Leap Day Thursday Rundown

Good evening and happy Monday Eve Eve Eve Eve! Wow, that was a really bad joke. Before I get pummeled with tomatoes, how about we just get to the five topics? Okay, here we go…

Happy Leap Year – Today is Feb. 29 so please allow me to wish a very happy birthday to all our leap day babies! I had the special opportunity to produce a leap day video for work. We focused on three WSU students who “turned 5” today and had some fun with them. You can watch the video by tapping here.

This was a fun video to make and I actually learned a lot about leap day babies.

Four Years – This week (Feb. 27 specifically) marks the four-year anniversary of when Sidney was welcomed into the Catholic Church and Beau was baptized. What a blessed day it was! I still remember arriving at St. Andrew Catholic Church in Myrtle Beach and when my family entered the chapel area, many of my Knights of Columbus brothers and other people from the parish were already seated ready to support Sid and Beau. We are forever grateful to Fr. Roger Morgan for bestowing the sacraments upon us.

Thanks be to God for Feb. 27, 2020. This is our family at St. Andrew Catholic Church in Myrtle Beach on the day Sidney was welcomed into the Church and Beau was baptized.

Sloan Reading – Throughout the year at St. Mary Catholic School, the different grades take turns hosting mass. The students in the respective grades will do the opening prayer, bring down the gifts, and lead everyone else in the prayers of the faithful. Another job is to do the reading. Yesterday, the first graders presented mass and Sloan was chosen for that day’s long reading. She proclaimed Wisdom 7:7-10, 15-16 and did a flawless job, even with many big words mixed in. She practiced with me for two weeks and her efforts paid off. I took time off work to attend the mass and I was so proud of Sloan and all her classmates.

Sloan reading at the St. Mary (Spokane Valley) school mass on February 27, 2024.

National Toast Day – A half decade ago in 2019, I explained how my wife teases me for not really making toast but just “warm bread.” I can’t object—five years later I still cook my “toast” just to the point where it starts to stiffen a bit. Although I gave myself credit in 2019 for being a #11, I really am more of a #16. My wife? She is a solid #13.

According to this chart, how do you eat your toast?

Bring On March – I love the month of March! Spring arrives, longer days set in, Sloan celebrates her birthday, pandemonium ensues with March Madness, and this year the month concludes with Easter. I have liked the third month of the year for a long time, in fact, I wrote about my admiration for March back in 2013…that’s 11 years ago!

My brother and I on Easter Sunday in 2012.


That will do it for tonight. Sidney and I have a huge weekend on the horizon as we will present to 12 engaged couples at a retreat through our Engaged Encounter work. Please pray for us! Don’t Blink.

Don’t Make A Happy Plate

Going to a restaurant is always fun. Ordering from a menu, receiving good service, and of course eating delicious food all make eating out a nice experience. But sometimes the pleasant vibes can push us to maximize the pleasure.

As a boy, young man, and even now as an older dude, I have sometimes felt obligated and challenged to eat the entire contents of the plate put forth in front of me. But this can be an unfortunate practice, especially when you are eating somewhere like Texas Roadhouse or Cheesecake Factory.

Even though I still fall short from time to time, I have learned that “making a happy plate” (as my wife calls it) isn’t always the best way to go. Here are my five reasons for not cleaning your restaurant plate—even if you really want to…

Often, it can be tempting but also unnecessary to eat everything on your plate at a restaurant.

1. Self-discipline – Nothing like a challenge to refrain from gorging yourself, right? Although it might not be fun when you are in the middle of really enjoying your meal, you will feel like a champ walking out of the restaurant.

2. Leftovers – Make no mistake about it, restaurant leftovers usually taste better the next day and provide something to look forward to.

3. Gift for someone else – I truly think it is a thoughtful act when my wife goes out to eat with her friends and returns with a to-go box and hands it off to me. “This pasta was delicious and I wanted to bring some of it home for you.” Bringing a portion of your meal home to give someone else is a way to selflessly share an experience that they weren’t able to attend.

4. Promote health – This might be the most obvious reason on the list, but it isn’t ideal to consume 3,000 calories in one sitting. Even if you don’t want the psychological challenge of not eating everything on your plate, perhaps following basic guidance for daily caloric intake will provide a good enough reason to look out for your overall health.

5. Score re-usable containers – When you ask for a “box” at a restaurant, sometimes you receive a container that is pretty spiffy. Yep, some restaurants have really elevated their game when it comes to what they give customers to load their extra food in. Sidney and I have re-used some of these containers long after the leftovers are gone.


If you want to increase your will power, create another meal for later, brighten the day of a loved one, save some calories, or bring home a re-usable container, you might consider not cleaning your plate. But, as this blogger is very much aware…easier said than done. Don’t Blink.


Let it be known that it took me until Feb. 27 to mention the two words that fill so many of us with anxiety and dread: Election Year.

But just because I haven’t mentioned the election on this blog until now (and I hope I don’t mention it much more through November), doesn’t mean I don’t follow it. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not obsessive to the point that I have alerts on my phone or that I am referencing FiveThirtyEight constantly, but I do enjoy a good presidential race. I definitely keep an eye on it.

And, from time to time, I talk to people about it. One thing I have noticed in my conversations with people supporting both Joe Biden and Donald Trump is a lack of enthusiasm for each candidate. The attitude is that both men are the de facto nominees—the safest options (whoever thought Donald Trump would be the safest option?). Removing either candidate would require maneuvering, in-fighting, inconvenience, money, and so much more. Basically, it would be hard.

It just seems like the easiest option to have these two duke it out again.

I think in our everyday lives we often fall back on the choices and options of least resistance. In our busy existences, why exert energy to undo something that has seemed to be working decently? Why rock the boat when it seems to be sailing just fine?

But perhaps we are overlooking a small leak in the boat. Maybe if we don’t rock it, the leak will get bigger and the boat will eventually sink—or at the very least people might start jumping ship. Better that we are given the chance to make decisions to fix the boat long before acts of desperation like ship jumping, right?

Change for the sake of change isn’t something I advocate for. However, if there are reasons to indicate that an alternative approach or option to a problem might be better, I think it deserves the chance to be vetted and perhaps implemented. Now who is ready to watch the debates this fall?! Don’t Blink.

Forgetting Lyrics, Forgetting Memories

Earlier this month, Gwen Stefani went on the Jimmy Kimmel Show. Gwen and Jimmy talked about how she will re-unite with her No Doubt bandmates at Coachella in April. During that discussion, Stefani revealed that she no longer remembers the lyrics to most of her No Doubt songs and that she will have to re-learn the lyrics for the festival.

I guess some people might be a little shocked that Gwen Stefani can’t remember the lyrics to the songs that literally made her millions. After all, it wasn’t like she just performed them once. They were songs she wrote and performed over and over.

Kudos to Gwen Stefani for being honest, but I think it is a little sad that she can’t remember the lyrics to her songs.

To be honest, I am not too surprised. Why? Because it is just the human condition. Our brains forget things. Sometimes the forgetfulness is total and sometimes it is supplemented by details that did not happen. I feel ya, Gwen!

But just because I understand Gwen Stefani’s lyrical amnesia and the tendency for humans to forget memories as time goes by, it doesn’t mean that I don’t find it sad. We live our days and then a decade later we don’t have any recollection about them. Even for people like myself with sharp memories, it is depressing how much is just forgotten.

As a way to combat the recollection loss of what I have done on a day-to-day basis over the course of my life, I started to journal religiously about 23 years ago when I was a middle school student. I have written in this blog (which is another way to save memories) numerous times about my journaling habit but this video might explain it the best. I am always fond of saying that if there was one material item I would save if our house was ablaze, it would be my box of old journals.

I treasure my journals more than anything.

Perhaps the human tendency to forget things shouldn’t bother me that much, but I just can’t brush off the fact that Gwen Stefani no longer remembers the lyrics to “Spiderwebs” 😂. Don’t Blink.

Century Thursday Rundown

I took Wednesday off from blogging so I could be 100% ready and fresh for this Thursday Rundown! So let’s get started…

100th Day of School – On Tuesday, Sloan celebrated the 100th Day of School in her first grade class. Each student brought in 100 items of something. Sloan opted for raffle tickets that she found at grandma and papa’s house. Although Sloan did all the gluing and counting, papa helped her with the heading on her poster board.

Sloan with her 100 Days of School poster board and crown.

Special Baptism – This past Sunday, our family headed to Idaho for the baptism of Graham Schafer. The little guy is the son of Kailey and Corbin Schafer, the first couple that we ever mentored for marriage and Graham is the first child born from one of our mentorships. The baptism took place at St. George’s Catholic Church in Post Falls, Idaho, with Fr. Sleeva Madanu presiding. After Fr. Madanu had administered the sacrament he looked at everyone with astonishment and said that Graham was the first baby he baptized who just laughed when the water was poured over him and the sacred oils applied.

Graham Schafer was baptized at St. George’s in Post Falls, Idaho, on Feb. 18, 2024, by Fr. Sleeva Madanu

Pizza Night – Earlier this week, I wrote about classic dinners I enjoyed during my childhood and homemade pizza was one of them. I think that blog post inspired me to have our third homemade pizza night as a family yesterday evening. Although I cheated this time a little bit by purchasing pre-made crusts, we still had a lot of fun. The kids made their pepperoni pie while Sid and I made a white sauce pizza on thin crust. It was chef’s kiss.

Homemade pizza night was delicious and fun!

National California Day – Despite the close proximity of California to Washington, I haven’t actually spent much time there in my lifetime. However, my most memorable time in the Golden State was when my family took an epic vacation there while I was in elementary school. We went to Disneyland, Hollywood Studios, and Sea World and had the absolute best time. We didn’t go on too many vacations when we were little but this one packed enough memories to cover years.

My All-American – I usually view my mom’s movie recommendations with a sense of skepticism, but her latest suggestion hit the mark. “My All-American” is the true story about Freddie Steinmark, a special athlete who despite his short statue was able to beat the odds and earn a football scholarship from the University of Texas. I can’t say much more because it will give the movie away but it is a very touching film and Steinmark proves to be a tremendous role model, especially for undersized teens who feel they can’t compete with more physically-blessed peers. BUT, it is so much more than a sports movie and Steinmark also serves as a role model for just the general underdog. If you have a Netflix account and a couple hours this weekend, I recommend that you watch it.

I enjoyed “My All-American.”


Thanks again for taking time to read Don’t Blink. The last weekend of February is upon us so make it count. Last but not least, special shoutout to my friend Lindsi who is celebrating National Margarita Day. If you know, you know. Don’t Blink.

The Meals Around the Reser Family Childhood Table

The other night at the dinner table, Sidney and I started to chat about what our parents cooked for our families growing up. We specifically discussed the dinners that would be prepared. My wife mentioned that a reliable rotating menu of about five core meals was continually offered throughout her childhood. Growing up in my family, our menu was a little more extensive but we definitely had our go-to dinners as well.

For tonight’s blog post I thought it would be fun to mention the 10 dinners (in no particular order) that were consistently placed on the Reser family kitchen table throughout my childhood. Bon Appetit!…

Our table has expanded over the years and the meals have become more elaborate. Let me take you back couple decades to tell you about some of the classic meals the Reser family would eat.

Grilled Hamburgers – Perhaps the defining meal of our family, there was nothing my dad enjoyed more than throwing hamburgers on the grill. He would take our cheese order (no cheese, one slice, double cheese) and do his best not to burn the meat—easier said than done 😂. Some might view grilled hamburgers as a summer thing but we ate them year-round.

Lasagna – Growing up in an Italian family, you better believe we had a heavy diet of pasta. My mom’s signature dish was her delicious lasagna which she would pair with meatballs from my grandpa’s restaurant. If we ever brought something to a potluck or if my dad needed a dish for a work function, it would be a lasagna.

Tacos and Tater Tots – Sidney said she never ate tater tots with her tacos until she met my family. Well, it was always tots that we would accompany with our homemade, greasy, love-filled tacos. Although I always opted for a soft shell, this was the age when double decker tacos at Taco Bell were really popular and my parents would always make their own versions of it.

Pasta Fagioli – A recipe passed down from my grandma to my mom was pasta fagioli, an Italian bean-based soup. My mom would bake muffins to go with it and whenever she prepared the soup it would fill the kitchen with a distinctive and savory smell. Pro tip: this soup was always even better the next day when we re-heated it in the microwave.

Breakfast! – Breakfast for dinner was definitely a thing at our house. My mom would make either pancakes, French toast, or haul out the battle-tested iron to make homemade waffles. Served with eggs, hash browns, and sausage, eating breakfast for dinner was always a nice change of pace.

Homemade Pizza – This was always a fun night because my mom allowed us kids to make our own personal pizzas. We could either make a traditional round pie or use her muffin pan to create “pizza cupcakes.” Of course homemade pizza tasted way different than what we would get from Pizza Hut but it was always fun and because we made it ourselves there was always that incentive to actually eat it.

Grilled Cheese and Top Ramen – I mentioned this meal in a recent blog post as I described how I had fond memories of dipping my sandwich in the ramen. After letting it soak for 30 seconds or so, I enjoyed the soggy taste that resulted. This was always a quick and easy meal that was great for Lenten Fridays.

Wiener Wraps – This dinner was notorious in our house! A wiener wrap is a hot dog wrapped in Bisquick dough topped with a slice of cheese. On a wiener wrap night, my dad would always concoct his “special sauce” for the wraps and the frozen fries that we would cook to accompany them. These things were always so good that my mom had to set a limit on how many my dad was able to eat 😂.

Sunday Dinner – My parents would go all-out for dinner on Sunday, usually grilling something like chicken, steak, or London broil. They would also prepare baked potatoes and fresh vegetables for a meal that would tie a bow around the weekend and prepare us for the week.

Nachos – My mom and dad would occasionally plan a movie night for our family on either Friday or Saturday. We would head to the basement where our lone television was set up and enjoy the rare opportunity of eating dinner away from the kitchen table. Usually, my mom would make a huge platter of oven-baked nachos for us all to munch on. Toppings like fresh veggies (chopped by my dad), refried beans, and sour cream would be provided. It was always like a mini party and we loved it!


Now that Sidney and I have our own family, our menu consists of meals passed down to us from both our upbringings. If you ever want a taste of that very eclectic combination, stop by for dinner one of these days. By the way, what was one of the signature dinners served in your family? Don’t Blink.

The Greatest Night in Pop

I had wanted to write about this documentary since I watched it at the beginning of the month, but other things got in the way. As much as I enjoyed this particular Netflix film, topics like birthdays, deaths, and Lent will always receive priority when it comes to Don’t Blink. 😉

But tonight, “The Greatest Night In Pop” finally receives its turn. Released by Netflix on Monday, Jan. 29, I watched the bulk of it the following Saturday night (Feb. 3). More than two weeks have passed since I finished it but the good feeling it left me with is still lingering.

“The Greatest Night in Pop” is about the most epic collaboration among pop superstars ever. In 1985, approximately 40 notable singers came together to record the song “We Are The World” to raise money for African famine relief. The documentary is mainly told through the perspective of Lionel Richie who co-wrote the song, recruited the talent to participate, and played a big hand in directing the recording session.

“The Greatest Night In Pop” was a very enjoyable documentary.

First off, I think I was drawn to “The Greatest Night in Pop” because it told the story of a pop culture event that took place before I was actually born. These days, it seems more and more “historical” accounts are being produced that originally occurred when I was alive and well. Man, I am getting old 😂.

Aside from my wannabe youthful ego, how could I say “no” to a documentary with so much history and current relevance? While some of the stars on the track had their heyday in the 1980s, many of the others would ascend to even greater heights and are still really relevant today. To observe that mix was intriguing for me.

Learning how the collaboration came together was very interesting. All the logistics and string pulling that had to be done to bring all those celebrities under one roof was no small feat. Also, the work done by Richie and Michael Jackson to write a song that would be conducive to such a wide range of talent showed true genius and partnership. Needless to say, watching it all piece itself together was quite fascinating.

But for as gripping as it was to watch all the planning, the absolute best part of the documentary was watching the actual recording session itself. Getting that look at all the performers driving up to the studio and then strolling into the recording area was special. “The Greatest Night in Pop” did a fantastic job of conveying the initial combination of ego, excitement, and nerves that filled the room.

Once the session started, the documentary really started to shine. The overall commitment to teamwork and problem solving is what blew me away the most. “The Greatest Night in Pop” was a testament to what can happen when there is buy-in and commitment, even if everyone involved happens to be an A-lister who is used to doing things their own way.

Just five of my personal favorite moments…

The incredible focus and endurance of Lionel Richie! The man hosted the AMAs, a draining and career-defining moment for many people, but then drove over to the studio and helped lead a recording session that would last into the next morning. Think he was tired?

Watching the resolve of co-producer Quincy Jones wrangle the talents of everyone present to conduct a session that led to a fantastic final product.

Observing the need to squash some ideas that could have derailed the project. Stevie Wonder organically proposed in the middle of the shoot that a portion of the song be performed in Swahili. His co-performers reasoned with him that the goal of the song was not necessarily to sing to those they wanted to help, but to sing to those who could provide the help via monetary donations.

The problem solving that transpired to figure out the strange feedback that was audible during Cyndi Lauper’s solo. It turned out to be her bracelets and Lauper was gracious and accommodating throughout the whole thing.

The struggle of Bob Dylan was really something to watch. He was definitely out of his element but because of the encouragement/assistance from Stevie Wonder, Lionel Richie, and Quincy Jones he was able to sing his part and save face!

If you have the 90 minutes to watch “The Greatest Night in Pop” I think you will find it worth your time. The film is a true testament to the good that can be done when people come together for a common goal and egos are checked at the door. Don’t Blink.

Blue Cotton Candy Thursday Rundown

How lucky am I? It is Thursday and that means the pleasure is mine to offer five random topics for your reading entertainment. Let’s get started…

Beautiful Anniversary – Tomorrow will mark the 4-year anniversary of when we brought Beau home from the NICU! What a joyous day it was. Thanks to all the doctors, nurses, and staff who gave our little guy the absolute best care while he was a patient at the McLeod Health NICU Unit in Florence, SC. To learn more about Beau’s birth, the challenges he faced, Sid’s emotional ride, and the role our faith played, tap here. Thanks be to God!

This was the incubator that Beau rode in to the NICU.

Daddy/Daughter Dance – This past Friday was the annual St. Mary Catholic School Daddy/Daughter Dance. I shared photos on my social media accounts and made this video of the incredible time I had with Sloan. I will have an official dance photo to share in the near future but I thought for tonight’s post I would include some photos from dinner. Is there any question about where we went? Of course it was Red Robin (for like the 97th time since 2021).

Red Robin for the win! We double-dated with Sloan’s classmate, Colie, and her dad.

Cotton Candy Mess – My wife may have threatened my sister when she saw the mess Beau made with the cotton candy portion of his Valentine’s Day gift. The threat went along the lines of, “Miranda, if you ever give my kids cotton candy again, you will die a slow and painful death.” Verdict is still out on whether she really meant it or not 😂.

Beau made a big ‘ol mess with his cotton candy.

National Wisconsin Day – I am sad (actually, I’m not) to say that I have never been to Wisconsin before. But even though I have never stepped foot inside the state, I still feel like I have a connection. This past fall I wrote about my history with the University of Wisconsin. On two different occasions, I saw the Badgers play in the NCAA Tournament. The first time was when I was working for the University of Montana and we played UW in Albuquerque. The second time was when I was working Coastal Carolina University and we played them in Omaha. Then, this past football season, WSU hosted Wisconsin in Pullman. I had the opportunity to produce a video of Badger fans trying our famous Cougar Gold cheese. So, to the whole state of Wisconsin…I salute you.

This is me at the 2012 NCAA Tournament when Montana played Wisconsin in Albuquerque.

Lenten Anecdote – After my Lenten blog posts this week (here and here), I wanted to offer one final observation. I had the pleasure of attending the school mass at St. Mary yesterday with Sloan. These services are always a treat because Fr. Jeff Lewis always preaches so genuinely to the students. During his homily he noted that sometimes we frame Lent as simply a sprint to Easter Sunday and then afterwards we go back to our old ways. He challenged us to use Lent as a “boot camp” to prepare us for Easter but to also get us in shape for life post-Easter as well. Basically, what we do during Lent should draw us closer to God on a permanent basis—not just during these 40 days.

Fr. Jeff Lewis distributes ashes to a St. Mary student (photo from 2020 and courtesy of St. Mary).


Thank you for your interest in Don’t Blink. Wishing you a fabulous weekend with plenty of relaxation mixed in. Don’t Blink.

Pursuing the Best Reward

Growing up, the biblical passage most quoted in my family was the Ash Wednesday gospel proclamation (Mt 6:1-6, 16-18). Why did we reference it so much? Well, because it addressed areas that the five of us needed to work on.

The passage I am referring to is from the Sermon on the Mount when Jesus addresses prayer, fasting, and almsgiving—the three major tenets of Lent. While advocating for all three of these things, Jesus also reminds us that they need to be done for the right reason, which is to give glory to God.

Sloan and I after attending the school Ash Wednesday mass today.

Sometimes we might be too eager to broadcast our Lenten intentions to others or quick to highlight our hunger on a fasting day. Or perhaps we make a display of picking off the meat on a slice of pizza on a Friday or we post about a charitable donation on social media.

This misses the entire point of Lent which is to prepare for Easter by drawing closer to God and denying ourselves. Instead, by drawing attention to our supposed good deeds, we aren’t actually doing them for God but rather for attention and praise from others.

Everything we do for Lent over these next 40 days must be done for the glory of God, not for our own ego. It is easier said than done. Luckily, I have my family to call me out when I fall short—which I do. Yes, we still quote the Ash Wednesday gospel reading to each other, even if it is now done over our family text thread.

This Lent, may we focus even more on striving to obtain a heavenly reward instead of the empty human-based temporal reward coveted by the “hypocrites.” God bless you all. Don’t Blink.

Past Lenten Blog Posts
Lent 2024: Ash Wednesday Over Valentine’s Day
General Lenten Points of Emphasis
Lent 2023: A Necessary Time
Lent 2022: Solidarity With Ukraine
The Lenten Road
The Journey of Lent
The Real Purpose of Lent

Lent 2024: Ash Wednesday Over Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is a holiday loathed by many. We all know people who make every excuse possible to avoid and disappear on Feb. 14. Well, for those of us Catholics who find V-Day just a little awkward and depressing, we have the ultimate excuse (and obligation) to lay low this year—it is Ash Wednesday 😂.

Of course, all humor aside, some of us might gladly take Valentine’s Day over Ash Wednesday. After all, Ash Wednesday begins the holy season of Lent which isn’t exactly for the faint of heart. As a priest once honestly said in a homily, “Lent isn’t my favorite time, but it is a necessary time.”

Sloan and I pose for a photo with our ashes after Ash Wednesday mass at St. Mary Catholic Church in the Spokane Valley in Feb. 2023.

Yep, tomorrow is the start of a 40+-day period in which we will try to walk through the desert with Jesus. The destination? Well, Easter Sunday of course. But just like it could not have been easy for Jesus to resist temptation by Satan during those 40 days, we can’t make it easy for ourselves either. Catholics are called upon during this time to embrace prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. In a society where instant gratification and greed are rampant, this invitation can be tough to accept. Perhaps those chocolate hearts and rom-coms don’t sound so bad, right?

But nothing worth it is ever easy. And that holds true for the most “worth it” thing in the history of human kind—salvation. Jesus won eternal salvation for us on Easter Sunday and Lent is the perfect time to prepare ourselves to reap that victory.

So as we enter this holy Lenten season tomorrow, let’s push ourselves to march through that desert with grace, discipline, and love. By denying ourselves, fending off Satan, and loving Christ, we will be in good shape to celebrate Easter on March 31. Don’t Blink.

Past Lenten Blog Posts
General Lenten Points of Emphasis
Lent 2023: A Necessary Time
Lent 2022: Solidarity With Ukraine
The Lenten Road
The Journey of Lent
The Real Purpose of Lent