Archive: December 2009  |  View all recent posts

Tue. Dec 29, 2009 by Mary    Spread the Love

On Taking Chances

Spread the Love is coming up SO fast and we are so excited to meet everybody! We have been absolutely blown away by how many of you have signed up and we can't wait to hug each and everyone of you in person to thank you for making this tour happen. Seriously, YOU did this. And we absolutely love you for it!

Right now we are about chin deep in moving boxes and wondering to ourselves where in the world this year went. How can it possibly be the end of December? I'm sure many of you are feeling the same way. I'm sure you're busy thinking about this past year and what worked and what didn't. Of what you want to do more of, less of, and better for next year. I know that you have dreams bigger than your heart can hold. And I also know how paralyzing it can be trying to figure out what to do next. What steps to take and where to spend the money (especially when that money is tight already!) I get how scary it can be to go out on a limb for someone and trust that they'll care about those dreams of yours as much as you do.

I know there are a lot of you out there who would absolutely LOVE to come to Spread the Love, but you're afraid you're not ready. You're not sure what's going to get you closer to chasing those dreams, and you're afraid of making the wrong choices. I know because you've told me.

I want to tell you how much we care. I want to tell you that if you decide to take a chance on us, we're going to do everything in our power to make you so glad that you did. From the very bottom of my heart I want to tell you that.

But I also don't want to ask you to take my word for it. After all, I am just a *little* biased! :) Instead, I thought it would be really good to hear from someone who's been there. Someone who has dreams bigger than her heart can hold. And someone who decided to take a chance on us.

From the incredible Sarah Hodzic:

I have to say that seeing Justin and Mary in 2008 was one of the major turning points that year which made me decide to keep my business going.
I was at a tough crossroads in my life and business, I was truly ready to throw my hands up in the air and say, "Forget this crazy business, it's too hard!"
The very night that I was going to make the decision to throw in the towel (which is what I really wanted to do), I drug myself to the PUG meeting where
I got to hear Justin and Mary share some remarkable ways to approach the "selling" of one's self and business... and what I found was it was less about
the "sales pitch"... oh, it was SO much more. It was about connecting!

You mean, we can connect with the people who we get to share in one of their most intimate days with? I mean really connect, form friendships and still
retain a strong sense of business? Well, this was revolutionary to me. The part of this business that I tend to loath is the "selling", but when I was able to see the whole process in a different light, I felt renewed, I felt like someone had just given me the tools and permission to really make a connection with my clients which is what I was longing to do.

So, to make a very long story short(ish), Justin and Mary's talk that night rejuvenated me and my desire to move forward.
I urge you all to sign up for this tour, I will be there will bells on! I might even be wearing my I *heart* J&M shirt - if it doesn't make
me seem like a stalker... :D

I hope everyone is having a great holiday season so far and I look forward to seeing you on
January 7th!

Sarah Hodzic

Here's to taking chances!
So much love,

Sun. Dec 27, 2009 by Mary    Life with J&M

It's Like Macaroni & Tomatoes

I can see it now as clearly as if it was yesterday. My mom is dancing with the broom to the beat of the Oldsmobile soundtrack that came with our car. A 1985 Cutlass Ciera. Maroon with a silver stripe. The cassette tape is a compilation of all the greatest hits of the time: Billie Jean meets Danger Zone meets Cyndi Lauper's Time After Time. And my mom sure knows how to dance.

I sit on the floor watching her and The People's Court as clouds of dirt swirl above me. And when I get hungry, she brings me plates full of ketchup & fish sticks and pink lemonade in a mason jar. I eat and she sweeps. And all is right with the world.

When she's done cleaning, she makes herself a big bowl of macaroni and stewed tomatoes. And I think it's the grossest thing I've ever seen. But she's just paying honor to where she came from. Going back to what she's always known. And taking comfort that there are some things that you can always count on.

When my mom was just 15 years old, she was turned out on her own with only the rent & the electric bill paid through the rest of the month. The cabinets in her old house were completely bare except for a couple boxes of macaroni and a few cans of tomatoes. And that's how she kept herself alive that month. And then the next and the next.

My mom is the single strongest person I know.

I don't think I've ever told her that. She's a fighter and a doer and she always comes out swinging. She picked herself up out of that old house and built a real life for herself. And for me. And because of her, I never once had to worry about where my next meal was coming from. There was always an abundance of fish sticks and pink lemonade. Biscuits and gravy. Steak and green beans.

I asked her once how she could stand to still eat macaroni & tomatoes, knowing that it came from such a hard time in her life. And she just looked at me and said, "Sometimes you need to remember the hard you can ever really appreciate the good ones."

Right now as we're packing up everything we own and the rent is only paid through the rest of the month, I can't help thinking of my mom. And how different my "hard times" are from hers. See, I've really been stressing about the move and the idea of boxing everything up and leaving it while we're on tour for two and a half months. But then I think of her and everything she came through, and I just have to smile at how stupid I can really be sometimes.

See because of her, my hard times aren't really hard at all. And my good times are that much better. So someday (way, way off in the future) when my own kids see me eating fish sticks & ketchup and pink lemonade from a mason jar, and they ask me how I can eat something so gross....Mom, I'm going to tell them about you. About everything you overcame. And, of course, about your dancing. :) And I'm going to tell them that I'm just paying honor to where I came from. Going back to what I've always known.

And taking comfort that there are some things...and some people...that you can always count on.

Fri. Dec 25, 2009 by Mary    Life with J&M

Merry Christmas from the Marantz's!!

Merry Christmas everybody!! We've been eating breakfast (eggnog rum french toast!) and opening presents. And NOBODY is better at opening presents than Cooper!

Wishing you all the blessings & happiness you so very much deserve! As always, thank you for sharing your lives with us this year. You are the best present we could ask for!
Much love,

Cooper opening presents! Christmas 2009! from Justin Marantz on Vimeo.

Wed. Dec 23, 2009 by Mary    Weddings

Gibbett Hill Wedding: Lisa & Joe (Part II)

And now, here is Part II of Lisa & Joe's lovely Gibbett Hill wedding!!

LOVE her face!

Their cake was unbelievable!

Love the little vintage frames for the table numbers!

First Dance

Lisa & Joe did a traditional Korean ceremony during the reception.

How cute are these two?!

The End!!

Tue. Dec 22, 2009 by Mary    Life with J&M

The "What's your Favorite Ornament" Contest!!

Ok. So I have the saddest thing in the world to tell you. Are you ready? Here it is.

Last night we decorated our tree. We pulled the bins up out of the basement, dragged them up the stairs, and spent approximately one hour detangling lights. Once those were on, we looked at all of our little ornaments so lovingly wrapped in bubble wrap and made a very hard decision. Since we're going to be packing up all of our worldly belongings just a few days after Christmas, it probably didn't make a lot of sense to unwrap said little ornaments just to have to pack them up again three days later. Probably.

So we did maybe the saddest thing possible. Every year, we get a few new ornaments to add to our collection. This year we got three new nautical themed ones in honor of the new house. So instead of unwrapping all of our old ornaments and adding these three to the mix.....we just hung the new ones.

Yep, you read that right. Our sad little tree just has three measly ornaments on it. Three. It's perhaps the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen. :)

So, since I can't have my ornaments out on the tree, I thought I'd do the next best thing and post them here. This is a shot we took last year as we were actually unpacking them all to hang our tree (novel idea, really!) And with that post we did a contest for you all to tell us your favorite ornament and why.

Since we so enjoyed reading your answers last year and I am ESPECIALLY missing my ornaments this year, we thought it would be great fun to do it again. So there you go: leave a note telling us your favorite ornament and why by tomorrow at 12pm EST and we will pick one lucky commenter to receive a $100 gift card to Crate & Barrel. Where we got our three new (sad) little ornaments!!

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