Welcome back, friends! This has truly been a week of reality for all of us. As we continue to share our lives with you, we can’t help but consider that the REAL reality this week is that the fourth most populous city in America, Houston, in our great state of Texas, is under water. Many, many, many people have lost their homes. Countless more will need help to salvage the damage they are left with. We are all coming together as Americans to help every way we can. Mark and I and many of our friends have actively donated to the relief efforts and funds; I truly implore all of you that can to do the same.
So, as I sit here trying to gather my thoughts for my weekly blog, I find myself very conflicted. Times like these make you really think about what matters and what doesn’t. The last thing any of us want to do is downplay the very real tragedies that have been playing out over the last week with our "reality" Dallas-sized drama.
We come into your homes every week to share part of our lives with you, because, for most people, reality TV is entertaining escapism; a fun way to pretend to live another life or at least see what it might be like firsthand. Many people want to see our lifestyles, some want to see our failings, some come for the conflict and drama. Like anyone would, we hope that you connect with and like us, but this week especially - I’m finding it sobering to consider what really matters. Is it "Reality"? Or is it Real?
Stephanie Hollman’s new home is obviously gorgeous - look at it. Sure, it’s a bit quirky; it has an indoor swimming pool, but it’s absolutely fun and definitely unique. Keep the pool, fill it in, build a jungle gym for the kids - either way, I know that they’ll make it their own. The fact is, it’s just a "reality" issue. In Real life, many living rooms in Texas have a much more serious water situation going on right now, and almost all of them will cost much more to deal with.
I think it’s pretty simple -Brandi Redmond was spot on that Travis and Steph should be left alone to decide what is right for them. The other ladies are absolutely wrong to debate and argue publicly about why they did or didn't buy the house, where it is, or what’s wrong with it. When did someone else’s home details become their business? It never did, and it doesn’t matter. At least it shouldn’t. I’ve learned that it’s the people who are the most speculative and fake -worried about what you have and how you got it - are the same people that typically want those things for themselves the most. It’s projection. It’s insecurity. It’s immature, and it’s boring.
Intermingled with this BS is a pretty compelling keynote speech at the PositiviTEA event. Once again, we see thatLeeAnne Locken can be quite inspirational, and I am truly impressed with the person that she can be. BUT, why be such a positive force in one moment and then turn nasty the next? It’s like all you have to do is add water, and you have an instant mess. Put the wrong person around other toxic influences, and now they’re trashing Steph’s house and more ominously, her persona and character. It’s the same case from Halloween: positive influences say "do the right thing," but it looks like being negative is more fun for PositiviTEA’s keynote speaker. I genuinely wish that she didn’t need to so often go to that horrible, non-constructive place.
D'Andra Simmons and her mom are in a power struggle for the company. Where’s that going? I genuinely hope the end game there is to cement a positive mother-daughter relationship, regardless of what happens to the business. Because mother-daughter relationships do matter. DEFINITELY. I know this from my own experience with my own.
Becoming a mom is the greatest thing I’ve ever done. I’m so excited to watch my daughter grow into a young lady (and beyond), seeing her make good decisions, seeing her share the values I’ve instilled in her, seeing her become independent and successful - whatever that means to her. I'm learning this year that I may have to make some new changes in my work life to make sure I can be there for those special moments. That's part of my job as a mom! You make the tough calls to give your children the best. I know that taking more time with her is one of the best investments of my life, and it will turn out well.
As if Zuri’s fourth birthday party was going too well, I found myself playing host to many fun guests…and guest conflict.Kameron Westcott and Brandi are two VERY different women. Clearly oil and water. As a friend of both, I know they’re both very fun and extremely unique, but let’s be real again...It’s pretty unlikely that these two are going to end up being besties, braiding each other’s hair and having pillow fights.
I really try to see the good in people. Kameron and Brandi both have fun sides that I can appreciate, so I’m crossing my fingers that maybe they can find that in each other at some point. The Tennessee invite did not help their friendship, though. I know Brandi was in a hurry that day, and I’d like to think the gift-giving incident occurred because she was in a rush and wasn't thinking. It can be rude to give a gift in front of others, however...like I mentioned in an earlier blog, it is all about your intentions. Brandi didn't intend to be rude. Kam didn’t intend to get embarrassed or have to read Brandi in front of her kids. At the end of the day, this "Reality" issue matters so little compared to other - Real - issues.
I think that all of us have some growing up to do (no matter how old we are), and building relationships can be tough when contrasting personalities collide. With so many serious Real events going on in our own backyard and homes, I hope we can all see that our "Reality" issues with each other are - really- not that big a deal.
Get a sneak peek at next week's episode now: