Monday, May 31, 2010

Silent Heros

This is my hero, my grandpa Harry McKnight. He was in the H-3-29 6th Marine Division and fought in WWII. He served in the Pacific on the islands of Okinawa and Guam. He endured more than I can even imagine day after day so that I could have the same freedoms he had. The freedoms that were being challenged. Not only did he battle the Japanese, but the elements of nature. Many of us don't think of what it would be like to be in a jungle in the pouring rain and mud, with hardly any clean water and little rations left. But he got up every day (sometimes w/ very little sleep) and he gave his all to defend his country. He watched as his friends and brothers fell beside him, but he kept going. He did remarkably brave things and took no credit for his heroic efforts. He had multiple encounters with death but the Lord preserved him, because he knew what a good servant to His Kingdom he would be.

This is my hero. The man I see get tears in his eyes when he hears out national anthem. The man I know doesn't just see stars on the United States flag but fallen friends. The man whos solem words descibe those he lost so long ago. This is the man who would risk his life all over agian to keep the country he loves free. You won't find him bragging about his successes an triumphes while in the war, but pays tribute to the many others who gave thier life for fredoms sake.

This is my grandfather on the right and his Brother Bill on the left. They are 11 months apart and still play golf together a few times week. My Uncle Bill also served our country in the Mariens Corps. He is another silent Hero that walks amoung us.
This is my grandfather now and his two children. My dad Tim on the left and my Uncle Tom on the right. My Uncle Tom is another unsung hero. He has served our County on the Marien Corps for over 20 years. He spent a year in Iraq fighting in the Current War on Terror. He left his wife and three small children to go help keep our country safe. He now lives in California teaching the guys who want to be "Top Guns."
All of us have people in our family who have served our country so nobaly and have asked for nothing in return. So make sure than you thank these men and women in your life. They have done something will never be able to do. My heart burns with thanks and appriciation as I think of the price that has been paid for my freedom. Thousands of White Crosses line the fields with those who have given thier lives that we may be free!
This Poem was written by my Grandfather and is very dear to me.


We were all so very young in that batte long ago,
on that island in the sea against a fearless foe.
The sky was red with tracers when the Kamikazes flew
and the mortar shells dropped 'round us from somewhere in the blue.
Our friends where killed and wounded beside us day by day
The corpsman save so many as we fought along our way.

The day the battle ended we stood to stretch our backs
We looked so tired and haggard as we emptied out our packs.
We ate what little food was left of rations, K's and C's
And climbed upon a near by hill to gaze out at the seas.
We gathered all the gear we had and headed back to port
The Navy lost so many ships our wait would not be short.

And when Division Cemetery came within our view,
We stopped to see if buried there were any that we knew.
We walked among white crosses, lined up in perfect rows
And read the names of many, with tears our eyes did close.
Here's Dailey, and here's Haller and there is Charlie Lee,
McDermott, Hall, and Miller and I guy we all called "Ski."

Gundell, Boone, and Cannon, their names still ring a bell
but time will dime their faces and the place our comrades fell.
I did not find my buddy Bob, his name was not there found
A letter from his Mom confirmed his place in hallowed ground.
How could I forget Marines, whos courage there did soar?
Who lost thier lives in fighting for our country and our Corps?

My flag has stars with names of those brave and noble men,
it waves both day and night for wives who might have been.
Now Don and John and Ken and Ben and those back home again,
Have we lived a life of honor that their gift was not in vain?
And now our time grows shorter and our ranks are getting thin
We pray our friends who guard the Streets of Heaven will let us in.

This Brotherhood is special but for others hard to see
but not for those who lived it, in wars like you and me.
When our time on earth is up and we join our friends above
we know our country will be safe for all the ones we love.
For other sons will take our place to live their special dreams
and proudly claims the title of "United States Marines"

Side Note: In the poem my grandfather mentioned "Bob." I have heard a lot about Bob ,who was a good friend of my grandfather, and thought I might share the story of a fallen American Hero. Robert Miller McTureous earned the Medal of Honor for Heroic actions in the line of duty. The corpsmen were those who would go find the injuried and take them to the medical ships. The did not carry guns and wore red crosses on thier uniforms. The Japanese were hiding in a cave and shoting at these corpsmen. Bob got really angry about it and filled his shirt with granades and ran on to enemy lines and began throwing the granades in the cave to kill the Japanese. He was then shot across the stomach with a machine gun. His intestines started to come out and he held his hand over them and then crawled back across the line to get more granades. He went back to the cave and finshed killing the rest of the people in the cave. He then crawled back to safty where he was taken to a medical ship and died a few days later of his injuries. I think this story is amazing because not only did he try to get everyone in the cave but he went back after being very badly injuried. The cost of freedom is high. We have lost many couragous men like McTureous and I am glad we have Memorial Day to remeber them and thank Heavenly Father for thier brave actions to keep us safe.


Friday, May 21, 2010

My First 5K

So the big race was last Thursday (my dads 50th birthday.) I was so nervous for it all day long. I have had a ton of problems with my shin splints and have walked more days than I have run. So I knew I could finish but my expectations for time weren't to high. I thought I could do it in 45 min. The important thing was I finished with out injuring myself. My friend Aubri who I signed up for the race with had some medical issues and was not allowed to even walk the race with me so I was on my own.
Mike was a sweetheart and brought his CFA book to the race so he could support me in my race and study at the same time. It was so great to have some moral support there to encourage me that I could really do this. Keep in mind-- I DON'T RUN... not until now at least.
Do you like how determined I look here?
Also having never done a race before I had no idea how to line up. It took me forever to get out on the course because I ended up closer to the back.
I felt a tiny bit lonely while we were lined up waiting to go and I was all alone. I have learned one thing and that is running is a social sport. (Note to self get multiple people to run the next race with me)
The race was only 3 miles a lot of people can bang that out no problem but it was really hard for me. The course did a big loop around my apartment complex. As I was getting close to finishing the first mile I could see it beyond the trees. Thought of failure crept into my mind and I just wanted to run home relax on the couch... But I kept going. The next 1/2 mile was up a really steep hill. At this point I walked a lot. My jogging speed was slower than my walking speed. It was also good to catch my breath a little. The next 3/4 of a mile was down hill which I was planning on being really easy. I had no clue how much you have to pace yourself so you don't start rolling down. As the finish line started to become a reality my feet burned and my shins were screaming at me-- but I had to keep going. I passed my good friend Lindsey's house. She and another one of our friends (Tina, whose husband was also doing the race) were outside cheering me on. It was just the boost I needed.
These than a few minutes later I could see the finish line. I saw Mike standing on the side and cheering me on. It felt good. I was is the zone and I was going to finish.
As I approached the finish line I could barley believe the what time the clock read. 35:38. I finished the race in 10 min less than what I thought I could. I could have cried. I actually almost did. That was the hardest thing I've ever done up to that point and I did it. I overcame my shin splints (although they hurt for days.) I overcame my social anxiety of running it alone and I overcame the urge to give up and go home. I was a hero to myself!
Oddly enough, after it was all said and done I wanted to go do it all again (on a different day of course, my body was done for that day.) I'm hoping to improve my time and do another race at home with my family over the 4th of July. It will just be another 5k for now. We'll see how my shins hold up. I'd love to do a 10k this fall and hopefully I'll be able to talk on the 1/2 marathon at Disney this coming march! All I know is that was finishing that race was one of the greatest feelings I've ever had and I would love to do it again :)

Visit from Friends!

Last week I was really excited to have one of my good friends from high school visit with his fiance. Aaron was in my ward growing up. He was always one of the three LDS kids in my graduating class. He was always such an awesome example to me of what living the Gospel standards meant. I don't think the kid had a single enemy, he was great. He went to the Naval Academy after high school were he was required to stay for two years of schooling before he served his mission. He went to Roma Italy, where he met his fiance (at the MTC on their first day.) Don't worry kids. It wasn't love at first sight they just really respected each other and missionaries and kept in touch after Christina went home. When Aaron got home they began talking over the phone every night. They finally reconnected over Conference weekend and the rest is history.
I don't think he could have found someone better suited for him than Christina. She is a such a sweet girl. I couldn't be happier for them. I was so great having them stay with us for a night. It was fun to catch up and make some more memories. Friends are so awesome, especially they ones who have known you forever. The ones who have seen your "awkward" years, watched you make mistakes, gotten in fights with you- then made peace. The ones who know your family and remind you of home. I'm so glad I have a handful of really great friends that I still am able to "reconnect" with every once in a while.

Cico De Mayo

So the other weekend we went to a Cico De Mayo Party. The couple who hosted the party did a FANTASTIC job. They had a taco bar with homemade corn chips, a smoothie station and a homemade s'more area. Very impressive.
And of course what mexican celebration is complete without a pinata. The men especially loved this mexican tradition.
They had a great firepit in the backyard which we all really enjoyed. The first bon-fire of the season is always one of my favorites things. I have to admit I love the way the smoke makes my hair smell... but I'm always anxious to change my clothes.
It was a lot of fun to get to know everyone a little better. We have so many awesome couples/families in our ward that its hard to find time to get together with all of them. I love big parties like this that allow socialising with so many great people.
And of course posing for pictures with some of my favorites...
.. and keeping my husbands drinking habit under control!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Saturday in the Park...

When I was a kid I had big dreams. The biggest of which was to live in NYC and work on Broadway. As I got older I realized the Broadway thing probably wasn't going to work out, so i decided on working at cool company and living in the Big Apple. I'm not quite sure what fasinated me with New York over all the other cities in the world. There was just something magical about it to me. My first visit to NYC was when I was a JR in High School, I came with my choir. That was when I really feel in love. From the big buildings, lights, fast pace, culture, diversity, class and sas I loved it. When I went to college and started dating I knew that I would most likely marry a utah or Idaho boy and be out West for the rest of me life, which I was fine with. I can't even begin to explain how excited I was when I found out the Mike got a job in Darien CT, a town only 45 min away from NYC. Dreams really do come true.

Sadly since I've lived here the reality of life has prevented me from spending the amount of time I would like exploring the city. With Mike and I both working full time, church callings, school and studying for test we probably make it to the city about once ever month and a half. Shame on us. So I have decided that starting now I need to be more proactive about taking advantage of were I live and making some of my childhood dreams come true.

This Saturday I got my good friend Lizzy (whos husband is also studying for the CFA) to go into the cuty with me. It was soo much fun. I mean spending time with my husband is wonderful but it is so refreshing to be with another women. To be girls and empower one another to be better. We had such great conversations ontop of doing some really cool things, I don't think it
could have been any better.

We started out with the Metroplolitan Museum of Art on the Upper East Side.
They had a great Midevil times display. I thought it only fitting that I take a picture with all of these Knights since I am a former "McKnight."
As soon as I saw this statue I recognized it. It use to be on top of Madison Square Garden I think.
Lizzy and I "Oww'ed and Aww'ed"over the awesome musical instrument collection
I was so excited when I recognized this painting from my Humanites 101 class.
The Met also has a great Picasso exhibit with hundreds of his pieces. They had it all in sequential order so it was interetsing to see how the events of his life really shaped to form his art took on.
After the Met we found a sandwich shop near by and picked up some lunch. We went across the street to Central Park and found the perfect spot to enjoy our meal, the beautiful day and people watching.
Such a good panini
After lunch we probably stolled through the park for a good 2 hours. We saw so many iconic sights of the park on our walk. First we walked through the Great Lawn and the Baseball dimonds.
Followed by one of the lakes and the Bow Bridge
I was so excited to finally find out exhacatly where the long strech of trees you always see in movies and pictures was. It is actually known as "The Mall."
After our walk we went down to the Farmers Market in Union Square park and picked up some awesome Apple Cider and apple cider dougnuts. So yummy. I also got Mike some wonderful homemade jam. That is hard to come by when you don't live 25 min from Amish country.
Somehow we lucked out and Lizzy hooked us up with free facials at the Clarins in Sax 5th Ave. It was amazing, they did a great job and taught me a few tricks to hide the now forming dark circle and bags under my eyes.
On our way back to Grand Central we say the "Party Bus" I was pretty excited.
And what more could possibly top off this fun filled day in the city? Some delicious gilato ice cream for the train ride home.
I had such a great day and I felt like I was living my childhood dreams I could really get use to spending all of my free time in that amazing city.

So if anyone is ever looking for a travling buddy or tour guide of the city-- I'm your girl!

PS- Chicago's song "Saturday in the Park" is one of my all time favorites and it was running through my mind all day long...

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Letters to Mom

Dear Mommy,
Thank you for wanting me. Thank you for carrying me around inside of you for 9 months. For spending hours in labor to bring me into this world and giving my spirit a home. Thank you for giving me your heart from the moment you laid eyes on me. For counting all my fingers and toes and kissing me all over. Thank you for changing 10+ diapers a day, feeding me every two hours, cuddling me when I was crying, cleaning up my spit up without getting disgusted. Thank you for singing me to sleep, rocking me for hours and reading to me before I knew what you were saying.

Dear Mom,
Thank you for all the time and effort you put into teaching me to read. Thank you for standing in line with me to get the newest beanie baby. For spending all summer reading to me, taking me to the pool, the zoo, the water parks and the mall. For teaching me how to ride a bike, take care of a pet and throwing the baseball with me. Thank you for your sacrifices to make my childhood one to look back on with found memories.

Dear Mother,
Thank you for putting up with me during my teenage years. Heaven knows I wasn't always the easiest girl to raise. Thank you for crying with me when I made mistakes, when girls were mean, when I overcame my trials and accomplished my goals. Thank you for pushing me out of the car at EFY, you always knew what was best for me. Thank you for listening to me when I needed you and giving me the advise I needed to get through my trials.

Dear Best Friend,
Thank you, thank you, thank you for always being there when I needed you. For driving me and my car across country, TWICE. For listening to me so patiently ramble about school, friends, classes, boys and my ever changing BIG dreams. Thank you for letting me pour out my heart to you and giving me the wisdom I needed. For biting your tongue when you needed to and letting me make my own decisions. Thank you for being there to escort me through the temple and sit with me in the brides room on my wedding day. For helping me put together a beautiful wedding and handling the stress like a champion. Thank you for talking to me every day multiple times about anything and everything. Thank you for being my rock, my constant, my sanity, my example, my mom and best friend. I have no doubt in my mind that we knew each other before we came to earth. That we were best friends in the pre-existence. Thank you for sticking it out through think and thin over the past 22 years, 10 months and 18 days. I LOVE YOU!

Dear Future Children,
You are loved so much already. I dream about you often and can't wait to have you in my life. To carry you close to me for months. To count your tiny fingers and toes. Kiss your newborn head and rock you to sleep when you cry. I'm so excited for the days we will have together laughing, playing hide and seek, playing dress up and car. For the time we will spend crying and fighting and loving each other more in the end. I can't wait to read you at night, sing you a lullaby and tuck you in at night. To read the scriptures with you and teach you about Jesus and why you are here. To help you learn wrong from right and to recognize the holy ghost. I can't wait to watch you in football games, ballet recitals, choir concerts, plays or what ever activities interest you. I can't wait for our first trip to Disney and to watch your eyes light up when meet Cinderella or Mickey Mouse for the first time. I can't wait to watch your father bless you in your tiny white outfit, baptize you in your white jumper or sit in the celestial room in the temple with you. I know we won't always see eye to eye. You might not always love me the way I love you. And you may not even like me sometimes, but know this, you will always be loved. I love you so deeply already and your not even here yet. The truth of the matter is I can't wait to be your mom.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

"Hi my name is Kristin and I'm a "piler"

This past week has been so busy for both Mike and I. Mike has been spending all of his free time studying for the CFA (or staying up late to watch the Jazz play... BOO) Meanwhile I've been working, making college visits and spending every minute of my free time searching for an apartment. Needless to say the house has been on the bottom of my "to do list." I think I even have a load of laundry in the dryer that has been there since... monday afternoon. At one point I walked in to the house and the smell of the dirty dishes in the sink was so overwhelming I had to do a quick damage control clean on kitchen, open the windows and spray my sensey oder eater EVERYWHERE. But the think that annoys both me and Mike the most is my habit of piling my clothes. I've been doing it ever since I can remember. I don't always do it, only when I'm really busy... which is more often then it should be. I can't help it though. I walked into my room last night and tripped over the pile of my dirty clothes that was by my bed. What do you think I did after I tripped over it? I took of my jeans and shirt, picked up the pair of dirty sweats in the pile and crawled into bed.... It's kind of embarrassing but this is my coming out. This is my attempt to be better. I am officially saying "Hi my name is Kristin and I'm a piler."
Now please don't look at me different or judge me to harshly we all have our flaws. This is just one of my old habits that I can't seem to break.

My room @ college in 2006

My room last night 2010
So from now on I am really going to work on this bad habit. I thought when I got married all my bad house keeping habits would go away and I would become this amazing housekeeper. Not so much. I do the best I can but am no were close to perfection.

Friday, May 7, 2010

I'm kind of a big deal :)

So I was looking at Martha's Blog (yes we are on a first name basis) and look what I found!! Go to Marthas Blog and click through the pictures to number 25 of 35!! THATS ME AND MARTHA. She even remembered my name!!

This is what she has on her page. A picture with the two of us and a note under it that says "Kristin told me that I inspired her to start sewing." I feel kind of famous!

Kristin told me that I inspired her to start sewing.

Monday, May 3, 2010


Lately I feel like this... standing in the middle of multiple paths and I have no idea which one to choose.
I feel like all my life I've had a clear vision of what I was suppose to do. Graduate high school, go to college, work hard, graduate college, get married. Well I've done all those things now... so whats next?
I longer I was away from the education program the more I miss it. I feel so drawn to teaching, maybe because it's something I know I'm good at. So I've started looking at graduate programs in the area. It is really hard because they are either to expensive or to far away. I did have a really positive visit to Manhattanville College in Purchase NY yesterday. I can't even tell you how nice it was for me to even just be on a campus. It is a small school (only 3,000) in Westchester County and everyone was so helpful and kind. I got just as many smiles as I did when I was at BYU-I. When I was there talking with them about the program I got the same feeling I did the first time I went to the BYU-I campus when I was a JR in High School. It just felt right. Of course its not cheap... But I'm hoping that by working I can make 85% of the money I will need.
I really like that they have an accelerated program there as well. In February I would start taking classes on Mon, Tues & Thur from 4:20pm-9:30 (So 15 hours a week.) I would do this through Aug with a few weeks off in between. This would allow me to complete 1/2 the coursework (23 credits) in 5 months. Then starting in the Fall they would try to help you find a job as an actual teacher. So I would be working full time as a teach and getting paid for it. Then one night a week I would take 1 class. This would allow me to graduate in a year and a half. When I graduated I would have a DOUBLE masters in Childhood Education (grade 1-6) AND Special Education (grade 1-6.) AND I would FINALLY have a teachers certification!! I'm kind of nervous though because you have to be interviewed to be accepted into the program. It just makes it a little more nerve racking!

To graduate with a teachers certification in NY or CT you do have to have a few specific undergrad classes. I meet most of them BUT I don't have 6 credits of a foreign language. So I have already enrolled in a Spanish class for this fall at Norwalk Community College. No matter what my grad school decision is I am excited to take this class. I've really wanted to learn Spanish for quite some time. I'm hoping Mike will be my personal tutor!!

So these are some of my thoughts as I ponder my next step in life...

Wish me luck. Its a big decision to make.