This is how we manage our large blended family. Find tips, tricks, and things we’ve tried that didn’t work here. No promises that these tips and tricks will work for you, just another voice in the stepfamily trenches on what’s worked before.

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|

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|

What My Daughter’s Birthday Party Taught Me About Mistakes

Lottie birthday party is in two weeks. You likely already know that; unless you're reading this from the frozen tundra of Antarctica or the secluded Savannah of southern Africa, because she's probably told you herself. The baggers at our grocery store know. The receptionist at the dentist's office does, too. Turning nine is a big [...]

By | 2017-09-01T09:48:45+00:00 September 1st, 2017|Coparenting, Divorce, Holidays and Traditions, Our Bunch|

The Back to School Tradition Our Kids Love

It's not often the children agree on something lately. From age 8 and 3/4 to 16, their interests range from Taylor Swift's latest single to the reproductive habits of protozoa to anything-that-doesn't-involve-my-parents; it can be hard to plan activities that everyone enjoys. Even still, we have one late summer family tradition that the kids clamor [...]

By | 2017-08-25T16:18:31+00:00 August 25th, 2017|Blended Family Tips, Holidays and Traditions, Our Life Together|

On Happiness and Grief and Babies in the Sand

It was well past midnight when my phone dinged urgently from the nightstand next to me. I debated not checking it: the kids were tucked safely in their beds upstairs and my work rarely requires an immediate response to client issues. I'm not a live organ transplant surgeon, after all. No message I get after [...]

By | 2017-08-24T09:58:23+00:00 August 23rd, 2017|Blended Family Tips, Coparenting, Divorce|

We Tossed Our Shared Custody Schedule Out. Here’s What Happened Next.

Our summer schedule was bananas. B-A-N-A-N-A-S, bananas. My children's father, Billy, took a three week trip to Europe. Our son Simon was away for six weeks working as a camp counselor. Our son Caden left home for the first time to attend a three-week Zoology sleep away camp in another state. We started the summer [...]

By | 2017-08-17T09:24:34+00:00 August 15th, 2017|Blended Family Tips, Coparenting, Divorce|