Oh man, it is that time again. For the sixth straight year I am continuing a cherished Don’t Blink tradition and presenting my top 10 blog posts of the year. Affectionately referred to as the Big Blog Post, this is the entry where I comb through 12 months of posts, choose 10 favorites, and rank them.
Since I have become a father, my blogging output has decreased each year. Unfortunately––or perhaps, fortunately, since it means I am taking care of my kid––2019 was no exception. I published 165 blog posts over the year, a 12% decrease from the 187 posts I wrote in 2018 and a 35% decrease from the 253 posts I wrote pre-wife/daughter in 2014. But it has never been about the quantity and I had little issue finding 10 posts out of this year’s crop.
As usual, this list is mostly reflective of my personal opinion on the significance and quality of the featured posts. However, audience feedback and readership are also considered with this compilation. Without further rambling, here is my 2019 list…
10. Asking for Permission (July 29): When reading the paper one day, I came across an advice column that dealt with asking permission from a significant other’s parents before asking for her hand in marriage. I added my own commentary on the importance of doing so but it also allowed me to tell my own story of how I asked permission from Sidney’s dad to marry her. In fact, I was even able to briefly touch on how my brother asked his fiancée’s dad for his blessing. Having the chance to share these happy stories was pleasant for me.
9. Our Family Vacation to the Florida Keys (July 3): Toward the end of June, we traveled to the Florida Keys for the wedding of Sidney’s sister. The trip doubled as a vacation as we spent several days in the Keys after the nuptials. Spending a week in a sunny and exotic location was a ton of fun! In this blog post I used lots of photos (and some words) to tell the story of a truly remarkable family experience.
8. We Are Lucky (January 16): Growing up, my dad would routinely whisper something into my ear whenever we crossed paths with someone who was obviously less fortunate than us. This constant reminder has helped me shape my perspective throughout my life, especially now that I have my own family. The simplicity and reality of my dad’s message was conveyed in this special blog post.
7. A Year of Growth: Happy Birthday, Sloan (March 17) – On St. Patrick’s Day, also known as Sloan’s birthday, I reflected on the second half of her 730 days of life. I pointed out some highlights from the past year while focusing on the two main areas of growth from her second trip around the sun: intellectual capability and emotional expression. On a more humorous (but oh so true) note, I also mentioned the biggest difference between 0-12 months and 12-24 months…instead of caring for a baby, we were being managed by a toddler.
6. Observing the Generosity of the Community (September 23) – Aside from family moments and milestones, I found no greater joy in 2019 than spending time with my Knights of Columbus brothers. One of the service activities I had the pleasure of participating in this year was Columbus Hope charity drives. We would stand at the doors of various businesses and collect donations for individuals with intellectual disabilities and special needs in South Carolina. One particular day stuck out to me in particular. I had the pleasure of volunteering with John Kost, a 90-year-old World War II vet who stood shoulder-to-shoulder with me for two hours outside of Sam’s Club in the unforgiving late summer heat. Not only was our conversation incredible but it seemed like every single person who crossed our paths that day donated.
5. Building the Faith (July 22) – This year I became involved with Coastal Catholics, a student organization that serves the Catholic community at CCU. I was drawn to the organization because of my faith and because of the vision of a young priest named Father Nerbun. Energetic and motivated, Father Nerbun came to CCU and not just revitalized the group but kicked off an ambitious plan to build a Newman Center for Coastal Catholics. This blog post outlined the campaign and also detailed my personal passion for constructing a Newman Center.
4. A Half Decade at CCU (May 1) – On May 1 of this year, I celebrated my fifth anniversary at Coastal Carolina University. I marked the milestone by writing a blog post that summarized my time at the institution. I mentioned some achievements but it was more about the people––colleagues and students ––who have made my time at CCU so memorable. I think my pride and gratitude for my employer was very evident in this post and it was a pleasure to go back and read it in preparation for this list.
3. Our Moment in the Sun (November 13) – Probably my greatest professional highlight came this November in Las Vegas at the American Marketing Association Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education. I had the pleasure of presenting with Lindsi Glass, our associate vice president for marketing and branding (and my supervisor). In front of higher education marketers from across the country, we revealed CCU’s Generation Z-optimized Instagram strategy. In this post I discussed the exhilarating day and the empowering aftermath.
2. We Are Expecting (again) (September 9) – This blog post was the sequel to the version I wrote in 2016, one which also landed in the #2 spot of its respective yearly countdown. Like with the post three years earlier, this one was short and sweet as well. But for this countdown, length isn’t as much of a requirement as significance and posts don’t come much more significant than this one. In the entry I wrote about our state of joy and excitement, including that of Sloan. We can’t wait until early 2020 to finally meet our newest Reser!
1. Will You Be My Best Man? (July 8) – My greatest honor of the year came when my brother asked me to be his best man at his 2020 wedding. Glen and his fiancée, Carrie, visited our family in early July. Midway through the trip he nonchalantly asked if he could blindfold me (no big deal, right?). I consented and he tied a cloth around my face. What followed, and what is outlined in my favorite blog post of 2020, is Glen’s elaborate method of asking me to lead his wedding party. The creativity of what my brother did, the meaning it held, and the pride that is plainly evident in my writing all make Will You Be My Best Man? my favorite blog post of 2019.
It was another solid year for Don’t Blink. Although the post quantity might be down, I hope my readers can still appreciate the quality. What ten blog posts will grace the Best Blog Posts of 2020? I will let you know in a year. Don’t Blink.