In 2013, my life changed completely. As a single mother of two for a few years, life consisted of working, raising my children and hoping to finally find someone who wanted the same things in life that I did: family adventures, dinners, game nights and endless Kodak moments. I met Matt at a photoshoot for his business and left with a very good first impression. He was smart, funny, and loved his kids… a huge breath of fresh air. We talked over the course of several days and he asked me if I would join him for dinner. I happily accepted his offer.
After three months of dating, we decided to have our children meet each other. There was an instant connection between all of us. After a matter of months, we made the BIG move and we all began to live together. We have now been blessed with a new baby. Matt always said this would bring our blended family together. He couldn’t have been more right.
Our amazing children are Riley who is 10, Gavin and Maddox who are both 8 (two weeks apart), Bella and Mason who are both 6 (also two weeks apart), and Weston who is 1. We love and treat each child as if we have known them since the day they were born, and it truly feels as if we have. Our children are very active with baseball, basketball, soccer, gymnastics, quarter midget racing, boy scouts, drum lessons, guitar lessons, school events, summer camps and many family activities.
Standards for living
We set high standards for our children and expect them to be honest, kind and loving members of this family. We sit down for a family dinner each night where we talk and nobody leaves the table until everyone is finished. Riley talks about how much he loves my cooking and reminds me often that from the moment he tasted my cooking, he knew “it was going to work out well.”
The children do small daily chores to help out. We mediate MANY disagreements and are always suggesting ways to handle life’s situations. We teach life lessons, such as handing out carnival tickets to reward good choices which get cashed in for rewards.
We both sleep very little and, it seems, many days we simply run on coffee and love. What is amazing is that Matt is just as invested in this family as I am. Neither one of us is above any household chore or parenting role. There are no limitations about which child we are “allowed” to parent. We show each other respect and our love for each other is continuously growing, even when we think it couldn’t get any stronger. Our love for this family is what makes it all work. We have been engaged since May 2015 and we are currently planning our wedding for October 2017, exactly four years after we met.
Being a modern day Brady Bunch is no easy task, especially without the Alice. We learn something new every day. It’s expensive, exhausting, challenging, and extremely rewarding. We are silly and fun. We are strict with our rules. We are a typical family, just jumbo sized.