Happy Birthday to Ashley! Although it was a joy to have my parents here visiting and we had a great night of celebrating with them along with some of Ashley's favorite cousins, aunts and uncles, I still felt bad that Ashley's dad, Matt, and stepmom, Jody, were unable to fly out to surprise Ashley for her Birthday. Matt got the flu right before coming out and was unable to fly. The thought was there and an effort was made, so I thought Ashley should know. That's who Ashley kept texting during dinner. She was missing him.
It's got to be hard dividing your free time and holidays between two families. I didn't grow up like that, so I can only imagine what it's like. When Ashley was celebrating with one family, she would be missing out on those celebrations with the other family. Since Ashley lived with me year round, whenever she would get a break at school she would usually spend that time visiting her father and his family. That was also the same time CJ was out of school, so we would travel or do things as a family that Ashley would have to miss out on. It was hard on both of us, because although I was happy Ashley was with her dad, I wanted her to be with us experiencing and enjoying what we were doing. Ashley felt the same way.
I have always encouraged Ashley to have a good relationship with her dad. I think that is very important. I never talked badly about Ashley's father to her while she was growing up. I could never make her feel that her daddy was a bad guy, because he's not. That is something Ashley would have to grow up and decide for herself. Matt's relationship with me would never be the same relationship he would have with his daughter. It wouldn't have been fair to put my issues with him on her. I just wouldn't do it.
Ashley grew up idolizing her dad. He was the guy she would look forward to seeing and taking her somewhere fun. He'd make her laugh for a few hours and then would bring her back home to me. She always wanted more time with him and waited anxiously for the next time he would come get her. I was the one making her clean her room or do her homework and taking her privileges away for bad behavior, and so on. Of course we had our wonderful fun times together also, but she saw me everyday. Maybe she thought he was cooler than me. LOL! As Ashley grew older, she seemed to respect and admire Matt more than she did me. As much as I wanted her to feel that way toward her dad, I also wanted her to feel that way about me, especially knowing all I've done for her. I was the one who was always there for her, so it hurt me that I didn't get the same attention that he got from her.
I think Chris feels a little like I do, because he had been a part of Ashley's life since she was five years old. She calls Chris dad and Matt daddy. Chris accepted Ashley as his own child. He loved her the best way he knew how. He gives from his heart.
I have to say, it was a little unsettling to hear Ashley say that her "relationship with Chris could be better" and that "money doesn't buy a relationship" when referring to Chris. Ouch! That was hurtful to hear, especially knowing everything Chris has done willingly for her over the years. His patience with her has been incredible. He endured all of her difficult struggles and drama along with me. He was our mediator when Ashley and I would argue. Chris helped us push through some very difficult times. He was always strategizing what our next move would be to help her. He tried his best to talk sense into Ashley. He gave her great advice and guidance throughout the years. He helped me raise Ashley, and he never gave up on her. He has supported both Ashley and I for years in many ways besides monetarily. He's done a lot more for her than throw money at her. He's always had her best interest in mind out of the love he had for her.
Of course ANY relationship has room for improvement. Maybe Ashley felt she needed more one on one bonding time with Chris to go out and do fun things together. I completely get that. I guess it was just the way those words came out of her mouth, as if he was being compared to her other dad, that was most upsetting to both Chris and I. I'd like to think she is grateful for having Chris and I in her life and appreciative and aware of all that we have done for her. I know she loves Chris, and she told me she did feel horrible after saying that. What's that saying, "Don't bite the hand that feeds you?" I want Ashley to be grateful for and appreciative of ALL the family she has in her life. We are all lucky to have each other. We love you Ashley! XOXO! (CJ was so cute at that Hibachi table, wasn't he?)
I LOVE the Manzo family bracelets! That was such a sweet and very cool idea. They ALL wear them. The bracelets are a very special reminder to keep that family bond tight! It's a bond they should never break. Their love for each other will always be strong, and they will be there for each other no matter what as their lives evolve. Family unity is a beautiful thing. Cherish it!
Don't you just love a merry Christmas in July? I loved seeing everyone's Christmas decorations. Everyone's house looked so beautiful. I love decorated Christmas trees! They make me happy!
The Gorga's have a beautiful home, and they had a fabulous fun party despite the drama! I appreciated the invite. I also loved that everyone brought gifts that were donated to the kids at St. Joseph's Hospital. Chris and I always do special things for other children that are less fortunate, especially during the holidays. Children's charities are our weakness. I was impressed that Melissa and Joe give back as well. I think it is very important for us all to give back. I know the other New Jersey Housewives give back as well. We are not always just spending money on ourselves like you see on TV. There are many layers to all of us.
I could see the recipe for disaster forming at the Gorga's Christmas party. Take a look at the ingredients in the mix.
1. Kim G.
2. Monica, the Attorney suing Teresa and Joe, who Teresa recently had heated words with in the courtroom for sharing Teresa's personal business with Kim G.
3. Kim G.
4. Joe Giudice not wanting to be around those "losers" (as he put it) in the first place. He has his wife's back so nobody better talk smack to them or BAM! Joe will kick somebody's head off.
5. Kim G.
6. Joey, Melissa's brother-in-law, anxiously waiting for his moment to shake Joe Giudice down by attempting to humiliate him into collecting his $1,000 from an air-conditioning job that Joe Giudice apparently has no memory of. (Timing is everything.)
7. Kim G.
8. Teresa, who does not really want to go to the lion's den, I mean, party, but she WILL go because it is the right thing to do. However, she still isn't ready to make amends with Kathy who she feels insulted her parenting skills with that "unattended" comment she made only two weeks prior at the Posche fashion show.
9. Kim G.
10. Melissa, a girl that just wants to have fun tonight. Everyone leave her alone and let her drink, dance and enjoy her own party for goodness sake! Don't be a buzz kill.
11. Kim G.
12. Joey Gorga paying out of his a-- for this party, so I pity the fool that screws up this night! Make love not war!
13. Kim G.
14. Melissa's family members who haven't seen the Giudice's since the brawl at the Christening. Ding, ding, ding! Round two?
15. Kim G.
16. Kathy, who hasn't spoke to Teresa since the "unattended" comment that set Teresa off only two weeks prior. She wants to be a good Christian tonight and tell Teresa it's good to see her three times just to be clear that it WAS actually good to see her before asking her if they could put the past behind them and move forward. Good luck with that, Kathy, and may God be with you. Cut to good Christian Kathy calling Teresa a "f-ing bitch." Classic! (She said "good Christian," she never claimed to be Jesus.) Now was it good to see her? I think she just took Kathy's olive branch and broke it over her knee. Ouch! That looked like it hurt. Too soon perhaps? Maybe just a little. Well, it was worth a shot anyway.
17. Kim G.
18. Rich, "chicken a-- Richie" as Joe Giudice calls him, the man who Teresa claims is a ball buster, the man who will stand by his wife when she's upset and go off on everyone else. He would even burn down the house for her if that would cheer her up. But he wasn't REALLY going to do that. (You have to get his sense of humor.)
19. Kim G.
20. The Manzos, who are "thick as thieves," annoyed at Kim G. for starting trouble.
21. Kim G.
22. Ashley, who is there at the party. Need I remind you of last year's Posche fashion show? I hope she learned not to involve herself in adult conflicts.
23. Kim G.
24. Chris, my husband, the silent observer. He's not a problem at all, but I couldn't leave him out of a recipe when everyone else was in it.
25. Kim G.
26. Me. I know what Kim is capable of and how she, Monica, and many others feel about Teresa and Joe, who are at this party. I know Kim enjoys stirring up drama, especially to those that she feels have hurt her. Should I help Teresa to "silence the lamb?"
25. Kim G., who I've known in the past to have a lovely, generous, and more positive side to her but is CLEARLY and INTENTIONALLY the catalyst for this Christmas party drama and seems to be enjoying it entirely too much. I think she must be bored. I wish she would let go of her crazy vendetta and learn when to shut up!
Remember that catchy phrase, "Don't let the door hit you’re a-- on the way out?" Just wait until next week. Until then... Love to all! XOXO!
The necklace and bracelets I gave to Ashley on her birthday were from Tia's website www.thecraftbytia.com.
Follow me on Twitter @Jaclaurita, check out my Facebook fan page, and... Check out my website launching this week at www.JacquelineLaurita.com!
Also check out www.BLKbeverages.com!