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


 

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

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!

 

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



 

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