Monday, December 31, 2012

Dont forget old acquaintance, appreciate them!

I am sorry, I know it has been a while since I have posted.  I actually have gotten a lot of emails asking about where I have been.  There has been a lot going on, and I have tossed around my next blog for a week a so.  I have written, rewritten, started over on it a few times.

First, let me say it was a wonderful Christmas. You probably expected me to have written a blog about it by now, but Im not going to.  That doesn't mean it wasn't great, it was.  It was amazing to have so many that I love here with us.  We missed Patrick and his crew, but it made us happy that he was happy.  Even if he was far away.  I actually don't want to write much about Christmas, this one I  want to keep to myself.  It was special  However, I will share one aspect of it.  As we gathered around the dinner table on Christmas night, we all expected my F-I-L to give a speech at his table.  He is a man of many words, it was a speech that Lombardi would be proud of for sure.  With all of us hanging on to the anticipation of what he would say, so much so that you could cut the tension with a knife, Pop leans over and says "super." That was it.

Brooke and I later went to Birmingham to see an old friend.  My old friend has found himself someone he is going to marry. We couldn't be happier for the both of them.  Sam was a big part of our family for a short period of time, and we have done a pretty good job keeping up with each other since we moved to different parts of the world.  Congrats, Sam- we all wish you the best.

That brings me to tonight, NYE.  Lots of people don't like NYE, and I have never been a big partier on this night.  Regardless, I love NYE and I never knew why, until today.  I remember being in the 7th grade and sleeping over at a friends house (God rest his soul).  He was having a bunch of us guys over, and I wanted to call my parents at midnight to wish them Happy New Year!   For the record, I was the only one who called his parents.  Well, Mom answered the phone, and its safe to say she wasn't in a festive mood.  I think she had been asleep for a couple of hours. I learned to never call them again on NYE, that's fine.  BUT EVERY YEAR my mother calls around dinner time and says "don't call at midnight, we will be asleep," yadda yadda yadda.  I get it Mom, 20 years later you don't have to worry about me calling.  To be honest, its funny.  I am proud of myself that I got off the phone tonight in such a hurry that she didn't have time to remind me not to call.  Brooke thinks I should.  She said not only should I call, I should bang pots and pans.  I will explain that on another blog.

A bonus tonight was that Brooke and I got to go see a move.  She can't remember the last movie she saw with me.  We went to go see "This is 40."  Loved the movie, loved it.  There was so much of my life in the movie.

1) At one point the father is arguing with his wife and daughters (who all teamed up on him) and he looks at them and says "sometimes I wish that one of you had a d*ck!"  I totally can relate.
2) The couple is finding it hard to keep the passion alive in their relationship due to..... life.
3) Some of their arguments are verbatim to ones we have had.  It was actually reassuring to me that apparently we are not alone.
4) He farts in bed
5) The soundtrack is great.  

In the end, they realized how much they love and need each other.  If they stopped trying to change the things they don't like about each other and appreciate the things that they love, their relationship is freer.    These past few weeks have been good for me, for all us. Being around Brooke, having some time just to ourselves, has helped me remember why she is so special.  I took her to see "Knocked up" when we were pregnant with Reagan.  We saw "the sort of sequel to KU" as we enter our 10th year of marriage. We have come a long way, and Brooke has been an inspiring partner in my life. As we flip the page to a new year, I am excited of what is to come with us, and I look forward to having more alone time out with her.

But I love NYE, and I read a quote today that really summed it up.  It hit home with me on why I love this day. "An optimist stays up till midnight to see the new year in.  A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves."

So, as I sit here at my in-laws house, I find myself in a state of deep contemplation.  Ive loved the trip down here,  as I always do.  I think about the changes and the great things that have happened this year, and I am excited to see what the new year brings.  We have one more hour (CST) before 2013.  I will sit awake and watch the ball drop (alone).   I may not have anyone to kiss tonight, but tomorrow I will have plenty of girls to kiss.  That's fine by me.  Brooke is happier when she sleeps- that will make us all happier.

I hope you have reflected on your past today, and I hope that you are excited about your future.  In the end, I couldn't have said it better, Pop- "super!"

Remember, no man is a failure who has friends.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Clark W. Griswold meets The Crow

I get made fun of in my family for being a Clark W. Griswold clone.  I try so hard to create these grand events, that I can sometimes be over the top with them.  I build them up for so long, I am always devastated when they are over (Im not saying I have been known to cry at the end of these events, but Im not saying I haven't), the event I anticipated for so long is now a memory.  My grand plans almost never live up to the visions in my head, although they are generally pretty close.  One of the things I love the most is when I can get my family (or at least as many as possible) together.  Lots of people say that family means everything, Im not sure lots of people actually mean that.  I, for one, do.  I credit my father who had virtually no family.  I didnt know his mother, I barely knew his father, and Dad is an only child.  All he had was Mom, Patrick, and I.  Im fortunate to be very fertile, so I have lots of kids.  I have also said that I won the in-law lottery, cause I truly love my in-laws.  One of the few things I love more than both my parents and in-laws are when we are all together.  Thankfully my parents and in-laws are great friends.   Almost every conversation between Brooke's father and my father end with "love you man."  Which is funny because neither of those guys particularly like people.

A few years ago we decided to move our Christmas gatherings to Gatlinburg, a redneck town in the mountains of East Tennessee.  A hillbilly town that Brooke and I love.  It is even better now that the girls are getting bigger.  We rent out a cabin, all convene there for a weekend of great food, lots of drink, priceless memories, and time spent together.  We did this a few years in a row, but work has gotten in the way the past couple of years.  Back in August I realized that I might be able to pull together another grand ole Ayers family vacation.  I said "girls, gather around the table, Daddy has a big announcement!"  Reagan replies: "you took a new job, so we can move back to Lexington?!"  Whatever I had to say at that point would be anti climactic.  However, we were all excited about the weekend trip to Gatlinburg.  It was a trip we talked about for four long months.  When the days/weeks were difficult, I would just think about this weekend- and it would get me through.  I never fully knew if I could pull it off.  While everyone was committed to being there, work might get in the way for my folks, perhaps something else would happen to my in-laws.  You just never know.  I wouldn't believe it until we all unpacked our cars at the cabin.  We were also fortunate to be joined by Brooke Perrin, who is the girls Godmother.  She brought her baby boy, they are both (well plus her husband Austin who is doing his residency) very much part of our family.  We haven't decided how to break the news to the girls that "Aunt" Brooke isnt really their aunt.  Who knows, maybe we never will.

On Thursday, after a very long week of an even a longer semester, we were on our way down.  I hopped in the car with Dad, MaMaw hopped in the car with the girls.  If anyone was looking forward to this week as much as I was, it was my mother.  Im not sure there is anything she enjoys more than being their MaMaw.  Let me tell you, she is great at it too.  Its been a long year for Mom and Dad too, this was a much needed break for everyone.  Dad likes to tease me, about everything, so I was never sure if he was really going to come.  When we finally got there, it was surreal.  My great family weekend had begun.  To top it off, it was the most beautiful cabin in we have ever stayed in with an absolute breathtaking view.

Thursday night dinner was at The Old Mill in Pigeon Forge.  Anyone who has been to the area, knows this restaurant.  Its a good, old, southern, place to eat.  It was a great kickoff to what was going to be a great weekend.  PawPaw was a little distracted on his cell phone, MaMaw was awfully quiet.  We got back to the cabin around 7, by 7:30 my parents had loaded up the car and were heading back to Louisville.  Mom, wasn't feeling well.  I wont go into too many details other than we think she will be fine.  Just in a lot of pain, in a place where she couldn't get much help.  As excited as I was for the weekend, I was now as equally crushed.  I never get to spend good time with my parents anymore, especially now that I live in Chicago.  Having everyone there (except Patrick) is a rarity, now it was seemingly an instant.  Mom didn't say goodbye to me, and I know why.  She was too disappointed that she felt like she was ruining the weekend.  She felt like she was letting me down, that if she said goodbye, she would break down in tears.  Its about a 35-45 minute drive back to I-40.  She cried the entire way.  Yes I was angry, yes I was disappointed, but not at her.  Just at the situation.  I missed her (them), the girls would miss them, the weekend wouldn't be the same.  Don't get me wrong, the weekend was still great, but it wasn't the same.

As I sat in a rocking chair on the back deck, I couldn't help but think of the last interview given by Brandon Lee, son of Bruce Lee.  Brandon Lee died in sort of an odd way, just like his father did.  He died while filming a movie called The Crow, which the subject matter of the movie was very poetic considering the circumstances.  (Read about The Crow, here)  Regardless, he gave one last interview before dying on the movie set.  It struck me as a sophomore in HS, and it sticks with me today.  Watch this, and I think you will know what I mean.  You dont have to watch the entire thing if you don't want.  If nothing else, watch from about the 4:45 to the 5:45 mark.  It is a perfect summation of how I feel about this weekend and why I get so excited for events with my family.

Nothing is trivial.