In life, they say three things are guaranteed: death, taxes, and the Don’t Blink end-of-year blog post. For the ninth consecutive year, I am back with my annual evaluation and rankings of the past 12 months of content. Referred to since 2015 as “The Big Blog Post,” I endearingly select my top 10 entries from the past year and rank them.
Much to my surprise, I wrote more blog posts in 2022 than I did the previous three years. The 180 blog posts I wrote this year was last topped when I wrote 190 blog posts in 2018. I feel like the higher output made this year’s list even harder to determine. But after much thought and internal debate, I have something I am ready to present to my loyal Don’t Blink readers. Just a reminder that these choices are based solely off personal preference. Here we go…
10. The Best Travel Mistake (January 10) – We thought after spending the holiday season in Myrtle Beach, we would arrive back in Washington just in time to usher in 2022. However, we read our travel itinerary wrong. We didn’t notice that we booked our return flights with a 30-hour layover mixed in. To make a long story short, we ended up spending New Year’s Eve in a Charlotte hotel and New Year’s Day in Dallas. This blog post detailed our initial shock/displeasure of our travel mistake but then explained how we made the most of our unintended extended vacation.
9. Soda Hack (February 15) – In 2022, we discovered a tucked away beverage oasis. Toward the beginning of the year, we noticed a small Coke plant on a dark industrial street with four soda machines in the parking lot. After noticing streams of vehicles taking detours through the parking lot, I investigated the reason. What I found was heavily discounted beverages. This blog post shed light on one of Spokane’s best kept secrets.
8. Moving a Couch (June 6) – This was a sentimental post. In this particular entry, I described the fate of a couch. But it wasn’t just a couch—it was the first significant purchase that Sid and I ever made together. It followed us to four different houses, including a cross country journey. The way we ended parting with our beloved piece of furniture was just as colorful as its long history under our various roofs. I won’t go as far to say that a tear was shed when writing this, but it definitely was bittersweet.
7. Thankful For Our Visit to Kauai (August 17) – As 2022 kicked off, I had no idea that we would be traveling to Hawaii during the year. But thanks to a special relationship that was established (see below), Sidney and I found ourselves in Kauai for a long weekend. In this blog post, I went day-by-day to cover our most memorable highlights and adventures from the trip. Although the best part of our Hawaii excursion was attending the wedding of Kailey and Corbin, many other memories were made along the way. This post, chock-full of photos and specifics, will be something that I reference for years to come to relive the magical four days spent in a slice of earthly paradise.
6. Our Hoopfest 2022 Experience (June 27) – How can you lose all your games and still call something a “positive” experience? Well, in my #6 blog post of the year I provide a convincing answer. It had been 15 years since I last played in Hoopfest but I had a lot of incentive to return in 2022. You see, I joined my sister, brother, and sister-in-law as we formed a family team. And although the Reser Puffs never won a game, we scored plenty of memories as we tried our best and bonded both on and off the court. From shared anticipation to matching uniforms to a Saturday night BBQ to playing in front of our kids, Hoopfest was one of the coolest things I did this year.
5. The 5 Questions That Sid and I Ask Each Other Every Day (March 22) – Here is the comedic relief part of the countdown. Earlier in the year I sat down to chronicle some of the questions that Sid and I literally ask each other every day. Well, I guess this post will need some updating in 2023 because we no longer ask each other Did you do the Wordle today? But other questions such as Is the dish washer clean and Are you in a meeting? are still very much relevant. This post, which was a lot of fun to write, resonated with other couples who both related to the questions I offered and also encouraged the sharing of other questions that are common in their relationships.
4. Softball and Camaraderie (August 7) – I wasn’t just shooting hoops this year. Another sport-related high point from 2022 came on the diamond as our Young Adult Catholic group formed a softball team. Not only did this offer one more way for us to have fun together, but it also prepared us for a special tournament. After several practices, our squad spent a Saturday morning on the Spokane Mormon temple fields. It was there that we played a couple different Latter-Day Saints teams. Our Catholic group ended up running the table but it was so much more than winning a tournament. In this blog post I wrote about the significance of two faiths coming together to both compete and socialize.
3. AMA 2022: Presenting With New Friends (November 9) – A professional success of 2022 was presenting at the American Marketing Association’s Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Ed in National Harbor, Md. But the significance for me wasn’t just presenting for fellow marketers, it was presenting with fellow marketers. I teamed up with colleagues from USC, University of Utah, and TikTok to deliver our session. I wrote about the complexities and triumphs of presenting with a crew I had never met before (until arriving in Maryland) and the friendships that were forged by the time we hopped on our respective planes to return home.
2. Friends For Life (June 20) – One of the biggest blessings of 2022 was when our pastor, Fr. Jeff Lewis, asked Sid and I to serve as mentors for couples preparing for the sacrament of holy matrimony. We accepted his offer and our first “assignment” was with Corbin and Kailey Schafer. Over the course of six formal sessions, we chatted with Corbin and Kailey about the joys and challenges of marriage through the context of both the Catholic Church and just everyday life. At the same time that we were making progress with their Pre-Cana development, we were also building a friendship. When the four of us met with Fr. Jeff at the end of the Schafer’s marriage prep, pictures were snapped. When Kailey posted them to her social media, she noted that her and Corbin had found friends for life. Not only did Sid and I attend their wedding in Hawaii, we continue to hang out with this special couple more than four months into their marriage. Thanks be to God!
1. Losing Our Rock (January 24) – The year started out rough for us. In January, we unexpectedly lost my Aunt Nancy. As we dealt with the shock and sorrow of her passing, I tried my best to use words to honor the woman who met so much to an extremely close family. What resulted was a tribute that detailed the amazing person that Nancy was and how she embraced her role as “the rock” of the crazy Reser clan. I also made room to describe the special relationship that we shared and what she meant to me personally. This post shares memories, stories, and thoughts about the irreplaceable Nancy Grudzinski and the impact she had on so many. Even though I wrote this post in January, there was never a doubt that it would be #1 on this list in December. I miss you, Nancy.
That will do it for The Big Blog Post in 2022. I hope a few of the posts I highlighted struck a chord with you in some way. As I always say, if there was a specific blog post over the course of the past 12 months that made you feel some type of way, please don’t hesitate to let me know.
Tomorrow I will publish my yearly reflection and then it will be 2023! Thank you for joining me on this blogging journey. Don’t Blink.