How Skye has helped continue the blending process for us + are you going to do this?

My legs were t.i.r.e.d. after my tempo run on Tuesday but other than that I felt surprisingly good after a ‘hard for me’ workout.  During the run there were little snow flurries falling for most of the run and I had a solid (without waking up searching for Skye in the middle of the night) 8 hours of sleep (she woke up at 6:20 to eat.. GO SKYE GO)!

The normal school routine and I can’t tell you how good my hot shower (a sweaty sports bra after a run when it is winter and freezing= pure torture) felt after dropping Brooke off.

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Best part of the day= when babies first wake up for the day… her cooing and smiles were off the hook.

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Those smiles quickly turned into a shocked face when she saw Andrew had the camera out.

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Knox came home in the morning and they put these on and had a nerf gun war:)  Two of Andrew’s brothers were in the military, that is where Andrew got his outfit from.  Knox thought it was pretty sweet.

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Later on we went to lunch with a friend of mine and had that salmon salad that I craved pretty much every day during pregnancy along with a spicy tuna roll.

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Beretta is becoming more interested in Skye!

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For dinner I had something completely different planned but when you show up at Costco to shop…

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and you are all so hungry at 4:30 pm, you grab pizza before you shop.

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His and hers bags of popcorn;)

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I am predicting that Skye will be a major thumb sucker, she tries to suck on that hand of hers all day long.

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And then once the kids all went to bed, it was a Netflix & Hot Tamales night.  For some reason hot tamales sounded really good yesterday so I grabbed some and they tasted as good as I thought they would.

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What do you think… delicious or no thank you:

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Who is signing up for CIM this year… I am so torn, I have about 12 different marathons I want to do over the next year and I can’t decide which ones.  Somebody choose for me.

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PS sometime last week I was not feeling motivated to run (probably because it was 2 degrees and we were covered in snow) so I sent a text to my mom (she was already on the treadmill) and like usual, she motivated me.

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Our experience with blending a family so far is that things have gone pretty smoothly but there are definitely hard parts mixed into it all as well.  Many situations out there are 1 million times more difficult than ours but I just wanted to share a little bit about our situation and the addition of Skye.  When it comes to blending a family there are a lot of different people that you are working with as far as parenting and scheduling goes!  The kids experience a lot of changes, time going back and forth and they surely miss the other parent when they are not with them.  There are also always issues dealing with these situations that can’t be shared over the interwebs:)  But we are figuring it all out (slowly but surely) and we are lucky that our kids were so young when we got married (they were 3, almost 4) because they don’t really remember much of life before we got married.  Brooke and Knox get along just like normal siblings, they are each other’s best friend and play nonstop together until they don’t and then they start fighting like crazy and then go back to being best friends again.  FYI if you are a newer reader, Brooke was from my first marriage and Knox was from Andrew’s first marriage.

One thing Andrew and I were talking about the other night is how Skye has helped to keep the blending process going strong for us all.  She has a piece of each one of us (me, Andrew, Knox and Brooke) all combined into one adorable 13 lb body and we can all feel that bond that brings us even closer together.  She has this sweetness about her that causes us all to circle many times each day around her and repeat in unison 50 times, ‘ohhhhhhhh cutttttttttte.”  Before having Skye (remember, my brain is a little crazy) it was hard for me feeling like I didn’t have THAT (having a child together) experience with Andrew.  It just felt strange that both of us had a child with somebody else but not with each other and while step-parenting together has been great… we were really looking forward to doing parenting just the two of us too.  Obviously we would be more than happy if we were not able to have a child together but having Skye with Andrew just kind of felt like something that glued us all together even more if that makes sense.  It’s really nice to have the opportunity to parent her just the two of us.  To make the big decisions about her with just the two of us.  To have her 100% of the time without the pick-ups/drop-offs that are a big part of our lives each month.  To see Brooke and Knox not only adore each other but to have a little human together that they absolutely love.  The other day I was on the computer and they were playing in the room next to me and hearing their little conversation about Skye meant the world to me.

Skye joining us has benefited us in many ways and especially in blending things a bit more.  For such a little thing, she sure has already made a huge impact in each of our lives.

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Anyone blending a family?  How is it all going for you?  Anyone grow up in a blended family? 

Who is planning on running CIM this year?  Who has done it in the past?

Who in your life motivates you?  Have any big cheerleaders?

Hot Tamales… good or not so much?

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60 comments

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So sweet! It’s so crazy and great how God can use anyone, even a tiny little precious human like Skye, to spread love and bring people together. LOVE this!

Your mom is so great. My sister is always able to motivate me, and so is my friend Cristy, who is my mentor and constant encourager/cheerleader/prayer warrior. I think we need those people in our lives, and it’s important for us to be those people to others, as well.

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Thank goodness for your sister and Cristy! So happy you have them to cheer you on! I hope you have a beautiful day Natalie!!!

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Love that quote from your mom. I call my daughter baby girl and I think I’ll tell her to pump it up tonight when she starts to complain about going to dance class.

If you love Hot Tamales you’ll love the Tropical Heat Hot Tamales. Love them both although the Tropical Heat ones are my fav right now.

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Oh I love that you call your daughter baby girl:) I have never even heard of the tropical heat ones… I’ll get them today! Thanks Betsy and I hope you have a wonderful day!

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If you need me to make decisions for your race calendar I can……….Chicago!

Biggest motivator is Chris. Not even so much by his words, but his example. I swear the man does not have the one “lazy” area in his life. Some times that is maddening ;)

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Seriously, I want to do the Chicago marathon so bad… any other races this year that you recommend? I love how Chris motivates you by example… you three are the best!

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Hahahaha! That’s how I look at Costco too unless I stop and get some food. I love how you said Skye has a piece of each of you! You guys are so sweet together and so glad things are working out for you family. I hate hot tamales. Give me chocolate any day.

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Thanks so much Lynn! I hope you get some delicious chocolate and a trip to Costco soon! Have an amazing day!

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I’d say pass to a donut milkshake I think. But give me the donut and the milkshake separate and I’d eat them pretty quick.

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HAHA I think I have to agree with you on this… I’d rather have both separate! I hope you are having an amazing day with your kids Jenny!

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So I used to think Skye looked like Brooke, but now I think she looks like Andrew!
My biggest cheerleader is definitely my husband! He always convinces me to go for it when I’m losing confidence.
I am not a Hot Tamale person at all! I prefer fruit flavored candies or chocolate!

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I totally agree… I see so much of Andrew in her:) I love that your husband is your biggest cheerleader. I hope you get some chocolate soon Erinn. Enjoy your day!

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I grew up in a blended family but it was an abusive one so definitely not a great thing. I always admire people who do it well; it takes kindness from all sides involved. Your mom is so wonderful; I want to be her with my kids! I don’t have a mom so it always warms my heart when I see great moms out there. I really treasure what I have with my daughter and sometimes wonder what it would be like the other way around being the daughter, but I know things happen for a reason and I am beyond blessed with everything I have. My biggest motivator would have to be my husband, hands down. He is just everything. He grounds me and I’m just instantly more calm when he’s around. BTW, the milkshake reminds me of the Joey episode with Rachel’s trifle. “What’s not to like? Sugar? Good! Ice cream? Good! Donut? Good!” Haha. I LOVE Hot Tamales. We have a funny video of the first time my kids tried it. My daughter is adventurous with food so it didn’t bother her as much but my son is not and his reaction was hilarious.

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Marie, big hugs to you!!

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Thank you so much, Liz! Right back at ya and I hope you have a wonderfully blessed day!

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Marie, thank you so much for sharing your story. I am so so sorry about everything that you went through as a child and now. I am so glad you have that amazing relationship with your daughter and son, they are the luckiest to have you. You are amazing. I am so happy that you have such a great husband, you deserve the best. Ummmmmm YES… you nailed it with the Friends episode. hahah! Oh I want to take a video of our kids trying them, thanks for the idea. I hope you have a wonderful day. xoxox

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Awww I’m so happy for your whole family that Skye has brought so much love into the world!! I really appreciate your honesty about how hard it is to not share certain experiences with your new partner that you both had before. My husband and I were both in long term relationships that we thought were “the one” before (I had been married, he was just engaged), and even though we both have known right from the start that this relationship is 1000% right in ways those other ones just weren’t, there have still been times that I’ve felt those pangs of sadness or jealousy that we don’t have the same length of history together as we did with our exes. It has gotten easier with time, though, and now we are actually married and have a baby on the way so I’m sure all of that will fade away soon enough. :) Thanks for the reminder that there is no shame in our normal human feelings! I honestly feel like these challenging “non-traditional” life paths teach us to be even stronger and love harder than we would have known or been able to otherwise.

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Thank you so much Kelly for your comment! and for sharing your story… I totally get it. I am so happy for your new little one to arrive! That is so exciting. Those feelings definitely fade over time but they sure are real when they are there! Thank you for telling me about this and if you ever need an email buddy, I’m your woman! I hope you are feeling well and having a great day!

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I’m struggling committing to the CIM too! I want to do it because I’m from Northern CA, but it’s hard to plan so far ahead since I live in Idaho now. I’m running my 1st marathon in May so I think the CIM would be a great one to add to my list. It’s also supposed to be a great BQ race. So hard to decide!!!

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Right!?!? It’s hard to know what is going on in life 9 months away from now ha. Let me know if you end up going! I am so excited for your first marathon, please keep me updated on how your training is going and I really want to hear about how race day goes. Thanks Maddie and have a wonderful Thursday!

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You use a lot of () Parenthesis

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I sure do!

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I love them!

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I’m only doing Chicago but CIM is to tempting! Maybe next year! I’d love to run a nice winter marathon. And that’s so great about Skye. I’m not really from a blended family so I can’t say I know the planning that goes into it all. However, I think it’s great that you share that part of your life and you’re so honest about the ups and downs! It’s what keeps me coming back to your blog. That and running of course!

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Oh I want to do Chicago too!! You’ll have to let me know all about how it goes for you, I’m so excited for you! Thanks Virjinia and I hope your day is beautiful!

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Janae, you and Andrew are doing a great job with your family. I have a step and a child of my own – both adults now – but it was really rough going for a while. I tried very hard to be respectful of “mom” and never overstepped my role as a stepmom, but, understandably, she had a VERY hard time accepting another female in the picture (especially considering he was only 18 months old). She had a lot of difficulties, and I felt sorry for her (but she knew how to upset me for sure!). I received a very nice letter from her years later in which she expressed her sincere regret for her actions – but I understood how she must have felt. She is gone now, but I’m glad that we had the opportunity to sort of iron things out (I certainly wasn’t perfect, either!). The thing is stability and love for the kids – they have lots of love, limitless love, and their happiness and security should be the the priority. The trips and traveling can be a pain, but, in the end, raising happy, healthy, well-adjusted kids is the goal and worth the effort. <3 So, hang in there, stay in a place of love and empathy, and you're doing GREAT!!!

I'm considering CIM, but it's late in the year…ugh…!!!

My supportive kids, husband and friends totally motivate me!!!!

And Hot Tomales – YES YES YES!!

Have a great day, everyone!!!

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LIZ, thank you so much Liz for sharing your story… it means A LOT to me! That is so kind that she sent that letter to you later on. Thank you so much for opening up, you are so right about what is most important for these kiddos. Thank you and I hope you get some Hot Tamales asap;) Enjoy your day!

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Les is definitely my biggest cheerleader. It’s pretty cool when the guy who rode his bike across the country thinks an 8 mile trail run is impressive!

I haven’t had Hot Tamales in years – I use to love them! We’re going to Costco today so maybe I’ll get reacquainted.

We tried a new cereal this week that you might like. Nutter Butter by Post – it tastes just like Nutter Butter cookies. Breakfast of champions ;)

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I love how supportive you and Les are of each other and seriously I am still in awe that he did that! Amazing. Enjoy your Costco trip today and I need to get this Nutter Butter cereal, that sounds like heaven (and the kids will love it too)! Have a beautiful day Kathy!

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Sweaty sports bras are the WORST and make me feel chilled too! I have to change into another bra and shirt if I’m not getting into the shower soon.

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YES YES YES. I am not alone… it’s the worst! I hope you have a beautiful day Mary!

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I have always wanted to run CIM too! Still on the fence for this year :)
I have a half sister from my mom’s 1st marriage. Something huge for our family was never using the term “half” – she is my SISTER!

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Oh I LOVE THAT!!! We do that too and so it is so good to hear from someone that has been through this how nice it was to do that. Thanks Deb! I hope your day is a great one!

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I am in a commited relationship with my boyfriend. We have been together for about 17 months and living together for a year. He is a widow and has a 17 year old son. I am divorced after a long marriage almost 20 years. I have 2 son’s 17 and 12. The blended had gone fairly well. We have amazing kids. It’s hard dealing with my ex and his fiance sometimes. And it’s hard respecting his wife. When we started dating and got serious I told him I would never compete with his wife and she would always have a place in our family. And that as long as he had a heart big enough to love us both we would make it work. His son is my bonus son I’m not his Mom but, I’m one of his biggest fans and hope I’m in his life for a long time. He is another positive and supporting role model for my sons and loves them dearly. Sorry to go on and on but I wanted to share. One final thing we decided from the beginning that respect was our number 1 rule in family. And we wouldnt decepline each other child. Hope you have a great day.

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My husband’s ex-wife died when his daughter was 6. She was 7 when we got married and I adopted her when she was 9. Now she’s 11 and we have a 2-year-old. It was definitely rough jumping into being a wife and a mom in one day and she and I have had a lot of struggles figuring out how to manage our relationship. Adopting her really did help for awhile, but now that puberty has started she is struggling more with having two moms, one of which is gone. It’s definitely been rough. Sorry, I don’t have a happy end to my story as we’re still in the middle of struggling through it.

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I’ve run CIM 3 times. It was my Boston qualifier so it’s a memorable race. Good crowd support and the weather is usually ideal for racing. The only negative I have to say is that they also run the relay at the same time and sometimes those exchange points become narrow chutes b/c people lean in looking for their runner. It’s been several years since I’ve done it and every year I consider it. I’m known to repeat races I love. I’m running the Napa Marathon marathon on Sunday for the 8th time this weekend. I’d def put CIM on your list of races to do.

Skye is getting so big! Gummy smiles and baby coos are the BEST!

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Can you tell me more about the course! Some ppl freak me out about the rolling hills…are they that bad if you train on hills??

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You’ll be fine if you train on hills! I’ve run CIM (l live here!) several times and have BQ’d all but one (sick and had to DNF 🤨) time. The hills surprise some people because they see downhill course and think its ALL downhill! There are no big or long climbs, all gradual, short & rolling. Hope that helps some!

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Napa is a great course too! Weather looks perfect – have a great race!

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My biggest motivation to continue running is my grandfather. He was a big runner growing up (he even made it to the Olympic trials in the 400 meter), passed on his love for running to my mom, and I caught the love too. He had to stop running after having 2 knee replacements and later on picked up biking. He rides his bike every day he can. I run for me and for him. It makes me feel so close to him and it’s something he instilled in me that I’ll be forever grateful for.

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So sweet!

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Run Chicago!! Best Marathon ever :) And actually … If you’re looking for a small, beautiful, spring marathon … The Bayshore Marathon in Traverse City, Michigan is LOVELY! Great crowd support, fast and flat, and the course is gorgeous. I’m a Midwest girl and grew up in Michigan but I’d love it even if I wasn’t bias :)

And beautiful piece about your blended family! You guys are such a lovely family and Skye is a lucky little lady!

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Blending can be so challenging – I grew up in a blended family on one side (my dad’s second wife had kids) and it did not go well and still doesn’t even as adults. It’s so great to see it working out for you because I often have a bad feeling about it! Skye is so adorable, I can’t see how it wouldn’t bring you all closer together! :)
I think moms are the best motivators! I’ll be 30 this year but my mom is still my biggest cheerleader and supporter. There’s nothing like a mom hug when you’re feeling down!

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I am a daily reader and really love your blog but don’t think I’ve ever commented before. My husband had 4 children before we were together and when we married, the youngest two lived with us. We struggled a lot and there were many difficulties but something so wonderful happened when our daughter was born. What you wrote today, I just wanted to shout a resounding “YES!!!” to. Here was this little bundle of beauty that brought us all together – someone we were (are) all related to by blood and we all love. We suddenly had something in common. It’s beautiful. Even when there are still struggles with blended family issues, we will always have her in common. Thank you for expressing what my heart has felt for so long.

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We have almost the exact situation, one child each and a new baby. Loved reading this we feel the same way about our sweet little Audrey having a piece of everyone.

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Hello! My husband had a little boy before we got married (his mom passed away) so it just seems like I became more of my son’s “Mom’ when he had his little sister, and now little brother too! LIfe sure is crazy, but it is amazing what a little baby can do to bring a family together. We still have our step parenting issues, but it definitely added a happy dimension to it.

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Thank you so much Kristen for sharing… life really is so crazy. I can totally see where you are coming from. Thank you and I hope you and your little ones and husband all have a great night together!

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I love that you, Andrew, Brooke and Knox are sharing this experience. I also have to say that I found this a little bit tough to read. My husband and I have known each other our entire lives, have been together for five years, married for three, so desperately want a child and just found out that it is extremely unlikely we will be able to have a biological child. I get that, regardless of biology, we will raise a baby together and not have some of the other real life factors (visitation with other parents, shared holidays, etc.) you guys face, but it smarts a little to hear how simple, in some ways, getting pregnant and building a new family has been for you guys. I’m so happy for you, and just wish that babies were only born into such loving circumstances; the infertility, on one hand, and oopsie babies, on the other, just hurt my heart.

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Sarah, I am so beyond sorry about what you and your husband are going through. I want to cry for you. You will be in my thoughts and prayers and please keep me updated (if you feel more comfortable emailing too:) with how you are doing.

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All I can think about is how jealous I am that Skye is sleeping like a dream! My baby is 4.5 months and sleep is TERRIBLE, and I am so sleep deprived :( so I definitely do not wish bad sleep on you AT ALL and I hope Skye continues to be a rockstar sleeper! And I hope my Emilia decides sleeping is cool one of these days too ;)

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NOOOOO KACIE!! I am so so so sorry! I am sure we will hit some big regressions soon. I so wish that you could get a good night of sleep tonight… come on Emilia, you got this. Keep me updated on how you are doing. Thanks Kacie and good luck!

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I grew up in a sort of blended family. My mum died and my dad later married his exgirlfriend, my now mum. I admire her endurance so much, and I love her tons too. Anyway, as the older child of a single parent for a while, even though my dad was awesome being both dad&mum when needed, it felt that I also had to provide support and be his best friend, so when my new mum came into our family it was great to be able to just relax, be a kid and make a tantrum if I wanted to haha, or get upset with my dad and find comfort with my new mum :p, even if she told us off it was alright. At first it was all perfect, but sadly at some point, perhaps when we grew up and more difficult parenting decisions had to be made, she didn’t have much of a say and I do think this affected in a negative way, because she would then feel just like another adult that loves us very much, which is ok, but complicated, probably they decided this to make things easier for us, but sometimes it wasn’t. My dad tells me we need to learn from their mistakes so we don’t make the same, I don’t have kids yet, and I don’t think he meant for me to share this in the internet haha, but I hope it helps :p, I think is important to sort out your parenting /step parenting rights/power as soon as possible. I’m sure they would have benefited from reading posts like this back in that time, but there was no internet :p hehe. My little brother was born when I was ten and we love him so much, we were very worried we wouldn’t know how to take care of our baby brother hehe, so my brother and I would talk about how to hold him and stuff like that :p.

Sorry for the very long post, I very much appreciate you and Andrew sharing this, all the extra effort made by parents of a blended family doesn’t go unnoticed by their kids. Im sure Brooke, Knox and Skye will tell you later how much they appreciate it.

When I first read hot tamales I thought of a real tamale, with red Chile hahaha. I’m Mexican so I’m allowed to get confused, Im know craving for both hot tamales, the red Chile ones and the cinnamon ones :p.

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Thank you so much Citla for sharing your experience, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it! You are 100% right… those decisions on parenting rights etc need to be made early on. I loved reading that because that is something we need to do a bit better now. THANK YOU for taking the time to tell me. I am so sorry you lost your mum, that breaks my heart. You sound like an absolutely amazing woman and I’m thankful to get to know you over the internet a bit:) I hope you get both a real tamale and the cinnamon ones asap! Thanks!

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Girl, you are so strong for enduring everything up u til now. Hardships and death happen in life by they only make us stronger.

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My boyfriend and I have been dating fo over 2 years and each have 2 kids…his boy and girl are 9 and 6 and my boy and girl are 5 and 3. I think we’ve done a great job blending the kids while living separately and they are all amazing kids. I’m also glad they were so young when we got together as I think that will make things easier. We have our issues dealing with ex’s at times but it could be a lot worse. AND we just bought a house!!! We are so excited but I know there will be some tough times ahead and now we will be truly blending. The way you and Andrew have blended your family is one of my fav things to ready about on your blog! We won’t be having anymore kids because 4 is enough for us but I love that you and Andrew were able to have a child together, I totally get that feeling of missing that experience with my bf… but not enough to make me want more kids!! lol

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I’m doing CIM! I’ve thought about it for a couple of years but have never bit the bullet. I’m so excited to see why it’s so popular for myself!

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I just signed up for CIM to try and BQ! I think this would be a good race for you to try and Sub 3! Keep us updated on what you decide to do. The course appears to be rolling hills (more downhills) and then flattens our the last 10k. Weather should be perfect and I’m excited to explore Northern California!

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Do CIM – it is in my hometown & it is a fantastic race! Have a meet-up if you do – please!

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Janae-
I just wanted to comment and thank you so much for this post. I know sometimes we can come across and paint the picture that our lives are fine and dandy and everything runs smoothly. Thank you so much for your honesty in this post. My husband and I are in the midst of divorce with 2 young boys and I see hope in my future because of you. Your brutal honesty and trials about your divorce are what draws me to your blog (besides the amazing food and cute kid pics Lol). I really truly believe you help so many more people than you really know with these posts. To feel not alone and to know there is hope in a happy future for both myself and my kiddos brings so much comfort to many. So thank you and thank you for your honesty, esp. on a topic I’m sure its hard to talk about most of the time!

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Meg, I cannot thank you enough for your sweet comment. It means a lot to me. My heart breaks for you and what you and your boys are currently going through. I remember that pain too well and always wondering how in the world everything was all going to work out. Your boys are so lucky to have you and take this time a day (or an hour or a minute) at a time. Do things to spoil yourself. Heal in whatever way you need to (without other people telling you how they think you should heal). You are not alone (my sister also had a terrible divorce and she is SO happy now with her new husband)! Please let me know if you ever need to talk/email. I’m here. There is so much brightness up ahead and at some point, this will all feel like a bad dream. Thinking about you!

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