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I was so excited to see this week's episode, because Slade and I had worked so hard to put together this surprise for my parents. I unfortunately was disappointed because it did not even come close to showing everything we had put together for that weekend. I decided to do something big for their forty year anniversary, because you just don't see forty years of marriage that often anymore, and I believed it was something to be celebrated! Since the show wasn't able to show everything that actually happened, let me start by telling you the idea behind the weekend, and then tell you about the details you missed (so it helps you understand what we did better). I feel like it was a little choppy in this episode and might not have made sense what was actually going on. A lot took place so I will tell you all the behind the scenes action at the end of my blog in case you want to read about it. If not just read this first part of this blog.
It was a very sentimental weekend for me, and this episode truly helps you understand why I am hesitant to get married again right now. Seeing my parents so emotional yet so happy during this footage made me cry a lot while watching it. I was beyond happy that everything worked out how I wanted it to (all with Slade's help), and that they were able to celebrate each other and all the amazing memories they created together over the last forty years. I had been planning this for them for close to six months, so to see it all come together was so special to me.
Obviously you see my own personal story play out along side my parents and the struggle I have with being married again. As I have stated before, I have been through more in my thirty-three years of life then some go through in their whole lifetime, therefore I am hesitant to jump back into marriage. Let me be clear on something and set the record straight for all the people that continue to challenge this, it has nothing to do with if I think Slade is the one! I thank God everyday for Slade and the amazing relationship I have with him; I simply have some healing to still do before I jump back into marriage again! I don't know why choosing to listen to my healing heart before jumping back into something is so bad. Maybe if more people did, then we wouldn't have as high of a divorce rate.
I just want to point out that the weekend would not have been the same without all the amazing people that helped make it so wonderful for my parents. I am so grateful to all those who helped make the weekend amazing, like the designer of mom's gown www.azadehcouture.com , Larry Welk for personally taking the time to fly in the Pastor to location, Marci and Gary Eberle from www.eberlewinery.com, Bruce and Lori Hansen, my parents dear friends, that helped with getting the Mascot outfit for Slade to wear, making the Larry Welk connection happen, and having their daughter take all the behind the scenes pictures the whole time, also La Cresenta Presbyterian Church http://www.lcpc.net for allowing us to film inside the church and making that moment extra special for my parents!
Thank you for letting me share a little piece of my life and the reasons why I love my family and my parents so much! They weren't the perfect parents, but they certainly did a great job raising us three kids, and I feel beyond blessed to have the relationship I do with them today. Words cannot express the love and admiration I have for them sticking together for forty years and for being such great role models of what being in an equal partnership and loving each other unconditionally is all about. Despite what I have been through, I believe one day I will be able to have what my parents have had with my partner. They have given me hope for that again.
SO beautiful, Gretchen! I love that you posted this extra long blog to share all of the story. Your family is truly blessed. THANK YOU for not rushing into marriage because you want something just as special as your parents.
In tonights episode you said you are a person of integrity. And, you may be, however as long as you are with slade who seems to be such a user of people, it is hard to see. And, seeing is believing. You are worth more, know your worth!
G, Didn't you say on the show the "new ring" used stones from your ring? Now you are saying you traded in your stones for new stones? Which is it girl? Get your stories straight....
VERY thoughtful & generous for you to do all that for them! I'm sure they were blown away by it all! I can only hope my children love me that much when they're older!
It was really sweet of Gretchen's plans for her parents. However this season it seems like Gretchens has a little chip on her shoulder. I dont know understand why, she is so concerned of how inappropriate Tamra and how childish she acts on TV well Gretchen you do the same. You and her are so alike, your becoming annoying to watch. Sorry if the truth hurts.
WOW GRETCHEN, WHAT AN AMAZING JOB YOU DID AND WHAT A TRULY MEMORABLE GIFT FOR YOUR PARENTS. IT WAS REALLY LOVELY TO WATCH! INSTEAD OF ALL THE FIGHTING, THIS IS THE STUFF I'D LOVE TO SEE MORE OF! KUDOS TO YOU AND YOUR GUY FOR PULLING OFF SUCH A BEAUTIFUL EVENT!
Gretchen with what you did for you Mom and Dad was beautiful. I think we had seen a glimps of the Gretchen from the previous season. We like that!!!? You used to be ny favorite OC Houswife and I lost some respect from you with the whole Tamara stuff. But after tonight it looks the good sweet fun Gretchen is coming back (LOVE IT) and your Mom looked beautiful. I cried : )
Gretchen, You and Slade are perfect for each other. He's a good man. We can all see the love he has for you. I don't think that's going away. Don't be afraid of marriage. When it's right, it's right. Just look at your parents. Marriage does take some work, but when you love each other, communicate and are committed, you can get through ANYTHING. Wishing you blessings and love with Slade.
Congratulations to you and your family on this 40th Anniversary ! And, it was wonderful to read so many details in your blog about that weekend.
Your parents are both gorgeous looking people, as are you ! Where did you get the crystal wide bracelet your Mother wore with her new wedding dress?
Thanks for sharing part of your life with me....Susan
The anniversary surprise made me cry! Your parents are so lucky to have such a loving daughter. You've given them a gift that they will cherish forever! They seem like two beautiful people. So lucky for you to have such special parents.
It was very sweet to see what you and Slade did for your mom and dad. It is nice to see you so positive and upbeat again.
That was the best part of last nights episode. Seriously your mom and dad look so young. That picture at the end of this entry, beautiful. You and Slade did the sweetest thing for your parents. It was a lot of work, but it was well worth it.
Don't listen to anyone who tries to tell you to rush into marriage. you are doing the right thing waiting. don't be like tamra, rushing in and out of relationships with gusto.
Loved this episode and what you did for your parents was beautiful. as far as Tamra is concerned and the mace joke..Get over yourself you started it with your mean and nasty comments at her house with the evil eye hat. tit for tat Grow up and get over yourself barbie.
Why weren't your brother and sister there? It was such a special event that you planned, it seems only right that all of their kids and grandkids would be there to share in it. I think it would be something to fly in for if they live out of town. JMO
All of that was sweet, but I had a hard time getting my mind of the fact that during all this gushing about how you did all of this special stuff you felt the need to add "They weren't perfect parents...but..." Really? Did you REALLY feel the need to add that? It was like a fly in the soup.
Gretchen, What a fabulous job you did, I could only hope my children would do something as wonderful as that one day for me and my husband.
It was very sweet what you did for your parents. I thought you had siblings (a brother) and why wasn't he there for this special occasion? Although sweet, I thought YOU did way too much. I've been to a few vow renewals, but I've never been to a "surprise" vow renewal. A child doesn't always know the personal things that happen in their parents life. What if they wouldn't do it again if they could, but had to now because it was a special occasion their daughter spent months in prepairing. Probably not the case, but I thought a "vow renewal" would be given and planned by the couple. Loved the red top and white shorts outfit. Very cute!
Clean out your ears. She used a stone from her ring, and other stones from her ring were traded in on new stones. Pay attention...puh-leeeeez.
I watch the other house wives episode and I now know what the ladies were saying about Slade. Don't rush into anything. I don't trust him.
I was curious as to if Gretchen's siblings were there to witness their parents renewing their vows? Maybe they were just not on camera that day? I thought it was a bit strange that only she & Slade were there....
Gretchen never said she used the stones from her old ring "IN" her mom's ring, she used them "FOR" her mom's ring which she later clarified "traded in for". Relax, "fanofKyle".
Hi Gretchen - The picture of your parents is beautiful and what you did for them was so awesome! Including using your old ring to get credit for the new one, it's definitely something I would do for my parents. I don't know either why some people will same something nice about you and then add the "but...." part because it totally cancels out the nice comment. Who needs them anyway. ;) I also wanted to say you definitely need to do what's right for you in regards to marriage. This is the year 2011 so do what you want, I don't know why it's anyone else's business anyway. You've been through a lot and to me its very understandable that you're not quite ready. You're very smart to not jump into something because "society" claims it's what you should do. It's important to heal and be sure for both you and Slade. If you're happy that's all that matters as you know life is too short. You go girl! :)
Gretchen, As a parent, nothing means more than to have children do something to show their love and apprecation...what you did was beautiful and well thought out. The only other thing I want to say is, continue to make them proud...be thoughtful of your behavior and actions in every relationship, privately and publicly..that will be the bigger gift to your parents.
Ok - Am I the only one wondering where her siblings were? How could they not be a part of this? It looked to me like this was about Gretchen and not her folks.
Gretchen, what you did for your parents was extremely thoughtful, sweet and very well organized. I know they were thrilled.
Beautiful idea for your parents! Just wondering...where were your brother and sister? Seems like they should have been included!
You did a beautiful job, Gretchen!! It was so thoughtful! You will always be grateful you did this for your parents! Bravo to you!!
MARRY THAT MAN DANG IT!!!!! SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO KISS A WHOLE BUNCH OF FROGS BEFORE YOU FIND UR PRINCE AND YOU HAVE FOUND YOURS!!!!!
Gretchen, what you did for your parents was really sweet. I, like many others were wondering why your siblings were not there as well (were they?) Love your blog without you discussing the other cast mates in a negative way. How refreshing! As for the marriage thing, please don't EVER succumb to pressure to get married if it does not feel like the right thing for you. If Slade is right for you right now, great, if someday you decide you want to marry him, great - don't ever let him pressure you to do it! Trust your own instincts & you will never go wrong!!
That was a beautiful thing you set up Gretchen, but come on you couldn't chime in on what went down with the other housewives?
Hey Gretchen:D I live in Scotland and only in the fifth series of the show where yous have just gone to florida., I think its fab so far hooked on it everyday, I think what you have went through in the past few years has been a bumpy ride for you, and would be for any1, You seem so happy with Slade. Yous belong together an seem so happy, I hope it all works put for you, and cant wait to see the next series x
It was a wonderful storyline with you this week. Your care and love for your parents was beautiful. I was surprised that no guests were present for the big occasion. That seemed odd. I thought you had siblings. Truly, you and your parents have a very special bond.
Slade may seem like a good deal to you. However, he really seems to just hang onto the coat tails of the Housewife-du-jour. He really wants to be married! It's so obvious that he can't make it on his own (without this show). Keep it slow with him until you are one hundred percent sure he's the right one for you.
I loved the ring you gave your Mom!! I live in So. Cal. Could you tell me where you purchased it? My 40th anniversary is coming up in Aug. and I would die for a ring like that!!! What a special daughter you are!
I think you did a wonderful thing for your parents! I teared a few times just watching the amazing and beautiful surprises you had for your parents. I hope my children will be as appreciative of their dad and me when we hit our 40th!
Hey Gretchen:) Love how much fun you have and that you like to make sure the people you care about have fun to! That's what's so great about you. That being said, I think that sometimes, you overdo it when you decide to play victim. Yes, you have been through a lot and you have been the target of some nasty gossip. However, I'm sure that it all helped make you the fabulous person that you are. You have a great life (not to mention a totally rockin body) so focus on that. Maybe Tamara is still a bitch even though she is not with Simon. Her actions will speak volumes more than your words (everyone knows that you are not objective). Sometimes, I find myself thinking that you are a little harsh with her (and I like you better). Don't succumb to the temptation to see the bad in people you don't like. You are overall a positive person and plain old better than that:)