Being a parent is tough work. Being a step parent is really tough work. It takes a lot to blend two families together. To make sure that everyone feels loved, safe, and important. With all my failings as a parent, blending Mark’s kids in with my kids is something that I feel I did really well. But I didn’t do it alone. Mark was always by my side. We supported each other in our struggles with child rearing. He always made sure that my girls felt like they had a safe haven to come to whenever they needed it. He has been a great role model for what a real man should be and for that I will be eternally grateful.