Stories about our modern-day Brady Bunch, including big wins, little wins, and setbacks. Our six children, three boys and three girls, fall into three groups – the Bigs, Middles, and Littles. We’ll share our experience parenting these siblings and stepsiblings here.

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|

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|

This Divorced Mom’s Biggest Mistake

For a minute, I didn't understand what she said. The words just hung in the air, jumbled and meaningless. "I want to stay at Daddy's. I don't want to be here tonight." I couldn't quite catch my breath. My six year-old daughter Lottie sat watching me absorb what she'd just said. A lone tear escaped the [...]

By | 2017-09-17T20:58:13+00:00 May 9th, 2017|Coparenting, Divorce, Our Bunch|

The Troublesome Truth about Trips (and Four Ways to Cope)

This time of year always finds me itching for an escape. The regular routine of our life together seems to drone on endlessly. Check the school folders, take out the recycling, walk the dog; wash, rinse and repeat. The weather is warming just enough to make me ache for long sunny days and warm breezes, [...]

Sometimes I Forget to Add The Step

I write often about our life as a blended family. I realized recently that I haven't talked about an important part of our story. Up until now, I've focused on how our blended family is different from first families. I tell you about stepparent boundaries and loyalty binds and managing grief. I highlight all the ways [...]

By | 2017-06-13T15:44:07+00:00 March 30th, 2017|Our Bunch, Our Life Together, Our Story, Stepparenting|

When Banana Bread Means I Love You

"Goodnight, Lottie. I love you." "Love you, Mama." "Goodnight, Jack. I love you." "Goodnight, Kate.  I mrrrmph you" Two happy eight year-olds exhausted after a long, fun day at home together.  Two sweeties tucked into bed with stories and snuggles.  Two little ones who I know love me very much. Two different good nights. We expect [...]

By | 2017-06-13T15:44:10+00:00 March 27th, 2017|Blended Family Tips, Our Bunch, Our Life Together, Stepparenting|

What I Learned The Day My Daughter Forgot The Word Divorce

"Where are you going?" a little voice asked. "What?" I turned back against the tide of moms and dads leaving the dance studio and saw a little dancer looking up at me, bun cocked and eyes narrowed curiously. "Where are you going?” Nosy McNoserson’s repeated. “You said you’d see Lottie tomorrow. Why aren’t you picking [...]

By | 2017-03-21T13:08:37+00:00 March 21st, 2017|Divorce, Our Bunch, Our Story|

How to Carry Your Baggage: The Work of Becoming an Adult

My fifteen-year-old son and I are sitting in the car in our driveway.  I've asked him about his grades, and tripped a live wire. Simon, the child who has never had to work to succeed, is struggling mightily this year. A high school sophomore, he's juggling a load of advanced academic classes and a busy [...]

By | 2017-07-26T14:40:15+00:00 March 13th, 2017|Divorce, Our Bunch|

Why I Hate My Gas Guzzler, and Why I Drive it Anyway

I hate my car. I gave up my little gas-sipping sedan when we got married.  That car, I loved. That car carried my babies and my receipts and emergency ballet flats stuffed under the seat. That car could be effortlessly navigated into any parking space, had generous cargo room, and windshield wipers that knew it was [...]

By | 2017-02-23T08:15:27+00:00 February 23rd, 2017|Our Bunch, Our Story|

Our Top 10 Blended Family Traditions

Gabe and I relish the time we spend in our big blended family, and over time, have built traditions that bring us closer.  Today, we're sharing our favorites, in no particular order.  No order because all eight of us have favorites, and deciding on an ordered list would take two years. No time for that nonsense. [...]

By | 2017-04-24T21:33:19+00:00 February 8th, 2017|Blended Family Tips, Our Bunch, Our Life Together|