In November, Sidney and I had the opportunity to go to Pullman to watch the Washington State University football team host Coach Prime and the University of Colorado. When we walked on campus, we couldn’t help but notice the Colorado equipment truck parked near the fieldhouse. The back of the vehicle featured an image of Deion Sanders with his arms crossed in his signature shades with the phrase “WE COMING” written boldly across it.
The Cougars pummeled the Buffaloes that night. WSU was confident, prepared, and protective of their home turf. As we passed the truck on the way out of the stadium, Sidney and I couldn’t help but say “WE HERE.”
Ironically enough, even though we quipped that phrase on behalf of Cougar Nation, there might not be two better words that explain the Resers in 2023.
The year 2023 will be remembered as the period in which we embraced our community, made a big commitment, and laid down roots. Surprisingly enough, for such a big year, things started out pretty quiet.
After such a tumultuous beginning to 2022, it was a smooth (and kind of boring) start to 2023. We threw my dad a retirement party in early January and then coasted through those first couple months. Probably the most exciting thing we did was upgrade from a queen bed to a king bed 😂. When spring arrived, the tempo started to pick up, beyond just my Bloomsday PR. We had our hearts set on a purchase even bigger than a new mattress. For the first time, we were seriously looking to buy a new house. So in between watching Sloan play t-ball and testing out the latest TikTok hacks, we were looking at homes. Thankfully we found something we liked.
Summer arrived and things heated up both figuratively and literally. While winter was laid back, summer was insanely busy. We attended multiple weddings, hosted Sidney’s parents, went on vacation, didn’t have a free weekend, and—oh yeah—closed on and moved into a new house. Autumn was also slammed. Both our children started at the same school, we traveled to Missoula for a Griz football weekend, Sloan played soccer, work was chaotic with the implosion of the PAC-12, I presented in Chicago at the AMAs, and we visited Myrtle Beach to spend Thanksgiving with Sidney’s family.
Of course there was much more to the year than that two paragraph rundown but I think that at least gives you an idea of the past 12 months, right?
When I truly reflect on 2023, I think of two unique themes. The first one is satisfaction. I know the popular adage is to never be satisfied, but I think we allowed ourselves in the second half of the year to be just that. With a home of our own, jobs we are fortunate to have, and both kids attending the same outstanding school, we permitted ourselves to be content. We have more goals and much to improve upon, but we took time to just be thankful.
The second theme for us is unity. Sidney and I touch on this a lot with the engaged couples we mentor, but we specifically heeded it ourselves in 2023. The decision to purchase a home was part of other future plans that required Sid and I to be committed and united. We also had the blessing to take on some projects as a couple that required steadfast unity and teamwork. We are a force and so happy to be on the same team!
In addition to those two unique themes of 2023, the same three values I highlight every year continued to be key for the Resers…
I start with family where it all begins with our Reser quartet. The four of us had a great collective year as we played, read, prayed, worshipped, ate, watched, and traveled together. A highlight was going on a vacation that necessitated we spend a lot of time in the car together. Driving to the other side of Washington and back gave us a lot of time to bond while the actual vacation on the beach was filled with memories. Speaking of driving, we made a road trip to Oregon for my cousin’s wedding that essentially doubled as an extended Reser family reunion. Before and after the nuptials, we stayed in a hotel where we shared a wing of rooms with my parents, my sister’s family, and my brother and his wife. When we weren’t spending time together in a random out-of-state hotel, you could usually find us all at my mom and dad’s house enjoying cookouts, celebrating holidays, and watching games. Hosting Sid’s parents in June was so nice and then flying to Myrtle Beach to spend time with Sid’s sisters and their families sure was a treat, especially after two years. Whether nuclear or extended family, we valued every moment we had together.
Our journey to one day reach our heavenly home was hopefully bolstered by this past year. What a big role our faith played in 2023! Sidney and I mentored three engaged couples and continued our work with Engaged Encounter. Sidney organized a retreat for our Young Adult Catholic Group and I retained my involvement with the Knights of Columbus and our Catholic Men’s Group. We became godparents and explored a year-long theme of evangelization. I attended our diocese’s Eucharistic Revival event with Sloan and represented St. Mary at Hoopfest as our team of parishioners reached the championship game of our bracket. We had a blast at many family faith nights and enriched our prayer lives at home. I listened to the entirety of Fr. Mike Schmitz’s Catechism In A Year podcast. Through it all, St. Mary Catholic Church and School continue to be our epicenter for growing closer to God. We extend our gratitude to Fr. Jeff Lewis for his dispensing of the holy sacraments and his unwavering commitment to the St. Mary community.
When it comes to career, Sidney definitely deserves to be mentioned first in 2023! She thrived in her first full year with Traveler’s Insurance as she continues to impress her bosses and receive high marks from her customers. She is used by the company as an example of “what to do” when it comes to training new employees. I had a very busy and somewhat tumultuous year. Our small but mighty marketing and communications team dealt with some major issues including the Idaho murder suspect, the implosion of the Pac-12, and college ranking messaging. But when I wasn’t arrow-focused on our comms efforts and was in my element doing marketing, it was another exhilarating 12 months. I ran point on our paid social media strategy for all nine installments of our #GoCougsMeans brand marketing campaign, oversaw an initiative that recognized WSU’s top senior grads, collaborated with the video team on some really cool projects, traveled to Chicago to present at a major higher ed conference, and managed to win our department’s personal trivia challenge at our holiday party this month 😂.
But as I said last year, my job is so great because I am allowed to be a father, husband, and child of God before I am a WSU employee. I love being a Coug, but there is a reason why the career portion of this blog post always comes after the family and faith portions. I am extremely thankful to my boss for always making sure that this is the case.
Time to send 2023 out with a bang as we savor these last couple days. As I wrap up this blog post, I feel extremely blessed that everyone within our extended families are healthy and that everyone who started 2023 with us will join us in 2024 as well. From just about every vantage point—whether it be from a physical, mental, faith, or foundational standpoint—I feel it is appropriate to exclaim WE HERE!! Thanks be to God for the past 365 days. Don’t Blink.