Jill Martin is navigating her new role as a stepmom — and it’s not always easy.
During the 3rd hour of Today on Friday, the television personality opened up about the first family trip she took with fiancé Erik Brooks (a managing partner at a private equity firm) and his three children from a previous marriage.
The Today lifestyle contributor, 43, said her soon-to-be stepdaughter, Bella, wasn’t exactly thrilled when she first joined the family. In fact, on their first vacation together, the 11-year-old was quite literally ready to send Martin packing.
“I get there and I unpack my things in the closet,” Martin explained during the segment. “I went for lunch; I get back (and) by the door is my suitcase with everything beautifully packed — and she packed my stuff and was like, ‘See ya!'”
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“I was so upset, I was hysterical crying. And Erik said to her, ‘How could you do this?’ He said, ‘Don’t you want me to be happy?’ And she said, ‘Don’t you want me to be happy?'”
Martin quickly reassured her cohost that her relationship with Bella has since improved.
“We’re the best of friends now,” Martin said. “We really talk through it now…she’s awesome. She’s so cool.”
Martin and Brooks got engaged over Memorial Day weekend after 2 years of dating. She confirmed the happy news to Today shortly after, adding that Brooks popped the question during a trip to the Hamptons.
“[Erik] told me we were going to a friends house for a casual kick-off to summer party … (he even sent me a paperless post with the fake invite). I kinda knew something was fishy but couldn’t put my finger on it!” Martin said.
Once the couple arrived at the beach, Brooks took Martin to a seaside tent decorated with romantic mementos.
“When I looked in the tent there were pics of us from the last year and 8 months framed everywhere … candles … flowers … all our favorite songs on a playlist,” Martin continued.
After the proposal, the couple got to enjoy a private moment together before Martin’s closest friends and family came out to surprise her.
“I SAID YES! I am over the moooooonmnnnnnn ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️,” Martin wrote in an Instagram post.
What It’s Like to Freeze Your Eggs at 32: ‘I Didn’t Want to Be at War with My Own Biology’
In April, Martin revealed that she started freezing her eggs five years ago. The next day, she explained the egg-freezing process and her decision to share this intimate piece of her life with the world in blog post for today.com.
“Five years ago at the age of 38, I decided to freeze my eggs,” Martin wrote. “I wasn’t in a relationship of consequence at the time and, to be honest, wasn’t really ready to have a baby. I always dreamed of having at least one child. I grew up in a family with two beautiful parents and an unbelievable brother and that is what I knew. I felt like I should follow that ‘formula,’ but have since come to the realization that my plan is a different one.”
She told PEOPLE exclusively at the time, “I spent two decades building a career that I believe in and building this business that I still believe in, so I didn’t give my personal life the attention that I gave my professional one. I don’t have any regrets. I did for a while. I was kind of angry at myself for not being able to live out the plan that I had originally set. The course has just changed a little bit … that’s not my fairy tale. That’s not my version of perfection, and I’m just finding that out now.”
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