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April 2017

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Stephanie @ La Dolce Vita

The pictures are beautiful Karen, and so is the love you all have for each other. I can't even imagine how hard it was to deal with regular blended family stuff as well as Josh getting ready to go at the same time. I know you told me some of what you were going through at the time. And it's hard. But you're good people, and I believe that Faith, hope and love gets you through though. And yeah, if the kids had no idea, you did a great job as parents.


Oh Karen, I just like you so much.


Great pics as usual. I love how real you are. And regular.




I love your pix and I love how REAL you are. That's why I visit your blog so often --not only for photo inspiration but to know that me and my family are not the only ones who go thru things etc. YOU guys are rock stars and I am so happy your marriage is in a better place!!


I have to agree with the comments above. I've been reading your blog for years now and am not one to comment generally but as someone who also goes through daily "blended family" issues, I love how real you and honest you are. So glad that this 4th was so much better for your family! :)


And I have loved each of your July 4th posts... &, I just love your family!


Love, love, love your photos! Although I don't have a blended family, the 'D' was not only mentioned but played out in my life and just for the record.... it doesn't solve the problems. I am overjoyed to hear that you both didn't act on it.

Donna N.

Great post Karen. And it doesn't matter if the blended family has little kids or grown up kids. We just took our first "Brady Bunch" vacation. Our "kids" range in age from 23 to 33. Our so-called glue for all of us is the almost 5 year old. She is adored by each and every one of us. And even with grown-up kids there's still a bit of walking-on-eggshell moments. Also, I LOVE the pouty moment you captured. What a great shot!


Love how Josh Downs just smiles through Annie's hissy. Love your family! There's hope for all of us from the looks of it!

Robyn :)

I love that you took pictures of Annie while she was having a fit lol. I bet she wasn't too happy about that, either. But she looks happy on the boat :)

I am glad things are going better for you and that you got through a tough year.


Karen your bike pictures and lighting is just beautiful. Well I can relate to the tantrum as well but not Sienna who is Annie's age, it was James my 8 year old. OMG the entire weekend was the same and normally I can handle it but I just lost it doing the whole yelling thing. Not good but seriously I had had enough..... Thankfully he is off to school tomorrow and yes he is an 8 year old and I can normally handle his 8 year old behavior however I can't handle an 8 year old carrying on like a 2 year old all weekend. I've taken those pouty photos of my two as well over time.... Hey it's life and just keeping it real. Sorry to hear your relationship was under such stress last year and from the blogs I read with military partners every body is on edge with deployment and longing for them to come home and then the whole fitting back in when they arrive home. All I can say is that fairy tale by chance meeting on the aero plane has gotta count for good things in the end. Great pic. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane


You both must feel proud of getting through that really tough period and a little exhausted at the same time. Regardless of the stress of the blended family issues, the worry of Josh's impending departure must have been hard enough to deal with on its own. I can assure you, i wasn't worried ('oh great'' you sarcastically say, 'that's so helpful!!') your messages to josh while he was away was a testament to the love you obviously have for one another - and i don't mean the romantic love I mean the inside soul love. Thank you for sharing, Karen, and complimenting it with these lovely LOVELY captures.

Shannon L

I don't have to deal with the blended family stuff and still in the past 10 years of marriage..I may have mentioned the "d" word more times than I care to admit...but we are a great team and he's the love of my life but life is messy and complicated and sometimes you both need to fall apart so you can fall back together guys seem great together. I love the pic of Josh walking behind Annie while she still is in meltdown mode and he's smiling...So much like my hubby!

Chicago Mobile Massage

Love your photos :)


it's years like your last one (and consequently mine too - also much to do because of unique blended family situations) that will enable you to enjoy the sweetness of future years together. to look back at the occasional sh*tty times and say "we're strong for it, more in love because of it and hungry for all the tomorrows...even including it" :) best to you and your brood! take care!
p.s. sooooooo proud of your SECOND tri lady! way to kick butt and step outside your box ;)



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Tout sa mwen ka di se ke li te fe istwa pa chans reyinyon sou plan an Aero dwe konte pou bon bagay nan fen an. Gwo pic. Konsidere Kathy A, Brisbaneyou ka tonbe tounen ansanm ankò .. ou nèg sanble gwo ansanm. Mwen renmen pic nan Josh mache dèyè Annie pandan li toujou se nan mòd fizyon ak li te souri ... Se konsa, anpil tankou bonom mwen!


We don't have the blended family issues, but the deployment issues (before, during, and after) can be brutal. Kudos to you both for working through, and for sharing the reality here as well. Your candor will help others struggle through. Looks like you had a fabulous 4th!


You are a truth teller and you are awesome! So glad God brought you through it!
I want to caption Annie's picture with her hand by her's like she's saying Not aFUNDAY! Your photos are beautiful!


Your honesty is the most profound thing I see every time I come to your blog. Thank you so very much for that. It helps in so many ways to know that no ones life is perfect. As a single mom I have to fight off many "their life is better than mine" thoughts. I feel blessed to come here and see that you've had similar challenges and have found a way to get thru them and find the beauty. Thank you for sharing your heart and keep doing what you are doing!


Sometimes it is hard, but I think going through with the 'd word' would be even harder.


{{hugs}}, love and prayers to you.

Nike Air Max 2012

Hey Karen, I've learnt that visualising can lead to huge disappointment. I've learnt that life isn't like it is in the movies. I've learnt to take each day as it comes, to live in the moment and not wish the days away. They go so fast anyway, why wish them away even faster (that's something I have to constantly tell myself). I've learnt to not sweat the small stuff - something my husband hasn't learnt because we are in two different places - I'm a Christian and he's not (yet :D). Bless you Karen, thanks for sharing.

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Mimi najua wewe aliniambia baadhi ya nini walikuwa kwenda kwa wakati huo. Na ni ngumu. Lakini wewe ni watu wazuri, na naamini kwamba Imani, tumaini na upendo ninyi kwa njia ya anapata ingawa. Na yeah, kama watoto hakuwa na wazo, wewe alifanya kazi kubwa kama wazazi. Kuna matumaini kwa sisi wote kutoka inaonekana yake!

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