Monday, June 28, 2010

My Wedding Toast

I’ve been asked multiple times lately if there’s video of any of the wedding toasts from Saturday’s awesome event. Well, I haven’t found a complete clip yet, but I do have mine pretty much written out. Ben Lee (my best man) offered up the single greatest toast I’ve ever heard in my life. He is a goddamn comedian who made the entire ballroom erupt in laughter – for nearly ten minutes! His toast could be featured in a movie, and I feel so honored to have listened to him talk about me. I’ve never laughed so hard in my life.


But, like I said, I can’t find any video. If anybody has one, please let me know!

That being said, while I did simply use the text below as an outline for my toast to those involved in the wedding, I’d say roughly 85-percent of the speech is here:


First of all, thank you to my beautiful bride – you’re by far the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me, and tonight I simply cannot staring at you. You’ve always been the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen – tonight, you truly topped anything I could have imagined.

But right now, I want to thank the rest of you. To everyone who’s here and not here, you’ve all been part of our lives in one way or another. It’s your presence around us who’s transformed both Holly and I into the couple we’ve become.

For the lengths you’ve traveled – literally all corners of the country – thank you for joining us today! You’re making this joyous occasion a truly remarkable event.

Cathy, my new mother, thank you so much for your contributions today. This wedding wouldn’t be the beautiful day it is without you. But more importantly, thank you for letting me marry your daughter. She is every bit the woman she is today because of you.

And my mom, you’re the sole reason I am who I am today. Your struggles and strengths, your heart and your soul have impacted me more than you know. Thank you for the life you’ve provided me, and the mentoring I’ve received. You’re much more than a mother, but one of my closest friends. I’m sorry for the week we’ve had, but what better way to get over the lowest of lows than by the highest of highs.

While my grandma isn’t here and grandpa is here in spirit, I can only thank them for everything else. Every single ounce of the person I am - the good things, anyway – are directly related to my relationship with them. My grandma is my true second mother, while my grandpa was more of a dad and friend than a grandpa – he will be missed so incredibly much. I do feel better knowing that he’s most likely sitting in heaven telling God how to make things better, because if anybody can do that, it’s Euge.

So, before I move on, a toast to Eugene Matchett, my grandfather.

Now, these guys (groomsmen). Thank you all for not just getting me here today, but getting me everywhere I’ve ever been – I know I only have one brother, it feels like I’m always surrounded.

Ben, my best man, I don’t have enough time to talk about you. You are a unique and inspiring individual, and people are better for knowing know. Since playing video games at Oregon state, our fake fist fight before lake Shasta because the seniors thought it would be funny, our trip to Coeur d’Alene and everything since – you’re indeed my best friend and truly a best man. Thanks for being there every time I needed it.

Gene – you’re like an older brother, you’ve backed me up when others neglected, and you’ve always seen the best in me. I’ve looked up to since I was a kid, and I always will.

John – again, you’re more like a brother than a friend. Holly and myself have always loved you and miss you know that we live in Oregon. You’re one of those guys who dance around in my head when I’m about to do something stupid – I ask myself What Would John Do. Sometimes it actually works.

Zach – You are my little brother. I know we may be cousins, but I’ve always considered you my brother since we lived at Grandma’s a few summers ago. You’re a cousin, a brother and most importantly a friend. We’ve had similar lives growing up, and think we’ve both done something right if our Mom’s haven’t killed us yet.

Michael – finally, my actual brother! What can I say? From the time I was a little boy I’ve wanted to be you. You’ve always been inspiration to me. I wanted to go to WSU because of you, I wanted to join a frat, and most importantly, I wanted to marry a blonde. I think that’s the only one that really worked out in the long run!

Jeff- I’ve only said a bad word about you once – when you woke Holly and I up one morning by screaming your own name – the next morning I only laughed, as I showed up late to work and tried to explain myself. You’re a great friend, both Holly and I look forward to your wedding next year and a long friendship living nearby.


Garret – We weren’t best friends in high school, but since getting to know you after graduation I wish we would have been. You’re quite possibly the nicest guy I know, and I know a lot of people. Holly has always considered you a relative because of your friendship, and I’m happy to have you here

The bridesmaid’s: wow. You all look so beautiful and elogent. You’ve made Holly’s life so much easier, which in turn has made mine the same. Thank you to Holly’s sisters and my own, as well as Kathy and Emily.

But for the Bride. I cannot thank you enough. You are the most generous, loving and caring individual I know. I’ve loved you from the day I’ve met you, and I can’t believe we thought it was only a joke in high school when I said we’d get married one day.

But most importantly, thank you for saying yes. After all, when I proposed to you last year, all I got was an OK. Hearing you say “I Do” gave me all the confirmation I needed! If our lives are half as good as the past few have been, I will be the luckiest man alive!

Why I Love My New Bride

This was a complete and total wedding surprise. Holly bestowed the greatest wedding cake upon me the world has ever known! This wasn’t the main cake, but rather a supplemental “groom’s addition” accompanying her beautifully-decorated masterpiece.


Sunday, June 27, 2010

I’m baaaack

OK, so it’s been over a month since I’ve shared with the world what’s been going on in Jakewood. But, with all due respect, I feel I should be granted a wee bit of leeway these past six or eight weeks.

In what’s quickly become the busiest time of my life, I never could have conjured up the sheer madness that has been my life lately. From coaching Little League during the regular season to taking on the younger All-Star Team in the post season (although my assistant coaches really did more work, thank you so much for all their help!), I was also involved in a little party yesterday, an amazing night over a year in the making.

You know, my wedding?

Holly and I got married yesterday evening, surrounded by friends and family who flew in from all across the country. It was indeed the greatest night of my life, a true event that will forever be ingrained in my memory thanks to those who attended. Pictures will be coming soon, thanks solely to the work of Ben Reed – by far the most amazing photographer anybody could ever ask for!

However, it hasn’t all been pure joy. Just less than two weeks ago my grandfather finally passed away following a short battle with lung cancer. The funeral was held on Monday, just five days before our 0001677334-01-2_214401wedding. But, like I said during my speech as I toasted my mother at the wedding, it was only fitting that we gathered soon after experiencing the lowest of lows to celebrate the highest of highs.

Grandpa, you will be truly missed. Rest in piece forever.

The days leading up to the funeral were obviously cumbersome, but even more so as I was charged with  writing the obituary. (You can read the entire obit here). Thanks in large part to my former journalism advisor Nils Rosdhahl from North Idaho College, I was able to work with my grandmother, mother, aunts and uncles to tailor the endearing article so fitting for the greatest man I’ve ever known.

Nevertheless, I’ve since learned the best way in dealing with these things is simply not to dwell on the fact that I’ve lost somebody so paramount in my upbringing, but rather celebrate the life of and memories of the incredible man who shall never be forgotten.

As cliché as it may sound, I truly believe that while one life has ended a new one is now beginning. The best possible way to honor my grandfather is simply to spend my life affecting those around me as positively as he did his.

And that starts with my new bride: Holly Beth Donahue: