Category Archives: Step Life

Sunshine Smiles on a Rainy Morning

*photo from pinterest

As I drove my children to school today, I couldn’t help but be reminded of my precious cargo.  With the wet weather and usual idiots driving as if we are contenders for the Indy 500, I thought~ My life is in this car people!!!

I dropped H and J off at their school and with that, my step daughter jumped from the back to the front seat.  I enjoy this time of day with her.  This is our time.  I let her control the radio station.  She likes Coffee House on XM.  The gentle acoustic music makes a nice background for our chats.  Today, we talked high school, college and careers.  C wants to attend Foothill(if they have a water polo team) then off to college in Hawaii. She wants to become a hairdresser or a police woman.  I told her she could do both.  She asked what I wanted to be when I was little.  A quick smile appeared on my mouth(maybe a bit Chesire cat-like), as I thought back to the 11-year-old me~ a writer and ballerina, I answered.  As we went on discussing jobs, C was surprised to learn, I was a fitness trainer for a few years.  I heard excitement in her voice as she asked me questions about it.  I think she was actually impressed – which again made me smile.  I pulled up to school and as she and her little brother exited the shelter of my warm car and ran out into the wet world, I thought to myself how lucky I am to watch this inquisitive girl grow.  She has an actual interest in me as a person.  Something I think biological children may take for granted.  I watched, as she grabbed Roman’s hand and they headed towards the adventures that await them.  And then I smiled, one more time and thanked her silently for starting off an otherwise dreary morning with a few rays of her personal sunshine.

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Movie Night Themed Birthday Party

My step-daughter was about to turn 11.  We were in the middle of selling our home, moving to a new neighborhood and I had just succumbed to the fact, I was now in my 40’s.  It was a bit of….well, a “busy” time in my life.  When asked what she wanted to do this year, she replied(with the shriek of a lottery winner), “A sleepover!”.  This is where as a step-mother, proceed with caution.  Refrain from answering, “Are you ** crazy?!!”.  So, I decided I better not battle this one and looked to it as a bonding experience.  She decided on a Movie Night Theme after spotting some adorable invites at Hallmark that looked like movie tickets.  We put together the invitations, picked out the paper goods and decided on a  menu.  I created an inspiration board on Pinterest.  I added pictures daily and we would spend our afternoons, swooning over all the creative ideas.  For the menu, we served crap.  Hotdogs, popcorn, candy and more crap.

And though it wasn’t as elaborate as my creative side would’ve liked, it turned out sweet.  My biggest accomplishment was the cake.

I baked a box cake in a 9×13 pan.  Frosted it entirely in white and then used red Fruit By The Foot for the stripes and “label”.  For the popcorn, I used marshmallows.  I kept some whole and tore the others in half.  I have a lot to learn about cake decorating, but the giggling girls didn’t seem to mind as they consumed and then later threw it all over each other and our new backyard.

Ducks in a Row(re-post)

As my girls prepare to fly home tomorrow(so, they can spend time with their other parents), leaving myself and the 3 boys here in Utah, I find myself with mixed emotions.  On one hand, I’m looking forward to the peacefulness that is sure to appear, as the two girls(ages 10 and 17)  depart.  But on the other, I will miss having my complete family all cozy and under one roof.  I couldn’t help but reflect back to this post I wrote in 2009.  Though, our lives have changed since then(Hanah moved in full-time with us in Jan 2010), I know the feelings I share here will be with me over the upcoming week. And when we all gather around the dinner table next Monday, I will be thankful to have all my little ducklings with me.


Having four kids is sometimes a bit hectic, to say the least. They go to 4 different schools(Pre-school, Elementary, Jr High and High School). So, I drive, cook and clean more than the average mom. The noise level in the car and house score pretty high on the decibel charts. Sometimes I think they sound like a flock of angry ducks quacking away!

But twice a month there is serenity. Every other weekend we are a party of three. I find myself looking forward to these weekends for a number of reasons. First off, there is less noise. The house stays cleaner than normal. I am more at ease, I feel I have more patience. But, most importantly, Roman gets all of Mommy and Daddy’s attention for two whole days!

Our weekend starts out with lazy mornings huddled in bed. We watch TV and snuggle. There is no “have to” on these weekends. We go with the flow. We take our time getting ready. I might go on a run while daddy and Roman work in the garden. Elmo and I try to plan the day, but we usually do half of what we plan and let the rest go. We like to eat lunch out while running errands together. We watch Football. We talk. Giggle. Play. And WE NAP.

Roman lives a charmed life. His little world consists of him, Mommy and Daddy. He isn’t shuffled between two different houses. He doesn’t have to ask when he will see Daddy next. Who gets him on what holiday. And for this I am proud. One of the greatest joys I have or will ever experience is raising our child with my husband.

Sunday evening comes all too quick. I usually make a nice dinner and we three sit around the table. We savor every bite because we know with each one – our peaceful weekend is coming to an end.

But as I serve dessert, I look around the table at the three empty chairs. Our family is not complete. I feel a part of us is missing.

It’s Monday afternoon and I have just picked up the fourth child from school. Hanah is in the front seat singing to a song on the radio. Jonah is right behind me trying to share his day while Cali and Roman are playing Rock Paper, Scissors. It’s loud. “What’s for dinner?” “Hanah, change it back!” “Roman hit me!” I take a deep breath, reflecting on my quiet weekend. Then smile to myself and feel very lucky to have all four of my little ducklings back home and under my wing

Some Great Reward

As I’ve said before Step-Parenting has its challenges. Hands down, this commitment that I’ve made to my husband and stepdaughter includes more challenges than rewards. But though the rewards are few and far between when I catch one, it is utterly impossible to let it go…

Last night, we had a small personal issue with my step daughter’s Bio mom, which in turn meant she would not be seeing her for a while.  My SD’s disappointment covered her face as soon as I told her.  After dinner my SD asked to speak with me privately.  So we locked ourselves in my teenaged daughter’s room.  We jumped up on the bed and both sat indian style facing one another.  My SD started off with general chit-chat about school clothes shopping and then the topic quickly changed to her mother. I explained a bit more about the situation then tried to reassure her, the time would go quickly.  I then tried to redirect her to something to look forward to~ the school shopping again.   Later that night as I was working at my laptop, she came in and asked me something that I can’t remember now. She walked out only to turn right back to me again. She marched right up in front of my face with a huge grin and said, “Ri(my nickname to her), thank you for being such a good Step Mom!”

You can only imagine my reaction…..I will forever have that moment, that gift held in my heart.