Gretchen talks about her visit with Jeff's kids, parenting, her friendship with Alexis, and more!
Hope everyone's Thanksgiving was wonderful! I got to spend it with my entire family (the best people on the planet) at my Grandmother's home in Las Vegas! She turned 85 on Thanksgiving Day and she is a hoot! I have SOOO much to be thankful this year including all the wonderful fans out there that watch our show. I say this because of all the people that came up to us while in Vegas with such wonderful things to say. It means a lot to me, so thank you fans!
While away in Vegas, Jim and Alexis called and asked if we wanted to go to Vegas for a couple of nights. I said we are already there! We played all weekend in Vegas, and the more I get to know them, the more I thank God they are on the show. Finally I have a really good girlfriend on the show, someone I really enjoy being around all the time! We had a really great time going to dinners and dancing away the night at the clubs. Thanks Jim and Alexis for the fun getaway! The club photographer asked to take pictures of us dancing and next thing we know they end up everywhere! Too funny, except Alexis and I don't like any of the pics!
So we come to episode four! Boy, do I have a lot I want to say, but I also know our viewers are a sophisticated audience and they probably are already thinking what I am thinking. This episode was an episode of closure for me. Obviously staying in touch with Jeff's kids is very important to me. They are my only remaining connection to Jeff and as I said, it truly helps keep his memory alive in me. I love them so much, and sometimes probably too much, because I see how protective I am over them and their decisions in life. Unfortunately, last year there was a lot said by some of Jeff's ex wives about my relationship with the kids and if this doesn't show the contrary to their distasteful words, I don't know what would. I know the kids love me as much as I do them and we have a special bond between us, especially now since losing their Dad. I don't claim to know all the answers, but I have been through a lot in my life and I am the first to admit to making bad choices sometimes, if I can protect them from that or help guide them differently in some areas then I will certainly do so. Of course it concerns me to see them getting into trouble, so I will talk to them about it, but I am not their mother and therefore it is a fine line. I hope they will come to me for advice or help when they need it, because I will always be happy to be there for them.
Jake's tattoo of his Dad brought tears to my eyes. It was such a great artist who could capture him so well, and it's special to see the kids remembering their Dad in their own ways. Jill said it so eloquently when she said it's not only is hurtful to hear people insult me, but that it is also insulting her father and her family. To me that speaks volumes. Jill and Jake and Lizzy were always amazing kids - grounded, guided, smart and motivated! It's so neat for me to see them continue down that path of making things happen in their lives, for instance Jill moving out and getting her own condo! I am so proud of her and she should be just as proud. I worry about the kids and pray every day for their hearts to continue to heal and the guidance of their father to always be a beacon in their souls.
The gravesite scene was hard for me to watch. It had been a long day of catching up and crying with the kids and I had experienced a lot of heartache just being back in the town of Northville where I spent so much time with Jeff. It became like a second home to me, therefore it was so hard to even drive the streets or go to our old stomping grounds and not have Jeff with me. I really needed to do it though. I needed to face the pain in my heart and cry tears I didn't even know I had left in me. I went by myself out there and spent the nights in bed crying and wishing things were different. I did stay with Jeff's best friends Tim and Fran and they are two of the most inviting and wonderful people. They kept me company and were there to listen to my pain as well. It was very surreal to visit the gravesite but also very cleansing. It was a way to have closure and peace with him being gone and talking to the kids about moving on. It meant the world to hear them say that their Dad would want me to be happy, and not be sad anymore. Jill and Jake were so close to their Dad and held a brave face and their father would be so, so proud of them and how they are dealing with him not being here anymore. Jeff loved his kids more than life.
Jake has since met Slade and really liked him. Jill is talking about coming out soon for a visit and is excited to meet him as well. It is important to have their approval as well since I value it so much. They want the best for me just like their Dad did.
Now for the rest of the episode, I have to say it just sometimes makes me laugh out loud they way we sometimes run ourselves over with a bus! Vicki means well with her daughter of course but that was way weird and uncomfortable for me to watch. I felt so bad for Briana! It reminded me to never do that to my kids! The interaction between Tamra and Simon was weird too, but I have to say that I completely agree with Simon! He is dead on about Ryan (well, all except the apology on Facebook remark, that was a little strange.) Ryan is getting away with murder with his mom and for goodness sakes is doing a patron shot and drinking beer in the middle of telling her he is going to jail!!! Yikes! Something just seems off to me in that scene. Now I like Tamra and we HAVE buried the hatchet and worked through our issues, but it is to be expected that some of these episodes are going to stir the pot a little and therefore we might have some things to say about what is being said. Especially when there is negative talk in the press like there was this past week in a gossip magazine.
Unfortunately Tamra, even after her apology to me recently, made some pretty nasty comments about Slade to a tabloid magazine this past week and I was asked to respond to the comments they sent over to me. This doesn't mean we are not friends anymore, this just means we both have our opinions. I personally get upset because it disappoints me that she is so quick to judge others when things in her own home are not going well, and of course I love Slade and don't like people talking about things they don't know anything about, which Tamra does often. She said in the article that she considers raising her kids very important and takes it very personally, and then makes some crass comments about Slade's parenting. So let's see if I have this straight; doing beer bongs in front of your 3 year old, being on disability because he jumps out of a bus drunk and breaks his foot, lies to you and Simon about the car, won't apologize to Simon and continues to be disrespectful while you allow him to do so, driving with no license, and is now going to jail because of some of these decisions. Is it just me or did I miss something? Please, all I ask is don't throw rocks when you live in glass houses. This is why I don't like to judge people, because you will always find yourself in a glass house at some point in your life!
I hope there will be a day that she has something nice to say about Slade or me because she has ACTUALLY gotten to know Slade and me. She might actually be surprised. Speaking of parenting, I cannot imagine how hard it is to have kids, especially teenage kids. I sincerely feel for Lynne and Frank and the frustrations they are facing with their girls. I don't necessarily agree with Lynne and Franks parenting but I do know and see how much they love and adore their kids (just like all the housewives do) and it's good to see them taking measures to try to fix the breakdown in the home. I commend them on not giving up and trying to get back on track with them. I had a lot of concerns after seeing Alexa a few times, because she was saying things that worried me. I spoke up to Lynne about it and it unfortunately caused a wedge between us which you will see play out this season, but I stayed true to my belief that I much rather jeopardize a friendship then see a kid hurt or make a poor decision because I was afraid to approach my friend about it and be responsible. I love Lynne and Frank too much to not show concern. These past few episodes only help confirm that I was wasn't out of line being concerned about Alexa and that she did feel that her mom wasn't hearing her. She wasn't talking to her mom about things because the communication was lacking. Even Lynne says in this episode "the girls don't want to tell us anything" and this is very important to notice, because this was the exact point that I made to Lynne when we talked and her and I fought about just that. This sets the stonework for why I decided to do something about my concerns. I know Lynne knows where my heart is and I can only hope she sees through watching the show that there was true concern. And what the heck was the hash brownies talk? That is a little scary if you ask me!
Wow, how amazing is Alexis' necklace? I mean really? That truly was one of the most thoughtful and beautiful pieces of jewelry I have ever seen! Now let me also say that I don't think they did Jim any justice in that scene. He adores Alexis and would never repeat 7 carrots that many times in a row. He has a very dry sense of humor and some of the things he was saying was truly out of teasing Alexis and it was made to look like he was controlling and not really paying attention to Alexis, which is simply not the case for those two! They are so wonderfully in love and giddy about one another and he should spoil her rotten! She deserves it and he deserves it. The way they choose to take care of one another and treat each other like King and Queen is commendable and it works great for their marriage!
Tamra's wig party brought back way too many flashbacks of her party last year, and then seeing her feeding her girlfriends tequila right out of the bottle made me glad I wasn't there. I was waiting to see if Ryan was around the corner, but then I remembered Simon was not allowing him in the house - thank goodness for her guests this time round! Oh come on, I have to tease a little! I got hazed all last year - let's just call this retaliation baby!
OK so that about sums it all up! Thanks to all the fans for the kinds comments under our blogs. I appreciate you reading and responding to my blog because it is like a personal diary for me. Sometimes it is hard to live out loud and I appreciate all of you, giving advice, encouragement, support and even the criticism because it keeps me in check. I had one repetitive question about my bikini in Arizona, so to answer that question the brand name was Beach Bunny and the flagship store in here in Newport Beach! I think this season is just getting started and I can't wait for all the fans to see what we have coming up!
Till next week!