NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!
Vanessa Lachey wears many hats. She stars as Special Agent in Charge Jane Tennant on “NCIS: Hawai’i,” co-hosts the wildly popular Netflix dating shows “Love is Blind” and “The Ultimatum” with her husband, Nick Lachey, and has the most important role of mother to their three growing children — Camden, 9, Brooklyn, 7, and Phoenix, 5.
She doesn’t take her success, or those who have helped her achieve her dreams, for granted, and is quick to acknowledge how family plays a part in every decision she makes when it comes to continuing to build on her already impressive career.
“I have a great support system in my husband and I don’t take that for granted,” she told Fox News Digital. “I know there are a lot of single parents out there, a lot of parents just struggling to not have family or help around. I’m very grateful to have them.”
Vanessa admitted that her balancing act with work including finding “organic ways to choose projects and things that are beneficial to my children and family.”
She added: “My husband and I have always said to put family first, which at the end of the day, if something doesn’t work out with a career choice or a work situation, we have no regrets because we put our family first.”
The former Miss South Carolina Teen USA pageant queen, who moved frequently as a child due to her father’s service in the Air Force, recalled making the decision to pack up her family and move from California to Oahu for the role of a lifetime as the first female lead in the NCIS franchise.
“To be on ‘NCIS: Hawai’i,’ the first choices we made were, ‘What would this do to our children and how beneficial will this be for our family?’ and all the signs pointed to ‘We needed to move to Hawaii,’” she said. “We were able to mix business and pleasure.”
Nick and Vanessa have been together for 16 years. They first met while she was hosting MTV’s “Total Request Live,” and began dating as he was finalizing his divorce from ex-wife Jessica Simpson in 2006.
Vanessa told contestants during an episode of “The Ultimatum” that their own rocky start was personally difficult for her to navigate.
“He was literally in a very public marriage and a very public divorce, and I had to go through all that sh–t very publicly, and it was very hard for us,” she said.
After they both made verbal commitments to “let go” of the past, Vanessa said they fell “deeper and harder” for each other than they ever could have imagined.
Having celebrated their 11-year wedding anniversary in July, they’ve remained candid about their approach to staying connected, whether through therapy or simply saying small affirmations to each other.
Even now, as the beloved co-hosts of “Love is Blind,” which will debut a third season later this year with even more to come from the streaming giant, fans look to the couple for relationship and dating advice.
“We are both in this industry, and we’ve had a lot of stuff — good and bad — come our way, and this is what we do and this is what works for us,” she said.
“One of the things we heavily rely on is communication. I strongly emphasize not just one or the other. Not just the bad … but also when it’s good. You need to be able to tell your partner, ‘Thank you for doing the dishes today. That meant a lot to me. Thank you for letting me sleep in and having coffee for me. Like, thank you so much.'”
She added, “At the end of the day, when you’ve been together for this long, you need to get to work out your issues and hash out the problem, but you also need to praise each other. We call it ‘making deposits into the bank of our love.’”
Being a good communicator and helping other families thrive are important values Vanessa is also hoping to instill in her own kids.
Her latest partnership with Dairy Queen “really hit home” as she was able to talk to her children about “how they can continue to do good and make good choices.”
The famous soft serve chain donates $1 or more for every Blizzard treat sold to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals to benefit local children’s hospitals as part of its Miracle Treat Day on Thursday, July 28.
“We’ve been to this hospital in Honolulu that I shoot at, and the Children’s Miracle Network Hospital is one of my favorite organizations,” she said. “And, obviously growing up in the South … Dairy Queen is, it’s in my DNA.”
Vanessa recalled a conversation with her oldest son, Camden, who was equally excited to “help kids in Honolulu,” and possibly even more families around the country.
“If we put our children and family first, everything else seems to find its way, and a beautiful way to work out,” Vanessa said.