Kettle Corn Ice Cream

Looking at my Timehop app on my phone always seems to spark ideas. When glancing at it today, two separate events inspired me to think of a product that would likely do extremely well. Let me explain.

Five years ago, I wrote about kettle corn. Why? Well, because my name is Brent Reser and I write a blog that deals with random, miniscule topics that no one cares about. To be honest, I was inspired to address kettle corn because I had ate it the night before I wrote the post and I found myself flooded with nostalgia. As a kid, I always knew I was at a legit event or festival if the sweet aroma of kettle corn was in the air.

This was me five years ago enjoying some kettle corn in my office.

On this day three years ago, I achieved one of the greatest accomplishments of my life when I successfully completed the Waterdog Challenge at a local Myrtle Beach ice cream shop. I managed to stuff down an ice cream platter that consisted of SEVEN scoops of ice cream and FIVE toppings. I faced adversity and doubted myself at times but when the clock expired I had consumed the entire ice cream mountain, including the waffle plate it was served on.

I received a t-shirt (I am pictured with the store employee who conducted my challenge) for completing it.

So, as I reflected on my kettle corn obsession and my ice cream eating gluttony binge, a pretty spectacular idea occurred to me.

(my brain) Kettle corn, ice cream. Ice cream, kettle corn. Kettle corn, ice cream. Ice cream, kettle corn. Kettle corn, ice cream. Ice cream, kettle corn. Kettle corn, ice cream. Ice cream, kettle corn. OH MY GOSH…how about kettle corn ice cream?

I am going to go out on a limb but I think a kettle corn flavored ice cream would be a huge hit. I am thinking big enough and original enough that Baskin-Robbins might be calling to buy rights to it. Perhaps nothing carries with it a more signature taste than kettle corn. Of course there are many products that capitalize on a sweet and salty taste but kettle corn’s flavor seems to pack with it a hint of something extra. As I mentioned above, kettle corn is synonymous with special occasions and big events. When you eat it, not only are your taste buds treated to a flavorful sugary adventure, but your mind conjures up pleasant memories.

Folks would be willing to try kettle corn ice cream in a heartbeat. It wouldn’t be one of those deals where someone would say, “Well, I like kettle corn and I like ice cream but I don’t think I would like kettle corn ice cream.” (Which reminds me, I don’t think I have ever written about the grape Kool-Aid Pop Rocks blizzard I had at Dairy Queen several years ago…it was bad). To me, kettle corn ice cream seems like a natural combination.

Am I on to something or is it just another one of my failed harebrained ideas? I honestly think it would do well, once the obvious question is answered: What would be the perfect topping for kettle corn ice cream? Don’t Blink.

Spying on Sloan at Daycare

When a “Big Brother” season is airing, Sidney and I will supplement watching the actual episodes with viewing the live feeds of the Big Brother house that are active 24/7. Watching the unfiltered, raw content is pretty entertaining.

However, it is the month of April and “Big Brother” won’t return until June. But don’t worry about us, we have something even better to watch than the Big Brother live feeds; we have the Oxford Children’s Academy live feed!!

You can see everything that goes on within the walls of Oxford Children’s Academy, even if you are miles away!

When we changed Sloan’s daycare provider, we entered a technological renaissance. We now check her in electronically, view her daily logs online, and receive notifications the second she enters or leaves the center. But the best modern tool we have gained with the switch is the live streaming service.

Whether on a computer or from my phone, I can check on Sloan whenever I please, thanks to a camera that is set up in her classroom that pans the entire area. The Oxford Children’s Academy partners with Watch Me Grow, a streaming video system service built specifically for childcare centers. Watch Me Grow is the industry leader and for good reason. The product delivered is not a rinky-dink, convenient store black and white shaky picture. Rather it is a colorful and comprehensive clear look into our daughter’s classroom.

It didn’t take us long to start taking advantage of the resource. The first time I logged in and saw Sloan’s vibrant classroom with babies crawling all over was pretty cool. Up until that point, I had always wondered what Sloan did and how she interacted with others at daycare. I now had an idea.

I didn’t know it before, but watching babies play together and do silly things is so much more pleasurable to watch than adults cussing at each other and engaging in drunken behavior (i.e. Big Brother live feeds). Better yet, having your baby daughter as one of the stars of the production makes it that much more entertaining…

Perhaps too entertaining.

Like with all good things, moderation is key. It is easy to become preoccupied with the live feed in a way that you are constantly signing in to check on your baby. If you lack will power or are just completely obsessed with your child, the streaming option could be your own worst enemy. Nobody wins when you sacrifice all productivity to watch nap time.

Even when we can’t be with Sloan at home, we can still see her at daycare.

In my case, I try to use the daycare live feed as a reward. I will challenge myself to tackle several items on my checklist before briefly scoping out the action in the Little Clouds (name of Sloan’s age group) classroom. If I work hard enough, this incentive usually allows me to view Sloan 3-4 times per day, with the lunch hour included in that allotment. I try to look for just a minute or so but it is enough to give me a boost. When I am done I find myself more motivated to get back to work because of the peace of mind and happiness I received from viewing my daughter in a safe and nurturing environment.

The live stream at our daycare is great for spouses. Sidney and I update each other on how Sloan is doing during the day. Because we sign in at different times, we help paint a more comprehensive picture by “comparing our notes.” Usually our updates tilt toward the humorous side (Sloan is stealing someone’s snack again/How embarrassing, she is eating her socks). The live feed even allows us to monitor each other! Yesterday evening I went to pick up Sloan. I started looking in her cubbie and around the classroom for her shoes. All of a sudden I had an incoming call. It was Sidney. Before I could say anything, she told me she didn’t send Sloan with shoes today. Because she was watching the stream, she was able to put me out of my misery before I embarrassed myself too much looking for shoes that weren’t there.

Despite all the positives I listed above, the most redeeming quality of the live feed is this: Sloan’s daycare is confident and transparent enough to install cameras that allow picky and protective parents to watch every single moment that occurs in those classrooms. In my opinion, that is comforting.

The Oxford Children’s Academy show will go on! I know Sid and I will continue to get plenty more laughs and assurances out of it. Move over “Big Brother,” we are watching something much better. Don’t Blink.

My Pleasure

Hello, my name is Brent Reser and I have not uttered the words, “No problem!” for three years.

This past weekend, I ripped past my Friday the 13th Life’s Little Instruction page to see the latest one pictured below. It immediately made me smile and think about the customer service training I have received since arriving at CCU almost four years ago.

This was my Instagram post from my Life’s Little Instructions calendar this past Saturday.

Some people might be shocked to hear this (I know I was at first), but cheerfully telling someone “no problem” is frowned upon in the customer service world. Luckily, thanks to the Feel the Teal program at Coastal Carolina University, I have refrained from saying this troublesome phrase for the past few trips around the sun. “No problem” didn’t evaporate from my lexicon immediately, but the more I tried my best not to use it and the more I realized how bad the phrase actually is, it eventually stopped slipping off my tongue.

When someone says “no problem,” it insinuates that there is/was a problem. When someone expresses their gratitude to you, it doesn’t make sense to respond by saying something that doesn’t convey any sort of warmth or sentiment.

At best, “no problem” means nothing. How is it acknowledging what someone said to you?

This of course brings us to the preferred response when someone offers thanks. At CCU and thousands of other places where customer service is valued, the response “my pleasure” is encouraged. Although some people might immediately think of chicken sandwiches when you say it, the phrase is starting to lose its Chick-fil-A association and be recognized simply as the polite and proper way to acknowledge someone’s gratitude.

When you say “my pleasure,” it conveys a feeling inside of you. It lets the person know that the act or service performed was at your humble discretion. It is much more personal than a meaningless “no problem.”

My Life’s Little Instruction post generated a lot of interaction. Some people endorsed the advice right away while some wondered about alternatives (remember, always use my pleasure!). Please note, I never judge anyone who utters “no problem”. I understand that it is a common phrase in our culture and that not everyone associates a negative connotation with it. To some, “my pleasure” sounds too over the top. I get it.

But for those of us working in the customer service world, I think it is important to respond in a thoughtful way. Perhaps as a society we aren’t at the point where we automatically respond with “my pleasure” when we buy a friend a drink or lend someone a couple quarters for the vending machine. However, in a customer service setting, I think we can always respond in a way that is modern and appropriate. Don’t Blink.

A Sloan-Less Thursday Rundown

Hola mis amigos! It is everyone’s favorite Don’t Blink weekly blog post…the Thursday Rundown. Despite my joke earlier in the week that I would not be writing an entry today, I have five topics ready to go.

The Trendy Meme – Last week, the #IfYouDontLoveMeAtMy meme was trending on Twitter. This is how it works: You post two photos, one where you look like hell and another where you look decent. You then stagger your text so that the words if you don’t love me at my hovers over your “worst” photo and the words then you don’t deserve me at my hovers over your “best” photo. In essence, the words and the photos combine to state If you don’t love me at my worst, then you don’t deserve me at my best. Of course, I had to tweet out my own! It is a good thing Sidney didn’t meet me my junior year of high school because I honestly don’t know if she would have loved me with my hideous long hair.

This is my version of the #IfYouDontLoveMeAtMy meme.

Losing Keys – I had another maddening episode of losing an important item yesterday. I got into work on Wednesday morning and had a bunch of different things to do. In the middle of it all, I realized I was missing my keys. With the knowledge that my keys were definitely in the building I work in, I frantically tried to find them. Just as my student-worker was about to drive me to my off-campus meeting, I looked in my office garbage can and found them. During my rush to get things done, I must have accidentally swiped my keys off my desk and into the trash. Thank you, St. Anthony!! Also, thank you to Judy, Tad, and Scott for trying to help me find them.

I dropped my keys by accident into my office garbage can.

Roseanne – At Sidney’s urging, I finally got around to catching an episode of the “Roseanne” re-boot on Tuesday night. After watching this week’s new episode, I went back and watched the premiere. I was not a regular “Roseanne” watcher when the original series was on the air so I didn’t have any strong nostalgic ties. I think the new version is pretty funny but it definitely didn’t reduce me to laughing fits on the floor. I did find Roseanne herself to be pretty humorous. I think she plays a character (or is it even a character?) that we can all look at and say “Hey, I know someone just like that!” I have a feeling that “Roseanne” will follow the same road that “Fuller House” did: the first episode was hilarious and nostalgic but it went progressively downhill from there. I think a single reunion show is the way to go over a complete re-boot season.

The new Roseanne is decent….it isn’t the best thing in the world, though.

Pelicans Game – Sadly, Sidney and I didn’t attend one Myrtle Beach Pelicans game during the 2017 season. Committed to not doing the same thing in 2018, we attended the team’s second game of the season this past Friday. It was the first Minor League Baseball game I had ever attended in April. However, despite the Pelicans losing 10-0, it was just as fun as going to one in July. My dad came with us and we enjoyed boiled peanuts, beer, Italian sausages, and ice cream! We hope to go to a couple more games in the coming months.

After a hiatus of an entire season, it was great to get back to the ballpark and watch the Myrtle Beach Pelicans.

Blockers – On Saturday afternoon, Sidney and I went to our first movie at the theater since we saw Girls Trip in August. The film we saw this time around, “Blockers,” was much better. In my advanced age, I don’t get too excited about watching movies that deal with the exploits of high school girls but I found this one to be funny and creative. Because of adult content, I don’t want to get into the plot of “Blockers” but know that it deals with three high school girls and three parents (one parent for each girl). John Cena plays the dad of one of the girls and he is a terrible actor but he will make you appreciate what a giant human being he is. Although you can wait until the movie hits a streaming service or DVD to watch it, we sure enjoyed it.

“Blockers” was better than what I thought it was going to be.

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I feel awful. I didn’t mention Sloan once in this entire Rundown. Don’t worry, she is doing great! I will give a more detailed update in next week’s post. Don’t Blink.

Why You Need To Watch “Wild, Wild Country”

Not since “Making A Murderer” has a documentary series been so well-done and so engaging. But I don’t need to tell you that. Watch a morning show or read an entertainment magazine and you will encounter rave reviews for “Wild, Wild Country.” It is currently the trendy thing to watch…with good reason.

It is worth your time to watch “Wild, Wild Country.”

Before I delve into why people can’t get enough of it, I did want to offer my personal assessment on the series. Watching the six episodes over six consecutive nights, I became more and more intrigued as I worked my way through it. The documentary tells a gripping tale of contrasting cultures in a sleepy Oregon town. The citizens of Antelope went to bed one night and woke up the next day to find that eccentric new neighbors had moved nearby. These newcomers brought a way of life completely different from that of the conservative longtime residents.

You will be blown away by the Rajneeshees.

A culture war ensued.

As someone who is fascinated by these sociological power struggles, I couldn’t keep my eye off the screen. The Rajneeshees transplanted to Oregon from India, introducing a lifestyle that would make any average townsperson blush. They were passionate and they were extreme. Learning about their beliefs and observing their motivation was very interesting to me.

“Wild, Wild Country” is definitely a bit bizarre.

But aside from the culture clash, I was drawn in by the storytelling aspect. The documentary creators used a combination of honest and revealing interviews combined with vivid and shocking archived footage to tell a wild tale. The interviews were conducted with key people, both Rajneeshees and individuals who opposed the Rajneeshees, to give both sides of the story. The accounts by these complex people, many who you will get to know really well, are given to the backdrop of both beautiful and shocking video.

For me, the ultimate part of “Wild, Wild County,” topping both the culture battle and the effective storytelling, is the portrayal of the person who started it all…the Bhagwan (aka Rajneesh or Osho). There is just something intriguing about a “guru” with a long beard, a fragile demeanor, and a taste for Rolls Royces. Looking like he was at least 100 years old, I couldn’t get enough of the guy. From how he attracted thousands of followers to how he went years without speaking to how he made a crazy last minute attempt to evade authorities – it was fascinating.

This guy (the Bhagwan) is really something else.

Why do people not interested in sociological themes, filmmaking, and bearded old dudes like “Wild, Wild Country”? I would say because it has everything.

It has mystery, sex, conflict, eastern world mysticism, greed, betrayal, and all the other things that people enjoy. What took place was nothing short of outrageous and we all like to see a good trainwreck every now and then. It has something for everyone and is structured in a way meant for easy, structured watching.

I highly recommend “Wild, Wild Country.” It will surely pose questions and make you think. If you care to do so, I would be more than happy to entertain your thoughts about the documentary. Give it a try! Don’t Blink.

The Highlights of Sloan’s Spokane Grandparents in Myrtle Beach

At the end of last week and through the weekend, my parents visited our little family here in Myrtle Beach. It was great to see them and catch up. Most of all, it was special to watch them bond with Sloan. My parents arrived on Wednesday and left on Monday. I thought the best way to organize this trip recap would be to describe my favorite moment from each day they spent here. If that is okay with you, I will begin.

Wednesday, April 4: The highlight of this initial day was just watching the joy of my parents as they reconnected with Sloan after 100 days apart. We thought Sloan would be a little apprehensive toward my mom and dad since it had been so long, but she picked right back up at the same comfort level from where she left off. My mom was able to give her granddaughter all the kisses she had saved up over the last several months and you could just tell that both of my parents were at total peace in Sloan’s presence.

My parents were so overjoyed to see Sloan again that first day.

Thursday, April 5: The aspect of this day that really stands out to me is the dinner the five of us shared. We went to Rivertown Bistro, a creative and tasty restaurant in downtown Conway that is beloved by the entire Grand Strand community. If you want to treat yourself, it is the place to go. We were given upstairs seating where we sat at a booth that overlooked scenic 3rd Avenue. The food was incredible and Sloan was on her best behavior as she sat at the head of the table in her cute outfit and bow. It was a relaxing and memorable experience.

We had such a lovely dinner at Rivertown Bistro in Conway.

Friday, April 6: For obvious reasons, my parents weren’t able to attend Sloan’s birthday party on March 17. However, we made up for it. After I got off work on Friday afternoon, the five of us gathered around the table for an encore celebration of Sloan’s birthday. We had an extra smash cake stored away that we brought out. I cued up the slideshow I created for her birthday party and Sidney stuck a candle in the cake and we sang “Happy Birthday.” It was an intimate celebration that made my parents feel included in her birthday festivities and that allowed Sloan to stuff her face with more cake!

Sloan enjoying her second birthday celebration, this time with grandma and papa.

Saturday, April 7: My mom and dad kept talking about how much they enjoyed this morning so it was a no-brainer to include it as the Saturday highlight. We went to the Paula Deen Family Kitchen for breakfast, a restaurant that serves meals family style. We all ate way too much but we then walked it off by exploring Broadway at the Beach, an outdoor entertainment area in the heart of Myrtle Beach. With the weather absolutely perfect, we strolled around the premises while my parents shopped for souvenirs. Sloan enjoyed the favorable conditions as we all took turns pushing her in the stroller. It was a very pleasant way to spend the first half of the day.

My parents having some fun at the Paula Deen restaurant at Broadway at the Beach.

Sunday, April 8: The dinner we had this evening was just as memorable and delicious as the dinner we had on Thursday. We met Sidney’s parents at Greg Norman’s Australian Grille for some good food and better conversation. It was important to Sid and I that we got both sets of Sloan’s grandparents together. The fact was not lost on anyone that during those moments, the six people who love Sloan the most were all seated around her at the same table.

Both sets of Sloan’s grandparents outside of Greg Norman’s Australian Grill on April 8.

Monday, April 9: My parents said goodbye to Sloan in the morning, right before I took her to daycare. However, since their flight didn’t leave until 2:30 p.m., I was able to take my lunch break to meet up with them one final time. We convenrd at Chick-fil-A for a quick lunch. As we ate, we talked about how much we enjoyed our time together and how much we appreciated each other. We recapped our trip and my parents never missed an opportunity to tell me how lucky I am to have two wonderful girls in my life. It was the perfect way to cap off the trip.

My parents at Chick-Fil-A on April 9. Great way to conclude the trip.

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My parents keep thanking us for letting them come stay at our house but they have it all wrong. Sidney, Sloan and I want to be the ones to say THANK YOU. We were spoiled and catered to the entire duration of their stay. Mom and dad, we already miss you. Sloan can’t wait to see you this summer. Don’t Blink.

A Preview of What’s to Come

Well, Monday is here. I had an awesome weekend that was highlighted by a visit from my parents. Mom and dad headed back home early this afternoon and will be flying throughout the night before they finally land in Spokane.

It was a special weekend with my parents in town.

With the pleasure of entertaining special visitors over the past several days, I didn’t take time to work on my blog nor prep for any posts that I will publish throughout the week. Because of that, for the first time ever, I have decided to use an actual blog post (this one) to set the stage for the rest of the week.

Tomorrow I will recap the time that Sid, Sloan, and I spent with my parents. I always try to write these summaries in a unique way and I already have an idea on how I will present this latest trip. I will save the details for tomorrow but I can tell you now that we all had a fantastic time.

As my parents watched with us, Sid and I finished the wildly popular documentary series “Wild, Wild Country” on Friday night. I will reveal my personal thoughts on the crazy saga and do my best to describe why it is the hottest option on Netflix right now.

Then, on Thursday, I will do something else for the first time ever – I won’t write a Thursday Rundown.

Psych! Please excuse my April Fools’ joke because you will definitely get a Rundown this Thursday. However, I will keep you guessing on the five topics.

Hope everyone had a great start to their week. If you live in Myrtle Beach and made it through the constant rain and cool temperatures, you can make it through any Monday. Hope you choose to return to Don’t Blink over the next few days. Don’t Blink.

Parental Thursday Rundown

Happy April and welcome to the Thursday Rundown! I have visitors so I must be quick with tonight’s edition. Let’s reveal the five topics.

Parents In Town – For the first time since last April, I have both my parents in town! They arrived yesterday and Sloan greeted them with a very warm welcome, calming the fears of my mom who thought her granddaughter might be scared after not seeing them for several months. Their trip is already off to a great start and I get to enjoy my mom and dad throughout the weekend.

My parents are loving every minute they have with Sloan.

Wild, Wild Country – I will devote a blog post to this Netflix documentary in the future but I thought it was worth mentioning in the Thursday Rundown. With one episode to go in the six part series, I am amazed and entertained at this incredible and bizarre tale. Long story short: A large group of people (the Rajneeshees) devoted to an Indian guru leave India and settle near an Oregon small town in the 1980s. An epic culture clash between the locals and Rajneeshees ensues. If you want to know what I am talking about when I write my future blog post on the documentary, I suggest you start watching it now.

It is worth your time to watch “Wild, Wild Country.”

Savannah’s Playground – This afternoon, our family plus grandma and papa went to the most popular playground in Myrtle Beach, Savannah’s Playground. An entertainment oasis for children of all ages who want to play outdoors, the playground was built for $3 million and is compatible for those with physical and mental disabilities. It is named after Savannah Thompson, a local hero who has Williams Syndrome, and someone who I actually know. We had a nice time visiting the playground on this gorgeous day as Sloan enjoyed the swings and slides.

A collage of our afternoon at Savannah’s Playground.

Change For Sloan – A big decision for any parent is where to send their child to day care. After much contemplating, we switched day care providers for Sloan. The previous one she attended had some fine teachers but an opportunity presented itself and we enrolled her in a center that makes more sense for our family. She now attends Oxford Children’s Academy, a place that is much closer to the workplaces of both Sidney and I. It also offers flexibility, modern amenities, and several parents/babies who we know. Sloan started this week and has made a nice transition.

Sloan started a new day care this week.

From the Archives – How about we look at the blog posts I have written on April 5? One year ago, I wrote about a surprise baby gift we received for Sloan. Let me tell you, it was a present that we were able to use a lot. On April 5, 2016, I wrote about how our family restaurant was finally set to re-open (by new owners) after sitting empty for several years. Then, three years ago on this date, I wrote a blog post about how creepy Easter Bunnies are. All three posts are pretty good reads so if you have time I suggest looking one or two of them up.

Sloan received customized onesies a year ago on this date,

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What am I doing pecking away on a keyboard?! My parents are here! Thanks for reading and I will catch back up with everyone on Monday. Don’t Blink.

At The Center of Starbucks Innovation

People are usually surprised when I tell them that I don’t drink coffee. As someone who grew up in a part of the country where you find espresso stands at every corner, some just assume I grew up with a cup of brew in my hand.

To be honest, you could probably fit all the coffee I have ever consumed in my life into a 2-liter soda bottle. The only reason why you might need a 64-ounce container to do it is because this summer I drank portions of a couple white chocolate mochas. While visiting Spokane in the summer, we ordered Sid’s favorite coffee drink at multiple coffee huts and on a couple occasions, at her urging, I got one too.

I would drink a bottle of water before I ever would consider taking a sip of coffee.

Yep, despite being the son of two heavy coffee drinkers in the most coffee-dependent state in the country, it never grew on me. Milk or water please.

Why do I bring this all up? Just to illustrate a little bit of irony…

Even though I now live far away from the birthplace of Starbucks, the world leader in coffee is still very much on my radar. At Coastal Carolina University, we have a Starbucks presence on campus. Okay Brent, so what? Doesn’t every campus?

Wait, let me finish. Yes, we have a traditional Starbucks shop on campus, just like a million other universities across this great nation. But, what sets us apart is the creative relationship CCU has with the coffee giant.

For whatever reason (probably because we are a great university with a trendy student body), Starbucks likes to experiment with us and introduce pilot programs. Let me give you two examples…

1. Our campus community went bonkers in 2014 when a Starbucks TRUCK was sent to #TEALnation. This coffee shop on wheels would spend the morning at one location on campus and then hang out at another location in the afternoon. Sometimes, it would set up shop at a CCU-owned apartment complex that is off main campus. Only three universities in the country had the fortune of being served by a Starbucks truck. After several months, the trial program ended.

It was pretty cool to have a Starbucks Truck at Coastal Carolina University.

2. Many of our current students weren’t enrolled when the Starbucks truck was on campus. Well, they don’t have to feel like they missed out because we now have a Starbucks BIKE (#StarbucksBike) on campus. Debuting last month, this concept serves nitrogen cold brew, a perfect option for a university in the South that enjoys many hot and humid days. Like with the truck, we are one of only a few locations in the United States to boast the latest coffee dispensing technology from Starbucks.

A photo of the Coastal Carolina University Starbucks Bike that I took today.

Although I think it is really cool that Starbucks thinks so highly of our Coastal Carolina, I am still not a coffee drinker. I wonder if Sloan will be? Don’t Blink.

Easter 2018

I make no secret about it, I love Easter Sunday. As you can imagine, it goes without saying that I enjoyed the 2018 version of the greatest date on the Christian calendar. Set to a backdrop of blue skies and warm temperatures, yesterday was very fulfilling. Let me tell you a little bit about my Easter.

The day started off with me wishing Sloan a happy Easter when she awoke around 6:30 a.m. I took her from the crib and we went downstairs where her Easter basket awaited. Sloan enjoyed all the special gifts the Easter Bunny (mommy) brought for her, especially the tissue paper.

Sloan’s Easter basket and gifts.

We attended 8 a.m. Easter Sunday mass. Father Roger Morgan reminded us that because Jesus rose from the dead, we all have the opportunity to enter into a living relationship with him. Father Morgan urged us to strive for one. Because St. Andrew attracts so many worshippers on Easter Sunday, services take place at Myrtle Beach High School to accommodate the large numbers. Although celebrating mass in a high school auditorium isn’t my first choice, yesterday’s service still touched me.

Right before we headed off to church.

Once church concluded, we went over to my sister-in-law’s house for the big Easter brunch. As always, it was incredible. I indulged in fruit, hashbrown casserole, grits, biscuits, eggs, sausage, monkey bread, and even Chick-fil-A chicken nuggets. It was delicious and hit the spot.

My first plate of brunch.

As the food started to settle, we all decided to go out and enjoy the gorgeous day. My niece and nephew received a croquet set for Easter and we set it up on the front lawn. During my early teens, I played a lot of croquet using a set we had purchased at a garage sale. It was fun to pick up a mallet again and help teach the game to Sid’s family.

Playing croquet with the fam.

After a couple competitive games of croquet, I sat on the front deck in the shade and watched as Sid and her family flew kites and rode the go-cart.

My niece Russell (left) and Sidney (right) flying kites.

At around 3 p.m. we came back to the house and freshened up a bit. We then went to the home of our friends, Susannah and Nick, for company and burgers. Sloan really enjoyed the outing because she got to play with Jaqueline, the 1-year-old adorable daughter of Susannah and Nick. It was a great opportunity for our two families to catch up and chat about the numerous things we have in common.

Sloan and Jacqueline hanging out last night.

We returned home and started preparing Sloan for bed. I read her a children’s book titled “The Easter Story” and she fell asleep soon afterwards. As she slept in my arms, I took a moment to realize how blessed we are while reflecting on why Easter is so important. It was a beautiful day. Don’t Blink.