Cast Blog: #RHONJ

Reuniting Milania and Antonia

Teresa was happy to finally get the cousins back together.

Hi Sweethearts! Can you believe we're finally back? Did you miss us?
 
After last season (which was not fun) and the horrible reunion, we all took a big break from each other. We didn't see each other for over a year. Not seeing my brother and his family was heartbreaking, but after what Joey and Melissa said at the reunion -- that they were moving and didn't want to have anything to do with me or my kids -- what could I do? I had to respect their wishes and give them space. It broke my heart, but it was what they wanted. I just concentrated on my own family, on my girls, and prayed that they would find their way back to our family.
 
Hurricane Sandy hitting New Jersey was the first thing that started to bring us all closer together. When the hurricane hit, it was bad. Scary bad. The storm itself was terrifying and the destruction left behind was unbelievable. Everyone was affected in some way. When you know your friends and family are hurting, when you live through this giant natural disaster, little things like who said what don't matter any more.

We were one of the only houses that still had electricity, and we hosted everyone we knew who didn't -- my parents and lots of our friends. While my brother wasn't talking to me, I did check up on him through my parents. He told them he had electricity and everyone was fine; he even invited my mother to come over to his house and stay. It was only later when people told me on Twitter that he didn't have power and that there were pictures of Antonia and her brothers bundled up cold on the couch. It killed me. I would have loved to shelter them at our house.
 
Watching this first episode and reliving everything was hard. It was hard to see the devastation of Sandy again. It was hard to see my brother thinking I didn't care about him. It was hard for me to see Jacqueline cry for her son.
 
I give Jacqueline a lot of credit for sharing Nicholas' story. Dealing with his disorder and dealing with it publicly takes a lot of courage. Nicholas holds a special place in my heart because he was born three months before Audriana. Jacqueline and I were pregnant together, did our first major magazine photo shoot together with our babies, and used to joke that Nicholas and Audriana would be sweethearts. He is such a beautiful boy.I was so happy to get Milania and Antonia back together for the first time in over a year! I love that little girl! (I love my nephews too of course!) They do live so close, they love each other, and it was sad Melissa didn't want her kids to see mine. My kids have other cousins on Joe's side --Joe's sister has 4 girls and his brother has 3 girls--all the same age! That's 11 little girls we have running around -- we need Gino and Joey around to balance things out! Joe's family also lives close, so my girls still had lots of fun family events all year. Melissa's kids don't since her sisters are so much older, their kids are all grown up. I always felt so bad that her kids were missing out on their only cousins their age. But happily, they are back together! Antonia and Milania are in the same cheerleading class now, so they are thick as thieves again! I hope they are never, ever separated ever again.

 
You can see how I raise my kids to respect and love their family no matter what. Even after all the hurt, I still had Melissa listed as "Zia Melissa" in my phone. Adults might not always get along, but the kids shouldn't suffer because of it. I hated the time I didn't see Kathy and Rosie growing up, and I would never want that for my kids.I honestly didn't care what anyone said about me in their interviews (although I did laugh at Jacqueline's bleaching comment!), I'm so happy Joey and Caroline have found love. God bless them! Love doesn't have limits. Loving one person doesn't mean you can't love a million more. I love that people love my brother.
 
The only thing that hurt me was when Melissa said staying away from your siblings is how Joey and I grew up because of Kathy's mom and mine and Joey's dad. The issue wasn't between my dad and his sister. It was between IN-LAWS: Kathy's dad and my dad. And it was over business dealings. Family is everything to us, and that's how we were raised. Melissa wasn't around back then, so she really has no idea. I would never make a comment about how her dad raised her because I have no idea. It's not my business, it's disrespectful, and I wasn't there. Her comment was months ago, and we're in a good place now, I just wanted to clear that up on behalf of my family. You know how protective I am of my parents! I adore them and owe them everything. They raised Joey and me in a house of love.
 
And yes, I did move Gabriella's First Communion party so my parents could go to both hers and Antonia's. I couldn't move the day because we don't go to different churches, we live in the same town, and that was the only day they had First Communion services. The girls had different times though and had separate parties. The most important thing to me was making sure my parents could be at both. I didn't grow up with grandparents and I missed it, so I always make sure my parents are there for my kids and Joey's too. A few people did ask me why we didn't have a joint party for the girls. Because we didn't think it was fair to each girl. They each deserved to be a princess for the day. We have different extended families to make them each feel special, and my parents were there for both of them. Everyone was happy!I'm so happy myself right now, and I can't wait for you all to see how we got there. It was a long road with lots of ups and downs, but if we can do it, anyone can!
 
I'm so blessed to have my family and my wonderful friends and fans. The fact that I'm going on my fourth national book tour right now for "Fabulicious: On the Grill" is amazing to me. It just came out on Amazon (http://amzn.to/RtCq8e) and in bookstores everywhere. Thank you all so much for buying it and loving it. I wrote it for you -- to share an outdoor, sexy summer party with you. I love summer!!! I love everything hot! I wish I could invite you all over, but this is the next best thing. Get my book and you can see how I grill (or what I like to wear when I grill...), and send me your grilling pics. I'll post them on my new site!
 
Go to my website www.teresagiudice.com for my tour schedule and info about Fabellini, Milania Hair Care (www.milaniahaircare.com), and my new Skinny Italian Food line (www.skinnyitalianfood.com).
 
Follow me on Twitter @Teresa_Giudice or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Teresa-Giudice/122688361577.
 
Love love love you all!
 
Tanti Baci,
Teresa

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Amber: Is Dina Coldhearted?

Amber Marchese dishes on her first reunion and why Dina Manzo confuses her.

Hello Housewife friends!  Welcome to the jungle baby! My first reunion was a wild ride. Call me sick and twisted, but I had an unbelievable time at the reunion when most, I have been warned, dread it. I felt like it was “The Great Purge” and when I went home I was felt relieved of any built up tension. I don’t care if anyone has a grudge against me, my slate is clean and I harbor no ill feelings towards anyone. I love to argue my point, and I truly stood by all of my convictions this season, so I was ready to say exactly what was on my mind, and then some. 

I know the twins and I went at one another pretty hard, but that is what the reunion is all about. It is an opportunity to get it all out and potentially understand one another's position better. Then we can each make our own decisions as to where we want to go with our relationships. I am very much the type of person that can say some of the meanest things and sling mud, but hug it out at the end forgetting anything negative that was said. It just rolls off my back. I actually think it is healthier to say what needs to be said, and then move on.

One thing I did question after the reunion was if Dina actually has a heart or if I should start calling her the Tin Man. I actually have not figured her out yet. Is she really just a coldhearted bitch, or has she been hurt so many times that she has become warped and jaded. I feel I don’t owe anyone any reason as to why I call cancer “the cancer,” but I will give it once more anyhow. “The cancer” is “the monster” to me. It is a way for me to take away its power and to minimize it. “It” destroys lives, so “it” does not deserve a name. It is just “the cancer” -- it was “the monster” or “the dragon.” Although Dina claims to have an understanding of how devastating cancer is to a family, her actions and blatant lack of empathy proves otherwise.

In addition, I did not think it was appropriate for me to interject into family quarrels at the reunion; however, this is something that I feel strongly about. I have met Jaqueline and I have spoken to her on many occasions. In the very short time that I have gotten to know Jaqueline, I know and have empathy with the struggles she has caring for Nicholas. I felt that Dina’s interpretation of her nephew was callous and completely out of touch with reality. The only thing that keeps playing in my mind is, "You know nothing John Snow."  No, thank God, he is not hooked up to machines with cancer; however, what the Laurita family goes through is extremely difficult on a day to day basis that will continue on for a lifetime. It is emotionally and financially devastating. Although, Dina "visits" children with cancer, at the end of her visit she gets to go home, leaving it behind and goes on with her daily life. Since Dina does work with children with cancer, I pray that she can abstain from a self-absorbed lifestyle and become a loving, involved aunt. 

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