Hey Friends,

Today’s post is part of Kimberly Snyder’s weekly blogger assignment “Gratitude”. This picture is what I’m grateful for. The life that God has given me.

My family is what I’m most grateful for.


We met in 1997 and I was only 18. At such a young age I knew he was the one. We got married when I was 20 and he was 21. We thought we were so mature at the time and when we look back now we realize we were just kids.

We both agree that our first year together was the best; new, exciting and in love! Our daughter was born shortly after we married. Although we didn’t plan it that way we did the best we could.

I am thankful that my husband became a responsible father and did his best to work hard and provide at such a young age. To this day he continues to work hard for his family and has always held a steady job. I am grateful for his willingness to do chores; whether it is ndishes, laundry or helping me in the yard. Even better, he always listens to my latest ideas and gives me his honest input. He is my partner in everything and I am grateful for that.


I never thought I wanted kids until my daughter was born. I never realized I would enjoy being a mom so much. Within a year, I went from being a carefree young adult to a mom who was now responsible for another human being. I was blessed to be able to stay at home with her for her first 7 months. In the beginning I was sleep deprived and didn’t know what I was doing at times but I enjoyed it.

We lived in an apartment when she was born and only had one car. I wanted better for her. She deserved to have a house and a yard to play in as she got older. When she was 8 months old, I made the difficult decision to return to work full-time. Leaving her was one of the hardest things I had to do but I knew there was a purpose. Within 3 years we saved enough to buy a second car and our first house.

Even though becoming a parent young is very hard, I am grateful for the motivation it gave me to do better in life.

My little girl is now a teenager (with an attitude sometimes) but she always makes life interesting. I love that I can ask her opinion on anything, and she will give me an honest answer. Sometimes too honest 🙂


When my son was born 5 years later I felt complete. I never thought I could love another child after my daughter but I was wrong. He made our family complete and was like the missing puzzle piece.

I was a stay at home mom for the first couple years but I knew I needed income since we now had 2 kids and just bought our 2nd house. I tried a lot of work at home businesses but nothing was solid. I knew I loved fitness so I got hired at a gym as a group instructor and later a personal trainer. I enjoyed it but I still still struggled with leaving my kids so when my son was 4, I took a leap of faith, left the gym and started my home based personal training business. I now work part-time from home and get to take my kids to and from school. I love being able to see my son right after school and ask him how his day went.

I am grateful for my son because he motivates me to do better and makes me smile everyday. He is the light of my life.


I am grateful for my family because they have made me the person I am today. I am grateful that we are all healthy and have a home to live in.

Life is never perfect. In fact, this has been a hard year for us. My husband got injured at the beginning of the year and had to have surgery to repair a fully ruptured Achilles tendon. If you’re not familiar with this type of injury, its one of the slowest recoveries. The doctors said it can be a year before he’s fully recovered. This has been hard for him since he’s so active (and my running partner)  He’s able to walk now but no running yet 😦

The reason why I mention this is because I believe we can still find gratitude in the midst of challenging times.

There is so much to be grateful for.

I find peace and gratitude when I am outdoors. At the beach, in my garden or just taking a walk around my neighborhood. Just looking at these pictures gives me gratitude for life.



I didn’t expect to write this much 🙂 Thanks for reading.


2 thoughts on “Gratitude

  1. Nikki Ely says:

    Wow Marlene! Very nicely written and thanks for sharing! That is so true about having gratitude in the midst of challenges or having appreciation any time. I can relate!

    From, Nikki Sent from my iPhone


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