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.

17 Weeks Pregnant – Bachelor Party Baby

17 Weeks Pregnant – Bachelor Party Baby


As my fiancé and I suffer from premature impregnation, we’re already 17 weeks pregnant while our wedding is happening just 3 weeks from now. As such, I had my bachelor party last night and discovered that my baby and I have a lot in common at this stage in our lives. At 17 weeks, according to a pregnancy website, my kid is currently the size of a turnip. In honor of this, I decided to get turnip as well. Now I know the commonly used phrase these days is “turnt up”, but I’d rather cut off my own penis and bake it in a crescent roll than utter that term outside of ridiculing the type of people that use it, of course. Not to mention that “turnt up”, by definition, describes how hard someone parties. At this stage of my life, “turnip” is certainly a more appropriate description of how I throw down. In fact, it might be a little to aggressive to describe my style of partying.

A decade ago my bachelor party would have involved a road trip to Vegas for at least 48 hours of non-stop binge drinking with women who pay their rent in one dollar bills. I would have left behind a chorus of, “Sir, I’m going to have to ask you to leave,” at virtually every establishment I patronized, and needed to rely on photographic documentation to recall a good 90% of my own actions. When I partied, I did it on an epic level and left an indelible mark on each person, place, and thing I tried to pee on during my blackout.

Today, at age 44, things are slightly different. Rather than going to bed at 6am, I generally wake up around that time, without an alarm. It’s likely because I fall asleep by 10pm most nights without the assistance of so much as a cup of Sleepytime tea to pass out. I haven’t had a sip of alcohol in over 9 years and don’t touch any drug stronger than an Advil. As of this morning, and this isn’t a joke, I stopped using sweetener in my coffee. Next to “Party” in the dictionary is a picture of me with the caption, “Not this guy.” And truth be told, I’m quite content with that. My “FOMO” (Fear Of Missing Out) has been replaced with “FIAS” (Fuck I Am Sleepy).

I used to worry that not partying would make me feel old and boring. Actually, it’s quite the opposite. I feel younger than ever. I eat healthy, exercise,  and enjoy the daylight more than I ever did the nightlife. Don’t get me wrong, I had fun during those years. A lot of fun. An immoral, illegal, would-be-going-to-hell-if-there-was-one-but-I’m-an-Atheist-and-hell-is-pretend amount of fun. I wouldn’t trade those experiences for anything, but I’ve moved on. And not because I’m old or boring, but because that kind of fun got old and boring. Now my fun consists of early morning workouts, Spartan Races, looking death in the eye by riding my Harley in LA traffic, shooting guns, shopping for baby clothes, and binge watching Netflix with Lisa. Truth be told, this is the most alive I’ve ever felt.

That said, on to the sordid details of my insane bachelor “party”.

Although I live 1.5 miles from the beach, I decided to rent a place that was 100 yards from the ocean to hold the shindig. Partially to have a dedicated party pad, and partially because my apartment isn’t quite big enough. My guests were told to arrive around 7pm but I decided to go a few hours early and pre-game. You know, get an early start removing my chain so, upon their arrival, things could already be “off the chain.” On the way to the party palace I stopped by Jamba Juice and got a Protein Berry Workout smoothie, well-blended with an extra scoop of whey. Shit just got real.

Upon my arrival I headed down to the beach to begin documenting the shenanigans. Here I am all hyped up.

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That particular photo above didn’t make the cut because I felt that the silhouette was misleading and made me look pear-shaped, so I tried…

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Here I didn’t sit down because too many people were walking by and I didn’t want to make it obvious that I was taking selfies of my back. I didn’t mind it as much as the previous pear-shaped photo but it looks like I might be about to take a dump, so this didn’t work either.

IMG_1435

Finally I got to this one, which was perfect. I don’t look like a sadly shaped fruit or like I’m dropping a deuce on the sand. However, you can see the tread of my shoe that set my iPhone on to get the correct height for the pic. That’s a problem solved by…

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Instagram! Boom. No shoe tread. Cropped for intimate feel. And filtered to look like an infinitely more beautiful sunset.This glorious shot was posted with the caption, “Thinking about this life I live” to make me look deep and pensive rather than like a guy taking selfies of his own back.

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

The party train has left the station people, hold on. Ok, I admit that this is getting ridiculous. I don’t party. I don’t want to party. I didn’t party. What I did do was spend a fun and relaxing evening with some great friends. I actually did secure the beachfront house on Airbnb but only because I wanted an ocean view and a dining room table big enough to accommodate more people than the one in my apartment can seat.

My LA-OG-BFF, Leyna, got there before anyone else. She was my first real friend on the West Coast. I met her just over a decade ago and we were thick as thieves from day one. Today she remains one of my best friends, closest confidants, personal photographer, and semi-professional team selfie partner.

fpleyna

Shortly after our Myspace throwback photo shoot, Craig arrived and the three of us adjourned to the patio where Leyna began angrily lecturing the delicious cheese platter.

Bad Ass Dad

Once the cheese had been thoroughly berated, Leyna took a few candid photos of me looking extremely handsome, which is redundant.

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I’m smiling to let the cheese know that everything is going to be okay.

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Explaining that the sun isn’t actually a god, but a big ball of gas, much like me after a cheese platter.

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And finally I stare directly into the sun until that little pussy went and hid below the horizon. I am obviously the lord of all things except for burned out retinas.

Soon the rest of my friends arrived and we got down to the telling of embarrassing stories about me and the eating of food that was not cheese. We’d hired a personal chef who almost killed us with a non-stop barrage of perfectly prepared food, and a massive amount of it at that. He started off with marinated artichokes for each of us as appetizers, followed by a salad. After that were monster steaks (mine was 2lbs!) with baked potatoes as big as a newborn baby, sautéed vegetables, and a dessert that consisted of a fresh baked brownie on top of ice cream on top of a fresh baked brownie.  By the end of dinner everyone’s eyes had glazed over and, for once, I wasn’t the only one ready to go to bed at 9pm.

table1

From Left to Right: Leyna, Craig’s forehead, Jeff, Robert, James, and Sharon.

Here’s a little rundown of the guest list:

Leyna – My longest term LA friend; an amazing professional photographer (look HERE): and the person responsible for my career in television; knows most of my secrets.
Craig – A multiple Emmy award winning documentary producer; television story producer; my go-to guy for creative collaboration.
Jeff – A former Venice Beach roommate; the officiant at my upcoming wedding; driving alongside me as we both travel the road of marriage and kids simultaneously.
Robert – Owner of The Ave Barbershop in Redondo Beach (look HERE); person who makes my perfect hair look more perfecter; recently had 2nd baby and challenged me to have one.
James – A talented professional screenwriter; one of the funniest people I know; we share a mutual love of Prince; love interest of Sharon.
Sharon – My second longest LA friend; one of the most loyal people I’ve ever known; an advertising executive; knows the rest of my secrets.

After dinner we did what any crazy party people would do, played “Cards Against Humanity” for two hours.

cards

James gives me a knowing/creepy/pervy wink while Jeff and Robert watch Leyna explain how Craig is cheating.

At that point it was around 11pm and the only thing keeping any of us awake was the cacophony of yawns reverberating off the walls. So, like any gracious host, I looked around at my wonderful friends and gave my speech…

“I’m tired, get out.”

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Finally, in the wee hours of the night (cough*11:42pm*cough), I put on my sleeping spirit hood and pondered my life in the giant all knowing nipple of humanity.

boob

And with amazing friends, a great family, a perfect bride-to-be, a baby on the way, and glorious adventures ahead, I realized that I need not ask for meaning from the giant nipple because I already had the answer. Life is good. Very, very good.

 

The Surprise Wedding Proposal

The Surprise Wedding Proposal

Given that she thought I never wanted to get married, this surprise wedding proposal went pretty well.


Bad Ass Dad Proposal