The Blended Tribe

Goodbye 2018!

Two thousand eighteen was a good year. Am I happy to see it go…..yes! My husband told me a couple of weeks back that this was one of his best years to date. I don’t know if this was one of my best years, but it wasn’t horrible, and I ‘m glad we survived it together.

I must say that I’m excited for 2019 and what it has to offer. I do have some personal goals that I want to work on this year. My big goal is that I take the time now that I’m settled in this blended living, to make time for other people. It has been about five years since my divorce, and I feel like since that time I have become so consumed in myself, my kids, and then surviving this new life that I’ve created. I finally feel like I can breathe, and now it’s time to be there more for my friends and family outside of my little home. I need to be better about remembering Birthdays and special events; these were all things that I was good at one time in my life. It’s time to get that back! This particular thing has been on my heart for the past few months, so I’m determined to make it happen this year.

I’m excited for 2019, and I adore the tribe of people that I have around me. I’m busy, so I may take a little longer to respond to your questions and comments, but I will respond. I am so grateful for all the kind words, and encouragement I get on this journey. I also can’t tell you how much I appreciate you trusting my advice and asking for it. It’s a continual learning experience for all of us, and I’m grateful that we have one another to bounce ideas off of and to support one another.

 

Merry Christmas!

 

Merry Christmas my friends! I hope your day is full of love and joy. I know the Holiday’s can be so hard after divorce. It’s been five years since my separation, and it still doesn’t feel “normal” to me.

We are focused now on creating a new normal, and with each year, it gets a little easier. This entire situation is a process, and it’s what you make of it. You can let the process take you down, or you can learn and grow from it! I choose every single day to learn from what life throws at me. That’s the only option I have. I’m too hard-headed to let people, things or my situation get to me! NOT GOING TO HAPPEN!
Don’t let today get you down! If you’re alone, enjoy it! If you’re with a new family, enjoy it! If you have all your kids and stepkids, enjoy it! If it’s just you and your significant other, enjoy it! Reflect on what today is really about and be grateful for this moment however you might be spending it.

Merry Christmas!

With so much love,

The Blended Tribe 

 

photo credit: photography by DeeDee 

I’ll be posting more photo’s from her soon.  She’s an amazing Central Coast photographer who impressed me beyond belief with her skills, and she works so well with kids (she’s a mama of 3).   Check out her work here

Camping Lives On

We took this photo while starting our Thanksgiving vacation camping and in the rain. We look happy right?! The kids were inside the trailer watching a movie, and Jon and I were cozied up by the fire with a beer and a glass of wine. It was a good start. Little did I share what happened the next day. This was our first Thanksgiving camping, and all but two of our tribe was excited about it. I think from all the rain to the complaining to the 8-year-old rubbing a tortilla on her body (another story for another time), I had had my feel!! I told Jon that I was ready to sell our trailer and I don’t want to go camping again with these kids!! I was OVER IT! When you have kids complaining and acting out and then a rainy, muddy mess to add to the experience, it was a recipe for disaster, and I was questioning why we even make an effort to do this stuff. I lost my sh*t people! I had to take a moment and dig deep and center myself aka I prayed and asked God for help.

What started as a frustrating Holiday where I was ready to disown every child (not literally), turned into a cool bonding experience with our two older ones who complained about camping in the first place. We played cards with the two of them for a good portion of the day and night, and it was probably the most fun I’ve had with them in a long time. They are goofy and ridiculous and a lot of fun. It was nice to get that time with them, and I’m confident that by the end of the trip they had fun too.

It’s hard when you have four kids ranging from eight to thirteen; you don’t ever feel like you can make every single one of them happy at one given time. Most the time I don’t care, but sometimes this can wear me down. I guess it’s one of those things that I’m learning you have to assess the situation and focus in on which one or two need the attention or extra care the most at that moment.

So, we are keeping the trailer for now, and we will continue to camp, and we don’t care who likes it or not. We will continue to do it because you never know when you will get those much-needed bonding moments with the kids. We will continue to camp because I believe deep down that when they are older, these are the trips that they will remember and hopefully pass on and do with their children. We will continue to camp so that they can disconnect from their phones and video games to get outside and experience new things and nature.

It might kill us, but camping lives on in this blended tribe!

 

Pecan Pie

At one point in my life, I lived in Ft. Knox, Kentucky (I was an Army wife for many years). There wasn’t much that I liked about living in Kentucky. I do have one fond memory that took me back while I was baking a homemade Pecan Pie for Thanksgiving. We went to have dinner with some friends that lived off base. They had a sweet, little, lady for a neighbor.  She had made us a pecan pie to have for dessert, now up until this point I had decided I didn’t like pecan pie and I had come to this conclusion even though I never in my life tried a bite of one. It didn’t look appealing to me, so, therefore, I must not like it.
I wanted to be polite, so I took a piece of this homemade pie and holy s**t!!!! I’ve missed out on this deliciousness for over 20 years just because it didn’t look like it tasted good!?!

So, today I made my first pecan pie. I didn’t make it for myself, but I made it for the person that I care about the most…..my hubby. I had planned on going and buying him one because something that tastes that good should be complicated to make right?! I looked up recipes and turns out it’s not that complicated at all. I can smell the pie cooking as I write this blog post, and I’m feeling pretty accomplished along with remembering a good memory from a place in time where I was miserable in my surroundings.

So, there is a point to this post, and the two takeaways are:

1) Don’t judge a book by its cover…..dig in and take a bite or dig deeper and get to know that person better even if they don’t look like somebody you would invest your time. You never know what good things can come from just digging a little deeper.

2) Always look for the positive or the bright side in every situation. I was miserable living in Kentucky for a year. I don’t even want to go into all the details about what made that place hell for me, but this is the one positive thing (I know it’s pretty small and ridiculous) that I took from that place, and I will never forget this memory.

I’m going add a third point.

3) Do something special for your spouse today even if it’s small. Jon LOVES pecan pie. I told him I would make sure to buy him one and he was grateful. When I came home the next day and mentioned that I was going to bake him one, I got the biggest smile from him which melted my heart. Him knowing that I was taking the extra time out of my already crazy schedule to do something special for him made him feel important, and that was obvious by his reaction.

Now let’s pray this pie turns out. If it’s a winner, I will be sure to share the recipe.

 

💗 The Blended Tribe


 

A Blended Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving we have all four kids!! We decided to take our Turkey on the road. We are celebrating our 2018 Thanksgiving camping!! The older two aren’t thrilled about it, but the younger two are excited….you can’t win them all, right?! We aren’t traveling far, but if this works out, I can see it as our new tradition. We have family coming out to celebrate with us, and we are looking forward to being together and trying something new. Did I mention it might rain 😉 It will be an adventure!

I know how hard the holidays can be within a blended family, and this Thanksgiving I’m truly blessed not to have to worry about an exchange or not having our kids. That’s not the case for all of you this year, and I know that. Keep your chin up, focus on the positive, create new traditions with you your spouse, friends or alone! Don’t sit around being sad over something you can’t control though! Please stay positive, every holiday won’t be this way, and know that I’m thinking about you!!

Hit me up on email brilee4@gmail.com or IG @ the_blended_tribe if you’re having a hard time. You’re not in this alone, and I will do my best to talk you through it!

Click on Holiday Blending to get more tips on surviving this time of year.

Gracie’s Smile

 

After a couple of failed attempts of trying to get the impressions on my own for The Smile Direct Club, we decided to take a drive to the closest office, which was in Santa Barbara. It was a cool experience from the 3D X-rays to leaving with a bag full of goodies. It’s a lot quicker to go into the office and get it done for you. We are now waiting to get the plan back and get her started!

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ONE OF MY BIGGEST MISTAKES SO FAR AS A PARENT

I make mistakes daily, but I’m a pretty decent Mom, and I know this. I’m certainly able to admit when and where I’ve made some mistakes along the way. Here is one of my biggest mistakes so far as a parent.

We made the mistake of giving kids cell phones at an early age. I believe my daughter was 9 (possibly eight, but I can’t remember for sure) when I handed her a phone. My ex and I were going through our divorce, and she didn’t feel like she could contact me when she was with her Dad so I thought a phone would solve all the problems. It has helped and been a benefit with her being in sports and needing rides and so on. It has also been a HUGE pain in the ASS!! These kids don’t think they can survive without a cell phone these days. It’s permanently attached to them, and I can’t tell you how annoyed I am by it. My daughter isn’t playing a lot of games on hers, she does text her friends and looks at Pinterest for ideas, and it’s all mostly innocent. When you have kids sitting with their face in a game, with headphones on while watching TV……it’s too much!!
My Stepson received a phone around the same time, so we have two 13-year-olds that have had cell phones for at least four years already.

My daughter is grounded a TON from her cell, I take it away all the time. My SS was grounded from his, and it was the best thing for him!! They can, and they will survive without it.

Most weekends that we have the kids, they don’t get their cell phones. They have to put those things in the drawer and forget about them! Do we have some pissed off teenagers…..you know it! I feel like we wouldn’t be doing our job right if we didn’t have pissed off teens in our house.

The point of this post is to encourage you parents our there to hold off on giving your kids a phone until it’s an absolute must. They don’t need the damn things! They will find a way to get in contact with you if they need to. I’m sure all their friends have a cell; they can borrow someone else’s. Your kids will survive without one, and you will survive without being able to get in contact with them all the freakin time, EVERYONE WILL LIVE!!

Don’t make the same mistake I did. If you’ve already given your kids a phone, remember that you control that thing and you have all the power to take it away or restrict use. Be the parent and good luck in raising kids in such an advanced technological world. It creates an entirely new level of problems in an already trying time of raising children.

 

♥ The Blended Tribe


 

Save Your Drama For Your Mama!

Anybody else guilty of saying that you are tired of the drama? I know I have said it before.  I’ve put an end to the emotional participation, and it was the best thing that I’ve done so far.  I challenge you to NOT participate!  No matter what is being said about you, no matter what is being done, DON’T PLAY the game!

 

♥ The Blended Tribe



 

DECLARE IT!

 

 

I’ve been quiet this past week, partly because it was a hectic week and partly because it was a rough week for me. There is not one reason as to why it was a hard week for me, but unfortunately, there are a handful of reasons. I know we all have these days (in my case an entire week) that are sh*tty! Friday couldn’t get here fast enough, and now it has come and gone. This weekend has been nice though. We had a kid-free weekend, and it was great getting to spend some one-on-one time with Jon and do not much of anything. Just need this sometimes.

Heading into this next week, I’m doing a lot of praying for patience, and hoping that it will be a little smoother and less hectic than last. I’m declaring that this week will be different, and I believe that it will be. I think it’s important to put it out there and own it, so that’s what I’m doing! If there is anything you are struggling with this week, I encourage you to do the same ♥

 


 

Smile Direct Club

10/22/18→Update← We had to take the impressions again since my daughter laughed the entire time I took them the first time.  Hopefully, the second set we mailed in will work.  Fingers crossed.

 

Who’s heard of Smile Direct Club? I just wrote a post on co-raising kids when you don’t agree that you can read here. Well, braces are one thing that my ex and I don’t agree. My daughter has wanted them for a while now, and it’s a no go. Ok, so moving on. I found Smile Direct Club. You all might think I’m crazy, and I probably am, but we are going to give it a try because why not?! We ordered the impression kit last night, and I can’t wait to get it and see if my daughter will be able to use this system.

They send you a kit to take impressions, and you mail them back to the company along with pictures. They let you know if you are a candidate or not and then it’s like Invisalign through the mail. The cost is way less than going to the orthodontist, and you don’t have to take time out of your schedule to make those orthodontist trips during the week.

I did my research beforehand, and this is one of the top companies doing this right now.

I’m going to blog about the process along the way, and share results or lack of so stay tuned in for updates.
To read more about the company click here. I was also able to use ebates to purchase and got a discount code through ebates for the impression kit.

 

**This post includes affiliate links

 

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