Trista first came into the public eye when she became the runner up in the first Season of ABC’s Bachelor. Although she didn’t find the man of dreams, Trista got a second chance at love when she was asked to be the first ever Bachelorette. Trista’s life changed after she picked Ryan Sutter, a firefighter with a poets heart, to give the final rose to.
She moved to Colorada to be be with Ryan. They got married and eventually had two beautiful children. Trista, who is now a stay-at-home working mom, juggles a lot on her plate with taking care of 7-year old Max and 5-year old Blakesley, writing deadlines, numerous other business ventures and she still manages to make her relationship with her husband, of over 10 years, a priority.
I was happy to have the chance to chat with Trista and ask her how she manages to find the right balance.
As a busy mom of two, a working mother and a wife, how to do you balance all the aspects of your life?
I think number one is to set priorities. Once you do that and have it in your mind set, you make sure that those priorities get taken care of first…even if you are busy. A close second is time management. I think it’s just about utilizing my time effectively and efficiently so that I can get everything done and everyone is taken care of including my kids, my husband and the people that I work with in the jobs that I have taken on.
You and your family are recognized everywhere you go, how does being in the spotlight affect you and your family?
I think most people would think it’s a negative effect but I think for us it’s a pretty positive effect, or atleast I like to look at it in a positive way. We connect with people we would never would have had a chance to connect with before and we have an entire family through the Bachelor and Bachelorette that we never would have known or connected with. I think it expands our social connections. It allows us to have a voice on matters that mean a lot to us. We get to be part of exciting projects.
I have met people that I have watched on television and movies that I’ve idolized over the years like Oprah, Ellen, Robin Williams. We’ve gotten the chance to do really fun things that are once in a lifetime things that I fully whole-heartedly appreciate.
It also changed my life and brought me to Colorado and it’s shown me a beauty of the world that I hadn’t known before. It’s also given me my children and meeting Ryan so we’ve been blessed. There has been so many changes because of it and 95% of it is positive.
How did becoming mother change your life?
The biggest change is that it has opened my eyes to what the world is all about and what I want to value because I want my children to value that as well. I am definitely more busy (laughing.) My priority is them and my husband. I cook more. I’m not necessarily a chef, but it comes with the territory. I worry a whole lot more but my life is made so much more valuable and rewarding because they are in my life. I know the meaning of unconditional love. I have a lot more love in my life.
What is the most rewarding thing about being a parent?
I think the most rewarding thing is when I hear them say something that I’ve worked hard to instil in them and know that they were listening and they got it. Like the other day we were talking in the car on the way to school or an activity and Max was talking about how at school they had to say what they were thankful for. He said his family and his pets and God, and definitely God because he helps us and there are a lot of people who don’t have anything and that we should help this people. Things like that, the reward knowing that they are taking it all in and hopefully they will continue to embrace it…as they grow. And of course, that unconditional love!
What is the most challenging thing about being a parent?
Oh, patience. I think that just knowing that they are on a different schedule, sometimes I forget that because I’m trying to get us somewhere on time like to school or to a friends house. Where ever we are going, if we have an appointment, just having the patience of them listening to me and doing as I ask, when I ask, is hard to not get frustrated. So that is the hardest thing for me, trying not to lose my temper in my most frustrated moments.
With so much going on in your life, how do you make your relationship with your husband Ryan a priority?
You need to schedule time with each other no matter how many hours you are at work and no matter what other obligations you have. We just got back from a vacation to Grand Cayman. I’ve talked to so many people who say we haven’t been on a trip without the kids since we got married…Even if you do a staycation, a night at a hotel, a massage, whatever it is, it’s making your relationship a priority because I look at it as the foundation of our family. If you don’t work on that foundation, it’s going to fall apart.
What do you like to do when you have some ‘me’ time?
I love television, ever since I was little. we’ve always been a TV family. Some of my favourite shows are Project Runway, Revenge, Grey’s Anatomy, Bachelor/Bachelorette of course. I also hadn’t read a book in the longest time, I wrote a book, but didn’t read…so now reading has become part of that ‘me’ time. Having a conversation with my friends on the phone, going out for lunch or a drink, going shopping, those are a few ‘me’ time moments.
It is so wonderful that you wrote a book, “Happily Ever After.” What inspired you to write it?
The inspiration originally was to write a children’s book…I got connected to a literary agent, we had a discussion and she recommended that I write an adult book to start and that it should be something that was true to who I was. We figured out that Gratitude was the key element. I feel like the world can use more gratitude so we started with the concept and broke it down to grattidtue in each relationship of your life. Once I discovered what I wanted to write about, then it was finding stories that truly inspired people and…show that gratitude is a really powerful force. I also wanted to make my kids proud of me and leave a legacy for them.
What impact do you hope your book will have on people?
The book has been out for a year and we are releasing it on paperback to give people an inexpensive version of the book for the holidays. Because it has been out for a while, I’ve heard from a lot of people who it has impacted…saying that it helped them through a really hard time, or it made them smile or it made them look past the mess. Whatever it was, it made me so happy that it’s helped people and I want to continue that. Hopefully with the option of a paperback now, more people will be able to read the book, take in the stories and take the Happily Ever After actions and put them into their life and change their perspective moving forward. I want gratitude to be spread as far and wide as it can go because it can’t help but make positive changes.
Is there there another book in the future?
It all started because I wanted to write a children’s book, so yes, I am starting that discussion about going in that direction. I would love to write a children’s book or series about gratitude.
What does it mean to you to live happily ever after?
I think it’s embracing your values and what makes you, you and what makes your family unique. It doesn’t need to be with a glass slipper or with Prince Charming, or even Ryan Sutter. It’s who you are and looking forward to happiness in life and embracing that. I think it’s just about living a happy life consciously and actively.
What is something that people might not know about you or would be surprised to hear?
I’m allergic to dogs, cats and horses…I read magazines and catalogues backwards (laughing,) there is no rational behind it. I love chocolate chip cookies without the chocolate chips and I hate my own laugh, I can’t stand it.
Is there anything I didn’t ask you about that you would like to add?
I would love to mention my collection, the Grateful Heart Collection on GloryHaus. It’s gift and home decor items that people can put in their homes to give them the reminders of embracing gratitude and trying to live with happiness in the back of their minds.
Trista’s book “Happily Ever After,” is available on Amazon in hard cover as well as a new paperback version. I read the book and it really is an uplifting collection of stories and words that will change your perspective on life and help you live your life with more gratitude. It’s the perfect gift or stocking stuffer for those readers on your Christmas list or those that need a little uplifting in their life.
To read more about Trista, her family, her book and her ventures, you can visit her website TristaSutter.com.