Our Journey Begins

Thanks for joining us!  This is going to be a very unique blog.  Where to start?  Well, in short, we were each divorced…about 4 years after our divorces we fell in love…and we decided to get remarried.

As with most everyone who falls in love we thought it would all work out well because we have so much love for each other and we have God leading the way.  We started reading books in preparation and we immediately got discouraged.  Most resources out there for couples getting remarried are not what you would call positive.  The pitfalls were endless and we figured that it simply couldn’t be as bad as the books illustrated.  Whoa – were we wrong.

We had the most magical wedding imaginable on August 26, 2017.  From that point forward nearly every day was a struggle.  We have four kids in total (Michael has three and Joya has one).  We each have an ex-spouse.  We all moved into a new house together.  And on August 27, six people started a new family, living together having never done so before.  We tried to prepare, but quite honestly, nothing can prepare a remarried couple and blended family until you all go through it together.

We have chosen to share our journey publicly, to present our challenges and to open ourselves up in an effort to help others.  We will provide real-time sharing with other remarried couples and blended families.  Why?  Because divorce isn’t an option for us and we don’t want it to be an option for others.  We love each other deeply and we are committed to make it work – as the vows say – for better or worse.  Hopefully, together, we all help each other.

**We are the furthest thing from experts.  What we are is a couple who struggles like everyone else in marriage, remarriage, and in blended families – and we wished there was a resource like this before we got married and as we struggle through our first year.  There isn’t – so we are creating it!**

Please know this – we are EXCITED about our marriage and new blended family and we WANT to help you in yours.  We hope this is helpful to you and look forward to connecting.

“A good marriage is a contest of generosity.” — Diane Sawyer

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LIVE from the Summit on Stepfamily Ministry

As you know, we made a commitment to try to help others who are remarried, blending families, and going through the ups and downs of marriage in a different way than the traditional first time marriage struggles, by sharing our experiences, being transparent and open to anyone in need.

So we decided to fly to Little Rock and attend the Summit on Stepfamily Ministry, which is dedicated to teaching people the best ways to help people like us who are remarried and living in blended families.

Let us say up front that many of these lessons are applicable to all marriages in one form or another, but stepfamilies do have many unique issues: ex-spouses and stepchildren being the two biggest.

Here are a couple of quick first takes: Continue reading “LIVE from the Summit on Stepfamily Ministry”

Are you banging a square peg in a round hole?

We are just one month away from our first wedding anniversary, which will also mark one year together as a blended family. Of course, with 4 busy kids and us only having them 50% of the time, it has been difficult to “blend” and get to know each other.

When we bring two families together after living very separate lives for a long period of time, it feels a bit like trying to shove a square peg into a round hole. We want it to work so bad that we keep pushing and forcing that square peg insisting that it will fit into the round hole!

However, what we want and the reality are often two separate things.

One of the most common sayings is “Stepfamilies cook in a crock pot, not a blender.” (Thank you Ron Deal) Obviously that means that bringing together a stepfamily takes time, and they aren’t forced together but come together in their own way, in their own time. Unlike that of whipping together a quick protein shake in a blender.   Continue reading “Are you banging a square peg in a round hole?”

Do you have a ‘beam’ in your eye?

Let’s face it friends – those of us who have gone through divorce and remarriage are dealing with, or have dealt with, someone in their life who creates hurt.

Pastor Ben at Cape Cod Church said it best: “Every story has a hurt, a villain we can point to as a source of pain”.

What happens when we have a villain? What happens when there is someone who causes hurt to your marriage or your family? The hurt that is created can overwhelm us, twist our lives around, and distract us from what is most important. Continue reading “Do you have a ‘beam’ in your eye?”

Kids overnight summer camp: Who is more afraid, child or parent?

As parents, one of our top jobs is to prepare kids for a life of independence WITHOUT their Mom and Dad. We know that leaving kids at their first overnight camp for a week is hard for the child – but it is also hard for the parents.

The issue of preparing youngsters for a first time overnight camp can be another tough issue to navigate for blended families. It has been a tough one for us these last few weeks.

Knowing that we cannot control what happens when the children are not with us makes our strategies for raising and preparing the kids all the more important. And we know that overnight summer camps are critical in building independence as youngsters grow into teens and then adults.  Continue reading “Kids overnight summer camp: Who is more afraid, child or parent?”

Yes, climbing a mountain can be hard

Have you ever thought to yourself: climbing a mountain can’t be that hard, I’m in shape, the weather is good, this will be a piece of cake.

Well, blending a family is like climbing a mountain for sure. At times it can be straight uphill, and LOOK OUT, sometimes you can get caught in a vicious thunderstorm along the way.

You may have noticed we have been quiet for the last few weeks. Well the truth is, blended life – and regular life – happened and we got caught in that vicious thunderstorm while climbing our family mountain. We hit just about all the obstacles that we could: Joya and I struggled as a team, each of our kids were going through something, and on top of that we had the largest external factors of remarried life pull us into a ditch. Continue reading “Yes, climbing a mountain can be hard”

Guys, this one’s for you

Do you ever feel like you are in a rut?  Like you can’t do anything right sometimes?  Work is overwhelming…the kids are at each other…there doesn’t seem to be much peace in the house…and you and your wife are distant.  Well here is an idea for you…

Take a few days – maybe even five – and do some special things for your wife.  I know – you’re thinking “I have so much going on – especially with kids running around like crazy – how will this help me?”  You’ll be surprised if you haven’t done it!  First, you WILL get a reaction from your wife.  And let me tell you something else – the romance that could follow might be the best you’ve had in a while!

Here’s what to do: Continue reading “Guys, this one’s for you”

Why we want to help save marriages

We launched our blog just one week ago and we are so thankful and excited for the amount of interest.  It confirms what we have heard from so many couples.  Many have had difficulty finding what they feel is a safe place to share and discuss their challenges in remarriage.

Our primary mission is for remarried couples and blended families to know they aren’t alone in their struggles.  We want to help and this is our way to show it.

Yesterday, we listened to our Pastor, Mark Warren of Grace Capital Church in Pembroke, discuss the painful issue of marriage/divorce/remarriage in his message.  Continue reading “Why we want to help save marriages”

Who knew bananas and strawberries caused so much grief!

Imagine this scenario – one maybe you’ve lived out before – you are pretty new to blending your family and your wife makes breakfast for all the kids.  You ask your wife to help you give healthy options to the kids during mealtimes.  Naturally, the kids complain.  They only want junk after all!

So they eat some of the healthy food and then leave some on their plate saying those pieces look funny.  You give them a sneer but ultimately give in and figure – “well at least they had some of it”.  What can be wrong with that line of thinking.  They got some healthy food after all, right?

Ummm—maybe not exactly. Continue reading “Who knew bananas and strawberries caused so much grief!”

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