I stared at a picture of my side of the family recently, and had a moment of remembering just how lucky we are to have each other. It is all too easy for me to know that we are not guaranteed a single day longer than what we have. Just a few years ago, the Snyder family was still at five members. My mom battled cancer and the painful, draining effects of chemotherapy, my dad balanced a higher-stress job while ensuring that his wife was as relaxed and cared-for as possible, and over the years, us three kids went through a string of immense heart-break, one after another. And yet here we are, all of us kids finally with the loves of our lives, and now there are three beautiful grandchildren who have been added to the clan. So tonight, to express my gratitude for my family, I’m going to write a few things about those on this side of my family that I love, appreciate, and likely don’t share often enough. A future post will be a dedicated letter to the amazing “Sholtis” family I married into!
A letter to each of my family members:
Dad: The first word that comes to mind is “integrity.” You are such a good, hard-working man who loves his family and loves others so well. You have worked tirelessly as a coach, teacher, principal, curriculum director, and now superintendent, to shape and change the lives of thousands of students and teachers. You taught us kids by example of how to treat others with kindness, acceptance, love and respect. You make sure we have all the right tools, both morally and literally …saws, hammers, and every wrench we could ever need… to get through this life.
Mom: Somehow your supply of love never runs low or dry. You have a heart of compassion, and you get more joy from giving than you ever have receiving. I truly believe that my servant’s heart comes straight from you. Of all of the memories I have with and the words of wisdom you have shared, hearing you say this encompasses who you are better than an entire novel could ever explain: (it was Easter Sunday) “Whenever I take communion, I always get a little choked up and try to tell Jesus how sorry I am that he had to go through so much pain. But it just makes me feel so grateful for what He did and how much He loves us.”
Ryan (Brother Bear): You are so insanely smart, and so incredibly humble. I have a true kinship with you as a fellow nerd, although your impressive supply of board games maybe takes the cake! You are resilient, kind, and loyal, and I admire your faith and your humility more than I’ve ever told you. You have stepped into roles as a new husband, step-father and father in such a short period of time with more poise and joy than one person could ever hope for. I love your passion for hockey, photography, and pyrotechnics. Someday I’ll forgive you for shoving your dirty socks in my face in our Astro minivan on vacations, but until then, this short letter will be my consolation ;).
Laura (sissy): You already know I’ve always wanted to be just like you. But unfortunately, God did not bless me with the caligraphy handwriting and an eye for all things artistic and beautiful straight from the womb, as he did with you! But that’s okay 🙂 More importantly, I am able to strive for so many other things I admire about you. You are the true definition of someone who is strikingly beautiful inside and out. You are kind, patient, hard-working, funny and down-to-earth. I know I can tell you anything and you will never judge me, as you never judge others. You are as incredible of a human being as you are a mama. I’m so proud to be your little sister.
Tiffany (sissy-in-law): The “Snyder” women are finally complete now that you’ve come into our lives! You are the puzzle piece we never knew we were missing, and we couldn’t imagine our lives without you! You truly radiate joy, and it is infectious. We love sharing our love of all things decor with you, but are extra grateful that you appreciate the level of sarcasm required to be in our family. You are the most gentle and loving mama, one I admire so much. We are so thankful to have you and Emmett in our lives!
Ray (bro-in-law): My favorite sight to see is the way your son (Finn – my adorable nephew!) LIGHTS up when you walk in the room! You are the perfect partner for my sister, and such a fun-loving father. I know that little guy will have so much laughter and happiness in his life because of you. It was so awesome to watch you accomplish so many personal goals with your half-marathons, and you even inspired Jeff and me to do a (sprint) triathlon! Can’t wait to see what else you will accomplish in the future!
Jeff (my love): You are my greatest gift. From the first month we started dating, you have shown me time and time again that you are all in. You strive to be the best version of yourself, and you love me better with each passing year. You are humble, hard-working, and patient. Best of all, you make me smile, you make me laugh, and you just get me better than anyone else ever has. Darnit, I love you so much.
As I thought about what I wanted to share this week, I went back to the heart of inspo&grace: who inspires me? These people are the closest to me, and by far have had the greatest impact on who I am today. It can be so easy to go weeks, months or years and forget to remind people closest to us how much we love them. Don’t forget to remind people you love just how much they mean to you <3
Have an amazing week, friends!
XoXo Lindsey Sholtis