Mike and Carol Brady had it right

We know, we know.  It’s just television and it wasn’t real.  BUT!  Mike and Carol Brady modeled some great behavior for us married folk!  And who doesn’t love the clothes, house and decor from the 70s? (NOTE: Michael Dennehy is a 1970s freak)

As you may know, we are both remarried and blending a family together.  Thinking way back to 1969 when The Brady Bunch first aired is a pretty remarkable storyline.  A couple remarrying, each having three kids and blending a family was not something that was very common.

Now, of course, we know firsthand that blending a family is not nearly as easy as it is on The Brady Bunch.  No one is screaming – “you’re not my real Dad!”, or “my real Mom would do it that way!”  However, it is pretty much understood that both of the Brady’s first spouses passed away which made it easier to blend 6 kids together when they only have Mr. and Mrs. Brady and the kids live together full-time.  But, still hard to believe it can ever be that easy!

Let’s get to what is realistic in the show and is a great modeling for marriages and families. Continue reading “Mike and Carol Brady had it right”

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Cruisin’ For Closeness

For almost two years we’ve been blending a family.

Trying to get 4 very different kids to develop relationships together is harder than it looks. Unless you think it looks hard – then it’s exactly how it looks!

However, with last year’s vacation we felt we had a breakthrough because there were times when all 4 kids played together – more than we expected.

Then there were other moments like that throughout the year too.

So as we prepared for our second family vacation together we had high expectations that the kids would grow even closer together.

But to our disappointment, our expectations were not met.

Did they have some close times together? Yes. And that was important.img_2757.jpg

Continue reading “Cruisin’ For Closeness”

MARRIED STRONG!

FRIENDS!  This is a quick update.

So much has happened for us since we launched our blog “Remarried Forever”.

WOW!  Marriage is hard…and REmarriage is even harder!  At least it is from our perspective.  But marriage is a BLESSING every day!

As we have become more active in the marriage arena we are encountering and lovingly interacting with couples of every stripe: newlyweds, veteran married couples, remarrieds, and even engaged couples.

We know that ALL marriages need support and we don’t want to limit our reach as we seek to share, experience, and help married couples.

So today we are retitling our blog:

MARRIED STRONG!

We will always have a special affinity with couples who have remarried, and those blending a family as we are doing, but we want to celebrate and walk along side all married couples.  We will continue to have material that will likely favor remarried and blended families – but hopefully it will all be helpful and fun!

We look forward to being in touch.  And we are excited to be a resource to make ALL marriages STRONG!

 

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?”

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”

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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