Happy Holidays 2017

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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! We hope all is well for all of you! 2017 has been fast and furious…and yet draggy and frustrating…and even meandering and exciting.  It has been a weird year.  Good, but weird. Thank goodness we are all still heavily medicated! LOL!

Keith has had another year of transition.  He was laid off from Aspen Press in the spring, yeah the beat goes on with us and our run of less than fabulous luck.  However, it turned out to be an opportunity for Keith to switch gears and do something completely different.  He landed an Account Manager position at Wayfair in their growing Business Division.  Hooray!  A few drawbacks, his office is in Ogden and the pay is half what he was making before (heavy sigh).  BUT, it is a fresh start, Keith is doing well and likes what he does and who he works with and…well…it’s Wayfair for crying out loud! Hello, employee discount! Keith is still the golf loving, movie going, yard working, OCD guy we know and love, but happier than he has been in a while!  Another Hooray!  Except the commute, it drains him dry and he sleeps on the couch most of the evening after he gets home…or maybe it’s just old age.  Anywho, the pros far outweigh the cons at this point.

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Zachary turned 24 in October and is working full time for Precision Technology in their Testing area.  They are great to him and pay him well and he likes what he does.  With a house full of adults now, Zach has become an integral part of our family team.  I’m sure he won’t be thrilled with me spilling the beans here, but he does dishes and laundry and cleans his room and the bathrooms as needed.  He is kind to his sister and makes sure she gets lunch and a trip to Maverick or Maceys for a snack every day before he goes to work.  I think that makes him a great catch.  {He did not want me to write that…in fact, neither he or Keith think I am one bit funny.} Still, he takes care of our doggy Bayja and his beloved truck, pays his way and is a joy to have around. Zach also bought a new bike this year and is getting to like riding more and more.  Zach usually sports a full beard with his beautiful dark green eyes.  And…per Zach, that is all I can write about Zach, thank you very much.  Good luck and have a pleasant day

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Now, about our Holland.  What a year she has had!  Holland turned 18 in April and graduated from Hillcrest High School in June.  She had a fantastic senior year and made the Honor Roll 3 terms in a row!  She worked very hard but also had the most social year ever.  She taught at Hillcrest’s Preschool all year and is planning to study Early Childhood Development. We are very proud of her! Let me take this moment to thank all of you that sent Holland a graduation card and/or gift. She is an adult now and responsible to finish her own Thank You notes…so, enough said.  Holland told us she was going to “take the summer to relax”.  Fair enough.  We planned a trip to Mazatlan, Mexico for her graduation and had a fabulous time.   We had parties by the pool and Holland slept all day and stayed up late into the summer nights.  So much so I began to think maybe she was a vampire. And then it was September, and time to join reality; learn to drive and get a job.  Holland would really like to work as a preschool or daycare assistant.  She has interviewed for a couple of positions but no offers yet.  So she is currently helping her Aunt Chris two days a week in her first grade classroom to hopefully get her foot in the door for an aide position.  First grade is like the wild, wild west.  But she loves teaching the little ones.  She also loves movies, reruns of Law & Order and our diva dog Bayja.  And, she has recently taken up knitting!  (I was so relieved, vampires don’t knit, right?)  Beanies for everyone!

Dee grad

So, since I am not getting any younger, I am working quickly to get my Culinary career moving forward.  I graduated with my Culinary Arts Degree and National Honors in January, 2017 and walked in April, 2017.  Big Hooray!  In May I took an offer from Harmons at Bangerter Crossing in Draper as the Sous Chef in their Cooking School.  As much as I enjoyed working for Grand America in Garde Manger, I got ants in my pants and decided it was time to combine my Culinary Arts degree with my previous degree in Business Administration and experience Developing People.  This offer was the best of both worlds.  However, I am still me and my life is full of weird experiences to say the least.  So you won’t be surprised that I have lit a towel or two on fire in front of a class, had an epic failure making soft pretzels in front of a class, fell off a step ladder getting pans off the top shelf, dropped cast iron oven grates on my foot (breaking several toes and cracking a foot bone) and had an emotional meltdown at work that resulted in a “talking to” in the last 6 months. But I love every minute of it!  I am teaching our Jr. Chef kids classes now and it is great.  I like teaching kids and have a knack for it I guess.  Or maybe I am just not above putting candy corn fangs in my lip for a class of kids while decorating Halloween Cookies.  I also launched my own business this year, a catering company, Strong Celebrations, LLC.  I was able to book at least one catering per quarter in 2017 while also working full time.  Each party was customized and successful and at least broke even. Nevertheless, I have put my bookings on hold for now because catering is massively time consuming and takes a ton of work, sometimes in less than ideal conditions…like no running water or no electricity or no refrigeration…no kidding.

For now I am focused on building a career with Harmons and enjoying my family.

We had a fantastic trip to Mazatlan, Mexico in July to celebrate both mine and Holland’s graduation.  We enjoyed a beautiful resort, fabulous beach, coca cola “lite” and guacamole and chips for lunch every day, gorgeous sunsets and mingling in the local culture.  Things we did not enjoy, a very loud and very flat mariachi band that walked the beach from sun up to way past sun down…enough already!   Plus near 100% humidity away from the ocean = very frizzy hair and enhanced hot flashes.  (I think that was just me & my sister actually) But frankly, we had a blast and would go back in a Mexican minute!

So we hope you too have a blast, during the Holidays and in the coming year!  Do more things that make you happy with the people you love!

Be Brave, Be Strong, Be Kind, Be Grateful.

With love, The Beltz Family, Keith, DeeAnn, Zach & Holland & Bayja.

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