Thursday, October 16, 2014

I LOVE your beautiful mess.

Truth.

The other day I was out with K grabbing some groceries. When I got home my husband said my friend stopped by.

First thing I thought.... "Oh my gosh.... Please, oh please, tell me she didn't come in."

My house... was beyond messy. It was worse than a herd of elephants running through. Wait... Maybe even worse than that. It was HORRIBLE. I had fantastic excuses (Headache, feud with trash man, about to pack for a trip, just cooked, dishwasher broken, my give-a-damn is busted). Anyways, it was bad.

She came in.

I started to tear up out of embarrassment. And.... started to clean. Not sure why because she has already witnessed this horror show!

I sent her a text. "I absolutely LOVE you but I am mortified you saw my house such a mess."

She replied with "I LOVE your beautiful mess."

That's just it... Our life is not always pretty. We spend so much time trying to polish ourselves on the outside to make people think we have it all together on the inside. We want our kids to behave like angels in public when in reality they climb the walls at home. We want our guests that visit our home to think w don't live there. We don't want to be in family pictures because we want FB to think we are 50 lbs. lighter. We want people to think we don't have a dog... when in fact he was the best 4 legged thing that happened to us! And black yoga pants? Yes, please!! Make-up and matching clothes are optional over here sister girl!

Why can't we just love our beautiful mess? Why do we try to paint some crazy picture of life when it never goes as planned? It's ok to be normal. It's ok to admit... "HEY, THIS IS AN OFF WEEK FOR ME."

Well.... This is ME. I'm screaming on the to of my lungs that I'm NOT perfect. I have 6 loads of laundry piled on my bed. No wait, it's now overflowing TWO baskets on the floor because I'm about to go to bed. There's dishes in my sink. Dog hair. Yep, I said it. My towels are just thrown on the rack. My kids pretty much get their clothes out of the dryer. What's a closet for anyways?

You always dream about finding a friend you can show your "mess" to. (Although, I still wish my trash was taken out!! BUT We are feuding with the trash truck guy and he skipped our house last week. That's another story though.)

This year I am going to learn how to love me. My beautiful mess and all. I am going to be BRAVE... and 100% honest.


*Side note: Are y'all wondering why my friend stopped by?? Ok, ok... I'll tell you. She brought me a 12 pack of soda (It has Christmas holly on the package...I'm obsessed with Christmas) and fresh flowers. She is the most amazing friend. I feel so incredibly blessed that God emailed her to me. (That's how we met, over email. Ha!) You got mail. No seriously, you do!

She is an amazing woman and a great example of selflessness. I want to learn from her.

She gets me.

 
I've watched Grey's since it started and for people who watch it.. They will understand.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Usborne Books- Review

Books... How important are they to you and your family?
 
We love books. I started collecting books before I was 18 years old for my future kids. That was over 12 years ago. We need books that are going to last year after year, kid after kid. I don't allow toys during nap time, but I allow books. I don't travel with toys in the diaper bag, but I do bring books. I feel like books are very important in your day to day life. I read at night to relax, to get lost in a fictional world, to learn how to cook, to understand why my child is peeing on the floor instead of in the toilet. We use books EVERY SINGLE DAY with our homeschooling curriculum. We read to get closer to God, to help find ways to strengthen our marriage, and even to learn how to grieve after we lose someone.
 
With all that being said, why don't we invest more into our children's books?
 
For my son's 3rd birthday party I asked all of his guests to bring books as gifts. Kids have so many toys. They play with them for awhile and then it's on to the next cool gadget. Books can last forever. They help our kids use their imaginations. They help them learn about such a wide variety of subjects. If your child is a die hard Mario fan... (Had to bring him up!) you can search and find books about him to keep your child interested. Books make up such an important part of our intellectual being! Books stimulate our brains! I don't know about you, but after so many years of "Mommy Brain" my brain needs some stimulation! Ha!
 
I even have books from when my older sister was a child. Books over 30 years old.
 
So, when I was asked to do a review on Usborne books I probably screamed a little out of excitement. I enjoy reviewing products that I LOVE. I enjoy doing reviews even more of products my kids LOVE. This was a very easy decision for me.
 
I know you're probably thinking what makes Usborne Books different from going to "WallyWorld" and buying some. First off, you would be supporting someone local. I love that! This is a direct sales company that strives on a personal experience when choosing your books. The books are high quality and very educational. (Win Win in my opinion!) They also offer over 2,000 books to choose from! That means it doesn't matter what age group you're looking for... They carry it!
 
So, we were given TWO books from Tanya, who is an independent consultant for Usborne Books & More. (She's the best!)
 
She picked:
"Baby's very first touchy- feely animals book" by USBORNE (Enter our giveaway at the bottom to win this book!)
"Secerts of the Seashore" by Carron Brown & Alyssa Nassner.
 

The touchy-feely book is perfect for my girls. K can read it, identify every animal, make the sound, and NOT destroy it! She loves pop-up and touch books but tends to be rough on them. She did great with this book since the different types of materials are made into the pages. We even shared the book with S who loved to drool and chew on the pages. It is still in one piece and being read daily. I also love that before each animal it lists an adjective describing what the child is feeling. I don't know how many 2 year olds are saying Velvety and Furry, but mine is! There are also no sentences in the book which make books hard for K to sit through the whole thing. Fun colors and chunky pages made this a favorite in K's opinion.
 
Then we got to explore the second book. Oh my, I am in love!!! If there is any activity that speaks to my kids, it's FLASHLIGHTS! What a great way to draw in children a little longer when it comes to reading.
 
I could go on and on about this book, but I wanted to share a little video of L reading it. Remember... he is only FIVE!!!
video
 
This was such a fun way for us to sit down and spend time together while still learning. L is just learning how to read, so this also gave him a challenge. Which every mom likes! We incorporated this with his homeschool lesson about sea life. In the back there is a "There's More" page that lists ideas for the kids to do while out exploring. It encourages the kids to become more hands on when at the beach. I feel like this book will be something fun we can reference several times during our school year. The illustrations are super cute and the lettering was easy to read. Not enough pages to overwhelm them, but just enough to make an in-depth story time. L now can draw sea anemones!
 
After L and K looked at the catalog I let them make a wish list. I then talked to L about what he wanted for Christmas and to my surprise BOOKS were all over his list! This is one proud momma.
I decided to open up a party under Tanya incase anyone was interested in ordering from her. L and K would love to earn a few more books to add to our growing collection.
 
Here is the link if you're interested in seeing what Usborne has to offer. They have more than JUST books. Tanya is VERY helpful and fast when it comes to answering your questions. Ordering is quick too so these would be prefect for Christmas!
 
Her Facebook page is Reading Under the Usborne Tree.  Please 'like" her page and show her some love! She deserves it!
 
WHO LOVES FREE BOOKS???? Enter our giveaway here:


http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/7d670e7d1/" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway


 
If you have any questions for me please ask away! I am happy to give you honest feed back. If you're interested in me reviewing one of your products please email me at mallorysessions@Hotmail.com for more information.
 
 
 
*I do NOT accept compensation for reviews other than the actual product I am testing.
 
 
 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

I'm THAT mom... and I'm perfectly fine with that.

Motherhood.

It's kind of like a club.... or maybe I should say a cult. Once you join... the only way to get out is to cross over to heaven. Seriously.

Some days you want to scream. Who am I kidding? Every day you want to scream.

I spend my days filtering my thoughts. What would people think if I posted this on Facebook? 

"How much Disney JR did I let them watch today? Did I really just say yes to cookies and milk for breakfast? Did my kids eat a vegetable with all 3 meals today?... Seriously, I just want to make sure they had 3 meals! Has the dog had food today? Oh my goodness... we have a fish. Has the fish been fed at all this week? A week... when was the last time I showered? I really think I just sent the kid to bed without brushing their teeth. Do I dare wake them back up to prevent cavities in teeth that are about to fall out? Wait... Did I brush my teeth this morning? Oh crap... it's 10 pm and my coffee is still sitting on the Krieg machine. Cold. Speaking of cold... I need to get my kids winter jackets. Winter in TX? Yeah I know... last year we all wore flip flops in the snow. Could I chance it again this year? Probably not. I'll go look tomorrow. Oh man... Tomorrow I have so much to do. Laundry. Yes, THAT'S what I need to do tomorrow. I have about 7 loads washed and dried. I think we have crossed over to Mt. Laundry... instead of a slightly filled laundry basket. Great... I just realized I wore the same thing I wore yesterday. I hope no one saw me while grocery shopping. Grocery shopping... can't believe I forgot half my list. The list would have worked better if I didn't leave it at home. Home sweet home... Or should I say Home Sweet Mess. I need to clean. How can I clean when all I want to do is rest? Do you hear that?? All the kids are resting. It's silent. I guess I'll go take that shower. Water running... BAHHHHHHHH!!!! Someone flushed the toilet. Old houses mean you can't flush the toilet while someone is showering or you will give them a 3rd degree burn! Maybe that was my husband. Wait... he is home? I feel like we haven't seen each other in days. We need a date night. What is a date night? Can we date at home? Speaking of dating... Did the kids eat dinner before they went to bed?"

I read an article someone posted on Facebook about "21 reasons you should be thankful you don't have kids yet." Not going to lie... I could have written it. It was so true.

I'm not saying don't have kids. What I'm saying is... My house is an amazing form of birth control. Instead of showing "16 and pregnant" in hopes that it will help lower the percentage of teen pregnancies... just film us.

Tonight I looked at the clock... It was 11:37 PM. Yes, I basically said midnight. All THREE kids... (not 1, not 2, but 3) were all awake dancing around the living room. Ok, not the baby. She was just watching and saying a "coo" every now and then. I took a deep breath and I said to myself "Mallory, you're doing a great job. Give yourself grace. The babies are loved and they are the happiest they can be. Nothing else matters at this very moment.

Throw the parenting books out. Stop asking FB if you're doing the right thing. Just love them. Let them be kids. Let them learn every minute of every day. Show them they are all you ever dreamed of. Lead by example. You can't teach your child to stop and smell the roses if you don't stop yourself my friends. You're going to make mistakes. You will probably lose your temper more than once. It's ok. Children are forgiving little humans. They don't care if you don't make everything you pin on Pinterest. They won't hate you for always having your phone in your hand. They won't hold it against you because you formula fed or breast fed in public. They won't even notice if you didn't make all their organic baby food from scratch. *Gasp, I know.* They will remember all the good and how much they were loved. I look back at my childhood and my mom didn't have all the books telling her what she was doing wrong. She yelled! She grounded us! She made mistakes! And I love her more than ever because she was HER. I'm so thankful that she instilled pieces of herself in me.

                                                 Over in our house.... We are living folks!


For real now... Everyone is asleep. Even K who is spending the first night in her BIG girl bed. She was having a rough time so her knight in shining armor came to her rescue. Seeing him do things like this make me fall in love all over again. I love this family. To the moon and back. Now... Off to get my 4 hours of sleep! Goodnight <3 nbsp="" p="">

 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Changing the world 60 miles at a time

It's officially October. That means the world pretty much becomes painted pink in order to raise awareness for breast cancer.

Pink just happens to be my favorite color... and helping to change the world is a favorite of mine too.

I had the 60 miles in 3 days Susan G Komen on my bucket list for most of my adult life. Last year I finally put a checkmark by it. It was a sense of self-accomplishment. I did something so completely out of my comfort zone to help others.... but little did I know it changed me.

This was not an easy task by any means. People think just walking 60 miles is easy. You can go shopping ALL day at the mall with no problems. That's about 60 miles right?? Yeah... NO!!! You are outside walking on concrete, in the bitter cold mornings that end up super hot in the afternoon because you are under the blaring sun. Sometimes even rain! You walk.... and walk.... and walk. Until your feet bleed. Lots of people lost toenails!! Yuck, I know!

While you are walking the streets of Fort Worth/Dallas are lined with supporters. Family, Friends, and strangers coming out to cheer you on. I can't even begin to explain the emotion. It is overwhelming. All I wanted to do is cry last year. My body shook. I had never felt like something I did matter as much as it did to these bystanders. Kids... Little kids were on the side of the road holding signs that said "Thank you for walking for my mom or grandma." "Every little girl deserves to know their grandma." Seriously.... it was extremely emotional.

People lined the streets... They brought food, candy, water, stickers, gum, donuts, coffee... They brought strength. It is UNBELIEVABLE. I kid you not... on mile 59 a huge group of men in all pink even were handing us BEER! You better believe I drank one!!

In order to get there... to walk 60 miles... you have to raise $2,300. That my friends, took me forever to do. Almost a whole year. Of course now it's October and the walk is in 37 days... and I have raised ZERO. This year has gone by so fast. I have been battling depression, all of this horrific bladder crap, and to top it all off... I had a baby. Little did I know that last year when I walked SIXTY miles that I was pregnant. I even slept in a tent! (Hey, it was PINK.)

So here I find myself at 3:31 am thinking to myself... I HAVE to do this again this year. Not only for all the people who are fighting this disease or sadly lost their battle, but for me.

I walk for you. For your mother. Your sister. Your aunt. Your dad. (Yes, men can get it too.) Your daughter. Your niece. I walk for MY daughters. My sisters. My nieces. My mom. I walk for me.

I am a mom 24 hours and 7 days a week. That means 365 days a year. I don't get to go on vacation. I rarely get a break. This is what I wanted though! I am so blessed to have written all of those statements. This is the one time I have to walk 20+ miles a day and reflect on how my life is so blessed. As I take each step I remember that no matter how stressed I am I am not hurting like so many others that are fighting. Or who lost the fight.


My family was there all 3 days and followed me along the way to cheer me on. I get teary eyed just remembering how much I needed the extra support to keep going and then seeing their smiling faces. They believed in me. The term for supports that follow the walkers along the 60 miles path are called Walker Stalkers. Anyone can do this!! It's actually encouraged! It was such a fun treat seeing so many people dressed up... their cars decorated, and honking their horns over and over and over.

You can also send mail.  This was AMAZING. I sat in my tent and cried my eyes out. My husband, my kids, my mom, my sisters, my brother in law, my nephew, and a friend from high school all sent me letters to keep me going strong. Let me tell you... It was... I can't describe it. I knew because of these letters, that I was doing something to change the world.

I have so much more to say.

The feelings I had that weekend all rushed back to me as I am writing. I want to do this one last time. I need to do this one last time to feel that sense of importance. Like I'm doing something just for me.

If you can donate, please do. I post the link at the very bottom. I will forever be grateful and I will never forget.

I will be doing bake sales every weekend until I raise this money. I WILL do it.

If you want to send me camp mail here is the info:
Send a LetterGetting mail on event can provide a big boost to a participant’s spirits. Take a few minutes to write a note which will brighten up their Komen 3-Day experience! Send letters to the P.O. Box below, and we’ll bring them to camp for the participant to pick up.

Susan G. Komen 3-Day Camp Mail
ATTN: Mallory SessionsP.O. Box 5392
Frisco, TX 75034

***Mail must be postmarked no later than October 28. Envelopes only, please. No boxes or large packages. Any mail that is not received by the 3-Day® by November 4 or retrieved by the participant by November 24 will be destroyed. Please note: This address is not the actual location of camp, but a PO Box for mail delivery only.

Here are some pictures of before the walk and during.

This is my son and I about to do a bake sale to raise money.

 These were all the names of people who supported me. This banner was on our tent.
This is the sign that had all our Angels and all the Survivors who still are fighting the battle or who have won.
All my 3 DAY gear. Love me some pink!
Sylvia and at 5 am before it all started! Whew I was tired!
                       This was the group of ladies from Fort Hood, All 3 of them are soldiers!!!
     TWENTY miles down!!! The hardest thing I've ever done. I walked almost the whole 1st day by myself!
  Firemen that stood outside to show support. I actually don't know the lady standing with me!
 These ladies.... Man, they helped me finish. We became instant friends. They finished the 2nd day with me and walked the entire 3rd day with me. I don't know if I could have kept going without them.
                                      I never thought I would see this!! FIFTY NINE miles!!!
 I think I screamed when I saw these guys!!! They had a keg in the back of their truck! Heck YES to an adult beverage!
                                               We did it! We finished strong... Together.
SIXTY MILES BABY!!!
                                                           Oh boy.... was I hurtin' bad!
                 This picture right here is worth a thousand words... We all became Sole Sisters.
                                              Camp mail. My motivation. Thanks guys!
                           Again... this made me cry. That's my hubby, kids and mom back there!
                                                                          Our tent!
                                   My mom and daughter eating lunch with me around mile 32.
                                               Supporter handing out candy to the walkers.
       These little girls were dressed in ALL pink. They had drew pictures with chalk on their driveway for us!
      People placed signs all over the place. Balloons in trees. Ribbons tied on everything.
 These ladies came all the way from Killeen to show their support! Two of them will be walking this year!!
                                                             The closing ceremony.
                     My feet after the FIRST day.... Yes, I walked on them for TWO more days!
                                                        This was my personal goal!
 Kids got to come out of their schools on Friday to show support. Cheerleaders had special cheers for us. Kids had made signs. Lots of them dressed in PINK too.
                  Trina and Antoinette took me into their group and helped me finish strong! That day we cried together, talked for hours and hours, but most of all... we became friends.


To make a donation please click here.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Guest Blog- Are you at the TOP? By Sharyn Jackson


Are you at the TOP?

Priorities.  You have a lot of them, right?   Your kids, husband, house, work, kid’s school, kids extra curricula’s, dog, car, cleaning…YOU?  Wait, what?  Yes, I just said YOU! Bet you never thought that YOU were one of those TOP priorities…BUT dang right you are!

Trust me, it took me a long, long time to actually put myself ahead of everything and everyone else for about an hour a day BUT I can tell you that as soon as I did it, it changed me.  I am a person too.  I have needs and I WANT to feel the best that I can!

So where did it all start? Well, I have always been very into being healthy…until I had my girls.  This is completely unacceptable but I was that pregnant lady that kind of just shoved whatever I felt like eating at that moment into my mouth and it WASN’T always healthy.  I was sick with all three of my kids, very nauseous and also I had so many headaches that I can’t even say I was very active.  I tried but I felt like an alien in my own body.

So in between my babies I exercised here and there but never really did not get into a solid workout regime nor was I really watching what I was eating.  Being a personal trainer prior to having babies, you would have thought that I would really be fit and healthy.  And as much as I wanted too, I had ZERO motivation and the exhaustion was not helping.  Mama’s you KNOW what I am talking about!

Then, one day I woke up and decided that I didn’t want to be that tired, grumpy Mama anymore.  I felt awful every day walking around with that fog around me.  My kids and husband deserved so much better and I was really the only one to change it! 

So I picked up Insanity.  You have heard of it, haven’t you?  It’s that crazy and intense at home workout program that you may see on infomercials late at night!  A girlfriend of mine was hosting a virtual fitness group for women so I decided to join her and complete my Insanity program.  I so desperately needed the accountability and support so I could get through it.  And it was the BEST THING I HAVE EVER DONE…AND NOT JUST FOR ME BUT FOR EVERYONE WHO SURROUNDED ME.

My point in telling you this is that YOU too can do this.  Why should you just become less of a priority because you have children? They need to be the REASON why you ARE a priority.  It is just normal in our house now when I push play and workout with Shaun T or Chalene Johnson.  They are household names and I freaking love it!  And more often than not your kids will join you.  Do you have any idea of how much an impact this will have on them for the rest of their life?  Plus, it’s such a great way to tire them out too…lol!  They may even sleep better for you!

And it’s not just about exercise.  I find the hardest part is what you eat…ya know?  Bad food is EVERYWHERE and it is always so easily accessible.  So the planning of what to eat each week and how to actually begin can be very overwhelming.  But I am going to list a few books for you, to help you get started.  And if being healthy and fit is something you have always wanted you have to know that if you put your mind to it, YOU WILL SUCCEED!  Your body only does what your mind tells it too!!

So, I really want you to sit down, take out a sheet of paper and write down your priorities with YOU being at the very top!  TRUST ME…it’s okay!!!  There is NO need to feel guilty. Mom’s need their time too.   It WILL make you better. It WILL make you happier. It WILL make you more confident.  It WILL get you your body back.  It WILL just be freaking awesome J 

Now, here are those books I promised you…







Remember too, this is not a quick fix to fit into those jeans for that special night.  This is a lifestyle change. It’s NOT always going to be perfect, but if you stick with it the best that you can, YOU will be a SUCCESS!

Sharyn Jackson
-Fit Mama Posse Founder, Virtual Fitness Coach and Personal Trainer
 

 

For fit tips, inspiration or motivation you can follow me on Instagram @FitMamaPosse or on FB at www.facebook.com/sharyn.jackson7.  My blog is pretty cool too, check it out www.blog.fitmamaposse.com