God made a mistake making me

I am convinced that God made a mistake. He should have made me a 1950’s housewife. I have always moved at a slower pace than most. When I was a kid my family would call me Pokey-hontas (pun for a slow moving Pocahontas) because I was always lagging behind. This fast-paced, instant gratification world lived out through iPhones has been getting the best of me lately. I can’t take it anymore. I don’t communicate with people face-to-face as often, I feel depressed and isolated and I ignore my kids. It seems that every attempt I make to limit the use of my phone seems to fail. Its power of convenience and distract-ability is too great. Here is my best attempt to come clean about this problem I deal with all day, every day. And what’s at the heart of this issue for me might surprise you.

I am coming up on my 2nd anniversary of having an iPhone. I believe I was a better person without it. I despise the person I have become since becoming an iPhone prisoner…I mean user. To me, it’s like an inescapable black hole that pulls me into the virtual world and sucks my soul, and sanity, right out of my body. Way back in 2013 I used to carry a separate digital camera, a paper daily planner and a simple flip phone in my purse. Everything else that required the internet (Amazon, Facebook, GPS, etc.) was done on the computer when I was at home. I did not have the option of staring at my phone when I was in public unless I really just felt like staring at a basic cell phone. Life was simpler and more enjoyable for me then.

One of the biggest problems I have with the extreme convenience of my phone is what I am modeling to my kids. It is a daily struggle to stay present in meeting their basic needs of the undivided love and attention they deserve. When they see me staring at my phone so much, is it any wonder that they constantly ask to play on my phone, the iPad or watch TV? I don’t purposely do this but EVERYTHING is on this tiny device that fits in my pocket.

For example:

Need to take a picture?…on the phone

Need a recipe for dinner?…on the phone

Synced family calendars?…on the phone

Maps?…phone

Email?…phone

Calculator?…phone

Photo albums?…phone

Weather?…on the phone

As I write this I am realizing that a big part of the problem is my own fault. If I’m being honest, I have to admit that I don’t have to look at Facebook and Instagram as much as I do. I don’t have to look at People.com or research useless facts about questions that randomly pop into my head. But there is this part of me that appreciates the distraction it creates from the day-to-day grind of life. You know what I’m talking about! It’s this struggle of wanting to limit the over-reliance of the technology while feeling the need to indulge in it that eats at me so much. I realize how ironic it is that I utilize these head-spinning technologies to write and promote my blogs. I get that I wouldn’t be able to share my thoughts, feelings and photos with you without it. So I’m not saying that all technology is bad. It needs to be used in a balanced matter, though.

I know God doesn’t make mistakes. I’m the one who makes mistakes. If I choose to turn my phone into my god I am the one who suffers. He created me at the perfect time to use me for His good. Heck, maybe he made me specifically to write this blog to call attention to you that you have a choice, too, in who and what you poor your attention in to. And if that’s not the case…hit me up on my accounts at Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube and email if you know of a time machine app that could transport me back to the 1950’s. I think Lucille Ball and I would be great coworkers on the I Love Lucy show.

If you liked this blog you will love this short video clip!

No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. Matthew 6:24

Advertisements

Mom and dad compete in homemade American Ninja Warrior course

Today, for the first time ever, I am pulling all the skeletons out of the closet and disclosing the greatest secret ever told about the Mabry family.  It’s a secret John and I have guarded so closely that our three kids don’t even know about it. Our kids are actually the ones that inspired us to create our undercover activity.  Before I reveal the shocking details that you don’t want to miss, let me give you a little background explaining how it all came to be.IMG_3376

One seemingly mundane day, I sat on our green micro suede couch with one of our three-legged dogs hovering over my shoulder.  I was busy getting caught up on the most current events on my Facebook news feed (a.k.a. my social world in this stage of life). I glanced up from my phone with that glazed-over zombie stare to the realization that a bomb had gone off in my house and I had no recollection of how and when it happened.  As my mind started to refocus on the real world from the Facebook fog and Instagram illusions, I noticed my boys busily playing next to me.  They were flailing around and giggling with that most innocent of child laughter.  Baby Sawyer was on the ground playing with a drawer full of toys while making her all too frequent high-pitched squeaky whine, similar to a teapot squealing when the water hits the boiling point.  The boys repeatedly asked if they could use my phone to serve as a stop watch to time themselves on the ninja obstacle course they had been building while I was lost in online land.  Didn’t they understand that my phone was my escape from reality?  Did they really think I was going to give it up so that I could actually be present with them in my own home?  After so much nagging, I gave in as they confiscated my phone.

Without my phone, I was forced to actually look at my sons (and daughter) and observe what they were doing.  What I saw was pure, FREE, child-inspired creativity and joy.  Not the kind of excitement that comes from getting a new LIKE on a post or a re-pin on Pinterest, but unadulterated innocence.  What I originally perceived as a bomb going off in my house was actually an elaborate American Ninja Warrior obstacle course using couch cushions and other props that circulated through the whole house.  I sat back on the one cushion left on the couch and watched as the boys’ deliciously sticky fingers smeared dried syrup all over my walls and furniture as they conquered their DIY spider wall obstacle.

My siblings: Mark, Katie & Melissa

My siblings: Mark, Katie & Melissa

I can remember how fun it was to let my imagination take me places out of my reality with my siblings.  Now, as I sat on my couch moping about not being able to stare at my phone and at how the kids had destroyed my house, it occurred to me that it is happening…I was becoming one of those people…I think they are called grown ups!  “Oh, no!” I thought.  I’ve lost my imagination and joy.  I’ve somehow turned into a grown up!”

This scary observation really made me think!  Do I really want to miss out on the fun going on all around me as I sit behind my iPhone worrying about what my home looks like and what everyone thinks of me?  The answer is a resounding NO!

That’s when it occurred to me that sometimes kids are my role models.  Kids are pure hearted people who have not been effected by the negativity of the world.  Kids accept who God created them to be and are not worried what others may think of them.  Adults should look up to children and allow their inner child to come out more often!  I decided that day that I was going to make it a goal to break down walls I had built around my inner child.  It’s been awhile since my own childhood and I was a little rusty on knowing where to begin.  I decided the easiest way to start would be to copy what my children modeled for me.

So without further ado, here’s our dirty little secret…

John and I are actually ninjas!

John Sarah Mabry Bio

Here’s how it usually all goes down in our house…

As soon as the boys are off at school and Sawyer is down for her nap, John and I take our skeletons, I mean ninja clothes, out of the closet and throw our grown-up mindset out the window.  We quickly change into our gear, get stretched out, and pump ourselves up for a fierce battle of speed, endurance, and mental focus.  Before challenging each other in a timed race through the finish line of our very own obstacle course, we pump up the jam of Ninja tunes.  Making a drum roll sound with our tongues, we proceed to introduce one another as though we were contestants on the popular show, America Ninja Warriors: Mom & Dad Edition.  Our inner child behaviors are in full force and not to be reckoned with during this time.

The anticipation skyrockets as I approach the starting point.  I take a few minutes to center myself before I begin the overwhelmingly difficult course.  It’s supposedly the hardest course in Ninja history, you know.  Ready…set…go!

The first stage started with the dreaded Quintuple Pillow Poppers, where we had to leap from pillow to pillow over the couch, followed by the Jumping Sticky Syrup Spider Wall.  The syrup on the wall is, of course, from our kids eating pancakes with their hands in the living room.  Next our agility and grace was tested as we had to contort our bodies to make it around the Teetering Log Towers.

IMG_3397IMG_3399

The second stage of the course consisted of the Mighty Mt. Midoriyama Unstable Balance Bridge of couch cushions and the Rapid Descent Somersault over the caked-with-gooey-globs-of-grossness coffee table.

IMG_3392IMG_3400

The third and final stage was the most grueling stage of all.  We had to dig down deep to crawl under the Highchair of Hell, swing through the Kitchen Counter Cliff Hanger, and finish by shimmying up the second and final Spider Climb before breaking through to the finish line.

    IMG_3402   IMG_3404

IMG_3405   IMG_3407

And the champion is…..Me, Sarah!  I finished the course in a record time of 58 seconds.  Wow!  Doing this was so freeing by allowing my unguarded inner child to come out and play.  Some might think this activity,and my other blogs and videos, are extremely immature.  However, I have to disagree and here’s why.

Just two short days ago I was in tears over the fact that I didn’t know if what I’m trying to do here at MabryLiving.com – putting my true self out there in an effort to inspire and entertain others through my unorthodox approach to life – is what I’m supposed to be doing with my life.  I was seriously struggling with the fact that putting silly stuff like this goes against everything the world demands of us grown ups.  It isn’t normal.  It isn’t what someone in the 30’s with a college degree should be doing with their time, right?  Well, I finally came to terms with this simple fact…I can’t care if you think I’m immature or wasting my time.  I’m following my heart right now.  It’s the greatest gift I can myself and I’m learning it from my kids.

Look, I know from personal experience that life can be really rough and it can be easy to plow through it being overly cautious and too uptight.  I understand that there are seasons where we all have to be, and should be, grown ups and tackle events with the utmost seriousness and respect they deserve.  Yet, there are also a lot of times where it is okay to let your guard down and see how magical life truly is when viewed with a child-like perspective.  The way I see it is that I have one earthly life to live, so I plan on living it to the fullest, allowing myself to feel my true, unguarded feelings without reservations as to what other people think or say about me.

I’d like to leave you with one final thought…go, right now, and pull that stick out of your bottom and do something to release your inner child, even if it’s just for a minute.  Sing a U2 song completely out of tune at the top of your lungs, dance a gig like a leprechaun who just found a pot of gold, or go ahead and take my idea and build a ninja obstacle course.  Your inner child needs to come out and will thank you for it.

Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw said it perfectly,

“People do not cease to play because they grow old: They grow old because they cease to play.” 

Subscribe to my blog so you don’t miss out on my upcoming quirky St. Patrick’s Day post.

Follow Us Pinterest

How to give yourself a Mommy Make-Under

Have you ever wondered how some women, especially moms, have superhero powers that can transform them from one of class and sophistication into washed-up old hags in minutes?  Like Superman ripping off his reporters’ suit and nerdy glasses to reveal the superhero he truly is underneath, I also have such mystical powers to alter other people’s perceptions of who I can appear to be 2% of the time (classy and sophisticated) into who I truly am 98% of the time (a repulsive-looking soccer mom).  There’s no need to search Google and Pinterest for days on the best how-to practices for achieving this eye-popping, unicorn-esque look where people can’t stop staring at you. I, Sarah Mabry, am here to personally teach YOU how to accomplish this one of kind look through my patented 13½ step process designed to give yourself what I call the “Mommy Make-Under.”

The biggest misconception of the Mommy Make-Under is that it’s only for ladies with kids.  Boy, do I have great news for you!  Anyone, even YOU, college sorority girl, registered nurse, administrative assistant, and grandma, can sport this all too trendy look that’s sweeping the suburbs.  Now don’t get discouraged if after following these simple 13½ steps you don’t look like you got hit by a train like I do, as results will vary.  The main thing is that you take it one step at a time, as my Mommy Make-Under program is delicately designed to build from one step to the next.  I’m only offering these closely guarded secrets for free here exclusively on MabryLiving.com for a limited time until my self-published book is released this summer.  One final recommendation before we get stated: I highly recommend that you document yourself at the beginning of Step One.  I also recommend you contact your dentist because there’s a good chance no one will be able to identify you when you get to Step 13½ without dental records.  Grab a cocktail and some bonbons because here we go!

Step 1:

Actually take a shower, wash your face, shave, floss, brush your teeth, clean your ears, moisturize your skin, pluck your eyebrows, apply make up, dry and style your hair, and dress in a cute outfit, being sure to accessorize with jewelry.

Step 2: 

Snap that selfie, you animal!  Remember, there’s a good chance you won’t look (or smell) like this again for years.

IMG_4755

Step 3:

Not going to lie, this step takes commitment.  Don’t do ANY of the things outlined in Step 1 for a minimum of four days.

Step 4:

Allow those nice greasy layers of “Crisco Glow,” as I call them to accumulate on your hair, which is mandatory for the messy mommy-tail (or ponytail) outlined in Step 9.

Step 5: 

Through years of well-documented scientific testing** I found that leg hair length at day four of the Mommy Make-Under process has the perfect amount of prickliness to them.  It’s not too short, not too long, but just right.  My testing also revealed that eyebrow bushiness after four days of not being plucked take on that perfect, organic contour we’re all after.  In case you missed it: shaving and plucking are No-No’s.

** The only animals harmed during testing were groundhogs. CLICK HERE to see the video of the effects testing had on them.

IMG_4766

Step 6:

This is where the effects of the Make-Under really start to gel.  Take off that precious jewelry you got as a gift from your significant other or passed down from your grandma; you won’t be needing it where you’re going.  Where are you going, you ask?  Well, you’re going to be busy playing football, house, basketball, dolls, wrestling, dress up, sword fighting, watching the same movie 20 times in a row, cooking, cleaning, scrapping kids’ boogers off of faces (your kids’ faces and your own face), cutting gum out of hair, and the endless job of cleaning poop off of every imaginable body part and household surface you can think of…and a handful you never knew existed.  Additionally, jewelry serves as a choking hazard; it will get tugged on during these events causing chains to snap, beads to spill, and diamonds to chip (which actually happened to my diamond).  It’s not worth the risk.  So lose the jewelry, little miss Cinderella wannabe!

IMG_4762

Step 7:

By now you’re probably starting to realize you can stop trying to look put-together.  You know those expensive, fitted outfits you spent your spouses’ Father’s Day money on in retaliation for getting pee in your mouth when changing your son’s diaper that your husband was supposed to change but didn’t because he was “watching the most important football game of the year?”  Throw them in that heap on your floor of your bedroom that won’t be tended to for at least two more weeks and slip into something a little more comfy and realistic.

Step 8:

Instead of “big people” clothes, I recommend a soft, CapriSun-stained tattered cotton shirt and a cozy pair of over-sized sweatpants with crusty spit up stains.  Do it quickly because you’re needed immediately in the kitchen to prepare the fourth freaking snack of the morning for your ungrateful snots, I mean perfect angels,  Make sure your brats, I mean precious mini-me’s, dangle from your shirttail with their sticky, grubby paws.  For you vintage enthusiasts out there, this enhances that distressed princess look.

IMG_4786

Step 9:

Quickly flop that Crisco-glowing messy mommy-tail (or bun if you prefer) that we started working on days ago somewhere on your head.  By this time your hair is guaranteed to have baby food and other unidentifiable objects strung throughout.

Step 10:

Gingerly attempt to finger comb through the gunk to secure your messy mommy-tail for a highly personalized look.  To perfect it, make sure there are plenty of lumps and randomly placed Bobbi-pins to hold back any loose clumps.

IMG_4799IMG_4788

Step 11:

Take your make up off!  Wait till most of your make up is under your eyes  before you remove all of it.This helps to polish the exhausted mom look.  Good job.  You’re almost done.

Step 12:

Feverishly wrestle your expensive glasses from your little Gremlins.  Now the lenses should be nice and blurry.  Who needs to see?  You couldn’t see even if you wanted to from the delirium of the day that never ends.  Put them on anyway so you feel like you’re at least trying to see (and care) what’s going on at this point.  The permanently crooked frames are a perfect match for your ever-digressing ensemble that has now become your staple look.

Step 13:

Hold on to your newly broken glasses because this step is where the Mommy Make-Under crescendos with the addition of the always stylish baby wrap.  A Bjorn or hiking backpack are acceptable forms of touting your screaming, teething baby around the house. makeunder

Step 13½:

Buy the book!  Don’t delay because the first 2 people to pre-order my book will receive a free used rancid smelling, unraveling, crusty baby wrap.

Well, there’s actually not a book.  Maybe I’ll make a DVD series instead.  But seriously, this blog is for entertainment purposes only so don’t anticipate an actual book on this subject…like…ever.

Voila!  There you have it.  Congrats on your new look.  I knew you could pull it off.  With a little TLC you should be able to foster this trendy style for years to come.  Be sure to post your selfies of your best attempt at a Mommy Make-Under to the Mabry Living Facebook page.  The winner will receive a free book.

*If you are you not happy with these results, you can follow my son’s instructions on how to do the proper Mommy Makeover.

Mabry Living Facebook

Do you agree or disagree with my stance on this debate topic?

social-media-quantityThe  purpose of this blog entry is to engage in a lengthy debate with you, my online readers, about the importance of spending less time on being social in media and more time being social in real life.

This debate is now closed so I can spend the next few hours connecting with the people directly around me, not you. No offense.

Other than your phone and your computer, who do you need attention from today? Is it a coworker, kid, that client who can help you reach your quota this month, or is it your spouse who you have distanced yourself from lately?

Recharge one relationship today by giving yourself the one thing you need most – someone else’s personal time and attention.

Do you agree or disagree with me that we are losing our grip on humanity? Leave a comment on who you need to personally connect with today.

connect puzzle