Both of our families are very blended. Our religions are different, but we have blended our beliefs to create a unique and very accepting and loving family. Both of Hadlee's brothers have married someone of a different religion. His middle brother, Jami, has two adopted children. Everyone has been welcomed with open arms and instant love into the family and all have become part of family stories and traditions shared over and over. Amy's sister has two step sons who are loved as though they have always been part of the family.
Hadlee's mom, oldest brother, and sister-in-law all live in Florida while his middle brother and his family live in North Carolina. Amy's parents, sister and her family live near us. Although our families do not live near each other, our blended families have become one big family rather than two small families that have someone in common. Both of our families get along well and like to share time during the holidays together. We have spent many Thanksgivings and Christmases together. Often Hadlee's family joins Amy's for one holiday and Amy's family will join Hadlee's for another. This has helped us form family bonds that go beyond marriages so that everyone feels like they are part of the same family.
We live in a newer neighborhood that has numerous young families. Many of our neighbors have young children and school-aged children. Often when coming home from work, we see the kids playing basketball in the driveways and riding their bikes up and down the street. We are close with other people in the community and spend time together on weekends taking walks around the neighborhood, sitting on the deck chatting, watching the kids play, or meeting to talk about the latest sports activity. (No matter the season, Hadlee can talk sports!). We live in a medium sized city with strong values and a welcoming nature. The city hosts numerous events throughout the year including a rodeo, a craft festival, a duck pond, a Christmas parade, and an emergency responder showcase where the kids can climb into the emergency vehicles and look around. There is also a community center nearby that has an indoor pool with a kiddie area that kids love to play on, a workout room and sports courts to play basketball and volleyball. We visit the community center multiple times a week for swimming lessons, exercise, and to play in the pool.
Our house has four bedrooms, three bathrooms, two family rooms, and a large garage. The backyard has a privacy fence, concrete porch, play area, and deck upstairs. Our home is not fancy, but is welcoming, comfortable, and safe for children. When you walk into our home, it is very obvious that a loving family lives here.
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