￼Katie Blackmer met her first husband Stephen Shepard when they were both 18.
They married two years later and soon welcomed their children, Gracelyn, 11, Kaylynn, 10, and Colston, five.
Unfortunately, Katie and Stephen’s relationship broke down and they divorced in 2015.
At first, the pair felt their fighting would never end but Katie and Stephen soon realised that for the sake of the kids they had to learn to become friends.
In June 2016, Katie, 32, married Ben Blackmer, 41, who already had a son, Hunter, 19.
By 2017, Katie, Ben and Stephen were happily sharing family dinners, holidays and attending the kids’ sporting games together.
They’d managed to create a harmonious and happy blended family.
Then, in May that year, Stephen was critically injured in a car accident.
Stephen needed around-the-clock care when he left hospital, and there was never any question about who would look after him.
‘Ben and I, without hesitation, decided he was coming home with us,’ Katie, who lost her own father in a car accident when she was seven, told Love What Matters. ‘He needed us, his kids needed him and he needed his kids.’
Once Stephen had recovered, he fell in love with Brandy Henderson, 31.
Brandy and her two kids – Kayleigh, nine, and Jaxson, seven – became frequent guests at the house and, in January 2018, it was decided they may as well move in too!
Katie admits it’s not always easy, but she insists the noise and craziness that comes with living in their two storey, five-bedroom home with four adults and six kids is worth it.
Read more in this week's issue of that's life, on sale now.
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