Archive of ‘family’ category

Guest Post: Thoughts from the Father of the Bride

Moxie Dad! Photo by Redfield Photography

Moxie Dad!
Photo by Redfield Photography

Moxie Dad here blog followers… I asked Moxie if she minded posting this reflection on the wedding from a Dad’s point of view in the hopes that as you plan your own special day you will be aware of the significance that the festivities hold for those who love you the most.

Many people had asked me prior to the big day, “What is it going to feel like giving away your daughter…” which felt to me like some ancient custom from a long lost civilization. This certainly didn’t apply to Moxie and me; our relationship was different, more modern, and more self-aware.  Well-intentioned people seemed to be preparing me for some great loss and as they spoke to me I noticed that their comments went in two directions:

a) Like I was losing my daughter rather than gaining a son in law

b) Like I had giving away something here rather than acknowledging that it was she that gave her love to Bob the Builder.

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Holy Sh*t! 30 DAYS!

Well, here we are, kids. We are 30 days away from the biggest party I have ever thrown. So far. :-)

30 days

I’ve given up all pretense of remaining calm; at this point I’m aiming for composed, even if it’s a fake-it-til-you-make-it kind of composed. I’m not picky. I’ll take it.

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Guest Post: MoxieDad’s Corner of the Sky

This photo was taken from MoxieDad's hotel room at Animal Kingdom.

Note from Moxie Bride: Guys, It’s Father’s Day, and MY DAD is here! A few weeks ago, Bob the Builder and I were at dinner with Bridesmaid Red and Hubby Red, and somehow we got on the subject of MoxieDad & StepMom Moxie and their Magical Mystery Tours. The Reds had many questions, which I did not have answers for. So, I asked MoxieDad to fill us in! Take it away, Moxie Dad…

Hello followers of That Bride’s Got Moxie!

I’m Father of the Moxie Bride, or Moxie Dad for short.

Last weekend Moxie was in town to celebrate her bridal shower, and I took the opportunity to crash the party to say hello to some people who I haven’t seen in many years. I know that men are not invited to the swinging soiree, so I was just going to sneak in at the end to mingle with the ladies (and have dinner later with Moxie and my wonderful wife, the lovely StepMom Moxie.) I show up at the time we expected the party to be winding down, and low and behold, my beautiful daughter is in the middle of thanking everyone and opening gifts. So I exited stage left and returned an hour or so later when my presence would not affect the gathering.

It was great to see everyone but most memorable was that I got to spend some time talking to Moxie Bride’s cousin Debbie who I had not seen in many years. As we sat and talked about the old days before everyone’s children were born, people that we have lost along the way, and the bridge to where we are now and where we came from, I remembered I saw the original production of Pippin on Broadway with her.

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That night was memorable for many reasons, Ben Vereen at his very peak, John Rubinsten as Pippin, and a strange occurrence in the balcony. We were sitting in the mezzanine and during the intermission Debbie came back from the ladies room and told us, (MoxieMom, Me, & Debbie’s husband) that she followed me up to the balcony and saw me sit down next to another woman. What!?!?  I had been sitting in the same spot for the entire break – and I had witnesses! She then told us that the person she followed looked identical to me. So we went up to the balcony and there I was staring back at myself. My doppelganger looked back at me and we both experienced a little bit of vertigo. After a few seconds, we spoke and it was really very strange to see yourself as though through a mirror, but without the simultaneous movements.  Some other people in the crowd saw what was going on and commented that we both looked like John Rubinstein’s Pippin character. It is amazing how little we had to say to each other, (or maybe it was just shock), but the meeting was brief, and we returned to our seats to see the remainder of the show. I always remembered the themes from that play; the youthful quest to follow an extraordinary life, his battles with tyranny, and finally his acceptance that to live a modest life filled with love and joy is in it self an extraordinary thing.

I’m not sure that I have succeeded in living that type of modest life; there are just too many wonderful adventures to experience.  So how do I bridge what is essentially the selfish endeavor of wanting to experience as much as life has to offer, with the love and joy of all the wonderful people around me? I found that answer in a Beatles song. Well, just the title, actually.

I call what I do “Magical Mystery Tours“. Here is how it goes… Whenever I see something interesting, be it a special trip to somewhere we have not travelled to, an out of the way restaurant, or a show that has some redeeming value, I announce to my wife that we are going on a Magical Mystery Tour. No other data is provided, except what to pack, or what to wear. End of conversation. No hints, clues, or trails of breadcrumbs. If asked, I usually say, “It’s none of your bid-ness…”

MoxieDad and StepMom Moxie on their wedding day. In Africa.  This was not a Magical Mystery Tour.

MoxieDad and StepMom Moxie on their wedding day. In Africa.
This was not a Magical Mystery Tour.

One such MMT was to Martha’s Vineyard for a long weekend. For that trip, I even started driving in the wrong direction just to throw her off the scent. For the trip to Animal Kingdom (Walt Disney World), I did have to suggest a packing list, which begged the questions of being in a warmer climate. So I said, “We’re going to Africa…” This worked out very well when the first thing we saw out of the balcony of the hotel was a giraffe.

This photo was taken from MoxieDad's hotel room at Animal Kingdom.

This photo was taken from MoxieDad’s hotel room at Animal Kingdom.

Our Magical Mystery Tour’s are not just limited to the two of us.  The wife of a couple that we are close with had a breast cancer scare. During that time I invited them to a MMT where we headed into Manhattan to a lovely restaurant and then over to a comedy club… laughter is the very best medicine. The payoff came for my wife and me when we looked over and saw her crying with tears of laughter. We ended the night at a late night café for desserts on the upper West Side. I can’t take credit for having helped her, but she is fine now, and a great night was had by all.

My wonderful wife has arranged her own MMT’s to surprise me with as well. Good things have a tendency to multiply, and that is an extra reward to all the effort.  Friends and family have come to appreciate when we invite them on a Magical Mystery Tour, not knowing what to expect. But knowing that they will be in good hands is all that it takes to put people at ease with the unknown details.

So if you read this and decide that maybe the lives of the people around you will benefit from a little mystery, a little adventure, a little dose of “how about I do something for you and we both have fun at it…” here are my suggestions:

  1. Don’t plan something that is really a “Me” event. I.E don’t plan a trip to an amusement park if she doesn’t like rides…
  2. Details… plan out the event and make it as seamless as possible. Show whomever you are doing this for that you wanted this to be a wonderful memory.
  3. No hints… Silence is golden.  If you start dropping hints, it can be taken as a way to show control. This isn’t about control, it is about joy and surprise.
  4. Don’t be disappointed if it doesn’t work out exactly as you plan. It’s about the journey – not the results. Half the fun is in the planning, which as I said is the selfish part…

Many years ago my Mom (aka Grandma Moxie) used to say: “This isn’t a dress rehearsal.”

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Grandpa Moxie & Grandma Moxie

She was trying to say that this is the one life we have to live. We owe it to ourselves and the wonderful people that we are blessed to have in our lives to experience all that this world has to offer. As long as we temper that by not abandoning the responsibilities we have to each other, anything goes. So ask yourself if someone in your life might like a special night, weekend, or event… Then don’t tell them anything about it, keep it close to your vest, and let the mystery enliven your lives a little.

Tonight I’m going to listen to “Corner of the Sky” from the Pippin soundtrack. I know I have it on an eight track somewhere around here…. What I know is that I have found my corner of the sky. I’m many years away from that boy that was so touched by that song and I can see how much I have learned about the joy of a life well lived. I’m where I need to be, and where I can share my passion with those that matter the most to me. I hope as you read this you find yourself in the same place.

The only remaining question is… I wonder how my doppelganger is doing.

MoxieDad Signing Off…

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Distracted by Real World Events

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Y’all, I know I owe you some blog love. I owe you the tale of my yummy massage, and what I’m doing about my wedding gown, and other assorted shenanigans. But, I just can’t this week.

In light of Hurricane Sandy taking down my beloved hometown, NYC – and Bob the Builders childhood hangout, Seaside Heights, as well as so many other neighborhoods, I think there are other things to focus on. So, I will.

As part of my participation in Camp Mighty (which is happening in 13 days. 13 DAYS!!), I’ve been focused on Doing Good. I live 3,000 miles away from home, and this week it has been surreal to have everyone in LA still going about their regular business while some of my family members are trapped in their homes. No electricity, no gas in their cars to go anywhere, no HEAT. And it’s easy to feel powerless – “There’s nothing I can do from this far away!”

WRONG.

We live in the future, people. You can help by just a few clicks of your keyboard.

First, if you want to help, I encourage you to friend/follow/like Hope Mob on Facebook, and here on the Twitter. A few days ago, I had no idea what Hope Mob was or who Shaun King was. Shaun is the founder & CEO of Hope Mob, and you should do yourself a favor and go read his Twitter feed from the past few days. It will make you feel better about the human race. Seriously. He is like a one-man army of Help.

Last night, he posted about how we can help. Even from afar. Go here to read his blog. I can tell you that last night, I donated to Covenant House in Jersey City because of Shaun’s blog post. Here’s the info:

Families in Newark have run out of diapers, wipes, and basic baby supplies. If you can take them today that would be awesome. My friends @ Covenant House are amazing. The address is: 330 Washington Street | Newark, NJ 07102

You can mail them these diapers from our Amazon registry here.

You guys, it look me about 8 minutes and cost me about $45. That’s it. All from the comfort of my home office, which has light and heat, unlike much of the East Coast.

If you can’t afford to donate, I totally get that. Right now, I can. A few months ago, I couldn’t. I understand such things.

But, you can re-blog this, share it to Facebook, tweet about it. Spread the word! Maybe you can’t help – but maybe you know someone who can. And, if you are in the NY tri-state area, and haven’t been hit as hard as some others, PLEASE look into your heart and take some action. Go to your nearby senior center and visit – bring whatever you can. Most of those folks don’t have family nearby, and some don’t have family at all.

This is not some other person’s problem. We all live here. It’s all our problem.

Please do your part.

And maybe on Monday, I will write about wedding dresses again.

Hopefully.

Slight Change of Plans…

So, when I started this blog, I thought I’d be blogging about all things for my dad’s upcoming nuptuals, but in the past few months, they have decided to elope.  Yes, elope!  And they also decided to honeymoon in Africa and Egypt.  Super freakin awesome.  Can’t wait to see the pictures.   So, no formal wedding.

Sadly, this means no super OCD-ish planning on my part.  No excuse to buy a pretty dress, preferably from the fine bridesmaid collection at J.Crew.  But, oh well.

Happly, my good friend Ellen and her boyfriend Brian just got engaged a few weeks ago.   Yay!!  Brian pulled me aside at an event on Saturday and said, “you’ve gotta help me.  We gotta pull the trigger on a venue.  Can you help?”

Uh, duh.  I live to help.  Love to.  Let’s do this, people!

So, Dad and Cindy – you’ve been replaced by Ellen and Brian.

It’s so freakin’ ON!

Let the planning begin.

Why Blog? (aka “first post”)

Welcome!  I see you have found my little corner of the interwebs.

I know, I know, so I’ll just answer that first question right away.  No, I am not actually getting married.  Someday, yes.  But, today?  This year?  No.

A few years ago, I worked for a restaurant as a banquet captain and then eventually, event planner.  While working there, I gained A TON of knowledge about weddings.  Since then, I’ve helped my two BFF’s with theirs, and now, my Dad’s getting re-married.  So, I thought, rather than inundate my future step-mom with all my wedding musings, I’d post them.  If anyone else wants to read them, awesome.

And, ya know, maybe I’m actually researching some ideas for me..for the day when I will need them.

Maybe that Kevin Coster movie was right.  Maybe if you build it, they will come…

Renee