#‎addiction‬ ‪#‎substanceabuse‬ ‪#‎alcoholism‬‪#‎prescriptionpills‬ ‪#‎learningtoloveagain‬ ‪#‎7×70‬ ‪#‎forgiveness‬

December 4, 2015

When I was in college I had a framed picture of John on my nightstand…because that’s what you do when love is in the air. The frame (with hearts on it) joined me in Tx, moved with me to California and then onto Tennessee. Eight years ago, a baby intercom took over the frame’s home on my nightstand. It now resides in a drawer full of other unused framed pictures.

Mabry Living's photo.

Since John left for treatment, Sawyer has been sneaking into that drawer on numerous occasions retrieving the framed photo. I have observed her saying “Dada” while pointing at his face and then giving the picture a kiss. It’s pretty sweet to witness! I think it’s safe to say that the kiddos are ready to see their daddy!

I got the boys off to school and now Sawyer and I are getting ready to drive up to the airport to get John. Carrie Underwood’s lyrics keep coming to my mind…

🎶“Jesus take the wheel
Take it from my hands
Cause I can’t do this on my own
I’m letting go”🎶

It’s time for me to LET GO AND LET GOD do his mighty work. I’m trusting that he’s got things under control.

***side note…I wrote a lot of this post last night knowing that this morning was going to be hectic. This morning I woke up to TWO people sending me encouraging messages that included the lyrics to “Jesus Take the Wheel.” Coincidence, I think not!

‪#‎letgoandletgod‬ ‪#‎onedayatatime‬ ‪#‎healing‬ ‪#‎recovery‬ ‪#‎wifeofanaddict‬‪#‎reunite‬ ‪#‎trust‬ ‪#‎marriage‬ ‪#‎learningtoloveagain‬ ‪#‎jesustakethewheel‬

Mabry Living's photo.

People with chronic pain just complain, right?

Have you ever felt like the struggles you’re going through are so unique that no one would understand you, even if you tried to explain them? And even if you could explain them, you don’t want to because it might make you seem weak, like you’re a complainer and not a fighter. I often feel like this with my chronic pain, but it’s not something I talk about much. Since my car accident, it has been difficult not to let my struggle become my identity, as I did for so long.

2- Hospital in College Station, Texas

When my severed nerve fairs up at night, I get an ingrown hair or a blister forms on my residual limb from my lower leg amputation my first reaction is to ignore and conceal the issue. All that does is cause more problems. So what happens when you actually let people know what’s going on with you? You might be surprised by people’s reactions.

Like many who battle with chronic pain and chronic illnesses, I attempt to minimize it to be seen as “normal.” I don’t want to be perceived as a complainer or lazy so I keep much of my pain to myself. When a particularly painful ingrown hair formed on my amputated limb recently I felt overwhelmed and depressed to the point of not wanting to get out of bed. Instead of keeping it to myself I opened up to Sarah to let her know about it.

Surprisingly, she didn’t roll her eyes in judgement or imply that I was worthless like my mind told me she would. Instead, she exercised compassion and patience and served as a voice of reason. See, I still wanted to ignore the problem and go workout. I mean, how can someone call an amputee who’s working out lazy, right? When the infected ingrown hair was causing me as much pain as it was, working out on it would have been just plain stupid. So not only did Sarah suggest that I not go workout, she encouraged me to take it extra easy that day and to keep my leg off as much as possible so that I didn’t continue to aggravate it. I experienced such mental and emotional relief to be validated and supported for being in pain. The hardest part was admitting to myself and someone else what I was going through at that particular moment.

When you’re dealing with any kind of chronic physical, mental or emotional issue you can’t merely stop fighting. Life is going to happen around you whether you like it or not. What this recent experience reminded me is that sometimes continuing to keep fighting means to surrender and ask for help or to simply let someone know what you’re struggling with. I strive not to let my chronic pain identify me as a victim or a complainer, but many days it’s just too overwhelming. Maybe the good side of it is that it allows me to identify as being a normal human being and, that possibly, I have been sent along this path to help someone else who is hurting. If this is you…KEEP FIGHTING!

Fitness Success Update

Here’s a look at the fitness successes John and I have had recently. It’s so easy to say that kids, physical limitations and life in general keep us from taking care of our minds and bodies through regular exercise. You have to make the conscience decision every day to choose good health over the poor lifestyle decisions of junk food and a sedentary lifestyle. Join us this summer as we continue to reclaim healthier minds and bodies from the business of life that will no longer rule in our household. Just decide to move and choose better foods today to get started. It’s a one day at a time journey.

Two MIMES ordering a cherry MIMEade from Sonic

People keep judging us, but we just MIME our own business. Let me explain…

The other day I tried to reflect on where I am in life. It’s so hard not to compare myself to others, but I find myself constantly doing it. Can you relate? Many of my friends have real jobs and have built real careers, where I have not. My family’s path has been, let’s just say, more unconventional than most. We have tried to “fit in” but we just can’t bring ourselves to succumb to the typical approach to work in America by climbing some  corporate ladder. Our minds simply aren’t wired like that. We feel crazy for wanting to create an income stream by doing what our hearts tell us. And they’re telling us some pretty absurd things right now. People tell us all the time that we should write a book or that someone should make a movie on our lives. Who knows, maybe something like this will present itself soon. What I do know is that I just can’t shake this inner voice telling me to keep speaking my truth. As crazy as it sounds, my intuition keeps telling me to share my experience and hope through my oddly creative humor.

So, without further ado, here’s what my heart told me I needed to do this week – to dress up like a MIME and go to Sonic, of course. Here’s how it all came about.

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Once upon a MIME

I used to sit quietly alone as a child in deep thought. Quietness was such a sweet treat and something I have always valued. Then, the other day I thought to myself, “Why don’t kids like nap time or timeout? Don’t they understand it is precious time to sit by themselves and quiet their MIMES? All they want to do is sit and watch TV and movies like A Beautiful MIME and Criminal MIMES  or play video games like MIMEcraft. Silence strengthens the soul and is completely free! Why don’t they get this!?” My problem is that it is near impossible to get this elusive resource in the stage of life I am in with raising three kids. So I asked John to watch the kids while I went to a self-imposed MIME-out. I was able to reflect on how the power of meditation and prayer has helped throughout our marriage journey.  Prayer allows me to ask for God’s guidance and protection, where as meditation allows me to be still and listen for God’s responses to my prayers. As you probably know, God usually has a different plan than the one we are seeking. Like my dad once told me, “Man plans, God laughs.”

Soon after my quiet time, after we put the kids to bed, the idea for this blog hit me – I am supposed  to write an honest blog about the internal struggles I have with not feeling accomplished, comparing myself to others and the importance of quiet time. As I explained this to John I jokingly said, “I think we should be MIMES to get our point across. That way we will be forced to be quiet and listen to what the heck we are supposed to be doing with our lives!”  John replied, “Sarah, you’re crazy! It’s perfect!” We both started cracking up at the thought of dressing up as MIMES to the point where I almost wet my pants. Whenever this level of laughter occurs we KNOW it is blog worthy content and we HAVE to do it. So we sent ourselves to MIME-out and went to Sonic to get a cherry MIME-ade and to see if they had a key-MIME pie shakes.

We had a great MIME doing this! It’s like they say, MIME flies when you’re having fun! We know we’re crazy, but we embrace it. God willing, you won’t see us MIME-ing the corporate ladder anytime soon. Hopefully we will have many more opportunities to do crazy stunts like this. If you enjoyed this please share it on your social media pages.

As goofy as this skit is, I hope it provides you a sense of hope and peace that it’s okay to embrace who you are; to say no to people in order to allow yourself some quiet time for reflection. I challenge you to simply spend 30-minutes by yourself in the next day or two without your phone, computer, TV or kids to clear your mind and receive the strength from above that you need to get through whatever challenges you’re facing.

Mom & Dad Crash Local High School Prom

Ask anyone who knows me well and they will tell you I am a comfy creature of habit who thrives on the basic fundamental principles of predictability, simplicity and quietness. But I have learned in recent years that having too many reservations, usually stemming from my fear of the unknown, has caused me to miss out on the spontaneous, if not now, then when, possibilities life has to offer me if I just lived in the moment. Can you relate to saying “no” to opportunities you’ve had in the past that could have potentially allowed you to live life to the fullest in fear of the unpredictability when later you regretted not taking the chance? I want to remind you that you only live once. That’s exactly why my 37 year old husband and I decided to crash a local high school prom for no other reason but to say that we got to go to prom together. Note, that we did it before Justin Bieber. He copied our idea. Although our childish antics almost got us busted by police, we now have a memory of a lifetime. Here’s how it all unfolded…

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Sarah c. 2000 …………………….John c. 1996

It was a routinely predictable Saturday evening in the Mabry home: a couple of Redbox movies and a plan to pick up sushi to-go for our in-home date night. My plans got a little risky when I decided I would rather eat my sushi at the restaurant because in my head it tastes much better when it is served on a fancy plate than in a Styrofoam to-go container. We loaded our three kids in the car and headed out for dinner. Exiting the neighborhood we saw several prom couples taking pictures while using the beautiful countryside as their backdrop. John obnoxiously honked our car’s horn and waved to all the couples and their parents. This behavior of his used to really embarrass me but after so many years together it doesn’t get to me anymore! We turned out of the neighborhood and saw dozens of more prom couples making their way into our local Agricultural Center (you know you live in the country when prom is held at the same place as cattle shows and rodeos). Prom was everywhere, we couldn’t escape it!  Jokingly, John and I laughed about how funny it would be to crash a prom as we continued on our way to the sushi restaurant.

Over dinner, we reminisced about our proms. I told John that I wish we could have gone to prom together because I know we would have had a blast! That’s when the spark went off. John and I looked at each other and knew in that moment that we HAD to do it. I mean, once you come up with a once in a lifetime idea like this you can’t NOT do it, right? I never used to think like this; like I said, I thrive on predictability. But John said, “If not now, then when?” While sitting in the booth, I text our babysitter and asked her to come over in 45 minutes, around 7:30 p.m., because we had a prom to crash. Once she confirmed her availability it was on!

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We returned home from the restaurant a little after 7 p.m. John was in charge of putting Sawyer down for bed while I rummaged through our attic in hopes of finding my 15 year old prom dress in one of the many Rubbermaid memorabilia tubs. With only 20 minutes to transform from a mom in workout attire to a prom queen, I hurried from the attic with the dress in hand and into our bedroom to start the makeover. Somehow, someway, I was able to squeeze into my vintage prom dress. The waist was incredibly small but I figured eventually I would go numb and would not feel myself from the waist down and all would be alright. Quickly, I threw my hair into an updo using several bobbi pins and a LOT of hairspray, tossed on some jewelry, and gobbed on the makeup. I was ready to go!

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While John dug out his tux from the closet and was getting dressed, I sprung to the garage to find some old plastic flowers in my craft bin to make a boutonniere and corsage using scotch tape and safety pins. The door bell rang and the babysitter had arrived. Our impromptu prom was about to begin! Our babysitter snapped a few shots of us before we headed out for the night. Lord only knows what she was thinking of us…and what she told her parents about us.

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John opened the car door for me like a true Prince Charming and we headed over to the Ag Expo Center to hang with the cool kids. Being known as a goody two shoes rule follower, I nervously asked John how exactly we were going to pull this stunt off since we didn’t have tickets. He said, “Just trust me!  I’ll figure it out when we get there.” I should know better than to trust this risk taker! But heck, you only live once, right?

After parking down by the dark loading area of the building, John explored the property and found a side door that was unlocked. He motioned me to follow him. My heart was thumping out of my chest as I thought of how I was going to explain to my family and friends how I got arrested and why I was wearing a 15 year old prom dress in my mugshot. John attempted to comfort me by saying, “Chill out, Sarah! We aren’t sneaking into the Academy Awards. This is a high school prom being held at an agricultural center!”  We entered the building in a pitch black area, as the dance floor was curtained off at the far side of the building. We were only a few yards away from our grand entrance when John grabbed my hand and calmly said, “We have a ‘prom’blem! I think Paul Blart is after us in his stealth mode golf cart!” Trying not to have a panic attack, we quickly exited the building. John immediately started looking for another side entrance when I told him, “No! We’re not going back in. Enough is enough!” So, we headed over to the main entrance and hung out there with the real prom goers for a little while to get a better taste of the festivities.

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You should have seen their faces when we explained that we are a married couple in our 30’s with three kids who decided to crash a prom. They were like, “Dudes, you guys are awesome!” There were several police on duty who were searching cars with flash lights and looking for suspicious activity…which would be us. Being the mature people that we are (sarcasm), we decided that it would probably be a wise idea to leave and continue on with our own prom night.

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I wanted to be the Prom Queen so we drove up to the Dollar Tree and invested in a tiara. Low and behold, Planet Fitness was having a grand opening next door with a beautiful balloon arch, which happened to make the perfect backdrop for our formal prom picture!  As the freshly crowned Prom Queen, we asked a passer-by to capture this endearing moment for us.

No prom is complete without some dancing so we went on a mission to find a place that would provide a party environment. We cruised by the bowling alley in hopes that Cosmic Bowl (glow in the dark bowling) would be in full swing. It would have been the perfect place to get our party on and attempt some cool dance moves we picked up from watching amputee Noah Galloway and his partner Sharna Burgess on Dancing with the Stars! Unfortunately, Cosmic Bowl didn’t start till 10 p.m. When you are in your mid-30’s, paying a babysitter and have 3 small children that wake up bright and early, 10 p.m. was way too late for these prom posers! So, we resorted to plan B.

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Plan B consisted of creating our own dance floor on our back deck by plugging in our kids’ lava lamp and a green tinted light bulb. Once again, we put our wonderful babysitter to work and asked her to snap a few more pictures for us as keepsakes for our memorable night of Prom 2015. I had an absolute blast with my handsome prom date and I am glad we took initiative to live in the moment and make such a crazy idea actually happen. We might have been fifteen years late but better late than never, right?!?

Our original, predictable plan for a Saturday night of take-out and a movie quickly turned into the unexpected, just like life often does. As John experienced first hand from his car accident in 2000 (he was laid up in a Texas ICU fighting to save his leg when I was going to my real prom in Illinois), everything can change in the blink of an eye. I am so grateful that he is alive today and able to share the following life lessons with me…

Nobody is guaranteed tomorrow.

Everyday is a gift so be sure to rejoice and be glad in it.

You only live once, so take some risks and live your life to the fullest. You may not have another chance.

Remember, if not now, then when?

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Mabry Motivation- February 4th, 2015

mabry motivation

We share inspirational/motivational pictures daily on our Mabry Living Facebook page along with simple healthy recipes and workout ideas.  We hope these post inspire you as much as they do for us.  It’s nice to have constant reminders to think positive!

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It doesn’t take much to please me these days. The simplest things like a cup of coffee can make my day…especially if I can drink it without having to reheat it 15x a day! 

IMG_4452There are definite perks to sharing a job with your spouse. While I was inside working as a wellness advocate, John was outside sporting the Baby Bjorn with Sawyer and scooping up dog poop. Glad it was my turn to be off parenting duty! Thanks John for multitasking! 

crossfit 1I’m thinking John had a good cross fit workout today. It appears that he gave his all!

ginger peppers and shrimp
Ginger Pepper and Shrimp
1 bag frozen shrimp from Costco
1 bag of peppers (I only used three for this dish) from Costco
Ginger sauce from Costco
Bag of quinoa/ rice from Costco

-Throw frozen shrimp and sliced peppers into the pot
-Top with 1 cup ginger sauce ( you can more if you prefer)
– Heat over medium heat until everything is cooked
– Heat rice in microwave (follow instructions on the bag)

Put shrimp combo on top of rice and voila! you have a healthy ginger pepper shrimp dinner! I like to add more ginger sauce on top of my served dish

For more inspiration don’t forget to…

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