Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina

After 12 demanding years of early-morning TV and a crisis averted, I found tranquility in the British Virgin Islands.

It is 2:45 a.m., and one of my three alarm clocks rings loudly in my ear. I shuffle quickly to mute it for just five more minutes of blissful sleep. I roll over and startle my little Yorkshire terrier, Buster, who is getting tired of these early alarms. Twelve years of morning television in Dallas/Fort Worth can take its toll on you and the household.

As my feet hit the ground, I move slowly toward the bathroom and get myself in gear for another 4:30 a.m. show. The mornings have become more grueling after two of my beloved dogs died within a three-week span. Any pet owner can empathize with the agony of losing a family pet. I’ve always said that the hardest thing about being a television personality is getting up and putting a smile on your face when you are going through difficult times. Little did I know I had many more difficult times ahead.

Defining Life Moments
It is early evening on July 5, 2012. My then-boyfriend (he is now my husband) and I are at dinner and receive a phone call from my dad’s neighbor. I can hear panic in his voice as he says, “Your father was just taken by ambulance to the emergency room. He had a seizure and lay unconscious on the floor for five minutes, and his eyes rolled back into his head.” My heart stops, and I feel as though I can’t breathe. My boyfriend and I frantically run to the car and rush to the hospital.

The doctor confirms the seizure, and tests show other major medical problems. Seeing a parent frail and suffering like that is one of the most helpless moments I have ever had.

But he responds. As he spends a month and a half in the hospital followed by a few weeks in a physical-rehabilitation facility, I watch admiringly as my strong-willed and brave father fights a determined battle to regain his health. During a visit toward the end of his rehab, the nurses look at me as if they have a secret. They tell me to take a look at my dad’s chart for his weekly “rehab goal.”

“To be able to walk my daughter down the aisle.”

My eyes meet with Dad’s, and the tears flow.

On Sept. 21, my boyfriend proposes on the rooftop of the restaurant where we had our first date. A December holiday wedding is in the works, and it looks as if my dad will achieve his goal of walking me down the aisle. Amid all of this, I reach an impasse in contract negotiations with my employer. We decide to part ways after a physically and mentally challenging 12 years of morning television.

Definitely a year of defining moments.