Sunday, November 13, 2011

Self-loathing in Lehi or Bringing Awesome Back

Welp, here we are.

It's been roughly 4 months since my last post. Whoa.

I had really high hopes of posting my adventures while I was in Europe, but as anyone who has travelled will tell you, when deciding between sitting in front of a computer writing about Europe or actually going out and experiencing Europe, you choose the latter. Curious about my trip? Well, keep checking back here because I plan on trickling in posts about my trip over then next month or so.

In the mean time, I would like to vent. Vent and also just declare a few things about my life.

You see, I am in what some would call a rut. A pickle, a funk, a humdrum experience, a vortex of doom, if you will. And I'm sick of it. I'm done with it. It is not serving me, and it has gone on long enough. So by telling you fine people about it, I hoping that I can get it out of my system and move on.

Europe and Morocco was unreal. It was heaven. Besides being away from Chris for so long, it was the best thing ever. Everyday was new, exciting, and totally out of my comfort zone in the best possible way. Coming home to Chris and my dog was beyond lovely, but I also came home to a clean slate.

At first this "clean slate" excited me. I was done with school, we had just moved to a new city, there were new surroundings to explore, possibilities galore. But after getting rejected from potential jobs and realizing that my new city can be explored in an afternoon, I found myself sitting at home all day watching Grey's Anatomy. That's right people, I watched 7 seasons of overly dramatic surgeons doing each other in only 2 short months.

It hasn't been all bad, though. I started working a few shifts in the spa at my massage school, which has been fun. I have a few clients come to my house. A poem of mine just got published. I am working on a book with my yoga teacher, who has also asked me to be a teaching assistant in Costa Rica at her teacher training. I now have my own logo and website going on at, which took me forever and I'm really proud of it. I got to take a fun trip with Chris home to Fargo and Minnesota. And American Fork Canyon is only 10 minutes from my house.

But, I have been putting my life on hold to be available for a job that I really wanted and thought for sure I would get. I recently found out I did not get the job, and the two months of waiting around and clearing my schedule was for nothing. Well, not nothing. I did watch 7 seasons of Grey's Anatomy.

So here I am again. Clean slate still relatively clean. But instead of feeling excited about it I'm feeling lazy, rejected, and insanely bored. I found myself being envious of the grocery store janitor because at least they had something to do and a place to be. I guess I could be a janitor at my own house, but I'm also learning that I really suck at being a housewife.

"Well with all of this free time, haven't you been filling it with fun activities and things you love?" you might be asking. And I have been to a certain extent. But you have to understand something about me, I need some sort of structure. Without it, I am embarrassingly unmotivated. If nothing kicks me out of bed in the morning I think, "Laying here feels nice. I will just do this for a while until I have to go pee or get really hungry... I could play the guitar today, but what will I play? Oh I don't know. I suck at the guitar anyway... I'll just watch one episode and then take a shower...Ok one more episode... Just one more, promise..." And then Chris is home from work and we hang out until it's time for bed. But I can't sleep because I slept in and have expended little to no energy during the day. So I stay up late surfing the internet and telling myself what a load of crap I am until I fall asleep on the couch. At about 4 or 5 am I wake up because I'm uncomfortable on the couch with the lights on and somehow plop myself into bed. And let's not even talk about my diet of pumpkin cookies and pasta.

And so, ladies and gentleman, this must end. I declare that it is officially over. I'm taking my life back from the deadly claws of depression and crappy TV dramas. Because of this state I've been in the last few months I have made some poor decisions that I can't take back, and I've settled for a standard of living that is nothing close to what I want for myself. This is not me. This is not who I am. I have worked too hard to let my life be nothing short awesome.

So here's to being awesome. And I do mean having some of awe.

And I do have a game plan. Boy, do I have a game plan. But this post is getting long, and I have things to do! So, stay tuned for my "walking the walk" game plan. It's going to be big.

And thanks for reading. If you've made it to the end of this post, I salute you. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Mi casa es su casa

Well folks, I made it to Logroño, which is a city in the providence of La Rioja. Here is a little map for you visual people. 

I´ve been here for about 2.5 weeks, and I must say that I am in love with it. Apparently, it was voted the number one place to live in Spain because of the quality of life here. Technically I live in a small town called Ladero, which is right on the border on Logroño. I take a bus into town, but you can pretty much walk everywhere you need to be with in 10 or 15 minutes. 

The downtown looks like a typical Spanish town with narrow streets and old buildings, but it is surrounded by mountains and vineyards that I love. I live in a newer development, so my surroundings are quite spacious. 

The dark building in the middle is where I live. Sorry that this photo is kind of dark, but you get the idea if you look close enough.

This is my front door. Notice the Hobbit-like door knob. 

This building is only about a year or two old, and it looks an IKEA display because everything is IKEA! But I loves me the IKEA, so I feel right at home.

I don´t have any pictures of them yet, but my host family is better than I could have ever dreamed. They are a Chilean family that moved here for the Wine scene. La Rioja is world famous for it´s wine (wine is cheaper than water here), and my host dad is a wine maker. They are a couple in their late 30´s with three kids, who are adorable. They are really laid back, super nice, and just a good time to be around. We get along really well. 

I have nothing to really compare this experience to, but living with a host family in Spain is the life. I get up for dance class with the magical Veronica (yes I have a Spanish dance class),

 and then go 2.5 hours of language class taught by this firey Spanish chica.

I can´t even tell you how much I love Ines. She is loud, always looks fantastic, halarious, and one of the nicest people you will ever meet. She makes learning grammer a very entertaining event. 

Here is my class (all USU students) with our history teacher the first week we were here. But history class is no more. 

At around 2:00pm, I take the bust back home (this sign is how I know when to get off. I have yet to figure out what it means)

 and find lunch and a made bed (when I run out of time in the morning to make it myself) waiting for me. Lunch is always followed by my favorite thing about Spain: Siestas.

Here is my made bed where I endulge in siesta goodness.

Upon arising from a delicious nap I do homework, watch some TV (which I have in my room), or go out to my personal patio and do some yoga.

So far in the evenings I´ve had a cooking class with the beloved and masterful Paco. No words can describe my love for this man. He calls me his American daughter. 

And he feeds us the most delicious food in places like this:

This is a underground tunnel from the 1400´s. It used to be used for hiding when the city was being threatened. And now it feeds hungry Spaniards and their guests! 


I should also note the Paco made us his award winning ice cream. It won first place at the international ice cream tournament. First place! I have offically eaten the best ice cream in the world. And boy was it!

They eat dinner around 9 or 10 here, so after cooking class I usually go straight home to bed. 

And then I wake up the next morning and do it again. Not too shabby, eh? And we only have classes Monday through Thursday, so I have the whole weekend for adventures. I will post about the adventures thus far soon.

And that is my life in a nut shell. I can´t believe I only have a few weeks left.

Stay tuned for San Fermin craziness and climbing in The Pyreneese! 

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Barcelona or bust!

After moving, online classes, and running Ragnar (which I will post about one of these days), I made it on a plane that whisked me away to Spain! After three plane rides and time travelling, I was painfully reminded about how flying and jet lag quickly kills the magic of going to a foreign land. But, stick around long enough and the magic comes back. And it doesn´t take long in a place like Barcelona.

Yes, my reason for coming to Spain is for a Study Abroad program through Utah State in La Rioja, but I figured I would visit some friends since I was in the neighborhood. Meet Susie:

She was one of my roommates when I lived in Costa Rica studying Yoga. She lives in Barcelona teaching dance and yoga, and it was so lovely to meet up with her after two years of being apart. She was my saving grace while I recovered from travelling, and she helped me learn the ways of the Spaniards. Honestly, if you ever need someone to help you kick jet lag where it hurts, Susie is the one to do it. Man oh man. But I loved her for it. 

Barcelona really is a magical city. It seems that each brick in the cobblestone streets has centuries worth of stories to tell. Majestic cathedrals mingle inbetween restaurants and shops, and each round about is home to a fountain or statue of some explorer or war  hero. Palm trees wave with the breeze coming in from the Mediterranean, which you can get a peek of if you leave the narrow streets. Susie lives in a neighborhood called Gracia, which is more like a village that hooks onto the bigger city. Sadly, my time there was short, and I was mostly in a jet lag haze, but here are a few things that I got to do.

The weekend I arrived was the weekend where they celebrate the saint San Juan. People of all ages gather in the streets at all hours of the night to eat, drink, and set off fireworks. I had the pleasure of being startled by cracks and booms many-a-time while walking around and while I was trying to sleep. One of Susie´s british friends, Kate, had a few of us over for dinner to celebrate.  

Dancing in the streets happened, of course. Here is Madalena and Susie shakin´it.

Gaudi is a famous Spanish architect who creates crazy buildings such as this:

And this:

One day we chilled at a beautiful beach right outside of Barcelona. Here is Kate and her adorable son Oscar enjoying the day.

Here is the beach, but this photo doesn´t do it justice. It´s near the airport so we could see airplanes come and go. They were so close I felt like I could reach up and touch them.

We went to a huge market that seemed to have every food under the sun.

This is a plaza where the royality used to live. 

One of the many cathedrals. We were able to see a wedding going on inside.

Susie and her delightful boyfriend Alejandro. I´m so thankful for them. They took such good care of me!

And that is a brief rundown of my time in Barcelona. I was so fortunate to have Susie and her wonderful friends there to show me a good time. 

Now, I am living in La Rioja and have a week of my program under my belt. But I´ll post more on that later. Feel free to follow me on this blog to stay updated on my time living in Spain and other European adventures.



Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Update Montage

Hello Folks,

Well, summer is finally here, and while there is a very brief lull in the Martin happenings, I'll  provide a little update for those of you out there who care.

This past semester...

We celebrated this many years of being wed:

I switched from snowboarding to this:

We cross-country skied four miles up to this for Valentine's Day:

I was in a play where I did a lot of this:

We went to Albuquerque to visit Chris's dad and adorable half-siblings and did this:

For Spring Break we got this little guy:

And then went up to Bear Lake and stayed in a cabin where we saw this:

And did this:

With these people:

I also rolled my first one of these:

Then we went to Escalante where we did this:

And made our dogs to this:

Later in March, we held another successful tournament in which we played this:

And did this:

The day after the tournament I did this:

Chris had a conference in the Bahamas, so I tagged along and did a lot of this:

For my 26th birthday I got to eat this:

Followed by this:

Oh, and Chris was awarded this for being Utah State University's Man of the Year.

During finals week we did this in the library:


And finished the semester off by doing this:

Graduation was followed by packing up, saying goodbye to Logan, and saying hello to Utah Valley. As much as Utah Valley isn't our scene, Chris got a really great job in north Orem, and we are moving into a real nice place at the point of the mountain in Lehi.

We move into our new place on Saturday, I'm running the Wasatch Back next Friday and Saturday, then the following Tuesday I'm leaving for Spain for seven weeks. The fun just never stops with the Martin crew, but I'll post more about those adventures as they unfold.