Merry Christmas & Happy New Year from our house to yours! Another year has gone by in the blink of an eye it seems…until you start looking back on it, and then sometimes you realize just how much ground you really covered and how far in your journey you have really traveled.
2016 was a lot like that for me, and for our family. Big changes, challenges, accomplishments and many obstacles put behind us that has led to a lot of learning and growth…and laughter! Here is a quick update on what is up at our house!
As a family, we had to really pull together as I began Culinary School, full time, in January, 2016 and working nights at the Marriott in their Bistro & Bar. Zachary, 23, has been ‘adulting’ a good amount of the time, thank goodness, probably more than he cares to. He is working full time for The Cacao Company right now and is learning all about the chocolate truffle making/distribution industry. So far, the only down side is the necessity of wearing a “beard net”. LOL. #notquiteDuckDynastybutclose. One of the up sides to working in confections is bag after bag of the “rejects” he brings home to share with us! (Just FYI, a reject truffle tastes the same as a perfect truffle.) Zach loves his truck, going to movies and our puppy Bayja. He takes care of his own business and even better care of his sister. I think he would be a great catch! (He is going to kill me for writing that…)
Holland turned 17 in April and is a Senior at Hillcrest High School this year, she will turn 18 in April, 2017 and graduate this coming June. Yep, you read that right. Nope, I can’t believe it either. She still only eats about 5 things for crying out loud! “Sunrise, Sunset, swiftly flow the years…” (I was singing and crying there.) She is also a very busy bee! Holland is on the Link Crew and in Art and the Husky Club at school. She is also in an advanced early Childhood Development course where she assists in teaching at Hillcrest’s pre-school. Holland loves teaching and adores the children and hopes to continue her studies in Early Childhood education after High School…or Web Animation, or Culinary School, or all three, not necessarily in that order. She is more mature than me.
Keith continues to work for Aspen Press and has been my partner in crime this year, holding down the fort as I attended school and worked 30 to 40 hours a week. I put in 16 hour days about 3 times during the week with my commute and Keith has been a super Mr. Mom at home, again, probably more than he cares to. We were able to take a vacation to Palm Springs for 10 days this summer with the Beltz family. It was the first time in our 28 years together we have traveled with Keith’s family and we had a ball! I had the chance to practice my “Private Chef” skills and planned the menu, shopped and cooked a brunch and dinner each day in our condo for 7 days of our vacation for our party of 10! Keith had the chance to relax and have some fun with his brother, our nieces, our kids and his Mom. He only had one scary moment when he nearly let his Mother drown in the massive pool when she ventured past the 3-foot line, (where did Nana go?), but other than that it was a roaring success!
Finally, my 50th year has been one of massive obstacles, even bigger successes and even more hard work. As I said, I started Culinary School in January attending Monday through Friday 8AM to 2PM. I worked nights at the Marriott Courtyard Bistro & Bar from December 2015 thru October 2016. Although I enjoyed my work and my Team at the Marriott, as I got closer to graduating with my degree as a Culinary Professional, I was unable to secure a full-time position. I was offered a full-time position as a Chef in Garde Manger (means literally “eat the garden” in French. I am in Cold Foods, salads, dressings, deli, appetizers etc.) at the Little America Hotel & Resort in SLC in October so I took it and I love it! I finish school in mid-January and will work days from 7am to 3pm, 5 days a week. I can’t believe I am on my way! Yet, I can, because you all know, I do nothing the easy way. It is in my nature to have several bumps in the road, so to speak, along my way. True to form, I started my year out with a bang and after only 6 days of school, I slipped on the ice in my drive way early in the morning and did a face plant into the cement, nose first. Fabulous. I broke my brow bone, shattered my nose and put my teeth through my top lip and bled like a stuck pig, I kid you not. As I laid face down in the ice, feeling the rivers of blood running down the front of my shirt. I thought “well $#@!, I am still the same old me” and I spit out the blood, rolled onto my back and felt those rivers of blood run through my hair. #CSImydriveway. Finally, I croaked out “help” and one month plus two surgeries later, I was back to school and had hit my annual deductible. Geez Louise. I think it was the blood-letting, I don’t know, but I felt all the pain from the last 2 years evaporate. Happily, I pushed forward. I have lived and learned…did you know you can fail a roadside sobriety test even if you blow 0%? and grown substantially over this year. I have worked my butt off, literally and figuratively. I have built a new career as a Chef, catered my first wedding, learned to tend bar, to barista, to butcher chickens, a pig, a side of beef and filet an Atlantic Salmon and then learned to cook them all several ways from Sunday. I can make and bake rolls, cake, cookies and pies from scratch, for 4 or for 400. I can make 60 gallons of Ranch dressing or Hollandaise for six. I can slice potatoes, top strawberries or flip crepes for 5 hours straight with a smile on my face. I have done a zillion dishes and mopped a million floors, and my first year in the Culinary Arts was 200% less stressful than my last year in Executive Banking. Thank you, Lord.
May your days be Merry & Bright! With all our love, The Beltz Family
-Keith, DeeAnn, Zachary & Holland