Beau Bear Eve Thursday Rundown

It is Beau’s Birthday Eve! Tomorrow we will have a 1-year-old. As I come to grips with this upcoming milestone, I decided to write a Thursday Rundown. Let’s go…

Latest Blizzard – The Thursday Rundown is a landing spot for my Dairy Queen Blizzard reviews (here and here). In honor of Sidney’s birthday weekend, we picked up dessert on Saturday night. I opted for the red velvet flavor which happened to be the Blizzard of the Month. The DQ famous vanilla ice cream was blended with red velvet cake pieces and cream cheese icing. It had really good texture and really good flavor…for the first few bites. After I scratched the surface of my blizzard, it was just pure white the rest of the way. Unfortunately the classic problem plagued me—all the toppings and mix-ins were at the very top with plain vanilla ice cream the rest of the day.

This was my red velvet Dairy Queen Blizzard from Saturday night.

Super Bowl Hope/Prediction – Last week I humbled myself and gave mad respect to Tom Brady and the mesmerizing career he has enjoyed. Although I will savor the chance to watch a legend play on Sunday, it doesn’t mean I want him to win. I hope the Kansas City Chiefs will repeat as Super Bowl champs? Do I think they will do it? Actually, I do. Chiefs beat Bucs, 28-24.

I will be rooting for Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.

Preparing to Sleep – Please use your imagination and read the below meme from my wife’s point of view. Okay, did you do it? This explains Sid and I exactly. Out of the numerous fluffy pillows that Sid keeps on the bed, I take the oldest and skinniest. I also have a bad habit of throwing some of the excess pillows on the floor, which will get me a prompt scolding. I fall asleep the moment my head hits the pillow whereas Sid needs pretty much everything listed in this meme, plus the TV turned on. I know Sid thinks it is unfair that I can simply shut my eyes and go to sleep but perhaps this is the way it is for many married couples.

This nailed it.

Heart’s On Fire Men’s Conference – Last Saturday, I had the incredible opportunity to attend the Heart’s On Fire Men’s Conference sponsored by the Catholic Diocese of Spokane. Having enjoyed the South Carolina Catholic Men’s Conference, I knew that attending a similar event out west was a must. The conference took into account social distancing. Instead of everyone meeting at a designated spot, different parishes in the diocese served as satellite locations where guys could go to watch the livestreamed presentations with a small group. I attended the conference at St. Thomas More, the parish I actually grew up in. Fr. Pat Kerst celebrated mass with our group in the morning and heard confessions at lunch. During the morning and afternoon we listened to Dr. John Bergsma, a professor at Franciscan University, deliver four different talks. After each talk, we gathered in our small groups at our satellite location to discuss the content. Thanks to the Diocese of Spokane for putting this conference on during difficult times, I sure got a lot out of it.

I took this photo at St Thomas More Parish in Spokane. Although a premium was placed on social distancing at the Diocese of Spokane Men’s Conference, it was still a very worthwhile experience.

Soups – Who out there loves a flavorful, piping hot bowl of soup? Your favorite blogger sure does! If I am given a choice between soup or salad at a restaurant, 9/10 times I am opting for the former. A few years ago, I actually ranked my top five favorite soups. My list consisted of clam chowder (#5), chili (#4), butternut squash (#3), potato (#2), and pasta fagioli (#1). Oh yeah, Italian wedding was included as an honorable mention. Happy National Soup Day! 

I love a good bowl of soup.

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Time to cuddle my baby boy tonight before he wakes up a man tomorrow. Okay, I exaggerate, but do you get the picture? I got to go. Have a wonderful night, my friends. Don’t Blink.

A Short But Sweet Spokane Holiday

To use a cliché, it was short but sweet. From the time Sidney, Sloan, and I landed in Spokane to the moment our plane left the city on New Year’s Eve, we had spent less than 100 hours in my hometown. The minimal amount of time we had at our disposal just meant we had to make every second count – and we did.

Sloan and her “papa” once again bonded when they were together.

We arrived in darkness at 1 a.m. on Thursday and left my parents’ house in darkness at 3 a.m. on Monday. But this was a trip that was punctuated by light. I am talking vibrant, joyful light – the type that can only be produced by love. Throughout our time in Spokane, the true Christmas spirit filled up my childhood home as my parents and siblings embraced us.

Sloan was welcomed to Spokane with a sign that her Uncle Glen made.

It wasn’t a trip that was spent cramming as many things into a short period of time as possible. Instead, most of our 98 hours were spent inside my mom and dad’s living room, the exact same place my siblings and I grew up. It was in that space where the grandchildren took center stage. Sloan joined her cousins, Mikayla and Johnny, as they played hard together (sometimes nicely, sometimes not). As the babies played, the adults talked. Our Reser Pride text message group came alive. No longer did we need iPhones to communicate with each other from thousands of miles away. Rather, the common roof over our heads allowed for simply our voices (not thumbs) to do the talking.

Sloan had a great time playing with her cousins. Johnny is the son of my sister, Miranda.

The living room also hosted our special Reser family Christmas, games of Heads Up, and plenty of delicious snacking/drinking. It was our hub for the vacation and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

My mom loved being with her grandbabies in the living room.

Not to say that we didn’t leave the house entirely. We hit a couple of our favorite spots, attended mass at St. Thomas More, enjoyed a family dinner at a popular restaurant, and capitalized on a couple of post-Christmas sales at the mall.

We attended mass at St. Thomas More and posed in front of the beautiful Nativity.

But for the most part, we stayed home. If we weren’t all gathered in the living room, you could have found us…

Our family eating at Prospector’s, a delicious restaurant in North Spokane.

– Eating a prime rib dinner and other meals in the dining room.
– Watching Washington State’s Alamo Bowl victory over Iowa State in the basement.
– Playing in the snow in the front yard.
– Stealing Christmas candy out of the freezer in the kitchen.

We had a great time playing in the snow.

Of course the best part was watching relationships continue to strengthen. Sloan loves her grandparents so much and would constantly say Grandma hold you (“hold you” being her phrase for wanting to be held) and Love you, Papa. The bond that my sister and brother have with Sidney is special and they picked up from where they left off in the summer. I continued to get to know Glen’s girlfriend, Carrie, and I had a nice time getting drinks with my brother-in-law, Jay. Everyone got along so well and it was such a warm and welcoming environment to be in – one that makes it tough to leave.

There is a special bond between my siblings and Sidney.

But we are back in Myrtle Beach now and are left to reflect on our time in Spokane. It was another special trip that exemplified how much my parents and siblings love and support our little family. At the same time, it allowed us to reciprocate the same sentiments as well. Until next time, Spokane! Don’t Blink.

Couldn’t end this blog post without a picture of the LIVING ROOM.