First Thursday Rundown of 2022

There is always something special about the first Thursday Rundown of the year. Well, actually there isn’t, but I thought that line sounded good. But if you have truly found yourself distraught because I haven’t written a rundown “since last year,” I am about to make you happy again. Here we go with my first Thursday Rundown of 2022…

Another Perfect Gift – For Christmas 2020, Sid gave me a lap desk which has pretty much been the best present ever as I use it on a daily basis. So how do you top that? Simple—you give your mostly-remote-working-social media-loving husband a ring light. It is now set up at my desk to enhance my numerous daily virtual meetings AND to occasionally allow a certain curious daughter the opportunity to play with the light’s controls (she loves the different colors it can project). Thanks, Sid!

My ring light is now fully installed at my desk. I like it!

Snow For Days – We thought we were dodging the snow by visiting Myrtle Beach for two weeks. Unfortunately for us, it never stopped snowing in Spokane as by the time we arrived home on Saturday the white stuff was still falling down. But while my attitude to the snow might be lukewarm, our kids absolutely love it. Sidney took Sloan and Beau to play in our backyard yesterday and they didn’t want to come in. We received another several inches today but it looks like the snow will go away for the weekend.

The kids play in the snow on Jan. 5, 2022, while Sid looks on. We have sooooo much snow.

Movie Reviews – I have a couple Netflix films I quickly wanted to chime in about. While in Myrtle Beach I watched “The Unforgivable” starring Sandra Bullock. Something is revealed at the end of the movie that will make a big light bulb go off in your brain but other than that I found the film average, if not borderline depressing. It came highly recommended from family members but I just didn’t think it was all that great. On Sunday we took the day to relax after a couple days of travel and I watched “Don’t Look Up.” Sure, everyone knows that the movie is a satire about global warming but I was watching it for the cast! I am a big Leonardo DiCaprio fan so I couldn’t wait to see him play an awkward college professor. Jonah Hill, another one of my favorites, was extra savage to poor Jennifer Lawrence who delivered a respectable performance. The film delivered plenty of laughs and touched on the current political landscape beyond just global warming. I recommend it.

As long as you don’t get easily offended, you will probably find yourself laughing while watching “Don’t Look Up.”

A Bit Problematic – Recently, the 2022 Banished Words list was released. It contains words and phrases that are clichés and/or don’t make sense. I really think the usage of 200% on this box of muffins could qualify. Lowe’s (not be confused with the hardware chain) is a line of grocery stores in the South. They make delicious bakery items but I don’t know how that translates to a “quality promise” of 200%…or if that is even possible. I think it is wise to recognize a 100% effort as the maximum threshold for excellence—yes, I even slightly cringe at “claiming” 110%. If the store wants to stick with its 200% “quality promise,” why stop there? Maybe when I return to Lowe’s in a year they offer a 1000% quality promise. It just doesn’t make sense to me and cheapens what it means to give 100%.

Making this “quality promise” is problematic.

Classic Mix – Over the holidays I saw this very special pack of M&M’s. It is a “Classic Mix” that contains the brand’s iconic options…milk chocolate, peanut butter, and peanut. This is the first time I had ever seen it and I had to ask myself what took them so long? I think this is a great idea and a combination that many M&M lovers like myself appreciate. Good to see that this is now on the shelves!

Couldn’t help but take a photo of these when I came across them in a Myrtle Beach Walmart.


Thanks Be to God there was peace on this day. I appreciate you reading and I hope you have a safe weekend. Don’t Blink.

Is This Normal?

How crazy is 2020? Well, we made a snowman and carved a pumpkin during the same weekend. Of course cutting out a jack-o-lantern is pretty typical for the fourth weekend of October but creating a Frosty is not—even in Spokane.

That was what I was trying to explain to Sidney when the snow started falling on Friday. Seriously, this does not usually happen. But our reality was a winter wonderland that surpassed the 3-6 inches that was forecast.

But don’t think we complained. Sidney got some experience driving in it, hot chocolate was made, and Sloan played in it non-stop. Perhaps our Southern belle does have some Washington blood in her.

Sid and Sloan out in the snow.

The fun started on Friday when Sid took Sloan outside with the snow still falling at a rapid clip. They wasted no time making a snow woman and decking her out in Myrtle Beach-inspired attire. Sloan couldn’t wait to take me out to the front yard to show me “Mommy” (No, not my wife. That is what Sloan named her snow person).

The snow woman that Sid and Sloan built. Sloan named it “Mommy.”

Saturday was a beautiful day. The sun shined brightly and bounced off the white snow as the snow-capped pine trees towered over us. It was my turn to play in the snow with Sloan!

Saturday was gorgeous.

We first did something that I did as a child. I filled a couple spray bottles with water and added food coloring to them. We then went out and squirted the snow as the vibrant blue and red immediately stood out.

Sloan squirted ‘Mommy” with some colored water.

Of course Sloan had to make a snow angel. While she was spreading her wings, she kept repeating “I love the snow! I love the snow!”

Sloan making a snow angel.

She then climbed the mini snow mountain…

Sloan scaling the snow mountain.

And explored the wilderness…

Sloan exploring her surroundings.

At the end of our adventure, she took time to snap a selfie with her daddy.

Snapping a selfie with her old man.

The snow has lingered through the start of this week but the temperatures will be returning to the 50s and the white stuff will soon be a memory…for a week at least. I do believe that years from now we will reflect on our first fall in Spokane and remember the snow storm that dropped several inches in October. Don’t Blink.

Sidney’s Spokane Bucket List

When Sidney arrived in Spokane a few days after I did this past month, she had a list. Now I know the term “bucket list” is very much overused and misapplied in our society but we don’t know what else to call it. During our time in Washington, we kept referring to Sidney’s northwest goals as her “Spokane Bucket List.”

Upon her arrival, we quickly started checking items off. Since Sidney is a southern girl and since it was a winter Spokane Bucket List, you could imagine that most items centered on the weather. Thanks to Spokane for delivering on a certain type of precipitation that Sidney really wanted to see, we completed most of the items with ease. How about we take a look at how she fulfilled the items on her list?

Shoveling Snow – We will start with the most mundane item on the list that also happened to be the first one completed. Sid wanted to experience the “joy” of shoveling snow. Arriving in Spokane a little past midnight on December 22, she was out shoveling with us several short hours later that morning. She woke up to the sounds of my mom and I hastily shoveling out my neighbor who had massive amounts of snow and ice at the foot of her driveway courtesy of the county snow plow. Sidney watched us do the heavy work from our living room window and then joined in on the fun when we came back over to our house to do our own driveway. After a few swipes with the shovel, Sid was a pro.

Unfortunately I don't have a photo of Sidney shoveling snow. However, I do have this photo of a snowman we built!

Unfortunately I don’t have a photo of Sidney shoveling snow. However, I do have this photo of a snowman we built!

Sledding – I grew up sledding with my friends. Since we lived across the street from a park with big hills (and plenty of snow), the entertainment was endless. Never once in her life had Sidney enjoyed this winter activity that I took for granted. Last week my sister let us borrow her sleds and Sidney and I ventured over to the park that I had so much fun in as a kid. We spent time in our traditional and saucer sleds going down the hills that didn’t seem as big to me as I remembered them. Sid learned that sledding is a tiring activity! Soaring down the hills head first is exhilarating but running back up the hill in the deep snow is not. However, the cardiovascular workout was well worth the thrills we both got as we had the whole park to ourselves.

I had a wonderful time taking Sidney sledding.

I had a wonderful time taking Sidney sledding.

Ice Skating – This item on the bucket list goes back quite a bit. It seems like since we first started dating, Sidney has expressed her desire to go ice skating. On a night downtown with my brother and his girlfriend, we made it happen. After drinks at a River Park Square restaurant and a walk through the Riverfront Park light display, Sidney had her chance on the pavilion ice rink. Since I am a terrible ice skater and my brother isn’t much better, we sat in the stands and took photos while Sidney and Ashley (my brother’s girlfriend) skated around the winter wonderland. Sid picked up the skill extremely quickly and looked great making circles around the rink. When she got off the ice I could tell she was so happy to have had the opportunity to ice skate…it was very cute.

Sidney ice skating with Ashley to her right.

Sidney ice skating with Ashley to her right.

Gondola Ride – This was Sidney’s third visit to Spokane. The prior times she had eyed the gondola cars hovering over the Spokane Falls. Because of time constraints, we never made it to the attraction. However, this time around with an open schedule and the city covered in beautiful white snow, we knew there wouldn’t be a better opportunity to do it. We went back to downtown Spokane, purchased tickets, and jumped in a gondola car. We went across the falls while Sidney got to Facetime her dad for a portion of it. Although I got a little queasy right at the beginning because our car/cage was rocking back and forth so much, I loosened up and we both enjoyed the ride and spectacular views.

Here is a gondola collage I posted to Instagram. The photo on top is of us inside the gondola car. The image on the lower left is a view of the falls from the gondola. The image on the bottom right is just of Riverfront Park not taken from the gondolas.

Here is a gondola collage I posted to Instagram. The photo on top is of us inside the gondola car. The image on the lower left is a view of the falls from the gondola. The image on the bottom right is just of Riverfront Park not taken from the gondolas.

White Christmas – This was the big one. All Sidney wanted was a white Christmas and she definitely got it. I didn’t even have to sweat it out either. It snowed the whole time we were in Spokane and it was guaranteed days before that Christmas would be white. She enjoyed the traditional conditions in Spokane while her family in Myrtle Beach celebrated the holiday in 80 degree temperatures. We went out and took photos in front of the deep snow and Sid gleefully posted one to her Facebook account. Snow on Christmas isn’t always a sure thing so I was happy that Mother Nature pulled though.

Sidney and I posing in front of the snow on Christmas Day.

Sidney and I posing in front of the snow on Christmas Day.

Check, check, check, check and…….check! Sidney satisfactorily completed her Spokane Bucket List and I was honored to be along for the ride. Because of Sid’s motivation, some simple planning by me, and a little bit of luck with the weather everything went smoothly. Don’t Blink.