Stepfamily Life Comes Full Circle

posted in: Family, Life, Relationships | 21
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Heather Lindstrom

Creator/Owner of Stylemindchic Lifestyle at Stylemindchic Life Blog and e-Boutique
Heather Lindstrom is the lifestyle blogger/entrepreneur behind the Stylemindchic Lifestyle. Reflections on style, travel, fashion, beauty and life wrapped in a sunny escape are at the heart of the Stylemindchic Lifestyle Blog. In travels, far and near, Heather brings those elements to life in her online Stylemindchic Life Boutique. In her spare time Heather practices as a school psychologist supporting students with emotional issues. The brand blends her two worlds of style and living a vibrant, inspired life. Heather shares an ‘empty nest’, in Chico, California, with her favorite travel companion, husband Scott. They can usually be found planning their next sunny escape.
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Step-family life with step-mom and step-daughters

Stepfamily life comes full circle over time………

A party was planned, at her mother’s house, the charming family home where the girls were raised.

Invitations were made and for me, as the step-mom, it was a first.

I was invited in……

I was invited into the circle……..and I was beyond excited.

We all agreed-it was time (though we were likely all just a bit nervous)

and we were looking forward to it.

I had been out front of the family home many times over the years,

 for drop offs and pickups when the girls were young.

Some things in life simply take time….

and sometimes it takes years.

Time for things to gel, time for growth, time for healing, time for peace

and time to create new memories together.

Time to grow into family. 

It was a simple request really-a birthday party.

Not just any party, this one would be a first.

The milestone of a 30th birthday……and a milestone for our entire step-family.

Both sides of the family celebrating together.

This family had proved they could do crisis together, and friendly hellos,

but a party, an actual celebration together, was a first.

Childhood friends (I remember those all nighter slumber parties),

aunts and uncles, and a grandparent from

each side of the family.

Family reconnecting after so many years.

It was a bridge….a meaningful, celebratory bridge.

The birthday girl, Briana, also requested a symbolic gift-a coin ring-like the one I wear.

My ring- created from coins from Italy and France-given to me by my sister Dorie

to commemorate my 50th birthday trip here.

(In the Stylemindchic Boutique here)


This coin ring would be symbolic-to represent her heritage.

The ancestry of her Serbian mother and her Swedish father from the year of her birth, 1983.


She’s a smart one that Briana, bringing the whole family together for a party,

for the first time,

and it was so much fun!!!

 Scott (dad), Heather/me (stepmom), Dean (her dad’s father), Briana (bday girl), Sal (her mom’s fiance),

Danielle (mom), Baba (her mom’s mother), Lauren and Annika (the sisters).

This photo means more to us than I can say….every time I see it-it chokes me up just a bit.

13 years in the making…..

A family milestone….and a celebration!

 The birthday girl and her boyfriend Neil….happy times!

Hey-this family is pretty friendly.

Step-mom and step-father ‘to be’….goofy step-parents.

Is this the new Christmas card?

What a celebration!!


On our wedding day September 2000.

The girls were 13, 15 and 17….look how they’ve grown!

Heather Lindstrom, Bri, Lauren and Annika Lindstrom

One of the biggest themes of my blog is to

 have hope. 

 I’ve had several times in my life where hope, overflowing hope, was exactly what I needed.

If you are in a stepfamily, and it’s taking some time to gel, hang in there.

It’s natural for it to take time. I bought a library full of stepfamily books and joined an online website or two looking to connect with other stepmoms.

As a couple we sought counsel when we needed some extra support. We even blew through a few therapists who

didn’t know the first thing about the intricacies of stepfamily life.

I would recommend all that and more if needed to navigate this complicated territory.

When I first moved to Chico, engaged to Scott, I had an inclination that if I met the girls’ mom,

 over coffee (or wine-let’s be real) for a heart to heart, we would become fast friends.

I let my anxiety and distractions of  my new life, new city, new family, new job and miscarriages

get the best of me- and then it seemed too late.

Now I wish I’d extended that invite 13 years earlier. It would have eased some angst over the years
plus-she’s great. I really like her!

No matter, 13 years later we are now friends and that feels so good.

Sometimes it takes years-even 13 years- to come full circle…

and it’s so worth it.

Can you imagine what fun we will all have with all the weddings and babies now?

Have hope. 

Your memories together will multiply, love and trust will grow,

and eventually, a real family will be born.

It’s the light at the end of the tunnel.

Are you living a stepfamily life?

Are you seeing the light at the end of the tunnel?

I would love to hear your story.


PS-On a side note, Scott and I are headed to Newport Beach for the weekend to see family.

My wonderful ‘birth’ family that I met 18 years ago (and yes-that’s another story).

 I’ll be meeting the uber stylish blogger Tamera Beardsley here for lunch.

I’m beyond excited!

Curated Collections and chic gifts at my Stylemindchic Boutique here!


21 Responses

  1. I love reliving my most special birthday through this post! I feel so honored that everyone took the leap and came to celebrate with me. I adore every single person in our family and it may seem strange, but I felt like a proud great-grandparent watching my whole family together.

    Thanks for your patience, love, humor and encouragement. This could not have happened without you. The ring is beautiful and the thought behind it makes me smile one of Dad’s teary-eyed smiles every time I look at it.


  2. Heather, this post has made my day. It’s beautiful. I love it. And yes…weddings, babies….so much life ahead.

  3. What a moving story and it’s wonderful that finally you can all celebrate together and more importantly look forward to many more to come. Lovely happy photos!

  4. A beautiful, moving story. Yes, she is a clever girl to get you all together. And yes, that would make a wonderful Christmas Card! It feels so wonderful to have family bonds healed. I’m happy for you.

  5. A beautiful story of love and healing. Truly a God thing! If only more families could come to this kind of reconciliation, this world would be overflowing with happiness. Thank you for sharing…Such HOPE!!!

  6. Good Morning Heather:)

    Yes, there is always hope. Time heals and hard feelings wane. Happy Birthday to Briana and GOOD FOR HER for stepping up and speaking her mind.. she wanted her family together. I can imagine the feeling you had CROSSING over the line;) Of all people Heather.. YOU can carry this off ~ be gracious and I know you are loved so much by your family. Enjoy your weekend. xxleslie

  7. Hi Heather, great post! It looks like a fun party and what a GORGEOUS birthday girl. She and her boyfriend make quite a beautiful pair! I hope you have fun meeting Tamera B, you are meeting everybody lately, color me green! Can’t wait for pictures and your post. XO, Jill

  8. This post is SO inspiring! What a wonderful thing to finally come together as a family…it says a lot about everyone involved. Thank you for sharing this.

    Have a lovely weekend in Newport! xoxo

  9. Good morning my darling Heather! First of all, I missed this when you first posted because my mornings this week have been CRAZY! With having only one car, I have to take my husband to work on the complete opposite end of town. This week I had early morning meetings and LATE NIGHT with conferences at the high school! So I had a rough time getting to visit you all….

    This is a very important message you are sharing here. How many of us really think about the work it takes to make a family? Families these days look different from the times of our parents. There are so many different components and like you mention, many bridges that have to be repaired and built. My family for example; many have passed on, but new cousins are in my family that I just met this past summer when I went back to CA for a short visit. It was LOVELY. I am of Mexican-American heritage, but we are all mixed now with the most loveliest of combinations….all making a tapestry of LOVE…..what should be!

    Thank you for coming to visit and for putting me on a list of your favorites. You are super. MUCH LOVE! Anita

  10. Heather, this post is very inspiring- inspiring beyond any home decor or fashion. It IS the fashioning of a family! I loved reading every single beautiful word. It is a beautiful thing when family is able to come together, and equally beautiful when step-family members finally feel the same unification. I’m so happy for you, and all the family members. I love your focus of HOPE. For many years, the free standing letters spelling HOPE sat on the windowsill over my kitchen sink. It was a constant affirmation of how I lived each day. Today, in this new home, I found a large glass candle holder with the words HOPE etched on it. I light the candle everyday. It is my affirmation. Thank you, again, for a beautifully written post. Have an incredible weekend!! xoxo

  11. Such a lovely post and one that I can relate to. I actually think it’s better that you waited to be friend with the kids’ mom. I tried that and it was disastrous. To this day, 14 years later, we still do not get along or even have any kind of relationship. I think maybe being friendly with her would have complicated things for you. But I could be wrong and am merely inserting my own feelings about it onto you.
    I am very glad you are so happy as a stepparent. I am, too. It was the hardest thing I have ever done but worth it on so many levels. It sort of forced me to grow up.
    Much love to you!
    Enjoy your trip and give Tamera a hug for me!
    xoxo, A

  12. Such a happy occasion! Everyone looks terrific & that held hope has blossomed into a “new family” and you’re right many more positive experiences to come ~ full circle. Love it!

  13. Heather,
    It’s so nice to see that your family is all coming together. That must have been hard in the beginning, but look how great things turned out? Briana looks so cute here, and I love the idea of an ancestry ring, as I am really into my heritage too. I’d love to have one of these rings myself.

    I’m so glad for you that you’re blending your families together. My sister is in the same situation as you are, and it was never an easy one. I think your positive attitude has much to do with the success of it all, Heather.


  14. And it merits a celebration, Heather…thanks for sharing. Very uplifting! Enjoy your time with Tamera!

  15. Dear Heather… this is such an amazing and beautiful post… and it bring such tears of recognition… of all of the love and hearing involved… to get ‘there’. Thank you for sharing so honestly… a story of such hope.


    PS. can’t wait to see you Sunday!

  16. Oh, what a BEAUTIFUL post, Heather. Just when I thought I had read my favorite post on your page there’s always more beauty. I absolutely love your coin ring, and what gorgeous faces.
    I stopped by to invite you to my new page. Hope you’ll stop by sometime.
    Marcia aka MarCella ;)

  17. What a touching post Heather! xo Caroline

  18. Fantastic!!! It took time but something take time to ripen and grow. Patience is a virtue it seems – great photo Heather xx

  19. What a gorgeous post!!! Well done for hanging in there !! Tamera…… Omg what do you wear to have lunch with that gorgeous woman???

  20. Heather this is such a heartwarming story, Sometimes we want things to happen right now and that just isn’t feasible most of the time. Your patience paid off in much love.

    Art by Karena

  21. I so enjoyed this post and the pictures, Heather. You have clearly handled this situation with grace. I think kids know when adults are pushing too hard, so perhaps the wait enabled you and Briana to bond like this (the ring says it all!), and the entire family to accept that life goes on and with a lot of love, flourishes. You are a beautiful and classy lady, and deserve much respect and love from all of those around you!


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