A Subdued Thanksgiving

I know tomorrow will be tough for many. Faced with the pressure to be thankful, I will be thinking of those who will grit their teeth and try to get through the day as bravely as possible. In the year of 2020, many people will understandably not be in the Thanksgiving mood.

Many people might not feel like celebrating Thanksgiving this year.

For those of us who were spared the hardships of the first nine months of the pandemic, I think we need to realize that it isn’t a “happy” Thanksgiving for many. Let us keep this in mind if we are lucky enough to be in a celebratory mood tomorrow.

As I mentioned, there will be many people who have every reason to not be in a thankful disposition on Thursday. Sickness, depression, lost of loved ones, furloughs/layoffs, and many other COVID-related outcomes will make this holiday a tough one.

Now I realize that throwing out any type of a silver lining to people going through real issues might seem completely insensitive. On the other hand, I also know people who appreciate bits of positivity when life is tough. So, if you are grasping for even the slightest nugget to be thankful for, I can think of a few recent developments that we can all be thankful and hopeful for.

I have no business trying to suggest that folks going through real tough issues this holiday might find comfort in what I am about to say. But, for those who do enjoy a little silver lining, at least we have had these snippets of good news this month…

  • Vaccines with very high effective rates are being announced. Yesterday, it was reported that at least one of these vaccines will be available by early December.
  • The election came and went without the widespread violence that many people warned of. Prayers for peace were answered.
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average broke 30,000 for the first time ever yesterday.

While none of these three things will automatically stop the bleeding and pain that so many Americans are dealing with right now, perhaps we can all count them as things to be thankful for—especially the vaccine developments.

Tomorrow will be different for everybody. Let’s remember that and reach out to those who might need some encouragement. Don’t Blink.

Getting Your Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade Fix

Now don’t lose all hope just yet. Although you might have heard that the 2020 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is canceled, that isn’t entirely true. There will actually be a Macy’s presentation this Thanksgiving from 9 a.m. – noon on NBC. In fact, it will include Broadway performers, floats, and celebrities.

The Macy’s Thanksgiving special will look very different this year.

However, to be transparent, it won’t be an actual parade. In the words of NBC, it will be a “telecast.” Performances, most of which will be taped, will take place in a single location. No college or high school marching bands will perform. Parade participants will be decreased by 75%.

But what do you expect? As the pandemic continues to rage, precautions must be taken. A 2.5 mile parade lined with thousands and thousands of people isn’t conducive to crushing the curve. In my opinion, I am grateful that there will at least be an attempt to serve up a small slice of the Americana that has defined the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade over the years.

You won’t see shots like this on Thursday.

With that said, that small slice won’t be enough to fill the bellies of everyone, including yours truly. Watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is a major tradition of our little family and viewing a dramatically scaled down version won’t exactly satisfy our appetites. Luckily, watching this year’s telecast won’t be the only way to get our fill.

What happened during the summer when all professional sports leagues went on hiatus? The networks showed games from prior seasons. ESPN aired different NBA Finals games from the past couple decades, Root Sports showed some of the more memorable games in franchise history of the Seattle Mariners, and CBS showed old Masters’ tournaments. For some people, these retro competitions were appreciated. For others, it just rubbed salt into their wounds even more that they couldn’t watch the current version of their favorite team’s roster.

If you are one of those people who could still get your sports fix by going down memory lane, may I make a suggestion? Do the same thing with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Go back a few years and you can watch Ronald fly down the streets of New York.

You can go on YouTube and pull up the parade from pretty much any year you want. If there was a certain year that had a particularly memorable show, re-watch it on Thursday. Or, just choose a parade based on a year that is significant to you for reasons other than the annual Macy’s showcase. If both of those options fail, simply place slips of paper with years written on them into a hat and randomly draw one. Whatever year you draw is the parade that you watch.

Believe it or not, watching a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade of the past really isn’t that bad. How do I know? Well, I have done it of course.

Watching a parade of the past will still deliver plenty of Americana but you will also get heavy doses of history, nostalgia, and Matt Lauer. Trust me, watching a Macy’s “re-run” will still get you in the Thanksgiving spirit and you can even fast forward through the commercials. On second thought, watching the throwback ads can be thoroughly entertaining as well.

Santa will make an appearance during the NBC telecast but it won’t be his usual triumphant arrival.

Prior to watching this year’s Macy’s telecast, I recommend watching one of the actual parades from a previous year. Whether that means watching the 2007 version on Thanksgiving Eve or going back 30 years and watching the 1990 parade on Thanksgiving morning, pull up one of the classics on your TV and enjoy. Because honestly, how can you eat turkey if you didn’t see Santa’s triumphant arrival into Herald Square? Don’t Blink.

The Weight Loss Challenge

I have dieted in the past. Probably three times over the past 10 years I have made conscious efforts to lose weight. Were these attempts successful? Well, in terms of losing weight, yes. But my understanding of how to lose weight was very rudimentary and not particularly healthy. In my mind, it all came down to a simple principle: Just eat less.

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In March, COVID-19 took hold of our country. A response of many states, including Washington, was to shift into lockdown mode. In addition to restaurants and movie theaters, another industry hit particularly hard was the fitness sector. Gyms were forced to shutter. As someone who made it a priority to hit the gym five times per week, the closures messed with my routine and personal fitness. Although I did do workouts at a high school track, it didn’t fully compensate for missed gym hours and the increased time I was sitting on my butt in my home office.

I put on some COVID pounds.

Due to the closure of gyms, I put on some COVID pounds.

Thankfully gyms would re-open and I found Snap Fitness. I got back into a routine as I grew to really like my new fitness home. However, the extra pandemic weight wasn’t exactly melting away. A couple months ago, a fellow Snap Fitness gym-goer asked me if I wanted to enter a weight loss challenge.

When the governor allowed gyms to re-open, I found a new facility to go to…Snap Fitness.

This fellow gym-goer happened to be my wife. When we moved to Spokane Valley, we purchased a “couples” membership and joined the Snap Fitness at Montgomery and Argonne. Sidney was a complete rock star and jumped headfirst into the gym’s many offerings. She started taking classes and engrained herself into the vibrant Snap Fitness community. When the weight loss challenge was initially advertised she had the confidence to do it. Me? Not so much.

Sidney initially texted me this graphic and asked if I would do the challenge with her.

Remember, I was the one who lost weight on my own terms. Why did I need some fancy program to shed pounds? You just eat less, right? Well, to be honest, I was really dragging my feet because I was a little intimidated. I didn’t want to sign up and fail. But because of Sidney’s encouragement and the structure of the challenge, I decided to give it a shot.

The challenge was six weeks long and ran from Oct. 5 – Nov. 16. The goal was to get in shape for the holidays. That was something I could get behind. Overseeing the challenge was Christine Avery, the owner of Snap Fitness and a good friend of Sidney’s. Participants would weigh in with Christine each week with body fat measurements taking place every other week. My designated weigh in time with Christine was every Monday at 4:45 a.m.

This is Christine and she is the owner at the Snap Fitness at Argonne and Montgomery. She helped me tremendously during the Weight Loss Challenge.

That first day of the challenge I tipped the scale at 189.2 pounds. I asked Christine what I needed to cut out to be successful. She explained that my progress wouldn’t just depend on what I didn’t do but also what I did do. Sure, she told me to stop drinking soda and to limit my ice cream intake but it was more about what she suggested I add to my diet. Eating more protein, drinking more water, and consuming well-balanced meals were all pointers she gave me.

This was me on Oct. 5, 2020–the first day of the challenge. I tipped the scale at 189.2 pounds.

Using Christine’s advice and Sidney’s cooking, I decided to give the weight loss challenge my best effort. At home, we traded in our large plates for medium-sized plates as Sid made some delicious, yet nutritious, meals. Lean meats, salads, and vegetables were served on a nightly basis. I would leave the dinner table feeling good about how I ate.

A look at some of what I would eat. For breakfast I would have a protein bar and shake. For lunch I might have scrambled eggs or a pork chop and banana.

Early in the morning I would do my part at the gym. I would then come home and start drinking water. I learned that protein bars and protein shakes really don’t taste that bad. Everything seemed to come together. For me, it was like a formula. And, with this particular formula, I was seeing results. At my weekly weigh ins, the pounds were coming off.

I became pretty good friends with my water bottle during the Weight Loss Challenge.

In the past I had used a different formula that achieved results but at a slower and unhealthier rate. This time around I wasn’t starving myself on personal pizzas or soup. Instead of simply denying my body, I was supplying it too.

A photo on the first day of the challenge and a photo the day after the challenge ended.

When I would step on the scale for my weekly weigh-ins I would lose anywhere between 3-5 pounds. I had initially set a goal to lose 10 pounds but by the second week I had adjusted it. Although the challenge was never easy, I felt like I had momentum on my side. The positive weigh-ins helped me to stay the course for the next week.

Every week during the challenge I would see progress.

At my final weigh-in last Sunday, I crossed my fingers that I would meet my goal of 20 pounds. As I stepped on the scale I held my breath as the digital numbers tabulated…

167.6.

This was my “after” photo. I tipped the scale at 176.6.

I lost 21.6 pounds over the course of the six-week weight loss challenge. Additionally, I decreased my body fat by 5% and shed three inches off my waist. But that was only half of the success story. Sidney also lost double digit poundage and cut 5% body fat and three inches off her waist (that’s right, we lost the same body fat and inches off our waists). We went in for that final weigh-in together on Sunday afternoon and it was pretty sweet.

Sloan went with us to the gym for our weigh-in on Sunday. Christine let her step on the scale registering a weight of 32.4 pounds.

What made it so sweet, you ask? Well, I won the weight loss challenge. Because I shed the most weight out of all the entrants I received a $50 gift card to a popular Spokane restaurant, a Snap Fitness sweatshirt, protein powder, and a month of free membership.

I won some pretty great prizes! Thanks, Christine!

But that paled in comparison to what Sid and I accomplished as a team. We walked out of the gym a combined 30+ pounds lighter. We committed to doing something together and stuck with it the whole six weeks. Believe me, it wasn’t easy. There would be times when we would both get hungry and snap at each other. However, it was all part of the journey. We got through it with words of encouragement and shared fantasies of the favorite foods we would eat once the diet ended.

Thanks to my wife and Christine, I had the motivation to win the challenge.

And now the diet has, in fact, ended. But while the challenge is a thing of the past, the lessons learned are not. The key to losing weight isn’t simply just eating less. Listening to someone who is knowledgeable about weight loss is helpful. Most importantly, completing such an endeavor is so much more rewarding when you get to do it with your wife. Thank you Sidney and Christine for getting me through this! Don’t Blink.

Sugary Thursday Rundown

We have reached that time of the week again where I waste your time with five random and irrelevant topics. Wait, did I just write that? Well alright, let’s begin the latest Thursday Rundown…

Breakfast Combo – Yesterday morning I was eating Froot Loops for breakfast when Sidney exclaimed, “How are you eating cereal? We are all out of milk.” I conceded that we were out of milk but I was using a substitute. No, not Gatorade like Jim Harbaugh but half & half. When I was little, my mom would put half & half on our cereal every now and then. It was almost like a special occasion. When you add the mixture to your cereal it gives it a richer, creamier taste. Be careful though, after you do it once you might never want to go back to classic milk again.

Cereal with half & half poured over it is a nice treat.

Christmas Has Arrived – The interior of our house is now decorated for Christmas. Although Sidney and I have differing views on when the Christmas season should start (you can guess which respective sides we are on), I think our tree is beautiful and it sure brightens our living room with light and warmth during those early, dark mornings.

Our tree adds warmth and holiday cheer to our living room.

Meme Time – I don’t drink hard alcohol but perhaps this meme might change that? I guess Jack packs a hard enough punch that sugar is not needed. All joking aside, I always find it interesting when people find creative ways to show how much sugar is in some of our beloved drinks.

You don’t have to worry about Jack Daniels giving you cavities.

Fleets – Twitter has introduced multiple new features over the past year (still no edit button, though) but I think the latest rollout has garnered the social media channel the most buzz it has received since it went to 280 characters. Twitter jumped into the ephemeral messaging arena with Fleets, a feature that allows users to post content that disappears after 24 hours. It is a decent effort by Twitter to stay relevant and capitalize on a content-type that is wildly popular with Gen-Z, a demographic that people routinely say Twitter is out of touch with. I like that Fleets are accessible from the top of a user’s timeline and that you can use it to promote other tweets. However, I fear that it might just become a duplication wasteland for the Stories content that people are already posting on Facebook and Instagram. As per usual, I want to give the new feature some time before making a more definitive judgement.

Twitter rolled out Fleets this week.

Midnight – When the governor announced new restrictions on Sunday, he said that the bulk of them would take effect Monday at midnight. In my family text messaging thread, we started asking whether Monday at midnight meant a minute after 11:59 p.m. on Sunday or whether it meant a minute past 11:59 p.m. on Monday. After some internet research, we learned that Monday at midnight means the literal first minute of Monday. So, in other words, after Sunday at 11:59 p.m. times out, it is Monday at midnight. See below for the official explanation.

This explains that midnight begins a day, not ends it.


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These COVID-19 vaccines with high efficacy rates sure make me feel better about things. Let’s not cease praying, however. We need the process of distributing them to be smooth and widespread. Thanks for reading. Don’t Blink.

Heading Backwards

The seemingly inevitable happened yesterday as the governor of Washington reinstated restrictions meant to curb growing Coronavirus cases in our state. Starting this week, indoor dining, bars, gyms, movie theaters, and a host of other entertainment options and services will be forced to close for four weeks. Essential services like grocery stores will be capped at 25% capacity.

Our state is shutting down again.

You don’t have to be a moderate to realize that the current situation we are in sucks. Cases are exploding, there is no denying that. Something needs to be done to prevent our hospitals from becoming overwhelmed. At the same time, the collective economic ramifications, and, more importantly, the toll on the common working person, will be extremely grim.

It doesn’t matter how you view COVID-19 or what you think the government should do, this is a no-win situation.

With that said, I am thankful that a couple things were spared yesterday when the restrictions were announced. Schools will remain open, meaning Sloan will continue to go to St. Mary Catholic School, a place she loves. Bigger picture, many students and parents in the state who need schools to be open will be accommodated.

Also, churches will remain open. In the Diocese of Spokane, it was proven without a doubt based on extremely low case numbers that masses could be celebrated in a safe and socially distanced manner. Although I know a lot more went into this decision than examining the success of the Diocese of Spokane, I am extremely grateful that we will be able to continue to worship on Sundays, especially as Advent draws near.

The next four weeks will undoubtedly be challenging for many. At the same time, hopefully these 28 days will decrease COVID cases and buy us time as a vaccine is prepared. We need to pray for progress and the triumph of modern medicine. Let’s turn a corner. Don’t Blink.

Spur Thursday Rundown

Happy Thursday everyone and thank you for returning to Don’t Blink. I believe I have five topics in the can tonight so let’s get started with the latest Rundown…

Crafty Papa – As has been demonstrated multiple times in this blog, my dad loves to do fun projects with his grandchildren. The latest example of this occurred last night when he made mini Christmas trees with Sloan, Mikayla, and Johnny. He took old tomato cages and wrapped garland around them (with help from the kids of course). The next step for another day will be to actually decorate them with lights and ornaments. Stay tuned for progress updates!

The latest “Project with Papa” is the construction of mini Christmas trees.

Flat Tire – Nothing is worse than driving along and then hearing the grind of a flat tire. This happened to me last Friday when I was returning from the gym at around 5 a.m. I was able to find a vacant parking lot and wait for roadside assistance to put on my spare. We took the tire to a local business and they told us it was punctured and unfixable. Okay, we will buy a new tire, right? They told us since our car is four-wheel drive that we would have to get ALL four tires replaced. However, Sid had done her homework and knew that if the remaining tires on the car are new, which ours were, only the flat tire needs to be replaced. My wife brought this up to the tire shop employee. After some excuses, he grudgingly measured the tread and admitted that our car would be fine with just one new tire. When dealing with any type of car maintenance, make sure to doublecheck everything!

I ran into some bad luck on Friday morning.

Photo of Kids – You know what two happy children look like? Just look at the photo below! This image was captured right after Beau’s helmet came off and immediately after Sloan got out of the bath (hair soaking wet). I remember the first time we put Beau’s helmet on, Sloan grew angry and told us to remove it. I think it just scared her a little. Obviously she got used to it but now she doesn’t have to be concerned with any headgear at all on her little brother.

Beau is now helmet-less, much to the joy of everyone…including his sister.

Disney+ Turns 1 – Today is the one-year anniversary of Disney+. We subscribed to the streaming service shortly after it debuted. The platform itself does offer an impressive selection of classic Disney films and television shows. You also get other good stuff like Disney documentaries, fun films from the 1990s and 2000s that you never knew were made by Disney, National Geographic content, and much more. Best of all, Sloan loves Disney+! I like it because we have the package that also gets us Hulu and ESPN. Thus, I could easily survive on our Disney+ package alone. We will keep Netflix for now but I seriously don’t know what to do with this overwhelming amount of streaming content.

Disney+ is a pretty solid streaming service.

Ouch! So True – When I saw this meme last week, it brought me back a couple years to when we had sand spurs growing all over our spacious Myrtle Beach backyard. No joking here, these things hurt, and there is nothing more unpleasant than when you are trying to enjoy a nice evening in your hammock and you tear up your foot walking out to it. Luckily we were able to treat our lawn and get rid of them but they are nasty!

In the South, sand spurs are common in lawns.

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Only two weeks until Thanksgiving, folks. Although 14 days remain until Turkey Day, it doesn’t mean we can’t be thankful now…or always. Have a great weekend. Don’t Blink.

Feeling Symmetrical

At this moment, we are about as proud as you could possibly be of a 9-month-old baby boy. Yesterday, Beau received the go-ahead to cease wearing the corrective helmet he started to sport in July. The good news came about a month and a half early as medical professionals originally said he would most likely have to wear it up until Christmas. We aren’t complaining.

This was Beau’s first day in his helmet.

Pre-helmet, Beau’s head was flat in the back, most likely misshaped due to the way he slept during his first couple months of life. Additionally, his ears weren’t symmetrical with the rest of his head. The writing was on the wall and we knew he would receive a healthy dose of helmet therapy. The time to start the treatment came this summer as Beau started making visits to our friends at the Hanger Clinic.

This was Beau’s last day in his helmet.

The prosthetist at the clinic performed specific measurements on Beau’s head to build him a custom helmet. Once his headgear was available, it was our job to make sure he wore it. For 23 hours a day, Beau dutifully wore his “space helmet” (as I called it). When it was time for Beau to take a bath, the helmet would come off and Sid would scrub his little head. While my wife was washing him in the tub, I would take the helmet and clean it by scrubbing it with a toothbrush dipped in shampoo.

This little helmet made a BIG difference.

During those summer months his head would get really hot, his sparse hair drenched in sweat when we took the helmet off to give him a breather. It was also a balancing act at the start as a therapist likened the helmet’s weight on his neck to a “bowling ball on a toothpick.” Additionally, welts would form on his sensitive skin during those initial days. But despite these early challenges, the adjustment wasn’t that bad—for Beau or us.

Some photos of Beau in his helmet.

It just all became routine. Beau got used to the helmet quickly and didn’t allow it to hinder his movement, sleep, or happiness. In fact, when we would take it off, he would actually tap his head wondering where his hat went. For Sid and I, it became second nature. Of course the helmet wasn’t invisible but it never phased us. It was just part of Beau and we never thought of it as abnormal.

Beau at the Hanger Clinic on Monday getting his final scan to finalize his progress.

As for others? We would get some stares and a question every now and then, but it was never like Beau was an oddity. If anything, we quickly found out that babies wearing helmets are much more common than we thought. Much of the feedback we received from both acquaintances and strangers was that they either knew a baby who had to wear one or raised a helmet-clad infant themselves.

Beau and I moments before he went with his mommy to his final appointment at the Hanger Clinic.

The coolest part of the helmet journey was watching the progress. Within a week we could already see a difference in the shape of Beau’s head. Sid would take Beau in every month to the Hanger Clinic and they would re-size his helmet by grinding it so that his head could continue to form in a symmetrical manner. At each monthly session, the prosthetist was extremely pleased with how things were progressing. It became increasingly evident that Beau would be getting out of his five-month sentence early.

A look at the progression of Beau’s head from pre-helmet to post-helmet. The arrows point to the flat spot on his head.

And yesterday was that day. Although Beau had grown comfortable wearing the helmet and we had started to admire how it protected his head against hard appliances, we were happy to see it come off. We can now kiss his head, not worry about nasty head butts, and get that family portrait taken. Sidney is especially excited for Beau to get his first haircut.

A look at Beau’s progress. The head diagram shows pre-treatment (dotted line) and present state (solid line). Also, Beau started with a diagonal difference of 16 mm. He now has a 4 mm difference. A normal person ranges from a 3-6 diagonal difference 🙂

Beau’s time in his helmet flew by and we are thankful for that. We are also thankful for the unmistakable results. Beau’s head is now normal and we don’t have to worry about dealing with it down the road. Thanks be to God! Don’t Blink.

The Man in My Living Room: Alex Trebek

If you have read Don’t Blink for even the shortest amount of time, you know that my wife and I are diehard Jeopardy fans. For most of our years as a couple, the show was a consistent part of our nightly routine. We literally kept score.

But my fandom for Jeopardy stretches back pre-Sidney. I watched it with my college roommate nightly in our dorm room. Growing up, my family would tune in multiple times per week. Our favorite computer game for our clunky desktop was Jeopardy. We had flash cards.

What made Jeopardy so endearing was its consistency. You had the structure, you had the theme music, and you had Johnny Gilbert. But of course the undisputed anchor piece—the glue that made the show a smashing success—was Alex Trebek.

RIP Alex Trebek

Waking up to the news yesterday morning that he had passed was not surprising but it was sad. A force who had been a part of my life for three decades, albeit from my television screen, was gone. Say what you will about having a connection with someone you had never actually met, Alex was in all of the numerous living rooms I have called home over my years on this planet. He really was like a houseguest.

I admired Alex Trebek because he was fair. The man hosted a hit game show with skill, accuracy, and diplomacy. There was never any doubt that a contestant would get a fair shake or that a round would go off without a hitch. He never showed bias and he took his personal integrity seriously. Because of this, Jeopardy was a game that could be enjoyed and trusted by everyone. He was the ultimate impartial referee.

Another redeeming trait of Alex’s that I respected was his dry sense of humor. Whether it was during his interviews with contestants or his quips between clues, Trebek never ceased to amaze me with his wittiness. He had a true knack for not missing a beat. It always came across as genuine, sly, and hilarious.

But I think maybe his best quality was his tenderness. Because of pop culture portrayals, Alex Trebek might be classified by some as an ultra serious, deadpan brainiac with a robotic personality. But for those of us who watched him regularly, we knew there was much more to him than an SNL parody or a cameo on “Jury Duty.” Alex was appreciative, compassionate, and authentic—all qualities that were evident as he interacted with contestants and viewers at home.

Jeopardy will never be the same. Hopefully Ken Jennings will be the new host and he will add his touch to the show, but there is simply no replacing the person who dealt out clues for the past 37 years.

I’ll take, I miss you for $1,000, Alex. Don’t Blink.

Pink Hair Thursday Rundown

I hope Election Week is treating you well during this tense time for our country. No matter what side you are on, I encourage you to choose peace and civility. Okay, let’s get started with the Thursday Rundown…

Behind the Scenes with Poppy – I love this photo of Sidney doing Sloan’s makeup for her Poppy costume. Sid’s concentration and Sloan’s seriousness make it a truly candid shot. If you all only knew how difficult it was to finally get Sloan—I mean Poppy—to stay still!

Sidney applying make-up to Sloan.

Pumpkin Baby – Since I am giving Sloan her own photo in tonight’s post, I believe my son deserves one too. On Monday night I shared a Halloween photo of both kids together in their costumes but here is one just of Beau. His pumpkin costume made him look quite plump but he was so cuddly in it. With the few teeth he has, Beau made the perfect jack-o-lantern.

Beau sporting a pumpkin costume.

A Meme That Rings True – I had to share yet another meme from my friend Lindsi because once again I can totally relate. Sloan is now at the age where she doesn’t choose the most obvious hiding spot when we play hide-and-seek. She is also at the age where I can get away with keeping one eye open when I am counting. Why do I sometimes cheat? Is it for her safety? My competitive spirit? My desire not to look in every nook and cranny in the house? Yep, it’s that last one. Although I feel a little guilty it’s not like Sloan doesn’t do it too.

This meme was relatable

National Calendar Not Quite Right – It happens quite a bit. I will look at the quirky National Day Calendar and see what gimmicky “holidays” are being celebrated. Many times I will take notice of one and think Hey, didn’t we already celebrate that this year? My suspicions, at least in one instance, were confirmed today. It is supposedly National Doughnut Day but it seemed like I didn’t have a full 52 weeks to work off the calories from the previous year’s day. I did a quick Google search and it turns out that National Doughnut Day also took place on June 5. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think an excuse to eat doughnuts is a bad thing but perhaps if there are duplicate “national days” on the calendar, perhaps they should space them out by at least six months? Anyway, if you want to know my top five favorite doughnuts, click here. Likewise, if you want to know about the doughnut-themed 5K I ran two years ago, click here.

Cool Follow – Speaking of doughnuts, a couple months ago I was searching the location tag of Amy’s Donuts on Instagram and I discovered @katinaeatskilos. Katina is a competitive bodybuilder turned competitive eater. However, despite going from barbells to calories, she has maintained a bodybuilder’s physique. Her Instagram account led me to her YouTube page where I watched her complete challenges such as eating a 72 ounce steak and gobbling up 12 pounds of cereal. Her story is unique and her posts/videos are engaging. Katina happens to be a Spokane native and visits Amy’s Donuts frequently, which of course led me to finding her. I am sure Amy’s doesn’t mind the publicity from this major social media influencer.

Katina does breakfast too! (photo courtesy of @katinaeatskilos).

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I think all of us could use some rest this weekend. I hope you get plenty of it while still remembering to do something nice for someone else. Thanks for reading. Don’t Blink.

Let’s Pray For Peace

With an election as contentious and bitter as this one, it really is tough to find a single thing that both sides would jointly endorse. Well, perhaps there is one…

Peace?

Shoot. Even that might be stretching it.

Let’s pray for peace today.

Nonetheless, I think peace is what we should all promote and embrace over the course of tonight and the long days that could follow as results are finalized.

Today at St. Mary Catholic Church, the parish that our family attends, Eucharistic Adoration will take place from 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. with one sole intention: for peace to prevail. Even for people like me who can’t make it, I will still be praying in solidarity with my fellow parishioners and people all across the country for this intention to come to fruition.

Tensions and anxieties are high as this presidential election has all the fuel it needs to blow up with just the faintest spark. I think we all need to remember that. Even though most of the people who read my blog would never engage in outward violence, I think we all still need to be cognizant of how we engage today whether it be on social media, in small groups, or at the grocery store. Will what we say aim to divide or heal?

Pray for peace. Don’t Blink.