Happy Birthday Derek!


Today, we are wishing a very Happy Birthday to our incredible friend, my ex-husband, and the father of my first two children – Derek.

Our family wouldn’t be the same without you, and I hope you know how grateful we are to have you in our lives. Truly, life wouldn’t be near as much fun for Cashy and Ruby without their “Uncle Dekle”.

Thanks for helping to keep our family grounded, even amongst all of the crazy curveballs that we throw at you most of the time ☺. And thanks for being a great friend to me and Chris.

You’ve been quite the example to me (and to many others) during these years post-divorce. It’s been eye-opening to see how much you care about not only the kids’ happiness, but about mine and Chris’ too. People reading this would be amazed to know that when times get tough for me and Chris, YOU are usually the one that reminds me of what is most important, and encourages me to (drop my ego and) “fix it”. I don’t know one other ex-husband like that ☺. I really don’t.

If there were more parents out there that could follow your lead, this world would be a better place. Thank you for loving our kids and loving our family, and supporting us in all that we do, even when it’s not easy. We appreciate you more than you might know.

We love you, Derek!!


All of us


  1. Cory - August 19, 2014

    I think that is great! I have the same thoughts as Jessica. If he is so amazing and wonderful part of your life why did you get divorced?

  2. Tammy - March 11, 2014

    This is so awesome that you could have a ex who is truly that great. it’s inspiring to know that there are men out there that are like that. Also Happy Birthday Derek, your a inspiration.

  3. Dawn - March 11, 2014

    Appreciate every minute of that! My ex was like that too and we lost him on Jan 22nd in an accident he had while working. It’s been really tough for the kids and everyone. Love every minute you have with your family .. !

  4. scatterbrainmom - March 11, 2014

    Thanks for SHARING!! I TRULY do NOT understand why MORE people can not think and act the EXACT same way. Just because you are NOT dating, living together, MARRIED etc, DOESN’T mean people can NOT be CIVIL, be FRIENDS, be KIND to one another. Just because FEELINGS CHANGED or HEARTS CHANGED etc. DOESN’T mean you have to HATE or be MEAN and RUDE to one another. This is a FABULOUS motto to LEAD and to FOLLOW!!!!!! If MORE people would STOP, THINK and try to UNDERSTAND how they would FEEL if they were the OTHER person…would they want someone to be mean, rude etc to them? NO, they wouldn’t.

  5. Darcy - March 10, 2014

    Your family amazes me more everyday…
    Tears :(… Hope to meet you some day!
    You & Chris are such an inspiration in so many ways!

  6. Wendy @ ABCs and Garden Peas - March 10, 2014

    An amicable divorce is one of life’s greatest successes. Congrats to all of you for achieving something so beneficial for yourselves AND the kids!

  7. Val - March 10, 2014

    I think this is great. My parents are divorced after 21 years of marriage and have both remarried, but remain great friends and spend the holidays together, etc. It has made life so much easier for us kids (even though we’re adults) not having to deal with a bitter divorce. How lucky are those kids! Good for you guys, and thanks for being a positive influence to the world.

  8. Lourie Craver - March 10, 2014

    You know I had seen Derek in the picture when you have posted family pix but I never realized who he was. I just figured he was either your brother or Chris’…LOL. It is great to see blended families like this. My son is a step dad and has a good relationship with his wife’s ex. He explained it to me as…this is what you do to make kids happy. But, I think it is more than that, it is being great people, on both sides.

    Happy Birthday, Derek… hope you have a great day!!

  9. Marta Guffey - March 10, 2014

    Happy Birthday Derek! What a blessing that your children don’t have to feel pulled between their parents and have adults setting an example of healthy relationships. I too was blessed to have the same relationship with my ex-husband. Our son is now 27 yrs old and always told people he was lucky because he had 2 dads.

  10. nicholl - March 10, 2014

    how amazing to have that relationship!

  11. jennifer a - March 10, 2014

    Awesome a true example of a man… I love you guys this is what an extended family should be like.

  12. Dina Carlson - March 10, 2014

    Happy birthday Derek! wow amazing family

  13. Tarte Aux Cerises - Cherrie Pie - March 10, 2014

    Inspiring 😉 Happy Birthday Derek!

  14. Lisa Holbrook - March 10, 2014

    Happy Birthday to Derek ! Thanks for showing an truly touched our heart story and that’s awesome to have the great relationship with kids parents both side of family to be part of each other’s lives !! We need more like u guys have out there and would be a peaceful better world !

  15. Dina Carlson - March 10, 2014

    Happy birthday Derek! that is amazing that you all get along as 1 big happy family..you dont normally read stories like this..great story and thanks for sharing

  16. Angie Hartford - March 10, 2014

    That’s beautiful!! All of you are blessed to have that kind of relationship..
    Brought tears!!!! Thanks for sharing!
    Happy Birthday Derek!!

  17. Angelica Avalos Diaz - March 10, 2014

    Thanks for sharing your story to us, happy birthday Derek

  18. Rikki Leslie - March 10, 2014

    What a wonderful tribute! You guys are an awesome family. Hats off to you.
    Happy Birthday Derek!

  19. Jane - March 10, 2014

    I love to see this. My ex-husband is my best friend and people find us “weird”. In a world full of sadness, war and other bad things, having a great relationship with a fantastic human being with whom you were in love once shouldn’t be a bad thing 🙂

    Heidi, Chris and Derek, you are seriously cool and awesome people 🙂

  20. Donna - March 10, 2014

    Pretty amazing story! Thanks for sharing! Happy Birthday Derek!!

  21. Miriam Cook - March 10, 2014

    LOVE hearing this! I come from a large family where there are 10 kids, and 5 are from my dads first marriage. When he and his ex- wife divorced, they vowed to make things the best they possibly could and without fighting. They became better friends after they divorced…even to the point that his ex would call and get his opinion on who she was dating at the time. They put their kids first and avoided any catastrophes. We were able to have family gatherings frequently where they were both able to be without any problems. Although my dad’s ex is of no relation to me, I look at her as part of our family still and love her like family. I love hearing from others that you can still be friends (and family) after divorce!

  22. maureen nolan - March 10, 2014

    I have had that experience with my ex as well. He was my best friend and greatest supporter. Unfortunately cancer took him away. He gave me thumbs up on my fiance and came to be great friends with him and was to give me away at the wedding. It’s a beautiful feeling not to hate. Surprises me when ppl say how can you possibly be friends with your ex. Well why not. He was an amazing person….and I miss him terribly!

  23. Ron - March 10, 2014

    Sounds like a truly awesome dude. Many blessings to Derek and then P Pack. Way to raise those children around the love they deserve. Happy birthday too!!!!

  24. Lois - March 10, 2014

    All the adults, and especially the kids, are so blessed! This will make all the difference in their childhoods, but even more, their adult lives. Such a wonderful example of what is really important! Bless you all and Happy Birthday Derek!

  25. Angela click - March 10, 2014

    Wow! Amazing and Awesome! What an excellent example of a man! So well written Heidi!

  26. Michelle - March 10, 2014

    I love hearing stories like this where parents put the kids first after a divorce. Good for your family, I am sure the kids live a much fuller life having peace among the adults of the family. Keep up the good work.

  27. Kim - March 10, 2014

    This is truly amazing and beautiful. Happy Birthday Derek. You are an extraordinary man. I wish my ex was half the man you are. Best wishes to an amazing family 🙂

  28. crystal - March 10, 2014

    My ex husband and I have the same relatuonship! It’s great! Couldn’t picture my life without him… Our job is our child and than to each other to maintain a healthy life for all!

  29. josie - March 10, 2014

    Wow…truly amazing tribute…it speaks volumes as to the caring kind person Heidi and Chris are

  30. Susan - March 10, 2014

    You make me see that if good things go in my body then good things will come out. You are all truly amazing role models. Thanks for always keeping me grounded.

  31. Julie - March 10, 2014

    My ex husband and I have the exact same relationship. We share 3 boys together, and he is not only an amazing father, but an amazing friend as well. Nobody understands how we could remain friends after our divorce, but it was all about our children. If more parents could do that, I think our children would be much better off!

  32. Dawn - March 10, 2014

    Wow happy birthday Derek!
    You sound like one in a millio

  33. Caitlin - March 10, 2014

    It’s so nice to see and ex-husband have such an amazing relationship with and he can have such an impact on your family!

    ✯ ☆҉‿➹⁀☆҉☆
    Happy Birthday
    ✯ ☆҉‿➹⁀☆҉☆

  34. Tammy - March 10, 2014

    I’m always so thankful to see relationships like these. When my first husband and I divorced we vowed that we would continue to be a “family” for our two sons. I can honestly say that we have accomplished that. And even though our children are grown now we continue to work as a team (including his new wife and my new husband) when it comes to anything involving the kids. If you have to be a split family, it’s best to remember the only ones hurt if you don’t get a long are the people you care about the most- your children. Shame on people that are too selfish to realize that. Way to go Heidi, Chris and Derek. As always, shining examples of doing things the RIGHT way!!

  35. Ruthie - March 10, 2014

    You all are amazing & such a good example! God bless! 🙂

  36. Sue waliczek - March 10, 2014

    Wow! He is one of a kind. My ex is no where near that.

  37. Shari - March 10, 2014

    Ditto for my ex!!!!

  38. Danielle - March 10, 2014

    This is great! I, myself, am so blessed that my husband, myself and my ex are good friends. My husband & ex usually hang out together on the weekends with the kids. My ex treats my youngest son like his own. It’s really nice to see adults putting their own feelings & selfishness aside for the wellbeing of the children. You guys rock!!!! I wish you all the best!

  39. Tara - March 10, 2014

    I am lucky enough to have divorced parents who are wonderful close friends. Both are now remarried (to good ones finally) and their spouses are friends and happy with the arrangement too. My friends (and husband when he came into the big family) think it’s the strangest thing that we have all our holidays and birthdays and sometimes just Tuesday dinner together. Even when my sis and I moved states for college my parents and steps spent time all together- my mom is my dad and stepmom’s son’s God mother even!!! It’s the greatest gift my parents have given me, one all divorced parents should work towards for their kids’ sake.

  40. Jessica - March 10, 2014

    If he is so amazing why did you guys get divorced?

  41. Karyn DeGolyer Moore - March 10, 2014

    I have to commend you all, I wish my ex husband could read this…my 16 year old daughter hasn’t seen her dad in over a year because his new girlfriend just wont allow it…and he doesn’t see the need she has for her dad! I commend you all in doing this I would love nothing more than to be friends with my ex and be happy for him in his life..if he could do the same for us. He chose to leave to start a life with someone else…yet we are still punished! God Bless you all! Happy Birthday Derek

  42. Lily - March 10, 2014

    Thank you all for being a great example.

  43. Caroline - March 10, 2014

    What a great story! It must be great for your kids having parents who are still friends! Happy Birthday Derek! 🙂

  44. Carmen - March 10, 2014

    Congratulations to Derek. And my respect and admiration for you. Carrying a relationship at this level is admirable. Hopefully many divorced they succeeded for the good of children and family.

  45. Sally Husk - March 10, 2014

    What a great guy! It’s so nice of you to share this about him too because I’m sure it really shows him how much you guys DO appreciate him and all he does despite past bumps in the road! Shows you both care about what’s most important in this life…LOVE! In every form! Happy Birthday Derek! I hope it’s as special as you are and the love you show everyone around you! PS I have a son named Derek, good name! 😉

  46. Chandra - March 10, 2014

    This is amazing, I wish me and my ex husbands could get along half as well as you and Derek do!

  47. Sara - March 10, 2014

    This is beautiful in every single way possible <3 Happy birthday Derek ! ~ Sara

  48. Carol - March 10, 2014

    Happy Birthday to your Ex Derek, and I’m glad to hear how you guys were able to remain friends cuz I know there’s not that many Ex’s that still communicate. Hope the best for you All and the kids!

  49. Michelle Baldwin - March 10, 2014

    This is awesome! My parents were like this too.

  50. CY - March 10, 2014

    Wow, that was beautiful! Made me tear.

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