Remembering 2013

January 6, 2014

Happy 2014! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season. I can’t believe it’s already January. This is a time where we often focus on the future. We make resolutions, changes and start a fresh. Before that, I wanted to take some time to reflect on all of the special moments I had in 2013.

I must say that Avery was a big part of my favorite memories. As any mother could relate, the age of 18 comes with many exciting changes. This year Avery had her senior prom, graduated high school and went off to college. While it was often emotional and sometimes stressful, I could not be prouder of the woman Avery has become. I cried when we left her in her dorm room but the tears were a mix of sadness and happiness as I couldn’t wait to see her embark on the next chapter. She has continued to excel and we are thrilled to have her home for the extended break.

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Prior to Avery going off to college, we were blessed with the experience of taking a family trip to South Africa. I went to Africa three years ago and fell in love with it and Avery always said she wanted to go too. Every morning, we got up very early for a three-hour safari ride We would have our early morning tea or hot chocolate out by the water. Then you go back and have a big breakfast at 9:30. Then you go out again for a couple of hours. You get back around 7:00 PM and you have to be escorted to your room at night because there are animals there.

We also visited an orphanage, several schools including one for handicap kids and a health facility that are all supported by the Empowers Africa Foundation.

Avery is big on helping children and I’m involved with the Empower Africa Foundation, so we went to some of the schools and to an orphanage that was built in one area. We are involved in helping to raise money. We wanted to see where the money goes. Avery played with the kids. We brought soccer balls for the boys and for the girls, the nets game. They gave Avery a uniform and she went on the field and played netball with them. She interacted with the children and played with them and talked to them and took pictures with them. The whole trip was very special and unforgettable. 8592_563097873742638_1377858887_n5858_563096567076102_1495259462_n

When Avery left, I decided this was a great time to focus on myself a bit more. Once of my favorite new hobbies I picked up in 2013 is cooking! I’ve always enjoyed cooking but I decided to expand more. My girlfriend and I began attending cooking classes at Sur La Table and experimenting with a ton of new meals. I find myself enjoying staying in and cooking for Mario more than going out to restaurants these days. Its always fun and important to challenge yourself and learn new things.

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Lastly, lets not forget a big part of my 2013…season 6 of Real Housewives of NYC!! I have to say that even with all of the ups and downs, this was by far my favorite season to film with Sonja, Heather, Carole and LuAnn. I absolutely can’t wait for all of you to see this amazing season! Its been a long wait but its definitely worth it!

I was honored that so many of you chose to share your personal memories with me. There were babies and weddings and milestones that brought tears to my eyes. Here are some of my favorites:

Michelle Morgan My 3 year old autistic son said “love you mama” after numerous attempts!! Made my heart melt and Mommy cry! He is my precious angel!

Stephanie Louise Taylor My boyfriend took my daughter and I to paris to meet all the disney characters then asked my 6 year old daughter for her permission to ask me to marry him. Then she helped him plan the proposal under the Eiffel Tower. My moment of 2013 was realising what a wonderful man I have that loves and respects my daughter as much as I do and seeing her as his own!!!!!!

Tamara Fields Pannell My favorite memory is when my 21 year old daughter, Kendra, came back from studying in China, after 6 months. I made a special banner for her welcoming her back and bought fun Mardi Gras type necklaces to put around her neck..But when I saw her coming closer to me I started shaking and could not wait to hold her in my arms again I cried and she cried and I thought in that moment, I am so lucky to have her in my life!

Marta Dorey 2013 brought me the biggest surprise & gift in whole world! My baby girl Natalia was born in September, as I was told I probably won’t have kids she was the biggest blessing & surprise in my life! That why 2013 will be always special for us

As I look forward to 2014, I strive to keep myself calm in new situations and not stress so much about the future. I want to focus on the present and enjoy the moments as they come.

Happy New Year!

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