Hi Guys! Wow what a couple of past weeks! Work has been so busy lately, and I barely have had time to even sit down and watch these episodes myself. I have to say, it's sometimes hard to watch these episodes because at times it brings back some hard feelings and sad emotions. This was filmed in the fall, which was nearly six months ago, so lots of things have changed since then.
First off it's important to me to say thank you very much for all the kind messages of love, compassion, and heartfelt prayers regarding Slade's son Grayson. It truly was a very scary time for us, as we were not sure if Grayson was going to wake up from his sixteenth major brain surgery he had back in October. It was a very sad time for the whole family.
As you can imagine it was a stressful, and difficult time for Slade personally, for me personally, and for us as a couple. It truly challenged us in ways we hadn't been tested before. We had a lot of sad moments of tears, fear, frustration, and anger. Even though we actually were apart for a lot of those five months (Grayson was out in New York) it actually made our relationship even stronger. It was during those months that I realized that this man was the kind of man I wanted to have forever by my side. When you go through what we did when Grayson was at his worst, and when the doctors were not sure if he was going to make it, you create a forever bond. I saw Slade in a light I had never even seen him in before. He was brave and strong and courageous, yet so fragile, weak, and broken. I knew he needed me there by his side and that is why I was with him. Although you didn't see it, I was there before Grayson went into surgery as moral support for Slade.
I made sure he was eating, tried to get him to sleep, and to take care of himself. I tried to spend as much time as I could with Slade in New York while he was there, but I had to keep traveling back and forth for work and to hold the fort down at home. Thankfully Playlist 92.7 was so wonderful and allowed Slade to take a month off so he could be with his boy. However after that month, they needed him to come back to his job or they were going to have to replace him, which created a lot of stress for Slade as well. He was so excited about his new job and the thought of losing it was so hard on him, not to mention that having this job was helping with the medical bills and support for Gray that was once again mounting up to millions due to his stay in the ICU. The sad part about a situation like this is that when a family member gets sick, the rest of the world does not stop. It doesn't say, "Oh no problem. Come back to work when the illness is gone." And the bills don't go away or stop coming. Life seems to continue on, as you are torn apart trying to figure out how to manage it all.
So many families are put in this horrible circumstance of having to continue on with life, all the while trying to spend every minute with their loved one in the hospital. It is truly a living hell on earth and I would not wish this on my worst enemy. This is why our charity work with the Beckstrand Cancer Association (beckstrand.org) is so near and dear to our hearts and why we continue to raise money for them every chance we get. This great charity helps families with the daily costs of living, because they know the stress it puts on the family to just work enough to still pay the mortgage, the insurance, the car payments etc. It's a very tough thing to experience, and as a parent all you want to do is spend every minute with your sick child. But unfortunately work still has to be done to keep a roof over your head or pay for the grossly large medical bills.
Now since we are on this subject I would like everyone that has had a negative thing to say on social media sites about this scene with Slade on I on the couch to listen up here. Normally I don't get bothered about all the ridiculous chatter out there -- but when a few tweets were so off-base about this subject I knew I needed to address it here. First of all let's be clear about something, Slade and I had been seriously discussing babies before Grayson's surgery and we had taken the first few steps to make that a reality for us. When this happened with Gray we could have never imagined that it would take a turn for the worst, and because of that I immediately put my desires to start a family on the backburner. When Slade returned home from New York for a few days, HE is the one that brought up that I had stopped talking about the baby stuff, and that he didn't want me to be doing that. Once he brought up the subject I decided to allow myself to talk openly with him about why I had stopped talking about it and expressed my sadness in this whole s----y situation. I am the one that said, "I would feel selfish bringing up the baby stuff to you during this very trying time."
So for all the haters out there who are claiming that I am being selfish in this moment: first off what show are you watching and second you can suck it! Even Slade himself said I was being unselfish because I stopped talking about it and hadn't brought it up since things went bad with Gray. I swear sometimes you just cannot win. I mean if I don't bring it up I'll get accused of not being real about it, but if I get asked how come I stopped talking about it by my own partner and respond authentically I get called selfish. It's just crazy! Partners are supposed to talk about everything, all emotions, all issues, all wants and desires, and, quite frankly, I think Slade and I do a damn good job of communicating and really working through the stuff we have going on in our lives. And I am very proud of that!
Slade and I continue this journey of trying to start a family of our own, while caring for his son who is in ICU across the country all the while trying to maintain our jobs, our relationship, and not to mention our sanity. Needless to say it was a tough time for us, and we will take you along that roller coaster ride this season with us. I know many families will be able to relate to us in the simple fact that life is just plain hard sometimes and you aren't always sure how you're going to make it through these moments of stress, sadness, trials and tribulations. It's easy to love in the good times and laugh and be merry, but when the going gets tough that's really a true test of love and commitment and when you see a person's true colors.
Now let's talk about the other fun things that happened in this episode! First of all Lydia's mother! OMG! In love with her! Right? She is such a hoot and I seriously could not stop laughing about how many times her Mom kept saying stoned or bombed or loaded in this episode! I seriously want to get Slade's and Lydia's moms together because I think it would be a show all on its own!
Since I didn't get to spend a lot of time with Lydia this season due to Grayson's situation, I found out some insightful things about Lydia in this episode. I thought it was interesting that Lydia herself admitted that she is judgmental and that her mom concurred, because I actually felt very pre-judged by Lydia most of the season and I think that might have been part of the reason we didn’t really connect. I have a hard time with that, however later on this season Lydia and I talk about this issue.
I also found Lydia's conversation with Tamra and Heather about Alexis very validating in a way. It made me feel like when I was friends with her that I wasn’t crazy for feeling the way I did about some of her actions and how they seemed very contradictory at times. I realize now that I didn't even know how to address it with Alexis because she always would get defensive and never wanted to hear something negative about herself, even if it was meant to help her just like Lydia describes in her interview. I tried to tell her on the plane ride over to Costa Rica about some of her actions but it went over her head and then when I explained at the table in Costa Rica the same sentiments, she completely turned on me and said I was a bully and a horrible friend. Kind of like Jim and Alexis both said tonight in this episode, how many times are you going to keep going back for a beating and going to turn the other check? I just finally had to say enough was enough, because being friends with her became draining, confusing, and exhausting. I hate that I felt that way but I did, and Lydia seeing it only a few months into hanging out with her made me feel like I wasn't crazy for feeling this way.
However I do have to question one thing I noticed; Lydia has actually had more to say to Alexis and about Alexis’s questionable actions in these past two episodes than what I had to say in Costa Rica to her. So of course I have to wonder why is it OK for Lydia to say those things to her and have opinions to the other woman, but when I voiced mine (out of sincerely trying to help Alexis see why she was alienating herself from the group) Alexis deemed me a horrible friend and somehow classified as a bully? Was it because Alexis and I were so close that it was too hard to hear from me and easier to blame me as a supposed bad friend than to do some self reflection? Makes you wonder.
I actually feel bad for Tamra and the situation with Vicki and their business. This is the reason I always say don't mix business and friends, because it never works out the way you think it is going too. One person almost always feels like they are doing more than the other person and it can create conflict especially in a friendship.
It was fun to see Heather light up about getting offered a role on Hot in Cleveland because for me it's always exciting to see your friend gain success and joy in doing something they love!
But on the flipside of that It was hard to watch Terry and Heather going through some stuff in their relationship. However I must say that I know how much Terry and Heather really do love one another, and, after 16 years of marriage and four kids, I can see how the same shenanigans can get on one's nerves. Trying to navigate between being a stay-at-home mom and finding herself again in the workplace is a hard job to juggle. As any full-time mother can understand, sometimes they just want to do something for themselves because it is normally always about taking care of the family. I feel every woman should have this opportunity and space to express herself outside the home, and I don't think it's a lot to ask your partner to show up for you in that moment.
I do however also get Terry's sense of humor and I don't think he meant anything by it; however he does need to learn when to stop joking especially when Heather is sincerely asking for his help. This is one area I am blessed with when it comes to Slade. He just gets when I need him to show up for me (now let's hope after 16 years of marriage it is the same way LOL).
OK, well that's it for me this week. For all my makeup looks and where to find my fashion go to my website GretchenChristine.com or follow me on Twitter (@gretchenrossi), Instagram (gretchenchristine1) or Facebook (/gretchenrossi). I love talking with you guys on all my social media channels!
Also, check out on my site our great Gretchen Christine Beauty Baskets with Wines by Wives this week for Mother's Day, it makes a great gift for the special someone in your life.
Love you guys and look forward to continuing to share this chapter of my life with you every week. Continued blessings!