My Top 10 Blog Posts of 2017

Who is ready for what I affectionately refer to as my Big Blog Post? At the end of each December, I look back on all the blog posts I wrote during the year and select my 10 favorites. As an active blogger, this is never an easy task. Over the past 12 months, I have published over 200 posts, requiring me to evaluate a lot of writing to identify the 5% of my work I liked the best.

Well, it isn’t all about the work “I like best.” When compiling this list, I consider how each post was received by you, my readers. So, using a mix of what I deem my best and most creative work combined with the posts that garnered the most views and social media reaction, I pieced together this year’s list.

Thanks for your readership. Believe me, if it wasn’t for you, I would not have written 206 times this year. Now sit back, relax, and enjoy a look back at the best of Don’t Blink in 2017.

10. The Reser Bros Handshake (August 14) This past summer when we were in Spokane, we unearthed some old home movies. One particular tape from 2003 showed my brother and I engaging in our custom handshake. Even 14 years later our special handshake was still committed to muscle memory. After watching the clip, Glen and I reenacted the handshake while Sidney recorded it. I then spliced the two clips together, showing us performing the handshake as kids and then as full-grown men. In the blog post I wrote about the social media reaction we received as well as the origin of “The Reser Bros Handshake.”

My brother and I in 2003 right before we executed our handshake.

9. My Vending Machine Draft (November 20) – I look back on this particular post as one of my more original (or perhaps desperate) blog posts of the year. I took a photo of a vending machine on the campus of Coastal Carolina and then later that night I proceeded to “draft” all 51 items inside of it. I chose Lance’s Peanuts with my #1 pick and I selected Hannah’s Red Hot Sausage dead last at #51. If you want to see where the other 49 items fit in, you will have to read the post. File this one under “you have too much time on your hands” but I had a fun time doing it.

This is the vending machine I held a 51-round draft with

8. Two Special Students (December 15) – Remember this one? You just have to go back a little earlier this month to when I originally published it. In the post, I honored my two student interns who gave so much of their time and talent to our social media program at Coastal Carolina University. Eddie Harris and Monica Trepiccione left a positive impact on both #CCUSocialMedia and myself. I described how they not only excelled at their jobs but how they always managed to brighten my day. It was a pleasure to watch them graduate just a couple weeks ago.

I was very lucky to have Eddie and Monica serve as my social media interns.

7. A Man of Faith: Monsignor James LeBlanc (February 26) – I love writing profile pieces and this one was particularly special for me. During the early part of the year, the Bishop of Charleston gave our pastor at St. Andrew Parish in Myrtle Beach, Msgr. LeBlanc, a new assignment in a different town. Upon his departure, I wrote this blog post thanking him. He was the spiritual advisor for Sidney and I. He married us and even included us in one of his homilies. Although not your typical Catholic priest, he is extremely good at his job. This post made the countdown because of the impact he had on us and because it was just such a colorful profile to write.

When Msgr. James LeBlanc announced he was leaving St. Andrew, both Sidney and I couldn’t help but feel sad.

6. An Endorsement From Mom and Dad (April 26) – When you are a new parent, you can feel some uneasiness. Am I doing it right? Am I giving my baby the love she needs? Am I giving it 100%? In the first couple months of having Sloan, I asked myself these questions a lot. Although I received a lot of support from those around us, nothing meant more than getting a ringing endorsement from an important duo…my parents. When my mom and dad visited Sloan for the first time in April, they communicated to me, both face-to-face and with a beautiful letter, that Sidney and I are great parents. It meant so much. Because of how comforting their support was, this blog post easily cracked the countdown.

My parents gave Sidney and I some very comforting encouragement.

5. Sloan’s Baptism (July 2) – The best day of Sloan’s short life came on June 25 when she was baptized at St. Andrew Parish. As she was cleansed of sin and welcomed into the church, family and friends gathered around to witness the holy moment. It was a significant day I will never forget. In this blog post, I recount the entire beautiful ceremony from Deacon Jones’ opening address to the touching display of everyone coming up and tracing the Sign of the Cross on Sloan’s forehead to the moment when the water actually flowed. This is a record that I am proud of and one that I will have Sloan read when she gets older.

Welcoming Sloan to the Catholic Church was very special.

4. I Am Proud of Sloan Because (June 6) – Some people, and understandably so, can’t figure out how anyone could be “proud” of a baby, let alone a little girl who had not even turned 3 months old yet. In this blog post, I tried to shed some light on why parents are prideful of their infants. Although many of the 10 reasons I gave were meant to be humorous, a few were God-given truths on why Sloan fills my heart with pride. It wasn’t necessarily a blogger behind this post; rather, it was a proud daddy, and because of that it is one of my favorites of 2017.

I have so many reasons to be proud of Sloan.

3. Observing Totality and So Much More (August 22) – It was another great year at Coastal Carolina University with a lot of achievements, but my favorite work moment came during the Great American Eclipse. Ironically enough, I wasn’t even on campus when it happened. I was in a remote South Carolina town called McClellanville, an area in the nation that was in line for complete totality. Although the weather almost prevented us from seeing the spectacle, the stars aligned at the last minute (pun intended) and we saw the eclipse in all its glory. However, it wasn’t just the heavenly phenomenon that made the day so special, it was who I spent it with. In this blog post, I described that seeing the eclipse was just half the fun. In a countdown saturated with family-related posts, this one stands right with them.

I had a great time the day of the Great American Eclipse

2. Happy First Mother’s Day, Sidney (May 14) – Before Sloan was born, there was never a doubt in my mind that Sidney would be an amazing mom. Little did I know that she would still manage to exceed all my expectations. This past Mother’s Day, I wrote about the qualities possessed by Sidney that make her the best mommy you will find. In the post I described her as a “mom beyond her years” and I think that about sums it up. If you read this post I think my admiration and love for Sidney is clearly evident, making it not just one of my favorites of the year but also one of my favorites in the history of Don’t Blink.

This was Sid on Mother’s Day. It was a pleasure to dedicate a blog post to her.

1. Long, Painful Process; Beautiful, Perfect Result (March 21) – Well, what can I say? This particular blog post happens to be both my personal favorite and the most viewed of 2017. Delivering Sloan was not easy. We went through a week-long saga to meet her once Sid was admitted into the hospital. However, the drawn-out process was 100% worth it. In this post, I take you through the curvy road that started with Sid hooked up to a machine and me almost passing out to us walking out of the hospital on a sunny morning with our beautiful baby girl. This post focuses on the strength of Sidney, the gift of Sloan, and the point in time that our lives changed for the better, making it easily my favorite blog post of 2017.

No surprise that the blog post marking Sloan’s birth tops the list of 2017.

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I write a lot of duds, but every now and then I publish something with a little bit of substance. The above showcases some of my better work from 2017. Thank you for sticking with me this past year, it has been a fun ride. As we welcome 2018, my goal will be to write each blog post as if I was going to include it on my end-of-year top 10 countdown. Don’t Blink.

My Top 10 Blog Posts of 2016
My Top 10 Blog Posts of 2015
My Top 10 Blog Posts of 2014