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No Apologies

Alexis talks about her vacation and explains why Jim didn't buy her the ring.

By Alexis Bellino

The girls' day of shopping with me, Gretchen, and Peggy was such a fun day. I actually thought it was funny that Gretchen answered the door wearing a tiara! I knew it was her way of saying, "It's over and done with." It looked as though I am frustrated about it, but looking back I truly feel it was funny! I don't take anything like that serious with Gretchen, because we are so close. The funniest part is that she even got a license plate frame that says, "This is What a Princess Looks Like." It shows she has a good sense of humor regarding that whole hiccup between us. Good friends argue, and good friends make up. Arguing can be done without name calling and back-stabbing, believe it or not!

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Now we are off to Charlie Palmer's for dinner and girl talk... Wow, that was definitely some girl talk! I remember leaving that night thinking how much fun we all had and how great we all got along! Something important to know is that this date at Charlie Palmer's occurred six months ago, and boy have things changed since then. Peggy was a good friend to me at this dinner, and I still had not seen her true colors. After seeing the last two episodes, it's apparent that Peggy had already written me and our friendship off. (Wonder who her influence was...)

However, it was difficult for me to watch the conversation between the three of us once the topic turned to sex. This was one of those times when my head was ducked under the pillow on my couch as I watched... I used bad judgment and it was in poor taste. (But news alert -- married Christian women do have sex with their husbands.)

When it looked as though I was once again competing with Peggy, it was actually my way of relating to her and saying, "I totally get that closet thing..." The one thing Peggy and I have in common is that we both have small toddlers that need a lot of our attention. Peggy needs to chill, I'm not one-upping her, I'm simply relating to the one part of our life that is similar -- young kids and sneaking in the closet.

Next you see me and the family getting ready to go to San Diego for our first family vacation. I have to start by saying this was one of my most favorite times thus far being a parent. It's such a bonding experience to get away from the routine of day-to-day life, leave the computers behind, forget about karate and dance classes, stay in a beautiful resort and simply hang out with the family with no schedule. As we all know, Jim and I have different roles in our marriage. When it comes to vacations, Jim makes the plans and reservations and packs the car; and I pack all suitcases and make the lists. This works for us. We never discussed that this is how it would be, it is just how we did it, even way back seven years ago when Jim and I took our first trip together alone with no children. That is why Jim and my relationship is so easy. We don't have to discuss everything, it seems as though we both just start doing our role, and everything gets done with no chaos, questions, or explanations. I think that is what you call a soul mate. The reason we had never taken a family vacation before was simply my insecurity and fears about forgetting diapers, sippie cups, toys, clothes, etc. Now that I did it, I'm so ready to go again! We are planning our second trip now, and this time we are flying somewhere close to see how the girls do in a plane. It should be interesting and fun!

Next we see Jim tell James he cannot ride with him. Because of my obsessive over-packing issue, all of the luggage was in Jim's car, so that is why he could not take James with him. James did get a little upset, but once we were all in the car, James soon forgot about it. Also, when you see Jim speed up as we pull up beside him on the freeway, there is absolutely no way my husband did not wave to us, and absolutely no way he was trying to get away.

Once we arrive at our condo, the first thing mommy must do is baby proof the place, and unpack. I hate being unorganized and forking through suitcases to find things. I'd rather take a half hour and unpack everything and relax after. Jim takes James to fly the kite (which is a big help), and Sandra takes the girls out to watch them so mommy can unpack. It seems to me that everyone is helping here. I don't feel like I was the only one working at this point, do you?

The next morning we all wake up and eat breakfast. We give Sandra mornings to sleep in, so we can have some time alone with the children. We also give Sandra evenings off sometimes so we can be alone with the children. When Jim is praying and I make the comment that Jim praying makes him feel like the head of the household and important, it was taken a little out of context. Jim does pray because he is the head of my household, but we all pray. We take turns every meal, and we all pray. This morning in San Diego, Jim happens to be the one to do it. At first, James said he wanted to pray, but then he chickened out and had a little stage fright, so Jim did it. You have to remember that although this is reality, sometimes children do feel a little intimidated given the circumstances.

Jim and I take a few hours away from the kids and go to downtown La Jolla to walk around. We come across this amazing jewelry store, CJ Charles, and yes, Jim buys two watches. Before you come to any conclusions, there is something you must know about my husband. Ever since we had children, this man buys absolutely nothing for himself! I have to beg him to shop for new shirts, because I'm so tired of seeing his same ones! That's the first thing. Second, Jim surprises me with new jewelry all of the time, so the fact that I didn't get anything doesn't upset me. If I would have told him I loved something there, he would have gotten it for me. I was excited this was a day he was actually spending money on himself instead of me and the kids. The third and most important thing to know is that the heart shaped diamond ring I was trying on was over one million dollars! Who in the world can pay that much for a ring? Certainly not us, and if we could, I'm not sure I'd want to be carrying around that much money on my finger! I was totally joking when I said, "Ugh, I think it's stuck on my finger." Of course that was the most beautiful ring I have ever seen, but contrary to what anyone may think, I am not a gold digger, and I was so thrilled my husband had a shopping spree for himself for once. And regardless of what you saw, I was not disappointed to have walked out of the store with nothing. Two weeks later Jim surprised me with a beautiful watch. I didn't ask for it. He just does that. Even if he didn't do that for me, trust me, I'm a big girl and can take care of myself.

The next day we take the children to the zoo. How much fun was this? I mean, there is nothing better than seeing your kids smile every two minutes, watching their jaws drop at each new animal, and hearing them laugh when they see a monkey poo, etc. This was just so much fun. We did a family video of the kids feeding a giraffe, and unfortunately you do not get to see that, but that was the highlight of the day. They were so tickled to be that close to the giraffe, and have the giraffe take food out of their hands. I have to say it was a little gross, and we definitely disinfected as soon as we got back to the condo, but it was something I will never forget. (It was my first time too!)

I won't spend much time on this, but I want to say one thing. I love my husband. I get my husband's sense of humor, and I think my husband is funny. It's unfortunate that you all do not get to see my true husband, because he is a funny, happy, loving guy. He loves his kids, and laughs with them more than myself. He adores and loves me and treats me like his queen (not materialistically, but emotionally). I laugh when I watch a scene and it looks like Jim is being sarcastic or rude to me because unfortunately you don't see the end of the scene where we are laughing or I am sarcastic back to him.

Now we get to the bathtub scene with the soft core porn, if you will, with Tamra and Eddie. First of all, did you see Eddie gulp an entire glass of red wine before doing this scene? If that doesn't tell you something, then let me tell you instead -- he was nervous as heck and probably didn't want to do that! I understand taking a shot or something, but downing a full glass of wine? It just seems to me like the stakes are high for each franchise to keep one-upping the last franchise. We have seen pole dancing, table flipping...and now sex in the bath tub. Now I realize I'm no better talking about my sex life two scenes before this, so all I want to say is this -- I'm not judging anyone, I am just truly flabbergasted every time I turn on the TV and see Tamra, and I'm worried for what her children are one day going to see their mother doing, and how their mother has handled friendships, her anger, and now her love life right after divorcing their dad. She claims earlier in that same segment that her children had not met Eddie yet. Well guess what? They have seen Eddie now and probably on a level they really didn't want to know him. This is not acting, none of us are actresses, we are simply real moms doing a reality show.

Just a note, completely aside from everything, In reading my blogs, I realize that sometimes it sounds like I am making excuses for who I am and what I do. I want to be very clear that I make no apologies or excuses for the way I live my life as a wife, mother, or Christian woman. I simply explain my feelings about what has happened the best way I know how. There are times I am going to make mistakes, but the key to my growth is admitting my mistakes and forgiving myself. If you cannot forgive yourself, you will harbor bitterness and never be able to forgive others. I am simply on this journey as is everyone else, and I'm learning as I go.



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