Give up! NO! Wait! Don’t! Don’t give up!

To say that life has been a very difficult pathway into the unknown would be an understatement! It is no secret that marriage allows another to see the absolute best and the utter worst in a person. You get to choose what you hold on to.

Part 1: To the step families:

Being a step mom has probably been my most difficult task as a mom because I am not any different than most women and struggle to have control of my own life or family, and a word of wisdom here…not only can you not control others, but you also don’t have control of what happens at the other families house and you need to be okay with that much sooner than I was! Thankfully our situation between households is not a nightmare and we are all friends.

I have learned that my Ugly comes out when I feel out of control! Now, many may read that and decide to draw the wart on my nose, paint my face green and give me a hat a broom and I can assure you I will admit that I have probably deserved that at times over the years (just ask Danny)! 😂 It takes time to figure out how to navigate each chapter, stage, or phase of this journey and I would be lying if I didn’t tell you I have been ugly at times! Why am I admitting this publicly? I am glad you asked. Being a step parent can be a lonely place. I want others to know they are not alone.

When I married my husband we knew it wouldn’t be easy but we decided to stick it out during the ugly times and the good times and man am I glad we have made it this far (knock on wood) 😂🤣. We had many times we didn’t think we could make it over the mountain we were facing!

Part 2: to the blended families
So! There was a moment when we didn’t think we would have our own children together! To our surprise, five years into our marriage we found out we were expecting a little blessing! My heart was filled with joy and fear simultaneously. I wanted to be a mom but felt so scared that I would fail. Little did I know, many women feel this way (they all look so confident and put together in social media). This is why I am writing you today!

Being afraid of failing is what caused more control issues for me (cue the dramatic music). Ugh! We welcomed Molly and then welcomed out little Willow and she completed our little family of six! Four girls! Oh MY GOSH they were perfect little hurricanes and tornadoes all wrapped up into four little bodies! Things were (OUT OF CONTROL)

Diapers, breast feeding, vomit, potty training, crying, screaming, sickness, back and forth changes and adjustments with the older two, sleepless nights, boo boos, fighting, more crying, cooking, cleaning, more poop, changing plans 400 times and did I say sleepless nights? Add debt, a mortgage, bills bills bills, a small business and very little date nights and you have a disaster waiting to happen!

Part 3: what happened to us?
With the whirlwind of kids, lack of sleep and lack of control Danny and I had drifted further and further apart. 😢 We had many close calls regarding the D word.

We did a few crazy things but the craziest by far is the tiny house! We lived in a sweet little four bedroom two bath home that we loved but honestly if one thing went wrong financially we would sink! That feeling as if you are holding on my a thread is a real feeling and it is horrifying.

So we did the next logical thing and bought a canoe on a credit card because we couldn’t afford one! We took our children to the Abilene state park for a camping trip in a tent and a few lake trips with our canoe! We had the best time EVER! I felt so much peace briefly! So did our family. Listening to natures sounds of crickets and locusts and enjoying the peaceful trickling sound of the water hitting the boat. It was bliss.

When we returned home we continued to be in chaos and were frustrated at the way life was! We had seen the good and our compass was that weekend trip with the six of us! There is something about nature that makes you feel at home even if you are a city girl!

Long story short, that trip was the defining moment in our tiny living adventure! We made a decision to get out of debt and to start over somehow…we didn’t have it all figured out, we just knew something had to change!

Part 4: tiny living saved us and destroyed us 😉

This makes sense right? Let’s take all of the family (tornadoes mind you) and move from our four bedroom into a one room, 290 square feet tiny house! Brilliant! 😂 actually it really is laughably brilliant for us! Here we are four years later and we have a three bedroom home that we built with our hands! Our families helped us survive this transition and to them we owe so much! We are slowly working our way towards debt freedom (we have a ways to go)! We promised to buy (paid for cars) meaning cars that we could afford and not have to pay monthly payments for! We have a budget. We have money set aside to take our family on a trip when the world opens back up! We have a retirement plan started! We are so proud of where we are now because we were not headed here at first.

Here is the deal. Sometimes we want fancy cars, sometimes we want a bigger house or at least a second bathroom (4 girls) but we are okay with this life when we weigh the cost. I don’t just mean the finances, I mean the cost of us! We will not be the type of people that work so much that we Never see our family. I don’t get to host big gatherings at my house…but I wouldn’t be that type of woman anyways! I don’t do the hospitality thing (too much for me). But, if you need a place to go read a book, have a cup of tea, talk about life, or just be, you are welcome to come visit me! ❤️.

Part 5: gratitude
What a whirlwind it has been with my man. I am so glad we didn’t give up! I am so glad we spent time thinking and talking through the hard stuff! I am so glad we aren’t perfect. I am so happy we have one another.

The real reason I am writing this isn’t just for the parenting, step parenting, marriage, finances, highlight on the bad. The reason I am writing this is because I want you, whoever needs it, to know that we have been through so much and are here. Still making it work.

When you look at your life I want you to focus not on any of the things above. Focus on your successes together. During the moments of hurricanes and tornadoes there were giggles, snuggles, kisses, prayers and hugs. We had bubbles, zoo trips, sidewalk chalk, and flowers. We also had one another, intimacy, dances in the living room, food fights, baking contests, fishing trips, laughter, bedtime stories, music, more dancing and silly times!

Our glass is half full! We are full! I am thankful for this man because he has given me time to overcome issues with control, trauma, grief and much more! He has given love. We are more in love now and giving up when our children were so little and life was so crazy would have been a mistake on our part. Don’t give up! Don’t give up! Keep fighting! It can get better. You may need to make sacrifices but it is worth it!

#alwaysforever

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