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. 








		

Girlfriends’ Guide To Divorce

Any of you out there watch this show??  It grabbed my attention while I was going through my divorce.  Season 5 came out and there is some fun blended family action going on now.  Check it out!

 

 

Happy First Day of May

Happy May! We have a busy month ahead of us. It’s a little sad when you are only on the 1st day of a month, and you can’t wait for it to be over already. That’s where I’m at though. I’m ready for summer and all it has to bring this year. I’m honestly to the point where I need a break. Any other mama’s out there feeling this way right now?? With the school year almost to an end, sports,
4-h activities, and everything else on top of that, I feel like I’m at my max right now. I feel like I have a mini-meltdown every Spring. You would think that I would know better and not take on more things the next year, yet every year Spring rolls up, and it’s meltdown central again.

On the agenda for this month:

Miss Anabelle’s B-day
Mother’s Day
Mini-staycation for the hubs and I
End of baseball, track, club volleyball season
VB Tournament weekend
End of school year activities
Keep the kids fair projects going strong
SURVIVE!

This year I’m at the point where I refuse to let myself stress about every little thing. I can’t do all that I want to do or feel like I need to do, and that’s okay. I found this quote, and it hits home for me. It’s all in the way that we think about our situation. I’m continually reminding myself of this. ♥

 


 


 

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/

 

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


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