St. Lucia, West Indies

St. Lucia, West Indies

I sort of forgot about  this little blog of mine and decided to see if it was even still available!  So I’ve spent the afternoon going over all of my past posts and I can’t believe it was Christmas of 2012 since I last posted!  Wow, So Much Has Happened since then!  For those of you that I am friends with on Facebook, most of you know what’s been going on the last couple of years.  My intentions are to start this blog up again, so I can communicate better with close friends and family, and those who want to keep up with the Snyder Times!  Not to mention, writing has always been therapeutic for me and allows me to go back and reflect.

To catch everyone up since 2012, I will back up and try to cover the top events of the last 2 years.  Shortly after we got back from Kaston’s Make-A-Wish trip, one of the biggest blessings ever came into our lives.  More about that later.  In June of 2013, we had the opportunity to go to San Diego, CA for a much needed family vacation for a few days.  We were still dealing with the death of Bob’s mom Debbie and taking care of his dad and his high medical needs, along with maintaining 2 households.  It was amazing and we had so much fun being on the West Coast and getting to see the Pacific Ocean when Bob had just first seen the ocean only 6 months prior on Kaston’s Make-A-Wish trip!  And ever since Debbie’s passing, his dad, Drew had been in very bad health due to unmanaged diabetes.  Unfortunately, July 3, 2013, Bob’s dad, Drew, passed away.  Bob found him at home in his bedroom.  His kidneys had failed him.  So we planned yet another funeral during the summer.  4 funerals in 4 summers in 1 family.  The Boxwell Brothers have been amazing to our family, but just as Bart told us, we really hope we don’t see each other for a very long time.

A lot of you may not know this, but Bob has been surrounded by an incredible amount of death in his life and his dad’s took the cake.  When Bob was 14, his only sister tragically died in a car wreck.  She was 16 years old.  Over the years other great-aunts & uncles passed along with Debbie’s parents, as is expected as people get older and most people experience.  In 2006, his biological mother passed away at age 53.  In the summer of 2010, his grandmother that he was extremely close to  and spent his childhood summers with passed away.  In the summer of 2011, Debbie passed at age 59.  In the summer of 2012, Debbie’s brother Gary passed away at age 61.  In the summer of 2013, his dad Drew passed away at the age of 60. And of most of you may remember, not even two months after Drew passed away, Bob’s 25 year old brother Matt was in a terrible car wreck that almost killed him.  He is still recovering a year and 4 surgeries later.  To say that a black cloud has been hanging over this family is an understatement…not to mention Kaston’s near death experiences when he was a baby with his heart condition.  So we pledged and prayed that 2014 was the year of the Snyder’s.  And we made it through the summer without anyone dying or having to attend a funeral!  It was a much needed relief for our family and our kids.  Besides Kaston being born with his medical issues and the amount of stress that brought on our family, those 3 years were the very hardest times of our lives and our marriage.  If our marriage can make it through those situations, I have no doubt we can get through anything! The demands of caring for dying parents is excruciating.  And we are young.  Most people do not have to do this so close together and at this age.  Maybe one parent dies tragically or unexpectedly, but to have 3 parents die so young and so close together is unusual.  And we finally feel like we have some normalcy in our lives now.  After thousands of dollars spent on attorneys fees trying to settle both estates, and paying two mortgage and maintaining 2 households for 3 years, we are getting closer to being finished.  We finally were able to clean out his parent’s house and get it ready to sell and is currently on the market.  Our realtor has been showing it non-stop for the last week and we actually have an offer on it.  Just waiting for them to accept our counter offer.  Once that is complete, hopefully that chapter of our lives will be closed and we can continue on with the wonderful memories that we have of his parents.

So, let’s back up to our blessing that was brought into our life in January 2013, shortly after we were home from Kaston’s Make-A-Wish trip!  Some friends introduced us to something that has allowed us to travel the world this year.  It’s hard to go into detail about it, because there’s just so much to it, but it has allowed us to have a life I have only dreamt of and still have to pinch myself some times!  It has taken some mental changes on our part and made us get outside of our comfort zone a little bit, but we have dove head first into a life changing thing!  It is a great place to be in at this time of our lives and we have grown so much over the last year just from the personal development we have gone through.  Our dreams are becoming realities.  Kaston’s Make-A-Wish trip opened up something in us we never really had, nor knew what we were missing.  We simply didn’t know what we didn’t know.  The desire to travel.

This year has been filled with many firsts and allowed us to start checking off things on our bucket lists! I have been on an airplane more this year that I have in all of my previous years combined!  Beginning in January, Bob and I spent 5 days in Louisville, Kentucky.  It was a great getaway for us and we enjoyed our time at the Jim Beam and Maker’s Mark Distilleries, along with our tour of the Churchhill Downs.  In March, we embarked on an amazing journey together and travelled the Atlantic and spent 10 days in Ireland.  I can’t even begin to describe what an amazing time we had there!  The pictures do not do it justice.  We will take our kids there when they are a little older.  We topped it off with 2 days in London.  I fell in love.  We will take our kids there someday too.  The kids and I spent a few days in Ruidoso, NM with my family for my grandmother’s birthday, Bob & I went to Indianapolis, Indiana in June for the Mended Little Hearts Conference, Las Vegas in July, and then add in a couple of trips to Dallas/Ft. Worth, Oklahoma City, and Possum Kingdom along with a lake trip to Lake Tenkiller in Oklahoma and I’d say we had an incredibly busy summer traveling and blew the last 3 summers out of the water!  We ended it with a 8 day cruise out of San Juan, Puerto Rico in the Caribbean just a couple of weeks ago – St. Thomas, St. Kitts, St. Maarten, St. Lucia, and Barbados were our ports of call.  WOW!  We had an amazing time and it was the kids first time to travel out of the country!  The water and beaches were amazing, the cruise itself was unforgettable and I can’t wait to have to opportunity to go back to the Caribbean and stay on my favorite island…St. Maarten!  We have made friends with people all over the country and met some amazing people from other countries – the people of Ireland are the friendliest by far!

We have some big trips coming up for 2015 and I can not wait to have them on the books permanently!  Just trying to figure out when and where, but it’s gonna be another epic year for our family!  I guess when you go through what we’ve gone through, priorities change.  Cleaning out Bob’s parents house was very emotionally draining.  They worked their entire lives for a house full of stuff that had no value.  The only thing we wanted to keep were the things that had memories attached to them.  And there were so many things we simply just had to get rid of.  An entire, albeit short, lifetime of working 40-60 hours a week for a house full of things.  Oh how I wish we had more memories with them.  More peak life experiences shared with them.  Because in the end, that’s all we really have.

I want to show our kids the world.  I am so glad we said “yes” to an idea that we weren’t sure of but took a leap of faith.  And man, it has sure changed our lives for the better.  Bigger things are coming our way and our future has been changed forever.  It’s a really good place to be at and I thank God every day for placing such an amazing opportunity in our lives.  It’s crazy how God likes to give you the desires of our hearts…we just sometimes have to ask.  And it may not be anything you ever expected, but you know it when you see it.  It’s hard to believe that He has placed the people in our lives that he has and that we have had the opportunity to meet the people we have.  And I know this is only the beginning.

Homeschool is going well and it really fits our family and our family perfectly.  We have so much freedom and this new lifestyle fits our schedule nicely!

Of course, there’s so much more that has happened, but these are the biggest things that have impacted our family the most over the last couple of years.  I hope to be able to keep this page updated more frequently.  We have some big things coming up that I will share with you later, so until then…