The Soldier and the Squirrel introduces children to the Purple Heart

through a loving story of a friendship between a newly wounded soldier

and Rocky the squirrel with his backyard friends. This story began as a

blog during my first year in bed after my incident. With much

encouragement, it is now a book and has been placed in the

Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum. Please watch the video

on the About page to learn for the Soldier & Rocky are changing children's






Glorious Rejoice Dots Glitter





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Wedding Mojo for Him

The ring festered a hole in your pocket for weeks. You were afraid to leave it at home as she might find it, or you might forget where you put it. You broke every logical bone in your body and paid the appropriate price ratio per income as stated in your future mother-in-law’s Emily Post book. Perhaps you even went a half-karat larger than her best friend’s ring just because you could. You got down on your knee, or your blackberry, and popped it. You asked the one question, which will eternally change your life forever. You asked her to m…..mmmmm……mmmmmaarrrr…..mmmmaarrrrrry……you. She said yes. She cried, you cried (even if it was just on the inside).  Suddenly life shifted into a blissful arena of congratulations or Mazeltavs and you realized, hey, maybe there is something to this whole getting married thing after all….
It was as though someone sprinkled pixie dust on you and your beautiful fiancé, yet slowly you realize the sprinkles are falling on her side of the silver lining. Well-meaning friends send suggestions and referrals to her inbox, stacks of bridal magazines collect on her nightstand heckling your edition of GQ, and suddenly it seems the most important dress in her life is a complete enigma to you.

This is the most exciting time of your life. It just seems the one moment you’ve held off on your whole adult life, the proposal, took all of thirty seconds, and the wedding planning euphoria can go on for a year. How did this turn out so unbalanced?

This is about getting your “wedding mojo” back. This is about saying to yourself, it’s ok to want to be a part of the most fantastic experience you and your partner will have for the rest of your life, along with the possibility of children or winning the lottery. Planning a wedding is not just for women anymore. It’s the perfect opportunity for two people to venture into the world of decision making as a team, with a guideline and structure, excitement and joy with every florist they uncover.

When little girls are growing up, most are sociologically raised to dream about their wedding day. This has been engrained in our bone marrow. Men however, are not only raised without this expectation, but are then thrown into this blender of expectations after the proposal. The only thing the florist seemed to ask you in the consult is whether you were allergic to carnations (in my not-so-humble opinion,  the first thing you do is run from any florist who even mentions carnations…)

Take a moment, light a cigar, tell your honey your catching up on the sports stats in the other room, and let’s begin…

Planning a wedding is not just about the wedding. It’s time to stop, and realize you are no longer one person living your life a certain way. From now on you have a partner with which to share not only life’s burdens, but life’s pleasures as well as the decision making. Getting married is one of your first greatest pleasures, one that will be shared by the people closest to you in your lives personally and professionally and will forever be the barometer for every decision you make together in the future. You will be able to reflect on how you worked together, how you came to certain decisions, and when and how either of you decided to compromise.

Am I a psychologist? No. Have I seen enough weddings to fill a lifetime? I’m workin’ on it…and through each wedding I’m privy to many dynamics between a bride and a groom and in many cases the groom truly is happy to “just show up”. Nowadays however, it seems there’s been a shift in the groom. He is more aware of not only the delicacies of their woman’s desires, but grooms nowadays are also more involved in the finances of the planning, even more of a reason to maintain that open communication during the planning stages. This is not only a chance for you to be more involved in the creative aspects of the planning, it’s also a chance for you both to be aware of the budgeting and planning of a day meant for both of you to treasure, leaving you with a sense of pride that you entered your lives together as best friends, on the same path, with the identical objective of honoring one another’s ideas, preferences, and visions while protecting your most valued asset, the respect you have for one another.

The greatest suggestion I have prior to any of the following logistical bullet points in planning your day, is to sit on the floor of your living room tonight and face each other. Hold hands and look into each other’s eyes. Before you launch on this planning journey together, take note of who you are in this moment, before any of the decision making begins, before the world has opportunity for opinion, and chisel in your mind the exact people you are right now. It is the person in front of you who has your back, who is your best friend for life, and it is their opinion, their wishes, their priorities, which should mean more than anyone else’s. This is your day, to be shared in front of others, with their wishes respected of course, but ultimately a wedding is symbolic of how the rest of your life will proceed. You are a team, with a mission to love one another and protect one another against the world, and it starts now…

So, don’t be afraid to step up tonight and take your fiance’s hand, and let her know you are looking forward to venturing through this crazy period of planning together. Let her know you actually have an opinion when it comes to flowers if you do, and speak up about the fact you've always wanted to eat those tiny, miniature corncobs from the movie Big and that you've secretly longed to toast with Tequila shooters...

On the more logistical and dry note, adding a touch of structure to the mix, here are the groom’s official duties…Besides of course being the voice of reason when it comes to those bridesmaids’ dresses…

Emily Post's Duties for the Groom:

  • Select the engagement ring – although now-a-days brides may also be involved in choosing the engagement ring.

  • Choosing his wedding party: best man, groomsmen and ushers

  • Choosing the attire for the groom’s wedding party – in keeping with the style of the wedding

  • Selecting thank-you gifts for his groomsmen

  • Arranging – and paying for – lodging for his groomsmen

  • Selecting a gift for the bride

  • Compiling the groom’s part of the guest list and making sure that his parents provide their guest list.

  • Planning the honeymoon – Today, this, is more of a joint venture

  • Choosing wedding bands together

  • Arranging for and purchasing the marriage license

  • Making arrangements for transportation from the ceremony to the reception site, if necessary

  • Planning the bachelor party or event (if applicable)

  • Giving the ceremony officiant the fee or donation, or arranging for the best man to present such fees

  • Standing in the receiving line, if there is one, or  - with the bride – being sure to greet all the guests at the reception

  • Making toasts and responding to toasts at the rehearsal dinner and the reception

  • Dancing the first dance with the bride, dancing with the couple’s respective mothers and the maid/matron of honor.

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