With Season 8 of The Real Housewives of Orange County airing April 1st, I had the chance to interview Lauri Peterson! Lauri appeared on RHOC Seasons 1-4, and is making a return on Season 8! We catch up with Lauri and ask her what she’s been up to, how George and her children are, rumors of her permanent return to the show, and more! Read our interview below!
It’s been awhile since we’ve seen you on The Real Housewives of Orange County! How is married life treating you?
LP: “Married life is wonderful! It couldnâ€™t be better and I wouldnâ€™t change anything.Â George and I have been married for 5 Â½ years now and our love and respect forÂ one another is immense. I am truly blessed with such a wonderful marriage andÂ partner.”
Between you and George you have seven children! How do you manage such a big family, and still keep the romance alive?
LP: “With seven children in our family it is difficult for George and I to find enormous amounts of alone time with each other. We have become experts at efficiency! Â My motto is â€œquality, not quantityâ€. Â Every morning (this will gross out our kids butâ€¦) we shower together. We plan our day and suds up at the same time. Â Multi-tasking is essential with a large family. We stay in touch throughout the day with â€œloveâ€ texts using lots of emojis, love messages written on the mirrors, many phone calls, couples massages as much as possible, romantic dinners and super luxurious weekend getaways. We usually end every evening in a romantic candlelit bubble bath. Â Sometimes we send fun tweets to each other lying side by side in bed.”
In your opinion, what is one of the biggest secrets to having a healthy marriage?
LP: “I canâ€™t say I know any big secrets to a healthy marriage, but we have some â€œmust havesâ€ in our marriage. Â The foundation of a marriage must be based on honesty, which leads to trust. I believe without these basic fundamentals, a marriage is destined to fail. Â Then I think communication is key and laughter is a necessity. George and I often talk until all hours of the night. After that, marriage is easy to figure out. Men need lots of sex and food. It is honestly that simple! Â It helps for women to realize that their men have big egos that constantly need affirmation. Tell your man that he is wonderful, good looking, sexy, big and strong!:) Tell him how much you appreciate him-like a million times a day! :)”
Did you and George ever get to take your honeymoon?
LP: “A month before George and I got married, we took a â€œpre-honeymoonâ€ to Europe knowing that once married with a combination of seven children to care for, it would be unlikely to take much time away. Â We went to Paris, Rome and then met up with friends in St. Tropez. Since our wedding, weâ€™ve taken many family vacations to practically every Caribbean Island, Bahamas, New York, Mexico, Canada, Hawaii. We take annual snow ski and camping trips but I canâ€™t say any of these beautiful vacations can be considered a â€œhoneymoon.” George and I joke about taking a permanent honeymoon in 2 years when we become ’empty nesters.'”
I read Josh is a father now, congratulations! And I cannot believe Sophie is 15 years-old! How are Ashley, Josh, and Sophie doing?
LP: “My three children are doing great! Â Ashley is as lovely as ever. Â She has such a beautiful soul. Â Iâ€™m really proud of the woman she has grown to be. Â She is wonderfully witty and intelligent. Â You need to follow her on Twitter and Instagram @AshleyZarlin. You will find her to be hilarious, inspirational and very relatable. She has worked for our company for the past 3 years in marketing. Look for her on the cover of the April issue of Locale Magazine.
Josh is a new father to an adorable little girl born December 13th. Â He and his wife Hannah of two years, named her Kennedy Caydence-Rae. She is gorgeous with a head full of hair and these amazing glowing blue-green eyes. Â Josh is so in love with her that it melts my heart to watch him with her. I believe he has found his purpose and will now understand unconditional love.
My little Sophia is now 15 years old and is 5â€™8â€ tall! Â She is a social butterfly, super outgoing and energetic. Â She plays High School Volleyball and club Volleyball. She continues to ride and jump horses competitively. She is a true â€œbarn ratâ€ (which is actually a term of endearment), as she would prefer to live at the stables if I would allow it. Â The love of her life is MAX, her 17 hand jumping horse.”
I loved watching you and George blend your families together. It seemed so natural, and like the children really adapted well. What is your advice to other parents who are in similar situations?
LP: “Blending families is so individual and dependent upon circumstances and dynamics in the two individual families. The blending of our family may have looked effortless and seamless, but I will tell you that it has been the hardest thing that Iâ€™ve ever done. Â Parents must be patient with the process and understand that love and trust takes time to build. Just because the newlyweds are in love, doesnâ€™t necessarily mean that everyone else is in love with each other. This process cannot be rushed and is somewhat dependent upon the maturity level of the children. Â If there is any dysfunction on either side in regards to the ex spouses, the blending process can be negatively affected resulting in a painstakingly long process. Â I found myself constantly urging my stepchildren to allow our relationship to be determined by our personal experiences and history with one another rather than judging me by someone elseâ€™s opinion of me.”
As a wife and a mother, what is one of your guilty pleasures?
LP: “My guilty pleasures: mid-day mani pedi with a neck massage (life saver for me!), reading anything but I feel guilty when I read Danielle Steele novels (I tear off the cover so no one knows), playing Bejeweled, (highest score is 6.5 million), eating anything caramel, spending hours upon hours watching our kids sporting events.”
Do you keep in touch with any of the women from the show?
LP: “I havenâ€™t really kept in touch that much with other HWâ€™s although I do run into them occasionally in malls!”
There have been reports that you were going to return to RHOC in Season 6, is there any truth in these rumors?
LP: “It is true that I nearly returned for Season 6 and even attended the launch party. Â Unfortunately, the network and I couldnâ€™t reach an agreement in terms of the contract.”
I know you filmed with the women for Season 8 of RHOC! Will we be seeing a lot of you in the new Season?
LP: “It is true that I will make appearances on Season 8, but I am not one of the HWs that holds an orange! (This is an inside joke!)”
I read the press release for Season 8 and it looks juicy! Can you say who the big secret is about?
LP: “Oh yes…I think I upset the apple cart! I can’t say :(”
How do you think the dynamic of the show has changed from when you left the show in Season 4 to the most recent Season?
LP: “When we began RHOC Season 1, we were virgin HWs! Â We had nothing to base anything on. Â We just very simply allowed cameras into our lives. Â The series was focused on the individual women and documented us juggling our families, careers and social lives. Â We didnâ€™t spend that much time with the other HWs. Â Now, the series is more focused on filming the HWs interacting in a group knowing that when you put 5 or 6 strong, opinionated, alcohol infused women together, there is bound to be endless hours of conflict and drama!”
You have always been a fan favorite on the show, and I’ve heard Andy Cohen has been trying to get you to come back. Would you ever consider making a return to RHOC?
LP: “I love Andy Cohen and thank you for saying Iâ€™m a fan favorite! Â Andy was the programmer for Bravo when we launched Season 1. Â He was instrumental in the success of the RHOC. Â I think he was fascinated with us. Now, 8 years later, he is practically a HW himself! Â He is the â€œCharlieâ€ of the â€œAngels!” haha now that is stretching it a bit donâ€™t ya think? Â Angels and HWs? Â Lol It has been so fun to watch his success and I am so proud of him. Â Anyway, long story short, I am basically back this season because of him. Â We have always maintained a great relationship and every season, since I left, he has asked if I would come back. Â This year we were able to work out the contractual kinks that have been holding me back from other seasons. Â I joke that I am just sticking my little left toe in this season. Â Most people donâ€™t realize that the series is pretty much a full time job. Â Bravo is considerate that my family is the most important thing to me. Â Therefore, my commitment in Season 8 does not interfere with our family time.”
Do you watch any of the other Real Housewives shows? If so, who are some of your favorite women?
LP: “I watch OC, Atlanta and Beverly Hills-OC out of loyalty, Atlanta for the shock value and the â€œoh no she didnâ€™tâ€ moments and BH because of the beauty and lifestyle. Â Iâ€™ve enjoyed meeting most of the HWs from the other franchises, but Iâ€™m really enjoying Brandi from BH right now. Â She seems to gracefully (most of the time) speak her mind and not let anyone intimidate her.”
Are you currently working on any new projects?
LP: “My focus for the next 2 years is on our two high school aged daughters and getting their minds set for college. Â Once they are in college, I can relax and think about what I will do to challenge myself next. Â I really canâ€™t imagine what it will be like to have so much time on my hands! Â Iâ€™m sure it will be bittersweet. Â Perhaps the extra time will allow me to add the final chapter to the book that I started 5 years ago! Who knows? The possibilities are endless!”
Is there anything you’d like to say to your fans?
LP: “I would like to thank all the fans that have followed me for the last 8 years. Â There isnâ€™t a day that I donâ€™t get stopped by fans no matter where I am in the world and my fans are truly the greatest people. Â They are incredibly sweet and are very passionate about my contribution to the series with â€œmy story.” Â I am told everyday that they connected with my struggles and were inspired by our love story. Â So thank you for watching and leaving me so many kind comments on Twitter @LaurifromRHOC and Instagram @Lauri_Peterson. Â I try to read everything and Iâ€™m sorry if I donâ€™t always get back to you!”
Photo Credit: Twitter