My birthday is tomorrow.  Thanksgiving day.  In a year filled with so many positive and magical moments, I am struck by the consequence of this birth date falling on a day in which we remember the gifts we have received and to be thankful for all the rich and fulfilling goodness in our lives.

I am thankful to the those in my life I call family. Your actions in support of my effort to publish my memoir have been mighty.  Your generosity, strong hugs and unconditional love have kept me standing and persevering.  I am humbled by this strong circle of love and support.

I am thankful to my husband, my mate and my companion.  It had not occurred to me initially that in the same year that I published a book about my stepmom experience that I would also celebrate 25 years of marriage with this guy who asked me to walk with him on this road of family and motherhood.  It is a gift to say we still like each other, love one another and share in the excitement of looking forward to the adventures still to come our way.

I am thankful to the circle of those folks that I am lucky enough to call friends.  You pick up the phone, answer the text and raise the glass in love.  You listen.  You show up.  I am a better person by the fact you are all in my life.  Your beauty surrounds me daily.

I am thankful to the group of women that I have met through She Writes Press.  Their interest in sharing their knowledge and support has been a beautiful and lovely surprise.  A true gift.

I am thankful to all of you who have taken the time to read my book.  And I am thankful to those of you who have texted, emailed or written me to tell me your response to this story.  I am filled with immense gratitude for your kind words and supportive thoughts.

I am thankful that our daughter has had the opportunity to ask her 85-year-old Grandmother what it would have meant for her to see a woman as President.  The wisdom of many, many years.  And I am truly thankful that that same Grandmother has encouraged this daughter to be ready to support and fight for the rights of all people.

We have a family tradition of placing our rings through the lit candles on the birthday cake.  We then make a wish for that person as they blow.  That moment between rings being placed and the exhale of air to blow out the candles is a magical one.  A pause.  Of love, good wishes and above all, a sentiment of true thanks from all sides for being at that table to share in that one moment, all together.

I am thankful.




Off we go…


Pedal to the floor, today is the official publication day for Stepmother!

For my book, that means it is available in bookstores as well as online.

What it means for me is that I move from one side to the other.  Words in my head, to words out in the world. (seat belt locked, nerves are rattling!)

It’s a day for many thanks…to my husband, to my editor, Annie Tucker, to my publisher, Brooke Warner at She Writes Press and to Korina Garcia and Crystal Patriarche at BookSparks.  I feel so lucky to have such a great team traveling with me.

It’s also a day to send out gratitude and love to all three of the kids that supported this story.  That support has not come without bumps and there is not a day I don’t forget that fact.

So off you go, little book….see you on the other side.

Back to Knowledge Flight

Step Mom Shuffle

It will come as no surprise to anyone who has seen me at a wedding, I love to dance.

Along with the other guests, I smile, caught up in the love and watch with pleasure as the bride and groom take their first swirl around the dance floor together.  I patiently wait as the bride and her father extend the dancing ritual and loop around the same corners.  My foot might begin to silently tap if the traditional dances extend to the groom and the mother, the bride and her mother, and so on.

Perched like a hawk, I wait for the wave or the look from the dance floor leaders finally inviting the guests to join them on the floor.   Then, like a torpedo released from its chute, I fly out of my chair and find my spot.

At a recent family wedding, I found myself immersed in a line dance with many of the other guests.  We moved a few steps to the right and a few steps to the left.  We were instructed to simply kick it forward and then walk it off by ourselves.  The Cupid Shuffle.

This could also be called the step mom boogie.

I was not given the steps to this complicated dance move when I became a stepmom but I quickly found myself hustling to these new rhythms.

To the right was love.  To the left was allegiance.  When pulled both ways you kicked it forward until you finally found yourself alone and walking it off by yourself.

Love on the right looked like the eyes of the man you had married and the blurred colors of the eyes of his kids.  This stepmoms new blended family.   You, this new step mom, had married and embraced this whole group as one unit and tried to teach them your own moves.  You reached out with your private swing dance steps searching for their hands with all the love you had to twist, turn and fly with this new family.

The left was filled with many complicated and intricate dance steps that the step mom did not recognize.  Dancing on this side were the beautiful souls of your step kids caught in a web of loyalty to their mom and to their dad.  They might have supported this new marriage but did not yet understand how all these lines of allegiance were supposed to fit together smoothly without getting tangled or broken.  It looked a lot like a Maypole dance weaving in and out, up and over.

Too many times, these dance steps on the left and the right collided.  Smacked right in to each other or pulled to get out of the way.  All the emotions and hopes and frustrations sapping all the energy out of everyone.

At this point, the third instruction takes over.  You kick it out.  You jump and jive to the left and the right, trying to find the way to have it all merge together.  This step can be exhausting.  Overpowering.  Isolating and lonely.

So the inner instructor calls out the last move.  Walk it off by yourself.   Move along to your own private salsa or tango.  Gather your reserves and your breath because you know on the next beat you will be back in line shaking it to the right and shaking it to the left.  The step mom shuffle.


The sounds of music and the swish of good dancing move me and my inner spirit every time.  I love to jump.  I love to swing.  I love to toss my hair.  I love to open my sunroof in the winter time, heat turned on full blast, and sing to the heavens as I make my way home.  It is one of my personal self-care secrets.

As the months from my own wedding day have gained in number, I have found myself involved in the step mom dance on numerous occasions.  Often it is daily.  I am not going to lie.  This shuffle can be hard and complicated.  I have stumbled and fallen on numerous occasions.  There have been days when I wondered if I even wanted to attempt to try the steps again.  There were times when it simply did not feel natural or smooth.  I wondered if it ever would.   And step moms are not given the instructions.  You need to figure them out, a lot of times on your own.  But little by little, the directions become clearer and there are days when you swing your hips as smoothly as Elvis, in rhythm with all those you love making you want to dance for a long, long time.

I have not done much line dancing.  But on that special summer night, I found a certain happiness and joy as I aligned my steps with all these dancers at the wedding.  Some familiar.  Some not.  But there we all were.  Hearing the rhythm.  Not even having to hear the instructions after the first refrain.  Just moving as one.  Fifty shoes moving to the right and then to the left.  Smiling and whooping it up to kick it out together to the front.  And finally enjoying that moment in the sun, all by yourself, knowing you had done your best to make it right.

A beautiful step family boogie.




Dreams, hopes and wishes.

My memoir, Stepmother,  is set to be released to the public eye in five short weeks.  I thought I would give you a sampler with pictures.


Wood dandelions


You close your eyes, gather your breath and blow.  A wish, a hope and a dream.

“…I gathered the three members of this new family on my old living room couch and the camera clicked.  As we recorded our first night, all as one, everything seemed sort of, maybe, possible.  And while I did not expect it to be easy….I did imagine a time when it would simply work.”

But early on, there were days that looked like this…



She simmered.  He walked away.  She yelled.  He rolled his eyes.
Are you kidding me?!?
“You’re being ridiculous…just get over it.”
Resulting in many days when I wanted to do this…

woman and tornado


A dream, a hope and a wish.  I closed my eyes and gathered my breath.