children


Grieving for My Parentally Alienated Husband

The phone rang. It was early in the morning on April 5th, 2004.  I was on Highway 1 headed to Watsonville to return shorts to Target before church.  I’d been working a hospital contract in Santa Cruz for several weeks.  I remember it like it was yesterday. Before I even answered the phone, […]

Couple Holding Hands

Parental Alienation Concept

We Stopped Fighting Parental Alienation and Walked Away

Somewhere along the way, we made a conscious choice to preserve ourselves. To cut them loose. To let them go. For good. No more war. No more deceit. No more what ifs. Just gone. It was freeing. And painful. And soul wrenching. And there are days I can’t begin to […]


Blended with Baby

If you’re reading this you are not the first family. You are likely the second family, the blended family. You may have found your way into the family unit in the same way I did; single with no children of my own. Or perhaps you brought your own children from […]

Family with Newborn Baby

Parental Alienation Concept

Parental Alienation Fallout

At the ripe age of 5-years-old, I announced to my mother that I would never birth my own children.  Fast forward thirty-nine years and turns out, I was right.  This year would have been my tenth year being the stepmother to Lyle, Mariam and Katherine.  Unfortunately, despite my husband and […]


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 […]


Finish Before You Begin Again

My area of expertise is working with couples in stepfamilies. Divorce rates are up to 70% the second time around and increase again for the third time. Those statistics are shocking, and for me heartbreaking because of the work I do. There are many more complicating factors in second marriages […]

Couple Holding Hands