If the other housewives accuse me of being a workaholic then I'll take that title. I have a very demanding business that requires me to work a lot and to stay connected while I am out of the office. I enjoy what I do, and to me, it is not work. I don't think they understand what's it's like to have a career and the pressure of bringing in a commission-based salary. On our limo ride to Sonya Dakar in L.A., I needed to work on my laptop to meet important deadlines, because I was basically taking the entire day off of work. Taking a personal day is difficult for me to do without staying connected to my office, my agents, my customers and my insurance companies. Bringing my laptop in the limo and working on my iPhone was actually the smart thing to do, because when I returned home I didn't need to spend another 4 to 5 hours catching up on emails. I just don't think they understand with the level of success I have achieved, also comes a lot of responsibility. If it was a man gone for the day checking his iPhone or Blackberry it would be acceptable — but when a woman does it, she's pegged as a "workaholic."
Briana is a very dedicated, hard worker and I definitely see similarities between us. She works two to three 12-hour shifts at the hospital and also has 17 hours of school per week. She has one more semester to go until she graduates with her BS Nursing degree. She finished a typical 5-7 year curriculum in 3 years without me "pushing" her at all. She is very driven, very focused and I couldn't be more proud of her.
For the first time, my sister Lisa and I planned to take her three kids and my kids to our condo in Mexico, and Donn had planned to go fishing in Hayward, WI with Lisa's husband and my brother. When we were in our backyard discussing the trip and he said he wanted to go to MX with us, I was shocked because we had already discussed the plan beforehand. He agreed that it would be nice for me to spend a week with my sister and her kids and he would spend time with the guys fishing. It was not that I didn't want him to come with us, it was that we had already finalized our separate vacations. Donn knows he is always welcome to go to the condo anytime with me.
When Donn and I went to dinner at TiAmo and the subject of Mike and the kids came up, I completely understood what Donn meant when he said, "I earned the right." Mike was 8 and Briana was 7 when I married Donn, and now they are 23 and 21. He has been there for the kids during most of their lives, while their biological dad (Mike) has not. When we visit Chicago I always ask the kids if they want to see their father or if they'd like to spend time with him. I've always encouraged them to have a relationship with Mike, but usually he does not reciprocate. The kids have an empty place in their hearts because of this void, which makes me sad as their mother.
When I toasted at lunch, "Here's to being nice!" to Gretchen, I really meant it. It's been very difficult for me to get close to Gretchen because I don't know how genuine or authentic she really is. Gretchen loves attention, and rarely talked about Jeff unless the cameras were rolling. Most of the time, when the cameras turned off, so was the topic of Jeff. I realized halfway through filming this season that instead of judging her, I should pray for her. My decision set me free from any negative thoughts I had towards her and brought peace instead.