grief


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 […]


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 […]

Parental Alienation Concept

Woman Contemplating

Hey Stepmom! Stop Taking it Personally

In my role as a stepfamily coach and the administrator of several stepmom support groups, I made a recent and painful self-discovery. I am guilty of a serious stepmom advice sin: telling a stepmom: “ Don’t take it personally” and I’ve said it many times to many women over my stepmom coaching […]


An Interview with Paulina Lagudi, Director of “Mail Order Monster”

Paulina Lagudi has written, produced and directed her first feature film aimed at highlighting the challenging yet, positive aspects of stepfamily life. Starring Charisma Carpenter of “Angel” and “Buffy”, and “The Expendables” and Josh Hopkins of “Cougar Town”, “Quantico”, and “Bones”, “Mail Order Monster” is predominantly told from the perspective […]

Mail Order Monster

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