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5 Ways to Include Your Stepchild in Your Wedding Ceremony

The day after I married my wife, we quickly made the trek back from Charlottesville, VA where the wedding was, to home northwestern PA so that my stepdaughter could get back to her other mom. During the drive, I kept staring down at my wedding back and then glancing both […]

Wedding Decorations

Happy Family

The Stages of Stepfamily Development

A marriage that brings with it children from a previous marriage presents many challenges.  According to Dr. Patricia L. Papernow, these challenges go through a Seven Stage Model of Stepfamily Development.    My husband and I are eight years into our stepfamily, and I can honestly say that we have just […]


How to Create Harmony Between Your Child’s Two Houses

How does your stepdaughter deal with switching back and forth between houses during the week? I get asked this question so often when chatting with others about my family’s blended dynamic. Although the ideal custodial arrangement between two separate parents is always 50/50, more often than not it doesn’t happen. […]

Happy Girl

Women Talking

Things I Wish My Stepchild’s Mom Knew: a Letter to BM

I am often discredited as a stepmom blogger because my relationship with K’s mom is so great. I take very little credit for our positive relationship; that was all Amanda, K’s biological mother (BM). She has chosen to invite me into her daughter’s life and treat me as an equal […]


The Question of Last Names for Step & Blended Families

As a child, I was one of those unfortunate children with a unique enough name that I was never able to find cups, keychains, jewelry, and other items with my name on them. Although I do not currently long for a pencil case or novelty license plate imprinted with “Audrey,” […]

Name Plaque

Family Joining Puzzle Pieces

Time and the Stepfamily

I’ve always believed that, with the right attitude and perseverance, just about anything is possible! This is probably why I imagined that with two willing hearts and a can-do spirit that becoming a stepmom and blending families would be a relatively simple process. I liked my husband’s children, and they […]


7 Signs Your Boyfriend is a Great Dad

Parenthood. It’s scary, it’s rewarding, it’s nothing you’ve ever done before. Having kids wasn’t on your cards yet, or maybe even ever, but now you find yourself dating someone with kids. Here, here! That was me 7 years ago. I raise a glass of wine to you because life is […]

Father and Son Playing