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10 Years Strong

Tamra Barney explains why her marriage is still going strong, even after ten years.

By Tamra Judge

We had a great time celebrating our 10-year wedding anniversary in Napa with Donn and Vicki. The four of us get along so well. It was our first time wine tasting and I can't wait to go back without the cameras. There are so many wonderful things to do in Napa - hot-air balloon rides, romantic picnics, wine train rides, tandem bike riding, grape stomping. We started by taking a limo tour to Grgich Hills ( ) where we were educated on how wine is made - very interesting. Vicki also had some competition with the chickens trying to show her up with her signature WHOO-HOO.

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Then it was off to St. Supery ( ) which was one of my favorite spots because of it's high energy, great wine and grape stomping. When we were asked if we wanted to go grape stomping, all I could think about was that episode of I love Lucy . I'm thinking, GAME ON - this is going to be fun! When they brought out the little barrel with grapes, I was a little bit disappointed. Looking back, I don't think the barrel was meant for two people. Vicki and I made it work and it is a moment I will remember forever.

After a long day of wine tasting we were off to dinner at Etoile at Chandon ( ) I would have to say it was one of the most beautiful wineries I have ever seen. The restaurant was very romantic - we had our own dining room with 7 waiters. The food was...well...interesting, to say the least. I'm sure there are a lot of people that love wing fish (fish have wings), duck liver and oysters, but I am not one of them. Where is an Olive Garden when you need one?! No disrespect to the restaurant, we just chose the wrong menu. Did we go left or right?!

I think maybe the 7 glasses of wine they served with each course got the best of all of us. Before we knew it Donn was getting what he likes to call "pimped." Poor Donn! Daddy got hosed again! It seemed to look like the whole dinner was about Donn and Vicki, but that simple wasn't the case. What you saw was about 5 minutes of footage from a 3 hour dinner. They have to show the drama! I remember Vicki coming back to the table after her interview crying. We were shocked and we wondered what had happened. Then she asked, "what the hell is a love tank?" and we all started laughing.

On a serious note, I would like to say that I am so happy to be married to Simon and I am so thankful for beautiful children we have together. We have come a long way in 10 years. It doesn't seem that long ago that we were moving into our first little condo in Aliso Viejo and Ryan was only 12 years old. Sometimes I wish we were still back there - life was simple and there was less stress. Like all marriages we have had our ups and downs. Marriage is not always an easy thing.

In marriage, I believe that you should NEVER give up. I think Will Smith said it best, "Divorce is not an option, if it is an option then you WILL get divorced." I feel so blessed to have a wonderful man in my life that puts up with my crazy ways. I honestly believe the old saying that opposites attract. Simon is conservative, organized and always thinking 10 steps ahead. I on the other hand live for the moment and often talk without thinking and react out of anger. I think we balance each other out and some how everything works.

I like to call Simon my stylist. I take him shopping with me and he is great at picking out clothes for the both of us. I think most guys could care less about clothes. I always ask for his help when we pack for trips. I hate packing and tend to pack my whole wardrobe and end up with 8 suitcases. Then he ends up breaking his back trying to carry all of them. One funny thing you might notice is that Simon and I always try to coordinate our outfits when we go out. I know it sounds silly but it looks great in pictures. I think we both have a little OCD. Simon was a little surprised and maybe a little bit uncomfortable when I came out in lingerie. He was wondering WHY the camera'\s needed to get footage of him waiting while I got ready for dinner. Then when he realized what was doing on, I think he was speechless. He didn't think I was going out dressed like that - he just didn't know what to say. After seeing the footage it even made me feel uncomfortable! So did you think I was going to finish without talking about the handcuffs? Well, some things you just have to keep to yourself!

Lauri decision to leave was definitely a personal choice. My heart goes out to her and her family. I have personal talked to Lauri about Josh and his situation and you can feel the pain in her voice and through her tears. As much as I hate seeing her leave, I think it was the right time. She is ready to enjoy married life and the kids without the added pressures of the cameras and judgment from the viewers. I pray that Josh will get better and that Lauri can have her little boy that she has always cherished back.

I thought the footage of Jeff and Gretchen at Indy 500 was awesome - you could feel the adrenalin. Their day together is definitely something she can look back on and cherish for a lifetime. It was unfortunate that we never got to meet Jeff - from what we have seen so far, he looked like an amazing man.

In closing I would like to say, FINALLY, AN EPISODE WHERE WE ARE NOT BEING CATTY! As much as it looks like we all hate each other, we do not. I feel bad for the comments I have said. A lot of times we say things that at the time seem funny or entertaining, then when you see them on air it is not funny at all. I'm not saying life is all peachy in the O.C., but were not about to go Atlanta on each other - YET.

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