The Blended Tribe

The Big Move

We bought our first house as a blended family! We moved a little over two months ago. I’ve been waiting to post about it because I needed a picture to post….lame, I know. It took us an entire month to get the time to take a mediocre picture in front of our house, and another month to get the time to post about it.

So, here it is.

Gracie, Ashton and I had lived in our old house together before Jon and his kids came into the picture. That had always subconsciously played into our homes dynamic.
The kids and I went through a lot in our old house. Our first time living on our own, finalizing a divorce, me going from full-time Mom to full-time working Mom, inviting a new family in our home, and sharing with them, getting remarried, this is just naming a handful of the significant life changes that happened there. The move was bittersweet for me. It was hard leaving all those memories behind and leaving the best neighbors EVER!!
Even though it was hard to leave our old place, I’m optimistic that this is a fresh start and move in the right direction for our blended tribe. It’s an even playing ground from here on out in this house. It’s not a big house by any means, but it’s perfect for us.  We are slowly but surely making this place home.  I’m excited for all the memories our family will share in this home.

→I have to throw a HUGE shoutout to our AMAZING realtor Kristin over at Hunstad Reality. She was extremely patient with us during this process. We took forever to find the right fit house for our tribe, and she knew what we wanted, and she made it happen! We had almost impossible demands on price and what we wanted, and she was patient with us the entire time. She gave us creative ideas along the way, and we are so grateful for her!

If you’re looking for a house on the central coast, you have to look her up!  Check her out here


 

THIS IS US.

Right here is our family, The Blended Tribe. He had two kids, and I had two kids. We turned our two separate families into one blended mess over three years ago now. There is a lot of love and a lot of heartaches that go into keeping a stepfamily together. There is a ridiculous amount of fights over kids and parenting styles. The longer we keep fighting to keep our family together, the better it seems to get.

Why am I telling you all this?!

First of all, I’m reintroducing our tribe to you all. It’s been a while since I’ve shared who we are.

We have the oldest, Cole (Jon’s kid) who just turned 14 and all of a sudden got a personality. This kid has been one of my biggest challenges to figure out. He’s a little quirky, but he has a good heart and is starting to figure out where he belongs in our family.

Then there is Gracie (my kid) who is three months younger than Cole, and you wouldn’t know it. She takes on the role of the oldest for sure. She has an attitude and a personality that I relate to because she’s my kid. She is 100% my child in every way.

AJ (my kid) is next! AJ is ten, and he’s your typical middle child. He went from being the baby to being a middle kid, and that was a hard adjustment for sure. This kid has a temper like no other. He is sick of putting up with the other kids crap, but then he has the biggest heart. He is a kind soul and has the best manners for a ten-year-old.

 

That brings us to the baby Miss Anabelle (Jon’s kid) who is nine. This one!!! She is loving, smart, and she is brave. She doesn’t have a lot of fear, which scares me a little for her. She is kind, but also gets pure joy out of torturing and annoying her older siblings.

The second reason is I want you all to know that this sh*t is hard! I try to keep things as positive as I can because I choose to do that. I can dwell on the negative, but that won’t get any of us anywhere. Raising kids is hard enough, helping raise stepkids in a blended family environment is a whole other level of hard, probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

Parenting other people’s kids makes parenting your own kids a walk in the park.

I’m here to listen and encourage you through it. You are going to have the shittiest of times, and then that will all go away when you have those fantastic moments together, these are the moments that make it all worth it.  The reason I started this blog was to help people by sharing my struggles and experiences.  I’m just trying to survive blended living.  I definitely don’t have it all figured out, and NEVER will.  All I know is that I’m a fighter and I want to encourage all of you to keep on fighting for your families!

♥  The Blended Tribe

To read more about us click HERE


 

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


 

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.

Guest Post: Jenn From THIS IS BLENDED

Please tell us a little about your family dynamic and how you became a blended family.

I’m Jenn, Mom to one daughter, Addison. She’s 9 going on 16, I swear! My fiancé Mark is Dad to three great kids, Justin (15), Alyssa (13), Jayden (11). We’ve been living under the same roof for a year and a half now and have most recently added another addition, a puppy named Dez. He’s a Beagle/Springer Spaniel/Labordoodle mix!

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

Mark and I met online. Unknown to one another we both separated from our ex-spouses the same year. We both had a semi-serious dating relationship after our splits that ended at the same time, and we both joined Match.com on Thanksgiving weekend 2016! We had been living parallel lives all this time, just waiting for the right time to find each other! We moved in together the summer of 2017 and got engaged summer of 2018. We are set to marry September of this year!

Did you become an instant family?

In terms of blending together, we really couldn’t have asked for anything better. Addison was always very shy and used to having me all to herself but when she met Mark and the kids, she warmed up to them all instantly, and you’d think she’d been around them her whole life. Mark’s kids were very accepting of both Addison, and I and things have unfolded naturally for all of us, for the most part! Let’s keep it real here; it’s not a fairy tale!

What does discipline look like in your home?

Ahhh, this is one of the biggest stressors for sure! You blend two families together. Two separate households, two different parents and 4 very different children and boy oh boy is it an adventure! Mark and I luckily share very similar values, but there are things he was lax about that I had always really zoned in on with Addison so trying to compromise and not step on people’s toes has been challenging.
We agreed early on that when it comes to discipline, whatever child is needing it at the time, their bio parent would handle it.
We have both given each other full authority though to discipline if needed, and we always back each other up in front of the kids. If there’s ever something we don’t agree on, then we discuss it behind closed doors. Keeping a united front as parents is very important!

Biggest blessing in having a blended family?

More people to love and to love you in return. Getting pregnant was a struggle for me and the chances of having more children were slim to none, so it really has been a blessing to have these other 3 amazing kids as part of my family now.

The biggest challenge in having a blended family?

Having a blended family! Seriously though, there are so many aspects to blending two families together that are challenging. The biggest for me personally is letting go. There are so many things that are not in your control, schedules, finances, co-parenting with exes. Just so many factors that can be very challenging!

What does Co-parenting look like for you?

Luckily Mark and I are very much on the same page with almost everything. I’m the stricter one. Mark’s the laid back, fun dad, like dads tend to be and I’m the one running the tight ship that needs to remember to just relax and go with the flow more. Where we differ, we balance each other out, but it’s good that we always see eye to eye on the big things!

Any tips you can give other blended families?

Pick your battles. If it won’t matter in 6 months, don’t worry about it.
Compromise and communication are two of the biggest skills you will need to master.
Find support, don’t be afraid to ask for help. This life is not easy, and you’re not alone in it. There are tons of other amazing step mama’s out there, and the beautiful thing is they’re all usually very eager to help, to listen and to support! I’m one of them – Here for you any time!

 

Check out Jenn’s site @ http://thisisblended.com/

and be sure to follow her on IG @ thisisblended

 


Jenn,  Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful Blended Tribe with us! I look forward to collaborating with you in the future 😉

💗 The Blended Tribe

 

 

To read about some other great blended families click HERE


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

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