Wife is Right Thursday Rundown

Good evening, friends. I hope your first full week in March has gone great. It is that day of the week when I like to write about five random topics. Let’s get started with my latest Thursday Rundown…

Words Ring True – I listen to a Catholic podcast that is excellent. This morning while driving to work the topic was fatherhood. One of the clergy members said this: Children listen to their mothers but watch their fathers. Although Sid might disagree to an extent on the listening observation, I found the sentiment beautiful and telling. It is a great reminder to us dads to always conduct ourselves with integrity and love. Actions speak louder than words and our kids always have a watchful eye.

I need to realize that Sloan is going to be watching me hard.

Wife is Right…Again – I like to think that our marriage is successful because we agree on major topics…you know…politics, societal issues, religion, etc. But, there is one point of contention that has been driving a wedge between us – toilet paper! No, I am not talking about the fact that Sid likes premium and I can live with the cheap stuff; I am talking about how you position a roll. Sidney sets toilet paper so it hangs over and I position it so it hangs under. This week, an article was released that set the score. Over 125 years ago, a patent was issued for a toilet paper holder that clearly stated it was intended to hold the product so that you  would pull from the top. I stand corrected!

Here is the patent that illustrates how the toilet paper should be placed.

Alex Trebek – I write so much about Jeopardy in my blog that I know people get sick of it. However, I would be remiss if I didn’t address Alex Trebek’s announcement yesterday that he has stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Using his famous wit, he stated that while the diagnosis is bleak, he has no choice but to beat it because his Jeopardy contract still runs another three years. Although it says a lot about Trebek that he can joke about it, I have to admit that I am sad. When you welcome someone into your living room every weeknight for many years, you become a little attached. I respect Trebek and feel bad for his family. I am rooting and praying for him to defy the odds!

I hope Trebek beats cancer.

To the Dance – Seven years ago on this date, the University of Montana men’s basketball team punched a ticket to the NCAA tournament. Because the Griz won the regular season Big Sky Conference championship, we hosted the conference tournament in Missoula. What a fun several days! As part of our athletic department’s marketing team, I worked every game of the tournament. It all climaxed with a wild championship game against Weber State. The Griz would claim victory and I would accompany the team to the first round of the Big Dance in Albuquerque. The best part? Wearing that sweet sweater vest!

In this photo with my boss, Christie, I am wearing the outfit (that included a sweater vest) that was provided to the table crew. I never felt more like a stud in my life.

National Cereal Day – Today is National Cereal Day and I am sure most of you won’t be surprised to learn that I have written extensively about cereal in the past. In fact, I have written a blog post about my three favorite healthy cereals of all-time and my three favorite unhealthy cereals of all-time. Because I am feeling nice tonight, I won’t make you follow those links, I will just tell you straight up what my favorites are. In the healthy category, I like Sun Belt Granola, Honey Bunches of Oats, and Cracklin’ Oat Bran. For my three sugary cereals, my favorites are Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Reeses Puffs, and Rice Krispie Treats. Nothing like straight candy for breakfast, right?

I once had Sid sample Fruity Pebbles and a generic version of the cereal.


Sloan has 10 days left as a 1-year-old so we got to make them count, starting with this weekend! I will check in again next week. Don’t Blink.

A Life-Changing Day

On this date five years ago, I interviewed at Coastal Carolina University. I had landed in Myrtle Beach for the first time in my life the night before. After falling asleep to the sound of waves in my hotel room that overlooked the ocean, I was ready to nail the day of interviews. The next several hours would prove to be extremely crucial for my future.

A selfie I took on the balcony of my hotel room on March 5, 2014. This was moments before I went downstairs to catch my ride to campus for my day of interviewing.

Three people chaired the interview committee. One person is now the vice president of marketing and communications at Utah State, one is now the athletic director here at CCU, and the other was recently named our interim chief communication officer. I was speaking to some pretty important (but very humble) people. I get nervous for all interviews so you can imagine I was a little anxious for this one.

I talked extensively with Bill, Matt, and Martha. I had interviews with the University Communication team and a group of campus staff members who also specialized in communication. I had to submit a social media plan and present it. What a day!

My interview took place on, coincidentally, Ash Wednesday. It was a rainy and cool day, much like today. Bill drove me back to the airport in bumper to bumper traffic as the rain continued to fall. He told me I would know in a week or two if I got the position. When we shook hands outside the terminal, I wondered if I would be setting my feet on South Carolina soil ever again.

If only I knew then what I know now, I don’t think I would have accepted a ride back to the airport. I would have told Bill that he had to hire me and that I would work for free if it meant him giving me the job.

You see, accepting a position at CCU turned out to be the best decision I ever made. Of course the job itself has been incredible and more than I imagined, but it goes deeper than that. If not for the opportunity given to me by Coastal Carolina, I would not have Sidney or Sloan in my life. To think about not having my two girls is devastating.

If not for five years ago, I would not have this!!

So, on this five-year anniversary of visiting Myrtle Beach for the first time and sealing what would turn out to be a job offer, I thank God for letting the stars align. I am one lucky guy. Don’t Blink.

Re-Charged: The South Carolina Catholic Men’s Conference

With Lent starting this Wednesday, I wanted to do something that would help prepare me for the holy season. Luckily, there was an event this past weekend that did just that.

On Saturday, I attended the South Carolina Catholic Men’s Conference. Held this year in Columbia, the conference is put on by the South Carolina State Council of the Knights of Columbus in support of the Diocese of Charleston. I registered to attend about three weeks ago and had enthusiastically looked forward to the event since then.

On Saturday, I had the pleasure of attending the South Carolina Catholic Men’s Conference.

I woke up at 4 a.m. on Saturday and met two gentlemen from our local Knights of Columbus council (Myrtle Beach #5086) in the Kroger parking lot. From there we drove together to Cardinal Newman High School in Columbia where the conference was held. The camaraderie I was able to share with my brother knights from my own council was one of the best parts of the trip! I had the privilege of traveling with our Grand Knight, Tom McElligott, and Paul Jenkins. Both men have been knights for years and are so strong in their faith. I was honored that they included me.

When we arrived at Cardinal Newman we checked in and then went inside the cafeteria for breakfast. Another great part of the conference that didn’t necessarily relate to the content covered was the opportunity to meet other male Catholics from across the state. It was a joy to chat with other guys my age who are just as dedicated to the principles of Catholicism as me.

I had the opportunity to hang with some great Catholic men. Directly across from me are Knights from own council (Grand Knight Tom McElligott in the the striped blue long sleeve shirt and Paul Jenkins in the glasses). To my left is Jeff Bips from Aiken and on the same side as Tom and Paul is Crawford Melton from Columbia. I met Jeff and Crawford on Saturday (*Photo courtesy of Eric Cannon).

The conference kicked off in earnest with mass. We filled the chapel at Cardinal Newman High School to hear the holy word and partake in the Eucharist. The gospel was about Jesus rebuking the elders who tried to keep children from approaching him (Mark 10:13-16) and Msgr. Richard Harris preached about the necessity of letting God form us in the way glassmakers creatively form their own work. Although I believe women have much better voices than men, it was unique and special to hear a gathering of only males singing the hymns with sincerity and reverence.

I snapped this photo of the Cardinal Newman chapel in the middle of the day. Not only was mass and adoration held inside it, but it was open throughout the conference for people to pray.

After mass we headed to the theater for the speakers. Father Dwight Longenecker, a priest and author from the Diocese of Charleston, spoke about the root of sin. From the beginning with Adam and Eve up until now, all sins (lower case) originate from one Sin (upper case), pride. Father Longenecker explained that people base their existence on being right and persecute those who deviate from their world construct.

Father Longenecker provided great Catholic insight throughout the day.

My eyes were opened and spiritual battery re-charged when the next speaker gave his address. Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers is a celebrity in the Catholic world, appearing constantly on EWTN (total geek-out moment for me). The conference was able to book him and boy did he deliver! He spoke about how to be a better husband, a better father, and a better man. Some of what he said brought tears to my eyes and I saw Sidney and Sloan in a different light after he was done speaking.

Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers, aka the “Dynamic Deacon,” is an INCREDIBLE speaker. He taught me a lot about how I can be a better Catholic man.

When the morning concluded, we headed to the cafeteria for lunch. It was another chance to talk with fellow Catholics and make connections.

The afternoon portion of the conference opened with holiness and grace. Father Flores, a priest from St. Mary in Aiken, led Eucharistic Adoration in the chapel. Through word, song, and plenty of sacred silence, us men adored the Blessed Sacrament. To be in the presence of Christ during Holy Hour was the perfect way to break up the two halves of the conference.

After adoration, it was back to the theater. We were blessed to hear from both Father Longenecker and Deacon Harold again. Both men discussed ways to fight against Satan. Father Longenecker counseled us to speak truth, accept responsibility, pray, and defeat evil.

A look at the Cardinal Newman Theater as the speakers were introduced (*Photo courtesy of Eric Cannon).

When Deacon Harold came back up to the podium, he used David vs. Goliath as a metaphor for the modern man vs. the devil battle. He reminded us that the Catholic Church gives us plenty of “slingshot ammunition” to keep Satan away. Saying the rosary, receiving the sacraments, going to mass, and showing up for adoration are just a few of the “weapons” in the Catholic “arsenal” for protecting ourselves. Deacon Harold spoke about temptations that men face and reminded us of our duty to always put the women in our lives first. If only you could hear his preaching style…

Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers pulled out his rosary to show us a valuable “weapon” we can use when faced with evil.

Aside from what I briefly outlined, a lot of other things went on during the conference. Confession was offered, songs were performed between sessions, vendors sold spiritually enriching materials, and the chapel was always open if you wanted to go pray. As I mentioned above, it was a day that allowed you to re-charge.

I want to thank the South Carolina State Council of the Knights of Columbus for holding the conference. I also want to thank the Knights of Columbus Council #6847 for handling the event logistics. Most of all, I want to thank Tom and Paul of my own council for allowing me to go with them to this awesome conference. I really enjoyed hanging out with both guys. I can’t wait for next year! If you have any questions about becoming Catholic, or if you have been away from the faith and want to return, never hesitate to reach out to me. Don’t Blink.