On Starting Over and New Beginnings

  This is my all-time favorite poem, by John O'Donohue: For a New Beginning In out of the way places of the heart Where your thoughts never think to wander This beginning has been quietly forming Waiting until you were ready to emerge. For a long time it has watched your desire Feeling the emptiness [...]

By | 2018-01-02T10:32:35+00:00 January 2nd, 2018|Coparenting, Divorce, Other Musings|

On Parenting and Plank Position and the Pain of the Present

I'm in plank position, toes flexed, torso rotated open, arm reaching for the sky when I hear her. "Breathe. Don't forget to breathe," the trainer whispers. I haven't forgotten. I'm holding my breath on purpose. I've been to enough pre-dawn punishing gym sessions to know that breathing makes it worse. Breathing removes resistance. It forces my [...]

By | 2017-10-06T13:48:23+00:00 October 6th, 2017|Other Musings|

And Baby Makes Nine?

I became a mother for the first time at 25. Billy and I married at 23, and thirty seconds later, kind strangers at the grocery store began asking when we planned to start our family. I thought things would be different after I married Gabe. We were well into our thirties, with three children each. [...]

By | 2017-10-03T09:55:49+00:00 October 3rd, 2017|Coparenting, Our Life Together, Stepparenting|

What A Difference A Year Makes

It was a year ago today that I hit the green "Publish" button on the very first post on This Life in Progress and held my breath. Like so many things in this divorced and blended journey, I had absolutely no idea what would come next. And, again like so many other things in this [...]

By | 2017-09-29T10:39:41+00:00 September 29th, 2017|Other Musings, Our Story|

Five Secrets No One Tells The New Stepmom

I've seen the Disney movies. I know stepparenting isn't an easy gig. But after taking the plunge and marrying Gabe, I was still shocked to come up sputtering for air and flailing wildly. In what seemed like seconds, I was drowning. My first months and years as a stepmom were nothing like I imagined. I felt [...]

By | 2017-09-27T09:24:35+00:00 September 27th, 2017|Coparenting, Divorce, Stepparenting|

Can’t We All Just Get Along? Yes, Yes We Can.

This house is a constant, wild cacophony of dart gun wars, impromptu karaoke and teenage meltdowns. Gabe and I sometimes forget that most "normal" families don't have a matched set of Bigs, Middles and Littles, three boys and three girls in nearly perfect stair-stepped order. Most families don't consume three gallons of milk a week [...]

By | 2017-09-19T10:12:13+00:00 September 19th, 2017|Blended Family Tips, Our Bunch, Our Life Together|

Our Five Rules of Fight Club

I often describe my relationship with my husband only to find myself fighting off a swarm of bees. I love that man like crazycakes, and when I write about our love story, my words often drip with sticky sweet sentiment. And that is true and genuine and an accurate reflection of how I feel about [...]

By | 2017-09-15T08:01:15+00:00 September 15th, 2017|Coparenting, Our Life Together, Routines and Organization|

I Know What You Heard About Me, and I Don’t Give A Flying Fork

Yesterday, this comment popped up in my review queue: At first glance, it's not anything noteworthy. I'm a public figure and share lots of the details of my family life online; I get lots of criticism from people who disagree with my perspective. That's okay. I don't pretend to be perfect (as my unshowered IG [...]

By | 2017-09-12T21:37:17+00:00 September 12th, 2017|Other Musings, Our Life Together|

Broody Business: What My Chicken Taught Me About Sacrifice and Control

Buffy is broody. This has happened before, and it's terribly inconvenient. The children are afraid of our broody Buffy because she hisses and pecks. She's nothing like her normal sweet self. Frightened children don't collect eggs. They whine about whose turn it is, and dawdle on the walk to the coop and generally avoid the [...]

By | 2017-09-08T09:14:58+00:00 September 8th, 2017|Other Musings, Our Home, Our Life Together|

Yes, Sometimes I DO Want to Run Away. Here’s What I Do Next.

Yesterday, during that witching hour between dinner and bedtime, I walked out the back door and into our yard. I sat in an old faded plastic lawn chair, stared out into our too-long grass littered with foam arrows and bubble wands and wet sidewalk chalk, and thought about running away. I thought about what would [...]

By | 2017-09-05T20:12:05+00:00 September 5th, 2017|Blended Family Tips, Coparenting, Divorce, Other Musings|