Some things in life simply take time....
and sometimes it takes years.
Time for things to gel, time for growth, time for healing, time for peace
and time to create new memories together.
Time to grow into family.
It was a simple request really-a birthday party.
Not just any party, this one would be a first.
The milestone of a 30th birthday......and a milestone for our entire step-family.
Both sides of the family celebrating together.
This family had proved they could do crisis together, and friendly hellos,
but a party, an actual celebration together, was a first.
A party was planned, at her mother's house, the charming family home where the girls were raised.
Invitations were made and for me, as the step-mom, it was a first.
I was invited in......
I had been out front of the family home many times over the years,
for drop offs and pickups when the girls were younger,
but this was an invite to the party, in the family home, for all of us.
I was invited into the circle........and I was beyond excited.
We all agreed-it was time (though we were likely all just a bit nervous)
and we were looking forward to it.
Childhood friends (I remember those all nighter slumber parties),
aunts and uncles, and a grandparent from
each side of the family.
Family reconnecting after so many years.
It was a bridge....a meaningful, celebratory bridge.
The birthday girl, Briana, also requested a symbolic gift-a coin ring-like the one I wear.
My ring- created from coins from Italy and France-given to me by my sister Dorie
to commemorate my 50th birthday trip here.
(In the Stylemindchic Boutique here)
This coin ring would be symbolic-to represent her heritage.
The ancestry of her Serbian mother and her Swedish father from the year of her birth, 1983.
She's a smart one that Briana, bringing the whole family together for a party,
for the first time,
and it was so much fun!!!
Scott (dad), Heather/me (step-mom), Dean (her dad's father), Briana (bday girl), Sal (her mom's fiance),
Danielle (mom), Baba (her mom's mother), Lauren and Annika (the sisters).
This photo means more to us than I can say....every time I see it-it chokes me up just a bit.
13 years in the making.....
A family milestone....and a celebration!
The birthday girl and her boyfriend Neil....happy times!
Hey-this family is pretty friendly.
Step-mom and step-father 'to be'....goofy step-parents.
Is this the new Christmas card?
What a celebration!!
On our wedding day September 2000.
The girls were 13, 15 and 17....look how they've grown!
One of the biggest themes of my blog is to
I've had several times in my life where hope, overflowing hope, was exactly what I needed.
If you are in a step-family, and it's taking some time to gel, hang in there.
It's natural for it to take time.
I bought a library full of step-family books and joined an online website or two looking to connect with other step-mothers. As a couple we sought counsel when we needed some extra support. We even blew through a few therapists that didn't know the first thing about the intricacies of step-family life.
I would recommend all that and more if needed to navigate this complicated territory.
When I first moved to Chico, engaged to Scott, I had an inclination that if I met the girls' mom,
over coffee (or wine-let's be real) for a heart to heart, we would become fast friends.
I let my anxiety and distractions of my new life, new city, new family, new job and miscarriages
get the best of me- and then it seemed too late.Now I wish I'd extended that invite 13 years earlier. It would have eased some angst over the years
plus-she's really great. I really like her!
No matter, 13 years later we are now friends and that feels so good.
Sometimes it takes years-even 13 years- to come full circle...
and it's so worth it.
Can you imagine what fun we will all have with all the weddings and babies now?
Memories will be shared, love and trust will grow
and eventually......a real family will be born.
The light at the end of the tunnel.
Are you living a step-family life?
Are you seeing the light at the end of the tunnel?
I would love to hear your story.
PS-On a side note, Scott and I are headed to Newport Beach for the weekend to see family.
My wonderful 'birth' family that I met 18 years ago (and yes-that's another story).
I'll be meeting the uber stylish blogger Tamera Beardsley here for lunch.
I'm beyond excited!
Curated Collections and chic gifts at my Stylemindchic Boutique here!