On New Years Eve, as I sat in our kitchen with my husband, wearing sweat pants, eating my second piece of chocolate cheesecake, sipping my third glass of my beloved Pinot Grigio I stopped in my tracks and thought to myself.... man things have changed! 

We had just dealt with a textbook two year old tantrum and finally managed to get our feisty little girl to sleep.

All while chaperoning and trying to wrap our head around the co-ed New Years "hang-out" that my stepdaughter was having in the basement.... having disturbing conversations/flashbacks to what we were doing on New Years Eve in grade 9.  

Earlier that afternoon my husband dropped the tweenager and nine-year-old off at sleepover parties of their own.

As I at there with my glass of wine I realized that New Year's Eve five years ago I was childless.... now here I am trying to navigate parenting a two year old, a nine year old, a 12 year old and a 14 year old. 

Hows that for being deep in the trenches of parenting?  

Here's the truth. Each and everyday I have NO idea what I am doing when it comes to parenting/step-parenting.

Trying to figure out how to parent one age range is tough enough, but toddler to teenager and everything in between... Somedays my head just spins! 

Presently my parenting challenges include:

  • managing tweenage hormones (the struggle is REAL I tell you)

  • toddler tantrums

  • a toddler who has decided that she will only sleep if she's in Mommy & Daddy's bed

  • giving a very truth-worthy teenager the age appropriate freedom she deserves while still trying to shelter her from the dangers of the REAL WORLD

  • still trying to figure out my role as a Stepmom

  • trying to teach boys the importance of putting the damn toilet seat down

  • determining age appropriate chores

  • providing REPEATED detailed instructions on how to re-fill the toilet paper holder when the toilet paper runs out

  • creating roles and responsibilities in our home that somewhat coincide with my stepchildren's other home

  • taking a step-back in parenting with the older kids, often pulling the "stepmom card" because they are FAR less forgiving of step-mom then they are "REAL" parents when conflict arises

  • and well, helping my sweet girl cope with the fact that somedays she wakes up and her brothers and sister are just GONE for a week (something she is way too young to understand)

The truth is, I have no idea what I am doing... with any of them! But I've learned to be okay with that. 

 Because I'm pretty sure, most parents/step-parents are winging it too!

And by the time, Reese gets to the teenager years... I'll be a pro (right?!) 

(Yes, you read that right... no words of wisdom here ladies... if you ask me, parenting is all about figuring it out as you go)

Anywho, so that was New Years ... re-wind to Christmas!

It was a crazy emotional week! Because I'm being honest, it was one of the worst/best Christmas' that we have every had. Christmas Morning my Uncle Dave lost to 5+ year battle with lung cancer. Although we knew it was coming it was a devastating loss to our family. This man wasn't just an uncle to me, he was like a second Father and to be honest I am still in shock that he is gone. 

But we had to do what parents do when things get rough, and wipe the tears, put a smile on our faces and keep on keeping on! Thats what uncle dave would have wanted us to do too! 

Here's a little glimpse of our Christmas Celebration! Now that I've come out of the fog, I can look back and see that despite the loss and heartache... we made some pretty great memories! Oh and my sister gave birth to our sweet baby niece Parker Jane! She is absolutely perfect! 

Like I said, a crazy emotional time! 

Here's a little glimpse at our Christmas! 

Happy New Year Friends!