Photo Credit: Duffy-Marie Arnoult/WireImage
Taylor Armstrong had a tough 2011: The year has seen the disintegration of her marriage amid allegations of domestic abuse, the subsequent suicide of her estranged husband Russell Armstrong, and the media hoopla that followed. Not surprisingly, the reality star is eagerly looking forward to a fresh start in 2012.
"Going into New Year's, I'm just really focused on celebrating my life that I have now, and finding my voice still and the courage to move forward with my little girl," Taylor, 40, tells iVillage exclusively about her 5-year-old daughter Kennedy. "This is going to be a big New Year's for us."
The second season of Bravo's RHOBH will wrap up with a reunion show Feb. 6 and the next day, Armstrong's memoir Hiding from Reality: My Story of Love, Loss and Finding the Courage Within which details her personal struggles with domestic violence, will hit stands.
But first, Taylor will bid adieu to 2011 by hosting a New Year's Eve party in Chicago to celebrate Ciroc Vodka's Safe Rides program. (They're handing out pre-paid cards that partygoers can use for safe transportation home.) When iVillage chatted with the reality star, she shared her hopes for her new book, dished on her daughter's New Year's plans, and revealed her major resolution for 2012.
What was your reason for writing Hiding from Reality, and what do you hope readers take away from it?
The book is, just like New Year's Eve, a new beginning for me. I'm really looking forward in my life right now, but I think it's important for people to understand the back story. The book is very, very honest and candid. I think it's important for people to understand the dynamics that go on in relationships that have complicated outcomes or relationships of inequality. That's the point of the book: to try and help other people, not to get involved in something that might be dangerous for them or unhealthy in any way. Going into New Year's, I'm just really focused on celebrating my life that I have now, and finding my voice still and the courage to move forward with my little girl. This is going to be a big New Year's for us.
How is Kennedy doing?
She's enjoying the holidays, and she's surrounded by so much love with our family. I'm very, very fortunate to have such an amazing group of family and my friends around me to help support her during all of this.
Will Kennedy be celebrating New Year's with you in Chicago?
She has a very busy social schedule, so I'm going to have to check with her. You know, she typically likes to spend New Year’s Eve with my parents, and I used to do the same thing when I was little. They spoil her rotten. And they have other grandparents in their neighborhood that have their grandchildren over, so they kind of have a kid version of a New Year's Eve party -- you know, with sparkling apple juice and all of that. So I don't know. I’ll have to ask her what she wants to do this year now that she's a big 5. Maybe she’s outgrown the grandparent party. But that's her typical New Year's Eve celebration.
Have the other Housewives been supportive throughout everything that's happened in 2011?
Yes, absolutely. We're really close.
Do you have any big New Year’s resolutions for 2012?
I've thought so long and hard about that one. I feel like I could make a laundry list of resolutions for this year. But the most important thing for me right now is just to get healthy and to make sure that my daughter's healthy, and really just learn to love the life that we live and just focus on moving forward day by day.