10 Things I Am Thankful For This Year: 2015


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Thanksgiving to me is when I start looking back at the year that is quickly coming to a close and give thanks to God for all that it  has contained.

Psalm 136:1 Give Thanks!

One thing I love to help me do just that is to write a list here on the blog of 10 things I am thankful for in a particular year. This list of thanks is in random order and is certainly not all inclusive.

10 Things I am Thankful For This Year

Friends are the siblings God never gave us

1. My Running Partner

I am very blessed to have some incredible friends, one of which is my redhead running partner. Those are her feet next to my big pink ones. Mile after morning mile this gal listens to my rabbit trail stories. She hears me rant my frustrations on whatever I am currently struggling with, and when I am done she isn’t afraid to tell me if I need to change my attitude.

She listens to blogging story after blogging story and even though she isn’t a blogger and thus doesn’t get all of what I said, she doesn’t complain or try to change the subject. She simply listens and then gives me her outsider’s point of view.

the two year olds

2. The Two Year Old Children I Care For Each Sunday

My husband and I are in charge of the two year old Sunday school hour each and every week. I look forward to that hour of cuddling two year olds all week long. Sure, they are not the best at sharing with their buddies. But they are really great at cuddling and I just can’t get enough cuddles.

me and the kids at Indy Art

3. My Children

I look at the picture above and marvel how these 3 were once so small they all fit within my womb. There is not a day that goes by that I do not feel blessed to have them.

This summer it really started to hit me just how short our days as a family of five all living under one roof are–and I don’t want to waste a minute of it.

date day how to have a great one

4.My Husband

I know it can seem cliche to say “I married my best friend”–but I did! I love hanging out with this man. This year we celebrated 20 years of marriage by finally taking a BIG trip somewhere just the two of us. We ended up spending the week in Jamaica in an all inclusive resort where we read, slept and ate our days away–and it was awesome.


5. My Health

I have been battling some small yet annoying health problems this year. But the keyword is “small.” These problems might make things uncomfortable some days, but for the most part I am still able to do all the things I love with those I love and for that I am blessed.

blogging space6. For This Blog & Its Readers

This year Snail Pace Transformations has really grown–and not just in readership. This year I feel like  the blog is growing in interaction and that means a lot to me. I love knowing who exactly is reading what I write. I don’t know all of you yet but I want to say thanks to all of you who follow me on your favorite social media platforms and take the time to comment on my social media updates.

Thanks also to those of you who comment right here on my posts. Each and everyone of you matter to me.

Thanks also to all of you who support this blog by sharing my posts. Without you my readership would be much smaller. me with my books from tyndale rewards

7. For Good Books

I want to say thank you for all of you who use my Tyndale Reward referral link to sign up to get your own free books. Your generosity has allowed me to build quite the little home library that I so enjoy going to whenever I finish one book and want to start another.

I have enjoyed it so much that I have taken steps to pass on the joy to other bookworms. I started leaving a book bag of books I have recently read in the back of my SUV.  Sometimes I pass the books out at my church, other times I give them to people who the book made me think of, and other times I simply drop them in sharing libraries at hotels.

It is so much fun to think of where my books are ending up–way much more fun than letting them gather dust on my shelf after I have read them. It blesses my heart to be able to share books this way. Thank you!


8. For Small Family Vacations

This year our family skipped a big family vacation and instead did several little trips. We explored Chicago during a long weekend. Went on several daycations (a word that is made up but really does represent what we do well), and enjoyed a week of camping.

I cherish this time spent together.  So many memories are made on these short trips.

Grade 8 and 10

9. For New Beginnings

This fall our eldest son started college online with the help of College Plus and our middle son and daughter started attending a small, reasonably priced Christian private school 2 days a week. I won’t lie–I cried the first day the two youngest ones were gone. It was an end of an era–I truly do enjoy every minute I spend with my children.

However, after much prayer we felt this was the direction we were suppose to take with the younger two. The combination of being homeschooled 3 days and private schooled 2 days is working very well.

I loved you dad

10. For healing

I have been on a rough journey these last few years losing loved one after loved one. This last year I didn’t even realize what a fog my father’s death in 2014 had put me in until one day it lifted and suddenly I could see a few  things I have been struggling with as what they truly were–an outward expression of my inner grieving.

Our father-daughter relationship was a hard one and it made grieving messy and unlike any other grief I had experienced before.

I think that is why I didn’t see my struggles as grief right away–it is easy to allow yourself to grieve a relationship that brought you joy, but one that brought you a mixed bag of emotions on almost a daily basis–that is a confusing relationship in life and death.

Now that over a year has passed I can see more clearly that I grieved in an unhealthy manner and I am thankful that hardest part is over and healing has begun again.

Now it is your turn. What are you thankful for this year? Share it with me in the comment section.

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I Am Saying Yes To The Best: Are You?


I am a very routine person and so the lazy, crazy days of summer–although I enjoy them–really start to wear me out.  There is very little routine within them, especially this summer. With all the rain my family has become a group of sun chasers. The minute the sun is out we drop the rainy plans we had for the day and do something summery.

sunrise while running

All the last minute upheaval of plans has left me weary even though I started this summer with what I thought was a great attitude. I told my running buddy before summer began “this year I am not making a ‘going to get all this done since I don’t have to homeschool‘ list”.

me and two of my kidsYou see, every year I usually make a list as long as my arm of all the things I am going to get done now with all those hours I spend homeschooling. Problem is I forget that my children, although teenagers, still require my attention and truthfully their homeschooling doesn’t take that much of my day now that they are older so these last few summers I have had less time to work in the summer–not more.


Yet even though I let go of getting anything “extra” done, letting go of my routine has left me weary. And even though I cut my blogging back to 3 days a week instead of 5 to make room for summer fun  I am currently writing this post mere hours before it should be published because it is the first time all week I have been able to sit and write. That is not like me at all! I am normally done with a post several days (if not weeks) ahead of time.

muddy feetI had a mini panic attack about it yesterday when 7 pm came and went and the computer needed to be closed for the day so that I could wind down and get a good night’s rest (burning the midnight oil never works for me; I am better at catching the worm of productivity in the early morning hours).

I felt like I was slipping down a muddy slope with no hope of ever getting back on track. I was spewing all I needed to get done to my hubby–because you know listing off all your stress a few short hours  before bed really helps you get to bed early so you can rise early and work {NOT}–when I realized two things: I had created a summer to do list after all, and my return to routine is coming.

summer work spot

I might not have written out a “summer to do list” but I had added to my normal blogging workload by hiring a blogging coach for 3 sessions this spring and then trying to work my way through all the great ideas she had for my blog, its readership, and its growth.

I had changed doing just 3 blog posts a week to have more time for family fun this summer to doing 3 blog posts a week to have more time to grow my blog.

My running partner {one smart cookie, that gal} reminded me my blog is named Snail Pace Transformations for a reason, it is because of my desire to always put my family first and my work second. This means that my business {my blog} will grow at a slower rate than most but I truly believe that being family centered is how God has asked me to live and by doing so I will look back with no regrets.

building a bridge

I also have to put things in perspective. The floodgate of summer fun is closing. My middle son Aiden begins his soccer season  this week, with 2 hour practices each morning for 6 days, the following week he has practice from 9 am to 3 pm for 6 days, and the week after that both he and his sister Courtney will be attending a small private Christian school 2 days a week and homeschooled by me 3 days a week for the upcoming 2015/2016 school year.

bridge fixed

Our time to chase summer is ending and my beloved routine will soon return…and yet…I am not 100% happy about it like I thought I would be. I look at all the photos of our summer and part of me is weeping inside. How did my children get so big? How did summer go by so fast? How is it that there are just 4 more summers until my youngest child graduates?

Are you saying yes to the best

So now that I am looking at my to do list with fresh eyes I can say I have no regrets about work still left to do, panic you are not going to win, I said yes to the best!

How about you? Are you saying yes to the things you value most? Or are you letting your “to do’s” get the best of you?

psst…I just started reading The Best Yes by Lysa Terkeurst last night and I can tell already that this book is going to help refocus  me to say yes to “the most important things in life”, say no to the “important but not as important” things in life and let go of guilt caused by saying no.

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Snapshot Thursdays: Clowning Around


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So the other night 4 out of 5 of the people in our family were on the way home from a soccer game, when husband started playing around with his hat trying to give it the slumped beanie look that is so in. It had me laughing so hard, I got my iPhone out to take a picture. While I was doing that he found one more item to make the picture go from funny to silly.

jack and his clown nose got to love itI then of course had to try it.

Victoria and the clown nose too funnyThe clown nose selfie! A classic. While I was snapping this shot the natives in the back seat were getting restless for a turn.

Courtney and the clown nose too funnyHere is my daughter Courtney in her clown nose glory!

Aiden and the clown nosetoo funnyThen my son Aiden had to give it a try.

We all looked at each other and said “Thomas has to do it too”.

Thomas and the clown nose too funnyThe minute we got home we tackled poor 19 year old Thomas and got him to make a funny clown face for the camera.

Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 11.37.05 AMI uploaded all 5 clown pictures to Facebook with the title “our family of clowns” and loved the collage Facebook made of them so much I took a screen shot of it and shared it on my Facebook page for Snail Pace Transformations a day or so later (by the way follow me on Facebook for updates all week long).

That night I was reminded once again. Family fun  doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. It can be made from a silly plastic clown nose, that someone bought your husband in a fundraiser.

Family fun also doesn’t have to take up a lot of time. This whole memory making moment took all of 5 minutes, and we laughed about it for an hour.

Family fun can also bring others joy. People were still liking the “our family of clowns” Facebook status days later, and with every like I couldn’t help but think that our family fun brought a smile to someones face. Smiles are contagious! so who knows how many people were touched by our 5 minutes of free fun playing around with a camera and a clown nose.

Share a fun family moment you have enjoyed lately in the comments below.