Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Total Eclipse of the Heart

I'm sure you've heard that the 3rd installment in the Twilight Series, Eclipse came out today/yesterday. Millions of sqee-ing girls lined up with 12:01 am movie tickets with bursting hearts and the shakes at the idea of seeing the Twi-Hunks.

Amateurs.

Jaye did some digging and found a really neat deal at the Biltmore shopping area where you paid $47 (I know - just wait) and you got a gift certificate for a 3 course meal at any restaurant at the BiltMall AND a movie ticket to the 8:30 pm screening of Eclipse!

First, let me tell you my feelings about Twilight, knowing the risk that Jaye might slash my tires for some of it. I was really into the Twi books when I read them. I skipped from one to the other with the speed and whisky qualities of a stone skipping on water. I HAD to know what happened
in the end - did Bella become a vamp or not?! I even tried really hard to ignore the fact that Stephanie Meyer's writing was horrendous and there were some character qualities that I really disliked. But once the series was over, after a fourth installment that I hated, I was left with a disenchanted feeling. Looking back on the series, there was just too much I didn't like. Man, I wish I could go back to the mania I felt when Edward and Bella were first falling in love. Now I'm left with icky feelings about controlling boyfriends, unhealthy teen relationships, anti-climax and pedophilia.

So Twilight has a special place in my heart, but I'm not the typical avid fan. I still went to this showing because I do enjoy the story and the
movies, but more than that I like the experience of going to the early showing. Jaye and I have gone together to each early showing of the Twilight films, plus all the midnight Harry Potters when we lived in the same city. (The 3rd HP came out when I was in Flagstaff.) I love the hype.

(Oh geez. This blog entry is getting long. And I'm not nearly done. Quick! Insert an image to break it all up!)
Thoughts while waiting to see the show (taken directly from my blackberry on which I was taking notes):
  1. Stuffing 100 people in a back hallway waiting to be let into the theater was a bad idea. We're all getting hot and claustrophobic.
  2. If I paid for a life-size cardboard cutout of Robert Pattinson, would I fold him in half? I mean, sure, it makes him more travel-size, but then you just have a big RPatz with a crease in him.
  3. Will the half piece of Red Velvet Cheesecake in my purse go bad during the course of the two hour movie? (Added later: is said cheesecake still good if you forgot to put it in the fridge when you got home and it sat in your purse all night? I don't have the answer, except to tell you that I'm planning on eating it when I get home from work today.)
  4. Did people MAKE these glittery "Team Edward" shirts, or have I grossly underestimated the number of stores selling these?
  5. I ate too much Cheesecake Factory dinner to be wearing skinny jeans
  6. I'm pleasantly surprised at the type of people here. Definitely more "young moms gathering after work" than "shrieking emo teens wearing flannel."
Thoughts on the actual movie: I liked it. I actually really liked it for what it was, and with the expectations I had going in (I don't like Kristen Stewart's acting). I particularly thought Taylor Lautner's acting was much improved and impressive, especially during the scenes where he first hears how soon Bella wants to be transformed. The movie was a big emotional tug-of-war with some short action sequences throughout, so I doubt I'll be forcing Michael to come to this one. I liked the action at the end - it wasn't too long and the effects were pretty cool - much better than past TwiFilms.

There aren't too many negative points that I can bring up that are with the movie specifically since most of my problems with the series come from the books. For example, Edward's possessiveness comes from the book and wasn't created in the film, so I can't really fault it. There were actually things I liked better in the movie than the book. You get more emotion from Bella at the thought of giving up her family (Mom) and some vocalizing of the love triangle.

And I loved how they took a few shots at themselves, making self-referential jokes. Edward, for example, quips, "Doesn't he own a shirt?" when Jacob shows up shirtless.

So we got out of the movie at 10:30 to see a bunch of teens waiting eagerly, jealously looking us over, at once begging to know how it was and then screaming "NO, don't tell me!"

Poor little guys.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tyler and Lindsey's Wedding

The wedding was in a really pretty garden center that seems like it must have been built with the purpose of holding weddings. Gardens and shrubery and flowers and fountains - really, it was beautiful.
It was lovely. Only one problem.
It was 99 degrees outside with incredibly high humidity, an outdoor wedding at 6:00 pm. I hope this doesn't come across as complaining. If, for any reason, the bride ever comes across this blog and sees it, I hope she will not interpret this post as complaining, but merely commenting on the facts of the day.

I felt so bad for these guys:
I mean, I was there in my yellow dress (that I asked for your help on) and I was really worried about sweating through it. Turns out I needn't have worried - the dress hid any moisture well, and let's just say I was definitely glistening. But the groomsmen - poor guys! - had to stand up there in direct sunlight in up to 4 layers of clothes! (Undershirt, dress shirt, vest, COAT!) What good sports!

There were seriously moments when I was worried one or more was going to pass out.
But look how beautiful the bride was!
After the vows, we all came inside. Most people were delighted by the booze and wine. I was excited to see this:
That's right, a chocolate fountain. Needless to say, I made a few trips back to this bad boy.


It was a good night. After the wedding we all went to an after party at a friend's house where we played pool volleyball until 3 in the morning. We had to get up at 7 the next day to fly home, but it was all worth it.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Tulsa Beginnings

We were pretty excited to be jetting out of Phoenix for the weekend. Tyler, who was a groomsman in our wedding, asked Michael to be in his wedding.

It sure was hot there. Phoenix may be sizzlin', but at least there's no humidity. This means that you don't sweat much, and even when you do it evaporates quickly. This isn't so in 85% humidity Oklahoma. Simply stepping out of the airport onto the street made me wilt. I felt like I was standing in the shower: not the part where you're actually under the water, but the other part at the other end where you stand when you're trying to soap down. I needed a snorkel to breathe.

On the first night there, a big group got together for dinner. Here I am with the bride, Lindsey, and Alexa.
On Friday Michael played golf with the other menfolk while Alexa and I got lost in Tulsa for a few hours. After giving up on finding a friend's house to go swimming, we then proceeded to lock ourselves out of the house. The men had to hurry home from lunch to let us inside because it was so hot outside.
Then we all got ready for the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.
Russell and Alexa:
And here are the guys with the groom. So handsome, gents!
Here are all of the groomsmen at the dinner. Sticking to the same color palate: planned? No. Awesome looking? You betcha.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Ice, Ice Baby

Have you heard of the "Bros Icing Bros" phenomenon? Here're the rules:
1. If a "Bro" (pal, buddy, stranger) presents you with a Smirnoff Ice drink, you have to get down on one knee and chug it right then and there. This can be done by simply presenting it, or by hiding it in a place they're likely to look, such as the medicine cabinet or copy machine. It's best if the Ice is in one of the worse flavors or is lukewarm and therefore abhorrent in taste.
2. If the Bro being iced has an Ice on his person, he can "Ice Block" the former Bro and then that Bro has to chug BOTH of the Ices.

Michael and I have both kind of laughed off this little fad, but never really had to worry about getting iced. Mostly because we don't go out that often and because I'm not, in fact, a "bro."

We should have known.

As you know, we just got back from a trip to Oklahoma to see a great friend Tyler get married. Here is the groom on the night before the wedding, getting iced. (We tucked a Strawberry Acai Ice in the collar of his dog. So technically, he got Iced by Danny the yellow lab.)Michael got Iced by Mindy Kay, taking the game outside just "bros" and allowing "hoes" into it.And try as I might not to be involved, I was iced with a Green Apple Ice by Alexa.
Wedding pictures to come!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Need Your Advice

Let's say you're going to a wedding this weekend. It's in a very hot (99 degrees high) and very humid environment. It's an outdoor wedding and the ceremony starts at 6pm. You already suspect that you sweat more than the average woman. You are planning on wearing a yellow dress. Your concern is that you will be sweating profusely, and that sweat will show through your dress. DO YOU:
a. wear normal undergarments in the hope that you will be able to cool down using the breeze to your advantage? Or,
b. wear Spanx, giving you a suction advantage AND acting as a partial sweat barrier, but adding an extra layer to disallow you to cool off?
Please vote. Thanks.
By the way, this is a completely hypothetical situation, and is in no way related to the wedding I'm going to this weekend, as I would never publicly admit to sweating an abnormal amount.

Downtime

I'm home for about a 12 hour period, and am devoting at least a small bit of it to you, blog readers.

I just got home from Prescott, Arizona, where I was working a conference. I was only there for two days, but it seemed like longer because of everything going on. Today, for example, we had presentations, a lunch with attendees and only afterward did we drive home. It's about a 2 hour drive from Phoenix and about 20 degrees cooler up there, which was a nice change.

Last night was kind of funny. The conference was holding a fundraiser Texas Hold 'Em Poker tournament, and my coworker and I decided to enter so we could have some fun and network with some of the people there. Well, I died a slow and painful death in this arena. Highlights included my asking "Wait wait wait...the dealer plays the hand?!?" when the entire room suddenly became silent, and when I accidentally turned over the river when it wasn't time yet, and was looked upon with shame by the cardsharks at the table.
I was just pleased to make it past the first round. My chip demise was long overdue at that point, and was not far off.

Tomorrow morning, Michael and I fly to Tulsa, Oklahoma to watch two friends get married. We were so lucky to be there when Lindsey and Tyler got engaged, and we're so excited for them to get married!

I love weddings for the following reasons:

  1. I love love
  2. I love seeing the things brides (and grooms) pick to make their special day important and unique. A wedding really tells you a lot about a couple, I think.
  3. I love wedding dancing. I don't like dancing in clubs because I hate the monotonous throbbing music and the repetitive grinding dance move you do over and over again for three hours. I like funky dancing. At weddings you are forced to do somewhat clean dancing because Dear Aunti Muriel is on the dancefloor. I like this. A lot.
  4. Cake
  5. Vows. Whether they be the traditional ones or ones written by the couple. It makes me remember our vows and I always end up making my promises to Michael all over again.
  6. Seeing everybody get all dressed up in their finest. I'm obviously talking about the bride and the entire bridal party, but everyone else too. I think it's nice that we, as a society, deem proclamations of eternal love important enough to dress up for. Like saying, "I support your love, and will show it by wearing my good pearls and uncomfortable shoes." I don't know what I'd do if I was invited to one of those weddings in the parking lot of the Waffle House.
  7. Cake

Monday, June 21, 2010

Huge News!

*This post was actually written on June 14th*

Hark! How excited I am! I can hardly type for the jittery exclamation points running through my veins!

Michael got a new job!

Not just any new job. A really really cool new job. A big time step up. With an awesome, big, well-known organization/business. (I would tell you the name, but I don't really want to be search-able, you know? You never know who's reading!) Please call me, email me or leave a comment (with your contact info) if you'd like to know what company he's going to be working with.
He starts the day after we get back from the cruise!

We've been waiting for the news, one way or the other, from the company. Every time Michael called me today my heart lept in my chest waiting to hear. Well, around 4:30pm I was convinced he wouldn't hear until tomorrow, and that this probably wasn't a good sign. Well Michael comes home at 6 with a bottle of champagne in his hands!
After a good twenty-minute freakout on my part, and a reenactment of the entire phone conversation, we popped open the champagne and called the parents.
Michael, I'm so proud of you for getting this dream job. You aimed high and you hit the target. I'm so so happy for you. As in, so so happy, not so-so happy.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Jam Session

Thanks to Jaye, I'm now aware of a cute little farmer's market near our home. It's not huge, we could never do all our shopping here, but I have bought a few things. Mostly, though, I just love walking past the stands with all the freshly grown produce laying around.

Last week I bought a small basket of nectarines because the whole thing was only $4. They enticed me into it by giving me a sample of the sweetest, juiciest morsel of fruit you've ever tasted. Michael makes a bold statement over my shoulder that we'll never eat that many nectarines before they go bad. He, however, had just bought a loaf of sourdough bread, which I didn't think we'd finish, so now we were even.

Well, sure enough those nectarines had softened up beautifully before we had the chance to eat them all, so I did what anyone would do: try to make homemade jam.

Turned out pretty good, too.

Yeah, I know it looks kind of funny. The instructions tell you to turn the jar upside down for five minutes while it sets. I might have accidentally left it like that for more like 40 minutes, so it looked like this. Don't worry, once I stirred it, it looks like normal jam again.It might be a tad stiffer than your typical jam. I had to improvise with measurements because I didn't have as much of everything as the instructions recommended, so my amount of pectin (firming substance) was a bit off.

Anyway, it's so delicious and tangy. Jam on!

Friday, June 18, 2010

On the Bright Side

Well, we've officially come to that time again.

We've left the land of cool evenings and lovely afternoons into the desolate, parched land of One Hundred Degrees Plus. Or more like One Hundred Ten Degrees Plus.

Oh, but it's so hot outside. What are we supposed to do when it's 115 degrees outside? People ask why we Arizonans aren't very tan in the summer. It's because it's too hot to stay outside. Even after dipping in the pool, the water evaporates off you after a minute and you're left baking like an ant under a magnifying glass.

So because the Arizona summer comes with so many 'cons,' I thought I'd make a list of 'pros' to try to trick myself into being glad the season has come.
  1. Arizona shopkeepers and restauranteurs seem intent on blasting their shops with the air of the Arctic. Now, when you step outside, you have a few wonderful moments of thaw that feel great
  2. I get to test out the "MAX COLD" air conditioning setting on the Prius
  3. The snow birds have left Arizona, making the roads a safer place. Side note: One time while getting off a ramp of the freeway, I was terrified to realize that a car was driving toward me in the wrong direction! I pulled off as far as I could and stared in horror at the oncoming driver. When I looked over, it was a little old lady who could barely see over the steering wheel. Thank goodness she soon pulled over after (seemingly) realizing what she was doing.
  4. Fewer people want to be in AZ. That means shorter wait times for restaurants, smaller crowds at movies, etc. etc.
  5. Red is a good color for me. As in, my face is constantly a shade of red from over-heating
  6. I get more exercise. I am now motivated to jog the 15 steps from my office to my car
  7. Saguaro cacti have stopped sprouting their strange buds that creep me out because they look like warts
  8. If the power ever goes out, I'll still be able to cook dinner on the sidewalk in front of the house
  9. My hair takes 30 minutes to dry naturally once out of the shower. No matter that it dries with a strange semi-wave and is ultra-staticky.
  10. We get to escape it all by GOING TO GREECE!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

What a Blessing!

Michael and I were quite honored to be invited to attend the Blessing Ceremony of Smith, the babylicious child of our friends Remi and Cole. Truly, it was so wonderful to see this little bundle of life surrounded by such a crowd of people who love him so much.
Check out that toe action! Don't you love that sassy belt!? Actually, this is the same Blessing outfit that Cole used when he was just a babe. Good thing it fit! I plan on asking Cole's mom how she keeps her whites so white.

I'm pretty proud of myself because I only had one real awkward moment at the gathering, and I tend to be much more awkward than that in social situations. (In case you're interested, it involved me inviting myself over to the host's house so I could jump on their in-ground trampoline. I'd only just met them an hour before. I'm lucky Remi's parents are the sweetest people EVER.)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Places, People, Things

Growing up, when my mom had to wake me up for school or another occasion, she would march into my room and sing a song to the tune of Reville, that military wake-up song. The words to the song were as follows:

It’s time to get up, it’s time to get up, it’s time to get up in the moooor-ning!
It’s time to get up, it’s time to get up, it’s time to start your day!

This would usually be followed by one of two sayings. The first was “Up and at ‘em,” which until recently I thought was “Up and Adam.” For years I had a strange vague curiosity as to who “Adam” was.

The other sayings was, “Places to go, people to see, things to do!”

I would usually attempt some kind of go-back-to-sleep tactic while grumbling about Mom’s sunny devotion to being a morning person – a non-inheritable trait, it turns out. So while the wisdom of this bright Martin idiom might not have been evident to me at the time, it’s certainly come to some importance since.

The truth is that I love sleeping in. I love to sleep. I love the feeling of the cool sheets on your skin when you change positions in bed. But Michael could tell you how much I hate being cooped up in the house all day. On a day when we’ve been apart the whole day he’ll tenuously ask me, “Have you been out of the house yet today?” Usually because my mood is directly related to whether or not I’ve gotten fresh air and been exposed to sunlight.

Because the world is out there, breezing by in a unique way every single moment. There really are places to go, people to see, things to do…every single day. It’s so easy to miss them if we’re too lazy or too tired or too moody to appreciate them. We each have one life, and no one knows how long it will be.

I’m as guilty as anyone for taking moments for granted. For watching a marathon of America’s Next Top Model reruns instead of taking a walk or planting a peach tree or painting a fresco. But even now, six years since I’ve moved out of my parents’ home, sometimes Mom’s saying will creep into my consciousness and I’ll turn off the TV or set down the book and go make an adventure of my own.

I’ll get up. And Adam.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Reading Machine Losing Gasoline

I'm usually a pretty good reader.

English/Language Arts was always my favorite subject in school. Except for Ms. Gantert's class when I got in trouble for flirting with a boy and he didn't get in trouble for flirting back with me! The only thing I learned in that class was that some old ladies still favored sexism! (If I hear "boys will be boys" one more time...) Even when we were reading things I didn't particularly like (Their Eyes Were Watching God, anyone?), I still liked reading and could finish a story. In my life, I've hardly ever not been able to finish a book.

And in the last few months I've come across 6 books that I can't seem to get through.

1. East of Eden - recommended to me by my old boss (as in, he doesn't work there anymore. Not that he's particularly elderly) who I really liked, so I figured his suggestion was a good one. Not true. I mean, it's deep and all. It's just so. slow.

2. A Breath of Snow and Ashes - the sixth book in the Outlander series. This makes me particularly sad because I really enjoyed the first four books. Maybe it's because each book is about a thousand pages, but I'm just Outlandered Out.

3. Desperation - this cemented my feelings that I'm not a Stephen King fan unless he's writing under the pseudonym Richard Bachman. This was on audio book, so I did finish it. But it was painful.

4. The Warrior Heir - it should have been a tip-off that this audio book was found in the Young Adult section of the library. Are all modern authors just junk? Am I a cynic and a harsh judge because I want so desperately to be a writer and taken seriously myself? Where are the Jane Austens of our time?

5. The Mermaid Chair - also on audio book. This one was a #1 best seller, so I figured it had to be good, right? Never mind about the plight to find a current Jane Austen...this author tries so hard to be deep and poignant but ends up being obvious. I keep finding myself rolling my eyes in the car. I'm almost done with it, but keep deciding I'd rather listen to the sounds of traffic than listen to more of this book.

6. Stone of Tears - the second in the Sword of Truth series, recommended to me by Jaye. Loved the first one because of the romance. I've been told in advance that the second book has the two main characters separated the whole time. This is not providing much motivation to wade through nearly 1000 pages without any making out going on.

With the exception of the first Sword of Truth book, I haven't really found a book lately that I did like! What's happened to me?!?

Can anyone cure me of this literary apathy? Can anyone recommend a great read? There's not a lot I don't like, except for chairs of mermaids and Stephen King, apparently. It doesn't even have to be deep - I could really use some light cruise reading material!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Would you rather...

Work five 8-hour days or four 10-hour days?

A long time ago my employer made the switch to four 8-hour days. I loved it. It was so wonderful having Fridays off. Every weekend was a long weekend. Thursdays were the new Fridays. Fridays were the new Saturdays. Saturdays were ... well, they still felt like Saturday, but like an extra Saturday because you still didn't have to get up for work the next day. I even worked sort of near the office, so those 10-hour shifts weren't too bad.

When management got changed, we reverted back to the five 8-hour days. I was pretty upset to be losing my 3 day weekends. Sayonara, extra sleep-in day! And by then we had moved into our new home, meaning one more day of a 50 minute commute! Ugh.

Well, I've gotten used to my 8-hour day. I enjoyed getting to work at 8am so I could leave at 4. I'd get home around 5, with plenty of time for the gym, making dinner and watching Jeopardy with Michael.

This is the first week of the official work summer calendar, which means we have the option to go back to a four 10-hour day week until August begins. In a lot of ways I've been looking forward to this for weeks: "Blessed long weekends, you have returned!"

So why am I dreading this return to the long short week? Is it because my commute is so much longer, meaning I might not get home until nearly 7pm, so I won't be able to get in all my extra curric's? I changed my hours to be 7-5 to accomodate a little, but still. Is it because the days just seem so long when they're 10 hours long? Is it because sitting in an office chair for 10 hours is making my butt feel like it's getting flatter and flatter? Is this scientifically possible?

Or will all these feelings fade away this Friday morning when I'm sitting on my couch in my sweatpants watching Robinhood: Prince of Thieves?

Please tell me (by way of poll over ----> there) which you would rather work.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Sake' it to me

While Michael was out gallivanting around town, I was left to my own devices. This meant a night of sushi and sake with JP, Shannon, Kai, Vince and Bethany.
The place we went was cool because it allowed us to bring our own beer, wine and sake and they didn't charge us a corking fee. This allowed us to buy drinks at a lower price at Total Wine and saving money that way. While Shan and I sipped a little sake and drank a little wine, the others went for some sake bombers.











Only after a couple rounds of table pounding to make the sake shot fall into the beer did we find out that this was not allowed. Oops. We got a few side-eyes from the rest of the small restaurant and were worried about offending the two older couples at the table behind ours.

We got a boat of sushi or two.
Kai didn't really understand why he wasn't allowed to play with the boat. Apparently it's bad luck to drop your own sake into your beer glass, so they used a complex system to allow all bombers good luck.Turns out that there was no need to be worried about offending our table neighbors. They were good-spirited, telling us we reminded them of what it was like to be young. After insisting they were still young, we even talked them into taking a shot of sake!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Bachelor, Phoenix Edition

Two of Michael's best friends are in town - Russell and Tyler - both of whom were groomsmen in our wedding. Tyler's getting married in a few weeks, so they're having their own little Bachelor weekend here in Phoenix! I got pretty excited when I heard about it because I haven't seen these guys in awhile. They'd never seen our house before, so I assumed they'd all be staying here over the weekend. I even went so far as to tell Michael I'd make them breakfast the this (Sunday) morning after their big night out.

Michael told me that wives making pancakes isn't exactly how Bachelor parties are supposed to go. :(

Tyler got in on Friday night so we headed to Z Tejas for dinner. We started the party weekend by maxing out with three Chambord Margaritas each. (They cut you off after three, but Tyler managed to get a fourth one). So great to see this guy!
The guys went out last night and stayed at the Valley Ho Hotel in Old Town, so I haven't even seen Russell yet. I've only spoken with Michael once since 6 pm last night, so at least I know they survived and didn't end up with a baby and a tiger in the bathroom. I did just get a phone call saying they were stopping at In and Out, so that sounds about right.

If I'd really thought about it, I could have made cupcakes that looked like boobs or something. That would be more acceptable than pancakes, right?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Martins Show Up

Technically I'm not a Martin anymore in name. I went the traditional route and took Michael's last name as my own. I am all about Girl Power and womyn's rights and everything, but I just like this tradition. I'm starting a family with him, I want our children to have one name, so I took his. It's the way my family's always done it, so this wasn't exactly headline news. But I did take my maiden name as my middle name to keep with me. I figured that 'Martin' was much more a part of me than my previous middle name and I wanted to keep it.

But even though I have a new last name, I still consider myself a Martin, and have carried the Martin idioms with me into this new world of marriedhood. This is the first in what will be at least a five part series of Martin sayings that my parents taught me.

The first is "Martins Show Up." I was reminded of this gem by a long phone call with my dad a couple weeks ago. He was telling me how sad he was that he'd recently had to lay off a bunch of employees. They were good people who hadn't done anything wrong, just that their business had to let people go to be able to continue operating. After my dad (the vice president of the company) delivered the news personally to the employees, one stood up and thanked my dad for giving the news personally instead of staying locked up in his office behind a big desk to let someone else do the dirty work.

My dad told him that Martins show up.

When I was in high school I played for a soccer team that was probably one of the top four programs in Arizona. I loved the girls on this team. We'd traveled together, practiced a few times a week, won, lost, cried together. I had a managable relationship with the coach and had been with them since I moved to Arizona. But I wasn't getting help from the coach in getting college recognition, so I started guest playing with the #2 team in Arizona in tournaments that my regular team didn't get in to. (Don't talk to me about the #1 team. Is it offensive to call Sereno Nazi-ish? Sereno is a surefire way to kill your love of the sport). I found out that I liked these new girls too, it was a better team that was going to better tournaments and had college coaches at a lot of games. If I wanted to play soccer in college - and I did - this was a better club for it.

My parents and I sat down and tried to decide if I should permanently leave my old team and move to this new one. Not to let my histrionic side go wild, but this was the hardest decision of my life. I'm not kidding, I had nightmares. I didn't want to be a traitor to my old team, but I also didn't want to kiss my college dreams goodbye. I would wake up knowing what I should do, then wake up feeling a different way. In the end, I knew that staying with my old team would be simpler, but going to the new team would be right.

Other girls had left our team before. Normally they'd just stop showing up, or they'd have their mom call the coach and break the news that way. We would always hate it when girls would take this easy way out. My parents told me that Martins show up. It would certainly not be easy, but I owed my team a face-to-face explanation. So on what would prove to be an intensely difficult evening, I showed up at the next practice and told my girls - in tears - why I was leaving for another competing squad. Some girls were mad. Some understood. Some gave me a hug and cried too. Some walked off without saying goodbye.

It was so hard, but I'm glad I did it. It taught me that you can't run from a fight. If you're tough enough to make a choice for an action, you have to be tough enough to execute it with honor.

I hope you don't mind reading about my Martin Idioms. I thought about writing these a few weeks ago but hesitated because I worried it would seem like I'm bragging about how cool my family sayings are. Or whatever. But I couldn't think of much else to blog about lately and decided to go for it. If you're reading this blog, chances are you know me personally so you don't mind hearing about little things my parents taught me. Maybe you have your own family sayings? I'd love to hear about them in your own blog or in the comments.