Grace has divorced her abusive husband and is on her own with three children. She gets a job at the refinery, one of the two first women hired. Grace is called away from work to the school where her oldest, Quentin, has been in a fight. As they talk, she realizes that he has known about his father's abuse. Grace's friend introduces her to the pharmacist.
Grace has a talk with Quentin's teacher and, while the teacher has concerns about Quentin, it seems she has family issues also. Grace finds Quentin up on the roof and he says he used to go there when Grace and his father fought. Now he goes there to do some thinking. The men discover what he does up there.
Nadine talks Grace into going to a dance put on by The Second Time Around group, for divorced and widowed persons. Grace runs into, and is asked out by, Nadine's first ex-husband. Nadine and Wade invite the couple to dinner.
Grace goes on a blind date with a man who admits that the shirt he's wearing was 'found' on top of the neighbour's trash. His repeated demonstrations of frugality wear Grace down. Meanwhile, Libby is having a difficult time relating to her baby brother.
Jimmy wins a big settlement after falling down the stairs and Grace needs it because he hasn't been paying child support. A law student gets permission to take her case and all they have to do it show that Jimmy hasn't paid. Grace is given 15 seconds to make her case.
Grace is bumped up to permanent worker status, so is now eligible for benefits. It also involves working the night shift. Russell, Nadine and Wade take turns babysitting. But Grace misses reading them stories, tucking them in and will she also miss Libby's school program?
Grace's sister Faith collapses at work, so Russell and Grace rush to Alabama. Upon her release from the hospital, they bring her for a Christmas visit. Faith is having an affair and Grace invites her to move closer.
Grace takes the kids to see Nana Lil, their great-grandmother on Jimmy's side. She takes a liking to Libby and gives her a ring that's been in the family for a long time. Jimmy's mother is not happy with them having the ring.
There's a new guy at work who's interested in Grace. Grace runs into Vickie at the pharmacy and she later comes to Grace for help. Wade asks Russell for advice about having a baby. Grace takes a chance on the new guy.
Grace needs some time and a place for herself. While cleaning out the basement, she comes across some of her old paintings and vows to do more painting. The guys from work come to play poker. Wade teaches Grace that's it's not the physical space, but the mental space she needs to do what she enjoys.
Ryan asks Grace to go to Chicago with him for the weekend. He misses the flight due to a freak accident, so they decide to spend the night at his place. Grace tells him a story her father told her about finding a piece of a shooting star and he brings her a meteorite to wish on.
Quentin is obvious in his dislike for Ryan. Quentin orders a heart-shaped pizza for Grace, unaware that she has plans with Ryan. Feeling awkward, Ryan leaves. Faith and Russell break up. Nadine and Wade find baby-making to be a chore.
Libby tells Grace her friend's mom is the 'best mom ever' and putting her daughter in a child's beauty pageant. Grace relents and says Libby can be in the pageant. Then the mother tells Grace that she doesn't have the 'breeding' to be pageant material. Now, to find a talent that Libby can showcase.
Quentin is in yet another fight at school and Grace tricks the teacher into canceling his expulsion. Grace finds a counselor for Quentin. Patrick is teething, Libby has a fever. Quentin finds Grace crying and they have a good cry together.
Grace gets promoted to supervisor at the refinery to the dismay of some of her male co-workers. When Grace tells her ex-husband that Quentin can't spend the summer with him, Quentin runs away from home and ends up on Ryan's front stoop.
Libby and Sam are playing house and they have two different ideas of how to do that. Sam tells Libby they must kiss and Sam's mother catches them. Grace's car is finally done for and she goes to the used car lot to buy another, 'less old' one. Grace gets the price she wants.