Say Yes to the Flower Girl Dress

Hello hello hello. After a great blogging week that included a takeover by my fiancé, a tour of lemonade stands, and an ode to “Big Brother” it is time for the Thursday Rundown. Off we go…

Papal Visit – I can’t get enough of the Pope Francis coverage. It is so comforting to know that I am in the same country as him right now. The example that he sets is just so inspiring and incredible. Even by watching him on television I feel a certain type of way. I don’t think anything is more special than when the pope greets someone and the reaction that follows. Some just break into tears, some go weak, some seem to glow. The message he has been preaching since he arrived in the United States a couple days ago is spot on. I pray that his historic trip to our country continues to go peacefully and smoothly.

Weeknight Ice Cream – Sidney and I don’t normally go out for ice cream during the week but when we do, we make sure it is the best place in Myrtle Beach. On Tuesday after we returned from the driving range at a local golf course we stopped at a colorful and eccentric ice cream shop on the side of the road. Technically in the area called Garden City, we pulled up to Meyer’s Ice Cream Parlor. It was a complete 1950s throwback with walls painted different colors, big cushiony black booths, and decorations/collectibles everywhere. We split the cookie lovers sundae and I still can’t think of words to do it justice. It was two scoops of cookie dough ice cream in a homemade waffle bowl topped with oreos, crushed chocolate chip cookies, and additional cookie dough pieces. It was drizzled in hot fudge and spayed liberally with whipped cream. At the top was an intact cookie. No questions asked, it was one of the best desserts I have ever tried.

This was the amazingly good and large sundae we enjoyed at Meyer's Ice Cream Parlor.

This was the amazingly good and large sundae we enjoyed at Meyer’s Ice Cream Parlor.

“Big Brother 17” Reaction – Watching Steve win the final Head of Household competition over Vanessa stung a little bit. He made it no secret that he planned to evict Vanessa and take his chances with the jury against much weaker Liz. Although I never cared too much for Steve it was a no-brainer that he would be crowned the “Big Brother 17” champ over the twin. I just wanted Vanessa to win so bad. She played a masterpiece of a game but came up just short.

#CCU Periscope Marathon Reminder – Just a quick refresher that tomorrow Coastal Carolina will hold its #CCU Periscope Marathon. We will be broadcasting for nine hours straight. I encourage you to watch some of the action by downloading the app and following us at @CCUchanticleers. No other university has ever done something like this before.

Our #CCU Periscope Marathon is a first of its kind.

Our #CCU Periscope Marathon is a first of its kind.

Wedding Update #9 – Our beautiful flower girl, Russell, now has her dress! Also, our Pre-Cana classes start October 13. In case you are wondering, just 261 days remain until our big day!

Look how pretty she looks in that dress!

Look how pretty she looks in that dress!


End your week on a strong note tomorrow! Or, if you will be working through the weekend like me, finish strong every day. Thank you for your readership, I genuinely appreciate it. Don’t Blink.

First Weekend in Myrtle Beach Down, First Full Week at CCU Coming Up

I find myself in a very content position right now. I am coming off a super nice first weekend in Myrtle Beach and I have a lot to look forward to this upcoming work week.

Let me start first with the weekend. As I mentioned in my last blog post, Saturday started well with a great workout, the completion of some housekeeping issues, and pool time. But it only got better from there. My new friend Veronica and I went out to a great restaurant in Garden City (a small town about 10 miles from Myrtle Beach). Called the Guflstream Café, it is a coveted local steak and seafood place that was built right on the beach. The two of us sat on the upper deck overlooking the water and boats. For dinner we had New York steak and delicious salmon. It is also worth noting that the mashed potatoes that came with the entrees were to die for.

It was a very enjoyable dinner at the Gulfstream Café (clockwise: The view from the deck, the restaurant sign, Veronica with her salmon dinner, my steak!).

It was a very enjoyable dinner at the Gulfstream Café (clockwise: The view from the deck, the restaurant sign, Veronica with her salmon dinner, my steak!).

On Sunday I started the day off right by going to church. As I search for a Catholic church this morning I went with Veronica to her church called New Spring. I feel it is always good to go outside your comfort zone every now and then. After the service I came back to my apartment and spent some more time at the pool. This time though a couple fellow residents introduced themselves to me so I got to meet some people who live at my complex. After I took a stroll on the beach I went to a place called Broadway at the Beach, an area in Myrtle Beach that is full of shops, food, and bars. Although I loved the atmosphere I didn’t achieve my mission of finding a Mother’s Day gift.

The pool at the Alexan Withers Preserve complex is awesome! Great layout and atmosphere.

The pool at the Alexan Withers Preserve complex is awesome! Great layout and atmosphere.

From Broadway at the Beach I went the few block to Field, the baseball stadium of the Myrtle Beach Pelicans. As a Minor League Single A (long season) team I enjoyed the laid back atmosphere and my seat located in the shade behind home plate. I dominated a bag of peanuts and enjoyed the time by myself…in my opinion, a perfect way to cap off the weekend.

I had a nice relaxing time at the Myrtle Beach Pelicans game.

I had a nice relaxing time at the Myrtle Beach Pelicans game.

I am stoked to get back to work tomorrow! It is graduation week at Coastal Carolina University and I will have the opportunity to work hard and do as much as I can to generate excitement and buildup through our social media outlets. Graduation itself will take place on Saturday in Brooks Stadium, the home of the football team. There will also be festivities prior to the ceremony that I will get to cover as well, just additional chances for me to get my feet wet and connect with the CCU community.

I feel fortunate. I feel fortunate that the staff at Coastal Carolina University has welcomed me so warmly. I feel fortunate that I met someone like Veronica who has taken the time to hang out with me and serve as my “tour guide” so to speak (she hates that term). I feel fortunate that I have the support of my family almost 3,000 miles away. I am blessed. Have a great week everyone! Don’t Blink.

Why You Need to Visit Missoula

Missoula is a great city. It is a one of a kind place that many people hold fond memories of. For people who live outside of Missoula but in Montana, Missoula is the thriving center of the state. It is the closest thing to a big city within the borders, the cultural hotbed of the region. The appeal of the Garden City to Montanans living outside of it is obvious. But what about people who live out of the state? Especially those who live in cities much bigger than Missoula? Is there anything for them in The Zoo? YES! In my opinion, the case for people living out of state to come to Missoula is even greater than the people living in state.

Quite often I find myself pitching Missoula to my friends from the west. Living in Washington state for the first 18 years of my life, I still have lots of friends and family living in that area. Because I like showing off my current home, I lure people to come visit me by briefing them on why they should make a trip to Missoula. These are the points I use to make them book that trip:

I first tell them that they need to experience Montana! They need to visit Cowboy Land, the place of no speed limits, where buffalo roam free, and where the internet is yet to exist. Well, not exactly. Everyone knows that Missoula is probably the most “un-Montanan” place in the state. But I think that helps my case in getting them to come visit me. I let them know that they don’t have to worry about roughing it but at the same time they still get to experience a different place and proudly say that they have spent time in God’s Country. So while they won’t really spend time in the heart of the state where the true Montana way of life runs more rampant, they still get to experience a place that has no sales tax, enjoys longer days, and sits in a different time zone.

I then tell them that they got to come just for the amazing beauty of Missoula (of course I try to arrange their visit in either Fall, late Spring, or Summer). I try to tell them about the mountains, the river, and trees that characterize the town. I fill them in on the beautiful sunsets and subsequent star-filled skies that linger over our heads. I refer to the trails, the clean streets, and the wildlife that we are exposed to. I mention the numerous green parks. I allude to the absolute gorgeous scene they will encounter the second the city comes into focus as they start to hit the city exits off of I-90.

I then go on and elaborate on the special type of community feel that Missoula has. I explain that they are entering Griz Nation, an area that wherever one looks, they will be reminded of a very proud and successful tradition, one that does not just live on campus. I prep them for the unique way in which Missoulians gather together. You know, all the festivals, events, and celebrations that we have. No, there just aren’t a few spread out annual events held throughout the year. Rather, Missoula has events that run on a weekly basis (i.e. Downtown Tonight, Farmer’s Market, Out to Lunch, etc.) even though the casual onlooker would think that they were in fact annual events because of the tremendous attendance that each single event garners. I summarize by telling my dear friends and family that no matter what day you show up, there will be some type of event or festival going on with the whole community partaking.

I then take it one step further and highlight the individual people that make up the community. I tell my out of state friends about the genuine and carefree attitude of the people who live in Missoula. I tell them that the people here treat others with a higher level of courtesy, a higher level of respect. People are nicer when they are happy, and most of the citizens in Missoula are just that…happy. Who wouldn’t want to come to a Happy Place?

Last, but definitely not least, I conclude my pitch by telling my friends and family living in Spokane and other parts of Washington this: MISSOULA IS FUN! There are few places that can provide someone with a better weekend or a better week than what Missoula can. Tons of places to eat, numerous water activities, unlimited fitness opportunities, countless entertainment options, various scenic sites to experience, and spontaneous situations and events to partake in make Missoula special. Additionally, Missoula has an incredible and vibrant downtown. Nothing beats it. Great restaurants, eclectic shops, a community park, and all the bars in the world help to present such a people-pleasing place that a visitor could start in downtown and never wander outside of that area for the duration of his/her trip. If, I tell my friends, you get the chance to take in a Grizzly Football Saturday, you will have the ultimate Missoula experience. Of course since there are only six of those a year (excluding playoffs), everyone can’t be so lucky.

By this point, I always have the person I am talking to sold. Plans are made and a visit is arranged…and we have a lot of fun! If you want to come to Missoula, please let me know and we will get something set up. Can’t wait to see you. Don’t Blink.