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Baby Steps to BIG Dreams

Yesterday I had a very encouraging talk with a dear friend. We talked about all sorts of stuff especially our life dreams and goals. We both admitted that our dreams intimidate us. We share the fear of “How in the world are we going to achieve these goals?!?”
Here is what we came up with to achieve our goals in our short 4 HOUR (sarcasm) discussion:
1. Encourage one another

2. Take baby steps

3. Live one day at a time

4. Trust God

5. Follow your heart

6. Believe in yourself

7. Do NOT give up

8. We have ONE life (on earth), live it up!

9. Step out of your comfort zone

10. And…keep dreaming
I HOPE to do more and more with my art. It’s easy to get discouraged on this journey but I remind myself that I don’t need overnight success. Slow progress is better than no progress, right?!?
Today, I took another baby step in my ‘artist’ journey and set up a booth full of my paintings at a local store. I have to say that I am really proud of myself.
“I dream my paintings and I paint my dreams.” -Vincent Van Gogh

Don’t Lose Your Marbles!

*This post is for mommas who are looking for ways to reward their kids for good and helpful behavior.
Larson got a marble in his jar!!


What’s a “Marble in a Jar,” you ask?
It’s the reward/discipline system I use for our kids and they LOVE it. It’s amazing how powerful a bag of @dollartree marbles can be for motivating these kids!
How it works-

1. Each kid gets two jars. I recommend two different shaped jars so they know the difference between the two. I have found it helpful to write my kids’ name on their jars so they don’t get mixed up.

2. Fill one of each kids’ jar with 50 marbles. This jar will serve as the ‘bank.’

3. For every good, positive, helpful deed they do, they can earn one marble to put in their ‘earned’ jar.

4. Marbles can be taken away and put back into the ‘bank’ for disrespectful, rude, or negative behavior. (The kids do NOT like when they lose a marble!)

5. Once all 50 marbles are moved from the ‘bank’ to the ‘earned’ jar, I give my kids a $5 bill. So, each of the 50 marbles equals $.10 each.

6. When the kids have earned their $5, simply transfer the marbles back to the ‘bank’ from the ‘earned’ jar and start over.


What you will need:
– 2 jars for each kid. I recommend transparent jars so it is easy for the kids to see their progress. Glass jars look nice and can pass as home decor.

– 50 marbles for each kid

– Dry erase or permanent marker to write their names on the jars.

– $5 bills

Rock Bottom Gave Me a Solid Foundation

Addiction is a family disease. One person uses but the whole family suffers. This statement holds true for our family. I may not be the addict, but addiction has messed with my thought process. I know I didn’t cause the addiction, I can’t control it, and I can’t cure it. However, addiction has often times left me feeling like a worthless failure of a mom and wife because my family was deteriorating in front of my eyes.
My heart was broken back in November when active addiction sneaked back into our home. I knew it wasn’t a choice to crumble as I had three kids who needed me to be strong. Hitting my rock bottom gave me a solid foundation to start rebuilding my life. I was determined to direct my energy to an area in which I believe I am gifted in, art. Art is very therapeutic and something I thoroughly enjoy. No longer was I going to allow addiction to hold me prisoner of JOY. I was set free with my big dreams.


So here I am two days away from launching my ‘Sarah Turnbaugh Mabry’ paintings at a local craft show. These paintings were all inspired from the HOPE, FAITH, and DREAMS I leaned on during a low season in my life.
“On Christ the rock solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.”

Living One Day’s ‘Act’ At A Time

Last night when I was laying in bed I found myself anxious about our upcoming wedding anniversary. So many thoughts and questions crossed my mind:


“Should we even celebrate this year of marriage?”

“What a year it’s been!”

“Do I really even want to acknowledge our anniversary?”

“Of course we are celebrating! We made it through another year.”

“What if I write about our anniversary and then an addiction bomb drops on our family again? I would be so embarrassed!”I shared my thoughts with John and he calmly responded with, “Practice what you preach. One day at a time.” There is so much truth in that statement. I try really hard to take life one day at a time and to not worry about tomorrow…BUT sometimes it’s just hard and I need reminders! It’s easy for me to let the fear of the future take over my thoughts rather than embracing the present. I constantly have to remind myself that today’s curtain closes when I lay my head on the pillow. Thinking of each day of my life as an act in a play helps me live one day at a time. Sometimes I have to sit and mentally imagine that this day,s ‘act’ will be ending soon. 24 hrs is a lot less overwhelming and worrisome than picturing the rest of my life story.


Not one of us is guaranteed tomorrow, so I am going to choose to live it up today, seek joy, and laugh until the curtain closes tonight.

Got Strawberries?

GOT STRAWBERRIES?🍓🍓🍓
Every Spring we look forward to picking strawberries from our strawberry patch. What started out as a potted plant several years ago ended up dominating our whole garden. I had no idea strawberry plants multiple! Most Mabry plants don’t live long enough to reach their full potential due to neglect or abuse.  


Our kids love picking the strawberries…who am I kidding, so do I! With so many strawberries what’s a person to do? Make Strawberry Fruit Rollups. It’s so easy!
STRAWBERRY FRUIT ROLLUPS
* 1 pint fresh strawberries, diced

* sugar (enough to sweeten)

* fresh lemon juice (optional)
Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees F.

2. Line a large baking sheet with a baking mat or parchment paper.

3. Place strawberries in food processor until blended.

4. Add enough sugar to sweeten and a splash of lemon juice( if desired).

5. Pour into prepared pan and spread out into a thin, even layer.

6. Bake for 4 hours or until the center is set.

7. Remove from oven and let cool.

8. Carefully peel up the fruit roll-up and place the sticky, smooth side on parchment paper.

9. Cut to size so that you have an even rectangle to work with. (I usually cut off the edges of the fruit rollups since they are usually crunchy and uneven.

10. Cut into 2-inch strips and roll-up firmly.

11. Store in airtight container.
They are BERRY🍓easy to make. 
#strawberry #diy #greenthumb 

Dream On

To the therapist who told me to stop “dreaming” and live in “reality”,
If “dreaming” looks like raising three kids, managing a home, working as an artist, and standing by my husband’s side while he seeks recovery, then I NEVER want to stop “dreaming” and face the “real world.”
Your words hurt me. Your advice made me doubt myself. Your approach was demeaning. HOWEVER because of you, I’m inspired to chase my dreams harder than I have ever before! I believe in the beauty of my dreams: being the best wife, mother, and ME that I can be and not settling for anything less. 


On this Mother’s Day, I am thankful for my mom who believes in me, sees my worth, and encourages me to be who I “dream” to be! I am also thankful for my three kids who have pushed me, challenged me, and strengthened me in difficult times to keep fighting for my “dreams.” It’s because of my kids that I continue to fight and not sink. I want to thank my kids for bringing out the strongest parts of me that I didn’t even know existed. They have taught me a skill set that not even the best therapist could teach.
So, dream on, therapist! I have three words for you: YOU ARE FIRED!
Xo, Sarah
#dreambig #chasingmydreams #nevergiveup #love #peace #hope #recovery #motherhood