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The Daily Dish The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills

Teddi Celebrates Huge Milestone for Stepdaughter Bella: "Where Did the Time Go?"

The RHOBH alum shared a sweet message in honor of Bella's eighth-grade graduation.

By Joshua Espinoza
Is Teddi Mellencamp in Dad John Mellencamp’s Shadow?

Teddi Mellencamp Arroyave is beaming with pride.

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The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills alum took to Instagram this week to celebrate her stepdaughter Bella’s latest achievement: graduating junior high. Teddi commemorated the event by posting photos and videos of the commencement ceremony as well as a few family photos, which were captioned with a heartwarming message to the valedictorian.

“I woke up this morning needing to pinch myself that yesterday happened,” Teddi wrote. “The pride, love and joy all of us have for you is above and beyond. Not only did you graduate from 8th grade as valedictorian – you have made everyone in this picture better people. The way you are able to make everyone feel special and included is a true gift. Please never forget all of the incredible things you are capable of; you are one of a kind, Bella. We will always be here, rooting you on. We love you— thank you for being you.”

The snaps featured two of Teddi’s biological kids — daughter Slate and son Cruz — whom she shares with her husband of 12 years, Edwin Arroyave. The couple’s youngest child, 3-year-old daughter Dove, did not attend the graduation.

“‘Boss baby’ had to sit this one out,” Teddi explained in the comments section.” It was in the evening and wanted to be able to actually hear the graduation and focus on Bella.”

Bella Grad

Teddi's husband shares sweet post for daughter Bella

Bella’s dad, Edwin, also penned a touching message in honor of his daughter’s big day. He congratulated her on becoming valedictorian and expressed excitement for her future.

“My first baby girl— growing up into a gorgeous, intelligent, humble, giving, caring, courageous, athletic, creative, God-loving young woman,” he wrote on Instagram. “You’ve shown me what it means to be a father, made me be better, do better. As you enter high school next year, I can’t wait to watch you continue to grow, both mentally and spiritually, and expand on the gifts you already carry. Congratulations, baby girl. The world is not ready for what you have to offer.”

He also posted a throwback photo of his own eighth-grade graduation 32 years ago.

Bella Grad 2

How Teddi approaches her stepmom role

Teddi spoke about being a stepmom during a 2019 sit-down with E! News, explaining that love and respect were essential in navigating blended-family life. 

“You want to show love, but you also don’t want to step on any toes,” the accountability coach said. “I’ve always been respectful of Bella’s mom and then I’ve always been respectful to Edwin and their relationship. And I think, you know, as long as you’re showing a child love and as long as you’re a good person and you’re inclusive, that’s really all you can do.”

She went on to say that her oldest children see Bella as their big sister, but understand they have different moms.

“They know the details,” Teddi said. “They know that Daddy had Bella with another woman before Mommy… They know enough. They don’t care… It’s all we’ve ever known.”

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