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Bobbi Wedding
Our wedding June 2008

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States, about 50% of marriages end in divorce. Many adults, such as myself, who want to share their lives with others start new relationships, and many remarry. When I divorced my kiddos father in 2005, I did not meet my soul-mate until 2007 .  He and I created a new family in June 2008. My husband does not have any children of his own, so he and I basically created a new family with my children from my previous husband. It is not easy being a blended family….there are a lot of mountains you have to climb, but it it worth it. I was excited to find out there is a special holiday that celebrates these family units: National Stepfamily Day.

In today’s modern world stepfamilies are everywhere! I was surprised to find out that, “one in three American citizens live in a stepfamily and 30% of children are currently growing up in a stepfamily.” I know there are more divorces now than fifty years ago, but one in three is a lot. According to many studies it can take a kiddo several years to bond with a stepdad or mom. I know it took about a year for my kiddos to really bond with my husband, however with Mike being active duty Army and always leaving, I feel like this is an ongoing process.

The official date for National Stepfamily Day in the United States, along with other countries who recognize it, is September 16th. This day is designated as a time for step families to spend time together and for children to honor their stepparents…..It’s actually really cool as many blended families feel the biological parent should be honored on Mother’s and Father’s day….so now the stepparent has a special day too!

The first National Stepfamily Day was founded by Christy Borgeld in 1997. “This holiday was created in order to give step families a day to celebrate a strong family structure, give recognition to individual family members and instill a sense of responsibility in all extended family members.”….So, I bet you are wondering what are a few good ways to celebrate this awesome day?…Should you celebrate just as you do Mother’s and Father’s day?…Well, here are a few ideas I am sure you will love!

Bobbi Son Park
Park Time

1. Go get a professional family portrait taken….We do this every year as I love to look back at old photos and see how much the kiddos have changed.

2. Create a sand bottle that represents your family with different colors. Have each family member get a package of colored sand…I give each person their favorite color…so our sand bottle is green, red, orange and blue. We all take turns pouring the sand into a tall glass jar, the end result is a beautiful jar which represents my blended family.

3. Go on a picnic! My family and I love to go on picnics at the beach, park or anywhere we can have some fun. We pack our favorite foods, a blanket, sand toys and baseball items, then we head out for a day of yummy foods and fun!

4. One thing I did a few years ago is ask my family and my husbands family for old family recipes. I then compiled them into a cook book (online) and created a blended family cookbook! I gave everybody one for Christmas and they all loved it! I also took photos of my kiddos baking, cooking, grilling and having fun to add to the book. It was a great gift and we had so much fun creating this.

5. You can also write little letters to one another, telling each other how much you appreciate and love them. This is great to do if your spouse is deployed as you can send them a special surprise. My husband loves getting hand written letters from the kiddos when he is deployed.

Bobbi Step Family Day
Spending Time Together

6. Go Camping!! I love to go camping and fishing and what a better day to do this!….We have so much fun teaching the kiddos about camping and fishing and my son loves to cook hot dogs on a campfire…but who doesn’t!?!

7. If you are more of an indoors family, why not have a carpet picnic and a movie night! We order pizza, pick a movie and pop some popcorn…just being together is so much fun regardless if you have seen the movie 5,000 times.

8. Going on a family walk is also a great way to spend time together. I like to bring a bag and collet things as we walk…rocks, leaves, etc and then when we get home put these items in a large vase. This is a way for me to remember the fun times we have as a family.

9. If you are not one who likes to cook or grill out how about going out to dinner at your families favorite restaurant! I love when we go to Red Robbin as a family….it’s fast, they have great food, and we get to sit and talk about our days.

10. Having a family BBQ is always fun as well….invite the family to a local park or have a get together at your home. Inviting extended family is always fun and what a great way to blend your new family.

Now matter how you choose to spend this unique and cute holiday, as long as you are with your family that is all that matters. Celebrate and honor your unique and special family by spending time together in any way that your family finds fun!

(Source: http://www.national-awareness-days.com/)

Thank you to Bobbi Pack from MyMilitarySavings.com for this great blog!

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