Waldo Thursday Rundown

Good evening to all! Easter weekend is one of my favorite times of the year for so many different reasons. But tonight we aren’t talking about different reasons – we are talking about different topics (five of them). Let’s get started with the latest installment of the Thursday Rundown…

Ice Cream Challenge Domination – Can it really be four full years since I pushed my body to the limit and ate seven scoops of ice cream, five toppings, and a waffle bowl in a mere five minutes? Yep! Back in my younger days I was known to do some pretty crazy things. On April 18, 2015, I visited the O.D. Pavilion Ice Cream Parlor in North Myrtle Beach to attempt the Waterdog Challenge. What I remember most is that the ice cream tasted really good at first…but then my mouth went numb. I had serious doubts about whether I could do it but I successfully finished the challenge with just a few seconds to spare. No one will ever be able to take this achievement (nor the t-shirt I received for completing) away from me.

I once ate seven scoops of ice cream in five minutes.

The Astrological Signs As Southern Food – Isn’t this interesting to look at? Anthony Bowser, a #CCUSocialMedia team member, posted this chart on his Instagram Story. It places Southern delicacies with astrological signs. As a Libra, my “food” is peach cobbler. Although I don’t consume it on a regular basis, I remember eating the most delicious peach cobbler when I moved to South Carolina. The day before we finally made it to Myrtle Beach, we stayed in Camden, SC. We dined at a Fatz (Southern causal dining chain restaurant) and ate it for dessert. Warm, scrumptious, and flavorful, I had never enjoyed a better fruit dessert in my life. But back to the chart itself. Sidney is gumbo (yum) and Sloan is fried pickles (yuck). What are you?

Here is the chart that associates each astrological sign with a Southern food.

Our Father – I recently listened to a brilliant podcast on the Lord’s Prayer. In addition to the great history that was given, the point was reinforced that the prayer encompasses the literal words of Jesus and that we are to pray it based on his request. I complemented the podcast by reading Sloan a book that was written by and given to her by one of my mom’s co-workers. A gentleman by the name of K.W. Gruen, who works with my mom at Mead High School in Spokane, wrote a book titled “Teaching the Message of the Lord’s Prayer.” It is intended for children and explains verse-by-verse what the prayer means. Although a little advanced for Sloan at this stage in her life, I look forward to reading it to her more frequently when she reaches the necessary level of comprehension. Thank you, Mr. Gruen, for signing it!

Teaching the Message of the Lord’s Prayer is written by K.W. Gruen. He took the time to sign the book and write a special note to Sloan.

Where’s Waldo – When we ate at the Sneaky Beagle, a “Where’s Waldo” book was on the table. Seeing it brought back a lot of good memories. I remember going over to my friend’s house when I was probably 8 and browsing his Waldo books. He had the yellow, red, and blue editions. As someone who wasn’t skilled with the Magic Eye books, I made up for that deficiency by developing an eye to spot Waldo quickly. Would you believe that Saturday night was Sidney’s first time looking through a “Where’s Waldo” book? Apparently she was given a heavy dose of beginner’s luck because she smoked me on numerous pages as we raced to see who could find Waldo first.

This is the Where’s Waldo book that was at our table when we ate at the Sneaky Beagle last weekend.

Mooooovies – It has been on our list for a long time, but we finally watched “Crazy Rich Asians” the other night. It was good, but not as good as everyone made it out to be. What really stuck out to me was the emphasis on food. There were so many beautiful shots of food throughout the whole film. In fact, it went beyond beautiful; it was artful. The way the different dishes were displayed equated to an impactful way of storytelling. We also watched “The Mule,” a movie that stars Clint Eastwood and Bradley Cooper. The story itself was promising but the ending was a letdown. Even more concerning was the supporting cast; there was an obvious lack of talent. Maybe even more depressing was Cooper’s role. To put it nicely, it just wasn’t up to his caliber.

We recently watched Crazy Rich Asians

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I hope the remainder of your Holy Week is meaningful. I wish all of my readers a very happy Easter. Don’t Blink.

Relating to the Notre Dame Cathedral Fire

What can I say? Watching the Cathedral of Notre Dame burn yesterday was tough. But the shock and sadness isn’t the only reason why my tongue is tied. The disaster was covered extensively on all the major networks and countless people, Catholics and non-Catholics alike, described so eloquently and emotionally how important this magnificent house of worship is to them.

Seeing this yesterday was rough.

Although nothing I can say will come close to matching what has already been said, I can share the perspective that I related to when I was watching the flames billow out of Notre Dame.

Watching the flames shoot out of the cathedral was alarming to me.

For yesterday’s fire to really hit home, I thought about St. Andrew in Myrtle Beach, my home parish. It is a beautiful church with an impressive altar, unique stained glass windows, a large choir loft, and an interesting seating configuration. The brick structure stands out like a sore thumb on Kings Highway, serving as a magnet that attracts the faithful.

St. Andrew in Myrtle Beach is very special to me.

St. Andrew to me is my spiritual refuge – my “happy place,” if you will. When I moved to Myrtle Beach, I attended mass at the church my first weekend here. A couple years later, I would marry Sidney inside of it. Sloan’s baptism would soon follow. When I approach the doors of St. Andrew, I am immediately at peace.

I couldn’t imagine if this sacred space was engulfed in flames.

Last night, I thought about how I would feel if the fire raging in Paris was instead terrorizing a certain Myrtle Beach church located at 3501 North Kings Highway. To see the the structure I treasure the most engulfed in an inferno would be gut-wrenching.

Sloan was baptized at St. Andrew.

But here is where the perspective shifted to a different level. St. Andrew was built in the 1960s. The Cathedral of Notre Dame was built in the 11th century. Although it took some time to build St. Andrew, it surely didn’t take almost 200 years. My parish doesn’t dominate the skyline of the city. Some of the best architects in the history of the world didn’t build it, nor have any Popes said mass in it. Lastly, while we very well might welcome 150,000 different people through the doors of the church each year (complete guess on my part), we definitely don’t welcome 15 million.

I am not downplaying the significance of my home church. Both the Cathedral of Notre Dame and St. Andrew are sacred places that house the Blessed Sacrament – a distinction that in a way makes them both equals. But there is no way you can discount the history, tradition, and appeal that the Cathedral holds over 99% of all other churches in the world.

When I compare what my feelings would be like if St. Andrew was ablaze to the heartache that millions of people are feeling right now, I can understand some of their pain. But I would be remiss if I said that I could identify fully with the loss that countless French Catholics are dealing with at the present time.

Thankfully, the fire was eventually extinguished with the cathedral still structurally sound.

Of course there is a great silver lining. The church is salvageable and unreplaceable artifacts and relics were not harmed. As one clergy member said, the prayers offered up from around the world gave the firefighters the stamina and precision they needed to extinguish the flames before catastrophic damage set in. As we are in the midst of Holy Week, we can draw on the glorious theme of the Resurrection. From the ashes, the Cathedral of Notre Dame will rise. Don’t Blink.

Eccentricity at The Sneaky Beagle

So, what do you like in your taco? Ground beef? Beans? Lettuce? Shredded cheese?

What about fettucine alfredo? Or maybe fried chicken?

I am always down for new dining experiences and fresh concepts. This past weekend, our family of three went to one of Myrtle Beach’s newest restaurants, the Sneaky Beagle. Located in the former Longbeards building on Carolina Forest Blvd., I enjoyed checking out the reincarnation of a former restaurant I once enjoyed.

The outside of The Sneaky Beagle.

The Sneaky Beagle did a great job of cleaning house. Even though I enjoyed the atmosphere of Longbeards, the new occupants gave it a makeover, one that fits the brand of the Grumpy Monk, the flagship eatery of the restaurant umbrella under which the Beagle resides.

But this post isn’t meant to evaluate the aesthetics of the Sneaky Beagle, nor is it to review the restaurant as a whole. Basically, I just want to shed light on the eccentricity of the place ¬– but even I want to compartmentalize that as well. My intention is to focus on the food, specifically the tacos. Even so, I have to quickly mention a big drawing point of the Sneaky Beagle.

This post isn’t to evaluate the aesthetics of The Sneaky Beagle, but it is nice inside.

As its name suggests, the Sneaky Beagle is a dog-friendly restaurant. There is an entire menu dedicated to canines and from what I saw on Saturday night, four-legged creatures are coming in droves. There is a large patio and deck area for the dogs to dine with their owners, but the inside is off limits to the animals – something I appreciate or otherwise I probably would not have been a customer. Remember, I am a cat person.

I promise the patio was full. The deck, where you see Sloan running on, was half full (I made her run in the area that wasn’t full).

Until a few days ago, I had never seen anything like it. As I looked over the menu that specialized in non-Mexican tacos, I smiled at the creativity and boldness of what was available. Taking the only thing that draws influence from a traditional taco, a tortilla shell, customers are able to choose from 15 different fillings. Some of these fillings are very American, some are quite funky, and some are a little shocking. But they are all original and (for the most part) intriguing.

In addition to the ones I named above, here are some of the other options: chicken waffle, tequila-lime, buffalo chicken, coconut shrimp, mushroom, and Caribbean pork.

Which ones did Sidney and I choose? None of the above! But before I tell you what we ordered, let me explain the combinations. Customers can choose to order 1 taco/1 side ($5.99), 2 tacos/1 side ($9.99), or 3 tacos/1 side ($13.99). Sides include sweet rice, fries, garlic roasted potatoes, candied cream corn, or side salad.

I am keeping the tacos I ate a secret until the next paragraph, but I will reveal my side…I had the sweet rice.

Sidney and I each ordered the 2 tacos/1 side option. I chose the Thanksgiving day taco (oven roasted turkey, stuffing, gravy) and the mac and cheese taco (pulled pork, mac and cheese, pepper jack cheese, shredded cheese) with sweet rice. Sid opted for the Sneaky taco (hand battered and lightly fried shrimp, Sneaky sauce, lettuce, cheddar, pico de gallo) and the CBR Taco (fried chicken, bacon bits, ranch, lettuce, pico de gallo) with fries.

The Thanksgiving day taco tasted just like Thanksgiving dinner inside a shell. The contents spilled out a bit but it was warm, flavorful, and comforting! The mac and cheese taco actually tasted like something I would eat in the South. The texture was more natural than the Thanksgiving day taco and it was more heavy too. I had a slight concern that I might be still hungry after eating just two tacos but that fear was unfounded. I was stuffed silly. Perhaps the rice put me over the top? It was excellent and had a very unique, but mild, taste.

I had the Thanksgiving day and mac and cheese tacos.

I can’t report on the quality of Sid’s tacos because I didn’t try them–not because my wife wouldn’t give me a bite–but because I don’t care for a couple of the ingredients in both of her tacos. But you can take her word for it when she told me that both were delicious.

A look at Sid with her tacos and fries.

If you live in Myrtle Beach and are looking to try a new restaurant that offers a menu/concept a little out of the norm, give the Sneaky Beagle a try. Woof Woof! Don’t Blink.

TCBY Thursday Rundown

It is with distinct pleasure that I am back to write another Thursday Rundown. Sit back and relax because five random topics are coming your way…

A Special #NationalSiblingsDay Nod – Yesterday was National Siblings Day. Out of the million different social media tributes I saw, one stood out. My sister took to Facebook to do a little more than just recognize her two incredibly cool brothers. Besides the photo she posted of the three of us, she published an additional image as well. This particular photo was of Miranda with my wife. To see my sister embrace Sidney not just as a sister-in-law, but as a sibling, was really sweet. I am proud of their special relationship!

My sister considers Sidney a sibling.

An Impactful Priest – As I have written about before, Catholic priests hardly have lifetime assignments at parishes. Bishops move them around their respective dioceses quite frequently. Even though change is inevitable, it is strange to think about what the Catholic Campus Ministries program at the University of Montana will be like after July 1. Father Jeff Fleming has served as the pastor at Missoula’s Christ the King Parish, the University of Montana Newman Center, for 12 years. As a student, I found comfort and spiritual growth within the CCM program, with much of it due to Fr. Jeff’s spiritual direction. Taking over for a priest who was beloved for many years at Christ the King, Fr. Jeff had big shoes to fill when he arrived my sophomore year. He exceeded expectations and molded the program with his own personal touch. My experience with CCM at UM is a big reason why I am so passionate about the efforts being undertaken at Coastal Carolina to build our own Newman Center. Thank you, Fr. Jeff, for impacting so many college students during your time in Missoula. Best of luck with your new assignment!

Fr. Jeff has had such a positive impact on University of Montana students and the Missoula community in general (photo courtesy of my good friend Kristina Dolan).

2-For-1 – The Da Vinci-esque artwork continues to come home with Sloan. This evening, she surprised me with a “P”enguin. Another development that happened tonight was a discovery I made at Food Lion. I stopped by the supermarket after work to pick up almond milk for Sloan. Also on the grocery list was a request from my wife to find her something sweet. This new peanut M&M bar looked pretty interesting! Will let everyone know how it is after Sid gives it a try.

Sloan with her penguin artwork on the left and on the right is the new M&M candy bar I found at Food Lion.

Nabisco – Time to jump from #NationalSiblingsDay to #NationalPetDay! Although I have no desire to have a pet, I am a cat guy. I enjoy how they are social, intelligent animals. Growing up, my family had a cat named Nabisco. She lived from the time I was in elementary school to several years after I started my professional career. She was literally the best cat in the world! I am a little embarrassed to admit it, but I actually wrote a blog post in her memory about six years ago. On this National Pet Day, my heart is with Nabisco!

I had Nabisco in my life from the time I was just a little kid until September of 2013.

Defunct Restaurants – The most recent clickbait article that duped me into following the link was a list of casual restaurants that are now struggling or no longer with us. I had an entertaining time browsing through the 26 chains that were listed. The ones I was most nostalgic about? TCBY, Tony Roma’s, and Blimpie! All three of those were once located within walking distance of my childhood house. In fact, Tony Roma’s was the first “sit-down” restaurant I ate at with friends (no adults present). If you have time, take a stroll down memory lane by checking out the list.

There used to be a TCBY that shared space with a gas station right next to my house growing up.

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How did I do tonight? Thanks for your readership and I will check back in on Monday. Have a great start to your Holy Week. Don’t Blink.

Why I Keep My Text Message Notifications on Silent

At work, I am known for responding to emails and Twitter mentions immediately.

At home and beyond, I am known for responding to text messages at a much more leisurely pace.

Some people might be surprised to know that I keep text message audio notifications on silent. Because I elect to do this, I take it upon myself to manually check my phone every 10 minutes or so for new messages. However, it is quite easy for me to become sidetracked. Lately, I have found myself feeling bad for leaving people hanging for an hour or more.

Why do I insist on silencing my text messages? Well, there are a couple reasons. First, I am involved in various group text message threads, including a thread for my family and a thread for Sid’s family. As you can imagine, these are pretty active. If I had audio notifications on, my phone would ding all day (and all night) long.

There are also a few Twitter feeds that I get sent directly to my phone via text message for work purposes. It is unnecessary and annoying to have a chime, chirp, or jangle to let me know that one came through.

I like to think that I don’t silence my text messages just for my own sanity. I feel like I am being respectful of others as well. But I know this notion might not resonate with those finding themselves waiting an hour or more for me to respond to a text (“those” meaning basically just my wife and family members…I don’t have many friends). Please know that it is never my intention to “ice” someone and that I am trying to do a better job at making sure I don’t go long periods of not checking my text messages.

When out of the office, unless I am at church (in which case I don’t even have my phone on me) or at a movie, I always have audio notifications on for calls and emails. Those who know me well have figured this out–if you want to be 100% sure you get a hold of me, call me. In my experience, phone calls and emails always carry more urgency and importance than a casual text message.

Well, it has taken me a little over 10 minutes to write this, so please excuse me while I sign off and check my phone for text messages. Don’t Blink.

Sloan’s Idiosyncrasies

Sloan’s age can be puzzling. She will insist on doing things or not doing things that most human beings find weird or irrational. But should I be surprised? She is a 2-year-old after all. In tonight’s blog post, I am listing 10 aspects of Sloan’s daily behavior that might go against the norm.

I never knew so much pointless, strange content existed on YouTube until Sloan started jumping from video to video. Although she watches quality channels such as Blippi and Wendy’s Pretend Play, she will also watch much sketchier content as well. I am talking stuff like a middle aged man simply dropping random toys into a bath tub or terrible homemade animations that combine Mickey Mouse characters with Marvel superheroes. Simply bizarre.

Sloan watches some wacky stuff on YouTube!

Have no idea how she thinks fruit snacks left under the couch for weeks still taste good.

Apparently having a runny nose that drips into her mouth is a pleasant experience because she will do whatever it takes to fight us off when we try to swoop in with a tissue.

While most people like to keep their hair, or at least let a professional cut it if they don’t, Sloan takes the liberty to yank her curls out herself (serious note: this was actually a real issue for Sloan that we had to bring up with her pediatrician…all is good now!).

Sloan’s hair can be tough to manage!

– Speaking of hair, who doesn’t like going to daycare looking like Bozo the Clown? Before we leave in the morning, I practically chase Sloan around the house so I can spray down her wild mane (Sloan’s hair is CRAZY) and style it the best way a daddy can.

Apparently, strutting around in soaking wet clothes is the cool thing to do for 2-year-olds these days. Sloan loves to grab our bottled water bottles we leave on our bedside table and open them up. Although I think she tries to make an honest effort to actually drink from it, the water always ends up on her shirt (and on the floor).

If that solo cup had water in it instead of Goldfish crackers, she would pour it all over herself and be as happy as a lark.

Our daughter might be superhuman because she doesn’t feel pain. Just this past weekend at Savannah’s Playground she ran full speed at a structure with an opening. She thought she was short enough to run in unobstructed but she must have grown a couple inches the night before because she got clotheslined. No matter, she stood right back up and continued to play.

Sloan played hard at Savannah’s Playground and felt no pain when she got clotheslined.

I am past the age of making myself dizzy until the point of sickness. Sloan, on the other hand, loves to run around in circles until she is delirious on the ground.

Nothing better than remaining sick, right? The message is quite clear when medicine to treat a certain little girl’s cold is swatted out of our hands.

I understand that sleeping with a stuffed animal can be comforting – but sleeping with 10 of them? Some nights, Sloan insists on bringing a whole zoo of stuffed animals to spend the night with her in the crib. This is in addition to the books, extra blankets, and water cup she also requires. Needless to say, it gets a little crowded.

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You know what is kind of crazy ¬–perhaps even crazier than the idiosyncrasies themselves? It is that we love Sloan for them (well, except for the medicine one)! We better enjoy them now because by the time she turns 3, I expect her to be acting like a normal, mature adult. Don’t Blink.

Little White Crosses

This morning, I came across a unique work of journalism in my local newspaper. Hannah Strong of The Sun News wrote a piece titled “Horry’s Crosses to Bear.” The front page feature told the stories of various crosses and memorials that motorists pass by while driving on Horry County roads.

A partial look at today’s front page of The Sun News. The article is titled “Horry’s Crosses to Bear” and it is written by Hannah Strong.

Strong carefully detailed numerous memorials around the Myrtle Beach area, describing what they are constructed of, who they are constructed for, and the relief they give to loved ones who visit them. She also recounted the tragedies that led to existence of each one. Many vibrant photos are also included in the story – but you will have to follow the link to the story because I don’t want to steal the images taken by The Sun News. Overall, it was a very informative piece but also very sad.

When I was younger, I remember driving around with someone in a big city. This certain area had homemade memorials on the side of the road seemingly every couple of miles. When we would pass one, whether it be a white cross or something more elaborate, the driver would say in a more amused than sympathetic tone, “Oh, look, someone must have died.”

All around the country you can find white crosses like these, or other more elaborate displays, on roadsides marking where people have died in automobile accidents.

It didn’t take me long to realize that these memorials deserved much more respect than that. However, what does this respect look like? To be honest, for the last several years, aside from not mocking them, I don’t think I have really given much thought or reverence when speeding by.

In Strong’s article, some insight is given on how to allow ourselves to take roadside memorials to heart. The Horry County coroner challenges motorists when passing one to reflect on why it is there. Further, the coroner advises, remember that we are all mortal and the same tragedy can happen to us or our family members. It is important to always drive carefully.

Perhaps even more powerful was testimony given by a father still stinging from the motorcycle fatality of his son. He told Strong that the roadside memorial he visits is sacred ground to him because it was the last place his loved one was alive.

I think the concept of “sacred ground” is what we need to keep in mind when we drive by a location where someone has perished. Whenever we enter a church or cemetery, even if it is a church we don’t belong to or a cemetery where a loved one is not buried, we still give it respect. We need to keep this attitude when we pass by roadside memorial sites.

If we challenge ourselves to say a quick prayer for the person or make the sign of the cross when driving by, I think this will at least help us to reflect on the life that was lost. How would we want someone to react if the cross on the side of the road was meant to memorialize one of our loved ones? Don’t Blink.

Thursday Rundown Fun

Good evening. I want to start off by adding a few more reasons for why I do and don’t like April…

Just kidding! Since I have beat that to a pulp, I am sure everyone is ready for a Thursday Rundown. Let’s get started…

Our Artist – Sloan recently brought home another one of her masterpieces. She (or is it her teacher?) is definitely expressing the best version of her artistic self. The 2-year-old grind is pleasant so far. Sloan keeps learning and talking. Her favorite thing to do currently is sing “Johnny, Johnny,” a song that requires another person to participate. As you can imagine, mommy and daddy take turns performing the duet with our little diva.

On the left is a photo of Sloan I took today and on the right is her elephant artwork.

Settling In – A couple weeks ago, I wrote about how I changed office buildings. Our social media and photography departments moved to Hampton Hall to be with video production, ensuring that our media-based content creators are all under one roof. So far, so good. However, I have still not unpacked all my boxes nor put a thing on the walls so I can’t give you a photo that looks much different from the one I shared in the March 21 Thursday Rundown. What I can share, however, is an article written about our move. It comes complete with quotes from our director of photography and myself.

Because I haven’t made much progress with my new office, you instead get a selfie with a mostly empty bookshelf.

Season 3 of This Is Us – This past Tuesday night, the season finale of “This Is Us” aired. I thought it was one of the better episodes of the season and a fitting way to conclude things until the fall. I believe the series is still very healthy. Throughout this past season, everything seemed fresh and I never thought wow, these writers are really searching for ideas. My favorite episode of the third season was the one that took place in the hospital waiting room for practically the whole show. You could really feel the tension and conflict. Of course we are all now on the edges of our seats for the next several months after Tuesday’s ending, but I guess it gives us something to look forward to.

I enjoyed the third season of “This Is Us.”

BURRITOS – In terms of food, I would say it was definitely an upgrade when I moved to the South. From the pancake houses to the fast food chicken restaurants to regional dishes such as chicken bog, I love eating in South Carolina! However, the West has one thing on my current home: burritos! Both in Washington and Montana, you will find numerous mom and pop burrito shops that specialize in creating large, delicious mission-style burritos. The eatery I miss the absolute most in Missoula is Taco Del Sol. I have never enjoyed a better burrito than the ones served there. When Sidney and I paid a visit to Montana a couple years ago, you better believe we ate at Taco Del Sol for our first meal. Happy National Burrito Day!

This is Sid at Taco Del Sol in Missoula in July 2017.

The Power of FaceTime – Two years ago, during Sloan’s first month of life, I wrote about how comforting it was to FaceTime her after my paternity leave ended. During my lunch break at work, I would Facetime my two favorite girls and get a glimpse of what mommy and baby were doing. Exactly two years since I wrote that post, I am still a big proponent of FaceTime, especially when it comes to letting your daughter see her out-of-town grandparents! Kind of surprisingly, FaceTime hasn’t evolved much over the past 24 months; wonder if anything will be in store over the next 24?

During Sloan’s first month of life, it was especially nice to be able to FaceTime with her.

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I want to wish everyone a great weekend. Since Gonzaga was eliminated on Saturday, I don’t have too much of an interest in the Final Four. However, if you have a dog (obviously not a bulldog) in the fight, I wish your team good luck. Don’t Blink.

10 Reasons Why I Don’t Like April

Last night, I listed the 10 reasons why I like April. However, in the post, I subtly mentioned that April is not my favorite month. So, tonight, I am not subtly going to explain why. I will use the same format as last night, listing 10 reasons in no particular order.

But before we get to that, I want to list an 11th reason for liking April…my Aunt Nancy and my brother’s girlfriend, Carrie, were both born this month. Happy birthday to both!

In April, I get allergies. Although you might not be able to tell in this photo, I was MISERABLE (it was taken in April).

Not off to a good start – As I have mentioned before, I am not a fan of April Fools’ Day.

Memories of snow – Even though I now enjoy nice April weather in Myrtle Beach, I am still bitter about all the “spring” days that were ruined by snow living in Washington and Montana.

Hitler was born in April – Enough said.

Allergies – I didn’t discover that I am susceptible to allergies until I moved to South Carolina and April is one of the most difficult months for me.

TV seasons end – Season finales for television shows are abundant in April. In fact, “This is Us” aired its season finale last night.

MLB Baseball Season Letdown – By the time April is over, my favorite Major League Baseball team, the Seattle Mariners, are already out of playoff contention.

Long month – Even though April is only 30 days, it can be a long month. Working in higher education, it is the last full month before the academic year ends and people become anxious. Also, in general, it is the final month before you can really start to feel summer vibes.

Scrabble – If you were to play the word “April” in Scrabble, with all tiles just being face value, it would give you the least amount of points out of any other month.

Titanic Sunk – I wasn’t just fascinated by the United States Presidents as a kid – I was a Titanic nut too! Although the ship set sail in April, it also sunk in April. Tough to think about the over 1,500 people who lost their lives.

Unfairness – Sid gets spring break and I don’t.

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Sorry for listing negative aspects of April. To be honest, it isn’t my least favorite month, it just happens to have some qualities I don’t particularly enjoy. Don’t Blink.

10 Reasons Why I Like April

No frills in tonight’s blog post, just the 10 things (in no particular order) that I like about the month of April.

I love Easter and it often falls during the month of April.

It is in the middle of two months I really enjoy – Sorry April, I would take March or May over you.

Many years, Easter is in April – Not my favorite month, but many times my favorite holiday takes place during it.

Half Birthday – I make it halfway around the sun on April 8! Even though I have never celebrated a half birthday in my life, perhaps I change that this year?

A tradition unlike any other – There is no better sporting event in April than The Master’s.

Sloan was cured – When this month rolls around, I think about the courage of Sloan and the talented doctor who performed a life-saving surgery on her.

The weather is really nice! – I wouldn’t have included this five years ago because April is just another month of winter in Montana.

April O’Neil – As a major Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fan as a boy, I correlated the month with the pretty news reporter.

Start of the 2nd quarter – Once March is done, the honeymoon of the new year is over. April is the start of the next 25% of the year (April-May-June). Will you build on what you did the first three months or reevaluate? #GreatBenchmark

Things looking bright – Each day during April, the days get longer and longer. The extended daylight becomes very noticeable and my mood improves.

Looooooow key – For me, April is chill. No annual appointments, no family birthdays, no big events. Although I like activity, it is nice to have one month without a lot on the calendar.

I admit it, I overlook April. However, sometimes you need to take a step back and give it a little bit of credit. I hope to make the most out of the remaining 27 days. Don’t Blink.