I agree with some of the posts, it did look like it was all about you and not your mom and dad..I just thought that it was fake kind of like Slade..
The next clue lead them back home to Montrose, and then we put them in the limo to head to Eberle Winery. I had transferred all their old 8mm film onto DVDs and had them watch all the videos on the way up to the next location. It was footage of us kids learning how to crawl, skate, birthday parties, etc. It was such a special gift to give them, because it was something they probably would never have done for themselves. I had all their old slides converted to CDs of pictures as well, so the thought was to continue to go down memory lane while driving to the next location (which was three hours away).
They love wine and to go wine tasting, so this was a perfect location for a renewal of their vows. The owners (who my parents ended up knowing and we didn't even know they knew each other) were kind enough to have us stay at their private estate on the property, and we had an amazing time with them on Saturday night. I had got to location early and set up their room full of all the memories from all their years together. I brought pictures to hang on the walls, every photo album my mom had in our childhood home, yearbooks and love letters between the two of them. My favorite part about the entire weekend was hearing the two of them giggling in the morning and then walking into their room to find then laying in bed together (in pajamas) going through all their old yearbooks together and photo albums and just reminiscing about all the memories of the life they had created together.
The next morning we took mom and dad to the spa so we could carry out the day's activities. One of the big surprises of the weekend was trying to get their pastor from forty years ago to location! He had to teach Sunday school until noon that day, and we did not know how to get him to location after that. Fortunately, we were so blessed to have Larry Welk personally fly in the pastor that day on his private plane! (OK so these parts aren't budget friendly.) However, the lesson I learned here is that it pays to be kind to people. Larry remembers meeting my parents and said, "They were such a wonderful couple and so kind to me," that he wanted to help us and do whatever it took to get the pastor there for this special celebration! I'm telling you God was working overtime in helping all these things come together!
Behind the scene footage of the plane coming in to the local airport with the pastor will be posted at my site as well (www.gretchenchristine.com). Having my parents pastor there from forty years ago really made the weekend so special for my parents and me! Seeing my mom's face when she saw the pastor made it so worth all the hoops we had to jump through to find Pastor Don! Mom also still had the service book from forty years ago in her hope chest, and it was so fun to give it to Pastor Don to use again (that brought a tear to his eye).
Obviously, getting my Mom a new ring was a huge surprise part of the weekend as well! I knew that dad couldn't afford a brand new ring for my mom, and that my mom had the same ring from forty years ago, and it was time to upgrade! There have been some misconceptions about this gesture. The fact is that my old wedding ring was just sitting in the back of my jewelry box and wasn't doing any good just being there, so I decided to trade in the ring so we could get credit towards my mom's new ring. It's just like trading in a watch for a new watch or an upgraded watch. I would have probably taken the ring at some point and traded it in for something new for myself, so why not my for my mom instead. I wasn't going to be wearing that ring ever again, and all it did was make me sad to see it, so I decided to get credit for those stones and help upgrade mom's ring. Dad ended up paying for the rest of the ring, the portion that my traded in diamonds did not cover. (It's sad to see how everyone misinterprets this or how they turn what I thought was a selfless and kind gesture into something else.)
I agree with some of the posts, it did look like it was all about you and not your mom and dad..I just thought that it was fake kind of like Slade..
I am sure you are smart enough to make your own choices and to make your own relationship decisions; however, I just don't know what it is about Slade but I don't trust him. I don't have to because he is your man but over the cycle of the shows I have grown to dislike him.
I respect your openness about being ok with just dating and enjoying the relationship. There is nothing wrong with that! You have been through alot and deserve some uncomplicated happy times :)
Just have fun doing you!
Gretchen - I LOVED what you did for your parents. Are they old enough to be married 40 years....they sure don't look it. That was beautiful. I would ignore Tamra until she apologizes for everything. Stay sweet!
Gretchen, i think you're such an honest, open person! It doesn't matter what you've done in the past and whether anyone likes it or not, its all a part of who you are! I'm going to be 33 this year and wish i was more like you! You enjoy your life and take on everything that is thrown at you and you still manage to laugh at absolutely everything and i think thats fantastic! I'm addicted to the show and wish my life was more like a housewifes, even though i am one. I suppose in the UK it just doesn't happen in the same way! Keep doing what you're doing! Nikki, Hertfordshire! xxx
Gretchen, you know what you should do (if you haven't already) is take the blog down about Tamara, but we all know that she is the one to blame she had no right saying and doing those things so if I were you id take it down and inside you tell us how bad she really is :)
Reading this made me tear up, it's such a beautiful and selfless gesture to do for your parents. I am sure they will treasure it forever. God bless you, and your family!
Gretchen - I am not someone that normally comments on a celebrities blog or would send correspondence to a celebrity but I was just so moved by the anniversary for your parents. I look at most celebrities whether it's a movie star, singer, performer or reality star the same way - as someone that is almost inhuman. Someone that is extraordinary and not like me at all. However, when I saw the way the anniversary for your parents affected you and how much time and effort went into it, well, I realized that you are down to earth, and like me, you just love, honor and respect the people that brought you into the world. It's nice to see that fame has not made you forget who you are and who is responsible for making you, YOU. Thanks for all the entertainment you provide. You're hilarious.
Gretchen, You are right to not jump into marraige just because your partner wants to do it. I think you understand what it is really about more than most of your peers. Too many people get married for the wedding and have an unhappy situation afterwards. You and Slade seem to have a good time together but if you do not feel in your heart that you are ready to be married, DONT DO IT. You are young and enjoying life as you should. I think your gut is the best friend you can ever have. Best wishes
Gretchen, what you did for your parents was beautiful and showed how much you love them. If you dont feel like you are ready to get married again, right now, then dont. You dont have to explain yourself to anyone. If Slade loves you then he would understand and wait until you were ready. You obviously have some serious fears about remarrying. If its meant to be, then it will happen. I dont know if Slade is the one for you, only you can answer that, but why is he trying to pressure you into marriage? I know he says that he loves you, but seriously. Also, really listen to your parents, talk to them about it, your Dad especially seems like he really doesnt like Slade, find out why and if he has valid reasons then take them into account. If he only doesnt like him because of all the rumors and things other housewives say, then dont worry about it. Your Mom and Dad love you and want you to be happy. I wish you the best and I know tha you will make an educated decision on when and if and who you will marry. Nothing wrong with living with the guy. My Mom and step dad, lived together for over 40 years because my Mom didnt want to get remarried, but their relationship was no different than what your parents have, only difference is a piece of paper. They loved each other, respected each other and stayed faithful to each other for 43 years prior to my Mom passing away. Its whats in your heart not whats on paper.
Gretchen, LOVE LOVE LOVE to watch you!!! You are a dear!!! The love and respect you and your parents show each other is wonderful. Big hugs to you.
Love you Gretchen! That was so incredibly generous that you did all of that for your parents!:) Best part of the episode by far!
Don't let Tamra get to you Gretch...she's not worth your time.
I think you and Alexis will be great friends for a long time to come:)
I really think Slade loves you. I wish you two the best:)
The anniversary celebration for your parents was so touching and what a loving effort on your behalf. You are a wonderful daughter and you made your parents so happy. Congratulations!! Take your time getting married.
Gretchennnn! I think you are hilarious! I Love the show and love catching up when I get back from Uni, makes me wanna leave the UK! haha. Keep it up girl! xx
I'm kind of new to watching O C and I haven't always been a fan of yours, but this show turned things around for me. You are such a blessing to your parents as they are obviously to you. God bless you all. You took such time and detail to make sure they had a wonderful anniversary and it made me cry watching all that as well. And I think you've been clear about your current boyfriend...you're just not ready right now. Anyway, I wish you all the best with everything and let the other girls of OC see what a good side to you that you have. Good luck with everything.
Gretchen, this is a blog and I a venue where people can feel free to voice their opinion so I hope you don't take this personally. Initially when you came on RHOC I really liked you because you appeared to have your own identity. But now you just seem a little too cocky and extremely overbearing, it’s not a good look for you .. I guess that's what coming into some money and being on a "reality show" will do to a person. Remember it only take a few minutes to "crash and burn"
Gretchen...GREAT JOB! Soooo much LOVE....How proud they must be of you and greatful for a walk down Memory Lane plus creating so many more wonderful memories.
Gretchen, what is going on with you? You seem odd and distant and not so nice. While it was a very nice thing you did for your parents, where were their family and friends at? Wouldn't they want to share this moment with you and them? I am not a Slade fan, but you are downright mean to him. Let him go if you are not interested in marriage and he is. Leave the man with a shred of dignity. How humiliating, I feel for his children. You aren't that special where he can't find someone else who will treat him much better. Get over yourself and grow up.
Gretchen---I think that Slade does care for you but don't rush into marriage--and if you want children---its a lot of responsibility and work more than you can imagine--
I also wondered why there were no other siblings and close personal friends involved. My parents did an improntu renewal of their vows. Even if it was a small affair with maybe 10 people, they were more concerned about the people that would share this occassion more than the dress or ring. My mum wore a regular dress from her closet, there was no new ring and we had lunch at home made by us. But the most important thing was having us, sibling around with a few very close family members
Do not get married until you know its right....and you'll know!!! Waited many long single-Mom years, pretty much figured I was done with the whole marriage deal, and POW!!!!, along came the Real Mr. Right. Knew instantly, so did he. Wait. If you're in doubt when you go into it, don't get into it.
Gretchen, from what i see on the show, you are a beautiful person, inside and out. I believe if you pray and ask God, he will give you the answer about Slade. Although I agree with Vicki, you are much better than Slade, it is your life. Live it to the fullest.
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:)
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!
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!
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.
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
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?
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!!
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!!!!!
You did a beautiful job, Gretchen!! It was so thoughtful! You will always be grateful you did this for your parents! Bravo to you!!
Beautiful idea for your parents! Just wondering...where were your brother and sister? Seems like they should have been included!
Gretchen, what you did for your parents was extremely thoughtful, sweet and very well organized. I know they were thrilled.
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, 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.
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 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".
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....
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.
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.
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!
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.