Saturday, June 19, 2010

Twitter Blog Hop! Weddings

Ten months ago, on August 22, 2009, I married the love of my life! This time last year I was up to my elbows in wedding planning details - cake, caterer, photographer, DJ, reception venue, centerpieces, dresses, shoes, jewelry, make-up, hair dressers, limos, rehearsal dinner details, and wedding day timelines!

After all that hard work, my wedding went off without a hitch! I am proud and happy to share my wedding story with the world! These pictures tell a story starting with the pre-rehearsal-dinner dinner and leading up to our BIG DAY and reception! Enjoy!

Pre-Rehearsal-Dinner Dinner!

Rehearsal Dinner!

Getting Ready for the Big Day!!


The Boys

The Girls

Other Wedding Pics

The Family

The Bridal Party


Honeymoon in Jamaica!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Breaking into the Mommy Blogosphere

For the past two months this New Breed Mama has been working her tail off trying to break into the Mommy Blogosphere! On Twitter, I rub elbows (well exchange tweets) with some awesome, amazing, high-status mommy bloggers. I read their hilarious stories about children throwing up in their mouths, making toilet paper torpedoes when Aunt Flo comes to visit while at Ikea, and crazy visits to their shrinks.

Seriously, I mean these women rock! THEY ROCK! I don’t know how they do it! Many of have managed to create their very own blogging empires right from the comfort of their own living rooms! To illustrate, let me tell you about Mommy Moment Blog . This blog is only 3 ½ moths old, folks, and now has 700 followers! 700. OMG. Not on Twitter, but on her actual blog! Amazing! And the Mommy Moment Blog fan page on Facebook is taking off – 776 “like’s” at last count! On Twitter, 1,555 followers!

A New Breed of Mom Blog cannot even compare… If you scroll down you will see I have a whopping 20 followers. (BTW feel free to follow me!) I was quite proud of how my little blog was coming along – until I talked to the ladies at Mommy Moment. The New Breed Mama is on Twitter, and that is going ok, 369 (ha 69!) followers, but The New Breed of Mom’s Facebook page – a sad 17 followers. 17. SAD.

How are these women doing it? If you are reading this right now, and you are one of these stellar mommy bloggers, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE! , comment on this post and tell me what the secret is! When I’ve asked others how to gain a following on my blog and build traffic, I get responses like, “Just keep writing and posting regularly – it will happen.” and “Talk to people on Twitter. Read other women’s blogs and post comments.” I’M DOING THAT ALREADY!!

Then, there’s all the companies, who are like, “You need to have a higher page rank.” and “Make sure to post in a manner that will help with SEO.” I was like WTF is a page rank?!!! And who the hell is SEO?!! I now know page rank is some crazy algorithm that Google uses to determine who should come up first in their search engine, but I think it really means "I want to make $$$ off of you!!!" For real – how sneaky!! And SEO, that stands for "search engine optimization", but what it really means is "sell-out earning opportunities”!

Yeah, so, in summary – it is TOUGH to break into the mommy blogosphere!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Remarried with Kids –The Creation of a New Breed Family

A remarriage with kids is WAY different than a marriage with kids.

Before I dive right into this article, let me provide a tiny bit of background.

My husband and I are quickly approaching our one year anniversary - August 22nd.

This last weekend I attended a bridal shower and bachelorette party for a friend. All of the wedding festivities led me to reflect on my last ten months of marriage, what marriage life is like for me, and what marriage really means.

Marriage is a sacred commitment between two individuals who choose to make a conscious commitment to love each other every day for the rest of their lives.

Every single day I thank God for my husband and my children.

I love my life.

Each day is new and presents new opportunities to experience life as a married couple. Our marriage faces many challenges on a weekly (and sometimes daily) basis.

My husband and I both have a child from a previous relationship. He was married before. I was not.

On the day we married, not only did we create a lifelong commitment to one another, but we also created a family – A New Breed Family.

Unlike nuclear families, New Breed Families do not always have the natural bonds that biological families have. When a New Breed Family is formed, it can be challenging, and sometimes difficult, to forge those bonds. Many factors, such as the age of the children, involvement from the other parent, and individual personalities all factor into forming bonding, loving relationships in New Breed Families.

It takes around five to seven years for New Breed Families to develop their own bonds, family traditions, and routines. A New Breed Family is the product of combining two smaller families (typically each parent and their respective child(ren)) together to form one cohesive family unit. That means taking two different styles of parenting, two different sets of routines, two different sets of family traditions, two different manners of relating to one another, and bringing them together into one household.

The creation of a New Breed Family means changes for everyone involved. This includes each of the spouses own biological families, each of the spouse’s ex-partner, and sometimes the ex-partner’s families. As humans, we are naturally resistant to change. The primal ‘fight or flight’ instinct is bound to surface for every person involved. Given the immense number of changes taking place during a relatively short period of time, and the new relationships being forged between every single involved person, there are bound to be some rough transitions.

Family members experiencea variety of emotions as the New Breed Family forms. There are many positive feelings such as happiness, love, and excitement. There are also many sub-positive feelings such as anger, jealously, and fear that can be associated with the creation of a New Breed Family. It is important to acknowledge and address all of those feelings. Couples who take the time to prepare for remarriage with children, by either attending pre-marital workshops through their church or with a marriage counselor, are much more well-equipped and prepared for the bringing together of the two smaller family units.

New Breed Families are still a relatively new phenomenon in modern American culture. No one really knows what the expectations are for creation of a New Breed Family. There is no “normal”. Although, it appears to be universal that New Breed Families will experience a period of transition. The children will benefit immensely when the remarried couple approaches the task of forming their New Breed Family with a well thought out plan that is implemented with a firm, loving hand.

The remarried couple needs to demonstrate to the children involved that they are a team, and that the newly formed marital relationship is primary to the parent – child relationship. By approaching the transitional period in this manner, the children will learn to love and respect the new parent in their lives. The new parent will feel loved and cherished by their spouse as he makes it apparent to his children that his marital relationship is the primary relationship in the newly formed family unit. When the parents in the house are on the same page, and rightfully take their place as the heads of the household, children tend to move through their resistance more quickly and feel more secure because they understand their role in the New Breed Family.

Please know that help is available for New Breed Families who are trying to make their way through the sometimes difficult transitional period of bringing to mini families together to form one solidified family unit. A family counselor is educated in the trials and tribulations that are common during the formation of a New Breed Family.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Life Reflections

Friday was my ten year class reunion. It has been ten years since I graduated high school and embarked on my adult life. After attending the reunion, I began to reflect on my life over the last ten years. On the day I graduated high school I thought to myself, “Someday I will be attending a ten year class reunion. I wonder what my life will be like.”

My current life contains all the elements of the life I envisioned for myself ten years ago. At eighteen my goals for the next ten years included graduating from college, getting married, buying a house, and having children. Over the course of the last ten years I have done all those things. However, although all the elements of the life I envisioned are present in my current life, the manner in which my life unfolded was not at all like I had envisioned.

Never did I envision getting pregnant and having my first child at age twenty. Never did I envision completing college (and grad school) as a single parent. Never did I envision marrying a divorced man with a child. Never did I envision being a stepmother. Most of the experiences that I have had over the last ten years were not what I envisioned. Yet, somehow, my life today is exactly what I envisioned it to be ten years ago.

God works in mysterious ways. As a child, I was raised in the Catholic Church. Over the years I’ve always believe in God, even when my life path led me astray. There were a good seven to eight years that I attended church very rarely, and at least a year or two that I did not even set foot inside a church. It wasn’t until I got engaged that (wanting a Catholic wedding) I came back to the church. My husband is not Catholic, and for the most part he has not been a church-going man.

Since I wanted a Catholic wedding and my husband had been married before, he had to complete the annulment process through the Catholic Church. This tedious process of telling your life story and trying to convince the Catholic Tribunal that your first marriage was somehow inherently flawed, and therefore able to be annulled, was a grand gesture of his love towards me. In addition to the annulment we attended marriage preparation classes for second marriages taking place in the Catholic Church. This was a growing process for both of us and brought us closer as a couple.

Today, John sits by my side every Sunday at mass.

In reflecting over my last ten years, I am now able to see how my life experiences were divinely guided. While the road was long, bumpy, and winding, it led me to the life I enjoy today. There is a country song by Rascal Flatts called ‘Bless the Broken Road’ that beautifully illustrates my feelings as I sit here and write this today.

God has blessed my broken road, and for that I am thankful every day.