Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Do you know who I am?

Currently our country is at a crossroads.  History will be made based on how our Supreme Court will rule in certain cases regarding same-sex marriage.  I hope that when you think of me you automatically know where I stand on these issues.  It has been said, "If you don't stand for something you will fall for anything."  This is where I stand:


 



The following blog also explains beautifully where I stand:  Of God and Country.

Where I stand on same-sex marriage is a big part of who I am and what I believe.  Regardless of my stance on same-sex marriage I still love people who are homosexual.  I still respect your beliefs, as I hope you will respect mine.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Stuff that has been floating around in my mind

1. Have you read the blog post from the mom who is tired of all the stupid minor holidays and all the useless hype they get.  If you haven't read it, you should, even if you don't have kids.  It takes a village and we all need to be on board with this one.  I completely agree with this woman.

2.  My sister-in-law jokingly called me the "baby whisperer" last Saturday.  There is a series of books that I've read about the baby whisperer's guide to babies.  If you deal with small babies on a regular basis I highly recommend you read these books.  I found them very insightful.  I by no means am a baby whisperer, but I think I'm finally getting the hang of taking care of a baby.  I recently started watching my neighbor's 2 month old son every Wednesday and this kid is a piece of cake.  I used to be kind of terrified of infants (before I had Ben).  The thought of having to deal with a baby day in and day out was overwhelming to me.  I also couldn't understand how people thought newborns were cute when all they seem to do was poop, pee, spit up, cry and sleep.  I get it now. 

3.  How do you handle stress?  Are you the type of person who can blow off stress at the gym?  Does eating help you calm down?  What do you do to get through the stressful times of your life?  My life isn't particularly stressful besides the fact that I'm a mother, wife, daughter, friend, sister, student, girl's camp director for my ward, and a few other things too.  I'm sure most of you have a handful of hats you wear on a regular basis.  I'm not unusual, at least that's what I think.  Recently I've been reflecting on what's important, and what's not.  I think it's important to live a life that is not crazy hectic all the time.  I don't want to be that crazy mom who is pulling her hair out every other day because she and her kids are so over booked that she doesn't have time to breathe.  So, how do you manage to "keep calm and carry on"?

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Let the sun shine

Today I felt honest sunshine for the first time in a long time.  What is honest sunshine you may ask?  Honest sunshine is sunshine that actually feels warm.  In Utah and other parts of the US that experience winter we have deceptive sunshine during the winter.  Deceptive sunshine is the kind of sunshine that makes everything bright outside, but warms nothing.  It's a liar sun.
I love sunshine, but I'm especially partial to the honest type.  I love being outside with the grass between my toes and feeling the sun warm my skin.  It not only warms my skin, but my heart as well. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

B.S.Knecht

Dear Ben,
  Today you are six years old.  Happy Birthday!!!!  You are a special boy.  I am so grateful to have you in our family.
  You came into our family late on a Tuesday night.  All of your grandparents, aunts, and uncles (except Casey, who was on a mission) were there in the hospital for your arrival.  Everyone was anxious to meet you, especially me and dad.
  I remember the first time I held you in my arms.  I was in shock.  I couldn't believe you were actually here.  You were so small and perfect.  I was in love with you immediately.
  I had prayed for you to come to our family for a very long time.  But I'm pretty sure it was your Grandma Knecht who prayed you into our family.  She has faith that can move mountains.
   From the moment you came into this world you have had an unquenchable thirst for knowledge.  You've been curious about things from day one.  You were speaking in complete sentences from the time you were 2.  You have an amazingly bright mind.
   I hope you will always fill your bright mind and spirit with the choicest things.  Remember that you are good, kind, and smart.  You can do anything. 
   Thank you for making me a mother.  It is the sweetest gift that I've experienced in my life.

I love you always.

Love,
Mom
Ben a few days old.

Ben 1 year old at the LA Zoo.

Ben Feb 2013.

Ben and Tom at the Space Shuttle Endeavor exhibit, Feb 2013.

Ben and Tom in their soccer clothes, Jan 2013.

Ben on his first day of kindergarten, fall 2012.
 
Ben dressed up to go for a walk in Rexburg, ID fall 2007.

 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Gratitude

Sunday I was in church listening to one of the speakers.  Something stood out from what the speaker said.  He quoted Pres. Thomas S. Monson's talk from Oct 2010, "The Divine Gift of Gratitude".  In that talk Pres. Monson says, "Someone has said that “gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.""  That thought really struck me.  Does that mean if I show a little more gratitude I can cultivate other virtures?  How does one even show more gratitude?

I know this is some deep thinking.  (At least it is for me.)  I'd like to try an experiment.  I am going to start a gratitude blog.  I am going to post every other day or so, and see if I feel more grateful or more _____ (fill in the blank with a virtue).

We'll see how it goes.  I let you know what kind of progress I make.

You can visit my gratitude blog here at: www.gratitudeisthebest.blogspot.com.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

I honked at Alex Boye

1.  Today was a big day for Ben.  He got his first official library card.  That's HUGE!  It may be minor for some people, but I can't believe I have a child with a legit Salt Lake County Library card.  Next thing I know he'll have a driver's license or a dance card.  (I remeber my first dance card.  I thought I was hot stuff.)  Growing up my family did not frequent our local library very often.  I'm sure it had something to do with crazy kids and my mom not wanting to deal with all of us in a quiet reserved place like the library.  But I remember my first library card.  I felt so important being able to check out my own books.  I got my first library card because of a third grade field trip down to the Claremont Village.  We made a stop at the library for a tour.  It was magical.  Do you remember your first library card, or your first recollection of the library?  I'd love to hear about it.  Post about it in the comments.

2.  Today I needed a Dr.Pepper.  I didn't sleep well and my neck has been sore.  Being tired and having a sore neck and shoulders is the perfect storm for a migraine.  To remedy the inevitable migraine I stopped at Arby's on the way home for a large Dr.Pepper.  As I drove up to the drive thru I realized that the car ahead of me was not even pulled up to the order menu.  This person was just sitting there, texting on his cell phone.  I waited patiently for about 2 mins.  After 3 or so cars were lining up behind me I did what any reasonable person would do.  I got out of my van, knocked on his window, and told him what's what!  Just kidding.  Actually, I gave a couple very polite taps on my horn.  After I did that he looked up and realized that he was not the only human on this planet and pulled forward to order.  When he looked up I recognized him.  It was Alex Boye.  He's kind of a famous guy here in Utah.  I had a good laugh about it while driving home.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Patty's, you never let me down


There are two things that Claremont California is famous for, the Claremont Colleges and Patty’s Mexican Food.  Claremont is not an obvious choice for a hole in the wall Mexican eatery to take root.  Yet Patty’s is known to every Claremont High School graduate and most students at the Claremont Colleges as the best place in a ten mile radius to get a burrito. 

            Patty’s is located on the west side of Claremont just north of Foothill Boulevard on Town Avenue.  If you’re not careful you could easily drive past it.  It is situated between a barber shop and a dry-cleaner in an unassuming smallish strip mall. 

            When you get out of your car you’ll hear the sound of Tejano oompah music coming from the open door. Most days the glass door is swung open and held in place by a door stop to help circulate their unconditioned air.  Take note if you want a burrito during the hot summer months.  With the oversized gas range and tortilla griddle going at full steam it can be as hot as an oven inside the small 800 square foot restaurant.

            It is always best to have a copy of their menu on hand at home or work to call your order in ahead of time.  If they don’t answer the phone right away be patient, they will answer eventually.  Patty’s is always busy.  Most days the line stretches out of the door onto the sidewalk.  All of their food is made from scratch to order which ensures taste and a long wait time.

            Patty’s is definitely the quintessential hole in the wall restaurant.  The three small tables and counter tops, although clean, are all tired and outdated.  The kitchen is open for all to see just behind the cashier at the front counter.  It’s hard to believe that a business can function without accepting debit or credit cards these days, but Patty’s does.  Their cash only policy is a testament to their quality and taste.

            Patty’s menu is not much different from most Mexican food joints.  Tacos, burritos, enchiladas, taquitos, and tostadas are all available.  Taste, quantity and quality are the three things that make the usual Mexican fare at Patty’s worth the long lines, unconditioned air, and cash only policy.  They hand make all of the tortillas right behind the front counter.  The homemade tortillas are at least twelve inches in diameter and can be compared to heaven.

            Patty’s burritos are probably their most popular menu item.  You can choose from any combination of one of their four meats (chicken, pork, carne asada, or shredded beef), beans, rice, and cheese.  Extras like extra meat, sour cream, and guacamole are also available upon request for an additional charge.  Most people request extra hot sauce served on the side.  The hot sauce comes free with each order.  The preferred method is to top each bite of burrito with sauce to ensure full coverage.  Be prepared to roll your sleeves up and use both hands to consume this hefty burrito.  It’s no light weight.

            My favorite is the chicken quesadilla.  The chicken is high quality tender white meat cooked in a tomato based sauce spread onto a fresh large tortilla, sprinkled with generous amounts of cheese and then covered with another fresh warm tortilla.  The quesadilla is so large it has to be folded into quarters to fit on the Styrofoam plate it’s served on.  It’s amazing.

            Not only is Patty’s known for their quality food they are an active supporter of the Claremont community.  Their d├ęcor hanging on the walls is full of sports teams that they have helped to sponsor.  It is refreshing to see a local business take such interest in the surrounding community.

            So if you’re ever heading down to Southern California and you’re hungry for a burrito take a pit stop in Claremont and stop at Patty’s.  Make sure you get extra sauce.  The sauce is boss.  You won’t be disappointed.