Trista Sutter and her husband Ryan have been married for almost ten years and plan to renew their vows. The Bachelorette star recently told Celebrity Baby Scoop that they are filming the ceremony in a primetime special for ABC on January 19. In our interview with the mom-of-two – Trista also talks about her new book Happily Ever After. The Life Changing Power Of A Grateful Heart, their children Max and Blakesley, and living outside of Hollywood.
CBS: Why did you decide to write Happily Ever After? It is more a memoir or an advice book?
TS: The process started after a conversation I had with someone about finally trying to make one of my dreams a reality…writing a children’s book. Through that conversation, I ended up speaking with a literary agent and she advised me to start my literary journey with an adult book of some kind. I didn’t want to write a memoir or biography just to have my face on the cover of a book, but instead for it to have meaning and discuss something that I could write about from an authentic place. Gratitude is that topic and I came to that conclusion after explaining to my agent that I make a conscious effort to be grateful every night by posting my favorite part of the day (#favepartofday) on social media. It’s a way for me to focus on the positive and be mindful of all the blessings in my life…big and small, and through this book, I hope to spread the word about the power of embracing a grateful heart. Not only through the stories I’ve shared from my personal life and from those of my friends and family, but because science actually backs it up. So, if you don’t want to take my word for it…believe the experts!
CBS: How long did it take you to write the book? Did the thoughts easily flow?
TS: It took a little over 2 years. As someone who is not a trained writer, I hit lots of road blocks in terms of the words flowing, but with lots of support from my editor and agent and even more support from my husband and family who gave me the space and time I needed to dedicate to writing, I was able to get the words on paper. And, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that I had lots of help from friends and experts who allowed me to use their blogs or excerpts from their own written pieces that I ended up using throughout the book to convey my message.
CBS: Tell us how you found the connection between gratitude and being happy.
TS: My connection came through personal experience. At a time in my life when I needed positivity, I saw an Oprah episode where she recommended to her viewers to start writing in a gratitude journal at least 5 things they were grateful for each day. I did it and couldn’t help but feel more positive. Over the years, I took that lesson to heart more and more after realizing what a huge part it has played in my life…bringing me up in the moments I felt down and keeping me grounded in the moments I could’ve flown off during the highs. In the past few years, I’ve also been drawn to research from the field of positive psychology and the stories of strangers who share my belief in its power.
CBS: Many moms struggle with pausing to appreciate the daily moments of joy as opposed to being lived by your life. Please share a tip from the book that might help overwhelmed mommies.
TS: One of the stories I share in the book was told by my friend Missy who was living in the rush. She was hurriedly getting through the grocery store to get home to her 3 children and husband and stopped to help a woman who had dropped a bag of groceries. The woman joked about Missy coming home with her and Missy joked that that would be nice as opposed to returning to the chaos of her life. The woman then told her that she “missed the chaos” and Missy took home with her a newfound appreciation for her chaotic life. In a way, she felt thankful for feeling overwhelmed…thankful for the chaos that 3 young girls have brought to her life and all the joy that comes with it. So, remember in those overwhelming moments that they will soon be gone and to enjoy them while you can.
CBS: You and Ryan have been married to Ryan for ten years this year. Any special plans to celebrate?
TS: We will most likely head to Denver so that our kiddos can hang out with their grandparents and we can maybe escape to a romantic night out on the town on our actual anniversary. Soon after though, we’ll actually be renewing our vows! You may have heard already or guessed it, but ABC will be filming it to include in a special that airs January 19. :)
CBS: Tell us about Max and Blakesley, what are they like? Do they get along well?
TS: Do you have hours? ;) I could go on and on about them because they are the loves of my life, but I’ll try to keep it concise… Max is 6 years old and as we always say: he looks like me (at least when I was little) and acts like Ryan. He’s is relatively soft-spoken, but kind-hearted and playful, artistic and imaginative, active and outdoorsy and a sweet big brother and friend. Blakesley is 4 years old and as we always say: is an extremist. When she is happy, she’s VERY happy. When she’s sad, she’s VERY sad. That said, I would describe her as a nurturing girlie-girl future entertainer of some sort who loves her family, friends, and any and all animals.
CBS: If we asked them what kind of a mom you are, what would they tell us? What’s your parenting style?
TS: I would hope they would say caring, involved, silly, hard-working, happy, encouraging, and attentive. I would describe my parenting style as nurturing and fun with a tendency toward worrying. Thankfully, my husband perfectly offsets my balance or worrying about their safety and encouraging them in a healthy and safe way.
CBS: How has motherhood changed you?
TS: Motherhood has made me appreciate the beauty of life and even the smallest of blessings with a depth I haven’t known before. I worry a lot more, but on the flip side I feel more at peace than I ever have. My family is my everything. They’ve given me a purpose and true happiness and I can’t imagine life without them.
CBS: How do teach your kids about happiness and gratitude?
TS: I think the best way to do that is by showing them a good example. I try to have open conversations about how blessed we are with them and encourage them to focus on the good stuff. For us, the bare minimum of that is to say our prayers and our “magic words” (similar to what was on The Help) without fail every night, followed by talking about our favorite part(s) of the day. I want them to go to bed with happy thoughts and wake up inspired to make more happy memories.
CBS: Do you plan to have your children watch your seasons on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette one day?
TS: I can’t imagine how I would keep it from them…it’s a part of our reality…a very public reality…and how mommy and daddy met. It won’t be for quite a few years down the road, but one day, yes.
CBS: What is your life like living in Colorado? Are you able to live a “normal” life without the paparazzi interrupting your daily activities?
TS: Life is all about enjoying the outdoors, spending time with friends and family, and supporting the small town community that we call home. We definitely live a “normal” life without paparazzi…which is just one of the many reasons why we love the Vail valley so much.
CBS: Last year you had surgeries on your breasts and eyelids. Was this something you had been planning to do for awhile?
TS: Not at all. I actually never considered myself as someone who would intentionally go under the knife being that I have an incredibly low pain tolerance and a huge fear of needles. Before I turned 40 last year, I was doing a cover shoot for a magazine and the reporter and I were joking about how cosmetic surgery had never been on my radar before, but was now creeping into my mind because gravity was starting to change my body in ways I wasn’t too pleased about. I wasn’t too pleased when the magazine said that I had “plans for a boob job and botox” but after being contacted by a well-known surgeon and talking through the processes to correct a genetic droopy eyelid and breasts had nursed 2 children for a year each, I decided to go for it, and I’m happy I did.
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