Netflix Knows Our Family Dynamic #StreamTeam

Netflix Grace and Frankie Stream Team

It is so funny how Netflix has a pulse on my life.
Each month we are given a prompt, a gentle nudge by Netflix.
So this month, it was about being in an unconventional family.
To tie in with the new show Grace and Frankie.

Mike, Anna and I 2005

This month, the question was “what is it about your modern family that you wouldn’t trade for anything in the world?”
Our little family has been very modern, unconventional, quirky, whatever you want to call it.
It has been that way for almost nine years now.
Well, nine years Wednesday, if we are being exact.

 

stepdad reciting vows to stepdaughter

Nine years ago, Wednesday, my then six year old daughter and I married my then fiancĂ©e in a barn….down by the river.
No, no, no.
But yes, we did get married in a barn.
You can read all about it here.
I say “we” got married because when you marry a woman with a child, you get the whole package, the whole enchilada, the happy meal WITH the toy.
She came with the package, so when we were planning the wedding, I told him that I wanted her to have a part in the vows.

our little family May 2006

It was incredibly romantic, tears were flowing, it was a day that everyone in that barn will never forget, I am sure.
Because on that day, he married not only a 36 year old woman, but also her six year old daughter….OMG THAT SOUNDED SO WRONG.
What I am trying to say is that we vowed to be a family that day.
For better or worse, richer or poorer.
In sickness or in health.
Not many traditional families get to do that.

our little family January 2008

Then came Ellie, a year and a half later.
For the first year of Ella’s life, Anna’s biological dad would call Ella, to Anna’s face, her half sister.
Anna would correct him and say, “she is my full sister”, to which he would always correct her.
Eventually he stopped doing it and it did bother me that he was undermining her, even though he was officially correct.
But the take away was that in Anna’s mind, Ella was and always will be her full sister.
In a society obsessed with titles and tags, it doesn’t matter what they will call her.

 

our family Chicago Thanksgiving

We have been a blended family for nine years now and while it has not been easy at times and society sometimes roots for us to fail, it has been an amazing ride.
I have loved watching the relationship between my husband and Anna blossom and grow.
It has had its moments, especially in the tween and teen years but it is now growing stronger and it makes me so proud.
I look at my two girls and I can’t imagine our life without them.
I am damn proud of this crazy, modern, quirky, unconventional family that we have created, largely on our own.

 

our two girls Christmas 2014

I don’t want a perfect life, I don’t want a life where everything is cookie cutter and we all have the same last name.
I like being able to explain our story to people who we have just met.
I love that we have a past, I think it makes us mysterious.
We have this amazing twisty, turny, storyline that not many other people in our lives have.
When we look into each others eyes we can knowingly see where we began and we get that twinkle.
It’s like being in on a secret that no one else knows or having a secret handshake.
It is glorious, not at all scandalous.
I mean how many other people can show their little sister the video from the day they married their parents?
Wink wink.

 

I am a member of the Netflix Stream Team. Meaning, for the next year, once a month I will be writing posts about how my family is using our Netflix. They provided me with a Roku and a voucher for my Netflix account.

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