Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Birthday Patrick

I wanted to wish my big brother Patrick a Happy Birthday!  For those that don't know, my brother is 5 years older than me.  When I was graduating from 8th grade, Patrick was graduating from Trinity.  When I graduated from Trinity, he was graduating from Xavier- both times practically on the same weekend.  Point is, we were always in much different stages in our lives.  As a result, Patrick and I were never really close growing up- we weren't really "friends."  Maybe that's one reason why I'm happy to have my girls so close to the same age.  They will play with each other and be friends, something I didn't really have.  Now don't get me wrong, I am not at all throwing stones or blaming anyone for anything- it just was the situation. 

Now having said all that, while Patrick and I weren't close friends growing up, he ALWAYS was an excellent big brother.  In every facet of the game, Patrick was the best big brother you could ever ask for.  He always took up for me when I needed it.  He always taught me right from wrong.  He always watched out for me.  The thing he did that I am most appreciative of- is he always set a great example for me to live up to.  I see a lot of the way Patrick took care of me, in the ways that Reagan does to her sisters.  No matter where I went, teachers and parents expected more out of me because they knew Patrick.  Some little brothers might have shied away from that, I embraced it. I was already a few points ahead of my classmates and friends because of the outstanding groundwork my brother had built. 

Once I got to college, and even after college for the first time were more just friends.  I think he realized he didn't need to watch out for me as much and that I was a man just as he was. Patrick had done his job. While there are many differences between us- sometimes I wonder if we were raised in the same house- I know that any positive choice I have made, my abilities as a husband, my abilities even as father, are partially because of the leadership my brother showed me growing up.  Some big brothers may buy their younger brother beer growing up and that makes the older brother cool.  I'm sure that's all well and good for others but I didn't need or want that.  What I got from Patrick was much more lasting and had a much greater impact then a 6 pack of beer or a fake ID.  I got mentorship, I got guidance, and I got something to always aim for.   Patrick was very much the John Kennedy of the brothers and I was very much the Bobby Kennedy.   So on this Halloween I wanted to wish Patrick a Happy Birthday and say thanks!  You had more of an impact on me than you will ever know.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sunday, October 24, 2010

"Would you know my name......"

Please know that what I want to talk about today is going to sound morbid.  I don't at all want this to be depressing but this is something that I really worry about with my girls and when I do think about it, sorta upsets me.  One of the things my father always told me was to never go to bed mad at someone because you never know if you will see them again.  Always tell them you love them.

I know I am blessed to have my three girls and another kid on the way.  I am so thankful for those blessings and know that no matter what happens to me, THEY are my legacy.  Brooke and I had a talk tonight and I made her promise me one thing.  If something happens to me, make sure that those girls know how much their Dad loves them.  I worry that if my days are numbered (well I guess they are for us all) or something happens tomorrow, would my girls remember me?  I think it would be easier for Reagan and Caroline, although their memory would probably only hold on to the pictures of me they can  at least make those connections now.  But what about Baylor Grace?  I cant put into words the look in their eyes when the girls jump on the couch with me or go some place with just me.  The way they get so excited when I pick them up from school or give them the biggest hug in the whole wide world.  I think they feel that way because they know, with me, they are totally loved.  I was put on this earth to be their Dad, and of all the jobs I have had...Coach, Dean, Associate Executive Director, friend, brother, son, husband....Dad is the thing I cherish above all.  It scares me and saddens me to know that if something happened tomorrow that Baylor Grace wouldn't really know her father and despite her brief 18 months on this Earth her and I have had some amazing bonding moments together.  The new baby (Molly is the name of the day) would NEVER know her Dad which is bad enough.  But would Baylor know how she calls for me every time she wakes up?  Would she remember that she calls for me every time I leave the room, and in reality I am probably her favorite toy.  So I guess I have a favor for all of y'all.....God forbid something happens to me, make sure that Reagan, Caroline, Baylor Grace,and Molly know how much I loved them (another one to click, turn up the sound and listen).  How lucky I felt to have them, and how proud of them I was.  Hopefully this is just something we can always keep between us but in the event of an emergency, feel free to break the glass and help them 

Friday, October 22, 2010

You were right were so VERY right!

I wanted to share with y'all one of the most embarrassing moments of my life.  It is something I carry with me every day and I look forward to the day I can tell her and get it off my chest.  Having said that, because of the pain and embarrassment that I do carry with me- i appreciate her hugs more, the looks she gives me, the gifts she gives me all the time. No one lights up like Reagan does when she sees me. What I am about to tell you is not at all funny, although now I see some humor in it.  I am not at all proud of it but I am proud of the positive change this event has done to me.

To be honest, I am not sure where to start.  It had been around 1890 since there was a female Ayers born in my line.  No aunts or uncles to speak of.  Dad was an only child, of an only child, who only had brothers.  The Ayers' were pretty much DUDES.  Fast forward to October of 2005 and Brooke and I were soon to confirm the sex of our new baby.  It would be a boy, I would name him after my father, and my last name would be safe.  I am currently the youngest living male Ayers.  I was super pumped to have a future Trinity Football player, future SAE President, future best bud to play sports with just like I had with my Dad and he had with his.   Of course I said all the right things, "as long as it is healthy, ten fingers and ten toes, yadda yadda yadda," but I didn't mean it.  I was having a boy.  Brooke had given up on ever having girls because she knew how things were...she would always say "I just want one (girl)."  So we go to the doctor, my chest is swelled with pride just like The Mighty Casey before he went to bat. My heart was racing as I stared up at the most beautiful thing I have ever seen but I looked, and looked, and looked, and saw that the baby on the screen was missing something VERY important.  I wanted to scream at the nurse...THERE IS NO PENIS (like it was her fault or something)!  There was in fact, a sideways hamburger (thats what it looks like sorry).  I think the nurse said that everything looks great, all organs were working, etc etc. but it was all a blur.  By the time we saw the OBGYN she could sense that all was not right with me.  It was, awkward.

I could barely get to the car before I had to let out my anger.  I screamed, hollered, punched, kicked, cursed, that car/wheel like you wouldn't believe.  I was such an asshole, that Brooke was in tears.  Brooke is a rock- she shows no emotion.  I knew I was being ridiculous but I was so mad, I didn't care.  I literally said- "FUCK YOU GOD!  I have done everything you asked.  I never got into trouble, kept the faith through the whole Fr. Tom thing, always treated women with respect, on and on.  The one thing I ask for and you give me a girl!  What the FUCK am I supposed to do with a girl!?  FUCK YOU!"  If you cant tell, I was pissed.  Brooke looked over at me, crying, and said words I will never forget..."this baby girl will be the best thing that ever happened to you."

I didn't know it then nor did I want to accept it but Brooke was absolutely correct.  You think of ALL the things that can go wrong with a pregnancy.  People try for years and can never have kids, or they can get pregnant and bringing it full term is a struggle.  I have friends who would give their own lives so that their wives could have a baby- even if it was a girl.  I had the perfect miracle and I was too much of an ass to realize it.   There is an old baseball saying around cut time that you never celebrate in a clubhouse because you might be doing so right in front of a guy who just got sent to the minors.  The same can be said for the OBGYN's office.  Who knows how many people were there because they were struggling to get pregnant, or later that day would get every parent's worst nightmare, the news that their little miracle had died.  I had every reason to celebrate and I just wanted to be mad. To be honest, I never fully realized how right my wife would be until the moment I held Reagan in my arms for the first time.  It is strange to go from being just a guy one minute, to a Daddy the next.  I cant explain it, a love so much it hurts.  It took me a good 4 months before I could actually look at her and not cry, I loved her so much.   To watch Reagan grow has been the greatest gift I have ever been given, Brooke was right.  I guess I thought I was a good man then because of the accomplishments and trophies I had.  None of that truly matters and I know I am a better man now because of my girls.  Apparently I am making up for lost time in the Ayers clan with Caroline and Baylor Grace but I can honestly say "thats okay."  I wouldn't trade my girls for any amount of money in the world, or that one boy.  As God is my witness.  It doesn't hurt me that Brooke was so right, what hurts is that one day I will have to tell Reagan how disappointed I was when I found out she was a girl and ultimately how wrong I was.  I only hope she has her Mom's maturity and forgives her old man for that unexplainable way I acted.

They say that when a girl is born you feel like a Daddy and when a boy is born you feel like a man.  I don't know if that is true or not and probably never will.  I am so thankful to have my girls, I will take being a Daddy any day.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Dinner is SERVED!

One of the things I enjoyed the most growing up was eating at the dinner table.  My family, at all costs, ate dinner every night we could...together.  Sometimes the TV was on, sometimes it wasn't.  When it was on it was because we were watching the news.  I think much of the reason I am who I am today (faith, politics, sense of humor, competitiveness, etc) is because of the conversations I had with my family around that table.  Most of the time was spent with laughter, some time was spent with slightly more than your normal inside voice, issues were discussed, issues were debated, my own thoughts were always encouraged.  The dinner table has meant so much to me that I have decided to help a good friend make my own dinner table (a future project and blog I am sure).  That way, no matter what happens, my girls know what was one of the most important pieces in our house to me.  Dinner was, always has been, is still, very special to me.

Being around the table is something I want to my girls to experience as well.  In fact much of our dinners are replicas of the dinners I had when I was kid.  We start with "prayer hands" and the Catholic Grace, then we all make the sign of the cross- in various ways of course.  We then eat and must eat pur food if we want a snack the rest of the night.  A glass of milk is encouraged but if you don't drink milk, water is the only other option.  Just like when I was growing up.  There are times when Brooke and I just stare at each other because the three girls, even the baby, are jabbering up a storm.  Despite the noise and the chaos, the importance of the action of sitting around the table is being instilled in them, perhaps without them knowing it.  "Get in your chairs," is one of the happiest moments of the day for the girls.  By dinner they are all starving and cant wait to get into their seats.  It is one of the happiest moments for me too and it has nothing to do with how hungry I am.  I hope that someday down the road the girls will go running to their chairs, not just because they are hungry, but because they look forward to talking with their parents.  Just as I STILL do whenever I get the chance. 

Yesterday was one of those great days.  Brooke cooked homemade beef stew in the crock pot.  The smell lingered throughout the house all day.  It was one of the best meals she has ever cooked and one of the best meals I have had period.  I teased her to see if she still knew how to cook, truth be told the new baby has gotten to Brooke more than the previous babies.  She has been off her feat a lot more and dinner has been more of a struggle than normal.   The good news is I can see a difference in Brooke lately, she is feeling much better, and because of her cooking last night- we got to do something I love so much.  So a big thanks to Brooke and Im glad youre feeling better.  While the dinner was awesome, I thank you for continuing something my Mom started (who is a great cook too) many years ago and is very important to me.  Cooking up the time spent together.  That fills the heart, while the food fills the belly.  We make sure to pass the food all in the same way and I don't have to eat the salmon croquettes.  Just like the old days. 

Monday, October 18, 2010

Hey Its Good To Be Back Home Again

Wow- after a marathon week of driving to Greenville, Clemson, Nashville, flying to Chicago, back to Nashville, driving to Louisville, then home to was great to sleep in my own bed last night.  Does anything ever really get you as clean as your home shower or feel as good as your home bed? I dont think so.  I amazed though that this entire football season I have yet to watch one NFL game start to finish and only one College football game to is completion.  That is just wrong. 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Big Red

Make sure you take the time to go see the movie Secretariat.  Brooke and I got away on a rare date the other night. We had some great pizza, good shopping, and saw a great movie.  If you like horse racing you should go see secretariat.  If you like good stories, you should go see secretariat.  If you are from Kentucky, you should go see Secretariat.  If you like horse racing, good stories, and are from Kentucky, GO SEE SECRETARIAT.  80% of the movie was filmed in Lexington or Louisville.  It was really great to see our state on the big screen in such a positive way.  I was real happy to see Keeneland in Lexington stand in for Belmont Park.  It makes you proud- and they made sure to have a scene with My Old Kentucky Home playing at the Derby.  It is a inspirational story about one of the greatest athletes of all time.  Diane Lane is of course hot.  John Malokvitz (no clue how to spell that one) is great, Fred Thompson is good, and Lafayette from True Blood is awesome. When it comes down to it though it is a story about the horse.  Secretariat put on one of the best shows ever,  his run at the Belmont is legendary.  We may never see a performance like that again in what many say was the greatest sporting performance ever.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


I have always been a fan of Westerns- in fact I love Tombstone and Young Guns.  There are a lot of lessons to take away from those movies if you look deep enough.  One of the great stories in Young Guns is what is told right at the end of the first movie.  If you know anything about Billy the Kid- the one thing he believed in was loyalty.  He was loyal to those who were loyal to him- the thing he cherished most were his "Pals."  Legend has it that his one time best friend Pat Garrett eventually hunted Billy down and shot him in the back.  Further legend states that he really didn't kill Billy because they were too close- letting him go only to reappear in the 40's under the name Brushy Bill Roberts.  Regardless, the tombstone that was erected over Billy's grave had one thing carved into it.  It was simply the word "Pals."  No one knows who did it but whoever did it (if it was Billy thanking his friend Patrick for letting him go), knew what Billy stood for.
The second western, one that I think every man should own, is Tombstone.  It is a great version of Wyatt Earp and has one of the best performances of Doc Holiday I have ever seen.  Val Kimmer dominates the performance and steals the show.  Regardless, late in the move and near death, someone ask Doc the following and his answer is amazing. "Why are you doing this Doc?"  (please watch the link).  Great f*ing answer.

Well, like Doc, I don't have a lot of a friends.  Not because I'm an unlikeable guy (at least I don't think so)- i have a lot of acquaintances- just few I would consider a true friend.  Today, I want to recognize one of them and that is Tom Dement. He is the quintessential southern lawyer. I met Tom in the summer of 99 when I was an undergrad and he was working the SAE Leadership School.  I then ran across his path again when I was working Leadership School as a volunteer because I worked for UK.  Tom and I hit it off pretty quickly.  We have many of the same interests and I was very proud of him when he got elected to our Supreme Council. When I asked him if I should work for SAE he said "this fraternity needs men like you."  Well, I know this fraternity is better off because of men like Tom.  He has gotten me more interested in the history of SAE, I think I have gotten him more interested in the history of the South.  Watching Tom and I give the Etiquette presentation I believe really is a treat for those at the session.  I am proud to call him a brother, more proud to call him a friend.  When my father was initiated into our great order, Tom drove all the way up from Nashville just to participate in the ritual- because it meant something to him as well.  Tom's part in the ritual is very extensive and a part he has 100% memorized.  It made the evening all the more memorable that I could share that moment for my Dad with Tom.  That’s one of the best things about SAE.  Two guys, from different schools, different times, can become friends in the truest since of the word.  Tom is another one of those great men who I am lucky to be associated with.  He is by definition a "Pal."

Monday, October 11, 2010


Still on a high from Reagan getting two goals on Saturday.  We went from soccer, to doing a full truck bed of mulch, Louisville for a great dinner, back to Lexington, waking up on Sunday- stopping in Gatlinburg for lunch, driving to through Cherokee NC, arrived in Greenville SC for a night in a hotel room together.  Today, I'm at Clem(p)son, tomorrow off to Nashville, Thursday Chicago.

What a week started off by Reagan's two goals on Saturday. 

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Mayor of Seton

This is my middle girl Caroline, as I have said before her personality is just like mine. Well she talks more than me. She wakes up talking, goes to bed talking, and even talks in the middle of the night.  I have NEVER met a person who enjoys talking as much as Caroline does. Truth be told I was worried this year as she started school. She is so sensitive and I was worried school might eat her a live.  For a while there she was having a hard time adjusting to people pottying in groups and not being able to get naked when she went potty like she does at home.  I was worried she would not do well with her course work, I was worried about damned near everything.  I was sad when Reagan left because she is my buddy but I knew she would dominate the work.  Caroline scared me to death, I wanted to protect her.

I realized today that Caroline is the Mayor of Seton Catholic Grade School.  It amazes me that one month into it she walks down the hall and everyone knows Caroline.  Caroline knows everyone's names as well.  She waves and says hello Ms. SoinSo to EVERYONE.  She shakes hands and kisses babies with the best of them.  We went out in the parking lot and there were three adult women, she went up to all them and called them all by name and started a conversation with them.  She waves at other kids in older classrooms.  She is a social butterfly, she is Mayor Caroline.

It has taught me a very valuable lesson, kids surprise you when you least expect it.  I know there will be bad days and days when she wont want to go to school.  But I can't tell you how good it makes a Dad feel when he was so worried about his Carolina and she passes the test with flying colors. I hope it stays that way for her. 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

No Name.

So my father thinks we should name the new baby Snotnose Megaphone because every time you come over there is a kid with a snotty nose and it is loud.  Both of which are true.  My brother Patrick thinks we should basically call the new baby Vasectomy.  We are still stuck on names.  It has gotten to the point where I have begged my wife to fight me about the name because I want it settled, I don't like not having a name for our baby.

Hadley Morgan is back in the lead. I have been calling her (E)liza Jane which I know is an old minstrel name. The point is I never thought i would be blessed with this many kids nor would I be blessed with this many girls.  We are really out of girl names.  Before you get there, no we don't know that it is a girl yet.  But we don't KNOW the sun is going to come up but it is just as easy to assume that it will (as it is that this is a girl).  So we are still taking suggestions.  Snotnose Megaphone- while accurate- is out of the running.  I don't even like talking about Patrick's suggestion.  So, if you have thoughts- keep them coming. 

Monday, October 4, 2010

Its never too early part II

Monday nights are my time with Baylor Grace.  Mom takes the older girls to dance class, so its me and the blue eyed bombshell hanging out.  Oftentimes we go to the mall and walk around.  For me, Baylor Grace truly is a blessing.   All kids are but every day she amazes me even more.  It goes beyond the blonde hair and the eyes that are as blue as the Bonnie Blue Flag  She has such a great personality and really is a beautiful girl.  I love watching her because everyday it is something new to her and she enjoys so much of life.  Steve Miller would be proud because Baylor Grace is almost everything he sings about.  Well we went to the mall and as we walk through Sears we run right into their Xmas stuff.  You should have heard the yell that she let out when she saw all the Christmas stuff.  She was waving at everything, kissing everything, and was in pure heaven.  She really couldnt get over the Abominal Snowman from Rudolph. I wondered and would pay all the money in the world to know what was going through her head when she was looking at that stuff for the first time. There is no way she can remember anything from last year but she really did act like she was seeing a long lost friend.  Dare I say....she lit up like a Christmas tree.  It was a spiritual uplifter for me.  It makes you realize the joy of a child at Christmas- when they still believe- and makes me think of all the amazing Christmas' I had as a kid.  It really is the most wonderful time of the year.

It is never too early....

Yesterday was a big day in the Ayers (Southeast) house.  We got out all the fall decorations which means the house will now be decorated until well into January.  This was always one of my favorite times of the year.  Football is in full swing (did I mention we beat St. X 48-0), the weather is cool, trees are turning colors, and holidays are a time for families.  Of course I loved Christmas, but now that I have kids of my own- I can use Santa as a corrective measure for their behavior for the next few months. 

Yesterday was big but not only because of the decorations but we had our first fire in the fireplace.  The high yesterday was only 53 so it was well within the range of having a fire and for a long time yesterday it was roaring.  Reagan, Brooke, all really- were excited to see it.

Bring on the Fall!  (Lets skip Jan and Feb).

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Friday, October 1, 2010


Tradition is big in my family.  Im sure all families say that but it REALLY is in mine.  I must give my parents a lot of credit for not only emphasising tradition since I was a kid, but also adjusting just a little now that I have kids of my own. Mom, Dad, Patrick, and Sarah- all have been great about adapting our traditions to fit 3 and 1/2 kids here in Lexington.  There were some traditions that I will never forget and always cherish.  When we drove to Florida (which we did every time except one- a tradition into itself) no matter what time of day it was we would stop at Valdosta.  That way we could get up early in the morning and stop at the Florida Welcome Center and grab all the OJ and free brochures.  We could never listen to Jimmy Buffet until we got to Florida state line- then we always had to listen to Margaritaville first.  We always went to Moore's the first night.  We could never listen to Xmas music till Thanksgiving but we always had a fire in the fireplace and the music on that night.  I could go on and on about things that some people would say were just habits.  To us they were more than habits and by saying that they were just habits does not do them justice- there was meaning behind all of it, therefore making it tradition.

Now that I am older and have a family of my own I am trying my best to be respectful of my wife's family traditions and incorporate some of our own.  We still on get one gift to open on Christmas Eve, and it is the same thing it was when I was a kid...pajamas.  We still listen to Margaritaville when we cross that state line, but it might be at some odd hour because with 3 kids we just want to get there.  Moore's is always on the menu the first night. 

Anyway, yesterday was a big day for me- I embraced the fall.  My tradition is now well over 10 years old.  When I was a freshman in college at UK I came home often.  One of the times at home during the fall my parents were watching a John Denver live concert.  I laughed and couldn't believe they were glued to the set.  To me, John Denver was a relic and hadn't had a good song in years.  Outside of his Christmas album there wasn't much to listen too when in came to John Denver.  After that weekend, I had rushed out about the CD of the concert my parents were watching.  I was a 100% John Denver fan.  For some reason that CD became my fall CD that I listened too every time the fall came.  It takes me back to going home during college in the fall with a fire in my parents fire place (which brings up all sorts of memories).  It brings back inner warmth.  It also is my accepting that my shorts days are almost over for the year, the leaves are going to fall, the house will be decorated, and Santa is eventually coming.  All great things for my family.  So yesterday was just that day, with the nip in the air I popped that CD in there for the first time and my girls and I drove home from school singing the Best of John Denver Live.  My girls knew two songs on the CD already and it made me laugh because I hadn't realized how much I was passing on to them.  John Denver (Do-Do as my brother would call him) really has some significant meaning in my life.  The first song Brooke and I danced to at our wedding was For You, one of my favorite John Denver songs.  Both Brooke and I had a passage inscribed in each others wedding rings, both were song lyrics, both were different John Denver songs, neither was coordinated. 

Its funny, some traditions you make sure to hammer home, some just happen over time.  Regardless, if its to teach your kids something important, or bring you back to a place and time, traditions are good. Thats what connects MaMaws and PawPaws to their grandbabies.  And while sunshine on your shoulders might make you happy- poems, prayers, and promises do it for me.

Come let me love you, let me give my life to you.  (needs sound)