A Thursday Rundown on Holy Thursday

I always enjoy writing the Thursday Rundown before Easter Sunday. Always so much anticipation and joy. I present to you this week’s five topics…

Holy Thursday – I just mentioned it is the Thursday before Easter so that means it is Holy Thursday. Today we remember the final meal Jesus shared with his disciples, referred to in art and pop culture as the Last Supper. It was during this dinner that Jesus Christ established the Holy Eucharist, a sacred rite that has since been commemorated for over 2,000+ years, a cornerstone of the Catholic faith. During Holy Thursday mass, the priest washes the feet of parishioners, and many times parishioners wash the feet of fellow parishioners as well. We do this to imitate our Savior. During the Last Supper, Jesus washed the feet of his disciples, providing us with the best example there is of serving and loving others.

Jesus set a great example when he washed the feet of his disciples.

Happy Birthday, Miranda! – Yesterday, my sister celebrated her 34th birthday. Miranda is the oldest child in our family and I can now relate to the love my parents have for her. With Sloan’s birth, I know I will always have a special love for our first born daughter. Little girls are just so special! Although her birthday is March 28, she celebrated with everyone on Sunday with a Chinese dinner and ice cream cake. Thanks for being a great sister, Miranda. Love you!

The top photo is of Miranda and I as babies and the bottom photo is of Miranda and I with our babies. Happy Birthday!

Ice Cream Rolls – Speaking of ice cream cake, I have been made aware of another ice cream incarnation. A place recently opened in Spokane called Yummy Ice Cream Rolls. As you could probably guess from the name, the business specializes in ice cream rolls. But what is an ice cream roll? It is a combination of Cold Stone and Sub Zero Ice Cream. A creamy based is poured onto a freezing steel surface and toppings applied. It is then rolled up by hand using a scraper and drowned in sauces and other toppings. The photo below shows what the final product looks like. I want to try it!

Who wants an ice cream roll?

Some Sloan Photos – I thought I would share some quick Sloan photos with you from the past week. Let’s start with the top right hand corner and rotate clockwise. The first image is of Sloan cruising in her brand new car she received for her birthday. She took it for a spin this past weekend and honked the horn (yes, it has a horn) the whole way. The second photo is Sloan wearing the outfit she took her individual day care pictures in yesterday. Can’t wait to see how they turned out. The next photo is Sloan sitting in her very own chair that Sidney’s mom gave her for her birthday. The toddler-sized piece of furniture has a “S” on it. Finally, the photo in the top left hand corner is my favorite. It is Sloan and Sidney both looking beautiful on Palm Sunday.

Some of the latest Sloan photos for you to enjoy.

Soar At CCU – Every month or so I have to brag about our beautiful campus at Coastal Carolina University. After sharing this video, I don’t think I will ever have to again because it is a mic drop. David Russell and CCU Video Production outdid themselves by using their drone to showcase the gorgeous sights of #TEALnation. Please watch to get a feel of the beauty, growth, and uniqueness at Coastal Carolina.

Make sure to watch the drone video of our gorgeous campus at Coastal Carolina University.


Happy Easter to everyone! May you have a joyous weekend filled with praise and love. Don’t Blink.

My Top 5 Easter Candies

As a kid, I placed more emphasis on the commercialized part of Easter than I should have. I woke up at my grandma’s house on Easter morning with glee as I searched the living room to find where the Easter Bunny hid my basket. During mass, I let my mind race as I psyched myself up for the Easter egg hunt that would follow on the church lawn. Throughtout the day, I looked forward to whatever other treats my relatives would bestow on me.

These days, I don’t search for an Easter basket, go on egg hunts, or hold my hand out to relatives. But one thing is for sure – I still eat Easter candy!! My sweet tooth hasn’t changed a bit since my younger days and I still fondly look forward to chomping down on Easter delights. In tonight’s blog post, I want to reveal my top 5 favorite Easter candies.

I love an Easter basket filled with delicious candy.

5. Robin Eggs – These are simply glorified Whoppers but they seem to taste better than your typical malt ball. For those who are unfamiliar, a robin egg is a Whopper in egg-shaped form that is coated with a pastel colored/speckled shell. They are great to eat by the handful and they offer a festive, satisfying crunch.

These take Whoppers to the next level.

4. Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs – Like robin eggs, a Reese’s peanut butter egg is simply an extension of its main product. However, I know for a fact that a Reese’s peanut buttter egg packs way more peanut butter than your average Reese’s cup. For a guy who knows of no better combination than peanut butter and chocolate, this is a big deal. Also, the Easter Reese’s egg stands out in its individually wrapped yellow packaging, bringing back a bit of nostalgia for me considering a couple were always in my Easter basket.

I always enjoy a Reese’s egg.

3. Cadbury Egg – The signature candy of the Easter season, how can you not enjoy a Cadbury egg? Even if you get tired of the same commercial they show every single year during Easter season, it is tough to not get excited for this legendary treat. As a kid, I remember attending Easter egg hunts at fields with 1,000 mini chocolate eggs strewn across the grass. However, sticking out like a sore thumb would be the few Cadbury eggs that everyone would make a mad dash for. When I was little, I thought I won the lotto when my mom would surprise me with a Cadbury egg. Back then they seemed so big, so rich, so Easter-esque. You just couldn’t get anything like it outside of March and April.

The undisputed Easter classic.

2. Starburst Jelly Beans – When it comes to jelly beans, they don’t always have to be gourmet. In fact, during Easter, I much rather eat regular, or, even better, Starburst jelly beans. As much as I like Jelly Belly, I enjoy other jelly bean varieties just as much. During Easter, I love munching on the sweet, colorful Starburst beans. I love the sound of shaking a plastic egg filled with them seconds before I start tossing them in my mouth. They are flavorful and fun, a taste that compliments the bright and optimistic feel of the Easter season.

I love opening an egg filled with Starburst Jelly Beans.

1. Cadbury Mini Eggs – As much as I love regular Cadbury eggs, I love Cadbury mini eggs about three times more. Place a large bowl filled with them in front of me and I will eat every single one. Thankfully they come in smaller packets that prevent me from going on such an unhealthy binge. This is a high quality candy. The chocolate is rich and fresh while the candy shell is crunchy yet light. They are addicting and satisfying. This is the one Easter candy that I know I have actually ate every single Easter since I have had teeth. Whether I bite down immediately or suck on a piece, the taste is always “Eastery” and delicious.

Mini Cadbury Eggs are the absolute best.


Do you have a favorite Easter candy? Please don’t say Peeps. When Sloan gets older, she will know what to expect in her Easter basket. Don’t Blink.

Sloan Visits the Easter Bunny

This past December, Sloan met Santa Claus for the first time. To be honest, Sid and I didn’t know how she would react. We drove out to a Christmas tree farm to have a family photo taken with the big guy. We posed for the photo and everything seemed to be going great as Sloan initially did not make a sound.

Sitting on Santa’s lap, Sloan did great at first (photo by Erin Dietrich).

However, that all changed when she looked up to see who was holding her.

The strange old man with the big white beard and red pajamas sent her over the edge. The tears flowed and her hands shook with anger/fear. That was that.

Sloan did not enjoy Santa (photo courtesy of Erin Dietrich).

Fast forward to this past weekend at the Easter celebration for Sloan’s day care. As you could probably guess from where this blog post is going, there was a certain costumed character in attendance. The function started with a pancake breakfast inside the daycare’s main gathering area. Immediately upon entering the room, the Easter Bunny was positioned to the right. We were able to divert Sloan’s eyes as we went the opposite way and snagged a table. Although we avoided the rabbit initially, our plan wasn’t to stay under the radar the entire morning.

Three years ago, I wrote about how strange/creepy most Easter Bunnies look. At the time, I said it is impossible to design an Easter Bunny costume that looks presentable, comparing the task to putting lipstick on a pig. My tune hasn’t changed. I still feel disturbed when I go to the mall during Easter season and glance at what is sitting in the throne.

Most Easter Bunnies look like they are carrying diseases (I do not know the kid in this photo).

So if I can still lose my lunch at the sight of an Easter Bunny, what would my daughter think? Surely, she would be traumatized for life. After we finished our breakfast, risking Sloan’s well-being, we went over to where the Easter Bunny was staged. When there was an opening, the three of us joined the rabbit on the bench. I held Sloan the whole time and she did fine as photos were snapped.

But one beast in a picture is more than enough. I wanted to step out of the festive Easter scene so Sloan could get one alone with the bunny. Sid stepped away too and we placed Sloan in a pair of furry arms. What would happen?!…

Absolutely nothing! Although she didn’t take the initiative to smile, Sloan contently sat on the Easter Bunny’s lap as we took all the photos we desired. She was so brave!

Sloan did great with the Easter Bunny, surprising me just a bit.

Well, I have another theory besides our little girl’s courage for why she didn’t freak out. Sloan’s favorite TV character is Harry the Bunny from BabyFirst TV, a soul who is just a tad cuter than your typical shopping mall Easter Bunny. Sloan watches Harry every day and really, really likes him. She also has a couple rabbit stuffed animals she enjoys. My hunch is that she thought the Easter Bunny was Harry’s brother or something.

Believe it or not, Sloan had an encore encounter with the Easter Bunny (pictured with Sloan is Miss Martha, one of Sloan’s daycare teachers).

Of course, Sloan might just be more mature from the time of her Santa visit. Whatever the reason, her first visit with the Easter Bunny was a success. Don’t Blink.

Palm Sunday

Today is Palm Sunday, a significant date for Christians across the globe. When I think about Palm Sunday, I reflect on how the day is both joyful and sorrowful.

Today is Palm Sunday and Sloan has her palm.

You ever wonder why Catholics hold actual palms on this day? It is rooted directly in scripture. When Jesus returned to Jerusalem, he triumphantly rode a donkey into the city. Citizens cheered his return and laid out palm branches along his path. At mass this weekend, we start the service with this biblical recollection (it can be found in all four gospels). As the procession makes its way to the altar, we raise palms as well.

We commemorate Jesus’ triumphant return to Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.

This was a glorious moment in Christ’s ministry, and thus a great moment for us to celebrate each year. But Palm Sunday also brings joy because it marks one week until Easter and it kicks off Holy Week. As the Lenten season concludes, we have hope that the Resurrection is upon us. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

Holy Week begins today.

However, as I mentioned above, Palm Sunday isn’t only about happiness. In mass today, we hear two gospel readings. The first is of course the return of Jesus to Jerusalem. The second is the Passion according to Mark. After remembering how the human race celebrated Jesus, we meditate on how it crucified him.

Palm Sunday is both joyful and sorrowful.

Likewise, although the one-week mark until Easter brings us significant anticipation, it also brings us darkness as well. On Good Friday we will read John’s account of Christ’s Passion. This is a day of mourning, the day in which we observe the actual death of Jesus for our sins. It is a day of fasting and the service usually takes place at 3 p.m. to commemorate the time that Jesus died.

Our pastor at St. Andrew, Father Roger Morgan, encourages us to keep our palms displayed in our homes throughout the year. He urges us to look at them often to remind us that we are all like the crowds of Jerusalem, both capable of welcoming the Lord with joy, but also betraying him if he fails to meet our expectations.

We have palms in our house to remind us that while we celebrate Jesus, we can be just as fast to betray him.

Let me end with this: As we enter Holy Week, let’s make sure to meditate on how we have failed God. The next several days is the perfect time to intensify our Lenten promises or, if we neglected to do so, make some for this week. Now is the time to prepare ourselves for Easter. Don’t Blink.

Cultural Thursday Rundown

Thank you for taking time this evening to visit Don’t Blink. You picked a great day to do it because my latest Thursday Rundown is ready to go. Here we go…

Not a Baby Anymore – Sid has spent this week coping with the fact that Sloan has reached a new age bracket. In the pediatric world, she is no longer considered a baby but a (shut your eyes and cover your ears, Sid) toddler. Some big developments have transpired. The doctor advised us to not give her bottles anymore, a blow to Sidney because she used bottle time to bond with Sloan. Additionally, our daughter will move up in daycare starting next week, leaving the babies and joining the 1-year-old classroom. Seeing her transition from the easy life of cribs and toothless friends to the “real world” of mats and walking toddlers has Sidney a bit stressed. But as the pediatrician told us, all these changes impact the parents more than they actually impact the baby (I mean toddler). We will be just fine!

Sloan turned 1 and is now a big girl.

Facetime in the Classroom – I was in the middle of something at work this morning when I looked down at my phone to see that Sidney was Facetiming me. Surprised and a little worried, I immediately picked it up. When I did, I found myself in the middle of a 2nd grade classroom. Mrs. Reser was teaching her students about different cultures and wanted to use me as an example. She was explaining that different regions in the country have their own distinct cultures. Telling the students that I am from the west, she asked me several questions about how life in South Carolina is different from life in Washington and Montana. She had hooked up her phone so that I was projected onto the large classroom screen. The kids were so excited and it was a nice way to help Sidney with her lesson. It made my day!

Sid Facetimed me today so I could talk to her class about culture.

St. Patrick – For her birthday, Sloan received many thoughtful and fun gifts ranging from clothes to toys to books. After her presents were opened, Sid and I gave Sloan a special memento we purchased from the gift shop at our church. It is a mini St. Patrick statue that also comes with a St. Patrick holy card. We feel it is important for Sloan to be proud that she was born on the feast day of one of history’s most beloved saints. Although clothes will become too small, toys will break, and books will be handed down, hopefully Sloan will keep track of her St. Patrick’s statue as the years go by.

We gave Sloan a St. Pat figurine and a St. Pat holy card as a birthday gift.

The Facebook Scandal – I feel a lot of people are confused about the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica scandal so let me try to explain it in layman’s terms. A company used a personality test (I have discussed these before) on 270,000 consenting Facebook users. However, those users not only gave the company (Cambridge Analytica) access to their own profile information, they granted access to their friends’ profile information as well, giving the company info on over 50 million Americans. Cambridge Analytica was then able to sell this data to clients (such as the Donald Trump campaign) for social media advertising use. Facebook is on the hook for allowing companies the ability to harvest data from non-consenting users. To top it all off, Facebook had a delayed and disorganized public relations response.

Congrats, Coastal – Our baseball team defeated Clemson this past Tuesday in “grand” fashion as Lee Sponseller smashed a bases loaded home run to defeat the Tigers. However, it wasn’t the first time this athletic season that CCU got the best of our in-state rival. The men’s soccer team eliminated Clemson from the NCAA tournament in November. It isn’t just that our university is competing with an institution that is double our size and 70 years older than us, it is that we are actually beating them. Coastal Carolina University continues to rise and I am very proud to be a part of #TealNation. Go Chants!

It was great to see Coastal beat Clemson again.


I hope everyone has a nice weekend. Enjoy the NCAA Tournament and always make sure to count your blessings. Don’t Blink.

A Dude Who Doesn’t Accessorize

A photo that stands out from this past weekend is an image of Sloan wearing a pair of sunglasses. Although I would say she looks “Hollywood,” the cool kids these days would probably say she looks chic, fly, fresh, etc.

With Sloan sporting her birthday sunglasses, I couldn’t help but think to myself she is going to love accessories just like her mommy.

Sloan sporting her new sunglasses during her birthday party.

Me on the other hand? Not so much. I wear clothes and that is pretty much it. I don’t do bling, jewelry, or flair. Unless I am purposely dressing up for a holiday, I keep it pretty basic. Let me give you my very uncomplicated history with accessories…

Sunglasses – Had to start with the accessory that started this blog post. I will occasionally wear sunglasses during the summer but here is the caveat…you will never see a pair of shades on my face that cost over $10. If I need a pair of sunglasses, I am notorious for stopping at a $5 stand on the side of the street. The most expensive shades I ever purchased was an Oakley knockoff pair in Cancun (still set me back only $10). Even if I plan to wear sunglasses, I usually forget to put them on.

I rarely wear sunglasses.

Rings – I love my wedding ring. For someone who never wore a ring before, I actually got used to it pretty quickly. With that said, my ring won’t have any company soon. Because they are small, rings are tough to keep track of and can fall off. Even though I had my wedding ring perfectly resized to snugly fit my finger, it still loosens at times depending on the weather. I don’t want another “finger decoration” that I have to fly off each time I take a shower or hit the gym.

The only ring I will wear is my wedding ring.

Watch – I have never worn a watch before. Wait, let me be more specific. I have never worn a wrist watch before. Sidney saw old home movies of me wearing a pocket watch that was attached to the loop of my jeans and she still hasn’t let me live that down. But when it comes to traditional watches, I find them way too gaudy and bulky. I don’t want the weight of a watch restricting the movements of my wrist. I also find them obsolete. We all have smart phones that remind us of the time every few seconds we whip it out. I see no practical reason to own a watch.

Hats – I will wear a hat on the weekends, usually if I am outdoors doing something active or if I leave the house to run an errand and have not showered. I make limited use of hats mostly because majority of them don’t look good on me.

Every now and then I will throw on a hat.

Necklaces – I will slip on beads from a party story but I would never wear a necklace of any value. What’s the point? They are tough to contain if you make any body movements and they irritate the back of my neck. While most watches are gaudy, most guy necklaces are dainty. It once again brings up the possibility of losing it or accidentally discarding it.

Bracelets – Wearing rubber bracelets modeled after the famous Livestrong prototype is cool in my book. I favor the concept of rubber but meaningful over silver but meaningless. However, I will only wear one at a time. As for traditional bracelets, they aren’t my thing.

Piercings/Tattoos – No and no. I know a lot of men sport an earring(s) but I wouldn’t want to put a hole in my body nor worry about taking them in and out. As for tattoos, I support them and think they look good on a lot of people. However, as a personal preference, I could not put everlasting ink on my body.

Call me a bore but I am a pretty plain dude. The most “accessorized” you will ever see me is during the summer when I might be wearing a cap and sunglasses (and of course my wedding ring). Is that bad? Don’t Blink.

Switching Gears With 20 Random Thoughts

With the recent overload of Sloan birthday-related posts, I decided to switch gears for tonight. In no particular order, I present 20 random thoughts that have nothing to do with my daughter turning 1.

1. Easter is only 13 days away.
2. Another amazing accomplishment for Gonzaga as the Bulldogs advance to another Sweet 16.
3. Publix chicken tenders are delicious.
4. Kind of depressing that we don’t have “This Is Us” to look forward to this Tuesday.
5. Palm Sunday/Holy Week is only 6 days away.
6. Sidney and I have a lot of thank you notes to write!
7. The last movie I saw in a theater was “Girls Trip” with Sidney on Aug. 11, 2017.
8. My favorite Netflix original series, “Love,” just recently released new epsiodes (give it a try!).
9. My car recently surpassed 190,000 miles.
10. Tonight for dinner, Sidney made chicken alfredo.
11. Still blown away that someone bet $20,000 on Virginia to defeat UMBC just to potentially win $800 (ouch).
12. I pray that the Austin serial bomber is captured soon.
13. Last Friday’s Dateline episode was insane. Two words: bounty hunter.
14. Jimmy Fallon and Stephen Colbert still aren’t funny.
15. Compiling a list like this is a great way to brainstorm blog post topics.
16. I am loving these longer days.
17. Teachers are saints yet underappreciated.
18. I have written 1,428 blog posts for Don’t Blink.
19. Three years ago on this date I saw Marv Albert in person.
20. Don’t Blink.

A Birthday Bash For Sloan

You only turn 1 once, right?

To have a big birthday party for this little girl or not to have a big birthday party for this little girl? No brainer!

After some contemplating, Sid and I decided that we wanted to have a big birthday party for Sloan. After reaching the conclusion that we would throw a party, the second question was what the theme would be. This was the easiest question of them all. Sidney had her heart set on a St. Patrick’s-themed gathering. Sure, in 10 years Sloan might tire of the St. Pat’s connection but for her first birthday it was pretty much a given, especially since the holiday fell on a Saturday this year. The third and final “big” question was where we would have it at. After flip flopping between our house and Sidney’s parents’ house, we decided on the latter (thanks in-laws!).

With the main components squared away, we started focusing on the finer parts of Sloan’s birthday bash. We made a guest list, selected an invitation template, and decided on a menu. A couple weeks before the big date, Sid and I (Sloan came too) picked out balloons, decided on a cake, and purchased decorations. The planning phase went great.

A look at Sloan’s invite (minus the address and regret number).

A week before the party, we started to make final arrangements. Sid made checklists and I started on my special projects. Then, this past Thursday and Friday, my wife was in full party planner mode. Both days she was out picking up food, utensils, and necessities for Saturday’s event. Things were coming together!

I worked with Brooke Holden of Brooke Holden Calligraphy to have this board made for Sloan. It was displayed at her birthday party.

Sid awoke at 4:30 a.m. on Saturday and prepared her dishes. Among other things, she made a broccoli salad, fruit salad, and a Lucky Charm mix that guests took home as their party favor.

The Lucky Charm mix that Sid made for guests to take as their party favor.

We arrived at party headquarters 90 minutes before the bash started. As Sid decorated, I dashed off to pick up the balloons, chicken, and cake. I first went to a party store and picked up 20 balloons, including a giant #1. Whoever saw me attempting to stuff all those inflatables into the back of the car would have enjoyed a good laugh. I then went to Publix and picked up the giant cake and chicken tenders.

A few of the balloons that we placed outside (including the big #1) that I picked up for Sloan’s party.

I arrived back at the house just as the party was about to start. Our first guests pulled up right as I was bringing all the goods inside the home. Sid worked to get everything set up, doing a great job working under pressure.

Sloan’s cake for the guests.

It didn’t take long before we had a full house. We crammed 32 people (babies included) into the living room and dining room areas of my in-laws’ home. With everyone there, we played a slideshow on the TV, one of my responsibilities. It was a silent looping video that showed some of the best shots from Sloan’s first year and proved to be an effective conversation starter among the guests.

Our family at Sloan’s party.

Sid worked the whole house, talking to all the guests while making sure everything was stocked and in order. My mother-in-law also worked extremely hard to back her daughter up and make sure everything went according to plan.

With Sid running the show, I was able to take video and photos of the momentous occasion. I also was able to use and promote the two special geofilters I had designed for Sloan’s special day.

Sloan was a little shy with her cake at first.

Things were going by fast. It was time for Sloan to eat/smash her cake. We sang “happy birthday” and then our daughter went for it! Well, she didn’t exactly “go for it.” It took her a few moments to warm up to the cake but eventually she discovered that she liked it and started to tear it up a bit.

After a little hesitation, Sloan warmed up to her cake.

When she was finished, we called a quick timeout and gave Sloan a bath and wardrobe change. She then made her encore appearance to open up her gifts. So many presents surrounded Sloan that she possibly couldn’t open them all…thankfully mommy and daddy were there to help. One word can describe Sloan after all the gifts were opened: Spoiled.

Sloan with one of her friends, Stevie Blair, while opening up gifts.

As our party guests started to filter out, we both felt a couple different ways. First, we felt a little bit of relief. Throwing a party can be stressful, but the predominating emotion was definitely joy. Not only was our little girl 1 but we had shared the day with a large group of people who care about her.

Sid organized and executed a very nice party for Sloan and her guests.

Sidney worked long and hard on this party and her efforts paid off. Call me one proud husband and one proud daddy. Don’t Blink.

Happy 1st Birthday, Sloan

A year ago today, at 2:44 p.m., my life changed. One of the nurses in the operating room raised up a little girl over the partition that separated Sid and I from the surgical team. There she was. Sloan Anne Reser. I will always remember the feeling. After waiting for almost nine months and conceptualizing Sloan as an unborn baby in Sid’s stomach, to see her in the flesh was surreal. Still covered in birth fluids with her little body emphasized by the brightly lit room, the sight was a bit shocking for a stressed out new dad.

This photo was taken very soon after Sloan was born.

The nurse disappeared with Sloan for a moment. She wasn’t out of sight long. Before I knew it, I was holding my little girl for the first time.

That’s when the love affair began.

This is my first picture taken with Sloan.

It has been a year of happiness, inspiration, and enlightenment. I found out firsthand that the joy of being a parent is not overrated. In fact, it surpasses all possible expectations. Then again, the baby that God gave us might have something to do with that.

One year later. Same shirt. Same pose. Same love.

Sloan has brightened our world. Throughout her first year she has been happy, low-maintenance, and strong. She bonded with us almost immediately and there has not been a day where she hasn’t made us smile or proud.

Our daughter changed my outlook on life and gave me something new to look forward to every single day: Walking in the door after a day at work and seeing that cute, innocent little face. She sparked my productivity at the office. I knew that the harder I worked and the more I got done, the sooner I could get home. Leaving right at 5 p.m. so I could spend the maximum amount of time with her before she went to bed became my top goal.

Sometimes I wouldn’t even have to wait until after 5 p.m. to see her; Sidney would just bring her to me at work.

She gave me more of a purpose, she strengthened my faith, and she made me value my wife even more. The power contained inside that 19.5 pound baby has completely melted the heart of her daddy.

It just isn’t her good-natured disposition and bloodline that has made me infatuated with her. Sloan has given me a major lesson in resiliency. Early on in her first (and only) year, she got pretty sick. I watched her go through a lot – much more than any child, let alone a baby, should have to go through. In the hospital, when it was just the two of us, I held her and let her know that I would never forget her courage and that I would always be there for her.

Every parent believes that their baby is special and I am no different. I know I am the stereotypical sappy dad but I can’t help it. I am so happy to have Sloan.

Sloan and I hit it off from the start.

Now we move to her second year of life. She finally has a number in the year column. Weeks and months need not apply. But excuse me for addressing the first 365 days once more by thanking some people – my parents (who gave Sid and I so much support and never neglected to tell us that we are good parents), my in-laws (who taught me much about how to care for a baby and who have helped out incredibly with Sloan), Sid’s sisters (who have been there for Sloan since Day #1), and my siblings (who spoil Sloan even though she is 3,000 miles away) – THANK YOU.

Of course, there is one person I could never possibly thank enough and that is my wife. Sidney carried Sloan for 8.5 tough months and has been the best mom any baby could ask for. She has taught me a lot and inspires me just as much as Sloan does.

Happy first birthday, Sloan!

We love you, Sloan. You are our lucky charm and we can’t wait to spend many more years with you. Don’t Blink.

Sloan’s Thursday Rundown

It is the final Thursday Rundown before Sloan turns 1. Got to make this one quick because we have party planning to do! Here we go…

When It All Started  Although Sloan wasn’t born until March 17, Sid and I will always remember March 15, 2017. That morning, Sid left work before the school day started and went to Conway Medical Center. She was not feeling well. When I arrived, they had just put Sidney in an evaluation room in the labor and delivery wing. After running tests, the doctor came in and said they wanted to start the induction process. Although Sid was the one in need, she had to direct me to sit down because I almost fainted! Sloan had a due date of April 7 but we were going to meet her much earlier. It would be an extremely long day as the medical staff tried to induce labor…but God had other plans.

Later that night, when it became clear that Sid would not give birth that day, the doctor let her eat a meal.

Why Catholics Abstain From Meet on Fridays – During Lent, Catholics don’t eat meat on Friday. Some people who are unfamiliar with Catholicism might question why we do this. In general, we don’t eat meat because it is another way to remember our Lord. Meat, both thousands of years ago and today, is a food that is valued, delicious, and widely consumed. Taking the initiative to refrain from eating a food that many of us depend on takes discipline. When we exercise this discipline,  even though it is an extremely small act, it is just another way to remember the suffering of Jesus Christ.

But it goes deeper. Jesus was crucified on a Friday. On that day, he gave up his flesh for us. Thus, during Lent, we give up eating flesh for him. Another important aspect of Fridays during Lent is the Stations of the Cross. At Catholic churches throughout the world, Christ’s passion is remembered. If you want to really prepare for Easter, I recommend going to a Stations of the Cross service.

Catholics abstain from meat on Fridays for multiple reasons.

Remembering Parkland at CCU – Yesterday, schools and students did a variety of things to remember the Stoneman Douglas High School tragedy. Some organized walkouts, some held walk-ins, some just reflected on the lives lost. At Coastal, the day was marked with various activities. However, I was especially moved by the solemn tribute that was offered at 10:05 a.m. At that time, our signature bell tower chimed 17 times for the 17 victims who lost their lives.

I filmed the bell tower chiming and tweeted out this video/tweet.

New Kicks for Sloan – I would like to thank the Wyeth family for giving Sloan an early birthday present. Last week, Rob gave me the below pair of Converse shoes. Originally intended for one of his twin grandsons to wear, they grew too big before they could lace them up. The new kicks look so cute on Sloan and even though she needs to get used to them, we think she feels pretty cool wearing them around. From a daddy perspective, it doesn’t hurt that they are teal (CCU colors).

Take a look at Sloan’s fancy new shoes.

Sloan at 52 Weeks – This weekend it will be official…52 weeks of life for Sloan! She has set herself up to end the year on a good note. She is on the verge of walking, her new favorite word is “UH-OH,” and her babbling has reached an advanced level. She has kept us very busy this week(and I know I practically say that every week) but her level of activity just keeps increasing and increasing. Each time we have scooped her our of her crib this week she has been standing up waiting for us. Her obsession with the refrigerator has seemed to intensify over the past few days. There is no dull moment. Each week has been so much fun!

This is Sloan’s 52 week collage.


I want to thank everyone for the support we have received for Sloan as she approaches her birthday. Have a great Thursday evening and happy St. Patrick’s Day. Don’t Blink.