Happy New Year to you all!! What an amazing 2009, so much fun, so many memories and so many milestones made with our kids! It definitely was a year with a few struggles that weren't necessarily expected, but character is built by these obstacles, so we just have to keep truckin' along.
With that said, I have to apologize that my family and I were just plopped into your living rooms two months ago, without you even knowing who we are or what we are about. So please indulge me for a few paragraphs.
I met Jimmy Bellino six years ago, when I wanted NOTHING at all to do with finding a husband...but people say that's when God throws your soulmate in front of you. I was so content and finally at a place in my life where I was worrying only about me. (Well, ok AND my two teacup chihuahuas, Tica and Pepe.) I worked 9 to 12 hours a day at a local, family owned health club in Poway, CA. (near San Diego). I started there as a marketing/advertising director, and was soon managing the health club, and also personal training. I was so passionate about my career. It never felt like I was working 12 hour days because I loved my job. For me, going to work every day was a hobby I was getting paid for, and my members were my family. I truly cared about each of them and couldn't wait to see them the next day. So on Memorial Day weekend of 2004, I took a three day weekend with my girlfriend to Palm Desert Springs Marriot. For those of you that do not know, this is a resort in California that mimics a Las Vegas pool on certain weekends. There are 1500 people there to celebrate, all of us hot and sweating in 115 degree sun; having a great time with great music and wading in the pools. So on this weekend, I walk into the pool and Jimmy saw me and never left my side from that point on. I didn't even get a chance to put on my suntan lotion before he showed up beside my chair, looking handsome, confident and sleek, and said, "I know you are either hot or thirsty, so which one is it?" Needless to say, after a little bit of a shoulder from me, we have been together from that moment on. You could definitely say that Jim and I had a whirlwind relationship. He proposed to me after three months, we were married after 11 months, and I was pregnant 6 months after we married...which brings us to today...
Jim and I did get to experience a year of the 'single' life, meaning 'single' as in, "with no children." We traveled a lot, woke up late, had long talks, went to bed late, had sooo much free time, had thousands of friends, came and went as we pleased, etc. As most of you know, this all changes with children. After our son was born, something happened to Jim and I that can only be explained as the gift God gives us, called children. Soon after we had the twins. Once we were blessed with the THREE beautiful, breathtaking, sweet, precious little ones we have today, we grew even closer to understanding what God's purpose in our life was. It was no longer about us - it was not about about what Jim and I were doing that night, or where we were going on our next trip, it was now about how we were going to raise these three special babies to be the best, most honest, loving people we possibly could. We are not the best parents, but we are the best parents we know how to be without Super Nanny living next door to help us out. I have to say that it was much easier being a parent of one; now with three little ones all screaming at once, I often wonder how Kate Plus Eight still hasn't jumped off a bridge at times...
With that said, I think there's much more to my family than what has been shown this season. I mean if I was a viewer, and not a cast member, I would be like, "Who ARE these Bellino folks anyway??" All you've seen thus far is me working out, going to lunches or dinners, and me going to church, which was the best portrayal yet. You have yet to see a 'day in the life of Alexis,' or hear about my background, or see me with my friends. It is very discouraging. I would love nothing more than to run to the studios and pick up all that lost footage to keep the memoirs for my own family.
That leads me to another topic for discussion ... my husband. He never even wanted to do this show, he did it for me. That's what love does to you. You've seen segments of him disciplining the children, but none of these snippets include him laughing and wrestling and playing with the kids...all of which I know occurred. My husband is one of the greatest people I know, he is so compassionate, yet strong, so loving, yet firm, and not to mention the biggest goofball I know. I would NEVER start a food fight in the kitchen, but he would. I would NEVER jump in the bean bag with the kids, but he would. I would NEVER tie string to a banana to go fishing, but he would. He completes our family. So it's a shame you are not getting to see that side of him. He is everything to this family that I am not. Thank GOD for him.
Now I would like to address the "God issue." We have found that in creating a family foundation around God, i.e. family prayers and church, this helps us keep a successful marriage and keep a healthy relationship with our kids. The reason I say this is because I think we might been seen as flipped out religious fanatics, which couldn't be further from the truth. There is hundreds of hours of footage of my family and I doing MANY interesting things. Don't get me wrong, I do not apologize about our spirituality, but our family is being portrayed as so religious that we are being set up for a fall, and I will guarantee you, we will fall.
Speaking so much about my family leads me to another family topic - Vicki. I have to say that I am so happy and hopeful that Vicki and Donn have reconnected and renewed their vows. So often we take for granted those that are the closest to us because we see them every day and we know they love us. I think renewing their vows was the best thing they could do at this point for their relationship. It gives them a fresh start. Their kids are now grown, both of whom seem like amazing young adults. Now Vicki and Donn need to put their energy and time into getting to know each other again, and becoming best friends again. I am very happy for them.
In this episode, Gretchen takes Alexa shopping and confronts Alexa about feeling depressed. I have to say that Gretchen is a dear friend of mine and I know her heart was in the right place when she brought this topic up with Alexa. I remember when I got the phone call from Gretchen the day after her tanning party, (which is where Alexa had mentioned that she was upset and depressed) and Gretchen called to tell me that she had been up all night thinking about Alexa and feeling like she needed to do something about it. Gretchen wanted nothing more than to reach out and help this young girl, and let her know she was there for her should she need to talk to someone besides her parents. If I were Gretchen, I would have done the same thing. It makes no difference that Gretchen is not a mother. It doesn't take a mother to recognize when someone needs a shoulder to cry on.
To change topics completely, I know most of you are aware of the latest news with Simon and Tamra. I only have one thing to say in regards to this. Jim has spent a lot of time with Simon in the past week, and although Simon is devastated, he has hope, and he will be attending church with us this Sunday. I know there are always two sides to any story, and Tamra is my friend and I know she is hurting too. We will continue to keep both Tamra and Simon and their four beautiful children in our prayers.
Please stay tuned, I am hoping this season gives you all some idea of who I really am, and if not, there is always next season, which guaranteed I WILL be heard! Thank you for your support and all of your kind words.