The unnatural struggle.

  Recently, Brandon and I were in Phoenix. We were down there for work meetings, but of course spent a lot of time with family and some friends. Each time a see a friend I haven’t seen in a while, one question always comes up.  “How’s stepmom life?” Here’s my current answer, as it has changed over the years.  I have it easy but it is still so difficult. I have it easy because the kids love and respect me and my role in their life. It’s hard because it’s so unnatural. It’s hard because while I am one of their parents, my voice doesn’t carry the weight of their biological parents. That’s not their fault, that is just the reality of this role. I follow a lot of stepmoms on Instagram, and I think it is safe to say we all feel this way.  The ones who have it easier than others and the ones who struggle just to make it through the day.  It’s hard because it’s so unnatural.  There’s a constant struggle inside of me, am I asking too much of them? Will they resent me if I make them to do more


 Stepmom noun :  stepmother ;  plural noun :  stepmothers ;  noun :  step-mother ;  plural noun :  step-mothers a woman who is the wife or partner of one's parent after the divorce or separation of the parents or the death of one's mother. As I think about this word, its meaning, and what it really means practically in my life, I have a lot of thoughts and this topic will probably be one of the biggest topics I blog about. You see, I never desired to be a stepmom, I don't know anyone that has.  It's hard, it's challenging, it's not natural, it's sometimes looked down upon.  However, it can be rewarding and fulfilling too. Like anything, in life, being a stepmom require intentional thoughts and actions.  Because most of it can be so hard, it requires a constant state of self evaluation.  My journey to stepmotherhood started when I started dating Brandon.  I knew him previously and knew he had children.  Although, I did not want to be a stepmom, I wanted to be

The Story of Us

  It was May 2019 and I received a DM on Instagram, well technically a reply to one of my stories.  We chatted a bit and I thought that was that. Then there were more messages and more replies. Then all of the sudden, we were DMing then texting non-stop, I told my best friend, Megan, "I have a crush, but it's not going anywhere... he lives in Montana."  I would soon realized, that I would not be able to live without this man.   We dated long distance from May 2019 until we got married in May 2020.  Every week or two one of us was flying to either Arizona or Montana.  It wasn't always easy, but it caused a lot of grown and a lot of intentional conversations. Then on January 2, 2020 Brandon proposed on the gondola at Silver Mountain Resort in Kellogg, ID.  It was perfect and I truly wasn't expecting it that day.  (I knew it was coming at some point because we already had a venue booked.)  However, 12 days before our wedding, we received an email from our venue stat

A little about me.

  Hello!  I am glad you are here.  This has been years (literally) in the making. I first created a blogger account in 2012.  I guess better late than never. I've always wanted to blog, just did not feel like I had anything to say (maybe I still don't) plus blogging requires at least some level of vulnerability, which I have never been great at.  So, here I am trying to be open, honest, and relatable as I share my life with you. A little about me.    Hi, I'm JoyAnn.  I am married to the love of my life and best friend, Brandon.  We have three kids. Avery (15)  Boston (13)  Harper (11).  Our life is full with work, travel, sports, family time, church, being active, and anything else we can fit into our days. Brandon and I got married in May 2020, yes, right in the middle of covid.  I'll share more about our dating story and wedding some other time.  Along with more details about our kids and dreams for our family.  For now, I just wanted to say hi and thanks for tagging