Hello again! I'm not quite sure how to approach my blog this week! I skipped a couple because my blogs were getting so negative and I really needed to calm down and regain some self control. I am going to quickly type this blog with whatever or however it comes to mind so I can get it out there for you to read, so I apologize if it is random and all out of sequence.
Thank you all for your love and support and for standing by me even as bitterness took me over. I don't know if you have ever been hurt or felt jaded by someone, or if you let that hurt turn into anger, and you were led to the point where you lost control and it consumed you, but as you have seen, I have. I was actually OK during filming, but it was more so the events that took place afterward that I became even more angered and more obsessive about exposing the truth. The more I thought about it, the more I thought....and THEN what? As long as the other person involved and I know the truth, then that is all that should matter to me. I shouldn't involve other people. People should make their own discoveries about others and form their own opinions based on their own observations or experiences. Who am I to deliver the truth about somebody else? I need to mind my own business. It was not my place. It was one thing to be upset about what was said and done to me and my loved ones, but the other things were just none of my business. I think I just enjoyed hearing the rest and spreading it because I disliked her so much. The bottom line here is enough is enough. My ultimate goal is to have all negativity removed from my life. At least a good bulk of it. I guess that needs to start with me not spewing it. Once again, Caroline was right. She tried to avoid the drama all along and help us to prevent more drama from happening. Why is it that she is always right? I really should listen to her more. I'm always just in the moment, I don't always think that far ahead. That's just me.
As far as Kim G. is concerned. I really don't think she is a horrible person. She does do some nice things for people. She is very generous with her time and money and does great charitable things for people in need. I think that Kim is a people pleaser. I think that whoever she is with in the moment she will do her best to uplift and support them, so it can come across as two-faced sometimes. Although I DO think she may have stirred the pot a few times and took it a little too far. I also feel that Kim should have been honest with her friend from the very start. If you can't be honest with your friends then you need to ask yourself if they are REALLY your friends? I'm all about honesty and keeping it real. I always try my best to express what I am feeling. It's all in your delivery. If you come at someone in a combative way, you can expect the other person to be on the defensive and come back at you in a combative way. If you come at someone in a calm, rational way, speaking from your heart and at least trying to listen and understand where the other person is coming from, you just may get the answers and resolve you are looking for. Always ask yourself before confronting someone, "What is my ultimate goal from this conversation? Am I looking to resolve something? Do I want a positive outcome?" If it's not a positive outcome you are looking to achieve than I suggest you just put it behind you and move on because it is not worth your breath and aggravation. Why bother? Why lose your self control? It takes a lot of energy to hate someone. If you know that someone is not a good fit for your life, then just move away from them and keep living yours and don't let yourself worry about how the other person chooses to live their life and what they are saying about you. These are lessons that I have learned and lived in the past but I recently had to reintroduce them to myself again. "To err is human." Basically, try to live by those old sayings, "Live and let live," and "If you don't have anything nice to say about someone then don't say it at all." It's that simple (but difficult.)
Let's get to the more positive stories from Albie, Lauren, and Christopher. They crack me up. I enjoy their sense of humor. I loved how after seeing Albie lift weights Christopher pretended Albie's handshake was so strong it hurt him and then when Albie lightly tapped Christopher to go away he pretended to go flying. I still laugh about that. The kids all play off each other all of the time. They like to tease each other but it's harmless. If you notice, there is always a lot of laughter in their house. Their teasing is all done out of love. I think Ashley was sensitive to it in the beginning because she didn't understand it, but she gets it now. Ashley didn't grow up with siblings around until she was 11. She didn't grow up with cousins around her age. She had to adjust to the dynamics of it all. Albie is one of the first people she calls when she's in a bind. I love that she feels she has others that she can trust and rely on. That's what family is all about. You can bicker with each other but when it comes down to it, you are all there for each other when you need to be.
I'm proud of Albie for going through police training and being proactive while he is waiting to hear from the Law schools. It was a way he could learn the ins and outs of the law. I think it was a great idea. He learned a lot there. Albie still looked cute with his head shaved. I loved Christopher's reaction to it. Christopher and Lauren are both hard workers as well and I am equally as proud of them. I'm proud of all my nieces and nephews. I love them all.
I took Ashley to pick up her summons so I could talk to her more about how she was feeling about everything. I wanted to see if she had learned anything from this. I wanted to know if she knew how to handle herself if she was ever in a situation like that again. I wouldn't want history to repeat itself. I wanted to hear her tell me other ways we had talked about earlier that could have prevented this situation. I wasn't feeling any remorse from her. She was actually laughing about it as if it were a joke. It was disturbing to me. Perhaps it was a nervous laugh? I don't know. Let's face it, by law, you can't smack your child, so enough of the beat down advice. Besides, you all know that if I did that, I'd be getting reamed for that too. Ashley handled all of her punishments in this manner. We took away her TV and she would say she was grateful for that because she needed the break from it. We stripped her room down to nothing and she said she was grateful she didn't have as much to clean. We would give away her clothes and she would say she was grateful someone else could benefit from them because she was bored with them. We took away her car and she said she had enough friends to drive her where she needed to go. We would take away her computer and she would just go on her phone. I wanted her to have a phone so I could contact her when I needed to, but there were times we took it away. It didn't phase her. We would ground her and it wouldn't phase her. We pulled her out of dance classes until she brought her grades up. She didn't work towards earning her privileges back. If any of you have a strong willed teenager you get what I am saying and understand what I'm dealing with. I love Ashley so much, but she IS difficult. I am grateful to those of you who relate to me and I appreciate the stories that you have shared with me. Thank you for understanding. My husband and I do try our best. We DO always discuss with her where we feel she went wrong and give her our input on what we feel may have been better choices for her and have asked her to apply them if she is ever in a similar situation again. We always ask her what she thought she could have done differently. I like to make her think a little about her reactions and consequences and see how SHE feels about them.
Whether or not you see it on camera, we DO try our best to guide her. I have said many times that you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink. One day she will get it. I feel like Chris and I do our best at parenting. Every parent makes mistakes along the way, but over all we show and give our children a lot of love, our time and our guidance (whether or not they take it). We provide our children with a nice clean home, great schools, feed them, clothe them, give them the tools they need to learn and grow,and we meet all of their needs. We are doing the best we can. Of course there is always room for improvement, but we're doing the best we know how. It's comforting to know that we are not alone in our struggles and there ARE people that understand and have been where we are. How would you like someone judging you on your worst day as a parent or a day when you may not have handled things in the best way? None of us do the right thing ALL of the time. Constructive criticism does help sometimes. I'm always open to suggestions.
I am proud of Ashley for telling the truth from the beginning and using her newly earned money to pay for her own bills.She had earned money from the show plus she is also working and earning her own money. It was unfortunate that Ashley had other responsibilities to take care of and couldn't vacation with us to Italy, but I admire her for doing what she had to do and stepping up and taking care of her responsibilities and facing her consequences of her actions head on. She pleasantly surprises me sometimes. I still have faith in her.
Italy was a much needed trip. As chaotic as it was with 20 family members, it was so much fun! I had a blast! You got to see the sillier side of me. Last year on the show, I was always put in very serious or uncomfortable situations so you really didn't get a chance to know that side of me. Until the finale, I don't think you got to see the feisty side of me either. There you have it! You have now been introduced to more sides of me. I've always been the same person, but you only see me for who I am in the situations that arise.
I hope that makes sense. I will never pretend to be someone I am not, except when it comes to plastic surgery because I want to preserve myself as long as possible. LOL! Screw growing old gracefully! Growing old gracefully is great for the people that ACTUALLY DO. Some people aren't as fortunate. If it doesn't bother them, it doesn't bother me. It's a personal choice. My forehead chooses Botox instead of my natural Shar Pei look, my breasts choose a lift and reduction instead of allowing gravity to take it's toll, my skIn chooses lasers to even out skin tone, correct sun damage and remove unwanted hair and one day, my eyes will want to be done because I enjoy makeup too much not to be able to apply it the way I want. That's just me! My body, my business. But I'll never hide it or be embarrassed of it. That's just me.
I enjoyed spending time with everyone on our trip. There are moments that we laugh at now that maybe were not as funny at the time. Everyone had their turn with their moods. A lot of funny moments were cut out as well. I'm so grateful to have the friends and family that I have. Caroline said it best," We may not be perfect, but we are perfect for each other!" My husband is the worlds greatest! I love him so much. Almost 14 and a half years and we are still going strong. Believe me, we have had our moments but the good FAR out weighs any bad. He is a good man and I feel lucky to have him in my life, and he's very sexy!
By the way, I was NOT hung over! It really WAS motion sickness when the two seas were meeting. It lasted about three hours. My Dad was sick as well. I DID have two mojitos and a pretty good buzz on me though. We had a great time that night. I played Chopsticks on the piano and while "Smooth Operator" by Sade was playing, I was asking the little crowd we had if they were, in fact, smooth operators. LOL! Every time Teresa and I would try to get the party started, the people would just look at us with blank stares. It made it that much more hilarious. I started repeating a song in Spanish to them that goes like this, "Yo no soy muy dinero, soy capitan, soy capitan, soy capitan!" LOL! I don't think they comprehended me. OH WELL! The REAL talented lounge singer was a good sport for letting us take over for a while, so a big thank you to her! Teresa and I were all over that ship that night. We actually borrowed and put back a huge gigantic wine bottle that they had for decoration on the bar. We just wanted to see if we could take it without anyone saying anything. We did it but returned it shortly after laughing our asses off. You should have seen the size of this thing. I couldn't even lift it on my own. Teresa is VERY strong by the way. It was great immature, innocent, much-needed fun! It felt great! I highly recommend Costa Cruise lines. It was an enormous, clean, beautiful, fun ship with great service and kid-friendly too. Special thanks to those that made our trip so pleasant and enjoyable!
Did you notice the outfits Teresa's kids were wearing on our trip? Adorable! Every day she had them in a different costume. It always puts a smile on my face. Teresa and Joe make me laugh all the time. I just love them. Who doesn't like to laugh?
On a serious note, drunk driving is never a good thing or excusable but to set the record straight, Joe was not drunk that night he left the restaurant with about 10 of us to drive home. I promise you! I was SHOCKED when I heard about the incident. Teresa drove in with us earlier into the city and left her car at my house and that was the only reason she wasn't in the car with Joe. She came home with us to get her car. Joe had a deep yawn and closed his eyes for a second when he was about three minutes from home going around a bend and hit a pole. After the accident, Joe was shaken up, called the police and then took a few shots of scotch to calm his nerves. WHO DOES THAT? LOL! When the police came there was no Indication of him drinking, he was not arrested on the spot, nor was there any mention of a DWI. He was sent to the hospital to get checked out and in that process, they drew blood, and by then, the alcohol kicked in and it appeared in his blood. That is when he got into trouble. That's the truth of it. Believe it or not. We just thank God that nobody else was involved or harmed in that accident. Someone had an angel watching over them.
I think that not only do Caroline and Albert make awesome parents, they will make fantastic Grandparents. It was cute to see them with the little ones. It was very sweet. Perhaps they may need a vacation after the vacation for some alone time, but they were still good sports about it.
I can't think about what else I needed to Blog about right now so I'm going to end this now. It's become way too long anyway. I'll be back next week or maybe I'll be back after the finale. All I will tell you is that the finale is intense and as you know, we just filmed our reunion show and you will NOT believe your eyes. I can't believe our season is almost over. That flew by for me. I hope we entertained you well. Love to all and thank you so much for your support. We all really appreciate it. Take care! XXOO!