[on teenagers]


First off, let me just say this: I can’t deal with teenagers.

Maybe it’s because I was technically still a teenager less than a decade ago.
Maybe it’s because we seem to live on different planets.
Maybe it’s because I still have some teenager-like tendencies (queue the rolling eyes and temper tantrums that rear their head when i least expect it.)
Maybe it’s a lot of things.

I can’t deal with constant bickering and fighting. I can’t deal with being disrespected. I can’t deal with life not being good enough, while we are trying SO HARD to provide so much for them.

We are in the process of selling house 1, living in house 2 (fixing up as we stay) and purchasing house 3. My prince, 9 and I can’t wait. Prince Charming and I dream about it every single day. We smile and get giddy and I cannot hardly contain how excited I am.

13 hates it. He actually likes the house. He likes the land. He hates the thought of having to work on a farm with us. (Big surprise.)

He is a downer whenever we bring up this thing, this thing we have worked for and saved for and dreamed about and spent so much time, energy, and freaking MONEY on. And he sucks the joy out of anything we mention about it. I can’t handle being lifeless.

When we pick him up from school, his first request is to get snacks.
No. We have some at home.
No. You’ve had enough today.
Okay, how about we order pizza (always pizza).
Well, considering dad is in the kitchen right now, sweating over our dinner. Probably not. And probably not because we ate out last night with you. So…… definitely not two nights in a row, thanks.
Can we watch this R Rated movie as a family? Or just send 9 to his room?
……..No? You’re 13? and No.
Can I call my girlfriend at 9:30pm.
……………………..no? what? no. its Wednesday. No. Do you not know what common decency is? Don’t call anyone past 9:00pm. No.

But I’m the monster.

I gave and I gave and I poured out my everything into these kids the first two years of our marriage. And before that, when we were dating. I sacrificed hours at work, sleep- when I’d wake up at 5am to come to my Prince’s house to help him get kids on the bus so HE could work. When I took on three new person’s laundry. When I became a grandma at 26. yeah, I have given a lot of me.

The only thing I hope for in return is an occasional “glad to be here” or a “love you too” when we send them off to bed or off to their mom’s for a week. Some sort of acknowledgement of my existence.

It gets hard to feel like I’m unheard.  It gets hard to feel like I am on my own.

Feel like waving my white flag.





[ Loop Devotional for Women]


You Have a Helper

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you” (John 14:26).

My daughter, there are things you know are true—things you can’t see, things you can’t touch. You read my words in pages held together, all stacked, one by one. You read the stories of my presence in my children’s lives. You read about my promises. You see the words upon the page, listen to the sound of them expressed aloud. But what do they mean to you? Am I a God you see around you? Do you breathe Me in, this day?

You hear my name in sermons, read about Me in books. You hear my name tossed around on the lips of believers and unbelievers alike. A believer? A phrase so familiar. . .What is that? What does it mean to believe in something—in Me—as it requires so much faith?

I ask you to wait and trust Me. I tell you to not fear and look for where I am . . . Yes, even in the believing in something yet to be fully seen, you can still see Me. You can still feel Me. And I want to show you where.

There is a place, deep within you, that has eyes that see what is true. My Counselor, within you, the Holy Spirit, gives light, illuminating uncertainty, eradicating doubt, pushing forth understanding to what the world, on its own, can never understand.

This world is not meant to make sense, without the eyes and ears of my Counselor within you, guiding you to see and love and act in ways that do.

You see, it is up to you—my heart within you—to make sense in this misunderstood world. It is your task to see most clearly, from the place where my Counselor resides with you. It is your task to live, to act, from that place, from the understanding I give you about loving whom I say.

You have a Guide who knows Me and shows you the way to live. And it will not align with the ways of this world.

Listen deeply now. Pull in close to hear my whispers: Practice recognizing my voice so when you hear it, you can act. And do it with confidence, hearing Me and seeing me, even yet.

Someday there will be so much more to see, to hear, to understand. But you have enough now. I give you enough to know how to live and love now.

Trust Me.

Live that life now.

Carry Me into the world.


little houses for sale.


While i have been away, it has been nothing less than a whirlwind.

We drove 1400 miles to see the Total Solar Eclipse in August. Our first Family Trip that was more than 2 hours away. We spent every dollar we had. But it was SO COOL. Something I can’t even explain in words, really…

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Pure magic. It’s amazing to see God’s artistry hanging in the sky. What a mighty Creator we serve.

We then kicked our tooshies into gear and spend the entire labor day weekend fixing up our house. My Prince spent a few days before that painting, priming, taping, etc. He painted the whole house in 4 days.

And put new siding on the garage
and we powerwashed the garage door and the entire house
and we cleaned up the yard (which is a HUGE task)
He put new trim throughout the entire house.
He worked in the crawl space.
He patched holes and did drywall
He did so. much. work.
I cleaned a lot of windows. Cleaned a lot of trim work. Cleaned a lot of floors. Packed a lot of boxes (that we now don’t know where they are…)

And we got a realtor over a few days later.
She put a sign in our yard on Saturday
We accepted one on Tuesday.
We await the offer we have pending on another house.






Tuesday Morning.

There’s a lot of days that the guilt of not being good enough weighs on me.
I have this husband who is so physically able to do practically everything. He is talented, he is rooted in his faith. He is crazy about his kids. He is a perfectionist almost to a fault. He’s an amazing cook and has a genuine smile and heart. He is my entire world.
I have these kids that strive to impress their parents. They work hard (sometimes) and they want to use their creative little minds to show that they care for mom and dad. They love their nephew fiercely. They love each other hard. They love their time together, even when they’re sick of one another. They’re starting to get excited about moving into a new house and it makes my heart so happy.

And then there’s me.

I am rocky. I am unstable. I am wavering. My life shifts drastically each week and my head can’t keep up. It’s a constant emotional rollercoaster. And I don’t know where to go.
Most people, I think?, go to their parents for advice when it comes to parenting. My mom has forgotten what it means to be a parent and doesn’t even know my kids’ names. My dad always says, “You knew what you were getting into.” “I’m so glad I never did the step parent thing,” except he did, he just chose to not acknowledge that even if the kids are grown- they are still yours.
Yes. I knew I was walking into a marriage with a man who had children and a previous life before me.
I knew it would hurt.
I knew it wouldn’t be easy all the time.
But sometimes it’s hard all the time.

Sometimes I shake my head and wonder why on earth this man got on one knee for me? I am unable to handle life with a teenager. I am unable to handle life that is not constant. I am unable to handle change. I am an anxious ball of everything. I am all over the place.


Summer Updates


The StepMomma’s 2017 Goals:

  1. Decluttering
  2. Fixing up House A
  3. Fixing up House B
  4. Making healthier food and life choices
  5. Saving more moolah
  6. Paying off all debt (excluding student loans, mortgages)
  7. Weekly Bible Studies with the kiddos
  8. Reading my entire bible all the way through
  9. Hosting a Bible study in our home
  10. Becoming a DBA and LLC for my personal business
  11. More family time
  12. Learning to cook one decent meal for the family
  13. Only wearing jeans one day/week…
  14. Read more.

July update.

Decluttering is going so incredibly well. We only have one room to clean out and we will feel golden. and it’s mostly empty. We’ve more than halfway filled our storage unit! We have boxes ready to hit the unit again and i can’t wait.

the last two weeks we’ve spent every single night (almost) at house A and have successfully power washed the back deck, porch, stones, the garage, side of the house, the trim line of the driveway, pulled weeds, cut trees, painted, ripped out walls, ripped out carpeting, scrubbed refrigerators, and Lord knows what else. We are making huge progress. It’s incredibly exhausting and my stress level is through the roof. But we are making huge progress. We actually met with a realtor that we fell in love with on Friday and will meet with our mortgage lender on Wednesday. This. Is. Exciting. My husband keeps tapping me on the arm or leg and saying things like, “Babe! We’re really going to get our farm! It’s really happening” or “Babe, we’re really doing this!” “It’s real now!” and I’m so happy. It feels so good.

There’s like 100% family time all the time. The weeks we have kids, we are always doing something together, usually focused on fixing up the house. The weeks we don’t have kids, we hang out with my husband’s sister (it’s her week WITH kids and she needs help sometimes). She helps us work on our house and sometimes we just have to take the screaming 5 year old twins away for a few minutes so that mom doesn’t lose. her. shit.


I’m too much for me.


I’m not sure what to share or what to write about today.
I could tell you how I blew my top this weekend and crossed a line and caused a lot of trouble. but it’s all smoothed over, so I won’t.
I could tell you how I’ve begged and pleaded for help dealing with a 13 year old and haven’t had any relief yet.
I could tell you how we put on a graduation party all by ourselves last week, with little to no help and I almost lost my mind, but it’s done, so why would I?

So today I guess I’ll just tell you that I’m too much.
I want my husband to love me too much.
I want my kids to hug me or to wave goodbye when they leave.
I want my kids to know to hang their clothes up when I put them on their bed, not just go to sleep underneath them.
I want my dogs to stop running off and for Lyla to stop losing weight.
I want to be the best at everything I do. Even though I’m usually the worst.
I’m too much emotion, too much everything. My mind wanders and my emotions follow. When I started taking birth control 2ish years ago, I all of a sudden started crying when babies were born and people got married and if my husband looked at me too sternly. And now I’m a ball of emotion and I can’t hold back tears.
My mind does what it wants, not what I want it to. I lost control of my mind about 5 years ago and I can’t help it when it makes me crack.
I can’t help that I get overwhelmed or that loud noises scare me or that I am now easily startled.
I can’t help that I am anxiety prone and for the last 5 years it has felt like one big anxiety attack.
I can’t help that my love language is quality time and that I require hugs from my husband when I can’t keep it all together.
I am too much because I require a lot.
I sort of have special needs. Like silence and time away, but not too much time because I don’t like to be alone. I need to feel loved and validated. and I like gifts and surprises and I like extra hugs and hand holds, and I like being boasted up and special love notes. I like it all and I require it all to have a full love tank.
I’m too much because it’s not just one thing that I require.
I’m too much because I have hardly any friends and definitely none who get it.
I’m too much because I love my dad and wish I could hug him to fix his broken heart.
I’m too much because I can’t handle other people’s issues right now, because mine are enough on their own.
I’m just too much for anybody right now and that is tough.

4th of July Bliss


I’ve been scarce lately and it’s because we are incredibly busy. And I don’t need to apologize for that 🙂

We spent four days on the other side of the state at a conference and came home late Saturday night, gathering the kiddos early Sunday morning before church.
Which for me, was exhausting. There are struggles each week to get to church- one of them hates it and it’s evident, but he goes anyway. This weekend, their mom let them stay up until about 5:00AM Sunday morning and then came to our house at 8:30AM for church. So both of them fell asleep during service and in the car and on the way home and everywhere else and I was furious. And they wore basketball shorts because 13 won’t do their laundry.
So i was grumpy and mad because I had just spent 4 days with 2500+ people and then was awoken by 2 snotty kids at 8:30am, while we should have been away for one more day (we came home early). I was unhappy.
13 had a ‘tude all day long and i couldn’t handle being in the same room as him. and that makes my Prince upset and he gets angry and cold toward me.
17 came over for the day. and the next day. and the next day.

a lot of kids.

But yesterday, the fourth of July. We woke up before 9am (20 mins before we were supposed to leave because my alarm didn’t go off!) and headed to the beach. We packed lunches and sunscreen and headed out. We got there and the beach was practically empty (10:30AM, it’s to be expected). The kids all played. Hard. They built a huge sand sea turtle (see below). People stopped and took pictures of it, took pictures with it, put their kids on it. eventually they let their kids climb on it and stab the turtle’s head, which i thought was pretty rude haha.

Image may contain: one or more people, beach, outdoor and nature

We all left after we were sufficiently fried. More than fried. We were all red and crispy. And we only have one bottle of Aloe Vera.

We drove home and tried to sneak into a couple ice cream shops- one was rude when my husband asked to use a restroom, they did the Pretty Woman thing where they sort of told him he was too garbage to use their bathroom, so we chose to eat ice cream elsewhere. Then we found the second shop and they’d closed! So we finally drove the long way around town, almost home, and found ice cream.
The kids started craving Pizza. Real bad. And we told them no 500 times. but when we walked into the restaurant, I pulled my prince aside and said “come on babe, lets just get some pizza and then have ice cream later.” and he smiled and sat at a table. He’s starting to enjoy tricking them, too. We didn’t let them look at menus, we just waited to see how long they could stand it before we ordered.

and it was good. it was doughy and saucy and fresh from the oven. and the ice cream was perfect. and we got it all for about $35 which is pretty neat, since there’s 5 of us.

And 13 said that he had just had the best fourth of july he can ever remember. and there weren’t even fireworks yet.