Summer 2023

We are more than halfway through September and Labor Day seems like a distant memory so please forgive me if I bring up an outdated word: Summer.

Ah yes, Summer 😎. Because things have been rather busy around the Reser household I neglected to recap Summer 2023 in a more timely manner. I hope you can forgive me. If I do have your pardon, I figured I would rewind the awesome summer the four of us had by listing 10 themes/events from the season. In no particular order (except maybe the first item), here we go…

New Home – At the very beginning of August, we moved into our new house. This major development was felt the entire summer as we packed up our old house during both June and July. After we moved all our belongings into our new abode, it took the rest of August (and beyond) to unpack.

This is our new home by D.R. Horton.

Godparents! – In the middle of June, Sidney and I became Godparents for the first time. We were honored and blessed when our good friends, Ryan and Allyson Andrade, asked us to be the godmother and godfather of their sweet little boy, Noble.

Sidney and I became godparents to Noble Andrade. Fr. Jeff Lewis of St. Mary Catholic Church in the Spokane Valley performed the baptism. Noble is the son of Ryan and Allyson Andrade (photo courtesy of Rachael and Josh Photography).

Hoopfest – A highlight of the summer was definitely competing in Hoopfest! I played on a St. Mary team that under the guidance of Fr. Jeff Lewis managed to make it to the championship game. It was a wonderful bonding experience with my teammates and we all appreciated the chance our children had to be part of it.

I felt like our team overachieved in a pretty competitive bracket. People in this photo include (from l-r) JJ Nazzaro, Amy Martin, Fr. Jeff Lewis, me, and Ryan Andrade.

Weddings – It was such a blessing to attend three weddings at St. Mary this summer. Two of the weddings were for couples that Sidney and I mentored through Pre-Cana. The other couple, Dylan and Fidela, are our friends and former neighbors from our Young Adult Catholic group.

We had the blessing of attending three beautiful weddings this summer.

Extended Fourth of July Weekend – With the Fourth of July on a Tuesday, it set up the opportunity to take a nice four-day weekend. During that time we had a picnic in Riverfront Park, went to the aquatic center, watched the debut of a friend’s band, saw big cats up close at Cat Tales, and more. Independence Day itself was a treat as we sipped gourmet sodas, enjoyed a cookout at my parents, and then watched fireworks with friends at Pavillion Park in Liberty Lake.

Sidney watches the fireworks at Pavillion Park in Liberty Lake on the Fourth of July.

Vacation – For vacation we headed to the west side of the state. We spent one night in Seattle where we watched a Mariners game and then spent several days in beautiful Seabrook. It was great to get up close and personal with the Pacific Ocean.

What a fantastic vacation it was. We took our photo at Seabrook’s signature oversized chair.

Summer Reading – All the fun we had outdoors didn’t stop us from hitting the books. Sloan and Beau participated in the Spokane County Library’s summer reading program. They logged nearly 20 hours of reading over the summer and although they didn’t win any of the drawings we sure read some memorable stories.

Sloan posing with a couple of the books we read this summer.

Fun in the Water – We didn’t meet a pool we didn’t like this summer. Scorching temperatures made the decision easy to cool off at both public and private swimming pools. Sloan is a little fish while Beau is still pretty anxious.

Just some of the pools that the kids swam in this summer.

Labor Day Getaway – We spent the traditional end-of-summer Labor Day weekend in Missoula. The kids enjoyed their first taste of Montana as they attended a Griz football game, ate Big Dipper ice cream, spent time downtown, and hiked The M.

Our family inside Washington-Grizzly Stadium prior to the University of Montana vs. Butler football game on September 2, 2023.

Pickleball – We picked up a new sport/activity this summer. Our new neighborhood has a pickleball court so we naturally purchased some paddles and balls. It has been fun to compete against Sidney while also watching Sloan pick up the game.

Sloan loves pickleball already!

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It was a memorable summer for sure! Thanks to everyone who played a role in making it so much fun, especially my wife and children. Although it is always sad to see summer go, it is hard to dwell on it when your autumn is already off to a busy and exciting start. Don’t Blink.

Summer Honey Thursday Rundown

Before I address the present, let me quickly look back on the past. The month of May in Spokane was gorgeous! In terms of weather, I don’t know if I remember a nicer May at any other time in my life. Alright, as we hop into my latest Thursday Rundown, let’s hope the perfect temperatures and sunny skies continue in June…

Ready For June – Speaking of June, this month is going to be bananas (in a good way)! Weddings, business trips, special visitors, end-of-school, Hoopfest, Catholic Summer Camp, and much more await our family. I don’t necessarily know if that means I will have even more to write about or if it means I will be writing less because we will be so busy but please stick around to find out.

My team will look a little different this year, but I will be back on the streets of Spokane later this month for my second consecutive Hoopfest.

Chicks – Last week, one of Beau’s daycare teachers brought in some of her chicks for the kids to hold. The pictures turned out so cute but I was drawn to something profound the teacher said when writing about how the kids reacted to the animals: They were incredibly loving and gentle toward the chicks. It was so much fun and made my heart so warm to see these children with something smaller and more delicate than even they are. That last sentence made me feel a special type of way.

Beau holding a chick that was brought to daycare last week.

Sign of Summer – That familiar tune could be heard in our neighborhood last night as the ice cream truck went up and down our streets for the first time this season. Of course Sloan couldn’t resist as she got a Jelly Belly-branded snow cone. The driver made every indication that she will be back so I will have to lay down some limitations on how many times we are going to give her our business this year…moderation is key. Believe it or not, a half decade ago I wrote about my top five favorite ice cream truck treats.

Sloan and her friends look at the ice cream truck’s menu.

Beer Purchase – In my previous Thursday Rundown, I mentioned that even though I had a Total Wine gift card it would definitely not be used on wine. Instead, I was excited to spend it on the large inventory of beer that the chain carries. After much deliberation last Saturday, I splurged on Summer Honey, a seasonal ale made by Missoula’s own Big Sky Brewing Co. When I lived in Montana this was a favorite brew of mine and when I cracked open a can several days ago it sure tasted like summer.

I love the Summer Honey cans! I enjoyed this in our backyard over the Memorial Day weekend.

Beef – I recently concluded watching the Netflix series “Beef.” I found the 10 episodes to be entertaining and clever. The series revolves around a single event at the very beginning of the first episode that ultimately intertwines two unlikely characters in an out of control rivalry. The show is meant to be funny but it deals with some very heavy themes. I thought the character development was great and if you have already watched “Beef” you might agree or disagree with me that cousin Isaac was the funniest and most engaging member of the cast. A good thing about “Beef” is that it is extremely easy to watch/follow and episodes are usually only 34 minutes long.

I thought “Beef” was a pretty decent show.

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Have a good June, everyone. Please pray for our friends Dylan and Fidela as they get married this weekend. We can’t wait to watch them enter into holy matrimony on Saturday. Don’t Blink.

2022: Bittersweet

Reflecting on 2022, I categorize it as a bittersweet year. And I think for the purposes of this blog post, I need to start with the bitter portion for a few different reasons. 1. Bitter comes first in the word. 2. It is good to get the bad out of the way first. 3. The “bitter” of 2022 came at the beginning of the year for us.

So, let me be candid. In January, our family battled COVID. Later that month, as we started to regain our health, we received the devastating and unexpected news that my Aunt Nancy died. Those two events, including their ripple effects and a few other unfortunate developments, kind of put the writing on the wall that 2022 probably wouldn’t be our year. However, we persevered and ended up salvaging what seemed like a doomed 52 weeks.

My Aunt Nancy’s death in January kind of got 2022 off to a rough start.

After we made it through February, things started to look up. We found ourselves in Lent and I think that period of reflection and fasting was just what we needed. A joyous Easter followed and then many good times ensued. Sloan and her cousin, Johnny, played an entertaining t-ball season that brought my family together a couple times per week in the spring. Summer then arrived and our kids were outside every day playing with the neighbor children in our cul-de-sac. Fall brought a lot of change as Sloan started kindergarten, Sid returned to work, and Beau got his first taste of daycare. Now, as we conclude 2022, winter made its appearance in a rather grand way with subzero temperatures and plenty of snow. But this arctic weather can’t freeze the love and thankfulness we have in our hearts.

Sloan enjoyed a successful t-ball season in 2022.

I think our theme of the year might be improvement. I took New Year’s resolutions seriously in 2022 and pledged to become a more competent cook and consistent reader. Sidney will tell you I improved dramatically in the kitchen. As for reading more, a subscription to our local newspaper and the completion of many novels covered that goal. Sloan made and followed through with Lenten intentions, an amazing and admirable task for a 5-year-old. Sid set a goal to return to work in late 2022 and ended up landing the perfect job.

It was fun to read a lot in 2022. I polished off numerous novels throughout the year.

Speaking of that job, it brings us to the second theme of the year—transition. After 2.5 years as a stay-at-home mom, Sid re-entered the workforce in a new career. She accepted a position with Traveler’s Insurance this past fall. Between the job offer and her first day of work, we spent time setting up the infrastructure needed for a dual-career family. This meant enrolling Beau in daycare, purchasing a second car, creating enough “office space” in our home, and synchronizing schedules. Yes, it was a little stressful, but now we are a well-oiled machine pursuing our respective professions while our kids are thriving at their own pursuits.

We enrolled Beau at St. Paschal’s EduCare in Spokane Valley and he loves it!

On the lighter side of things, the third unique theme of the year was recreation. With COVID no longer canceling races and preventing groups from gathering, we made up for lost time. As mentioned, Sloan was an MVP on the t-ball diamond. I participated in two Spokane signature events—Bloomsday and Hoopfest. Sid and I played on our Young Adult Catholic softball team and messed around and played some flag football. I braved an icy course to run a turkey trot 5K. And, of course, Sid and I maintained our daily workouts at Snap Fitness.

On May 1, 2022, I ran Bloomsday after more than 20 years elapsed since I last participated in the event.

Although the above three themes were new this year, the same three values I touch on every year were more relevant than ever…

It sure was a great year to belong to a strong, supportive family. My Aunt Nancy’s death brought the extended Reser family together under less-than-ideal circumstances, but the way we supported each other could not have made me prouder to be a Reser. Throughout the course of the year, we had so many fun times with my parents, siblings, and their families—cookouts, holidays, games, and special occasions never get old. Sidney’s parents visited us in April and her mom returned in November to help with the transition. Finally, our nuclear family stood strong this year. Our “Fab Four” battled sickness together, enjoyed many meals at Red Robin, read 500 bedtime books, bounced at Spokane’s best trampoline parks, and so much more. We visited Charlotte, Dallas, Walla Walla, and the North Pole. Sidney and I made additional trips to Hawaii and Montana. With Sloan growing emotionally and Beau developing conceptually, the overall love in our household grew.

We had many memorable family moments in 2022.

When things seem dicey, especially at the beginning of the year, there was no better way to catch some respite than by turning to God. In 2022, we continued to grow in our faith by doing tangible things to nurture it. Sidney and I joined two ministries together, both marriage-related. We became mentors to engaged couples on track to enter the sacrament of holy matrimony and we joined a somewhat similar ministry called Engaged Encounter. The latter is an organization at the diocesan level that holds weekend retreats for engaged couples. Additionally, Sidney taught Catholic Summer Camp and I joined the St. Mary’s men’s group. Our Young Catholic Adult group thrived as our numbers grew exponentially and we became busier than ever. Whether it was attending our bi-weekly meetings, hosting the bishop for dinner, or playing softball (among other things) it was a blessed year for our tight-knit group.

Our Young Adult Catholic group surrounds Bishop Thomas Daly (center, with hands in pockets). Also pictured is Fr. Jeff Lewis (back row, tallest person in photo), the leader of our Young Adult group and the man responsible for making our visit with the Bishop happen.

Career-wise, you already know about Sid’s successes. As for me? It was the year that a digital marketer like myself moved from behind the screen to in front of it. Our social media and digital triumphs landed me some speaking engagements. I presented to the WSU President’s Cabinet, I spoke at our internal marketers and communicators conference, and I traveled to the Washington D.C. area to present with a few of my colleagues at the American Marketing Association’s Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Ed. I had the opportunity to lead our social media strategy when it came to big-time collaborations with companies like Boeing and SEL. Our savvy EM marketing director allowed me to assist with new digital strategies as we aimed to reach prospective students. Our social media program earned a top 25 ranking out of 300+ schools. Other small victories came along that would not have been possible without the talented team I work for.

I had numerous speaking engagements in 2022, but none more important than my presentation with colleagues at the American Marketing Association’s Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Ed.

But you know what I count as the biggest “success” of my job? That at the end of the day, that is what it is—a job. My boss is adamant about a healthy work-life balance and if it wasn’t for that grace, I wouldn’t be able to concentrate as much on the family and faith components that are the utmost importance to me. So, as I close the door on 2022, I do so with gratitude. The year wasn’t smooth sailing, but at least I had the blessing and support to navigate through it while concentrating on the important things.

The years always turn out great because I share them with these three (photo courtesy of Nicole Lynn Photos).

Sidney, Sloan, and Beau…you three are the best! Let’s make 2023 great. Don’t Blink.

Our Hoopfest 2022 Experience

The dust has settled and Hoopfest 2022 is over. If you read my blog post on Friday, I mentioned that I didn’t particularly like our chances to make a deep tournament run. Well, I can report that the Reser Puffs ended up finishing in sixth place.

Out of six teams. 😂

Although we failed to win a game we sure had fun.

We failed to make it into the win column this past weekend. That’s not to say the games weren’t close. We actually surprised ourselves by being competitive. We lost our Saturday games by scores of 17-14 and 20-13. Our Sunday morning game was even tighter as we fell in overtime, 17-15. That final contest was especially agonizing to lose as we wanted to make it over the hump and take home those consolation champion t-shirts. But it wasn’t meant to be.

And that’s okay.

It’s okay because it was never our goal to win a championship or even a game in the first place. Rather, we were more focused on making family memories and taking part in an incredible community event. Check and check.

Even doing little things like taking the bus downtown with my family was something that made Hoopfest memorable.

Playing with my brother, sister, and sister-in-law was an awesome experience. It means so much when you are competing with family. Being out in the heat together trying to make baskets and doing our other family members proud was a bonding experience I wouldn’t trade for the world.

To play in front of our children was something we didn’t take for granted.

But it wasn’t just the actual action on the court that was so rewarding. For the past few weeks, the four of us had our own text message group where we would hype ourselves up, share weather reports, and iron out details. The excitement and camaraderie we shared was special. We went together to pick up our Hoopfest packets on Thursday and on Saturday night we had an epic Reser Puffs BBQ at our house. On Sunday morning, after we were eliminated, we ordered a round of beers at a downtown restaurant. The tournament brought us together for an extended period of time and we loved every minute of it.

The Hoopfest experience extended far past the action that took place on the court. Our team BBQ on Saturday night was relaxing and a lot of fun.

Hoopfest is an amazing event and I am honored that I had the opportunity to take part in it. Seven years removed from being part of the event and 15 years from actually playing in it gave me renewed appreciation for how unique this tourney truly is. To be one of the 14,000 people shooting jumpers on the downtown Spokane pavement this past weekend was a true pleasure.

The four of us after our final game on Sunday. I really enjoyed playing with Miranda, Glen, and Carrie.

Thanks to Glen, Carrie, and Miranda for playing with me this weekend. Thanks to my wife, my kids, parents, brother-in-law, niece, and nephew for watching us. Thanks to the teams who played us (all great sports) and our court monitor (Keith Miner) who ran a smooth bracket. The soreness I feel throughout my body and the massive blister on my foot were all totally worth it. I am already excited for Hoopfest 2023. Don’t Blink.

Here Come the Reser Puffs

This could get brutal. Exactly 15 years since I last played Hoopfest, I am lacing up the sneakers to play in the tournament again. You might be asking, why the hell would you do that to yourself? Well, my brother asked me to…which leads to another level of insanity…

For the first time ever, I am playing in the family bracket. To balance out the testosterone of my brother and I, we will be joined by my sister-in-law (Glen’s wife) and my sister. Oh, boy. The Resers are in no way known for their basketball prowess. In fact, some of us have very little experience just dribbling a basketball. This could get interesting to say the least.

I went with Glen and my sister-in-law, Carrie, to pick up our Hoopfest packet on Thursday night and I snapped this photo of them at team check-in.

But no matter how bad we are, I am still really excited to play for several reasons…

1. I have never been on a team with my siblings in any type of organized competition before so this will be unique and fun.
2. The weather is going to be beautiful.
3. I will complete the Spokane trifecta of Bloomsday, the Lilac Parade, and Hoopfest.
4. My wife and kids will be cheering me on.
5. Nothing beats the atmosphere of downtown Spokane during Hoopfest weekend.

This is what the 2022 Hoopfest player t-shirt looks like.

Now, if you want to watch some comedy, you are more than welcome to watch the Reser Puffs play this weekend (yes, we are called the Reser Puffs). We are playing right in front of P.F. Changs on Main and Post on the F5 Networks #5 court. If you are crazy and want some bad basketball to start your day, you can catch our first game tomorrow at 8 a.m. Feel free to track us on the Hoopfest app, just simply go to the loser’s bracket.

When we went downtown to pick up our packets yesterday, not only did we see the location of our court but we saw the actual backboard as well.

What an opportunity to do something fun with my favorite people! My court monitor tenure was a great experience but I am ready to switch sides again. Watch out Spokane, here come the Reser Puffs. Don’t Blink.

Summer Is Here Thursday Rundown

Summer is here! With the official first day of the season this past Tuesday, the weather has definitely reflected it. We have avoided the brutal heat wave that has hit a large portion of the country and enjoyed extremely pleasant temperatures. Let’s get started with the Thursday Rundown…

Throwback to 2007 – I decided to squeeze in a #TBT for this blog post for a particular reason. This photo is of me playing in Hoopfest the last time I competed as a player. Although I volunteered for Hoopfest for several years after the 2007 event, I have not hooped it up myself for 15 years. That streak will end on Saturday but more on that tomorrow.

This was me playing in my last Hoopfest in 2007.

Funny Answers – If you have a child, most likely they have filled out a form about you like the one below. It is almost a rite of passage for parenthood and sometimes the answers can get pretty wild. I would say Sloan was rather tame with what “she” (her teacher) wrote below. I will give her a special dessert or something for saying that I am 16 years old.

Sloan filled out this form for me. It was good for a Father’s Day laugh.

It’s Summer – Last night I took the kids to Discovery Park in Spokane Valley. They immediately gravitated toward the splash pad. The parks in both Spokane and Spokane Valley boast these impressive water attractions. Last summer I wrote about the mystique of splash pads and included photos of some of the best ones we have visited in the area. If you live in Spokane and have kids who would like a fun option to cool off during the summer, this blog post is a must-read.

This was Beau last night at the Discovery Park splash pad.

Coffee Shops Unite – The espresso stand that is just a couple minutes from our house suffered a traumatic experience yesterday. Its truck was stolen! Th owners of Swell Coffee woke up on Wednesday morning to find out that their branded truck had vanished. It was about 10 hours of anguish before law enforcement tracked down the vehicle 49 miles away in Smelterville, Idaho. The carjacker fled the truck when pulled over. What I thought was really cool about the whole thing was that the million other coffee shops in the Spokane area expressed their relief on Instagram that their competitor’s vehicle was found…pretty classy!

A photo of the Swell Coffee owner with his truck after it was located in Idaho on Wednesday evening.

The Proposal – It was seven years ago on this date that I proposed to Sid (she said “yes”). I popped the question on the Murrells Inlet MarshWalk, the location of our first date. My wife always tells the story about how I inhaled my dinner at the restaurant we ate at prior to the big moment. She just could not figure out why I was in such a hurry. The truth was that we were losing daylight after our food took way longer to arrive than expected. The photographer taking photos of the event needed me to get Sidney to the proposal location before it got too dark. If you want the long story, tap here.

That magic moment.

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Thanks for stopping by tonight. I will be back tomorrow with a rare Friday blog post. Until then, enjoy summer! Don’t Blink.

Going Back to My Roots

I am enjoying my vacation out west immensely but I would be lying if I said it doesn’t feel weird not writing five times a week. With a hectic schedule the past several days, I have not posted at the typical rate that many of my readers expect. Hopefully you can forgive me.

I did want to update you on a couple fun ventures I have embarked on over the last week. First of all, I completed my seventh year as a court monitor this past weekend for Spokane’s Hoopfest. While all the locals complained about the 100+ degree heat as they pretty much melted on the asphalt, I was doing my thing while saying “What’s the big deal?” The Southern humidity conditioned me well and I had no problem staying out in the extreme conditions for ten straight hours on Saturday and eight hours on Sunday.

As for my court, I must say from top to bottom it was the most talented bracket I had ever officiated. With the high talent level came high competitive juices. Two fights broke out under my watch throughout the weekend. At the end of the game that contained the second fight, the instigator, who was a huge bald man with a goatee stood on top of the curb and yelled at me. With his already intimidating presence magnified by the few extra inches given to him by where he stood, it was a nerve-wracking experience. Luckily the Hoopfest rapid response team was right there to keep me safe.

Me meeting with two of the teams in my bracket prior to the game.

Me meeting with two of the teams in my bracket prior to the game.

A couple personal memories from Hoopfest 2015 will be forever documented thanks to media coverage. KXLY, a local news station in Spokane, did a story about Sidney and I traveling so far to volunteer. To view Grace Ditzler’s report, click here. Also, a team in my bracket was composed completely of homeless gentlemen. KXLY was also on hand to tell that story. To view that report, click here. This past weekend was awesome and I owe a big thank you to Sidney, my mom, and my dad for all taking turns keeping score for me.

Just doing my job during Hoopfest 2015.

Just doing my job during Hoopfest 2015.

Yesterday, Sidney and I made the drive to Missoula, Montana. Driving over the two passes, it was Sidney’s first time ever seeing real mountains. Making the trip to Missoula was important to me because after 15 months since setting foot in the city, I wanted to go back to the place that gave me so much.

We arrived in Missoula at around 10:30 a.m. and went right to the University of Montana campus. Sidney and I walked straight to the Adams Center so I could say hi to all my former colleagues in the athletic department. It was nice chatting with these people who I worked so closely with over the span of five years. It was especially humbling that Kent Haslam, Montana’s athletic director, took time out of his day to talk with me for about 15 minutes.

After visiting with Grizzly Athletics, Sidney and I went outside and met Dan, one of my very best friends from my college years. We walked around the campus and then enjoyed lunch at the Press Box. From there we hit up the mall where we met another friend and then we ventured over to a bowling alley. Dan dominated Sidney and I over the course of three games in the outdated, empty building. Mad that he crushed us so bad, I dropped Dan off at his car and he made the trip back to Kalispell (thanks for making the day trip to see us, Dan).

We enjoyed walking around the beautiful University of Montana campus.

We enjoyed walking around the beautiful University of Montana campus.

After checking in at our hotel, we met up for drinks with my great friend Pete at a new place in Missoula called the Thomas Meagher Bar. After some great conversation, Sid and I went to one of my favorite places in the city, the Iron Horse, to meet Shaun Rainey, his wife Britt, and their new son Brandon for dinner. We had a delightful time catching up and sharing a few laughs. From there I took Sidney around downtown Missoula where we made a few stops at some of the city’s famous watering holes. We returned to Spokane early this morning.

Shaun and I in the photo on top, Pete and I in the photo in the bottom left corner, and a view of the scenery on the drive back.

Shaun and I in the photo on top, Pete and I in the photo in the bottom left corner, and a view of the scenery on the drive back.

I am excited for the next couple days. While I enjoyed the hectic-nature of the past week, I am looking forward to just relaxing around the house for the next 48 hours. I plan to use every minute to enjoy myself and re-charge. Come Friday we will be traveling again on what will be a very busy few days.

Hope the month of June was a great one for you. As always, it was awesome for me. In a blog post at the start of the month, I mentioned how June of 2015 was going to be a special one for me…you would say my prediction was spot on, right? Don’t Blink.

Back Again for Hoopfest 2015

After a one-year hiatus, I am thrilled to participate in the world’s largest 3-on-3 basketball tournament once again. I am back to serve as a court monitor at Hoopfest, the signature event in the city of Spokane. This tournament is so big and so distinctive that ESPN is in town and Sportscenter will broadcast LIVE from Hoopfest for three hours tomorrow.

This weekend will mark my seventh time volunteering as a court monitor. From 2008-2013 I labored on the streets of Spokane helping to keep order on various courts. Each year brought different challenges and different memories. I can’t wait to see what 2015 has in store.

This is me wearing the 2015 Hoopfest t-shirt and shorts while holding the 2015 Hoopfest ball.

This is me wearing the 2015 Hoopfest t-shirt and shorts while holding the 2015 Hoopfest ball.

To be honest, this year has already been memorable. This morning when we went downtown to pick up my court monitor equipment and gear, Sidney and I were interviewed by Grace Ditzler of Spokane news station KXLY. She told the tale of a “Hoopfest Love Story” in which Sidney and I traveled all the way to take part in this marquee event, making it our first major activity since our engagement. The report turned out awesome. Click here to watch it.

Sidney and I on the news this evening. KXLY interviewed us this morning. The report turned out great.

Sidney and I on the news this evening. KXLY interviewed us this morning. The report turned out great.

This year my assigned court monitor post is once again in the Main and Washington area of downtown Spokane. My court backboard is Langenhorst & Self CPA’s. I have an adult male court so you can be sure that the competition will be hot and contested. And believe me, I am not kidding about the “hot” part. The forecast calls for tomorrow to hit 104 degrees and Sunday to reach 106 degrees. The hydrating for me starts right now.

2015 Hoopfest court monitor t-shirt with my bracket book, the ball, and shoes.

2015 Hoopfest court monitor t-shirt with my bracket book, the ball, and shoes.

To anyone in town for Hoopfest, please don’t hesitate to stop by and say hi. I am so excited to be back in town for one of my favorite events and I can’t wait to share it with Sidney who will serve as my scorekeeper. Enjoy the weekend and I hope to see you on the streets of Spokane. Don’t Blink.

Heading Home for Summer Vacation

It is the eve of another long trip out west for me. Don’t take that as a complaint by any means, I am stoked! Whenever you get to go home it is a joyous occasion. Tomorrow after work I will rush to my place, grab my bags, and head off to the airport to begin my trek to Spokane.

This particular trip, just from the travel standpoint, will differ a little bit from my flights during the holidays. First off, I will have a travel partner! Sidney (more than just my travel partner) will be at my side the whole time. Although she visited Spokane for a short period during the Christmas holiday, this occasion she will be with me every step of the way starting when we take off from Myrtle Beach tomorrow to when we return on July 8. Additionally, we will tough it out through an interesting experience as we spend the night in the Seattle airport. Throughout my flying career I have never spent a whole evening at the airport but that is the price you pay when you fly weird times in the middle of the week.

It will be very well worth it. We have a lot planned over the next two weeks. After a one year hiatus, I will once again volunteer at Hoopfest, the planet’s largest 3-on-3 basketball tournament in the world. Back for my seventh season as a court monitor, I am excited to once again be part of my hometown’s signature event. After Hoopfest weekend, we will venture outside of Spokane and make visits to Missoula, Seattle (outside of the airport), and Walla Walla. I can’t wait to show Sidney these western cities!

Of course the best part of this impending trip is the opportunity to see my family. In addition to my parents, brother, and sister, I will be reunited with my niece who is now 9 months old. She has grown so much since I last saw her at Christmas. Snapchat videos can only do so much justice. I will also meet a new member of the family for the first time. My parents welcomed a kitten into their home about three months ago and I can’t wait to meet and play with her.

There is one thing awaiting us out in Washington state that I didn’t anticipate a couple weeks ago, however. The area is expecting record heat throughout the next several days. Hoopfest weekend has forecasted temperatures for 100 degrees and 104 degrees. Sure the humidity won’t be as intense as I am used to down South but let’s not kid ourselves….100 degrees is 100 degrees. When we arrive on Spokane soil we will be fully expecting a scorcher.

But it doesn’t matter, 0 degrees or 100 degrees, I am so excited for a vacation with my loved ones. For those of you who live in the places I mentioned, I hope that we can connect. Over the next couple weeks my posts to Don’t Blink might decrease a little bit. Never fear, I will be back at it after that first week in July. West coast here I come. Don’t Blink.

Spokane Hoopfest 2013: Smoooooth

This past weekend I concluded my sixth year as a Spokane Hoopfest court monitor and I can say that it will go down in the books as one of my smoothest tournaments ever. I had zero major issues and for the most part, everyone kept it cool in my bracket. While Hoopfest 2013 will mostly be remembered as a successful and smooth tourney through my eyes, I will also remember it for a few other reasons. Here is my Hoopfest 2013 recap.

Even though I was assigned to the exact same court I monitored on last year at Washington and Spokane Falls Boulevard, I got a totally different assignment. For the first time ever, I was in charge of a family bracket. The teams that made up my bracket consisted of adult males between the ages of 18-60 who were all related to each other. Mostly I had teams with a dad and three sons or I had teams that had two older brothers each with one of their own sons. I also had teams where I had absolutely no idea how the family connection worked, even after a lot of my own analyzing.

As a court monitor this year at Hoopfest, I presided over a family bracket.

As a court monitor this year at Hoopfest, I presided over a family bracket.

It was fun watching my bracket battle it out. There is a certain chemistry between families on an athletic court/field and it showed during Hoopfest. Most of the teams on my court utilized awesome teamwork throughout the weekend and motivated each other in a respectful and effective manner. The respect that the families showed one another on their own teams also extended to their opponents as well. Although arguments and tense moments definitely occurred between teams during play, good sportsmanship mostly always prevailed and always when the games concluded the opposing teams congratulated each other and left everything on the court. After last year, it was definitely refreshing to see.

 

My sixth year as a court monitor at Hoopfest went very smoothly.

My sixth year as a court monitor at Hoopfest went very smoothly.

I think only two controversial moments happened the whole weekend.

1. On one of the late Saturday games, one of the teams went a little crazy when they heard that their game was headed to overtime. They thought that with regulation over and with them holding to a 19-18 lead that the game was over. I explained that the game would continue in overtime until a team reached 20 points. Although angry and feeling like I was against them they finished the game, ultimately winning. Afterwards they apologized for their little freak out session, even before I put the exact rule that I correctly applied right in front of them.

2. A team was convinced that the score reflected on the red and blue scorecard was incorrect. I guess I shouldn’t even say “team”…it was a player on a team who was later joined by another one of his teammates in the mini dispute. They thought the scorekeeper (my dad) took away one of their points and gave it to the other team. After explaining the last few possessions with the players and reaching the score that we originally had reflected on the scorecard, they grudgingly gave up their fight.

I will definitely remember Hoopfest 2013 for the weather. All week long the forecast stated that both days of Hoopfest Weekend would be hot, with temperatures reaching the mid-nineties. While Sunday lived up to its billing, Saturday did not. I woke up at 5 a.m. on Saturday morning and looked out my window at the overcast, drizzly sky and asked myself “What’s going on here?” My mom assured me that it would blow over but it never did. For most of Saturday, the streets of downtown Spokane had dark clouds hovering above with several different periods of rain off and on. At one point, the whole tournament stopped for about 10 minutes for the sake of safety as it poured down rain.

A lot of my time on Saturday at Hoopfest was in the rain.

A lot of my time on Saturday at Hoopfest was in the rain.

The intermittent rain had some unpleasant results. First off, I had never seen so many nasty slips and falls in any other year. The wet courts slowed down play but it still couldn’t stop players from sliding around. Probably every player had at least one experience where they found themselves sitting on the cold, unforgiving pavement. Also, majority of the courts were sent into disarray as the tape markings could not withstand the rain coupled with the warming of the courts when the rain would let up. This resulted in many court with no markings whatsoever. My court actually held up pretty well but there was still confusion and cheap blackboard chalk could only do so much. But once Sunday came along the clouds disappeared and the bright sun shined down on us for the whole day, bringing the type of weather that is typical, and preferred, for Hoopfest.

Come Sunday morning, "real" Hoopfest weather appeared.

Come Sunday morning, real Hoopfest weather appeared.

I will also remember Hoopfest 2013 for having a little more downtime than usual. I only had 12 teams in my bracket as opposed to the standard 16 so my Saturday ended at 4 p.m. as opposed to 6:30 p.m. This allowed me to watch my brother’s Saturday night game but more on that tomorrow. Anyway, in 6 years I had never had the chance to watch a Hoopfest game as purely a spectator so that was a nice little treat.

Paige got to enjoy Hoopfest with me this year.

Paige got to enjoy Hoopfest with me this year.

In the end, a team called Me and My Three Sons won my bracket. They went undefeated and blew out their opponent in the championship game. I can go into the Hoopfest offseason with a great taste in my mouth and great anticipation for Hoopfest 2014. Thank you Spokane for always putting on such a great event. Don’t Blink.