My So-Called Marriage: Love the Second Time Around

Sometimes my marriage to Gabe seems unreal.  Not in a gushy "I married Prince Charming, this is a dream come true" way, but in a "I'm not sure this counts as a real marriage" way. When we said I do, eight people were standing at the altar.  Eight people with lives in progress.  Eight people healing [...]

By | 2017-01-11T08:21:06+00:00 November 30th, 2016|Our Love Story, Our Story|

How To to Build Stepfamily Traditions

Traditions tell a family's stories. They are often associated with warm, happy memories of home, and repeated for generations.  Time spent together observing traditions helps to create a family culture. Blended families often struggle with traditions. They can be dangerous minefields - everyone in the family already has them, they're linked to separate pasts, and loaded [...]

Why I Don’t Love My Stepchildren as My Own

When Gabe and I married, I understood I was committing to him and Sara, Amy and Jack for the rest of my life.  I had no idea what that actually meant. In hindsight, that's probably a good thing.  Knowing what I do now about parenting stepchildren, the complexities and nuances might have led me to put another [...]

By | 2017-06-13T15:49:21+00:00 November 23rd, 2016|Blended Family Tips, Coparenting, Our Bunch, Our Story, Stepparenting|

The Myth of the Part-Time Parent

When Billy and I were separating, I thought divorce meant giving up the children for half of the rest of their lives. I understand now that is a touch dramatic (and entirely wrong) but then, the thought paralyzed me. I nearly stayed in a marriage that no longer served us because I didn't want to [...]

By | 2017-08-17T10:30:46+00:00 November 21st, 2016|Coparenting, Divorce, Our Bunch, Routines and Organization|

Six Kids is A Lot of Work and Other Truths

Lots of talk on the internet about what's real lately. I'll tell you what's real. My house smells like feet. Not in an overpowering "let's look for what's causing that" way, no, in a much more subtle, pervasive way. It's upstairs, downstairs, in the garage. About midweek, I smelled it everywhere and worried I smelled [...]

By | 2016-12-15T15:23:38+00:00 November 18th, 2016|Our Bunch, Our Life Together, Our Story|

I Still Miss My Ex’s Mother

I miss my ex-mother-in-law.  Every day, but especially around Thanksgiving. For most of my adult life, I spent Thanksgiving with Billy's family.  We started dating in college.  My family lived too far away to travel home often, so the first Thanksgiving we spent together was at Billy's childhood home.  My first Chapman Thanksgiving is clear in [...]

By | 2016-12-15T15:26:55+00:00 November 16th, 2016|Divorce, Holidays and Traditions|

How To Survive the Holidays & Save Your Sanity

I've fixed the holidays for you.  You're welcome.  Read on.  Perhaps fixed is a touch overstating things, but the plan below will make you feel better - I promise. It involves half-assing and wine. Step One: Figure out the schedule early “What?” you say. “We have a schedule. It’s already defined in our agreement.” Of [...]

Why I Kept My First Husband’s Last Name

When Billy and I were in the midst of our divorce, I became obsessed with learning everything I could from the adult children of divorce that I knew.  That wasn’t very many, actually, and so my friends who fit that category were peppered with questions.  “What was your schedule? When did you hurt most?  Could [...]

By | 2016-12-15T15:39:23+00:00 November 11th, 2016|Blended Family Tips, Divorce, Our Love Story, Our Story|

The Shattering of Loss

I have been shattered before.  I remember this feeling. This aimless wandering around my house, not sure what to do next.  The holding my daughter close and smelling her hair and being at once comforted and afraid.  The explaining to my son that it is okay to actually feel something about this, that the pasted [...]

By | 2016-12-15T15:48:44+00:00 November 9th, 2016|Divorce, Our Story|