Sloan’s Thursday Rundown

It is the final Thursday Rundown before Sloan turns 1. Got to make this one quick because we have party planning to do! Here we go…

When It All Started  Although Sloan wasn’t born until March 17, Sid and I will always remember March 15, 2017. That morning, Sid left work before the school day started and went to Conway Medical Center. She was not feeling well. When I arrived, they had just put Sidney in an evaluation room in the labor and delivery wing. After running tests, the doctor came in and said they wanted to start the induction process. Although Sid was the one in need, she had to direct me to sit down because I almost fainted! Sloan had a due date of April 7 but we were going to meet her much earlier. It would be an extremely long day as the medical staff tried to induce labor…but God had other plans.

Later that night, when it became clear that Sid would not give birth that day, the doctor let her eat a meal.

Why Catholics Abstain From Meet on Fridays – During Lent, Catholics don’t eat meat on Friday. Some people who are unfamiliar with Catholicism might question why we do this. In general, we don’t eat meat because it is another way to remember our Lord. Meat, both thousands of years ago and today, is a food that is valued, delicious, and widely consumed. Taking the initiative to refrain from eating a food that many of us depend on takes discipline. When we exercise this discipline,  even though it is an extremely small act, it is just another way to remember the suffering of Jesus Christ.

But it goes deeper. Jesus was crucified on a Friday. On that day, he gave up his flesh for us. Thus, during Lent, we give up eating flesh for him. Another important aspect of Fridays during Lent is the Stations of the Cross. At Catholic churches throughout the world, Christ’s passion is remembered. If you want to really prepare for Easter, I recommend going to a Stations of the Cross service.

Catholics abstain from meat on Fridays for multiple reasons.

Remembering Parkland at CCU – Yesterday, schools and students did a variety of things to remember the Stoneman Douglas High School tragedy. Some organized walkouts, some held walk-ins, some just reflected on the lives lost. At Coastal, the day was marked with various activities. However, I was especially moved by the solemn tribute that was offered at 10:05 a.m. At that time, our signature bell tower chimed 17 times for the 17 victims who lost their lives.

I filmed the bell tower chiming and tweeted out this video/tweet.

New Kicks for Sloan – I would like to thank the Wyeth family for giving Sloan an early birthday present. Last week, Rob gave me the below pair of Converse shoes. Originally intended for one of his twin grandsons to wear, they grew too big before they could lace them up. The new kicks look so cute on Sloan and even though she needs to get used to them, we think she feels pretty cool wearing them around. From a daddy perspective, it doesn’t hurt that they are teal (CCU colors).

Take a look at Sloan’s fancy new shoes.

Sloan at 52 Weeks – This weekend it will be official…52 weeks of life for Sloan! She has set herself up to end the year on a good note. She is on the verge of walking, her new favorite word is “UH-OH,” and her babbling has reached an advanced level. She has kept us very busy this week(and I know I practically say that every week) but her level of activity just keeps increasing and increasing. Each time we have scooped her our of her crib this week she has been standing up waiting for us. Her obsession with the refrigerator has seemed to intensify over the past few days. There is no dull moment. Each week has been so much fun!

This is Sloan’s 52 week collage.


I want to thank everyone for the support we have received for Sloan as she approaches her birthday. Have a great Thursday evening and happy St. Patrick’s Day. Don’t Blink.

What A Child’s Birthday Means To A Mom

Long before Sidney gave birth to Sloan, she told me numerous times what her first words to her daughter would be: Happy Birthday.

Although Sloan’s delivery didn’t go 100% according to plan, Sid was still able to make good on what she had envisioned for so long. With Sloan nestled in Sid’s arms, mommy wished daughter a happy birthday. On Saturday, Sid will be able to once again greet Sloan the same way.

Sidney was able to tell Sloan exactly what she had planned to.

Sloan’s birthday is important to both Sid and I. The date is etched in our hearts and is a major milestone for our daughter. As parents, the date is a big deal.

However, at the gym this morning I had a thought that hit me hard. Sloan’s birthday must carry with it so much more significance for Sidney than for me. In fact, I realized that this deeper meaning must be true for all moms when compared to fathers.

It is not that I am insensitive. I like to think there isn’t anything I cherish more than Sloan’s birthday. But, try as I may, March 17 will simply mean more to Sid than me. Here is why…

As I mentioned above, Sloan’s birthday is a milestone for us as parents. It marks the beginning of our daughter’s life. However, for Sidney, as a mom, Sloan’s birthday marks the ending of all the hard work, discomfort, and pressure that came with carrying a child. Likewise, Sloan’s birthday also marks the end of the extremely special relationship that a mom has with her unborn child while he/she is inside of her.

It never occurred to me until this morning that Sloan’s birthday is a cause for Sidney to celebrate not just a beginning but an end. Strong emotions and memories come from both vantage points. As a dad, I can only imagine how Sid feels. Sure, I rode shotgun on the nine month journey with Sid but there is no way I could ever truly know how it must have felt to be in the driver’s seat with a baby inside of me.

Sid’s words will once again carry love and meaning when she wishes Sloan a happy birthday on Saturday. My words will too, just not to the degree of my wife. Don’t Blink.

Top 10 Moments From Sloan’s First Year

We have reached a very important stretch of the month. It is Sloan’s birthday week! As we countdown the days until she turns 1, I thought I would countdown my 10 favorite moments from her first year. Some of the moments on this list are specific while others are more abstract. You will see what I mean.

10. Color Me Pink – Sidney and I switch off waking up with Sloan on the weekends. One morning on my day to sleep in, I awoke to Sidney walking in the bedroom with a pink fur ball in her arms. It took me a couple seconds to become fully conscious and for my eyes to focus. Once I was alert, I could see that my sweet baby daughter was dressed as a flamingo! Making this scene even better was the fact that Sloan had a smile on her face. Sid surprised me by having Sloan model her Halloween costume and it was the best way to wake up.

This is a photo from that exact morning when Sid/Sloan surprised me with the flamingo costume. Made my day!

9. Swaddle Off, Arms Up – During the first several months of Sloan’s life, we would swaddle her before she went to sleep. When our little darling woke up in the morning, we would remove the swaddle and her tiny arms would shoot right up as she closed her eyes and stretched so hard. It was adorable!

Watching Sloan stretch after we took off her swaddle was always rewarding.

 8. That Face Though – My heart just about melted. Sloan was probably 2 weeks old and Sid was finishing up bathing her. I was in the living room when I heard Sid sweetly say “Daddy…”. I looked up as my wife walked out the bedroom door toward me in the living room. Sid was holding Sloan who was wrapped tight in a swaddle. I held out my arms and Sid handed over that small, sweet, fresh smelling baby. This is what I remember the most: Sloan was sucking on a large, clear pacifier that seemed to take up half her tiny face. Her cheeks moved out and in as she sucked away. It was the cutest thing I had ever seen and a moment I will never forget.

 7. Late Nights/Early Mornings With My Girls – During those first couple months of Sloan’s life, she would wake up a couple times during the night. Sid and I both insisted on getting up with her. We would sit in the dark living room and feed her while we watched music videos (before Sloan’s addiction to BabyFirst TV). The music would slowly soothe her back to sleep as her parents admired their cherished daughter. It was a great way for the three of us to bond while also giving us parents a comprehensive education of the Billboard Top 40 landscape.

Watching music videos and hanging with Sloan.

6. All Eyes On Us – I will never forget the spiritual feeling I felt in my heart when I took Sloan to church alone for the first time. She was an angel the entire mass, leading up to the special moment when she and I walked down the aisle to receive Holy Eucharist. In those seconds, I felt the entire assembly look at us as we walked toward the priest. It was a surreal moment and I could sense God telling me that I must always love and protect my special girl.

This was Sloan and I after that special mass in May.

5. Those First Few Days – After Sidney and Sloan were released from the hospital, we returned home. However, we didn’t go back to an empty house. Sidney’s family helped us out for several days as we adjusted to our incredible blessing. We all ate dinners together and my mother-in-law taught me how to care for a baby. Sloan was so warmly welcomed to the Mathis family and I learned so much during those initial days.

The early days with Sloan were special. Luckily we had Sid’s family to share them with us.

4. Meet Your West Coast Admirers – In 2017, I didn’t have more fun than I did on July 15. This was when we threw a joint 60th birthday party for my mom and dad. We had a huge party as relatives, neighbors, and friends converged on my parents’ backyard to celebrate. Throughout that afternoon, we were able to showoff Sloan to so many people who up until that point had only seen her in photos. She stole the show and I was so proud.

Sloan met close to 60 people that day. Here is a photo of her with my aunts, my dad, and her cousin.

3. She Really Loves Us – I told a story a few weeks ago about when Sid and I returned from an overnight weekend trip to Charlotte. When we picked up Sloan at our in-law’s house, she greeted us by wildly clapping her hands and smiling ear-to-ear. Nothing is sweeter. Although Sidney and I don’t always get an applause from Sloan when we pick her up from daycare or take her out of her crib in the morning, we always get at least a beautiful little smile that makes us feel so valued and special. We treasure each of these special little moments.

Having this face constantly look at us with joy is one of the best parts about being a parent.

2. Sloan’s Baptism – No other moment can beat June 25, 2017. How could it? On that afternoon, Sloan was cleansed of sin and welcomed into the Church. Her baptism took place in front of family and a few close friends. I held her throughout the ceremony and although she was physically light, I felt the weight of the role I now had to play in making sure she grows up to be a child of God. Within that half hour, Sloan’s life changed for the better and I believe the angels sang with happiness. I have moments ingrained in my head from that day and I always replay them when we go to mass at St. Andrew and walk past the baptismal font.

Sloan’s baptism was beautiful.

1. Happy Birthday, Sloan! – St. Patrick’s Day no longer stands out in my mind as a time to wear green and to remember the patron saint of Ireland. Rather, it will forever be remembered as the best day of my life (along with when I married Sidney). After a tumultuous labor process, Sloan joined us in this world at 2:44 p.m. on March 17, 2017. Life became more important and I knew I would never be the same person again. Our baby girl was healthy and happy, the absolute greatest blessing in the world. Although no single moment can technically beat her baptism, the numerous moments that came together to produce the center of our world on that March day will never be topped.

The greatest day of my life.


It has been a year filled with moments we will always hold in our hearts. Thank you, Sloan. I hope you enjoy your birthday week. Don’t Blink.

Primed for 2018 NCAA Tournament

It’s March Madness, baby! The bracket was revealed about 90 minutes ago and the week that many consider the best in sports is now upon us. The NCAA tournament used to be what I looked forward to most in March – but then my daughter was born on St. Patrick’s Day – so my priorities have changed a bit. Regardless, I still get excited for the 68-team college basketball extravaganza.

This post is going to be super short because the time change has me exhausted…just kidding, I reject the imaginary impact of daylight savings. But it is still going to be short because Sid and I have a Netflix series we want to start.

First, I want to give credit to CBS/Turner Sports. For the second year in a row, the Selection Show was a big improvement from the 2016 atrocity. This year’s edition was even better than the make-good show in 2017. Cutting right to the chase by announcing the teams that made the tournament, both automatic qualifiers and at-large teams, was a great call. This set up great organization prior to bracket reveal and spared us from the awkward cut-ins of teams who sweated it out for an entire 2-hour Selection Show only to be disappointed at the end.

The “live audience” in the Turner studio was pretty hoaky and I wasn’t sold on bringing in a separate analyst for each region (I still have a tough time accepting Charles Barkley as a college basketball expert) but it was the best show to date so I will keep my complaining to a minimum.

Sadly, my Chanticleers did not make it to the NCAA tournament this season. Thus, because my #1 team is not in the field, I will have to pull for a couple others.

In 2015, I traveled with the Chanticleer men’s basketball team to the NCAA tournament.

One of these universities is (surprise) Gonzaga. A No. 4 seed in the West region, the Zags will face UNC Greensboro in Boise. After last year’s narrow loss in the national championship, the Bulldogs will have to actually win the title this season to top their 2017 run. Not an easy feat but hopefully Gonzaga will at least win a couple games and bring my hometown the excitement that Spokane has become well-accustomed to.

Even more than Gonzaga, I will be enthusiastically cheering for the Montana Grizzlies. How can I not cheer for my alma mater and former employer? It will be great to watch the maroon and silver on national TV as one UM goes up against another UM. Although the University of Michigan might be recognized as the premiere “UM” across the country, I am crossing my fingers for a major upset in this No. 3 vs. No. 14 matchup in Wichita, Kan. Yes, I have been removed from Montana long enough that I don’t know any of the student-athletes or coaches on the team but a lot of the athletic department support staff remains, so I will be pulling for them and hoping that they have an enjoyable experience.

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

Okay college basketball nuts, your time has arrived! Enjoy the games and Go Bulldogs and Go Griz! Don’t Blink.

Target Thursday Rundown

I know a lot of my readers are fans of “The Bachelor” so I hope you all have regained your composure after the bombshell episode this week. Sorry to disappoint, but I don’t watch the show (although I did write a post on a contestant from “The Bachelorette”) so don’t expect to see it included in my latest Thursday Rundown. Onward and upward…

The Target Trick – My wife was quite tickled last Sunday as she excitedly told her family what she got me to do. I am not a fan of Target – I find it overhyped and overpriced. Sidney does not share my opinion. If at all possible, I try to never walk through the doors of that store. This past weekend, Sid asked if I would join her and Sloan on a shopping outing that included Target. Not wanting to stay home by myself, I accepted. Our first stop was Target as we looked at presents and party decorations for Sloan’s upcoming birthday. We spent a long time in the store before eventually leaving. It was now time for lunch. After Sonic fell through because no one asked to take our order, Sid enticed me to go to Which Wich, a sandwich chain we really enjoy but is also really out of the way. The hidden motivation for going to the restaurant? It is right next to another Target! Yep, Sid convinced me to spend an hour in that location too, noting that this second store was so much bigger and better than the previous one. She found her little stunt quite amusing.

This is Sloan at Target (the first store) this past Sunday. As you can see, she is already getting ready for St. Patrick’s Day/her birthday.

Message in a Bottle – I am fascinated by messages that find their way to random people by way of a bottle at sea or a released balloon. In today’s newspaper, I learned that the oldest message in a bottle ever recorded was recently washed ashore in Australia. The note inside was in perfect condition and dated June 12, 1886 (132 years old!). Sadly, it wasn’t a love letter or prophetic scrolls. Rather, it just contained scientific information relating to a German experiment on global currents. Although the content of the correspondence was a letdown, it was still really cool that someone would find a message in a bottle that old.

Sloan at 51 Weeks – Here we are folks, just single digit days away from Sloan turning 1. I think Sloan is excited although I know mommy isn’t. Even though Sid is a little sad to see Sloan reach a major age milestone, she has kept herself busy planning for Sloan’s birthday party. Our little girl is standing up more and can walk with our aid or by using the walker toy she has. Sloan is starting to figure things out and she seems to have a little bit of daddy’s OCD in her. Over the past few days, Sid and I have taken moments to reflect on what we were doing a year ago at the given time, reflecting on the buildup to the birth of Sloan. So many memories.

This is Sloan’s photo collage at 51 weeks.

March 8 Archives – I have written some creative blog posts on March 8. Take for example just last year when I notified my readers about a website that gives your life historical musical context (when I was born, “Stuck With You” by Huey Lewis and The News was the #1 song in the country). On this date in 2016, I wrote about some unique treats that the Reser household grew up on. In 2015, I wrote about the great experience I had working the Big South tournament as the Coastal Carolina men’s basketball team punched a ticket to March Madness. Additionally, on March 8, 2012, I attended the best concert of my life. Standing front row at the Spokane Arena, I watched Blake Shelton put on an incredible show.

I took this up close photo of Blake Shelton at the Spokane Arena exactly 6 years ago today on March 8, 2012.

Gonzaga Still Amazing – Speaking of Spokane, I must give another nod to Gonzaga. The Bulldogs played in their 21st consecutive WCC tournament championship game on Monday night, defeating BYU. The victory automatically put the Zags into their 20th consecutive NCAA tournament. I will always be proud of the accomplishments of this small Jesuit school and will always hold tight to the small connection I have to the program.

I was a ball boy for Gonzaga years and years ago.


We are going to try to enjoy Sloan’s last weekend as a 0-year-old (typing that made me laugh) as much as we can. Thanks for reading and I will catch up with you again soon. Don’t Blink.

My Top 5 Soups

Last week, I discussed my quirky food duos. In the post, I mentioned that I regularly drop an ice cube or two into a cup of soup before I eat it. I do this to cool it down because I love soup way too much to burn my tongue and develop a negative connotation.

How far does my enjoyment of soup go? Believe it or not, I once went on a diet that consisted of Campbell’s Chunky Soup (it worked!). So, because I mentioned soup last week and because I have shockingly never counted down my favorite soup varieties before, I thought I would do that tonight.

Honorable Mention: Italian Wedding – I will never turn down a cup of Italian wedding soup. Not only do you get to scarf down mini meatballs, but you also get a complete serving of your green vegetables as well. Add pasta to it and you have a soup with much going on. Out of all the soups on this list, it is probably the one that I have the opportunity to eat the least so I think it just makes it that much better when I do actually get to enjoy some.

5. Clam Chowder – As someone who doesn’t get too excited about seafood, you might be shocked that I included clam chowder on my list. However, I grew up on it. My family’s (mom’s side) Italian restaurant, the Pastime Café, served clam chowder on Fridays. Because we would make our trips to Walla Walla at the start of the weekend and because we would always drop in for dinner at the Pastime when we arrived in town, I was offered clam chowder a lot during my younger years. I ate it every single time. As I grew older and the Pastime shut its doors, I still ordered clam chowder at other restaurants. Although not my all-time favorite soup, it is a taste of my childhood and deserves a spot on the countdown.

4. Chili – Calling chili a soup reminds me of the “Is a hot dog a sandwich?” question. I think it straddles the line between a soup and its own separate dish but I am counting it as the former for this blog post. As a guy who loves spicy food and meat, chili is the perfect combination for me. Pairing a big bowl of chili with chips or cornbread is dynamite. I think it is cool that chili can be made so many different ways and that every town seems to host a chili cook off competition. Chicken chili, white chili, even beanless chili – I love it all (except for maybe vegetarian chili).

3. Butternut Squash Soup – Flavor flavor flavor! While the other soups on this list have a chunky texture because meats, veggies, and pasta comprise them, butternut squash soup is known for its smoothness. You aren’t enjoying this soup for its ingredients, you are enjoying it simply for the taste. I love the buttery and rich flavor of this soup. It is the pumpkin pie that is served before the main course. If you have the chance on an October or November brisk evening to enjoy a bowl, make sure you savor every drop.

2. Potato Soup – Nothing says “winter comfort dish” more than potato soup. There is no better way to warm the soul than with a piping hot bowl of potato soup served on a dark, snowy day. Creamy broth and chunks of potato go down easy and taste so good. Potato soup is the one variety on this list that you can confidently serve as a meal itself. Sprinkle a little cheese on the top and you have it made!

1. Pasta Fagioli – For those who don’t know, pasta fagioli is a classic Italian staple. It is basically pasta in soup form. I have told the story before, but my mom had to convince me when I was younger that I liked it by “re-branding” it as Button Soup, a dish in one of my favorite children’s books. But as I grew older, I liked it so much that I finally just started calling it by its actual name. My mom still makes big pots of pasta fagioli and she will jokingly text me and tell me to “come on over and get a bowl.” Although I can’t serve myself some of my mom’s version (a recipe that has been in the family for generations), I always order it when I get the chance at the Olive Garden. If you haven’t tried it, you have no idea what you are missing (make sure to top it with plenty of parmesan cheese!).


As I said last week, when given the option at a restaurant, I will take a cup of soup over a salad any day! If you have a soup that I need to try, please let me know, I will definitely be down to test it out. Don’t Blink.

The Attraction and Danger of Facebook Quizzes

Given the current state of Facebook, it is safe to say we are subjected to a substantial amount of garbage each time we “go for a little scroll.” Political rants, fake news, multi-level marketing, annoying blog links (haha), and GoFundMe scams are just a few examples of awful content we sift through.

If not for all that I just mentioned above, perhaps online quizzes would be Public Enemy No. 1 when it comes to undesirable Facebook content. However, because of the proliferation of partisan venom, untrue headlines, and shameless sales pitches on our newsfeeds, spotting a quiz that promises to identify your spirit animal is almost a welcome relief. However, take it from me, Facebook quizzes are sometimes more trouble than what they are worth.

I recently sat down with WPDE ABC15 anchor Summer Dashe to discuss the dark side of social media quizzes. Summer used our discussion along with other interviews to put together an extremely well-done and creative package. It aired during the station’s big post-Academy Awards Sunday night newscast. Click here to view the story.

I had the pleasure of sitting down with Summer Dashe with WPDE ABC15 to discuss Facebook quizzes.

During the interview, the major point I told Summer was that some social media quizzes are absolutely harmless – but others aren’t.

I mean come on, how bad can a quiz be that tells you which season of “Family Matters” opening credits you are?

Most of the time, at the very least, the makers of these Facebook-based personality tests are going to capture your profile information and potentially sell it to third parties so they can target you in ads. It is simply the day and age we live in. The current advertising climate places a very high premium on digital advertising and companies are willing to shell out money for lists of people who fit within their target audience. If you don’t mind the phenomenon of having a digital ad served to you that seems to read your mind, you don’t need to stress too much about this.

However, unfortunately, sometimes these seemingly harmless Facebook quizzes are a little more sinister. Some exist solely to hijack your information and make duplicate social media profiles of yourself. Selling “likes” and “followers” is a big business. Companies who specialize in this trade will provide their clients with a load of FAKE and duplicated profiles, created off of the information you consented to release before taking the quiz. Even more shocking, some quiz makers will take the information you provide entirely off the digital sphere and use it for classic identity theft purposes in the physical world.

Thank you to Summer Dashe of WPDE ABC15 for producing an educational and creative story.

Finally, some sketchy social media quiz makers will practice what is called like-farming. Think of it as a bait-and-switch – a Facebook quiz claiming to tell you what Disney princess you are appears on your newsfeed. All you have to do is click on the link to start the assessment. Much to your horror, instead of taking you to a multiple choice quiz, you are taken to a website that infects your computer with malware. The link originally started out as a legitimate quiz that garnered a lot of likes and shares. After it established credibility, the scoundrels behind the quiz edited the post and changed the link. Watch out for this dirty trick! 

I gave two big recommendations to Summer:

1. Don’t participate in Facebook quizzes that ask to access your Facebook profile or ask you to log in to Facebook. Consenting to these requests, which is usually as easy as clicking on a blue bar, will sell out your information to the entity administering the quiz.

Even though it might look official, don’t click on blue bars that ask you to login to take a quiz.

2. If you have an appetite for knowing what “Saved by the Bell” character you are or what ice cream flavor best describes your personality, take a Buzzfeed quiz. Not only is Buzzfeed the most popular option for online quizzes, it is also the safest. Buzzfeed won’t ask for any of your information before taking the quiz but will give you a safe option to post your results to Facebook at the conclusion of it.

In the most general terms, use common sense. Before clicking on a social media quiz, scrutinize it for a couple seconds. Blue bars, long URLs, misspellings, and obscure graphics are all signs to accept an F on the quiz by just not taking it.

Thanks again to Summer and WPDE for the effort they put forth to produce such a well-researched story. An important message was delivered to the Myrtle Beach area, one that everyone else in the country could benefit from. Don’t Blink.

Planning The First Year as Newlyweds

From time to time, I always like to offer tips on how newly married couples can grow and thrive during their first year of marriage. Notice how I don’t term it as “advice” but rather simply “tips.” As Sid and I near our second wedding anniversary, I am in no position to offer advice. However, I feel I can bring a couple pointers to the table when it comes to young couples who are embarking on that exciting first year.

My tip tonight is straight forward and simple. It is important to develop routine.

Introduce some structure to your marriage. Officially starting your life off with someone can seem overwhelming. With so many expectations hanging over your heads in that first year, you might ask yourself where do I start? I suggest taking a step back by concentrating on the basics. Instead of stressing over making a big purchase or devising a timeline of when you want to complete milestones, start small. Set a time for the two of you to eat dinner each night; find a show on TV that you both like and can look forward to during the day; loosely plan your lives a month at a time.

Take it from Sid and I, it is good to have simple structre your first year of marriage.

Each Sunday, Sidney and I brainstorm what we will eat each night for dinner that week. We will then go to the supermarket and buy groceries based on those meals. We eat between 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. each night and always sit down with each other and talk about our days. Doing this increases our planning skills and helps us to be disciplined at the grocery store. More importantly, it secures an hour for us each night to unwind and spend quality time together.

With so many television choices these days, both on cable and via streaming devices, it is virtually guaranteed that you can find something that both you and your spouse will like. If Sidney and I, who have dramatically different tastes when it comes to TV, are able to find common ground with a couple programs then you and your sweetheart can too! We watch Jeopardy every weeknight at 7:30 p.m. and there is always one or two weekly shows we make sure not to miss as well. By having a show or two that you can call your own, you set yourself up for not only special time with your loved one but discussion time as well. Although Sid and I might not talk much during “This Is Us,” we surely have an open dialogue about it from the moment it ends at 10 p.m. all the way until 8:59 p.m. the following Tuesday when the next episode is about to start.

It is foolish to plan that entire first year out. However, it makes more sense and is much more manageable to take it a month at a time. In our kitchen, we have a big monthly calendar. At the beginning of each new month, we fill it out with the major events of the next four weeks. Because the calendar is in such a prominent spot, we see it every day and don’t lose track of appointments, birthdays, church functions, or social engagements coming up. Most of the time, I jot down the events that come to my head first. Sid then swoops in and adds hers. Doing this reinforces our family identity and ensures that we don’t forget anything.

Don’t get me wrong, that first year of marriage shouldn’t be all about rigid structure. You need to have some spontaneity as well – take it from us, we had a baby before we celebrated our first wedding anniversary! But that topic is for my marriage-related post. Until then, take time to sit down with your partner and do some basic planning, it will help build the foundation of your young marriage. Don’t Blink.

Crazy For March Thursday Rundown

A new month is here – but more on that in just a bit. I hope everyone has had a nice day and is now ready to relax with the Thursday Rundown. Here we go…

Toy Maker – Dang, my wife is creative. Call me an anti-recycler, but I go through plastic water bottles like crazy. The new issue with this is that whenever I am holding one, Sloan wants to take it out of my hands and wave it around. She loves the feel and sound of the plastic – but I don’t love my drink being grabbed from me, especially when there is the potential for water to go everywhere. Sidney solved this problem by taking one of my many empty bottles and filling the bottom with rice. Not only does it give Sloan her own bottle and eliminate the chance of a spill, but she likes it way better anyway. Sidney’s makeshift toy is a legitimate noisemaker with the rice crashing against the flimsy plastic. Sloan has a new favorite “toy” and it didn’t cost us a dime.

A look at Sloan’s new “toy.”

The Month of March – I have always raved about how much I love this month. In fact, five years ago I wrote a blog post specifically addressing my adoration for March. What’s not to love about March Madness, longer days, the coming of Easter, and warmer weather? Well, my affinity for the month increased exponentially last year. It is now officially Sloan’s birthday month. A St. Patrick’s baby, she entered this world on March 17, making it the best month ever!

Weirdest Business Transformation – I have written before about how I am fascinated with businesses that go under and then come back as something else. Think of a shuttered grocery store being converted to a haunted house during October or an old Blockbuster store transforming into a fast food restaurant. Well, I have the craziest transformation example ever to tell you about. When I lived in my apartment here in Myrtle Beach, I was close to a business district with lots of different buildings and shops. One of the particular businesses happened to be a sketchy, seedy adult film store. It went out of business about a year ago but it is about to return to life as (get ready for irony)… a crematory. Even crazier, the guy who owned the adult store will also own the funeral parlor. The owner said he became a licensed funeral director in 2017 and that “it’s an honor to serve families in their time of need.” Quite the transition!

Pizza a Healthier Breakfast Choice Than Cereal – What a bombshell! A popular Salt Lake City nutritionist, Chelsey Amer, recently said that an average slice of pizza is healthier than a bowl of traditional breakfast cereal with milk. She says that while both options contain roughly the same amount of calories, the pizza is a healthier breakfast option because it packs a bigger protein punch. After the blog post I wrote on Tuesday, I feel even more like an unhealthy disgrace.

How can THIS be healthier than a bowl of Cheerios?!

Sloan at 50 Weeks – It is a milestone…the big 5-0 for Sloan. After several major breakthroughs last week, things slowed down a bit this week. However, her ability to move quickly continues to build. She doesn’t just roam around the living room anymore, she explores the entire first level of the house. She has grown more comfortable using couches and tables to prop herself up on her two feet and she continues to eat more people food, recently trying both pancakes and quesadillas. With her birthday month here and her actual “big day” just a little over two weeks away, things are starting to get exciting.

Here is Sloan’s photo collage at 50 weeks.


Enjoy your month of March, everyone, I know we will. Don’t Blink.

My Quirky Food Duos

This morning on the sports talk radio program I was listening to, the host was talking about unlikely/disgusting food combinations that people enjoy. Examples included ketchup and eggs and mayonnaise and Spam (seriously, I almost vomited just typing those combos out…YUCK). I must admit, I have developed some odd food pairs over time as well. Although they might not be as sickening as the ones I heard about this morning, most of them are totally 100% unhealthy.

Here are five of my dynamite food duos…

Butter on Costco muffin – When it comes to Costco, I only purchase a few items. One of these products happens to be its world famous jumbo muffins. However, eating a calorie-ridden chocolate, poppy seed, or banana nut muffin isn’t enough for me. Did someone say butter?

Besides family members, I don’t think I have met anyone else who will cut open a Costco muffin, spread butter on the inside, and pop it in the microwave for a few seconds. Totally unnecessary but totally delicious.

Me with some frozen Apple Crumb Costco muffins.

Ice in soup – I love soup. I grew up eating it and to this day I will always opt for a cup of soup over a salad when given the option at a restaurant. But while I am not sensitive to hotness in a spicy sense, I am senstive to hotness in a temperature sense. To me, nothing is worse than burning your tongue. It ruins everything…even a delicious bowl of soup. So, to prevent against this, I always drop an ice cube or two into my bowl. In my mind, a lukewarm soup is better than a piping hot soup. I understand it might look tacky scooping a piece of ice out of your water glass and dropping it into your soup bowl but it is a breach of etiquette I am willing to perform.

Half-And-Half in cereal – My mom taught me this trick. As I have mentioned before, we didn’t always have access to sugary cereals growing up. Thus, my mom simulated a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch by using regular Cheerios. Not only would she sprinkle some pure sugar on top of the Cheerios, she would substitute half-and-half for the milk. I can’t tell you how rich and heavenly it would make a “healthy” cereal taste. As I got older I would sometimes even add half-and-half to my Waffle Crisp or Reese’s Puffs, making my “breakfast” a legitimate dessert.

Hot sauce on hot dog– Several years ago while at a dive bar in Las Vegas, I ordered a $1 hot dog. Sitting at the bar by myself like a loser, I asked the bartender for a hot sauce packet. She watched in disbelief as I opened the packet and streamed the sauce down the hot dog.

“You put hot sauce on your hot dog?” she exclaimed.

Um, yes, I do. At the time I had no idea that someone would think that was weird. Come to think of it, I still don’t know why anyone would think it is weird. I don’t do ketchup or mustard so hot sauce is the logical condiment to put on a hot dog for me. Am I really that crazy?

If I have a plain hot dog and hot sauce is within reach, I am going to use it (I also like chili and cheese on my hot dog as well).

Parmesan cheese on…everything – I used to add Sriracha to everything but those days have passed. My new “condiment” of choice is parmesan cheese. I blame this one on my wife. She LOVES parmesan cheese (she calls it “shake cheese”) and has the tendency to buy the jumbo bottles. Not that her tastebuds are out of whack because I agree with her, parmesan cheese is great. These days, it is a staple at our dinner table. I don’t just douse my pasta in it – I pour it over deli sandwiches, Hamburger Helper, steak, and more. It is the perfect topping to any dish!

The Reser household loves parmesan cheese!


That’s all I got regarding my odd food pairs. If you have never tried half-and-half in your cereal before, I recommend you give it a try. Eccentric food combos can be fun, just as long as no mayonnaise is involved. Don’t Blink.