My Top 10 Blog Posts of 2022

In life, they say three things are guaranteed: death, taxes, and the Don’t Blink end-of-year blog post. For the ninth consecutive year, I am back with my annual evaluation and rankings of the past 12 months of content. Referred to since 2015 as “The Big Blog Post,” I endearingly select my top 10 entries from the past year and rank them.

Much to my surprise, I wrote more blog posts in 2022 than I did the previous three years. The 180 blog posts I wrote this year was last topped when I wrote 190 blog posts in 2018. I feel like the higher output made this year’s list even harder to determine. But after much thought and internal debate, I have something I am ready to present to my loyal Don’t Blink readers. Just a reminder that these choices are based solely off personal preference. Here we go…

10. The Best Travel Mistake (January 10) – We thought after spending the holiday season in Myrtle Beach, we would arrive back in Washington just in time to usher in 2022. However, we read our travel itinerary wrong. We didn’t notice that we booked our return flights with a 30-hour layover mixed in. To make a long story short, we ended up spending New Year’s Eve in a Charlotte hotel and New Year’s Day in Dallas. This blog post detailed our initial shock/displeasure of our travel mistake but then explained how we made the most of our unintended extended vacation.

Sloan and Beau at the entrance to the Dallas Zoo. Our travel mistake turned into a great time!

9. Soda Hack (February 15) – In 2022, we discovered a tucked away beverage oasis. Toward the beginning of the year, we noticed a small Coke plant on a dark industrial street with four soda machines in the parking lot. After noticing streams of vehicles taking detours through the parking lot, I investigated the reason. What I found was heavily discounted beverages. This blog post shed light on one of Spokane’s best kept secrets.

I pass these four Coke vending machines every day but it is usually dark out and I don’t give them much attention. In 2022, we investigated their appeal. We hit a jackpot.

8. Moving a Couch (June 6) – This was a sentimental post. In this particular entry, I described the fate of a couch. But it wasn’t just a couch—it was the first significant purchase that Sid and I ever made together. It followed us to four different houses, including a cross country journey. The way we ended parting with our beloved piece of furniture was just as colorful as its long history under our various roofs. I won’t go as far to say that a tear was shed when writing this, but it definitely was bittersweet.

In the end, we loaded our couch and took it to a new owner. I explain everything that led to this point in my #8 blog post of the year.

7. Thankful For Our Visit to Kauai (August 17) – As 2022 kicked off, I had no idea that we would be traveling to Hawaii during the year. But thanks to a special relationship that was established (see below), Sidney and I found ourselves in Kauai for a long weekend. In this blog post, I went day-by-day to cover our most memorable highlights and adventures from the trip. Although the best part of our Hawaii excursion was attending the wedding of Kailey and Corbin, many other memories were made along the way. This post, chock-full of photos and specifics, will be something that I reference for years to come to relive the magical four days spent in a slice of earthly paradise.

Kauai is beautiful beyond belief. I snapped this particular photo at Tunnels Beach.

6. Our Hoopfest 2022 Experience (June 27) – How can you lose all your games and still call something a “positive” experience? Well, in my #6 blog post of the year I provide a convincing answer. It had been 15 years since I last played in Hoopfest but I had a lot of incentive to return in 2022. You see, I joined my sister, brother, and sister-in-law as we formed a family team. And although the Reser Puffs never won a game, we scored plenty of memories as we tried our best and bonded both on and off the court. From shared anticipation to matching uniforms to a Saturday night BBQ to playing in front of our kids, Hoopfest was one of the coolest things I did this year.

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

5. The 5 Questions That Sid and I Ask Each Other Every Day (March 22) – Here is the comedic relief part of the countdown. Earlier in the year I sat down to chronicle some of the questions that Sid and I literally ask each other every day. Well, I guess this post will need some updating in 2023 because we no longer ask each other Did you do the Wordle today? But other questions such as Is the dish washer clean and Are you in a meeting? are still very much relevant. This post, which was a lot of fun to write, resonated with other couples who both related to the questions I offered and also encouraged the sharing of other questions that are common in their relationships.

Sidney and I ask each other the same questions every day. My #6 blog post of 2022  shares some of those questions

4. Softball and Camaraderie (August 7) – I wasn’t just shooting hoops this year. Another sport-related high point from 2022 came on the diamond as our Young Adult Catholic group formed a softball team. Not only did this offer one more way for us to have fun together, but it also prepared us for a special tournament. After several practices, our squad spent a Saturday morning on the Spokane Mormon temple fields. It was there that we played a couple different Latter-Day Saints teams. Our Catholic group ended up running the table but it was so much more than winning a tournament. In this blog post I wrote about the significance of two faiths coming together to both compete and socialize.

What a thrill it was to play softball with our Latter-day Saints brothers and sisters.

3. AMA 2022: Presenting With New Friends (November 9) – A professional success of 2022 was presenting at the American Marketing Association’s Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Ed in National Harbor, Md. But the significance for me wasn’t just presenting for fellow marketers, it was presenting with fellow marketers. I teamed up with colleagues from USC, University of Utah, and TikTok to deliver our session. I wrote about the complexities and triumphs of presenting with a crew I had never met before (until arriving in Maryland) and the friendships that were forged by the time we hopped on our respective planes to return home.

The four of us were all smiles after we presented at the American Marketing Association’s Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Ed in National Harbor (from l-r: Me, Katie Camacho Smith, Victoria Mendoza, Andy Thompson).

2. Friends For Life (June 20) – One of the biggest blessings of 2022 was when our pastor, Fr. Jeff Lewis, asked Sid and I to serve as mentors for couples preparing for the sacrament of holy matrimony. We accepted his offer and our first “assignment” was with Corbin and Kailey Schafer. Over the course of six formal sessions, we chatted with Corbin and Kailey about the joys and challenges of marriage through the context of both the Catholic Church and just everyday life. At the same time that we were making progress with their Pre-Cana development, we were also building a friendship. When the four of us met with Fr. Jeff at the end of the Schafer’s marriage prep, pictures were snapped. When Kailey posted them to her social media, she noted that her and Corbin had found friends for life. Not only did Sid and I attend their wedding in Hawaii, we continue to hang out with this special couple more than four months into their marriage. Thanks be to God!

After our final marriage prep lesson, the five of us, Fr. Jeff included, took this picture inside De Leon’s Foods.

1. Losing Our Rock (January 24) – The year started out rough for us. In January, we unexpectedly lost my Aunt Nancy. As we dealt with the shock and sorrow of her passing, I tried my best to use words to honor the woman who met so much to an extremely close family. What resulted was a tribute that detailed the amazing person that Nancy was and how she embraced her role as “the rock” of the crazy Reser clan. I also made room to describe the special relationship that we shared and what she meant to me personally. This post shares memories, stories, and thoughts about the irreplaceable Nancy Grudzinski and the impact she had on so many. Even though I wrote this post in January, there was never a doubt that it would be #1 on this list in December. I miss you, Nancy.

My Aunt Nancy and her daughter, Abby, pose with me on my wedding day. There was never a doubt that the post I wrote about Nancy’s life would be #1 on this year’s list.


That will do it for The Big Blog Post in 2022. I hope a few of the posts I highlighted struck a chord with you in some way. As I always say, if there was a specific blog post over the course of the past 12 months that made you feel some type of way, please don’t hesitate to let me know.

Tomorrow I will publish my yearly reflection and then it will be 2023! Thank you for joining me on this blogging journey. Don’t Blink.

A Hygiene Travel Hack

Listen up, people! I have a travel hack that will help you maximize every minute of your vacation and preserve your good hygiene. But first, just a little context…

On our last day in Hawaii, Sidney and I had an 11 a.m. checkout time from our Airbnb. The issue? Our flight didn’t take off until 10 p.m. You see, when we booked our lodging, the owner of the Airbnb assured us that he would most likely be able to extend our reservation into the later afternoon. However, he had changed his tune (aka booked someone for that day) the morning before we were to depart.

So what were we supposed to do? Take a shower in our condo right before we checked out and head to the airport? Play hard all the day in the Kauai sun and board the plane smelling like the Hawaiian outdoors and dried sweat? We ended up opting for Option C…

Sid and I contacted the local Kauai YMCA. We were up front about our dilemma, explaining that we wanted to take full advantage of our last day in Hawaii but needed a place to shower prior to boarding our plane. The woman on the other end of the line told me that travelers use the Y’s locker room facilities all the time prior to heading to the airport and that access was $10 per person. We were sold!

I took this photo of the Kauai YMCA. It came in very handy for us.

To be honest, this wasn’t the first time we used this tactic. Several years ago, we found ourselves using the locker room facilities at a Seattle YMCA prior to a wedding. We had gone sightseeing all day and when the doors to the house we planned to stay at were locked, we had to go elsewhere to freshen up prior to the nuptials. Although we scrambled to make it work, the YMCA ended up saving our bottoms so we could attend the wedding in an appropriate (and clean) manner.

Sidney and I all cleaned up in the Shoreline YMCA in the Seattle area in 2015.

The Kauai YMCA was conveniently minutes away from the airport. Although we stuck out like sore thumbs as tourists needing to use the showers when we walked inside, the staff members were kind and graciously walked us through the pool area to the locker rooms so we could shower. The humble facilities served their purpose and we arrived at the airport feeling refreshed and smelling good.

The only time during our vacation when it rained for more than a minute was at the very end when we were at the Kauai YMCA. You can see the rain drops penetrating the pool’s surface. The locker room facilities were right where I took this photo at.

If not for the YMCA option, our last day in Hawaii would have looked dramatically different. I doubt we would have visited a couple different beaches and embarked on a humid hike through a Kauai forest if we didn’t have shower arrangements lined up. Sid and I were so glad we got to enjoy every last minute of our vacation.

The front desk and weight room area of the Kauai YMCA.

In the future, if you have an early checkout and late flight, look up the local YMCA. It can provide you with an opportunity to clean up before hitting the airport. Trust us, the $10 you pay is well worth the comfort and the extension of your vacation. Don’t Blink.

Thankful For Our Visit to Kauai

Well folks, Sidney and I are back on the mainland after a long weekend in Kauai, Hawaii. We had the blessing of visiting Hawaii to attend the wedding of a special couple and when we weren’t engaged in wedding-related activities, Sid and I had the chance to explore the gorgeous island.

Kauai is beautiful beyond belief. I snapped this particular photo at Tunnels Beach.

I thought it would be a good idea to reflect on the trip by highlighting a few of the memorable moments from each full day we were there. But before I dive in, just a quick note on Hawaii: Sidney and I fell in love with the laid back attitude and beautiful landscapes of Kauai. We stayed in a vibrant town called Kapaa on the east side of the island. It is funny, so many times when you travel to somewhere new you create images in your mind about what you think it will be like. Then you get there and the vibe and aesthetics are nothing like you anticipated. Sid and I both agreed that this was the case with Hawaii—in a good way. With that said, here is what we did…

It was such a pleasure to go to Hawaii to support Kailey and Corbin.

Friday – We woke up in our condo and strolled out to the balcony to watch the sunrise over the ocean. Once the sun had made its full appearance, we went back to bed for a bit (because it is vacation, right?). After we woke up for good, we walked on the beach at our resort area and then lounged at the pool. It was then off to the first wedding event of the weekend for us. Kailey and Corbin were staying in Koloa at a club called Kukui’ula, an approximate 30-minute drive from our resort. On this day they hosted a beach welcome for their guests. We ate lunch, visited with the soon-to-be-married couple, and went on a sailboat ride that was so cool! Once the beach event concluded we headed back to our side of the island and after a drink at an on-site resort bar, we went to a luau. This was an item on Sid’s to-do list and all we could say while watching it was “Sloan would love this.”

Photos from Friday include Sidney and Corbin at the beach welcome event, Sid in the beach, a photo from the luau, the morning’s sunrise, and the beach at our resort.

Saturday – On this day we picked up a rental car (a cool story for a separate blog post) in the early morning and explored the north shore of Kauai. This adventure was characterized by vibrant beach communities, breathtaking greenery, and white sand beaches. We stopped at a farmers market and enjoyed some exotic fruit and purchased whipped honey. We also made time to gaze at a lighthouse and eat a Hawaiian BBQ lunch in the town of Hanalei. But the best part of this excursion was probably the time we spent at Tunnels Beach, a spot with a pristine shore and Windex-blue water. I relaxed and read my book while Sid snorkeled. We returned to our resort, lounged at the pool, and then went out to Kukui’ula for Kailey and Corbin’s cocktail event. It was a beautiful setting at the club’s pool/spa as we got to know other guests while having another meaningful conversation with Kailey and Corbin. After the event concluded we drove back to our resort and concluded the evening with dessert in bed while watching the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.

Photos include the lighthouse, Tunnels Beach, a strawberry macaroon I ate at breakfast, Sid looking at the farmers market, and Sid and I at the cocktail party for Kailey and Corbin.

Sunday – This special day started with mass at St. Catherine’s Catholic Church in Kapaa. A young priest named Fr. Dario Rinaldi celebrated the service and delivered a homily that could best be characterized as impactful. Sid and I then explored downtown Kapaa. We purchased fresh pineapple from one of the street vendors and browsed a couple shops. We then rented a couple bikes and pedaled along the town’s bike path. It was so refreshing to cycle along the lovely beaches of Kapaa and admire the sheer beauty of the area…it was a good workout too! Afterwards we ate at a beloved local greasy spoon and then headed back to our condo to get ready for the wedding. Once back at Kukui’ula, we basked in the nuptials of Kailey and Corbin. They were married in St. Raphael’s Catholic Church and then had a general ceremony immediately following on the club’s golf course. The reception was a sight to behold. Kailey’s touch was present in it all from the decorations to the music to the menu. What an evening!

Photos include Kailey and Corbin at their reception, St. Catherine’s Catholic Church, Sidney on her bike, me on my bike, Kailey and Corbin dancing, and Sid and I dressed for the wedding.

Monday – Our last day in Kauai required some planning. Our flight didn’t leave until 10 p.m. but we had to check out by 11 a.m. We made it work. After moving all of our stuff from the condo to the car, we drove to a hiking trail that took us through tropical forestry to a waterfall. It was humid and hot but the scenery and exercise were so worth it. Following the hike we got lunch to-go and brought it to a new beach where we ate and read our books. After spending some time there, we packed up and went to Kealia Beach where we watched the surfers and admired the blue waters. We capped off our time in Kapaa by going downtown to order Hawaiian shave ice. I hope to elaborate on this treat a little bit more on Thursday but until then just know that Hawaiian shave ice truly is the real deal. Once we finished, we started to prepare for our departure. We showered at the YMCA in Lihue and turned in our car. A shuttle then took us to the airport. The moment we arrived at the gate, the constant stream of activity from the past four days came to a close.

Photos include Sid eating lunch on the beach, one of beautiful beaches we hung at, Sid and I enjoying shave ice, my pizza I ate for lunch at the beach, Sid on the hike, the waterfall we encountered on the hike.


What a trip! Of course what I mentioned above were just the big picture events from our time in Kauai. What truly makes a vacation special are all the smaller moments. I hope to address some of those in future blog posts. Thanks to my travel partner and best friend for such a memorable time. Sidney, you are awesome!

It was so much fun going on a trip to Hawaii with this girl. The photo was taken after the luau.

And I would be remiss not to mention the people who inspired us to make the 3,000-mile journey to Hawaii. Kailey and Corbin, thanks so much for coming into our lives! Congrats on your marriage and we can’t wait to get together soon. Don’t Blink.

Off to Hawaii!

What an exciting day! We are a few hours away from boarding a plane to…….(drum roll please)….


Sid and I are off to the Hawaiian island of Kauai today for a special wedding.

Neither Sid nor I have visited the Aloha State before so we are excited to visit somewhere new. We plan to do a little exploring while playing the role of tourist.

But the sightseeing will take second fiddle to the main reason why we are trekking to Hawaii. Kailey and Corbin, the couple who Sid and I mentored for their Pre-Cana marriage prep, will tie the knot this weekend. We have the honor of attending their wedding and other related festivities they have planned. We can’t wait!

Corbin and Kailey get married on Sunday, Aug. 14 in Hawaii.

All the fun is taking place on Kauai. We will be on the island this evening at approximately 7 p.m. with our overnight return flight dumping us back in Spokane early on Tuesday morning. That gives us enough time in Hawaii to re-charge, make memories, and, most importantly, celebrate Kailey and Corbin.

I am sure I will have lots to write about later next week. But until then, I am signing off from Don’t Blink. Thank you for your readership and thank you to my parents for graciously watching Sloan and Beau. Please pray for Kailey and Corbin as they prepare to enter into holy matrimony. Don’t Blink.