A December Weekend

Even though the holiday weekend isn’t until next week, this weekend that is now just wrapping up still had a special holiday feel to it. Tis the season for Christmas magic! In an attempt to hold myself back from spending all my energy looking forward to this upcoming short week, I wanted to briefly look back at the weekend that was.

On Friday night, I spent the evening working. It was fall commencement at Coastal Carolina University so I was covering the two ceremonies held by our campus. It was a thrill for me as I had the opportunity to watch Eddie and Monica graduate. As my old interns were walking across the stage, I had the pleasure of grooming one of my new ones. Katie, a CCU freshman, made her #CCUSocialMedia debut and did a fine job.

On Friday night I worked commencement at Coastal Carolina University and got to watch Eddie and Monica graduate (Photo creds: Image above taken by me, Eddie photo taken by Dennis Davis, Monica photo is from her sister).

After a long week at work I arrived home late Friday evening ready to see my wife and daughter. We watched “Christmas Vacation” while enjoying the aroma of our Christmas tree, which seems to be smelling better and better each day.

Sloan awakened bright and early on Saturday morning. We played those early hours away while Sid ran errands. I also had the chance to finish sending out our Christmas cards. We then embarked on the main event of the day: the Christmas celebration for Sid’s extended family on her dad’s side.

Sloan and I hanging out yesterday.Coastal

We headed over to my sister-in-law’s house for the family event. Around 24 of us (counting three babies) gathered for some holiday cheer. We ordered takeout from Olive Garden and feasted on different pastas, salad, breadsticks, and those really good chocolate mints. The time then came for our Chinese gift exchange. The madness went for 21 rounds as I came out with a brand new wall charger and car charger while Sidney drew the coveted last number and selected an LED cinema light box. We concluded the evening with dessert, enjoying cheese cake and brownies.

A look inside the Christmas celebration we had with Sidney’s extended family last night.

This morning, we headed over to Sidney’s parents’ house to meet family members who came in from Jacksonville. Sid’s aunt, uncle, and nephew from her mom’s side were all in town to visit. We visited at the house and then we went out to lunch at Carolina Roadhouse. I enjoyed the only thing I have ever ordered there, the KILLER DOG. As usual it was delicious; and, as usual, I ate about a quarter of it.

Sloan looks on this afternoon as I prepare to dig into the Killer Dog at Carolina Roadhouse.

We came back to our home and rested for a bit and then we went to St. Andrew for 5 p.m. mass. We celebrated the 3rd Sunday of Advent this evening and Fr. Morgan delivered a great homily reminding us that even though Advent is a time for meditation, it is also a time for rejoicing. We don’t usually go to the 5 p.m. Sunday mass but the singing was beautiful and Sloan was a perfect little girl.

As we conclude a nice weekend, the three of us are back home watching “A Christmas Story Live” and eating Christmas candy.

Now we find ourselves back home in front of the TV watching A Christmas Story Live and eating holiday treats. What a weekend! Life is good and it is only going to get better this upcoming week. Don’t Blink.

Sloan’s Day Out

When you have a baby, especially your first one, there is a tendency to be overprotective. One way this can be acted on is by keeping him or her safe and sound in the comfort of your home. With Sloan, we kept her happy and nourished inside our Myrtle Beach home for the majority of her 6-week life.

It is true, Sidney did take her on an errand here and there. We did take her off the premises for pediatrician appointments. Our baby did make regular trips to the house of family members. But it was never like we took her out on a “SLOAN MEETS THE WORLD” day-long tour. That changed yesterday.

This past Saturday, our little family went on a series of “adventures” through the Grand Strand area. I put ourselves at the mercy of Myrtle Beach traffic (one of the greatest fears I have is something happening while we are driving with Sloan) as we embarked on a packed day for our baby daughter.

We first went to the mall. If the trend of online shopping miraculously goes out of style in the next several years, it might be a place where Sloan spends time without us. We put her in the stroller and took her from one end of Coastal Grand Mall to the other. She did awesome.

Sloan enjoyed cruising the Coastal Grand Mall.

From the mall we headed to the Market Common, an impressive lifestyle area packed with restaurants, shops, condos, and entertainment options. There is also a giant park. Yesterday, the Myrtle Beach Dragon Boat Festival took place in this particular park. Sloan experienced her first ever fest as we introduced her to the throngs of people who had gathered on the 80 degree day for the popular event. I got some great practice maneuvering the stroller in a congested area, only managing to run over the foot of one stranger. We kept Sloan in a shaded area for most of the afternoon but we did move her up to a “front row seat” for the championship races.

We made sure Sloan had a front row seat for the championship races at the Dragon Boat Festival in Myrtle Beach.

Sloan’s greatest challenge of the day still awaited her, however. After the Dragon Boat Fest we all went home where we showered and changed. We then headed off to church…

This was a big deal. We were taking Sloan to her first ever mass. I have written about crying babies in church before. Would the Lord take me to task for my prior comments and make Sloan cry out and scream the entire service? Hardly. She was a perfect angel as she rested in her mom’s arms for the whole service, gaining the admiration and hearts of everyone seated near us. When we went up for Holy Eucharist, our new parochial vicar at St. Andrew, Fr. Jose Quilcate, broke into a large smile and commented “what a cute baby” before he blessed her. After the mass concluded, we talked to Fr. Jose again. We told him he had presided over the first of many masses for Sloan and that she would be officially inducted into the Catholic faith at her baptism in June. As we walked away, he called out to us, “You have a great baby!”

Sloan wore her Sunday’s Best to mass at St. Andrew Catholic Church in Myrtle Beach.

From St. Andrew, we headed off to a favorite restaurant of ours, Carolina Roadhouse. A large and noisy establishment (but incredibly delicious) we didn’t know exactly how Sloan would react. But she made us proud just like she did the entire day. We fed her a bottle while we waited for our food but for majority of the meal she peacefully sat in her car seat allowing her mommy and daddy to have some special time. After dinner, we troubled Sloan once more when we took her out of the car and up to a Redbox kiosk where she helped her parents pick out a movie. Her decision of “Collateral Beauty” was a good one.

Sloan hung out peacefully in her car seat during dinner last night.

Needless to say, Sloan slept GREAT last night. Even though stressful at times, it was so nice to get Sloan out in the community. She made everything so easy on her parents! Don’t Blink.

A Bowling and Hot Dog Thursday Rundown

Ten days out from Christmas and I must admit that I have the holiday spirit. Here we go with my latest Thursday Rundown…

Christmas Bowling Party – Sidney and I are on the holiday party circuit right now. However, we don’t know if any of the gatherings we attend will match the one we went to last Friday. Sidney had her work Christmas party at a bowling alley in Myrtle Beach. I spent the evening hanging out with teachers, eating a lot of finger foods, and of course bowling. Sidney and I played four games and I managed to score in the 140-range for three of them (an achievement for me). For our first ever Christmas bowling party, we had a lot of fun.

This is Sidney and I at the Palmetto Bays School Christmas party.

This is Sidney and I at the Palmetto Bays School Christmas party.

Reser Kids as Newborns – When I told the story of our 3D ultrasound, I mentioned that Sidney and I looked at the detailed photos pretty hard. We tried to see if we could distinguish any features in ourselves to our developing daughter. My mom tried to help us determine any similarities by sending me the newborn photos of my sister, my brother, and myself. Verdict is still out on whether any similarities exist with our baby but it provides a great excuse to share these photos.

Here is a collage of the Reser kids as newborns. I am in the top left hand corner. My sister is below me. And my brother is on the right.

Here is a collage of the Reser kids as newborns. I am in the top left hand corner. My sister is below me. And my brother is on the right.

Killer Dog – I have mentioned this particular food item before, but I need to bring it up again. Last night, we all went out to celebrate my sister-in-law’s 30th birthday at Carolina Roadhouse, a great restaurant in Myrtle Beach. This place is home to a giant hot dog called the Killer Dog. I have ordered it on a couple of other occasions and I made sure to order it last night. The best part was the reaction of my mother-in-law when I told her I was going to get it again.

“But they have such a good menu…” she reasoned.

And she was absolutely right. Carolina Roadhouse is a fabulous restaurant with a mouthwatering menu. In fact, it is such a good place that my parents went there twice when they came this past summer for the wedding. But I had thought about that Killer Dog the whole day at work and by the time I sat down at the table I was craving it. I now have leftovers for the next week.

This was my Killer Dog at Carolina Roadhouse last night. It seems to get bigger and bigger each time I go.

This was my Killer Dog at Carolina Roadhouse last night. It seems to get bigger and bigger each time I go.

Gold Again – Our social media program at Coastal Carolina University recently received more national recognition. I introduced #CCU Keys to Success as our 2016 summer social media Facebook campaign. Just this past week, it received the gold award in the Education Digital Marketing Awards. We sent members of our alumni community keyboard tattoos to put on the keyboards of their work computers. Once they applied the tattoos, they would take photos (one photo of their hands on their keyboard and one full frontal shot) and send them back to me. With the images, they also included a paragraph on the literal keys to success they learned at Coastal. The images and the testimonials made for great posts throughout the summer.

A screenshot of an actual post used in the #CCU Keys to Success campaign. Thank you to Mr. Dennis Davis for allowing me to use his feature in this post.

A screenshot of an actual post used in the #CCU Keys to Success campaign. Thank you to Mr. Dennis Davis for allowing me to use his feature in this post.

From the Archives – I have a few blog posts I wrote over the years on December 15 to present to you for your reading consideration. Three years ago I wrote about five shopping mall trends I noticed while out doing my holiday shopping. Two years ago I gave my opinion on an event that portrays Santa in a bad light and that has gotten progressively worse over the years. Then, one year ago on this date, before fake news was even a thing, I explained how I fell for a Facebook hoax. Once again, take your pick on what you want to click on.


I suggest this weekend you take an hour or so to enjoy a cup of hot chocolate in front of the Christmas tree. In my opinion, there is no better way to get in the holiday spirit. Don’t Blink.

It Is Thursday Again

Sorry to everyone who was expecting my Wednesday blog post. I got home last night and fell asleep. I apologize and will do better next time. But that is in the past and today is THURSDAY. Time to hit you with my traditional five topic rundown. Here we go…

Early Mornings Just Got Less Enjoyable: This morning my favorite student-worker at the campus gym, Hannah Watkins, informed me that she is transferring to Clemson at semester. This girl brightened my day every Tuesday and Thursday that she would work the early morning shift. Always cheerful and positive, I looked forward to our 5:59 a.m. little chats as I entered the gym. I had the pleasure of profiling her for #CCUfamily and will miss her a lot.

I said goodbye to Hannah this morning. She is transferring to Clemson.

I said goodbye to Hannah this morning. She is transferring to Clemson.

So Long, Kevin: Speaking about farewells at Coastal, another person who I respected a lot recently left the institution. Kevin Olivett, our Associate Athletic Director for Marketing and Social Media, headed even further south for a corporate sales position at Stetson University. Besides the people in my own office, no one reached out to me more than Kevin did when I arrived at CCU. He sat in on one of my interviews when I visited the campus so I guess that was a good start for us to get acquainted. The first week I was here he generously took me out to lunch and made me feel so welcome. He graciously asked me for my opinions and ideas, respecting that I came from a sports marketing background when he never really even had to bother. He served on my social media committee and was always willing to help. Best of luck, Kevin.

O’ Christmas Tree: I am no longer a Grinch! I have never had a Christmas tree in an apartment of mine until this year. Last week Sidney hauled over to my place a small, artificial tree. It is just the perfect size for my place! To make it totally fit the bill, she decorated it in Coastal Carolina colors. At night when I get home from work I plug the tree in and really feel the Christmas spirit. The only thing missing is that warm Christmas tree smell but what I got is pretty cool. Thanks, Sidney!

Me kneeling next to my Christmas tree.

Me kneeling next to my Christmas tree.

The Killer Dog: On Saturday night, Sidney and I went out to a popular restaurant in Myrtle Beach called Carolina Roadhouse. We were celebrating the birthday of one of Sidney’s friends. Anyway, I decided to order the one item on the menu that any guy would order: The Killer Dog. The menu described it as a gigantic hot dog covered in chili, onions, and French fries. It also said that you would need a knife and fork to eat it. When I told my server what I wanted he warned “get ready.” The dog came out and it was indeed huge and it was necessary that I use a fork and knife but it still paled in comparison to that one hot dog I ate two summers ago. Please, check out my blog post from a couple years ago that includes photos of the monster I ate.

This was the Killer Dog I had at Carolina Roadhouse on Saturday.

This was the Killer Dog I had at Carolina Roadhouse on Saturday.

FCS Playoffs: The Football Championship Subdivision is down to the “Elite 8” and I am stoked that Coastal is still in it. The Chants crushed a good Richmond team last Saturday, 36-15, to advance. The good guys just barely missed out on playing the quarterfinal game at home. South Dakota State had a lead over North Dakota State with under two minutes to go but couldn’t hold it. So instead of the Chants hosting the unseeded Jackrabbits, they must travel to Fargo for a rematch against the three-time champion Bison. Although it would have been preferable to play in the friendly confines of Brooks Stadium, you got to beat the best to be the best. North Dakota State is not invincible this year and I have a good feeling that Coastal will put an end to the phenomenal championship streak of NDSU.

On the other side of the bracket, Eastern Washington defeated my other favorite, Montana. The Eagles now have my backing to make it to the championship game. Having grown up right next to the EWU campus I attended numerous games and was an EAG fan as a youngster so it is no mystery that I am rooting for them now. A CCU-EWU title game in Frisco sounds awesome to me with the Chants holding the championship trophy at the end.


Have a great weekend! I am looking forward to a holiday party on Friday and then football on Saturday. Hope you are all getting excited for this special time of the year. Don’t Blink.