Love Lives Here
I have to start off with Jacqueline and Chris. What incredible parents! Watching Jacqueline film her Parenting blog was so heartwarming. It couldn’t have been easy. Talking through the tears takes a lot of bravery. I admire her for sharing her experience. The stress and pressure of raising an autistic child, as Chris said, could tear a lot of marriages apart. The fact that they’ve grown closer in the last year is a testament to the power of their love and commitment. Nicholas has come so far. When Jacqueline isn’t working with him, she’s online researching the next best treatments and therapies to try. 100% of her life is devoted to helping her son. Hearing Nicholas say, “I love you,” at their house was just as touching as it seemed. Everyone was crying. I’m so grateful to have been there to witness that beautiful moment. The Lauritas are good people. I wish them nothing but happiness and health.
Why sell the house that Joe built for us from the ground up? A bunch of reasons, but mainly, I just could not stand to live one more day with that cracked sink!
Kidding. That sink, incidentally, is in the kids’ playroom bathroom. They were messing around in there, and broke it. It’s my fault we had it anyway. I ordered the sink online based on just a picture. Big mistake. When it arrived, Joe took one look at it and said, “What a piece of crap. I’m putting it in the kids’ playroom.” FYI: A marble replacement is on order. It won’t be cracked.
Joe put his heart and soul into our house. His father wasn’t in construction. He had to teach himself how to do it on his own. He’s as proud of himself as I am of him and our home. It’s our baby. Yes, we built it. Yes, we love it. And we’ll do it again. We’ll love our next home even more. We already found the perfect lot in Franklin Lakes, where we lived when we got married and have wanted to return to. Franklin Lakes is much closer to Paterson where Joe goes to work everyday. The reason I pushed our broker Jerry to sell “now or never” was because of Antonia. I didn’t want her to have to switch schools in a higher grade. I know from personal experience that it gets harder to make new friends the farther along you are. My Mom and I moved to Florida when I was a freshman in high school, and that was a disaster for me. I know Antonia is a long way from high school. I just think the sooner she gets settled into a new school, the better. The drama with the Giudices was the final push to get us serious about moving. It seemed like the right thing at the time.
On the episode, it comes off like Joe didn’t want to sell and agreed to it only because of me. Some people might believe I gave him my blood to put him in a house-selling trance. That’s just gross! Joe wanted to put it on the market as much as I did—and to get a good price. To my Joey Michelangelo, our house is a work of art. He’s in the business. He knows what it’s worth—3.8 million, even without a pool!
We weren’t too impressed with Jennifer Dalton’s realtor skills. When we met her at a Sandy Hurricane fund-raiser, she talked a good game. She came up to me and said, “I’m a high-end realtor. I know your house is on the market. Let me sell it!” We already had a broker, but Joe said, “If she has buyers, she can bring them over.”She brought a client over all right, but then nitpicked about one crack in over a 10,000 square foot house? That’s how she sells a place? I wish she’d spent as much time in the gorgeous kitchen with acres of marble countertops and trim work galore rather than crowd three people into my kids’ playroom bathroom.
I thought having the boys around would help transmit the idea that “love lives here.” Of course, Gino and Joey started in with each other as soon as people came through the door. How freaking adorable are they?
During this episode, Joe’s father went into the hospital to get his pacemaker. Whenever a loved one goes to the hospital, it’s frightening, especially my father-in-law. He’s struggled with health issues for years. Grandparents are everything to us. I love how Joe’s parents speak in broken English, and bring that Italian vibe to the house. We cook with them, and they tell us about their lives in Italy. They instill the old world values and culture in our kids. We love them so much. It was also cute seeing my nieces write get-well-soon letters to him. I’m sure they made him feel loved. Caroline and Teresa had their talk. I appreciated Caroline’s going to bat for us. She’s dealt with a lot of the same issues in her own family and felt personally motivated to preventing it from getting worse in ours. The two of them have been friends for a long time, and had a lot of air to clear. At first it felt like she was getting too involved, but now you can see her heart was in the right spot. Caroline and I get along really well, and I love her kids and always will.
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