The Blended Tribe

Marriage is a Promise.

My parents are celebrating their 39th year of marriage today. They have been such a great example of what a marriage is expected to be. There has been struggling, laughs, happy moments, heartache, tears, and through it all, they are still going strong today.

Marriage is a promise to never give up on each other.

My parents made that promise 39 years ago, and they have kept it.  I tried to follow in their footsteps, but life didn’t go as planned, and that’s ok. So, here I am for the second time making the same promise and hopeful that this was the last time I will have to make that promise.


Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad! We love you guys, and thank you for your continued support and love.

These pictures were taken by our amazing photographer DeeDee! Check her out HERE

 

 

♥  The Blended Tribe

 


 

Difficult Situations.

Find humor in the crazy!

 

♥ The Blended Tribe


 

Cole’s 14th Birthday.

 

Cole celebrated his 14th Birthday last Friday. It's hard to believe we have a 14-year-old in the house now. I get excited for the kids getting older. I know they have their entire life in front of them, and as much as I enjoy them being kids, I get excited to wonder and see what the future holds for them. Each one of them has different strengths and weaknesses, and watching them grow is a privilege. Fourteen takes me to the realization once again that we only have a matter of years left to get our kids ready for the world. Chores are extremely important, and teaching them all the life skills we can is a must. These kids will be off to college soon, and they need to be capable of taking care of themselves. The kid's on their own is something I think about a lot and know that although these kids hate the chores and responsibilities we put on them, they will learn to appreciate it when they are older. 
I will get a post together of our chore binder along with what is expected of each kid. I think it's so helpful to see what other parents are doing so that way you can figure out what will work for you. 

So, we were at the fair all last week, and Cole got to celebrate his Birthday with new friends and some fam. All in all, I think he had a great Birthday week, and I can't remember a time that I've seen him work so hard and be as social as he has with people he really didn't know all that well until now. It's crazy to say, but I've seen huge growth in the matter of a week. I've never seen him this happy and so much in his element. Spending an entire week in a pig pen was never a place I would've imagined this kid being happy😂. Who knew?!? 🤷🏼‍♀️ 

Cole's Birthday dinner of choice.....Cracker Barrel for the first time. Good times. Happy Birthday to my stepson. We don't always "get" one another, but I think we try and that's all that matters. 








		

June Update

 

Here is a quick update on what’s going on with us:

•School and sports are over for summer…..thank GOD!

•We moved!  Which means no sleep.  The two young ones are having difficulty adjusting to the new house and all the change.  They aren’t the only ones, though; I don’t handle change all that well either.

•I had a little shift in my job—-> it’s the same job but added on more responsibilities and more hours.

•The kids are gearing up for fair. We are down a pig due to Cole’s pig passing away unexpectedly. Only AJ and Anabelle will be showing this year now.

I think that’s it as far as updates go. The move has taken a lot of our time, and we are hoping that life will settle down a little bit and we can enjoy some our summer. We will see how that works out.

I have some blog posts in the works right now. Keep checking back for those. There’s been lots of blended family chaos in the mix of all this 🙂

 

♥ The Blended Tribe

Mother’s Day Countdown

Now that Easter is over….next up….MOTHER’S DAY! Oh, the joy of Mother’s Day as a Stepmom. I have two kids of my own, so Mother’s Day isn’t as difficult for me as it is for some Stepmama’s out there. I have faith that at some point on Mother’s Day my stepkids thought about me, and I’m good with that in itself.
I know that it’s hard for stepmoms out there that don’t have their own kids, and my heart goes out to you all ♥   You put your love, sweat, and tears into your stepkids and all you want is a little recognition. You’re expected to play mom, but not get any credit on a day that is all about mom because you didn’t give birth to them. Everything about that sucks!


I challenge you NOT to let Mother’s Day get you down this year!
Here are some ideas of how to avoid Mother’s Day gloom:

1) Focus on your Mom that day-Show your mama some love!

2) Plan a day of pampering yourself and show yourself a little love. Hey, you’re a stepmom, and you deserve to be pampered and treated special on Mother’s Day. Plan a spa day for yourself, go shopping for yourself, treat yourself. If nobody else is going to do it, then make it happen for yourself! You deserve it!

3) Do you have other stepmom friends? I think it would be fun to have a little stepmom gathering on this day and celebrate not being celebrated together:) Go to lunch together or drink a bottle (or two) of wine while supporting one another through this day. You’re not alone!

 

I think the most important thing is to plan it out. You know that this day is coming, and don’t expect anything. Plan for yourself and avoid any sadness or heartbreak that might be attached to this day for you. If you get down in the dumps, know that you are letting other people win and control your day. Don’t allow that to happen!

 

I would love to know some of your Mother’s Day traditions with your stepkids. Do you celebrate or not?

Track Meet

Cole and Gracie had the first track meet that they both participated in last week.  So naturally, we made them take an embarrassing picture together where they look like they get along 🙂

Parenting is the most fun when you get to torture your teens.

Happy Easter 2019!

I hope each one of you had a wonderful Easter weekend!

Guest Post: Meet The Norman Crew

 

How did you and your spouse meet and how long have you been married?

Back in 2013, in our “previous lives” I used to kick my husband’s tail in the gym. I was his personal trainer and bootcamp instructor in our small town! We always knew we were “cut from the same cloth” and that allowed us to be great friends. We were each married at the time, so he stepped into a “big brother” role for me, as he is eleven years older. We lost touch when my family moved away, and unfortunately had both separated from our spouses when we reconnected. He needed help finding a new place, and I had gotten my real estate license. I don’t think we have gone a day since that phone call without speaking. He is the best man I know, and I know MANY great men! We will be married 2 years next week!

How old are each of the children that you brought into the marriage?

We ended up with two brand new sets of twins when we got married, as Jay and I’s children are the same age. Our “bigs” are 13, the “twins” are 10, and my little guy, Cash is 6. He often feels jipped that he doesn’t have a counterpart!

Did you become an instant family?

Jay and I both had blinders on and EXPECTED them to be an instant family; we didn’t want to give them any other option except to love each other. We know now that that was misguided and had to take large steps back and allow everyone to heal at their own pace. I guess we realized a forced family was not what we were looking for, but instead a union that happened organically, one that was their choice. I felt an imaginary cloud clear around the first year mark, and each weekend that we have spent as the seven of us has gotten exponentially better.

What does discipline look like in your home?

I’m very strict, and my husband is sorta strict but more so kind, good, and patient. I hated the way he parented when we first married until I saw the results he got from our children and the way they thrived. Now I strive each day to parent more and more like him. I want to be just like him when I grow up 😉

Biggest blessing in having a blended family?

There are SO many! If I had to pick my favorite, I would say the relationship between our thirteen year olds, a boy and a girl. They are extremely close, and they love each other so much. The girl is mine, and her name is Lily. She is our blended family’s biggest fan, and I am confident that there were days when she was cheering for all of us when I was not. Also, when we are together it sounds like we are having a “kegger” at our place, they are so loud and crazy. They make our life wild and hilarious!

The biggest challenge in having a blended family?

Again, there are SO many! My husband and I have a grace and humility podcast, so the challenges in our family only add amazing content for each episode! So when the Lord told us to consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds, we ACTUALLY do! After a few moments of course! Of course, I’m totally kidding, but in a way, this IS the dynamic of our trials! We USE them!

What does Co-parenting look like for you?

My ex-husband is one of my best friends. I’m afraid it makes others feel uncomfortable, but I pray our relationship becomes the norm, and not the rare case, very soon. We speak with each other nearly everyday and work together when we see a problem arise with one of our three children. Usually, however, our calls are sharing the funny thing one of our crazy kids did/said that day. I won’t answer for my husband, but I will share that he and his ex-wife are very much the adults they are needing to be to make the kids thrive.

Any tips you can give other blended families?

Our podcast revolves around a very key principal, “Drop the Rope,” and we feel it can be a game-changer for blended families. A tug-of-war can occur so quickly in each of our relationships, and simply dropping our end of the rope can squash it in an instant. It’s taken us years to figure out, but once we got a taste of the first victory by simply dropping it, we knew that is what we wanted for our family. We saw our children THRIVE, and that as parents is our ultimate goal!

Anything else you want us to know about your family?

We mess up all of the time and are still trying to figure so many things out!! We don’t ever want anyone to feel frustrated or alone in this, as we are right here with you! We want you to know we are here too, cheering you on!!

 

 

 

Thank you Norman Crew for sharing with us!  Go check out their podcast:  https://www.movingonpodcast.com/

 

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.

 

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