Wednesday, January 28, 2009

CHA--Crafts & Hobby Association

I'm far more rested up from yesterday's down post, and I've realized that I'll be with my husband this time tomorrow. Whew! Having said that, I'd love to expound a bit more of what I've been doing this past week. Although it's work, I've really enjoyed myself and truly been amazed.

Twice a year is the CHA convention where vendors come from all over for to sell basically to corporate on down to the local store. Specifically speaking about American Crafts, we made appointments with top clients from our particular states to show them the new releases.

We had a great booth. It was 100 ft. long and mirrored on both sides. We had one of the biggest boths really--we carry such a broad line. I can post some pictures later.
What I'm getting at was the amazement of the various vendors. Sure you have the respectable Corolla Crayons and Elmer's glue and other names that ring a bell, but there were also some flat out crafty people with some crafty ideas. Classes are held to introduce new things and expand the industry really. American Crafts is mostly involved with the scrapbooking, gift wrap lines, and wedding invitation sector. However, when it comes to crafts there are some snazy things out there. The show floor is endless too of various vendors. I had a chance to walk around today and I was blown away.
I hardly want to include this on the blog, but Paris Hilton had some sort of release and was there. Jane Seymour was too. The hype was a little redic. But I think Jane is one of the most beautiful people I wrinkles.

Anyways, I'm motivated by the crafty and innovated people apart of the broad industry. What a treat to be among the crafty of crafty. I'm inspired.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


There is no eloquont or savoy way to say it except... I flat out miss my husband. It hurts too--bad!

This month we've been apart almost two weeks really. To be exact, I was gone six days in IL and then together for 6 days before I left again for a week...all for work. I'm busy on the road so my time is occupied, but at the end of the day I'm exhausted and lowly, I miss Drew so bad. I've had people tell me, "Just wait till your married a few years." I don't ever want to get accustomed or complacent with this.

For now, duty calls. But it pains in the process.

Before the convention began, a couple of us went to Disney Land. After all, it is walking distance from where we are staying. I tried to have fun and tell my self that I was lucky to be there blah blah, but I could hardly enjoy myself doing so without my husband. Now I sound needy, and I'm not. It's just that I want to be and enjoy fun things together. & it just kills to be apart for so long. It's really started to take a toll.

Tonight I'm just having a moment. I usually do quite well. Like I said, work keeps me really really busy. Here are the convention we have appointmnets to meet with clients all day. From 7 am to 6 pm really. At least when I'm traveling to clients on the road, I'm able to talk to Drew between appointments and check in. Here, I don't even have time to eat which means I don't have time to talk to Drew until so late. It's just hard.

But I'm okay. I just needed to be heard.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Still living the moment

"You change your LIFE by changing your HEART."

My heart sank when I heard tha my sister-in-law is going to Tanzania this summer. She will have her own experience surely. However, when she said she was going to a Massi village, I had such a tender feeling for her.
The Massi are nomadic pretty much. Their "wealth" is determind in how many cows they have--its goes along with a religious mindset as well. So in the view of OUR eyes, they are all very very very poor. They even brush their teeth with the roots of weeds. It is an admirable culture. The school children had no reservation with warming up to me and dad. Sadly enough, I was the one who had trouble letting myself go.

This is in the school room. They were showing us how they knew the alphabet.
I'm no sure if you're able to noitce the 20+ flies on this boys face. Sadly enough, they don't even try ot brush them away. Their houses are made out of dung and their houses are located around the cow's area, the flies swarm and settle on the people.

They make beautiful beadwork and jewlery.
Flamingoes galore. From afar I just saw one big pink patch the extended hundreds of yards. I didn't even recognize.
These zebra were intensly fighting--biting even and jumping on each other's back.
The Africa look that I love. This was on the serengetti. We were in a much thicker bush elsewhere. But gotta love the Serengetti's open feel witht he occasional African tree.
The lioness was always so serious. The cubs loved to play arroung. Sometimes the lioness would break it up and nuzzle one away and then lay between them. A lion pride is very humanlike. Another Africa moment. I had trouble sleeping at the start of the trip becuae all the animal noises and roar's made me uneasy. By the end of the trip it was no big deal. One time dad and I both kind of sat up and were like, "did you hear that?" We were always trying to guage how far away the animal was.
Look how cute his spout is. As dirty as they are, their spout is so graceful and flows with such ease. It's amazing what they do with their spout really. Notice the one resting his spout on the other.
Crocs! This one is sunning. However, most often we would see them in the water with their head sticking out at the shore line with their mouths wide open ready to pounce on whatever come down for water. There are very few water holes this time of year. Animals are very vulnerable when they go get water. Even for other animals, they aren't aware of their surroundings and ready to defend. They all knew it too and would tip toe and really watch closely when they went for water.

Do you see the monkey up in the tree? It was such a cute sight? Monkeys live, move, and function in large crowds. Our guide said that it was odd for this one to be alone. He was probably getting a good view to find his groupie.
As new born as they come. Our guide said he couldn't of been two weeks old. He could hardly walk. It is very rare to see them so young becuase they hold their pregnacys for two years and are very protective of their young ones. For example, this was a group of probably 30 elephant. They are hoovered aroudn this little one. I only had a few seconds to get this pic. Another angle. Notice the pink on his ear.
Wilderbeasts. Naturally, Africa has their different seasons. Some people prefer to go the time of year that it is so dry that animals aren't just killing to eat but rather to live. By that I mean, the water is so sparce (water is a territory thing) that animals are fighting to protect their water rights really. The time of year we were there was baby season. A lot of babies are being born for different animals. It was perfect for me. I don't know if I could do all the kill. I'm sure dad would have appreciated it though.
Baby zebra. They are born iwth a blond back as you see here. Their vibrate color comes with time.
Neat to see the elephants bathe. Their was a croc in there swarming and I was so worried for them but aparantly the elephants are the king of the jungle.
Elephants crossing. They always have the right-a-way. Giraffe's and zebras do not on the other hand.
Eye contact... we connected. This was a big pride of lions as well. Maybe 10 or 15. This little guy just stared at me the whole time. Not many others game me the time of day. Looking down on the hippos
Not all of our tents were so nice. This was an amazing canvas setup. It was a really thick bush all around us. The showe was just kind of connected with planks set up to keep us 'somewhat private'. I heard movement of the trees and grass even over the running water. So I knew something was close but it was dark so I couldn't see. And then all I saw was a white tusk no more than 10 feet away from me (I off coarse was towering over the 'shower.') I got out of there so fast.
I didn't realize they had wiskers...
Just a stretch, not a roar.
Reminded me of Helen's cat. They sleep just like that.

These giraffes were kicking trash. They got a lot of their power in fighting with their necks. They would wrap it around and then pull it in. It wasn't the crazyest thing I saw girafees do...try two huge girafees mating. Dad said it was inappropriate for me to take a pic. I did any way.

This time last year~

Work was so busy this week, I could hardly look right or left or even take a break for much casual conversation. I had two consecutive days of 11 hours in the office--no lunch--plugging away with everything I knew I had to get done by the end of the week. This is for another post, but recently I walk away from work feeling like a terrible friend, sister, and wifey because every time someone calls I have to get off the phone right away cause I'm so busy. I just have trouble coming off of a tense work moment (I do it to myself. Works not too tense but I have expectations for myself to get stuff done and can't fall short of it.)

Anyways... yesterday at the time crunch of it all realizing how much I had left to do yet not much time, I remembered that this time last year I was in Africa. I had a tender moment in my office.... It was really special--hard to describe in writing. But I was overwhelmed with how much I've done in the past year and how much I really have to be grateful for. Not a week goes by that I don't think of Africa. It changed my life forever. But not just that. The memories there with my dad are priceless.
And then my dad called and we were able to reminisce.

These flashbacks of my trip with dad to Africa were a sure 'tender mercy.' It helped me come down a bit from stress buildup and relive me for a bit.

Just when I thought newborns couldn't get much better....

baby Gabe was born! He is so precious and perfect. He came at a perfect time--at Christmas when everyone was in town. Word is that he doesn't even cry. I look forard to seeing him grown. I can already tell he is going to be o so handsome.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Goal #3: Run the Wasach Back

My sister-in-law Katie has put together a team of 12 to run the Wasach Back. This is a 170 mile run that we do as a team. We all have different legs at it. The most we run with one leg is 9 miles. What makes the race so hard is that we only have a few hours recovery time before we have to run again. It is in the mountains, so everyone has a leg that goes straight up. And the altitude is going to be crazy high.

So my goal is to run this. I haven't run since my last knee surgery before I got married when the Dr. said I had a degenrative knee and that high impact and running wasn't best. I've jsut been walking for a year. I started running again this week and feel great. I will be my own best judge with this one. After the race, I will give it another's year rest I'm sure. It had getting in good running shape. Drew and I have both committed to doing it and we don't want to be the weak link. We're going for it! Can wait to follow up with another post about it in 6 months. Whew!

This is such a silly picture but it is the only thing I could find to go along with this post. I always like to include a pic with the post. So I thought a running picture would be necessary... don't have many of those but this one kinda. This was on our honeymoon... We were leaving church trying to get back to the train so we didn't have to wait for the next one. Since I was in the mindset of not running, I did a very powerful power walk. My powerwalk did keep up with Drew's jog. That was a simple but hillarious memory from the honeymoon. Andrew managed to get in front and take a pic. We decided that men don'e have the hips to do a mad powerwalk.

Goal #2: Restore the Cowgirl in Mary Martha

Andrew and I only have a couple years left here in Utah before we head off to who knows where. I want to take full advantage of riding horses beucase I know when I don't have the chance to do so, I'm really going to miss it.

As weird as this sounds, riding horses isn't just about the fun. It provides for a bit of emotional healing at times, and stability to the mind as thoughts can just run away. Horses are a great source of companionship too. When I started dating Drew, he filled that void and I wasn't looking to ride as much. It is a great release. It was a great get-a-way from basektball, that's for sure. When I started dating Andrew, I just didn't need it as much so I thought. But I've gotta get back into it. I've neglected a part of myself and really miss it. And I've neglected the horses as well. Remember in the Toy Story 2 when the girl leave behind the doll... and then song plays "When Somebody Loved Me." I cried in that song. I did that to Melody and don't want to do the same to the horses out here.

This year I'm going to plan out days to ride. It won't be easy with my work and Drew's school, but that is why I'm going to plan in advance.

Goal #1: Learn to give myself in service

Humanitarianism is an amazing thing. It nourishes, reassures, and heals us all. Mother Theresa and Princess Diana showed us just that. With over 10 years of their passing, their memory and example still seem so near. These women inspire me.

Although I won’t be able to do as much good as they have, I can still work towards mirroring their same compassion, empathy, and generosity. I can be more willing to give of my time and energy to reach out and help others. I can smile more often, hug and touch more often, give more time to physically being there with those in needs. I want to work towards adopting some of their beliefs, values, and actions while expanding my comfort zone.

These thoughts might seem kind of random but they’re not at all. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking since I’ve returned from Africa in Feb. It changed me forever. Rather than feeling the warm fuzzies from what I personally did there, I’ve often felt heavy for what I didn’t do and what I passed up. After all, I wasn’t there on a humanitarian project, but there were plenty people I talked to and friendships made where I could have been more open and followed up. In my defense, I was absolutely shocked and taken back by the poverty and deficiencies there. I had my reservations as a result. Which is why these women inspire me to open up and allow myself to give a part of me to others.

I know I can never be a Princess Diana or a Mother Teresa. After all, I’m just Mary Martha. But “I can do my own best work in my own best way.” All of us can do that at least. By doing so, I’ll honor their lives and the world will be much better for it. I’m sure that is what they both would want anyways.

Thursday, January 1, 2009


I've had an inner struggle recently in trying to decide which direction to go with our blog. Of coarse, when I started I anticipated writing about us and whats going on in our life as a way to keep family and friends posted. What motivated me most is "booking our blog." I can't wait to get it printed into a book to where it become a journal on the shelf for us really. I've seen them before and they're amazing. What a fun way to keep a journal.

However, I think about blogging quite a bit and my thoughts on what to blog about have taken a different direction. I'm more hesitant on flashing all our adventures on the Internet for whomever to see, so I can't imagine the hesitation (I obviously don't hesitate that much) when we have kids.

It's funny how the mind works... I often think in blogging terms. That's not a linear thought process either. It's a way to be creative and think and express which is important for many but vital for me. I find myself holding back from blogging about things, ideas, fashion, color, and favorites because it doesn't seem to sink with the whole "andrewandmarymartha" blog theme. So bare with me if I venture out a bit. Maybe I'll move in that direction. Don't get me wrong, I love to express joy and talk about some of the fun things going on in our life. But I don't want to advertise and on a day to day basis, there are some very exciting things going on in my mind that I just need to express-blog about!


It's hard to believe that 2009 is here. I remember celebrating 2000 like it was yesterday-with Nana & Grandpa in LA. I can't think of any better way to kick of the 1st of a new school, no basketball, no work, no to-do list, no obligations... just family lounging around enjoying relaxation and a bit of idleness. Moments like these allow me to reflect on the past and think a bit about the future--which might provoke a few more blog posts.

Having said that, I'm currently enjoying a warm cozy room full of poinsettias while sitting by the Christmas tree. The guys are scattered watching football. 6 of us just returned from a great snowmobile ride. I was actually warm layered in heavy clothing (huge plus while snowmobiling) and I even got up to 60 mph. The snow/powder was perfect and the sun was out so my face was not blistering cold from snow flurries. Can you tell I've had a bad snowmobile experience in the past? I'm back on track and crazy about it. This was just the experience I needed.