What I Learned From My First Father’s Day

What I Learned From My First Father’s Day

I’m a dad.

That thought recurs periodically throughout each day, and every time I’m hit with a surreal sense of wonder. I wake up in the morning, there’s my baby. I get home from work, there’s my baby. I get a text in the middle of the day, there’s a picture of my baby. It’s not as if I ever forget that I have a son, but rather that my mind is occasionally occupied with other thoughts until his existence unceremoniously dropkicks those “other thoughts” out of my head.

This past Sunday, my first Father’s Day as a dad, there was not a single moment where any thought other than, “I’m a dad” was able to cross my synapses. It actually began a day early, on Saturday, when the first card arrived from my mom. Sunday started with a text at 5:59am from my stepmom, followed by one from my mother-in-law, my dad, then a bunch of friends throughout the day.

text1 text2 text3

There were also some awesome cards.

Father's Day Cards

Most importantly, there were these two:

LisaFour

That’s my wife, Lisa, and my 4 month old son Frankie, aka “Four”.

My Father’s Day kicked off with a family walk at the beach, pushing Four along in his stroller with his fat little feet sticking out just enough to feel the warmth of the sun. We passed quite a few other couples doing the same thing, each time the dad and I exchanging a nod and a knowing smile. It was an unspoken acknowledgment that we were proud members of the new dad club, and that this was our day. In many ways it was similar to the looks I get from other bikers when I’m sitting on my motorcycle, only this felt way cooler. I never imagined that pushing a quiet stroller would make me feel infinitely more Bad Ass than a roaring 1600 cc Harley.

Dad with stroller at beach

Lisa took me for sushi after the beach and Four cooperatively slept through the entire lunch.

Next we headed to treat ourselves to some Açaí bowls and boobs, both refreshing on a hot summer day.

boobandbowl

Our final stop was  so that I could revisit 1982, the last time I bought a pair of Van’s. That particular pair were the black and white, checkered slip-ons a la Jeff Spicoli in “Fast Times At Ridgemont High” which 12 year old me watched hundreds of times just to see Phoebe Cates boobs. The new kicks I treated myself to have laces, and no checkers, because my son seemed to like this pair more.

FourShoes

On a side note, growing up in Maryland, I loved Fast Times because, to me, it romanticized the idea of living in a Southern California beach town where life appeared to be sunshine and boobs every day. Funny how, 33 years later, I bought my second pair of Van’s in Hermosa Beach, just a few miles from where I live now, enjoying year round sunshine and a gorgeous Southern California bred wife with even better boobs than Phoebe Cates.

boobs

Sunday really was the perfect day. A simple time spent with my wife and my son, the two people that I love most in this world, and the two people who made me a dad. And, over the course of my first Father’s Day, I came to learn something I’ll endeavor to keep in mind for the rest of my life.

On Father’s Day, while everyone is honoring me, I need to remind myself that they’ve got it all wrong. To me, the day shouldn’t be about others honoring me, but about me honoring them. Honoring them for allowing me to take on the most important role I will ever have in my life, that of being a dad.

Frank Prather

Cloning Myself Part 1

Cloning Myself Part 1

We all agree that I am an exceptionally great person who cares about everyone else in the world and just wants them to be happy. As such, it’s my duty to share with them the most magnificent gift that mankind could ever hope to receive, more of me. And, while I’ve been voted “Most Likely To Be Immortal” by my peers (I have no peers), there’s still a reasonable chance that I will one day expire. Hence, I have created life in the form of my son, Franklin Nathaniel Prather IV (aka Four) and will raise him to be exactly like me, perfect.

Below are 10 things that I’m teaching Four so he can be a superior being, just like his humble father.

1) Most people are irritating so it’s best to simply avoid them. However, you can to share yourself with them via social media so that they may bask in the digital glow of your visage. By the time you’re ready to do that without my assistance, I predict that the most popular site will be Instahologram.com (Instaholagram.com in Spanish) where others can feel ignored by a life sized you, as if you were in the same room.

2) All religion is nonsense, “god” is pretend, and “spirituality” is for hippies, chicks, and motivational speakers. You should be logical, like Spock, only with a scathing wit and winning smile.

3) Exercising and eating right will result in good health, a better physique, hotter significant others, and the right to lord your superiority over everyone to an even greater degree than just being smarter than they are. Nice pecs = lots of se…you get the idea.

4) Be smarter than everyone. This might be the easiest thing on the list.

5) You can listen to and enjoy all types of music as long as you agree that Prince is the greatest musical artist that has ever lived.

6) I don’t care if you’re straight or gay, just never wear white sneakers with jeans or use emoticons.

7) Make fun of everyone equally but lay off those weaker than you. Mockery makes life worth living but bullying is for pussies.

8) Violence is never the answer unless you’re beating the shit out of a bully.

9) Being attractive is a result of good genetics which were bestowed upon you by your father. You’re welcome.

10) There is no one greater than your father in any way. No one.

This is just the beginning of what I’m going to teach you. Eventually you will be filled with so much knowledge that, along with your impressive physique and extreme good looks, you’ll be pretty much the best person ever, just like me.

We are already alike in so many ways…

Spartan4

Frank Prather

I Change Diapers, They Don’t Change Me

I Change Diapers, They Don’t Change Me

Before Frankie Four was born I was told countless variations of the following: “The baby will take over your life,” “You’re never going to sleep again,” “Nothing is ever going to be the same,” and every other version of “Being a parent is great but you are a victim who is totally at the mercy of your baby.”

Now, just after hitting the one month mark, I can unequivocally say that people are soft and terrible at life, because this baby shit is easy. Literally. I change about 600 diapers a day and the shit, it’s easy. He eats, he shits, and he sleeps, not necessarily in that order. What he doesn’t do is present a great many insurmountable challenges. Granted, the sleep schedule is inconvenient but I did what any sensible person would do.

I got my baby addicted to sleeping pills and I’m finding that quite restful.

Obviously I’m kidding. He almost choked to death when I tried to get him to swallow the sleeping pills. Since he was so uncooperative, my wife and I had to figure out our own system which has been working very well.

Lisa is breastfeeding so we’d done a lot of research and every “expert” said, “Don’t introduce a bottle or a pacifier before he’s at least a month old because it will cause nipple confusion.” So I decided to do the exact opposite and realized that it absolutely does cause nipple confusion—

if you have a stupid baby.

Fortunately, my kid, even at two weeks, was able to differentiate between a pacifier, a bottle, and a HUMAN BREAST THAT’S ATTACHED TO HIS MOTHER. If your baby is unable to do this, don’t blame yourself *cough*weakgenes*cough*.

Bad Ass DadFour, “So you’re telling me that some babies can’t tell this…”

Bad Ass Dad“or this….”

breast“From THIS?!?”

Bad Ass Dad“Your baby sounds dumb. Does he even know how to read yet?”

Four is so advanced that we were able to introduce the bottle very early on. Thus, we have developed a system that affords both of us a reasonable number of consecutive sleep hours. Lisa breast feeds him all throughout the day, right up until the “final” feeding around 9pm, then heads to the bedroom and closes herself off from the world. I turn all of the lights down low and put Four to sleep in the co-sleeper, which I’ve rolled into the living room. If I’m tired, I crash on the sofa. If not, I watch a little TV until I doze off. Initially he’d wake up around 11 or 11:30pm to eat, although now that’s stretched to around midnight. I put a bottle in the warmer and change his diaper while we wait for his milk to hit titty temp. Once I feed him he’s usually restless for 30-40 minutes then konks out again for another 2-3 hours. By the time he’s ready for his next meal, Lisa has had 5-6 solid hours of restful sleep and I’ve gotten a few winks myself. At that point I wake up Lisa and we switch. She hits the living room, feeds him and naps on the couch. I lock myself in the bedroom for some real sleep. Assuming it’s around 2am, and I’m going to wake up at 7, I also get at least 5 consecutive hours. Now, 5 hours isn’t a full night in anyone’s book, but add to that 4-ish hours of intermittent sleep and we’re just as rested as a lot of people who don’t even have kids.

I told Lisa from the moment we decided to have a baby that he would integrate into our life, not consume it. We would get enough sleep, continue working, exercise, eat right, and not be stuck in the house like prisoners. Check, check and double check to all of the above. It boggles my mind to hear that some people don’t do this. It’s like they’ve brought home a tiny warden who has sentenced them to an ambiguous amount of time in the pen.

Don’t get me wrong, we’re not living our “normal” life exactly as it was before, but we haven’t given up anything either. I’m fortunate in that my bosses are all family people and have been letting me work from home. Lisa’s mom, Susie, is next door and a huge amount of help. But all I heard before this baby was, “Get X in now because you won’t be doing it again for a while.” I thought a lot about that the third day after we’d brought him home from the hospital, while I was at Crossfit working out. When I got home that evening and was eating salmon with roasted vegetables that Lisa had made for dinner, we discussed how much our normal daily routine had been destroyed by bringing home a newborn.

Lisa: How was Crossfit?

Me: Great, I’m starving. 

Lisa: Don’t worry, dinner is ready.

Me: Cool, you want to watch “Blacklist”?

Lisa: Sure, but I have to tell you, this is already becoming really difficult for me to handle.

Me: Having a baby?

Lisa: No, this situation between agent Keen, her ex-husband, and Reddington. 

Now, Four is about to hit 6 weeks old. He’s been to restaurants for lunch multiple times. He’s attended a small dinner party. He spent Easter morning picnicking on the beach. He’s been to the park at least a dozen times to watch mommy work out. He’s been to Target, Trader Joe’s, and the baby clothes store. He’s ridden in the car from Manhattan Beach to Claremont to visit his grandpa. He stayed home one evening with grandma so mommy and daddy could go for sushi. His feet have touched sand, grass, and concrete. Soon he’ll come to watch daddy do Crossfit and shortly thereafter attend his first Spartan Race where he will stay in his first hotel. He is living his life by living our life, and will continue to do so because he’s a goddamn baby and doesn’t have any choice. Luckily for all of us, he enjoys it. I know that he enjoys it because he looks me straight in the eye, smiles a lot, and babbles sounds that I translate into him saying, “These are things I like, daddy…”

Bad Ass DadMy Batman shirt.

bad ass dadLifting weights at the park.

bad ass dadGetting my diaper changed in the trunk.

baby turtleDoing my turtle impression.

bad ass dadTaking selfies with daddy.

bad ass dadGetting weird with mommy.

bad ass dadShowing off my neck strength like a boss.

bad ass dadWearing my stunna shades.

bad ass dadFolding laundry (sucks).

bad ass dadWatching my dad do dumb shit with me.

bad ass dadShowing disdain for other humans, just like daddy.

But most of all, I love…

bad ass dadMy mommies kisses.

What it comes down to is that our lives are better than ever. So good, in fact, that it makes me wanna puke.

A video posted by Frank Prather (@frankprather) on

My First Post As A First Time Dad – The Birth

My First Post As A First Time Dad – The Birth

When I launched this blog back in September of 2014 I obviously knew that I was going to have a kid, because otherwise a dad blog would be an extremely stupid idea. But that didn’t really mean anything to me, in the sense of what it’s like to actually have a child in my possession. I thought it did but, until that little goopy Golem came gurgle splurgling out of my wife’s nether regions, it was all speculation. Then, on 2/25/15, which is a cool ass birthday, numerically speaking, my offspring sprung himself out of the womb and into my arms. Boom, in an instant I become the greatest dad that ever lived. Go me!

That was also around the time I fell in love with an 8lb. ball of slime-covered pink-ish flesh named Franklin Nathaniel Prather IV, aka Four, aka my son.

The birth went down in the typical fashion. Lisa, my wife, informed me that her water broke on a Monday afternoon. She called the groinocologist who told her to head to the hospital. As any responsible adult would, she decided that we’d go the following day, depending on whether or not we’d have time to watch The Blacklist first. Tuesday morning came and she still felt fine so I went to work while she stayed home and made meatballs.

pregant wife bad ass dadMeatballer, Shot Caller, Bra-ler.

While the meatballs were simmering she called the hospital and they let her know that she should come in right away. So, when I arrived home from work, she suggested that I had time to go to Crossfit before dinner because “right away” is such a vague term. It occurred to me that I might be making a poor decision by going to Crossfit, mostly because my back was a little sore. Oh, and because my wife was having a baby. But honestly, my physique has been looking so good lately that I have to keep my priorities straight, so off to the gym I went. When I returned Lisa had dinner all ready for me, as any good wife in labor should, so we ate some delicious meatballs with her mom then lazily packed up and headed to the hospital.

bad ass dad maternity ward“Patients ONLY”? Then I’m preggers, bitches. Open up.

Given Lisa’s casual demeanor over the previous twenty-four hours, I wasn’t completely convinced that she was in labor. However, when the nurse performed the examination she confirmed that the water had, in fact, broken. We were here to stay.

Because she read too many hippy birth articles written by women who probably don’t shave their armpits, my fit, tough, Spartan Racer wife had been determined to go through the labor process naturally, sans drugs, in order to fully experience the miracle of childbirth. Unfortunately, they needed to induce labor because, although her water had broken, she wasn’t having any contractions. Once the water breaks, both mom and baby are at high risk for infection so the labor process needs to get kick started. We asked every question you could think of and waited as long as we could, but ultimately the risk of our baby catching an infection outweighed her desire to avoid medical intervention. They started the induction drip and we settled in for the HOLY SHIT WHY IS SHE SCREAMING?

pregnant lady

Apparently the contractions are pretty horrific when they induce labor and get progressively worse as they increase the amount of the drug. Lisa went from, “Ouch these are uncomfortable” to, “Oh god, these are unbearable” in about 4 hours”. Now, lest you think my claims of her being “tough” are exaggerated, I’ve seen her complete a 13-mile Spartan Beast on what was essentially a broken foot. Lisa doesn’t just give in to pain. She’s been with me for over five years which I think speaks to her pain tolerance. So, when she looked at me at 3am and said, “Would you be disappointed in me if I asked for an epidural?” I thought what every loving, compassionate husband would think—I may finally get to go to sleep. Epidurals for everybody. First round is on me! Less than an hour later we were both out cold.

Suck it, natural childbirth.

Our doctor arrived the next morning and informed us that we were approximately two hours away from having a baby.

pregnantI’d like to order two large pizzas, a side of fries, and an epidural.

At that moment, for the first time, I actually started to get a bit nervous. It seemed like I was going to have a kid before lunch and I eat on a really strict schedule. What if I didn’t get to eat on time? Would the lack of protein cause my biceps to shrink 1/4356 of an inch? Could low blood sugar cause me to feel mildly irritable? What if my tummy grumbled uncomfortably? This baby is a couple of hours away from existing and is already a pain in my ass. My hangry musings were interrupted by the nurse coming in to get Lisa started on her pushing. Pushing real good.

I’d love to have some dramatic story about how it took her 6,000 hours of labor to squeeze the baby out but it went both quickly and smoothly-ish. Lisa’s pushing was pretty effective which I attribute to the fact that I force her to she works out consistently. I stood to one side holding her leg in an awkward position while offering words of encouragement like, “You get to have my baby!”, “Look how great I am at holding your leg!”, and “I don’t think you’re going to infringe on my lunch hour, good deal!”. Suffice to say that she is a very lucky girl and I am the epitome of a birthing coach.

dad bedside deliveryYou’re doing great, me. Stay strong! And that shirt looks really good on you.

When not single-handedly making the labor go well with my leg holding and word saying, I was watching her lady love-tunnel for the appearance of a baby head. A lot of things came out while I was waiting, none of which were a newborn baby. At one point the doctor said he would use a vacuum to suck the baby out which sounded awesome until I realized it wasn’t a Roomba or even a DustBuster. They have some sort of special skull sucking machine that clamps down on the babies head turning it into a living Stretch Armstrong doll. Finally, the giant gooey head of my heir parted her um, parts, and started smushing out. I was transfixed as the horror unfolded most joyous of events took place before my very eyes.

In every language the term, “miracle of childbirth” translates literally to, “That’s fucking gross.” After the misshapen head rips through an opening that’s ten sizes too small, the entire body basically slurps out like a rubber chicken covered in glop. When it was completely out I panicked for a second thinking that they might try to hand it to me and no way I was touching that thing.

babys first picI must have some gorilla DNA because look at his face.
He’ll be swatting planes off the Empire State Bldg in no time.

Fortunately they dropped the creature on to Lisa’s ample bosom for some skin-to-skin before they shuttled it over to a table for a quick weigh in and wipe down.

weighing a newbornApparently they try to see if the babies head will pop off to make sure he’s healthy.

Moments later the grossest ball of snot that I’d ever witnessed in person looked like a tiny baby boy/MMA fighter after a brutal beating. The nurse handed him to me so that I could have a brief moment before returning him to Lisa.

I held him the way one might hold the most fragile glass, or something made of egg shells. He felt almost weightless in my arms. I stared, hypnotized by his little face.  In that instant, everything, every person, and every moment I’d ever experienced, ceased to exist. There was only this tiny newborn baby who was more meaningful to me than all that had come before him and all that would come after him. At a healthy eight pounds even, this boy entered the ring of life as the undisputed heavyweight champion of my heart.

family

A few seconds later I handed him off to his mommy and he was instantly asleep, lulled by the sound of her heart. I stood next to the bed, beaming proudly at my family, and was hit with the most powerful realization of my life.

I am a dad.

Bad Ass Dad

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37 Weeks Pregnant – A Letter To My Wife

37 Weeks Pregnant – A Letter To My Wife

Our baby is due in 17 days, so this Saturday marks the last Valentine’s Day that my wife doesn’t have “/mom” in her job title. As such, I wanted to write her one more letter before we transition from “couple” to “parents”.

Dear Lisa,

It’s been a long road from that first day we met just over five years ago. The first few of those years were intense on both ends of the spectrum, alternating great times with brief, but all too frequent, rough patches. Then suddenly, we worked it all out. Or rather, you worked it all out. I give you 100% of the credit for making this relationship a success. Your patience, understanding, and acceptance of me and my baggage has been unfathomable. Your ability to deal with, and adjustment to, my demanding, self-centered, stubborn, and narcissistic personality wore me down. Your determination to make things not only work, but thrive, outlasted my determination to not change, to not grow, to not become a better person. Ultimately, your strength wore me down, but it also energized me. It’s not that you pushed me to become the person that you wanted me to be, it’s that you inspired me to become the person that I wanted me to be. And today, I am the best version of myself that I have ever been, which is only the case because of you.

As if that’s not enough, a relationship like ours is something I was never really convinced I’d have. Don’t get me wrong, I expected I could have a good relationship. I just didn’t think it could be this good. First and foremost, you truly are my best friend. Not just in the clichéd, “we do everything together” sense, but in the “I’d rather do everything I do, with you” sense. Our life feels like an adventure all of the time, even on a typical day. Rarely is there a moment we’re together when I don’t think to myself, “This is fun.” Your sense of adventure, sense of humor, and sense of wonder, are all a source of never ending joy to me. Your enthusiasm to hop on the back of my motorcycle, run a Spartan Race, hike 4 miles up a mountain to a waterfall (while pregnant), or travel any and everywhere never ceases to amaze me. Even when we’re sitting on the sofa binge-watching shows it feels like I’m having the time of my life. The fact that you can find the humor in anything is another one of my favorite aspects of your personality. But perhaps the thing I enjoy most about you is your sense of wonder and uncanny ability to find something beautiful or interesting about every person you meet, place you go, or thing you see. The world is a deeply magical place when I look at it through your eyes.

Lest you think that being my best buddy is the only thing I like about you, think again. Your romantic and loving side outweighs even how cool you are. I don’t know that I’ve ever met a human being as thoughtful, caring, kind, and generous as you. Every day I feel more loved than the day before, and you never waiver in your efforts to make that so. The things you say to me, the things you do for me, and the way you look at me melts my heart time and time again. I never have a moment to question your feelings without you reminding me of what I mean to you. I don’t capably demonstrate my affection in the extraordinary way that you show yours, but know that I feel it, every minute of every day.

If you’ll allow me to take a quick detour from being mushy for a second, I want to make sure I don’t forget to mention just how beautiful you are. And I don’t mean “on the inside” (although you are), I mean beautiful like in pretty, gorgeous, and smoking hot. Yeah yeah, I know I don’t say it out loud very frequently but that’s my issue, not yours. What you should know is that every day we’re together I find you more stunning than the day before. I not only love to look at you, but I love to take you out so I can be seen with you. Whether you’re dressed up sexy for date night, sweaty from the gym, or 8 months pregnant in a t-shirt, I’m proud to show off my exquisite wife. I may not always say it but, in my eyes, you’re the most beautiful woman in the world.

 I feel so fortunate to have you as my friend, my wife, and soon, the mother of my child. If you’re half as good at taking care of our son as you are at taking care of me, you’ll be the greatest mom that ever lived. And I don’t have the slightest doubt in my mind that you’re going be as amazing at motherhood as you are at everything else you do. You are an exceptional person on every level and I can only hope to try and live up to the example that you set.

I tell you all this now because things are about to change.

Soon, our Dynamic Duo will become the Three Musketeers.

Our love will encompass another person who will do his best to infringe on our romance.

And your hot wife-ness will become hot mom-ness.

I tell you all of this now because, in spite of the upcoming changes, you always have been, and always will be, the love of my life.

endoftime

Until the end of my last day,

Frank

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Beautiful photos courtesy of Yellow Heart Photography

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36 Weeks Pregnant – The Baby Shower

36 Weeks Pregnant – The Baby Shower

As the birth of our first child fast approaches, we knew it was time to get as much free shit as possible celebrate with our loved ones by holding a baby shower.

bad ass dad baby showerI like big blocks and I cannot lie.

My wife decided that she didn’t want a traditional gathering with a bunch of chicks sitting around eating candy bars out of diapers and trying to guess who farted. We both agreed that a co-ed, outdoor gathering that barely resembled a baby shower would be the most fun for our guests and over the quickest for us. Not to say that we aren’t social, but rather to say that I am not social. Parties were fun until I quit drinking a decade ago and realized that parties are torture and why can’t I be at a party where there are no other people. Because I don’t like parties, on the rare occasion that I throw one, I do my best to make them painless for my guests. I want them to be casual in attire, dining, and length of attendance. So basically you can wear what you want, have a variety of simple foods, and stay for as long or short of a time as suits you. Picnic in the park was the perfect answer.

While my wife’s friends jumped on board to assist, I decided to do the bulk of the planning myself. It’s not that I wanted to, but I consider throwing a party a task akin to wiping my ass. In a perfect world someone else would do it for me, but I’d always fear that the result wasn’t going to be up to my standards. That’s not a knock on anyone else. I just know that when I wipe, I wipe 100% clean. So you know I don’t throw a shitty party.

That said, the ladies stepped up when it came to food, decor, and baby laundry.

baby shower food

baby shower cupcakes

baby shower decor

We had a pretty nice spread of homemade food to go with the pro chef I brought in to grill up burgers and hot dogs. There was so much food left over that I sent tons home with people and still donated a huge amount to an Overeater’s Anonymous meeting or something. They’re big on potato salad.

In maintaining my rule of casualness, we didn’t want to force people to play too many organized games. On the other hand we did want to incorporate some forced fun which came with prizes for the champions.

baby shower diaper raffleA diaper raffle where one person won a great prize pack
and we got 6 months worth of free diapers.
That’s what I call a win-win for me and my bank account!

baby shower gameWe offered a gift card to the winner of the Make-A-Baby competition.
The only awkward moment was the couple that saw the sign
but didn’t notice the Play-Doh. They put on a good show though!

Our final two games did actually require group participation. One was a child abuse game where everyone threw a baby doll at a random person and that person had to painfully scream out something baby related. If you screamed out something that another participant had already screamed out then you got sent to foster care and were out of the game. Eventually it was down to just two people punting the plastic infant at each other and screaming out baby related words until my wife’s Aunt was declared the world champion of throwing babies at other people and won a fabulous prize.

The other game, the one I found most entertaining, was what we cleverly titled “The Lisa/Frank Game” because those are our names. Everyone stood in front of us and we’d read off an entry from a list of questions. If you thought the answer was “Lisa”, you went and stood on her side. If you thought the answer was “Frank”, you stood on mine. Anyone standing on the wrong side of the line for that particular question was eliminated. Ultimately, the winner was someone who had never met me and didn’t necessarily know Lisa as well as some of her friends/family did. Just goes to show you that people are terrible at games. Anyway, below are the questions we asked without the answers. If you’d like to play, just copy and paste them into a comment either here or on Facebook with your guesses. If you get enough correct you might win a prize or get nothing. You’ll have to play to find out.

Who had ice cream for breakfast this morning?

Who wakes up earlier?

Which one of them learned to knit as a child?

Who swore the baby was going to be a girl?

Who is more obsessed with their hair?

Who leaves love notes all over house?

Who got their first tattoo at the youngest age?

Who chose our sons name?

Who farts more?

Who has had surgery?

Who made Skittle soup as a kid?

Who slaves away over a hot stove all day so there is dinner on the table every night?

Who meditates every day?

Who’s favorite candy is Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups?

Who hogs the sheets?

Who was the master decorator of Four’s (our son) room?

Who is in charge of the remote?

Whose car is messier?

Who’s more scared about having a baby?

In the end, the baby shower turned out to be relatively painless and a lot of fun. As an adult you spend less and less time with your friends and more time caught up in your own lives, careers, kids, and activities. It’s nice to get together with everyone before your baby is born and starts sucking up all of your time like it’s breast milk and your life is a giant nipple.

bad ass dad baby shower

The most important thing to remember about having a baby shower is to get more in gifts than you spend on the shower appreciate the people that love you and will be part of your new child’s life.

A big thank you to all of our family and friends who came by to celebrate the most important occasion of our lives. We truly appreciate each and every one of you and can’t wait for our son to meet the people we care about most. And for him to shit in all of the diapers you bought us.

34 Weeks Pregnant – The Babymoon

34 Weeks Pregnant – The Babymoon

When I first posted on Facebook that my wife and I were taking off on our “babymoon”, one of my friends commented, “At every guys request, please don’t perpetuate the ‘babymoon'”. I can only assume that he was lamenting being forced to take his baby-mama on a vacation prior to her giving birth, which I completely understand. Taking your wife on vacation certainly should be the exception rather than the rule. I mean, it costs at least twice as much as going by yourself, you have to compromise on where to eat, and they usually expect at least one “romantic” moment to happen which you have to orchestrate to look like it happened spontaneously because you’re “so in love”.

That said, when I planned my trip to Hawaii, leaving my wife at home barely crossed my mind. I mean, who was going to carry my luggage if not my wife? Plus, when you travel with a pregnant chick people are super nice to you. They smile at you creepily, offer you places to sit, and usher you to the front of the line (which is infinitely better than being Chris Brown’d to get you back in line). It really made the trip extra special and there is a reasonable chance I will bring my wife on all future babymoons. That said, let me tell you a little about it.

My wife and I have taken to staying outside of the typical tourist areas during our travels so I booked three unique looking places via AirBnb.com. Having never been to Hawaii, and no familiarity with any particular parts of it, we rolled the dice on our 12 night trip with 5 on Maui, 2 on Molokai, and 5 back on Maui in another spot.

PHASE 1 – Maui (Kula)

Kula is located in what’s referred to as “Upcountry” on Maui which is a fancy way of saying, “far as shit from the beach”. Believe it or not, proximity to the ocean wasn’t part of our criteria for this trip. I know, most people go to Hawaii to sit on the beach all day but that’s not our style. While I enjoy the ocean view and spending an hour or two on the sand, after that I’m ready to go do something. Lisa is even worse than me. After 10 minutes of sitting still she’s all, “How much loooooooonger?” So rather than orchestrating a shark attack on her person, I simply keep her entertained inland. The place we stayed was a little cottage with an incredible view where we resided for 5 day including Christmas.

Frank Prather Bad Ass DadThat’s me on a deck. That’s a tangerine on me. That’s our cottage on the hill.

Kula, Maui viewThat’s the view of the ocean from our cottage.

Bad Ass DadThis is us trying to time a selfie.

Bad Ass DadThis is me wondering how my wife got so huge.

Bad Ass DadThis is us finally getting our shit together for the picture.

Because I don’t want to turn this into a travel guide book, I’m just going to throw out a couple of highlights from each phase of our trip. The most convenient thing about Kula is that it’s really close to the entrance of Haleakala National Park. This is a popular spot to drive to the top of the 10,000 foot volcano peak and watch the sunrise. They tell you to get up early so you don’t miss it, and to dress warm because it’s cold. What they mean by that is “get up in the middle of the night” and “doesn’t matter what you wear, you’re going to freeze to death.” But hey, you’re going to have an epic picture of a sunrise which will get you so many Instagram likes that your life will suddenly have meaning.

kulafrozenTropical island my balls.

kulasunriseClouds. Craters. Sunrise. That’s a wrap. Back in the car.

The other thing about Kula, that we discovered accidentally, is that it turned out to be the start of the most epically beautiful drive we have ever taken. And for those who are familiar with Maui no, it was not the Hana Hwy aka “Road To Hana”. Well, not exactly. Most people make that drive from Paia down to Hana town which is about 45 miles of mildly scenic road. Along this route are a bunch of suggested stops where you and 659498375 other people try to jam your cars into zero parking spots so you can hike in a take pictures of x/y/z. We drove it. It was unimpressive. However, if you drive to Hana from Kula, your going to have eyegasms at the sheer beauty of everything you see the entire way. Plus, you can pull off anywhere you want, don’t have to hike, and will see about 5 cars on the road over the hours long drive. It’s so epic that we did it twice.

Road to HanaIf I were roadkill I’d want to be dead on this road.

Frank Prather HawaiiHello Hawaiians, I am your new king. Congrats!

Bad Ass DadLisa is in such good shape because I “allow” her to run alongside the car.
You’re welcome, dear!

Bad Ass Dad waterfall2 mile hike uphill (ish) to get to this waterfall.
My wife, 7 months pregnant, basically ran it.
She > you.

You’re now approximately 1/3 of the way through this blog. Click the “MORE” link below to see the rest. Don’t worry, it’s mostly pictures so you don’t have to strain your weak brain by actually reading.

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29 Weeks Pregnant – 2014 Year In Review

29 Weeks Pregnant – 2014 Year In Review

2014 can be summed up by one word—awesome. I was awesome when it started. I maintained a consistent level of awesomeness throughout. And I’m just as, if not more, awesome here at the end of the year. Oh, and some awesome things happened which I will list below for your awesomely envious pleasure.

JANUARY
I woke up in one of my favorite places in the world, Key West, and remembered that I’d gotten engaged. After a failed attempt at swimming to Cuba to live a comfortably single life brushing Castro’s beard, I resigned myself to marrying this stunner. So I guess 2014 actually started off pretty good.

Bad Ass Dad engaged

FEBRUARY
Nothing happened to me directly this month unless you consider that my mom was born in February and without her there’s no me. The world has her to thank, or blame, for my existence. I suggest you send her a gift card or something nice from the SkyMall catalogue.

Frank Prather and Mom

MARCH
I reached my 2 year anniversary as head of casting and talent at a company where I am able to contribute to the enrichment of the American cultural landscape by putting people on reality TV.  Plus I’m fortunate to be able to work with a group of people who are family oriented, creative, intelligent, and whose sense of humor rivals the pure evil of my own.
Oh, and I completed my 2nd Tough Mudder which was fun in the sense that submerging your testicles in ice water is fun.  It also produced an extremely rare photo of my hair not looking perfect.

Tough Mudder 2014

APRIL
This month I celebrated 9 years of sobriety by not blacking out and drunk dialing everyone in my phone, instead replacing that activity with my third Spartan Race for the year.

Bad Ass Dad

Spartan Race 2014 Bad Ass Dad

JUNE
June was the trifecta of happenings so incomprehensibly amazing that this month may trump all months lived by all other human beings in the history of months or human beings.

I impregnated my fiance.
My dad got married for the 3rd and theoretically final time.
I had lunch with Morris Day.

*Drops mic on life*

Bad Ass Dad

Bad Ass Dad

Morris Day and The Time

I won’t say which was the biggest news of June but that’s Morris Day of The Time!
With me!
At P.F. Changs!

JULY
After I quit drinking 9 years ago I ran out of things to write about. In July, because I am god and have created life, I launched this new blog called Bad Ass Dad so that you could worship me for being so powerful and also a brilliant writer. You’re welcome.

Bad Ass Dad sonogram

AUGUST
I turned 44 which I think we can all agree is a miracle. Not because I reached this age but because I look so goddamn good.

Frank Prather

OCTOBER
Married my pregnant fiancé in Las Vegas. Happiest day of my wife.
Also felt my baby kick for the first time.

Bad Ass Dad - Frank Prather

NOVEMBER
On my 2nd birthday I was given a Snoopy signed by many of my relatives. To this day it remains one of my most cherished keepsakes and Snoopy remains one of my favorite cartoon characters. In November I bought my unborn son his first Snoopy and it almost made me cry. It didn’t, because I’m not a little bitch, but it almost did. Whatever. I’ll fucking punch you in your mouth. Shut up.

snoopy

DECEMBER
In an effort to finish the year strong I completed my 6th Spartan Race which earned me a double trifecta for 2014. For those who don’t do Spartan Races that won’t mean anything to you but it will when the machines rise because you’ll be the first to die.

 Frank Prather

At the end of each year, many people are glad it’s over and look to the coming year in the hope that it will be better. I am not one of those people. 2014 may very well have been the best year of my life. I didn’t get rich. I didn’t get famous. I certainly didn’t get any younger or taller. But the entire year was a series of great experiences, personal accomplishments, and time spent with people that I love. If 2015 turns out to be half as good as 2014, my life will continue to be happy and fulfilling. But, with my first born child due in February, it’s not looking to be half as good.

It’s looking to be twice as good.

My next blog post won’t be until January but if you’re itching to keep up with me go see a doctor about that itch. Also, follow me on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook so you can be super jealous of my holiday adventure.

25 Weeks Pregnant – Las Vegas Wedding On a Budget

25 Weeks Pregnant – Las Vegas Wedding On a Budget

 

Lisa and I started discussing our wedding plans about 8 seconds after I proposed (see proposal video HERE). Initially we were going to wait at least a year because everyone said that planning and budgeting take forever.  I, however, think that everyone is just lazy and indecisive, so I gave us 3 months to plan the wedding, execute the ceremony, impregnate her, and have the baby. I’m typically pretty efficient so 90 days seemed like a reasonable period of time to make all of Lisa’s dreams come true by throwing out her shoes, putting a child inside of her, and allowing her to cook for me for all of eternity.

bad ass dad barefoot pregnantHere she is barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen, as god (aka me) intended her to be.

bad ass dad wife cleansAfter I allowed her to prepare my meal, I provided her the opportunity to clean the grout with a toothbrush.

Prior to this post-wedding romance, we had the wedding which you can read about HERE. This current post will break down how we pulled off a great Las Vegas wedding on a reasonable budget.

When we started planning I read somewhere that the average couple spends $30,000 on their wedding. I was determined to give Lisa the wedding that she wanted so I braced myself for a huge financial hit that would ultimately result in me selling a kidney to pay for it. Not my kidney, mind you. One of you dear readers would have been the unfortunate recipient of a Cosby-like drugging followed by a groggy awakening in a tub full of ice. I’d have felt guilty (for wasting all of that ice), but it’s only the best for my bride.

We were considering 125 guests, a lakeside venue, and the typical catering, DJ, dessert bar, photo booth, photographer, etc and so on and so forth. We already had most of it planned out when Lisa, reminding me of why she deserved an engagement ring in the first place, decided that she wanted a small wedding.

Me: Define small.

Her: We’re only inviting midgets.

Me: We will look super tall.

Her: Precisely.

All of which would have been my preferred conversation, but what actually went down was a close second. She said that she just wanted to invite immediate family and our dearest friends who were already in the wedding party. Suddenly our guest count dropped by almost 100 and your organs came one step closer to not being harvested. As we further discussed the budgeting issue I offered up that Vegas was the cheap wedding capital of the world, and that we could plan something that was both fun and affordable. Lisa gave me an enthusiastic “Yes!” so I unpacked my suitcase and canceled my one way ticket to Guatemala. The wedding was back on! It took all of 2 weeks to plan the entire thing and the grand total for the ceremony and subsequent celebratory components came to $4,970. Granted, that’s not including our hotel room because those were expensive upgrades that I treated us to and totally unnecessary. Since I could have opted for much cheaper accommodations, for a much shorter period of time, I’m not counting that against the total. You could get a decent room for 2 nights at $150/night and it would barely register against your total.

That’s right, $4,970 for an entire wedding not done Juggalo style in a trailer park with a 2 liter bottle of Faygo.

How, you ask, did I pull off this financial miracle? The way I pull off all of my miracles, with style, grace, and perfect hair. Let me break that down for you…

1) The Wedding Dress $300

The average amount a chick spends on a wedding dress is $1,281, or roughly a down payment on a Harley Davidson Fat Boy, so if your bride-to-be spends that or more she doesn’t love you. The average amount of time they take to choose the dress is roughly 654958485747 visits to wedding stores where she will spend 95% of that time crying because she feels fat and the other 5% crying from joy because she found her dream gown and is happy that you won’t be getting a motorcycle.

Lisa and I happened to be in Vegas after a Spartan Race when she suggested that we stop at a dress store she’d seen online. I waited outside so, should she find a dress, I wouldn’t see her in it and also because shopping for girl clothes makes me suicidal. Eight minutes later she texted me and said, “Come look at what I found,” because we’re clearly hung up on tradition. She tried on one dress, looked great. She tried on a second dress, looked amazing. We agreed that was the dress. With terror gripping me to the depths of my soul I asked her the dreaded question, “How much?” She said it was $300 and dropped the motherfucking mic on wedding dress shopping. We went to lunch less than 30 minutes after she went in search of her wedding dress and below is a photo of the most beautiful girl in the world in her $300 wedding dress. Below that is my Harley Davidson Fat Boy.

Bad Ass Dad wedding dress

Frank Prather motorcycleMy wife took this picture of me sitting on the cost of your wedding.

2) The Wedding Rings $245

Given that Lisa already had a magnificent engagement ring with a beautiful blood diamond to show off, she didn’t want an expensive band for the ceremony. I had to drag her to the jewelry store and force one on her that cost around $200. She returned it the next day and found one for $20. Yes, $20. That’s two tanks of gas for my Harley and a strong indication that this marriage might actually work out. My ring, on the other hand, was $225. It’s made of Tungsten which is forged from the tongue meat of dwarves that eat metal and shit lava rocks. In the store it was $300 so I searched online to save a few bucks by buying from the dwarves directly.

3) Groom’s Outfit $175

I Googled outfits until I found one I liked then simply went to Macy’s and pieced together what I saw in the photo, albeit in different colors. Guys do not have to spend a lot of money to look good if they are already as good looking as I am. If they aren’t well, doesn’t really matter what they wear, does it. My outfit is simple, stylish, and I can utilize it again and again and again given that I wear dress pants and a tie for weddings and funerals exclusively. By the way, please don’t ever invite me to your wedding or a funeral because I find them both equally painful to attend. However, should I attend, I will look smooth as fuck.

Frank Prather wedding

4) “Rehearsal” Dinner $550

Our ceremony was so small and simple so we didn’t require an actual rehearsal. However, I wanted to take our family and friends out the night before the wedding so that everyone who didn’t know each other could meet in a relaxed environment. Hence, we had a “rehearsal” dinner. A major mistake that most people make in Vegas is being afraid to leave the Strip and dine where the locals eat. Lisa and I try to explore the less touristy areas whenever we travel, so on a previous trip to LV we found this little dive-y Ethiopian restaurant called Merkato. It had over 100 reviews and 4 stars on Yelp which means that very few people have died of food poisoning there, a good sign. It was the perfect place to have our dinner because it was cost effective, had great food, and the communal style of eating forced everyone to interact and share their Ebola with the other guests. Not everyone loved the meal but they all pretended to enjoy the experience which is all that truly matters. The staff at Merkato went out of their way to accommodate our party and treated us to a great time without charging us an exorbitant amount of money. I owe them a rating and review on Yelp which will literally be a game changer for them, because my writing is so magnificent. Incidentally, this dinner was also where I revealed the gender of my baby which you can read about HERE.

5)  The Venue $650

Vegas has countless venues, both indoor and out, that are awesome and reasonably priced. The trick is to stay off of the strip and out of the hotels as they will beat you, mug you, and psychologically traumatize you when it comes to having a wedding there. We looked at a number of outdoor venues in the park system like Valley Of Fire, Red Rock, etc, and they were all nice. The only issues were the driving distance and that they didn’t have any amenities like a music system, decor, or a bathroom. Although we didn’t want a traditional ceremony, we did want a little bit of infrastructure so that we could customize our venue. On the way back from scoping out Valley Of Fire, Lisa found a place online called The Grove. We drove straight there to check it out and she was instantly in love. They had multiple outdoor areas for a ceremony each with its own unique setup. They had a wedding gazebo, a little pond-side area, and the best one, the almond orchard. The orchard had a long brick pathway lined with almond trees and at the end was a little altar with grassy areas on either side for seating. I liked it well enough but Lisa decided on the spot that this was it. As always, the romantic side of me immediately kicked in and I demanded to know the cost. The packages for ceremony and reception were probably cheaper than most places but still ran in the thousand of dollars. We only wanted to have our ceremony there which came with one major restriction. If you weren’t holding your reception at The Grove you could only have a morning time slot for your ceremony. The good news was that the cost for doing so was $550! The other good news is that Lisa and I are morning people so 9am was perfect for us. The goodest news is that our guests had to drag their lazy asses out of bed early as shit on a Saturday morning in Vegas but we don’t care because fuck them! When we learned that a limo, photographer, even chairs, were included in that price, I immediately produced my credit card and paid in full for our venue before anyone changed their mind. The reason my total up top is $650 rather than $550 is because they only give you 30 minutes for your ceremony. We added 30 additional minutes to allow for more pictures with our guests which was well worth it. The day of our wedding the sun was shining, temperature was in the high 60’s, and our discount venue looked like a million bucks. Check out these pics. BTW, those sheets in the trees aren’t bandanges or giant rolls of TP, they’re decorative.

Vegas Wedding Bad Ass Dad Vegas Wedding Bad Ass Dad Vegas Wedding Bad Ass Dad Vegas Wedding Bad Ass Dad

6) Photographer $100

The photographer is included with the venue price but since we extended our time we had to shell out a little additional for that as well. The venue package only included 25 photos so the additional $100 came with 15 more shots for a total of 40. It wasn’t easy to narrow down the 200+ pics to our favorite 40 since we look so good in all of them but we managed. Truth be told, we weren’t too invested in these pics other than the fact that they’d include friends and family. We had a shoot scheduled for the Monday following our wedding with our good friend Leyna of Yellow Heart Photography and those were the ones we really wanted. So I guess the $100 for a photographer was kind of a cheat, but if you have a friend who’s an amazing photographic artist ask them to do a shoot for you as a wedding gift.

7) Coffee/Donuts $100

Since we gleefully decided to torture our guests with a 9am wedding (wake up bitches!), we wanted to offer up a little treat to take the edge off. I suggested that we hose them all down with cold water as they arrived but Lisa is all uptight and wanted to provide them with refreshments. I say that nothing is more refreshing than an early morning ice bath but she vetoed that awesomeness. Instead, guests arrived to a table decorated with our likeness (courtesy of artist Callow Lilly) along with Starbucks coffee, freshly squeezed-out-of-a-carton orange juice, and donuts. We considered using disposable mugs but wanted to class it up (because I exude class and elegance) so we found these vintage looking mugs at Ross. Unfortunately, the Ross we found them at only had 8, and we need well over 30, so we went to five different Ross locations in order to complete our set. Acquiring these mugs took more effort than planning and executing the entire remainder of the wedding and Las Vegas weekend, plus I got my quota of white trash shopping for the decade.

Wedding decor bad ass dad

8) Reception Brunch $1,700

When you decide to do a morning wedding the reception meal is infinitely less complicated because brunch. Although I’m typically not a fan of buffets, we’d heard great things about The Wicked Spoon in the Cosmopolitan Hotel. I wasn’t sold on even entertaining it as an option until I read an article entitled, “Could A Vegas Buffet Be One Of America’s Best Restaurants?” After that I knew we had to check it out, so Lisa and I went there and half-way through our first plate we were in. It was a no-brainer. Not only was the food amazing but everyone could gorge themselves until they puked on all types of delicious food for a very reasonable cost per person. The national average to feed your wedding guests is $66 per person or roughly one “6” short of satan himself taking a dump on your plate. And, I think most would agree, wedding food generally sucks. I’m not saying that it’s all terrible, but how many times have you attended even a high end wedding and said, “Boy! This chicken and green beans is the bomb!”? Also, how many times have you preceded any statement with “Boy!” unless you are one of the original Little Rascals?

We fed all of our people for a mere $35 per person and they raved about the food. Granted, they may have still been starving after avoiding the Ethiopian food the night before but oh well. You’ll never give so many people so many options for such high quality food as your able to at a solid Vegas buffet. Plus, brunch is considerably cheaper than dinner so feed those fat fuckers during the day, it’s worth it.

9) Wedding Assistant $150

We needed someone to pick up, then set up, our coffee and donuts the morning of the wedding. So I put out an ad on Craigslist and got close to 100 submissions for assistants. I included in the ad that someone with a nice camera and shooting ability would get priority consideration, ensuring that I’d get some extra photos or video.  We didn’t care to pay an outrageous amount for a videographer but we thought it would be nice to have some moving pictures if possible. The girl we ultimately chose, Alexa, has a burgeoning photo business aptly called Alexa Takes Photos, so we got double our monies worth. She met up with us the day before the wedding, collected all of our table decorations, a little petty cash, and instructions on what to do the next morning. The day of the wedding she picked up the coffee and donuts, set it all up, took beautiful video of the ceremony, and cleaned up the entire place before we left. She was courteous, reliable, and did exactly what we asked all with a great attitude. If you need a girl Friday for anything you do out there she’s the one to call. You can see an example of the video she shot with my niece’s singing performance HERE.

10) Transportation $600

Because we had an early ceremony off the strip and away from the hotels, followed by a brunch at a different location, we didn’t want anyone to be hassled with driving. Undoubtedly, people would have gotten lost, been late to the ceremony, had trouble parking for brunch, and basically been a pain in my ass. As such, I decided to avoid me going in to a murderous rage  and booked a bus to cart everyone around. It wasn’t cheap but it was well worth it. The morning of the wedding everyone met at our hotel in a designated area. Everyone except Lisa and her girls, that is, because they were picked up at another entrance by the limo that came with our venue package. The bus carted everyone comfortably to the venue where they disembarked to find the coffee/donuts we’d provided (I am so thoughtful). After the ceremony we took pics then the entire group re-boarded the bus to head to brunch, except for Lisa and I who rode in the limo. Once brunch was over the entire lot of us, practically catatonic at that point, were dropped back at our hotel to gamble and/or nap. Although the expense of the bus seems unnecessary, it made the entire day flow smoothly, on schedule, and with no hassle incurred by the guests. Without it they’d have had to get up early, drive to a hard-to-find venue 30 minutes from their hotel; then drive back to a hotel on the strip; valet their car; have lunch; then wait in line for their car and drive themselves back. Spring for a bus you cheap bastards.

11) Reception Party $0

The brunch was the reception meal, but we also wanted to have some type of “party”. Obviously that wasn’t going to take place during the day so we freed our guests after lunch to rest up for the nights festivities. There are countless clubs, shows, and entertainment prospects in Vegas but we wanted something that suited both our personalities and our budget. The Bourbon Room in The Venetian Hotel fit all of our requirements and then some. First and foremost, it’s an 80’s hair metal themed rock n’ roll bar that gets started at 9pm with a brief performance by it’s host Marvelous Mark. Mark is a shirtless, bedazzled cross between Brett Michaels and a comedian doing his 3rd open mic. He’s cheesy as hell but funny-adjacent and gets the crowd involved in the show. Secondly, this place is right off the casino floor, has no cover charge, and plenty of seating. As you can see, we’ve covered the wedding DJ, the music, and the venue for exactly $0.00 so far. The music is the icing on the cake because they played everything from Poison and Prince, and from Motley Crue to Morris Day. It was like they let me pick the playlist.

Now, this is the part where some people might differ in their way of thinking but, since Lisa and I don’t drink, we didn’t pay for the bar. It was cash only and everyone could indulge as they saw fit. That cut out a major expense that would have changed our budget entirely. One thing to keep in mind is that doing a “reception party” this way means you’ll miss out on a few things such as the traditional first dance, idiotic heartfelt toasts, and whatever other various happenings that are standard at a reception. Fortunately, Lisa and I didn’t require those things for our night to be special. Our family and best friends surrounded us and everyone seemed to be having a great time. In fact, most of them were still there when our tired asses left to head up to our room for the night. Oh, I forgot to mention that we stayed at The Palazzo, which is adjacent to The Venetian, so we walked down to our reception and back to our room. Some of our guests stayed there as well, while others stayed across the street at the perfectly suitable Treasure Island where they saved a ton of money. Either way, the evening festivities were easy and accessible. Anyone that wasn’t feeling the vibe could take 10 steps out into the casino and do a little gambling and free drinking if they desired. This completed our effort to provide our guests with a fun weekend, make our events convenient, and to give them the freedom to do their own thing if the wanted to. It was no dollars well spent.

12) Photo Shoot Venue $400

Finally, we did spend a little on the venue for our post-wedding photo shoot, but we wanted to do it somewhere cool since we had such a great photographer at our disposal. Leyna had suggested The Neon Museum which is the perfect spot for us. It’s a graveyard of old Vegas signs so it’s the perfect combination of vintage junk-cool and historical significance. I won’t even go on about how amazingly beautiful  the photography is and how incredibly perfect we look on camera because we are so unbelievably good looking, so just check out the photos in my Facebook album.

So that’s that. Again, keep in mind that I didn’t list the hotel cost because we chose to stay 5 nights in a luxury suite which is an unnecessary expense. You could easily arrive in Vegas on Friday morning, stay two nights in a decent $150/night hotel, then leave on Sunday. I didn’t include it in the budget because it’s up to you what you spend on accommodations in that city. You can stay at the Hooters Hotel for $29/night if you want. Also, I didn’t include airfare because we live in LA so we drove. If you have to fly it’s only because you live somewhere stupid rather than in Southern California where the weather is perfect and the earthquakes occasionally weed out the weakest among us. I also didn’t include tips and incidentals but you can figure that out yourself unless you went to public school in the South, in which case you can’t read this either.

The point is, you can do a really nice wedding for a fraction of the average cost if you step outside the box and throw “tradition” out the window. We decided to keep our guest list small so that we could share our wedding with those closest to us, but with this budget you can scale up pretty easily. If you think about it, the only cost that goes up with more guests is the brunch, so figure roughly $35 per additional person. Even if you add 30 – 50 more people you’d still be exponentially lower in cost than the average wedding.

Remember, when you plan your wedding it’s not about spending the most money on the most extravagant things. It’s about you, as a couple, enjoying one of the most important moments of your life with the people you love. Make it fun, make it memorable, but make it yours. Then go home and buy a goddamn motorcycle because you’re a man and no woman is ever going to tell you what you can or cannot do. That’s what love is all about.

23 – 24 Weeks Pregnant – Viva Las Wedding

23 – 24 Weeks Pregnant – Viva Las Wedding

 

We actually got married over 4 weeks ago but I took a week off from posting because my wife was all, “You have to pay attention to me instead of your blog” so I did. We’re still married so obviously my great sacrifice should be an example to all future grooms that you should compromise and pay attention to your bride for about 5 days after you get married. Anything beyond that will set a bad precedent and ultimately lead to you being a little bitch ass husband that your wife will leave for her Crossfit coach.

The week following the one I generously gifted to my bride was used to post the gender reveal because the world waited with baited breath to find out whether my spawn had a penis or a vagina. That should explain why I won’t allow the world to ever be alone with my child. Baited breath. Pervs. Finally, I had to announce that we named the kid otherwise you’d have to continue calling it “The Chosen One” which you actually can continue if you like. Any child fortunate enough to spring from my loins is clearly just that.

The point is, we got married. We decided to have it in Las Vegas because it’s a fun destination that was easy travel for guests from both coasts and offered plenty for them to do. Just kidding, we did it there because it’s cheap. Regardless of the inexpensive nature of our nuptials, it was one of the most fun weekends of our lives. Our closest friends and family celebrated with us and proved what we theorized at the beginning of our planning process—it’s not the venue, or the food, or the dress, or any of that overblown nonsense that makes the day special, it’s the people.

These are those people.

Frank Prather wedding

 

We kept our invite list to immediate family and a select few guests so that we could actually enjoy our time with everyone. I’m not trying to spend 1/2 hour talking to my mom’s step-second cousin twice removed who I met once when I was 6. If we have a familial connection and you want to be a part of my life then follow me on Instagram like everybody else. Unfortunately I will not follow you back because like ghosts, and aliens, and god, as far as I’m concerned you don’t exist. Oh, but feel free to jump on our HoneyFund registry and get us a gift. HUGS FAM!

Las Vegas Wedding PhotosThese are the most important guests because without them and their sexual urges neither Lisa or I would exist.
From left to right are Alan and Susie (Lisa’s parents),  Gloria, Frank, and Brenda (my mom, dad, and step-mom).

 

Frank Prather wedding photosThis is our good friend Jeff who performed the greatest ceremony in the history of wedding ceremonies.
He literally incorporated every person we have ever met into his presentation which was really touching,
although I think the UPS guy delivering a package to the venue was a bit much.

 

This is my niece, Cassi, singing for us. Yes, she is a blood relative. No, that’s not spray tan. 
 

Lisa Carr wedding
Lisa surrounded by her girls (L to R) Natalie, Vanessa, Nicole, and Sara.
Nicole had to rebel and wear her own shade of green while Vanessa overcompensated and matched her hair to everyone else’s dress.
 

Frank Prather and friends
These are my best friends in the world both because I love them and because they know all of my
secrets so I have to keep them close in case it’s necessary to kill them.
(L to R) Mike, Leyna, Kevin, Sharon, and Scott
 

Frank Prather wedding
If there was one truly special guest, Kara is that.
Her late husband was my life long best friend and she moved mountains to attend our wedding, just like Larry would have done.
Please take a moment to read about Larry HERE
 

Frank and Lisa Prather wedding
The guest of honor….and Lisa!
 

I’m not usually an emotional guy but the entire weekend truly overwhelmed my heart in a way I never thought possible. Living on opposite coasts, I rarely spend time with my family so having my parents, sister, niece, and nephew all together, combined with my closest friends, was the best thing ever. The love that Lisa’s parents and friends have for her, and for us, made it infinitely more special.

The most amazing aspect of this experience was being so fortunate as to marry the girl of my dreams and, on top of that, to have her carrying my child.

 

Bad Ass Dad tattoo

Forever on my arm, forever in my heart, forever paying child support, should we ever part.