Cosmic Thursday Rundown

Is it Thursday already? Oh man, apparently it is. It is spring break for Washington schools and what a treat it has been for students and teachers alike as the weather has been gorgeous (at least for the first three days). Alright, let’s get started with the Thursday Rundown…

Cosmic Crisp – When I went for my interview at Washington State University in December 2019, I brought home some Cosmic Crisp apples. I was amazed by the taste! Bred by WSU scientists, the Cosmic Crisp is a premium apple that will change the way you feel about the fruit. However, up until early this week I had not had a Cosmic Crisp in my possession since late 2019. That changed when we picked up our groceries at Walmart and discovered that inside one of our grocery bags were these two complimentary Cosmic Crisp samples. If you see them at the supermarket don’t hesitate to pick up a few, you won’t regret it.

We got these Cosmic Crisp apple samples with our Walmart grocery order.

Cookie Sandwich – Below is a viral tweet of a “sandwich” that was actually made at Subway. The Snapchat caption pretty much said it all (If you ask Subway will make it) but the reply tweet that said “there is still probably more sugar in the bread than all those cookies” made me laugh out loud. Would I order this for a blog post? Perhaps, but I don’t think I would enjoy eating it—so—to prevent against food waste and/or a really bad stomach ache I think I will refrain.

This is not a joke. Someone actually ordered this and Subway made it.

National Beer Day – Yesterday was National Beer Day but don’t think because I am late to that party that I am not going to mention it tonight. One of my all-time favorite blog posts was when I counted down my top 5 favorite beers. Perhaps it isn’t something I should get too excited about because my list is pretty embarrassing but I did have a fun time writing it. I am giving no spoilers here so if you want to see my list from three years ago, click here.

You can’t go wrong with Bud Light. Photo is of me with my cousin Cody in the summer of 2017.

Last Word on Gonzaga – It was tough watching Gonzaga fall to Baylor on Monday. If there was ever a season of destiny, it seemed like this was it. I was really hoping it would conclude with that storybook ending but it wasn’t meant to be. At the end of the game I asked myself, Will Gonzaga have a chance like this ever again? Then I reminded myself that I asked the same question in 2017 when the Bulldogs also fell in the title game. So yes, I think they will be back in the future as the quest to bring a national championship home to Spokane continues.

I was really hoping that Gonzaga would win on Monday night.

Jelly Beans – I am a big jelly bean fan. Whether a classic approach like your basic jelly beans or something more gourmet like Jelly Belly, I really enjoy candy-coated beans. In fact, I also like jelly beans based off of popular candy brands such as the Starburst variety…so good. But I recently tried another candy brand-based jelly bean that I didn’t particularly care for. The Easter Bunny brought SweeTARTS jelly beans for Sloan and I must say no bueno. Not only is the texture rather odd but they are too sour. I guess the fact that they are SweeTARTS jelly beans should have given that away but I guess I was just hoping for a more mild taste. Oh well.

Our container of sweeTART jelly beans.

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It has been a pleasure running down these topics with you tonight. I hope you have a nice weekend and I look forward to catching up with you next week. Don’t Blink.

A Trip to the ER I Will Always Remember

For Gonzaga fans, the Jalen Suggs’ overtime buzzer-beater that eliminated UCLA and advanced the Bulldogs to the national championship game will be one of those Where were you when it happened? moments. I won’t ever have to hesitate it when answering: the emergency room.

Last Saturday, my family was over at my parents’ house watching the Final Four matchup between Gonzaga and UCLA. I was downstairs watching with my brother-in-law when all of a sudden I heard a little thump followed by piercing cries from Beau. I ran up the stairs to see Beau cradled in Sid’s arms, blood dripping from his mouth.

Sid managed to tell me that he fell on the stairs and busted his bottom lip. That was about as much as I could get out of her as she announced that she was feeling like she might faint. I took Beau into my arms and my dad went and steadied Sidney. We tried our best to control the bleeding as my sister made a call to urgent care to see what we needed to do. She got off the phone and gave us the necessary direction…go to the emergency room.

Sid and I hopped in the car and I drove us to Holy Family Hospital. My dad met us at the facility and the staff checked Beau in. Although the back-and-forth basketball game was no longer my top concern, I could still keep tabs on the score as the Holy Family employees had the game on in the waiting room.

With it cleaned up a bit, you can see the wound on Beau’s bottom lip as we wait in the emergency room.

We were called back to our room. Sid jokes that the first thing I asked when we walked in was where the remote was. Overtime had started and I flipped the game on. My shirt was covered in Beau’s blood but he had calmed down a bit. I also had calmed down. I took a couple moments to reflect on the incident. Our little man had lost his balance going down the stairs on his belly and smacked his mouth on the bottom wooden corner of the staircase that supports the railing.

The arrow points to the exact spot where Beau suffered his injury.

A hospital employee entered the room a few minutes later right as Sid stepped out to use the restroom. The staffer started to ask me questions as the final 25 seconds of the game played out. Trying to shoot glances in her direction as I watched the pivotal moment I did the best to answer her simple questions. What is your relation to the patient? Ummmm…his dad. When did it happen? 45…minutes…ago. How did it happen?…

YAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!

The entire ER wing erupted as Suggs’ shot banked in. The noise from the other hospital rooms mixed with my spontaneous yelp of excitement. A stair, he fell from the stairs! I said with way too much enthusiasm. I am so sorry. The employee told me not to worry and that she was following the game too.

Just a moment later the doctor came in. Things got serious again. He took one look at the wound and remarked that it was rather severe and that multiple stitches would be needed. He also said that he couldn’t rule out scarring. He said to hang tight and left the room.

We waited a few minutes and then the ER nurses came in followed by the doctor. We put Beau down on a device that basically restrained him and the doctor and his team went to work.

He worked fast but also meticulously to stitch up the wound. He gave all the nurses body parts to control while he took care of the lip. Sid stood bedside with Beau while I looked over Sid’s shoulder. After the doctor completed two of the stitches he gave Beau a quick break before beginning again.

It was during this break that Sid looked back at me. She told me that I looked as pale as a ghost. She told me to sit down in the chair in the corner (talk about a role reversal from just an hour earlier!). I replied that I was fine but by this time the doctor had taken notice of the situation. After making sure I was okay he ordered me to sit down in the chair. He then completed the rest of the procedure.

Beau was stitched up and ready to go home. One of the nurses brought me a cup of ice water and an orange juice and said “I highly recommend that you drink these.” The only other time in my life I remember feeling like I was going to faint was when Sid’s doctor shocked us by saying they were going to deliver Sloan three weeks early.

Beau resting peacefully as we drove home from the hospital.

But my low tolerance for something as minimal as four stitches is not the focal point of this post. Beau is dealing with his stiches like a champ and will get them out on Monday. Speaking of champs, I wish Gonzaga was one right now but Baylor kind of got in the way. I actually got to see the end of that one at home.

Beau will get his stitches out on Monday.

Thanks to the ER staff at Holy Family for taking care of Beau! It was by far the most efficient and professional emergency room we have ever experienced. Let’s also hope that it is the last. Don’t Blink.

A Sour Experience Turned Golden

On Saturday, we ended up at a noon Easter egg hunt in the Hillyard district of Spokane. This particular hunt was put on by the Guardians of the Children, a charity motorcycle group that fights against child abuse. It took place in a grassy lot surrounded by railroad cars at the corner of Market and Queen. When we walked up to the spot I had my doubts.

A look at the set up of the Easter Egg hunt.

The eggs were sparsely scattered and Sloan had barely slipped into the 4-11 age group by having her birthday just a couple weeks ago. She would be competing for eggs against kids much bigger than her, and let’s face it, Sloan isn’t blessed with speed or agility to begin with.

I took Sloan to the starting line of her age group and Sid took Beau to his 0-3 age group starting line. As we stood waiting for the hunt to begin, I saw kids several years older than her practically salivating as they eyed the eggs they would be running after.

Needless to say, Sloan’s confidence was not the best prior to the hunt starting.

On your mark…get set…go…

Dust was kicked up as the kids ran in all different directions. Sloan tried her best but it was honestly just like a movie—she would bend down to pick up an egg only to have a kid swipe it up from under her nose. The hunt probably lasted for only two minutes before the grassy field was absent from colored plastic eggs. Sloan was empty-handed.

I could tell she was upset but she handled it as best as a young 4-year-old could. We found Sid and Beau…empty-handed as well. Sid and I compared notes on our experiences, both admitting that our children really had no chance. But there was nothing for us to be disappointed about. Sloan and Beau had been to other Easter activities earlier in the morning and were not hurting for candy.

Nonetheless, a couple of teenage girls passed us and noticed our empty Easter baskets. A couple minutes later, one of the teenagers came back with a golden egg and handed it to Sloan.

“My parents helped organize this so we knew where one of the golden eggs was hidden,” she said.

Sloan lit up and opened the egg. It didn’t just contain ONE $1 bill but TWO $1 bills. It was like she won the lottery.

“Give me that over candy any day,” I told her.

Sloan was elated to get a golden egg at the Inland Northwest Guardian of the Children Easter Egg hunt.

From feeling disappointed to feeling like a million bucks (or at least two bucks), Sloan left the hunt site with a big smile on her face. Although Sid and I would have been content with her learning a lesson about not always getting what you want, we were still fine with the scenario that played out. Luckily she got a piggy bank for her birthday. Don’t Blink.

Easter 2021

You can’t call it an Easter of redemption because every Easter is one of redemption. But I think I can say it was more of a “normal” Easter in 2021 compared to what we experienced in 2020. And, to be honest, I was glad. To celebrate Easter Sunday with my family after missing them so much last year was extremely sweet. Here is a look at our day…

Sid and I were up bright and early so we were ready when Sloan and Beau awoke. Once they were up we led them downstairs to their Easter surprises. Although Beau didn’t say much, Sloan sure was excited.

Sloan and Beau on Easter morning.

Next came the most significant part of the day. We went to St. Mary Catholic Church for 9 a.m. Easter Sunday mass. After not being able to gather last year for this most holy mass it sure meant a lot to celebrate in our sacred space once again. Fr. Jeff Lewis celebrated the beautiful service and delivered a homily about the strength of the Church throughout the past couple millenniums. We sat with my brother and his fiancée and truly found ourselves in the Easter spirit.

Dressed for Easter Sunday mass!

After mass we drove out north to my parents’ house. We ate a brunch of pastries that included muffins, breads, and donuts. Sloan and Beau also opened Easter baskets that grandma and papa got them.

A look at my brunch plate.

We then took a couple hours to just relax. As is a tradition, I played some Easter hymns and we just took it easy and chatted.

Soon enough my brother and his fiancée joined us at my parents’. They were followed shortly by my sister, brother-in-law, Mikayla, and Johnny. We all gathered in the living room and chatted. That is simply what us Resers do when we gather—we talk. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

It wasn’t long before we were all sitting down for the Easter meal. This year we had ham, corn casserole, mac and cheese, scalloped potatoes, asparagus, salad, and more. The dinner marked the first time that my wife and kids got to spend Easter with my parents and siblings so I made sure not to take it for granted.

A look at our Easter meal.

After we let our food settle, it was time for the annual Glen and Carrie (brother and his fiancée) Easter egg hunt. They hid a whole bunch of eggs in my parents’ backyard and then Sloan, Mik, and Johnny went out and found them after a quick pep talk from Glen. Backyard egg hunts are the best hunts.

Glen and Carrie always do a great job of putting on this Easter egg hunt.

Finally, it was dessert time. My mom made ice cream cake in honor of Miranda’s birthday (which was on March 28) and my brother made peanut butter pie. Despite eating myself silly at dinner I still managed to eat a little bit of both.

Miranda, Glen, and Carrie enjoying dessert.

We all talked for a little bit longer and then we all departed to our respective houses. It was a special day after a meaningful Lenten season. But as a priest from my past used to say, we don’t look at this present time as the end of Lent but rather as the start of the Easter. So, happy Easter my friends, let’s joyfully celebrate the resurrection of our Lord over the next several weeks. Don’t Blink.

Pizzagaina Thursday Rundown

Welcome back, friends! I hope your Holy Week is going well. Take a moment or two to browse this week’s five topics in my latest Thursday Rundown…

Pizzagaina – In my Easter 2020 recap, I briefly mentioned a food called pizzagaina. If you didn’t read that post, you might be asking What the heck is pizzagaina? Well, it is an Italian dish made at Easter that will bring a smile to your face. Think of it as a savory pie of goodness. Macaroni and cheese and ham are packed into a flaky crust and then baked. Pizzagaina has been a tradition in my mom’s family for decades and this past weekend she made a lot of it. In fact, she was able to give big loaves to my siblings and I to share with our families. At my household we have a pretty good start on ours.

This is the pizzagaina loaf that my mom gave us. We have ate about a quarter of it.

Beau – So our 1-year-old told us that he feels Sloan has been getting all the blog love lately so I told him he would get a Thursday Rundown section to himself. Beau is walking more than he is crawling these days, keeping us very busy. He says words like “mama” and “hot” and loves to play with lego blocks. When his sister and cousins are playing he wants to be right in the middle of it with them, even if his presence might cause some minor inconveniences to the older kids. Beau is happy and loving as he freely gives out kisses. Safe to say, our little man is thriving.

These days, Beau is walking more than crawling.

Pepsi PEEPS Contest – Last week, Pepsi made an earth-shattering announcement that it would produce a PEEPS-flavored cola. However, it would be distributed in a very exclusive, non-grocery store manner. In order to have a shot at tasting the soda, which is called Pepsi x Peeps, you must post a photo on either Instagram or Twitter using specific hashtags and you must explain what your favorite spring activity is. Pepsi will then choose a certain number of entries and send the participants a 3-pack of the product. As you can imagine, I took the bait. Sloan and I posed for a photo and posted it to Instagram. We hope we are chosen!

We are now entered in the Pepsi x Peeps contest! Hope we win! #HangingWithMyPeeps #PepsiSweepstakes

A Thing of Beauty – I called my dad last night and when he answered I just said damn. When he asked me to elaborate, I said Damn. Gonzaga is good. I am amazed at how the Gonzaga men’s basketball team has stormed through the competition to reach the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament. I guess it is what you expect from an undefeated team but the way they are making it look so effortless is incredible. The ability of the Bulldogs to get easy shots and outrun their opponents is probably the best I have ever seen from any college team. For a program that I have a special connection to, I sure hope this year’s squad can produce two more wins and bring home a national championship to Spokane.

Best of luck to the Gonzaga men’s basketball team in the Final Four.

Didn’t Realize It – Did you know that William Shatner turned 90 last month? I surely didn’t. I must give credit where credit is due…he looks pretty good. Sorry for the language in the tweet.

I had no idea this guy was so old.

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Thank you for reading. I wish you a warm and meaningful Easter. Celebrate this sacred holiday with enthusiasm and reverence! See you next week. Don’t Blink.