~Welcome to my personal story as a first time wife and stepmom. I use this space to share real life happenings in a blended family, funny stories, my personal frustrations, failures, and occasional victories as I journey through this life with two beautiful and challenging stepdaughters. Thanks for reading, and I hope you find something to help you have a better day!~

Monday, August 25, 2014

"We are the women who..."

This article by Barbara Goldberg of The Evil Stepmother Speaks really touched me. I wish bio moms, kids, and our husbands really understood all of these points. Go read it!

Who Is that Stepmother Woman?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

4 Things that can only stress a Step

This is my "Intimate Journey" according to my title, so I'll tell you exactly how this train of thought started. I am completely happy with my body all except for a couple inches of belly bulge. Since the age of 28, I have not been able to burn off belly fat any time I please like I used to. An extra workout, skip a meal, drink more water was all it took before, and I had a flat stomach again in a day or two. Not so much anymore. I can workout for a month straight, eat nothing but turkey burgers and broccoli, and the belly fat stays on. You probably already know it is related to the hormone cortisol, which is multiplied by stress and/or simple carbs (sugar). Yes, I like my sweets. But I cut out sweets, and guess what, belly bulge is still here. So I thought about stress. What causes me stress? I was surprised to find all my answers revolved around "stepmom" status.

1. What if I am the reason the kids decide one day they want to live with bio mom? I mean, if I lose it one too many times, or have too strict of rules, or make them do too many chores, they have the option in a few years to just up and leave. STRESS!

2. How will the kids ever turn out ok when there is no discipline, guidance, or even time for love and listening 50% of their lives? I am daily stunned by the things my girls say go on at bio mom's. I know I have to take it all with a grain of salt, because who knows how they portray our house to her! But seriously, no one puts them to bed at night? They just fall asleep in their clothes wherever they happen to be reading or watching TV. Kate comes back after 3 days and hasn't showered or changed underclothes since her last day with us. Jane (12 years old) was given by bio mom a strapless mini dress--yes, you read that right--a strapless mini dress to wear this summer in New York! Trying to hard to be a friend instead of a parent, you think?? MAJOR STRESS!

3. What if my girls don't want a relationship with me once they're grown and gone? After all, I'm "daddy's wife". What if they feel no need to stay close? They've been living with so much pressure all their lives to keep both "moms" happy. Maybe they're really tired of that, and will just want 1 mom so they don't have to worry about our hurt feelings all the time? MORE STRESS!

4. Am I getting too involved? I notice other stepparents, and read several articles indicating that my level of participation in my kids lives is way above average. There are dangers involved with this. It can lead to resentment and bitterness down the road. Most of what I do started because I wanted to help ease the load of responsibilities for my husband. So I slowly started taking things over. Now, I'm in so deep, I don't think I could back off even if I need to. I take them to dentists and doctors. I register them for school. I buy all their clothes and shoes. I make the birthday cakes. I help at school functions. I decorate their rooms. On and on it goes. I've managed to worm my way into every area of their lives, and I just hope it is truly what THEY need, and not what I want. I hope it's healthy for them. I don't want them to look back later and think, "Man, she tried way too hard to be Mom." Back seat stepparents seem to have far less drama and hurt feelings! STRESS, STRESS, STRESS!

I'm sure you other stepparents can add some good ones to this list! In the mean time, I will go have some chocolate since it seems my belly fat isn't going away any time soon anyways.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Liebster Award

I am flattered to have Heather from Life of a Traveling Navy Wife nominate my blog for the Liebster award. I'm going to copy the details from her post, and then get to my questions:
For those who don't speak German, Liebster means sweet, kind, nice, endearing, beloved, lovely, pleasant, valued, welcome. You receive the award because someone thinks that highly of you - and you pass it forward to other bloggers who inspire you to feel that way about them.

The Rules of the Liebster Award

•Each person must post 11 things about themselves by answering the questions that the nominator has set for you.

•Create 11 questions for the people you’ve nominated to answer.

•Choose 11 people (with less than 200 followers) and link to them in your post.

•Go to their page and let them know (or contact them through social media).

•No tag backs!

1. What question do you hate to answer? "Do you have kids?" is never fun if the person asking is someone who is in some way affiliated with the kids' school, extra-curricular activities, or who may some day meet "the other mom" and realize that I was actually JUST the "step". I will answer "yes" to this question with no hesitation when we are vacationing somewhere or talking to strangers that will in no way ever figure out that I'm not "bio mom". Otherwise, I feel the need to say, "Yes, I have two girls. Well, actually they're my stepdaughters." And then I just love watching the facial expressions as the person tries to come up with some kind of positive response.

2. If happiness were the national currency, what kind of work would make you rich? This is hard to narrow down! I will go with baking. I love to bake goodies, cookies, brownies, bars, cakes, and pies! I love trying new recipes and adding my own twist.

3. How did you choose the title of your blog? I wanted to be very clear what my blog would be about. I had a blog several years ago that was just about anything and everything. This time around, I needed an outlet for all my new and mixed up feelings about being "stepmom", and realized very quickly that using my husband as that outlet all the time wasn't very healthy!

4. What is your favorite charity and why? I can't say that I have a favorite. I've donated to Kidd's Kids, which takes terminally ill kids and their families to Disney for a week once a year. I've donated to some others and to local churches and missions. Nothing obvious stands out that I'm passionate about at this point in my life. I guess I need to get on it!

5. Most daring thing you've done in your adult life? At the age of 24, I just packed up my life and moved from South Carolina to San Antonio, knowing only one person out here. Later I learned to SCUBA dive, and dove to a depth of about 100 feet with the largest ocean animal--whale sharks! Which seems more daring?

6. What was the best meal you've ever had? It was without a doubt a meal in Cozumel, MX. We were exploring the island, and came across this place called "Alberto's" right on the beach. It was just a little shack with tables and chairs set up in the sand, but advertised "the best lobster tail anywhere"... And it totally WAS! It was so delicious. I don't even remember what came with the lobster, but I've never had it that good anywhere else since.

7. Craziest thing in your refrigerator right now? Bottles of my husband's home-brewed beer, which endearingly enough, have a picture of my face pasted all over the labels!! (Hope you caught that sarcasm) =)

8. What one book would you recommend to your readers? I have a thing for self-analyzation books, and The Five Love Languages completely changed the way I viewed myself, my relationships, others, and taught me how to love and be loved.

9. Road trip or airplane? Definitely road trip! I have to fly a lot to get where we're going, but I hate it. I'm not scared or nervous about actually flying. I detest the process of being pushed around and told what you can and cannot do, and being groped up and felt down at security, and changes to your schedule that are beyond your control... ugh.. I could go on for days about bad airport experiences.

10. Sweet or salty? Easy one--SWEET!!! A million times over.

11. What is your favorite indulgence? Deluxe spa pedicures. LOVE them, but I don't get to pamper myself too often.

Thanks for the great questions! They definitely made me stop and think.

I need to read up on my favorite blogs and find out who hasn't been nominated yet before I nominate 11 more. Thanks again for this opportunity Heather.

Happy Friday all!