Melissa Rycroft shares holiday plans, family photos

Melissa Rycroft and her daughter, Ava, are seen in a picture from Rycroft's Nokia Lumia 920 photo diary. Personal photo

With a mirrorball trophy under her belt and Christmas approaching, Melissa Rycroft is looking forward to spending the holiday with her family.

The "Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars" winner and former "Bachelor" contestant said she will be at home in Dallas with her husband, Tye Strickland, and their 22-month-old daughter, Ava.

"We have our entire family -- my family, Tye's family -- all together. It's going to be fun to be able to see everybody," she told CBSNews.com.

Rycroft said she'll be "putting all emails on hold," "hanging up the phone" and will be deciding what holiday traditions she and Strickland want to begin, now that their daughter is getting older.

"This will be the first year that Ava is really going to be able to enjoy Christmas. She's old enough to get it. So Tye and I are discussing now what traditions we want to start with her," she added.

As she prepares for the holiday, Rycroft has shared some new personal photos with fans. She snapped the images for the photo diary with the Nokia Lumia 920 phone, which she is promoting and calls a "great last-minute gift" for the holidays (she also said it will be her gift for Strickland this year). She used the phone's camera to take photos of Ava opening an early Christmas present, a family dinner, a recent trip to New York when she appeared on "The View" and other snapshots from "the chaos and the calmness" in her life.

Looking back on her "Dancing with the Stars" win last month, Rycroft said the show has been "one of the greatest experiences I have gotten to be a part of."

She said she was afraid "All-Stars" wouldn't be able to compare with Season 8, when she made it to the finals but finished in third place. But even early on, she revealed, this season felt "better" for her and partner Tony Dovolani.

"Our relationship was better, we were dancing better, it was more fun. I got to relax a little bit more and just enjoy this process," she said.

When asked how it felt to come back and win the mirrorball trophy, she said it was "just disbelief."

"There were some powerhouses in this competition. And, to be honest, we were just fighting to hold our own and to stay up with the Olympians and the Kirstie Alleys and the talent pool that was this season," she said of her and Dovolani. "So the fact that we won, we weren't even thinking about what happened in Season 8. We were looking at this season going, 'Holy cow! Look what we did against all these people this season.'"

Her daughter was also able to see her perform this time around.

Another image from Rycroft's photo diary.
Personal photo

"She was out there with us. She became an LA girl for a couple of months," Rycroft said. "I know it's not something she's going to remember one day -- she's too little -- but it's very well-documented. I saved a bracelet from each of my outfits this year to give to her when she's older. This was such a special moment for me, and I'm glad that she was there. One day when she's old enough we can look back and see some of the cool things that mom got to do."

As for what she'll do next, Rycroft said she'd be open to doing another reality show, but probably not a documentary-style one like their CMT series, "Melissa and Tye."

"Tye and I have some decisions to make," she added. "We've got some stuff in the works."

But now, it's family and holiday time.

"I am looking so forward to just wearing my pajamas and sitting at home with my husband and daughter and just watching TV and having some quality time with them," she said.

  • Jessica Derschowitz

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