Googling Instead of Answering

Okay, can we briefly discuss this meme I am about to share? Alright, here it is…

I used to do this all the time.

The dude pictured used to be me. Well, not physically, but in terms of my behavior. I used to have a strict “don’t recognize the number, don’t answer it” policy. But just because I didn’t answer it didn’t mean I wasn’t intensely curious about who was calling me. Before my incoming call had even stopped ringing I was Googling it. Most of the time my search would confirm that it was a telemarketer but other times it would identify an actual person or business behind the mysterious telephone number.

These days I can’t afford to employ such a scaredy cat tactic. If my phone rings and a 10 digit number shows up on my screen as opposed to one of the very few names of people who actually call me, I am answering it promptly in my nicest “Hello, this is Brent” voice. I have kids now and you never know if the strange number is going to fill you in on some important information relating to them.

However, there will be times when I am tied up on a Zoom call or at the dentist’s office and a number I don’t recognize will come through. Because basic etiquette prevents me from picking it up, I get to return to my days of guessing who the caller might be before typing the number in Google. It is fun and interesting all at the same time.

If you are uncomfortable about answering a call and you face no implications by letting it ring, by all means let it go to voicemail. It is just another small way that you can seize control of your life while playing a nice guessing game at the same time. Do you answer calls that you don’t know? Don’t Blink.

My Super Bowl LV Review

Well Super Bowl LV, it was fun…kind of. In all honesty, the best part was that the game was over by 8 p.m. This was a welcome development after living in non-pacific time zones for the past 15 years. With that said, I do have a few brief things to say about last night.

The Game: Let’s start with the game. It has been several years since I could remember a contest so one-sided and, um, boring. That says a lot coming from me as I can usually find the silver lining in any game, especially one at the championship level. But watching Mahomes drop back and scramble every play only to wildly toss the ball got old by the second half. It was cool to see Brady connect with Gronk a couple times in the first half but I found the third and fourth quarters to be extremely melodramatic. Congrats to the Bucs but I wish it was a little more entertaining.

The game was boring, even by my standards (photo courtesy of Awful Announcing).

The Anthem: I know a lot of traditionalists rolled their eyes with the duet national anthem but it didn’t bother me. I would describe the performance as “laid back” but that’s not to say it wasn’t good. I didn’t mind Eric Church and Jazmine Sullivan divvying up opening verses and I thought when they came together to finish the song that it worked out pretty well.

I didn’t mind the duet with Eric Church and Jazmine Sullivan.

The Halftime Show: The halftime show was plagued with audio issues. I found this to be a shame because without them I think it would have been a solid performance. No, I don’t think it would have gone down as a necessarily memorable show but at least an entertaining one. When the Weeknd’s vocals came through without audio obstruction, it was a smooth and catchy delivery. I thought it was unique how he started up in the rafters but I wish he came down to the turf sooner—it just feels like you can connect with the performance better at field level. Bottom line, I have seen better and I have seen worse.

I was not overwhelmed by the halftime show.

The Commercials: As for the commercials, I think it was an average year. I will always take the emotional ads over the funny spots so it will come as no surprise to my readers what my favorites were. The Toyota commercial about Jessica Long, a Paralympic swimmer, and the acceptance from her adopted parents was a testament to human dignity and compassion, something we really need in the world right now. I also really liked the Anheuser-Busch’s “let’s grab a beer” commercial. I think it did an excellent job showcasing the many ways sharing a beer can mark life events and I think it probably resonated with 90% of those of us watching the game. Although not as authentic as Toyota’s or Busch’s commercials, I thought Jeep’s “middle” commercial with Bruce Springsteen carried a decent message, even if it was a tad bit corny.

The Toyota commercial was my favorite of Super Bowl LV.

Probably my top choice out of the many humorous spots was the Uber Eats commercial with Wayne’s World and Cardi B. It mixed retro with trendy to produce a creative “what will happen next” 1-minute ride. I thought two certain ads featuring power couples were cute. Both Gwen Stefani/Blake Shelton (T-Mobile) and Mila Kunis/Ashton Kutcher (Cheetos) made me laugh and humanized all four superstars. I also believed that M&M’s made good use of its leadoff spot in the commercial lineup by suggesting that a pack of the candy can smooth anything over. In a way, the theme kind of reminded me as Anheuser-Busch’s commercial.

Despite an ongoing major pandemic, I think we should all be pleased by Super Bowl LV. Sure, it wasn’t the best game and the halftime show didn’t blow anybody away, but I still think it was more than we could have asked for given the current situation of the world. So please excuse any of my cynicism above because I truly am appreciative. Don’t Blink.

Our Baby Boy is 1

Can it really be one year? Our baby boy adds a vertical line to his age today as we celebrate his first birthday. Thanks be to God for this milestone!

Beau is 1 today!

Beau was born on an unsuspecting sunny February day. Just like with Sloan, we had no idea we would welcome a child on the date that we did. But after the doctor did a quick exam on Sidney at a routine checkup and proclaimed “You’re going to have a baby today,” there was no looking back.

Beau was born at 1:37 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020.

Just a few hours later Beau would be born. He entered the world in the waning days of pre-pandemic normalcy. Despite the challenges he would soon face, those few sweet moments when Sidney and I held our son immediately after the delivery were filled with indescribable joy.

Moments after Beau’s birth, the nurse who recorded his initial measurements brought him up close to the glass so we could all see him.

After that short period of bliss, Beau’s irregular breathing would come into focus. After a couple days at Conway Medical Center he would be transferred to McLeod Regional Medical Center in Florence, SC, where he was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension. A 10-day stay in the NICU was trying on us all but we could not have felt more blessed that mid-February day when we took a healthy baby boy home to his adoring sister.

The NICU was tough but as his condition improved so did our moods.

And healthy he would remain for the duration of his first year on this planet. Beau has had a happy, ailment-free 11.5 months. Don’t get me wrong, he has faced developmental challenges such as a misshaped head and some eating issues but nothing that some therapy couldn’t handle. And by no means would those issues mess with our son’s natural pleasant and low-key temperament, a nice complement to his sister’s rather unruly personality.

This is Beau at a month old. He was happy and healthy after those initial couple weeks.

Beau has rolled with the punches since making his debut. A cross country move didn’t rattle him nor did a couple months away from his daddy (although the same can’t be said for the old man). He wore wires for two weeks in the NICU and a helmet for four months in the summer. He has thrived in a pandemic world and impressed his fellow passengers on long plane rides. Simply, Beau is a cool customer. He sleeps soundly, eats a lot, and loves to cuddle.

Although Beau had to wear a helmet for four months, it never slowed him down.

Our family has benefited so much because of Beau. I have my son, Sid has her mama’s boy, and Sloan has her brother. Beau has brought symmetry to our Reser clan and with it a new familial identify that I really dig. I couldn’t imagine life without him.

Beau has brought a lot of joy to the three of us.

As I reflect on his first year, a lot of favorite memories come to mind. His triumphant homecoming when we was discharged from McLeod. His baptism at St. Andrew in front of family and friends. Our reunion at the airport after two long months. The hilarious and heartfelt interactions between him and his sister. The moment when crawling just clicked and he was off to the races. The time he unexpectedly picked up Sloan’s milk cup and guzzled everything that was remaining.

This little boy is everything.

Over the next year, Beau will walk and start to say words. But before we focus on those developmental achievements, we will take today and the rest of the weekend to celebrate the road he paved just to arrive at this point. We love our Beau Bear very much and thank God for giving us such a blessing. Don’t Blink.

Beau Bear Eve Thursday Rundown

It is Beau’s Birthday Eve! Tomorrow we will have a 1-year-old. As I come to grips with this upcoming milestone, I decided to write a Thursday Rundown. Let’s go…

Latest Blizzard – The Thursday Rundown is a landing spot for my Dairy Queen Blizzard reviews (here and here). In honor of Sidney’s birthday weekend, we picked up dessert on Saturday night. I opted for the red velvet flavor which happened to be the Blizzard of the Month. The DQ famous vanilla ice cream was blended with red velvet cake pieces and cream cheese icing. It had really good texture and really good flavor…for the first few bites. After I scratched the surface of my blizzard, it was just pure white the rest of the way. Unfortunately the classic problem plagued me—all the toppings and mix-ins were at the very top with plain vanilla ice cream the rest of the day.

This was my red velvet Dairy Queen Blizzard from Saturday night.

Super Bowl Hope/Prediction – Last week I humbled myself and gave mad respect to Tom Brady and the mesmerizing career he has enjoyed. Although I will savor the chance to watch a legend play on Sunday, it doesn’t mean I want him to win. I hope the Kansas City Chiefs will repeat as Super Bowl champs? Do I think they will do it? Actually, I do. Chiefs beat Bucs, 28-24.

I will be rooting for Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.

Preparing to Sleep – Please use your imagination and read the below meme from my wife’s point of view. Okay, did you do it? This explains Sid and I exactly. Out of the numerous fluffy pillows that Sid keeps on the bed, I take the oldest and skinniest. I also have a bad habit of throwing some of the excess pillows on the floor, which will get me a prompt scolding. I fall asleep the moment my head hits the pillow whereas Sid needs pretty much everything listed in this meme, plus the TV turned on. I know Sid thinks it is unfair that I can simply shut my eyes and go to sleep but perhaps this is the way it is for many married couples.

This nailed it.

Heart’s On Fire Men’s Conference – Last Saturday, I had the incredible opportunity to attend the Heart’s On Fire Men’s Conference sponsored by the Catholic Diocese of Spokane. Having enjoyed the South Carolina Catholic Men’s Conference, I knew that attending a similar event out west was a must. The conference took into account social distancing. Instead of everyone meeting at a designated spot, different parishes in the diocese served as satellite locations where guys could go to watch the livestreamed presentations with a small group. I attended the conference at St. Thomas More, the parish I actually grew up in. Fr. Pat Kerst celebrated mass with our group in the morning and heard confessions at lunch. During the morning and afternoon we listened to Dr. John Bergsma, a professor at Franciscan University, deliver four different talks. After each talk, we gathered in our small groups at our satellite location to discuss the content. Thanks to the Diocese of Spokane for putting this conference on during difficult times, I sure got a lot out of it.

I took this photo at St Thomas More Parish in Spokane. Although a premium was placed on social distancing at the Diocese of Spokane Men’s Conference, it was still a very worthwhile experience.

Soups – Who out there loves a flavorful, piping hot bowl of soup? Your favorite blogger sure does! If I am given a choice between soup or salad at a restaurant, 9/10 times I am opting for the former. A few years ago, I actually ranked my top five favorite soups. My list consisted of clam chowder (#5), chili (#4), butternut squash (#3), potato (#2), and pasta fagioli (#1). Oh yeah, Italian wedding was included as an honorable mention. Happy National Soup Day! 

I love a good bowl of soup.

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Time to cuddle my baby boy tonight before he wakes up a man tomorrow. Okay, I exaggerate, but do you get the picture? I got to go. Have a wonderful night, my friends. Don’t Blink.

Enjoying a Quieter Super Bowl

If there is one annual holiday/event that I am glad the pandemic is messing with it is the Super Bowl. Undoubtedly the huge parties, packed bars, and movie theater screenings will be few and far between this year.

Good.

But I am not satisfied simply because social distancing standards will be respected. Rather, I am looking forward to the experience that millions of Americans will enjoy for the first time on Sunday: The chance to actually watch the Super Bowl in peace.

Super Bowl LV will be a quieter experience for many. Try to enjoy it!

Don’t get me wrong, Super Bowl parties are fun. Good food is prepared, alcohol is guzzled, bets are placed, coaching decisions are debated, and halftime musical performances are scrutinized. These gatherings easily get to the point where they are so fantastic that I have famously advocated for the Super Bowl to be moved to Saturday.

There is something to be said about watching the game with no distractions. No, let me take that back. There is something to be said about watching the Super Bowl with no distractions. We all know that the event taking place in Florida on February 7 is more than just the Buccaneers vs. the Chiefs. It is as much of Americana as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Nestled around the 60 minutes of football are must-see commercials, a national anthem performance, a concert, guaranteed viral moments, and much more.

However, it is impossible to catch every big play, every one-liner, every powerful note if you have more stimuli at your house party than at a Vegas casino. No matter how focused you believe yourself to be, you can’t serve both your fellow drunk partygoers and the CBS broadcast.

Now some of you might be saying so what? You claim that the Super Bowl is the afterthought and that the social gathering is the only thing that makes the football worth it. Okay, I kind of understand what your reasoning. However, this year most of you will probably have to give the broadcast a chance while skipping the big party.

I think you might actually enjoy yourself. You will probably find that four unobstructed hours of musical acts, competitive football, million-dollar ads, and pop culture references aren’t that bad. For optimal enjoyment, I would suggest having your favorite beverage in one hand and your smart phone (to follow real time social media commentary) in the other.

Take advantage of your quieter Super Bowl opportunity. Who knows, if by next year the Big Game still has not been moved to Saturday, you might want to skip the hangover and stay home again. Don’t Blink.

Ushering In February 2021

Good morning! I felt compelled to write at the beginning of the day as we begin the month of February. We have entered the midpoint of what can be a difficult two-month stretch for many but I hope we can look optimistically at the next four weeks.

Well, before we look at four weeks, I feel it is more appropriate to just look at this first week. It is a big one for the Reser family. It is the birthday week of Beau as he will turn 1 on Friday. The weekend will bring a small joint birthday celebration for Sidney and Beau hosted by my parents. Then, of course, Super Bowl LV will commence on Sunday.

This boy will turn 1 this week.

Shifting back to a monthly outlook, there is no doubt we will be doing a lot of reflecting. Starting with Beau’s birthday on Friday, we will remember the tough days that followed as he spent time in the NICU. But the month will also bring with it fond reminiscing as we mark February 16, the day we brought Beau home and the joyous days that followed as we started life as a family of four.

February is a very spiritual month for us. Lent begins on February 17 and then on February 27 we will celebrate the one-year anniversary of when Beau was baptized and Sid was welcomed into the Catholic Church. What a great time to both sacrifice and be thankful.

Whether you dislike February or enjoy it, I hope you can make the most out of the next 28 days. At the very least, we can use it as a springboard to March and the longer, brighter, and warmer days that is promises. But if at all possible, I challenge you not to write off February as simply a precursor to the spring months. Instead, try to savor each day and make the most of it. Remember, we will never get them back. Have a blessed month my friends. Don’t Blink.

Birthday Girl Thursday Rundown

Good evening, friends. Please excuse any perceived hastiness with this Thursday Rundown but it is a special day. You may see tonight’s first item to understand why. Let’s get going…

Happy Birthday, Sid – It is my wife’s birthday today and I sincerely believe she has earned a day to relax and enjoy herself. Sidney’s most recent trip around the sun was filled to the brim with significance. Giving birth to Beau and moving across the country were a couple of the highlights but it was such a blessed year in so many other ways. You are the BEST, Sid! Enjoy your day.

Happy birthday, Sid!

First Root Beer Float Experience – I like root beer. I like ice cream. I don’t like root beer floats. Soda and ice cream mixed together never really appealed to me. However, I would argue that you aren’t a real American if you have never at least tried a root beer float. Sloan took the plunge this week. I held my breath as she tasted it but she actually really liked it. In fact, she drank/ate all the contents of her glass. Perhaps I am missing something about the epic-nature of ice cream floats?

Sloan really enjoyed her first ever root beer float.

Latest Movies – I found myself watching some interesting movies on Hulu this past week. I first finished “Chaplin,” a 1993 film that stars Robert Downey Jr. as Charlie Chaplin. For me, Chaplin always had a certain mystique to him just because he appeared in grainy black and white silent films. It was cool to finally see a voice given to him. Another biographical film (sort of) I watched was “Vice.” This particular movie told the story of Dick Cheney, “the most powerful vice president in history.” Christian Bale did a superb job of playing a satirical version of Cheney and you can’t overlook the performances of Steve Carell as Donald Rumsfeld and Amy Adams as Lynne Cheney. Finally, I recently finished “The Cooler,” a story about a struggling casino in Downtown Las Vegas that depends on an unlucky guy (William H. Macy) to pass on his bad luck to people who are on winning streaks. Out of those three films, perhaps something will inspire you to pursue it past this blog post.

Thanks to Hulu, I recently watched these three movies.

Rin Tin Tin – As a kid, I watched a show called “Rin Tin Tin: K-9 Cop.” I thought it was a one-off random television series. But as I scrolled through one of my favorite Twitter accounts I found out that just like Charlie Chaplin, Rin Tin Tin was a silent film star. The dog was rescued from a WWI battlefield by an American soldier and brought back to the States where he became a box office sensation. The original Rin Tin Tin may have died in the early 1930s but his bloodline lived on. The Rin Tin Tin character has played in countless movies and television shows. Did you know that?

What a picture! This is from 1927, folks.

End on a Funny Note – I always appreciate a good Dennis the Menace comic strip. This is from yesterday’s newspaper. I have some friends in the restaurant business who would be extremely upset if this happened at one of their tables.

Never snag the money left on a table.

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Let me give one final happy birthday wish to Sidney. Now, if you don’t mind, I am off to celebrate with her. Don’t Blink.

Giving Tom Brady the Respect He Deserves

Let me date myself by saying that my favorite NFL football player as a kid was Drew Bledsoe. A Walla Walla native and WSU Cougar, he was my guy and the New England Patriots were on par with the Seattle Seahawks as my favorite team.

The infamous 2001 season rubbed me the wrong way. Bledsoe suffered a devastating injury and while he nursed himself back to health a young quarterback named Tom Brady took his spot. When Bledsoe was ready to rightfully assume back his position, Bill Belichick denied him. I took what was probably the greatest coaching decision in the history of the game personally. I thought Bledsoe got screwed and that Brady wasn’t half the quarterback that he was. So yeah, I kind of had it out for Brady from the beginning.

I was not a big Tom Brady fan during his New England years (photo courtesy of the NFL).

However, after a few seasons even I came around and realized that Brady wasn’t really that bad of a football player. Super Bowls have a way of validating your reputation, know what I mean? But I couldn’t bring myself to believe that Brady was ever carrying his New England teams. It was Belichick, The Patriot Way, the blue-collar supporting cast that was really bringing home those Lombardi Trophies.

Then there was Deflategate. Examples of arrogance. The pretty boy persona. The high maintenance prima donna who needed his own cook. Simply, it was all too much for me. The cheating allegations and numerous examples of a “me first” attitude made Brady the one player in the NFL who I rooted against more than anyone else. Numerous times in this blog over the years I voiced my disdain (here and here and here and here) for who I thought was the ultimate NON-team player.

Over the past couple years as my maturity level started to finally trend in the right direction, I let some of my bitterness toward Brady fall by the wayside. I found myself kind of admiring the fact that someone who was approaching his forties could still be at the top of his game.

Despite my somewhat new appreciation for Tom Brady, I would be lying if I said I was heartbroken when Belichick and Brady “broke up” at the end of last season. The Patriots were moving on from their star quarterback and he would no longer have the infrastructure to make playoff runs.

Boy, was I wrong.

In the ultimate statement of who was truly responsible for New England’s 19 seasons of success, the Patriots missed out on the 2021 playoffs and Tom Brady is going to his 10th Super Bowl as the quarterback of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

What Tom Brady has done this year is nothing short of spectacular (photo courtesy of the NFL).

How do you put into perspective Brady’s performance this season? He literally defied all odds by leading a new team to the promised land at 42 years of age. Not only that, but he did it the hard way by navigating through the playoffs as a wild card team.

Tom Brady, I respect you. Please excuse my childish grudges of the past. It took me long enough but at least I have come around while you are still in the league. Of course, anyone with a heart that still beats could recognize your greatness after watching this season. Best of luck in the Super Bowl. Don’t Blink.

Dollar Tree Scavenger Hunt

The idea crossed my mind last week. As I was brainstorming different activities for Sloan to do in a society that is widely shutdown because of a pandemic, my mind turned to a budget-friendly scavenger hunt. The idea would unfold at one of Sloan’s favorite places in the world—Dollar Tree.

I pitched my Dollar Store Scavenger Hunt concept to my sister shortly after I developed it in my head. As someone who is just as obsessed as I am with finding entertaining and unique activities for her kids, I knew she would give me an honest assessment. It turned out that she loved the idea and wanted to get in on the fun with us.

This was the Dollar Tree we completed a scavenger hunt at on Saturday.

So what is the Dollar Store Scavenger Hunt, you ask? It is quite simple. You present your children with five item descriptions and then turn them loose in a Dollar Tree to retrieve them.

My sister typed up the scavenger list items and printed them off for each kid.

On Saturday morning, Sloan and I met Aunt Miranda, Mikayla, and Johnny at the largest Dollar Tree location in Spokane (6416 N. Division St.). While in the parking lot we handed them their lists and watched as they sprinted into the store (video of the fun).

Sloan looking at the scavenger hunt list and then all three running into the store.

Card to Send a Friend – After running around the store and looking at a lot of non-scavenger hunt items, we finally steered the kids to the greeting card aisles. The red and pink Valentine’s Day section really stood out and all three participants found a card from that area. It got me thinking, who will Sloan’s Valentine be this year?

Sloan with the Valentine’s Day card she picked out.

Green Food – We explained to Sloan, Mikayla, and Johnny that the food item could either be green itself and/or packaged in the color. Technically Sloan found an item that fit both conditions but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little disappointed in her choice. Instead of picking up Ande’s mints or Apple Jacks, she threw a can of mixed veggies into the cart. At least she is thinking healthy?

Sloan holding her can of mixed veggies to satisfy the green food item.

Bathtub Toy – Sloan did great on this one. She found a Trolls-themed bath bomb. “Trolls” is Sloan’s favorite movie and we actually used the bomb that night and the pleasant smell and bright pink color it turned the water was definitely worth the $1.

Sloan scored big with her Trolls bath bomb.

Present to Give Family Member – Sloan and Mikayla were pretty smart on this one. They looked at each other and entered into an agreement that their “family member” would be each other. The two cousins marched to the toy aisle and gave each other “suggestions” on what item they should throw into their cart. Thanks to some inspiration from Mik, Sloan chose a stuffed yellow unicorn. Sure enough, when we exited the store the girls did a gift exchange.

Sloan “found” a stuffed unicorn as her present to give to a family member.

A Red Drink – I thought this one turned out kind of fun too. Sloan spotted a Donald Duck kiwi strawberry juice cocktail to satisfy the final item on her list. Honestly, how often do you get to enjoy a Donald Duck drink? She drank it from her sippy cup throughout the day on Sunday.

Donald Duck juice….need I say more?

Although chaotic at times, the three kids each completed the scavenger hunt. This is what Sloan’s cart looked like…

This was what the final haul looked like.

I would highly recommend this activity to those of you with young children. Not only is it something different but it is also empowering because the kids get to make the decisions. The scavenger hunt will lead to other activities once you leave the Dollar Store as well. For example, bath time was special on Saturday night because of the bath bomb. Soon we will sit down and write inside the Valentine’s Day card and mail it off to a friend. As we go through these colder months, this might be the perfect activity to add a little excitement to your child’s day. Don’t Blink.

Noah’s Thursday Rundown

I wrote hundreds of blog posts during the Obama Administration and I wrote hundreds of blog posts during the Trump Administration. Tonight I write my first post during the Biden Administration. It just so happens that it is a Thursday Rundown. Let’s get started.

Noah’s Ark – On Monday night, we were over at my parents’ house. For whatever reason, I was reminded of a jigsaw puzzle I put together over and over as a child. Thinking there was no way my mom would still have it, I asked her if she remembered the puzzle. She told me to wait a minute as she went upstairs. A few minutes later she came back down with the same 1987 Ravensburger Noah’s Ark puzzle I loved as a kid. Sloan and I proceeded to put it together as the memories came right back. Did you have the same puzzle as a kid? If so, please let me know.

Moments after Sloan and I completed a 1987 Noah’s Ark puzzle.

Go Spokane Quaranteam! – If you are reading this from eastern Washington, there is no doubt that you have heard about the Spokane Quaranteam. Led by Good Samaritan Rick Clark, the squad helps restaurants hit hard by the pandemic by giving them business. Spokane Quaranteam will purchase a high volume of meals (usually around 200) from a local restaurant and then distribute them on-site to the community free of charge. The idea is twofold. First, community members can leave donations so that the Quaranteam can continue to do its good work. Second, the restaurants hope that once Spokanites try their food that they will return in the near future. This past weekend, my dad, wife, sister, and I went to Poole’s Public House for free club sandwiches. It was inspiring to see in-person the work of the Spokane Quaranteam and the outpouring of support from the community.

After we received our free club sandwiches courtesy of Poole’s Public House and the Spokane Quaranteam, we took this photo.

Presidential Administrations – While everyone is mostly focused on Bernie memes (check out this website that will put Bernie in front of your house), I am over here reflecting on how many presidential administrations I have been alive for. My grand total? Seven. But before you call me a dinosaur, let me point out that I didn’t come around until Ronald Regan was well into his second term. How many administrations have you been alive for?

These are the seven presidents whose terms I have been alive for.

Personalized Chairs – For Christmas, Santa brought Sloan and Beau their own personalized chairs. As you can see, they are the perfect size for each…at least for now. I want to make sure they spend plenty of time listening to stories, saying prayers, and just hanging out in them before they outgrow them.

A look at the personalized chairs of Beau and Sloan.

#SquirrelAppreciationDay – Today is National Squirrel Day and a year ago I wrote a blog post to commemorate it. Squirrels seem to cover every square foot of this country and each community seems to have its own unique population roaming the streets. Every place I have been, whether it be a town or a university, seems to think highly of its squirrel culture. To truly honor this day, I might make a trip to my parents’ backyard and visit the mini pet cemetery my dad has created below the deck over the past many years. The plot is the final resting place for many squirrels.

One day I looked out my office window and saw this guy just chilling out!

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Thanks for your time this evening. As my blog continues into its third presidential administration, I am very appreciative that you have read my content throughout the years. Don’t Blink.