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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 […]


What’s in a Name? Taking the Step Out of Families

  When my brother came to visit it was always one of the happiest times of my childhood. I knew that week would involve the beach, sun, and music as if, I too, was on vacation. I adored my brother and still do. The fact that he is my half-brother […]

Silhouette of Family

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 […]


15 Things Stepmom Wishes Her Husband Knew

In that moment, I knew I couldn’t say anything to make him understand. I could verbalize my emotions until I was blue in the face, but he just wasn’t going to make sense of my words. Exhausting myself trying to explain why I was struggling as a stepmom and needed […]

Couple Talking

Father and Son Playing

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 […]


10 Tips for Healthy Stepcoupling

Marriage is tough stuff. It takes intentional work to keep the fire that brought you together burning. There will be many times when the fires burn bright and strong and there will be many times when the embers are barely visible or felt. Re-marriage adds extra layers of complications and […]

Happy Couple Sitting on the Couch