Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Are you from Cyrene?

There are times in our lives when we have such a huge cross to bear that we don't think we can go on.  Sometimes in life that struggle is work related, sometimes it is with your significant other, sometimes it is with an illness, or bills that pile up.  I battle this on a daily basis with myself and even with those I love.  It is one thing to have your own cross.  I get that. I am a man, father, etc. I am supposed to have my cross.  Even when my cross seems to much, I know I cant throw it down because I have mouths to feed and lights to keep on.  So when things get difficult, you swallow your pride and keep your mouth shut because as Mel Gibson said in The Patriot  "I am a parent, I havent got the luxury of principles."  We all have to find our outlets that essentially help us carry those crosses.  Sometime we turn to things that destroy us, like booze, women, or drugs.  None of those things will carry the cross for us, in fact they often contribute to making our cross heavier.  So we find our outlets, hopefully healthy outlets.  I had a bad day yesterday, and as I sat on my back porch and watch a dog chew on a stick, two girls playing in the yard, one seeing things for her first time, and my pregnant wife planting tulips for the spring, I realized that is my "Simon."  I am not talking about a self righteous English dude from American Idol, I am talking about  Simon from Cyrene, the person taken from the crowd to help Jesus carry his cross.  After the torture Jesus had endured, he could no longer carry his cross- it was Simon who took on that burden.

So I have my outlet, that which helps me forget the bad day and keep things in perspective.  What I am struggling with though is when I see loved ones with their crosses and there isn't much I can do about it.  I may never know why life has played out the way it has but I cant help but be angry when I see people I care so much for struggling to make it through the day.  This isn't some Extreme Makeover:Home Edition story, these are people you know and love.  So I guess I am asking for help- how do you deal with those crosses when they are on someone else?  I want to help be their "Simon" but I am not sure there is much I can do.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Which is worse?

So my wife used to make fun of me for going to speech therapy when I was a kid.  She sends zingers my way at opportune times that would be a dig at me for my speech therapy.  I must admit that it is some of her funnier moments when she is taking shots at me.  Well you can never imagine how much joy I had the day I discovered that when she was a kid, she went to eye therapy. I laughed for like 3 days straight on this one.  Eye therapy?  Who goes to eye therapy?  Anyway, we have since debated who was the bigger ra-tard.  Is it me for my speech therapy (which one of her children has already have) or  her for her eye therapy (which another one might need).  You tell me-  

For me, I say the eye therapy

Monday, September 27, 2010

Sometimes the apples just fall in different places

It has become amazing to me how people can grow up in the same families, same rules, same parents, and turn out totally different.  I suppose I should have known all along.  Patrick was into books, chess, and computers.  I was into, sports, baseball cards, and Nintendo.  Now that I have my own kids, I find it fascinating to see how different my girls are.  According to Brooke, if you ever wanted to know all about our kids, take them to the library and let them check out their own books.  This will tell you everything about them.  Today at the library Reagan checked out Angelina Ballerina books which goes along with her dancing/princess theme.  Her sister Caroline picked out books on The Solar System, Volcanoes, and The Magic School Bus series that is about a bus that takes a class to both a volcano and through the solar system.  There is a definite theme for the both of them, and they couldn't be more opposite.  That is okay though.  I sometimes see Reagan looking at a volcano book, and occasionally Carolina flips through the princess books.  I am so happy that they love books no matter the subject matter- and I will read with them as long as they ask me too. Life doesn't always go as you envisioned it.  I never thought I would have girls, read princess books, or have a girl to read books about the stars to.  But regardless of where life has taken me it has been one hell of a ride.  I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.  While there maybe more soccer games and dancing ballerinas in my future, that's okay.  I'm sure there were plenty of times when I HAD to rent the latest Nintendo game from Video World and Mom or Dad would make it happen.  Plenty of track meets where I would run the very first event and the very, very last event.  As a parent it is just what you do.  Volcanoes one minute, dancing princesses the next.

And if this holds true, Baylor Grace is going to live on a farm because she LOVES books about farm animals.  I wonder if baby#4 is currently reading the latest Blue & Grey in Brooke's belly?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Maybe they were right-

Follow along.  Close your eyes...wait, you cant read and close your eyes at the same time.  So keep your eyes open and think with me.  Imagine it is 1491, you're in a bar, somewhere in Italy or Spain.  Some dude named Chris comes up to you and says- "hey the world is in fact NOT flat, it is round."  Could you just imagine, hear, the laughter that would ensue.  Now, take you and all your buddies in that bar, along with the crazy dude who thinks the world is round- put them in a time machine and drop them off in North Dakota.  Most would think it was Christopher who was wrong and in fact the world IS flat.  Very nice people, they sound a little funny (I'm sure they say the same about me), and UND is having an interesting debate over the Fighting Sioux name/mascot they have here at the school.  It is a interesting place, but very, very, very flat. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Profiles In Courage Part II

While Im sitting here having lunch, I wanted to do my second profile in courage today.  Meet Ret. Col. Don Bartholomew of the US Army.  I met Don a few years ago at the Sigma Alpha Epsilon Leadership School.  It is a rarity just about anywhere for a Colonel to be outranked by someone in the same room but at that Leadership School was General Richard Meyers, the former Chariman of the Joint Chief of Staff.  Regardless, I was instantly impressed with Col.  To be honest, I am not entirely sure I am supposed to call him Colonel Bartholomew for two reasons. 1) I am a civilian 2) he has since retired.  I don't really care. I know lots of doctors, professors, lawyers, etc. but very few Colonels.  Don is a fraternity brother of mine who pledged at The University of Cincinnati (the chapter that just initiated my father) but graduated from EKU.  He has since been stationed all around the world but settled in E-Town Kentucky.  Don is currently the Province Archon for the state of Kentucky which is a significant position of leadership in our fraternity.

Don has this great presence about him and is a very gentle man.  From commanding troops on the battlefield, to watching my girls at an SAE event, he is all things you would want representing your fraternity.  In reality, he is all things you would want representing your country as well.  I have always said one of the best lessons we learned from Vietnam, is how not to treat the troops.  While I wasn't around then it is obvious the way we view the troops now is 180' different from that time period.  After Vietnam, troops would come home to empty airports, or at best hostile crowds.  Men hid their service in shame because people would harass them because they went to a war that most did not sign up for.  Regardless, we are no longer that way. And that is a great thing.  I am not sure America is any smarter but we are more appreciative. 

So this blog is dedicated to someone I am proud to call a good friend, Col. Bartholomew.  The above picture is one I think is one of the best pictures ever.  I have missed a few birthdays and holidays because of my work travel.  Never had I had to miss an anniversary because I was in a war zone thousands and thousands of miles away.  There are times when I have to be gone a week at a time and when that trip comes to an end I almost aways swear I am never going to miss that much time again.  When im gone for two days I feel like I have missed so much.  I couldn't imagine what it is like to be in the environment that Don was in at Iraq, at the time period he was.   This picture is a reminder that wars are not fought by men and women without families and that everyone who is there today volunteered to do so.  Thank you Don for your service to our country, to our fraternity, and for being a great example for others to follow. Thanks for being strong, Army strong.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Land of Live Oaks

I am here at Louisiana Lafayette (pronounced Laugh-a-ette) in the heart of Cajun country.  I could live here.  It is Live Oak after Live Oak, which is my favorite tree. When it isnt a Live Oak, it is a Magnolia (my second favorite tree). Plus in the middle of campus there is a pond.  In the pond there are large fish, water turtles, and about 8 of these bad boys.  People feed them, talk to them, etc. as if they were squirrels.  I really like it down here. Tonight we had dinner at a place with a tin roof, zydeco band, and I had the crawfish platter.  Outside of missing a few people I love, it is where I belong.  God's country down here, good people.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

"I dont like this, I want to go!"

Well we spent a great morning at the Zoo with MaMaw today.  There are some really great new additions to the Louisville Zoo and if you get the chance to go, I would really do so (saw some Giraffe porn too).  As we sat down to eat lunch, we noticed that they have new animatronic Dinosaurs, and our Caroline SURE DOES LOVE DINOSAURS.  So, being the Dad that I am, ponied up the extra money so we could go see the Dinosaurs.  Apparently, Caroline's love for Dinosaurs begins with Jim Henson's Dinosaur Train cartoon, and stops with live sized, moving, roaring, looking at her, dinosaurs at the Zoo.  After the first one turned and roared at her she screamed, "I don't like this, I want to go!"  She then didn't really move her head, only her eyes, screamed much of the rest of the way.   For entirety of our trip to the zoo if she heard and any noise she jumped and thought it was another Dinasour coming out of the woods.  Sorry Sweet Caroline, they are cuter on the cartoon.

Oh, and have you been playing with the markers?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

What a crazy day!

So my entire "adult" life I have worked in a position where I mentor young men.  Often, as young men do, I have seen them fail.  While failing is never easy, there is a lot to learn from that- even if all you learn is that failing sucks.  Regardless, way too many times I have seen a Mom or Dad come swooping in and doing all they can to erase the mistake.  Lots of times, any lesson to be learned is erased when Daddy makes it all go away.  It aggravates me to no end and is a reason why so many younger people don't know what it is like to face adversity.  It is always someone elses fault, Mommy or Daddy will always make it better.

Thank God for those parents who clean up after their kids.  I had failed, I had accepted my failure, and I had accepted the consequences.  Now, my biggest fear as mentioned in my previous post, wont have to come true.  My mother was just as upset about the whole situation as I was.  Mom can give Rory everything I couldn't anymore and Rory will be an interesting project for her.  I think she is on drugs, I think Rory needs to be on drugs, but in all seriousness this is the best possible outcome.  At 4 this afternoon, Dad called and told me to go get Rory.  They were way excited at the LFCHS and when Rory saw me her face lit up like a Christmas tree.  She is a somewhat special needs dog, and now the dog whisperer will get her chance.  Rory went from the doghouse to the penthouse- and I couldn't be happier for her. 

Good luck Mom (you re going to need it)- thanks for making my mistake all better. 

Dreams really do come true (click here turn up the sound)

One of the hardest things ever...

It is not every day you come to the realization that you have failed, today was that day for me.  I have just returned from taking Rory- one of my labs- to the Lexington Humane Society.  I could go on and on about all the things she has done that brought us to the point but none of that matters any more.  I just couldn't live with the destruction to the house (which we are trying to sell) and I couldn't live with her scaring my kids because she is so hyper- not anymore.  With 2 other dogs, 3 kids, one on the way, me on the road, we couldn't give Rory what she needed.  She needs constant attention and a job. We tried finding her a guaranteed no kill shelter but all of them were overwhelmed with too many dogs, or they weren't interested because she was 9.  They all recommended LFCHS because they have so many resources and only put a dog down when they are aggressive. That isnt Rory-

I make no bones that im a crier but to be honest I couldn't get out of the shelter fast enough.  The lady who took her could see it in my eyes and of course, Rory didn't want to go in (which made it worse). All I could tell her was that I was sorry, and that I really did love her.  In reality, I was just so sorry.  I called my parents because I know I've let them down (despite what they might say), I called my wife because I let the family down, but worst of all I let Rory down.  I couldn't be the Dad she needed.  My hope is that someone sees she has a few good years left in her and in the right place would be a great dog. 

If there is a God, I have two wishes.
1) That when it is her time to go, that she doesn't go alone.  One of the most heartbreaking aspects of this for me is that I wont be there for her when that time comes.  No dog deserves to be alone at that moment, especially one of mine. 2)  When it is my time- I honestly hope she is on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge, waiting for me for us to "never be separated again".  I hope she understands that I did love her and it was because of that love I had to try something to get her what she needs. I know she thinks I gave up on her and I will never forgive myself for dropping her off like that, I wouldn't blame her for not being there waiting on me.  I feel like I let a lot of people down, most of all, I let Rory down.   

Friday, September 17, 2010

Whats in a name?

I'm asking all 4 of my loyal readers to help.  We are having problems coming up with a name for baby #4.  Reagan Marie was agreed on very early.  Before baby #2 came, Brooke said she wanted to name our next kid Baylor.  Once we found out we were pregnant, I soon picked Grace as her middle name.  So for about 7 months baby #2 was Baylor Grace.  The problem was I have loved the name Caroline.  Since I hadn't a whole lot of say in picking names, one night at my parents house I said "Babe, (referring to Brooke) I really love the name Caroline. Can we call baby #2 Caroline?"  Much to my surprise Brooke was okay with that on the condition that our next baby would be Baylor Grace.  It worked out well too because in our minds Caroline is such a Caroline, and baby #3 totally is a Baylor Grace.  This brings us to our current "problem."  We cant pick a name for baby #4.  I like Savannah, Brooke does not.  She likes Hadley, I'm not thrilled with it.  We both sorta like Charlotte, sorta like DeLaney.  In reality nothing is sticking.  So, I am asking my faithful followers for help. What should baby #4 be named.  My Mom and Dad suggested Kennedy Michelle.  Kennedy for my middle name, Michelle for Brooke's.  That would be great, except we already have a Reagan. We cant have a Reagan and a Kennedy, just as we wouldn't have a Jackson and a Grant.  So we are stuck.  What are your thoughts, help us name baby #4!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Psalm 133

Last night was a very special night for me on many levels.  A good friend of mine- Tom Dement- made the drive up from Nashville to initiate my father into my fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon.  That sentence can be dissected on a lot of levels.  I appreciated the fact that Tom would take time off of work and drive all the way up here for this occasion.  I was thankful and honored that Tom played such a large role in the initiation for my father.  Most of all, im so grateful that now my father is a "brother" too.  While he may never have crazy stories from his fraternities days, he can't claim to have met his wife through the fraternity, and he doesn't have a true pledge class-  Dad is now a member of the largest fraternity in the country, the first founded in the south, the same fraternity as me. 

In theory Dad had the option to join a fraternity in college.  Because of his financial situation he couldn't afford to do it.  Plus, he was already with Mom, at that time he had the desire to be a world famous doctor, and also was a first generation college student.  Fraternities just were not a priority.  I am very thankful for those circumstances now.  I tried to bring him around to a few events in college just so he could get a glimpse of what it was like for me. In reality, no matter how many events you bring someone to, it can never fully do the brotherhood aspect justice.  If I could wrap it up in a box and give it as a gift, I would.  That way people who are not part of it- could begin to understand what SAE is all about.  Too often you read the negative headlines about members who make bad choices and then people assume that is the way they all are.  But truth be told with that I could be talking about the Priesthood, Cops, Military, parents, etc. also.  In reality it couldn't be further from the truth.  Dad saw a big part of this when he came up last year and prayed with the chapter at Cincinnati when a brother committed suicide in the chapter house.  They welcomed him in with open arms and heavy hearts, and he in return comforted them.  When other good fraternity brothers of mine have suffered deep personal loss this past year I almost always have them call Dad- regardless of the fact they didn't know each other.  He has become the Chaplain for this area of Sigma Alpha Epsilon.  Most importantly he has now become their brother.  He now knows the intimate details of what makes Sigma Alpha Epsilon different according to our ritual.  He knows the handshake, Phi Alpha, and the meaning of our name.  I was very proud of Dad last night for being open enough to join our order.  Last night the almost 300,000 members welcomed him into our brotherhood.  Congrats Dad, remember brotherhood is for life.  Just please, don't rush out and get an SAE tattoo. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

What a day

This was a very long (still going) day, mostly because of work, partly because of crazy kids.  I didn't really get to sit down till about 7 today and to be honest, I had had enough of the day.  I wanted to be left alone and watch some American Pickers.  Well, Baylor Grace didn't want to leave me alone, in fact she wanted to snuggle.  As much as I wanted my space- it was kind of nice to have her crawling in my lap.  When days like this are over, you appreciate the fact that you have a job to drive you nuts (sometimes), you have screaming kids to crawl in your lap, and a good bed to fall into at night.  In the end a bad day is just that, a bad DAY.  Tomorrow will be better.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Tic Toc Tic Toc Tic Toc....

Yesterday Reagan had a secret to tell me.  It was obviously something very serious.  She took me to the other room and asked me to come down to her level.  So down on one knee I asked her to tell me what was bothering her.  For a few minutes she went back and forth about something that was very upsetting  to her and apparently she was very sorry to have to tell me. 

Our conversation went something like this-
Reagan: Daddy, I have something to tell you and I am really sorry about it.

Me: What is it honey?
Reagan: I am really sorry Daddy but I had a bad dream.
Me: Ahh its alright- no worries, what happened?
Reagan: Daddy I am really sorry
Me: (Im getting a bit impatient now but she was being very cute)  Reagan- I promise it is okay
Reagan: I had a bad dream y...
Me: I get it Reagan what happened in your dream?
Reagan: Captain Hook was attacking you
Me: (sigh of relief and a smile on my face) Captain Hook was attacking me, huh?
Reagan: (she was about to cry at this point) Yes Daddy, on top of you.
Me: Captain Hook was on top of me?
Reagan:  No, his men were.  You had a bow tie on.

As she says this, she is sort of using her hands to describe what was going on. It was truly one of the cutest things ever.  I then realized that she was recounting a scene from a movie we watched about a month ago.  In Reagan's dream I am a grown up version of Peter Pan- which in the movie Hook is played by Robin Williams and when he first returns to Never Never land he is wearing a tux.  I don't know why Reagan had a dream about this so long after the movie.  I also don't want to look too much into it but I cant help but think it is very cool.  Of all the things Reagan could think her Daddy is, I am pretty thankful she sees me like a Peter Pan.  It could be a lot worse and in reality (from a four year old) not much better.  I also think it makes perfect sense too because after all-Reagan and her sisters- are my happy thought(s).

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Force Is Strong With This One..

I am totally convinced that Baylor Grace is either a Jedi Knight from Star Wars or a Vampire from True Blood, or a combination of both.  Perhaps a Jedi Vampire.  The reason being- she can get anything she wants and has mind control over everyone, except Caroline.  So, I guess what I am saying is Baylor Grace is Yoda and Caroline is Boba Fett (had armor that protected him against Jedi powers for all the non Star Wars geeks out there).

Brooke and I have come to the conclusion that the older she gets the more powerful she becomes.  Her power starts with her beautiful blue eyes- which is why we think she might be part vampire.  If you watch True Blood, you know that the vampires have a power called "glamorizing." They basically stare into a human's eyes and can get them to do whatever they need, or calm the human down etc.  No matter how hard you resist, when you stare into Baylor Grace's eyes, she will win.

Case in point:  The other day I was at my "desk" ("dining room table" which is just the dog chewed old table Mom and Dad got rid of) when Baylor came up to with with the puppy dog eyes.  She stopped a few feet away and made a plea for me.  Not knowing what she wanted, I said "no Baylor go play"- then I went back to work.  I noticed out of the corner of my eye she didn't move.  I turned and looked her in the eyes again and I said "Baylor, you're not going to win, go away."  She then gives me a 'eeehhhh" and outstretches her arms in the way that she wants a hug....I said "Noooooo(voice struggling) its not.... going.... to work..." and within seconds she was in my arms.  I had been glamorized. 

She also has Jedi like powers with food.  For a kid who knows 6 words, she communicates better than most of the college students I work with.  She has force like powers to make all food appear on her plate or in her hands from the "magic cabinet," or pantry.  It is amazing.  Now matter how hard you fight it, she gets the food she wants.  She makes all of her sister's toys disappear too.  When they aren't watching she either A) snatches the toys and takes off running with them or B) using her Force ability to movie things telepathically to another place.  I am not sure which one.  I will not be at all surprised if the first full sentence she puts together is "these aren't the droids you're looking for."

I see this becoming a real problem as she gets older and I am convinced she will use her powers to get whatever she wants from whomever.  Resistance is futile.  I can only hope she uses her powers for the good of mankind and not for the destruction of it.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Dear Baby Ayers-

I cannot begin to tell you the relief your Mom and I felt when we saw you for the first time today.  I yelled out "I see a heart beat," before anyone else in the room.  I also whisper cussed an F-bomb in the process but it was an F-bomb of joy.  And yes, I cried.  We felt like a HUGE weight was lifted off of our chests.  Do us all a favor and stay in there and cook until May 4th.   While we are not out of the woods yet, it was great news.  So now, I promise you a few things.

1) I promise to always love you
2) I promise to always take care of you
3) I promise to give you the worst possible name.  Drizella and Jubal are tops right now.   All the teasing in the world wont compare to the hell your mother and I went through this past week.
4) When you turn 16, I will smack you.  There is a story about that for another day.  Your PawPaw promised the same to me and like all good family traditions- you will get this one.

All my love,


Dear Baby Ayers-

Today is the today. I can only hope and pray that you are resting soundly in your mother’s belly. Despite the fact that we have been here three times before- I cannot begin to tell you how excited your Mom and I were to find out you were part of the family. We debated names (girls of course), talked about seating arrangements in her van, Xmas stockings, etc. All the most important things for our new addition to the family. We prayed for you and loved you before you we knew you were part of our lives. I promise you will have the best three sisters possible. Reagan is very motherly; she will take the best care of you. Caroline is very emotional so you have to watch yourself around her but I promise that she will make you laugh. Baylor Grace is a stinker and you need to be on your toes when she is around. Whatever you find most important, if it isn’t attached, she will take off with it when you’re not looking. They will love having you around. Don’t get me started on your mother. She is as good as it gets. She will always take care of you. With her you will always be clean, always be clothed, always be fed, and always be loved. I can’t wait to take you for a ride in my truck, teach you how to cheer for the CATS, and what it means to be a Southern Belle (or on the long shot a Gentleman). Having said that, I make a promise to you. If everything works out- whatever sports you want to play or teams you want to cheer for are totally negotiable. I don’t care; I just want you here with us.

If God has decided to take you into his arms- just know that you will always be loved and always be part of this family. I know you will be scared because Mom and Dad aren’t around and I know you will be concerned that you will be forgotten. Trust me that will never happen. You will always be a part of my soul, always. There will be days when I look into the sky and wonder how you are doing up there. There will be days when I could only imagine hearing your feet walking around the house- and while I may cry- it is okay. I do that, it isn’t your fault. It is tears of love, I promise. I will take some small comfort in knowing that you will never have a scraped knee, never get your heart broken, never hurt again. So today is the day and unfortunately I can’t do a damned thing about it. If there was something I could do I would do it so incredibly fast. I would give all I own for everything to be okay. I love you baby Ayers- no matter what the doctor says today. If you are no longer with us I am convinced that our loss is heaven’s gain.

With all my love,


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Tomorrow Is The Day......

One night a man had a dream. He dreamed

he was walking along the beach with the LORD.

Across the sky flashed scenes from his life.

For each scene he noticed two sets of

footprints in the sand: one belonging

to him, and the other to the LORD.

When the last scene of his life flashed before him,

he looked back at the footprints in the sand.

He noticed that many times along the path of

his life there was only one set of footprints.

He also noticed that it happened at the very

lowest and saddest times in his life.

This really bothered him and he

questioned the LORD about it:

"LORD, you said that once I decided to follow

you, you'd walk with me all the way.

But I have noticed that during the most

troublesome times in my life,

there is only one set of footprints.

I don't understand why when

I needed you most you would leave me."

The LORD replied:

"My son, my precious child,

I love you and I would never leave you.

During your times of trial and suffering,

when you see only one set of footprints,

it was then that I carried you."

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Are You In Good Hands?

I wanted to take this chance to make everyone who reads this aware of a situation that Brooke and I are now faced with.  As you know, Brooke and I love kids and have always wanted to have a big family.  When it came to conceiving kids, we have been amazingly fortunate.  Every time we have begun to think about getting pregnant it did not take long for us to do so  And through the 40 weeks of each pregnancy it had gone pretty much according to schedule. 

A few weeks ago, one Friday, we gave Kylie (our dog) away and Brooke took a pregnancy test that came back not pregnant.  It was a bad Friday to say the least.  She was really late and figured that either she is pregnant or something is wrong.  Plus, while we thought we were doing better for Kylie- it still was a difficult day.  So, for Friday and Saturday there was sort of a depression around this house.  On Sunday we went to church and to be honest I prayed for a baby.  I said the usual- whatever you desire God, it is in your hands, blah blah blah.  That afternoon Brooke took another test and it came back pregnant.   Needless to say we were over joyed and making plans.  We didn't tell anyone because we wanted to wait until we went to the doctor in a few weeks, just to make sure.  But between us (and Baylor- she knew but we figured she was safe because she only says like 6 words) we were talking names, Christmas, etc.  We were very happy.  We went home to my parents house one weekend and despite the temptation I didn't say anything- even when my father guessed it.  So, this past Thursday was the day and we counted down the time before we went back to the Dr. Simms. 

Everyone was all congratulations, so exciting, etc.  and we were ready to see the little sucker on the ultrasound.  Well when the time came, we could tell right away by the doctor's body language that something was wrong.  For brevity sake and to avoid a TMI situation, the yolk sac was there but there was no baby to be seen.  Plus the sac only measured 5 weeks when according to the pregnancy calendar she should have been around 7 weeks.  That early in the pregnancy 2 weeks makes a big difference.  The rest of the trip was a blur but it was difficult for us to make it to the car without breaking down.  I swore this blog was not going to be political and I am trying to avoid that here but Brooke and I believe, whole heartily, that life begins at conception.  That baby is ours from the moment we find out she is pregnant, this was all devastating news.

The best outcome is that Brooke (and baby) are simply behind schedule.  She got pregnant late and really only is "a little pregnant."  The worst news is the baby has died and is no longer growing, and in fact died a few weeks ago.  She will either "shed" the pregnancy herself or have to get it removed.  Both options are absolutely heartbreaking to us.  Thursday we went home and broke the news to our parents and then we cried, and cried.  It was difficult because the big girls don't know and both of us are trying to put on a brave face so they don't start asking questions.  We were going to tell everyone this past weekend at my birthday party- our aim was to celebrate a new life.  That didn't happen.  It has been a horrific roller coaster since then.  There are moments when you are okay and you think things will be fine, then there are moments when you are scared to death of the bad news and ultimate outcome.  It has been challenging beyond anything I have experienced to date.  The worst thing for parents are 1) not knowing 2) not being able to do anything about it and 3) something happening to one of your babies.  All three apply in this case.

In the midst of the air conditioning going out, lawn mower breaking, ice dispenser breaking, the baby situation, Reagan had surgery on Friday which is never easy.  I had come to a breaking point, it was a very bad week.  At some point on Friday I realized that there was very little I could about a lot of it- particularly the baby.  Stressing out, making Brooke stressed out, isn't going to help the situation get any better.  At this point, it really is in God's Hands.  I have said that before, but when Brooke and I said that to each other it did help me feel better about the situation.  It is not to say I feel good about it but I do feel better.  If nothing else, coming to this realization has helped stabilize the emotional roller coaster.  I also understand that by saying that it is in God's Hands doesn't mean that everything will be okay- the way we want it.  Sometimes when you pray to God his answer is no.  Generally though there is a very good reason for that, even if we don't see it at this moment.  And that does help.

While at this point we still have more questions than answers and if things do go south on Thursday when we go back, there will be more questions still.  I do realize that all of this is happening for a reason and the outcome is in good hands, God's Hands.  And if we have lost the pregnancy it is somewhat comforting to know that our baby, young as it might be, is now with the angels.  Truly the best hands. 

Monday, September 6, 2010


This past Saturday was my birthday.  It was as good of a day as could be under the circumstances.  Just about all of my family was here, including those from Tennessee.  Facebook can get you connected with long lost friends and keep you connected with good ones that live across the country.  It is an easy way to share pictures of your life and keep up to date with others.  One of the neat aspects of Facebook is the ability to list your birthday and therefore receive a flood of well wishes on Facebook.  Not only can you list your birthday on Facebook when you get on your home page it alerts you to any friends who have a birthday that day.  I have thought about changing my birthday to see how many well wishes I get on the wrong day (therefore showing me who really knows my birthday and who doesn't) but I have come to appreciate this perk of the Facebook community.

I got a lot of people wishing me Happy Birthday- either by call, text, or Facebook post.  Almost all of these were as a result of Facebook.  While I understand the vast majority that did send their best didn't know it was my birthday when they woke up on Saturday morning until they signed on to Facebook for the first time.  To be honest I am okay with that.  They saw the notification of my birthday and then took the few minutes to go to my wall and wish my Happy Birthday.  They didn't have to do that.  So while it is a simple gesture by many, it is greatly appreciated. Sometimes those simple gestures can make your day better, pick you up when you re down, and make you realize that in some small way people do care.

Thanks Facebook-

Stay tuned tomorrow to a blog I've been working on in my head for a few days.  Hopefully it will help explain some things to those who have been wondering what is going on.  Have a great Labor Day.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

You Did All The Work!

I never really understood birthdays.  See today is my birthday and many people that I care about will come to my house today and celebrate my birthday.  While this is fine and I look forward to seeing my loved ones (I need that more than anything), of all the people involved- I had the LEAST to do with this day 31 years ago.  From Mom, to Dad, to the Doctor, to my brother who had to get yanked out of his first day of school, etc.  I just let gravity take its course!  We don't throw a party every time a kid goes down a slide at the park, do we?  Regardless, today I wanted to thank the person who had the MOST to do with this day and that is my mother. Yeah for a too brief time (I'm sure) my father is partially responsible with my birth but I wanted to thank the person who carried me and brought me into this world.  Also, the parent who was there when I was born- "go ahead Tim take that day trip to Atlanta for work I'm SURE he wont be born today."  Anyway, birthdays should not just be about the babies born that day but the mothers who sacrifice everything to bring them into this world.  Having seen this first hand three times in my own family and knowing just how special, difficult, precious, taxing, this whole process is- THANKS MOM.  You did all the hard work and were always there from day one to this day.  From cleaning my bottom when I was a kid, to editing my papers to this day- you have been one of the biggest influences on my life.

So on my birthday I wanted to give a special thanks to Mom (MaMaw).  I love you and am very thankful for all that you have done, today is your day too!

Friday, September 3, 2010

That Sparkle

On a morning when I needed it the most, I am thankful to see the blue sparkle in Baylor Grace's eyes return.  I was hoping for some good news yesterday and it didnt come.  Adversity does not build character, it reveals it.  I may want to sit around and cry and be with just Brooke but life continues.  Today Reagan goes to surgery and I have to be there for her.  Caroline goes to school and Brooke needs to take her.  So while it is never far from your thoughts, you gain strength from those who love you and for those who need you.

Thank you Baylor Grace for making all of our lives better and I'm so thankful for seeing that sparkle in your eyes again. 

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Other than that....

Other than that how was the play Mrs.  Lincoln? 

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Some Days You Eat the Bear

Some days you eat the Bear and some days the Bear eats you.  It has been a rough, expensive, struggle for the Ayers family the first few days of this week.  Among other things we have one kid who needs surgery on Friday- one who is going through a growing spell which means she is eating like a hog and nastier than a snake- and one who isn't feeling well with with a bad ear ache. Sometimes in life it is the little things that get you back on the right track.  You can't sit around and feel sorry for yourself, no one else is.  We all have too many people depending on us to mope around.  So, occasionally you just need to grab a little McDonald's ice cream and get ready to face the next day.