Toast for Crystal & Muddy Lee

I wrote this toast for Crystal & Muddy’s wedding, which was on Sunday, June 12, 2016 (61216 palindrome).

 

I tried to read this at the wedding, as much as I could, word-for-word, but for those who attended the wedding, you know it didn’t quite work out that way.:-) And I totally forgot a whole section (near the end)!

 

These words are much easier to read without hearing my emotions pour out, so I decided to post it here.

 

Thank you all again for helping make Crystal & Muddy’s day so special.

 

And now, the toast…

THANK YOU

  • Thank you all for being part of this celebration today for Crystal & Muddy!
  • Thank all of you who made extra effort to travel and make it to this beautiful location, and for supporting this beautiful couple.
  • Thank you to everyone who helped make this day possible – Muddy’s parents, family, Crystal’s parents, Crystal’s favorite sister and brother-in-law and nephew and niece Miles & Maggie, and family, and all of their friends.
  • Lisa. Thank you for your love and support throughout this process and for inspiring me every day to be prepared. I could not have done it without you. You are amazing and I love you!
  • Thank you Jacqueline & Andrew, Scott, Jamie, Sierra, Annette, Ricky, Alyssa, Lance, Greg, David, Cameron, Garold, Chelsea, Vicki, Renae & Dave (food), Chris, Mary, Jen, Meredith, Nicki and especially Colleen and everyone for all of your help, and for everyone else who helped put this wedding together, thank you all very much! Edit: And Erin Waltner for more pictures, and Katie for gluten-free cake!

 

AND NOW FOR A FEW WORDS…

You give them life. You make sacrifices. You hustle, every day, to earn just enough to feed the baby. You do everything you can to provide them a safe, loving home. You carry them when they can’t carry themselves. You check for monsters under their beds, and then you give your comfortable, confident, fearless daughters hugs and kisses before they go to sleep. You take them to school. You educate them. You feed them. You put notes in their lunches so they are reminded, every day, that they are loved. You guide them. You clothe them. You teach them the importance of family. You console them. You inspire them. You laugh with them…watching old episodes of Psych separately, but together. You cry with them…while watching The Little Mermaid. You survive conflicts with them. You move their stuff. You move their stuff again. Multiple times. You share your ideas, your opinions, your faith, your fears, hopes and dreams with them. You keep in touch. You listen to them. You advise them. You learn from them. You silently hope that they’ve listened, that they’ve learned, and remembered everything you’ve attempted to do, to help make them the strong, brilliant, talented, beautiful, independent, successful, positive contributions to the world you’ve always wanted.

As I mentioned at Crystal’s sister Jacqueline’s wedding, I’ve been fortunate enough to see these hopes realized twice in my lifetime. Crystal & Jacqueline have truly both equally made my life worth living, and having Lisa’s daughter Cortney in my life for the past 6+ years has also been a true blessing. But today, we focus on Crystal.

 

CRYSTAL

Spontaneous. Passionate. Brilliant. Beautiful. Inspiring. Positive. Motivating. A leader. Strong. Strong-minded. Strong-willed. Talented. Independent. Social. Heart of gold. Sharp tongue. Fierce. Lives with a smile. Loves with a smile. Laughs with a smile. Quick wit. Confident. Knows self-worth. And always right.

But enough about me…

Crystal is, of course, all of these things…and more!

I could give you a thousand examples of each of these, but I will share just one.

Crystal, I love you. But I must share…

Crystal cannot sing.

  • Not even a little.
  • Really.
  • Not at all.

Coming from a passionate, music-loving father, and her marrying a music-loving husband, this has been somewhat surprising.

until you consider the following:

The fact that Crystal cannot sing, and the fact that she knows this fact, and the fact that she even acknowledges this fact, doesn’t seem to affect her.

Crystal will sing anywhere, anytime, for anyone, for any reason.

…and I love it.

Crystal’s confidence and ability to love and accept herself is genuinely inspiring for us all.

With Mohamed Ali’s recent passing, Crystal will surely inherit the title of Greatest Of All Time or “GOAT”, but we’ll just call her little GOAT. As you know, there is a lot to love in this 4 foot, 11 and 1/2 inch lightweight.

Crystal’s spontaneous arrival on earth literally changed my life forever. For a few of my more successful stories in life, I must give a lot of credit to Crystal. Because of her, and later her & Jacqueline, I had to keep going. Because of her, I could not stop. For a long time, I was in a mindset that I had to feed the baby, feed the baby, feed the baby. No time to party, no time to rest, no time to be a rock-n-roll star, no time to worry about my life or my losses. The baby isn’t aware of your trials. Our children are constant reminders that life goes on. She just looks up at you, smiles, and without a word, says “feed me”, “give me shelter”, “take care of me”, “love me”.

I’m tremendously proud of Crystal for all of her accomplishments. Although she has a caring Mother, new and existing motherly and fatherly figures, a whole tribe of family, and the greatest father of all time, all supporting her, I can honestly say that Crystal did most of it on her own, and in her own way. But of course, she couldn’t do it without all of us!

Most recently, she has created a loving home, with many plant children, and has used her gifts and her talent, her Bachelor of Arts from Gonzaga University 2011, and the influence of her great Uncle Rich, to secure a graphic design job, which she loves, and is already making the online world a more beautiful place, and changing the world. Crystal has always been resourceful, but I’m extremely proud of how she has diligently pulled herself out of many of life’s trials, and has managed to overcome life’s tribulations and be in the fantastic place she is in now…with Muddy.

And so it is Muddy’s great, fortunate opportunity now to look in those big brown eyes and hear…

“feed me”, “give me shelter”, “take care of me”, “love me”

…and I know he will!

 

MUDDY

Some of us first saw Muddy on a local TV show named “Seattle Refined”. Link: http://seattlerefined.com/the-show/watch-creepy-cocktails-12th-dogs-and-a-haunted-house-in-port-gamble

Through some incredible magic, we were able to capture some of the reactions around the world, which you will see in a moment.

Over the last few months, I’ve learned from many people about how Muddy takes care of Crystal, and how he works so hard to make her happy, and I have also had the pleasure of observing this for myself. They are good for each other. “Adulting” is a term a lot of people are using these days, but Crystal & Muddy are truly living this. Do you all agree?

 

Oops! I totally missed reading this entire “Toast” section!

 

TOAST

Now I would like to toast, so I would like to ask you a favor.

Will you please raise a glass with one hand, and raise your other hand and reach toward Crystal & Muddy.

For those of you with only one hand, I would like you to put down your drink and raise it toward Crystal & Muddy.

Now please send all of your positive thoughts, your prayers, and your love to Crystal & Muddy.

 

Crystal & Muddy, look around.

All of these people are here today with you and will always be here for you.

This is your tribe. Your village.

Please remember that we are all here for you.

And to the loving couple, I simply ask that you follow the advice often posted in video stores across the world…in the 80s:

Be kind. Rewind. Be kind. Rewind. I’m still learning this myself, but please show us all. Be our leaders. Show us how to love. Be kind to each other.

 

VIDEO

Now some of you may have seen a video for Jacqueline and Andrew’s wedding about Andrew’s Request.

 

Since this situation was a bit different, I wanted to make sure Muddy was indeed prepared to take care of Crystal. As you might expect, I put Muddy through a rigorous round of testing. In many of these tests, which you are about to see, I play the part of Crystal.

Would you like to see how he does?

Roll the film!

 

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How To: Activate Apple’s “Contract-free” T-Mobile iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

Works for iPhone 6 S and iPhone 6 S Plus too!

Paul Goade : Blog

Were you fortunate enough to get the amazing, new, iPhone 6?

design_hero_large

I’m already on T-Mobile with my current iPhone 5 S.

I pre-ordered Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus from Apple’s site. I bought the one listed as “Contract-free” T-Mobile (I did the same for my iPhone 5 S).

The shiny new and exciting iPhone 6 Plus is now in my hands.

I’ve backed up my iPhone 5 S to iCloud (using iCloud backup).

During the iPhone 6 Plus setup, I elected to restore from iCloud backup.

So now I have everything transferred to my cool new iPhone 6 Plus!

But the phone still doesn’t work to make phone calls.

I now need to activate it.

The Old School Way

Easy – just take the SIM card out of the iPhone 5 S and put it in the iPhone 6 (or 6 Plus).

This does work, and you can do this.

Why didn’t I do…

View original post 206 more words

How To: Activate Apple’s “Contract-free” T-Mobile iPhone 6 and 6 Plus (+ 6 S and 6 S Plus)

Were you fortunate enough to get the amazing, new, iPhone 6?

design_hero_large

I’m already on T-Mobile with my current iPhone 5 S.

I pre-ordered Apple’s iPhone 6 Plus from Apple’s site. I bought the one listed as “Contract-free” T-Mobile (I did the same for my iPhone 5 S).

The shiny new and exciting iPhone 6 Plus is now in my hands.

I’ve backed up my iPhone 5 S to iCloud (using iCloud backup).

During the iPhone 6 Plus setup, I elected to restore from iCloud backup.

So now I have everything transferred to my cool new iPhone 6 Plus!

But the phone still doesn’t work to make phone calls.

I now need to activate it.

The Old School Way

Easy – just take the SIM card out of the iPhone 5 S and put it in the iPhone 6 (or 6 Plus).

This does work, and you can do this.

Why didn’t I do this?

I didn’t want to penetrate my virgin SIM slot.

Something this beautiful deserves to remain un-poked.

The Cool, New Way

Since I’m using T-Mobile as my carrier, and I’m continuing to do so, and I’m simply upgrading my iPhone, all I need to do is the following:

  1. Go to https://my.t-mobile.com/SimChange/SIMChange.aspx (picture below)
  2. Enter your SIM card number (Your SIM card number is displayed on the back of the Apple iPhone box as the ICCID. This number starts with 8901 and ends with F.)

That’s it!

The instructions talk about detaching your SIM card, inserting it into your phone (which you would have to do if you got a new SIM card), but the form just asks for your SIM card number and click “Submit”.

T-Mobile SIM Update

About 3 minutes later (even though they warned me that it could take a few hours), I got a text message from T-Mobile confirming that my iPhone 6 Plus was all ready to go!

I hope you found this information useful – it was very hard to find anywhere online for this specific situation.

If you really appreciate this information, go download thankful at http://appstore.com/thankful and magic answers at http://appstore.com/magicanswers!

And now I have to go play with my new iPhone 6 Plus!

Toast for Jacqueline & Andrew McGruder

I wrote this toast for Jacqueline & Andrew’s wedding, which was on Saturday, February 25, 2012.

 

I tried to read this at the wedding, as much as I could, word-for-word, but for those who attended the wedding, you know it didn’t quite work out that way. 🙂 I wanted to read this with the strength, articulation, poise, style, grace, and emphasis always demonstrated by President Obama. Instead, I read it more with the style of Jacqueline, at age 5, explaining, while crying, why she didn’t want to go to bed yet.

 

These words are much easier to read without hearing my emotions pour out, so I decided to post it here.

 

Thank you all again for helping make Jacqueline & Andrew’s day so special.

 

And now, the toast…

Thank you all for joining us today! Thank you Ginger & Bill McGruder for your generosity with the rehearsal dinner, the McGruder family dinner last night, the amazing honeymoon gift, and everything you’ve done to make this day incredible. Thank you to the all of the extended McGruder family – those who are local and to those of you who made the long trek to Seattle.

Thank you also to all of the extended Goade & Lane families, for your continued love and support of Jacqueline and now for your support of Jacqueline and Andrew. Jacqueline would not be the person she is today without all of your love.

Thank you all who helped prepare for Jacqueline & Andrew’s day – Margery for the beautiful flowers and decorations, Shawn for the great pictures, Greg & Cookie for helping coordinate the ceremony, Vicki, Colleen, Ricky, Erin, Kelly, Jerry, Ruth, and everyone else who is helping today…thank you!

Also, I’d like to thank Joy for helping deliver two of the greatest accomplishments of my life.

For those of you in the bridal party, thank you for helping shape Jacqueline & Andrew into the people they are today. Please continue to be by their sides the rest of their lives together.

Crystal. You continue to be a source of inspiration for your sister. We all love the way you love each other.

Lisa. Thank you for your love and support throughout this whole process and for helping me even while you planned your own daughter’s wedding. Cortney & Aaron were married on Jan 1. Congratulations! Lisa, you are my rock. You inspired me every day to check in with Jacqueline and Andrew and helped me make wise choices and generate creative ideas. I could not have done anything without you. You are amazing and I love you!

And for everyone else who helped put this wedding together, thank you all very much!

And now for a few words…

You give them life. You make sacrifices. You do everything you can to provide them a safe, loving home. You carry them when they can’t carry themselves. You check for monsters under their beds, and then you give your comfortable, confident, fearless daughters butterfly kisses before they go to sleep. You take them to school. You educate them. You feed them. You put notes in their lunches so they are reminded, every day, that they are loved. You guide them. You clothe them. You teach them the importance of family. You console them. You inspire them. You laugh with them. You cry with them…while watching The Little Mermaid. You pray for them. You survive conflicts with them. You move their stuff. You bring them to the ER sometimes even when they’re in collage. At 2AM. Multiple times. You discover their talents and unique gifts. You play piano with them. You sing with them. You share your ideas, your opinions, your faith, your fears, hopes and dreams with them. You move apart. You keep in touch. You listen to them. You advise them. You silently hope that they’ve listened, that they’ve learned, and remembered everything you’ve attempted to do, to help make them the strong, brilliant, talented, beautiful, independent, successful, positive contributions to the world you’ve always wanted.

I’ve been fortunate enough to have this happen twice in my lifetime. Crystal & Jacqueline. Miraculously, these two sisters still love & like each other. They have both equally made every day of my life worth living. But today we focus on Jacqueline. Jacqueline, you are every parents’ dream. Even though I was relentless about pushing you to impossibly get better than your 4.0 grade point average, for impossibly becoming a better person, for reaching higher, for achieving more success, in all honesty, I must now tell you that you have surpassed all of my highest expectations. You’ve become the woman I’ve hoped for and you’ve become the woman of Andrew’s dreams.

Cheers!

Andrew. Welcome to the family! You have no idea how difficult it is to be accepted into the inner circle my family. My family is ruthless and they have a very high bar for letting someone in to the family. Somehow, though, you passed all of their tests and you confidently and comfortably fit right in, and you almost immediately felt like part of our family.

Speaking of high standards… Jacqueline is on an entirely different level. She watches every move and observes every detail. She would tell me things like “I don’t like him because he started eating before Crystal did” or “he didn’t open the door for Crystal” or “he didn’t even want to pay gas to see Crystal”. This, of course, was all by my evil design. I wanted to spoil Crystal & Jacqueline so that it would be extremely difficult for any boy to live up to their expectations.

Again, you have managed to pass all of her very demanding tests. I’d like to thank Ginger & Bill and family for raising such an outstanding gentle-MAN!

Cheers!

Now…when Andrew asked if he could marry Jacqueline, I, of course, couldn’t give away someone as amazing as Jacqueline without putting him through a rigorous screening and testing process.

But before I show you this process, I want to thank Andrew for his courage, willingness to participate, and for demonstrating that he will do anything for the love of Jacqueline.

And now, without further ado…here is Andrew’s Request!

Roll the video!

I then played this video http://youtu.be/YPgp_MYBBws

Congratulations Jacqueline & Andrew!

Love, the Father of the Bride

Crystal Marie Goade Graduates

I love Crystal Marie!

 

But then again, apparently everyone does.

 

That’s just the way it is with Crystal.

 

When you bundle that much love, inspiration, intelligence, confidence, beauty, independence and strength in such a cute little package, what else would you expect? Everyone loves Crystal and really you should. She’s worth it.

 

I am incredibly proud of all of her accomplishments in life and look forward to many more to come.

 

Crystal celebrated her graduation at a party on Saturday, August 20, 2011, the same day as my Mother and Father’s 51st Wedding Anniversary. I prepared a little speech for Crystal’s party, which I’ll include below, but I should have also thanked my parents for the great example they’ve set for all of us. Even after 51 years, they still truly love each other. My Dad (a.k.a. “Grandfather” or “G-fa”) is well known for his scholarly achievements, but despite his well renown level of intelligence, surprisingly more and more of his granddaughters are achieving success and completing their college studies. I know my Mom spent many nights helping me with my homework, as well as helping all of my brothers and sisters, so I suppose she may have had some influence on the rest of us too. So thank you Mom & Dad, and Happy Anniversary!

 

But back to the speech…

 

After the graduation party, a few people asked to see the speech to read it again, and a few people who could not make the party also wanted to read it. So without further ado, I’ve included the speech below.

 

Actually, with a little ado, I must apologize in advance that there is one instance of profanity in the speech. Since Crystal is an artist, I chose to keep the artistic integrity and quote her explicitly.

 

Speech for Crystal

 

A great American author, Henry David Thoreau, said:

 

“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.”

 

Another great American author, Crystal Marie Goade, said:

 

“Don’t fucking tell me what to do!”

 

From birth to the present day, Crystal has always followed her own path.

 

She came in to this world on her own schedule.

 

She has always had her own style and confidence to wear whatever she wants, wherever she is, whether it is dresses as a 4 year old, pajamas to high school, or a “We Will Rock You” t-shirt to her college graduation party.

 

Speaking of hearing a different drummer…

 

She surprised me when she became a cheerleader. Yes, she has more spirit than most people twice her height. Yes, she is inspiring. Yes, she has a light inside of her that shines brightly for all to see, and a smile that lights up everyone around her. I was just surprised that she was able to move to the beat of the music.

 

But don’t get me wrong. Crystal is not just a product of her own imagination. Her journey has not gone without influence. Crystal’s parents, her sister, her family, and all of you have all influenced Crystal in one way or another along the way.

 

She has her mother’s beauty.
She has her sister’s love.
She has her grandfather’s laugh.
She has her grandmother’s height.
She has her family’s humor.
And as she once told me, she has the “Goade drive”…whatever that means.
And of course she has her father’s intelligence, creativity, heart, inspirational abilities, health consciousness, writing skills, and even better looks.

 

But like her successful path to graduating from Gonzaga University (go Zags!), she chose her own path. A path which, despite all of our influence, she chose on her own. It is the right path. It is the right path for Crystal.

 

(Turning to Crystal)

 

And so as we’ve always done, Crystal, we will all continue to support you and love you, just the way you are, on your very unique journey through life.

 

I love you Crystal Marie.

 

Congratulations!

 

Paul and Crystal

 

Love,
Dad

Amy & The Christmas Spirit

What did you get for Christmas?

This typical question is asked countless times on or after Christmas. Our eyes sometimes light up like bright Christmas tree lights when we hear all about the wonderful things that Santa or your loved ones brought you for Christmas.

We are sometimes impressed, fascinated, or in awe of what people receive for Christmas.

I have a different story here.

This story is about giving.

This story is about the spirit of Christmas…the spirit of giving.

This simple story is not about saving someone’s life, curing cancer, or any other life miracle, but it is a giving story. There are many little ways to give in life that can make a huge impact on someone else’s life. It’s about giving. Not getting.

My wish for this year is for you to ask a different question.

– What did you give for Christmas?

Here is what Amy gave…

Candy, her name to protect the innocent, drives a car with 5% left on her brake pads and a few thousand dollars worth of repairs needed for her 2000 Oldsmobile. She diligently drives her “Olds” to her two nanny jobs, her college classes, to church, and everywhere in between.

2000 Oldsmobile

Candy’s generous, kind, and loving (and gorgeous!) mother decides to spend money on a newer, safer car for her daughter, rather than pay for the expensive car repairs.

I’ll keep this part of the story short.

Candy’s mother finds a new, used car, and begins the process of buying the 2006 Scion XB. While the paperwork for buying the new car is in process, Candy and her mother decide to sell the Olds. With help and luck, they sell the Olds sooner than anticipated.

2006 Scion XB

The soon-to-be owners of the Olds are anxious to get the Olds as soon as possible, but Candy would have no means of transportation until she gets her new car from Bellingham, Washington. She would have no way to transport the children she looks after, a much more difficult time to shop for Christmas, a hard time getting to school, and generally make her transportation time very hectic around Christmas.

In order to guarantee the sale of her Olds, Candy agreed to sell the car and get it to the new owners. She would now have to figure out a way to get to her destinations without a car for at least a week until the paperwork for her new car was finalized.

Unfortunately, there was no extra car in Candy’s family or circle of friends.

But one little request was made to another group of friends.

A Christmas wish was made.

A simple message was sent out that read exactly:

“***COOL KARMA OPPORTUNITY*** Want to give for Christmas? Got a car to lend to a responsible 21 year old starting now for 1 week?”

Within minutes, three kind souls offered their car for Candy. The first of these giving people was Amy.

Amy and her husband made the generous offer to allow Candy to use their car for the week.

I believe this simple gift, this simple act of giving is the true spirit of Christmas.

It’s not always about saving lives, healing the terminally ill, or miracles. It’s about giving where and when you can. It’s about helping others in their times of need. It’s about the hundreds of people every year who give in their own little way. It’s not about one big miracle, it’s about the millions of little stories like this one that show the spirit of giving. It’s not about you. It’s about them. It’s about giving to them. It’s how I think you show a little bit of Jesus for His birthday.

So there you have it – a very simple, giving, Christmas Spirit story.

Thank you Amy. Thank you Mark. Your giving hearts are greatly appreciated and for this one family, and for this brief moment in time, with this relatively small generous gift, you made this one small family and circle of friends very happy, and you made the world a better place.

Amy

And hey everyone – What did you give for Christmas?