A New Driver In The House


16 years I’ve been driving this kid around. When he was an infant, I strapped him into his car seat and listened to him screaming when we bought a new Ford Explorer (I wanted to pull the car over and leave him by the side of the road! Obviously that didn’t happen…) and as the years have gone by, I’ve driven him and his friends to wherever they’ve needed to be for whichever sport they happened to be playing. But THIS week? I lost that privilege. Fer is officially a driver out on the roads of Kentucky now…and my gut feeling is that he’s gonna be a good one! He is careful (at least when I’m in the car), drives responsibly and has a good sense of what is around him and what to watch for. Apparently he gets ALL of those attributes from me…because his mother is a terrible driver. (just kidding. But not really. But I am!)

Anyway…if ya see him out on the road give him a honk (because then he will think he’s done something wrong and that will totally drive him nuts!) and a wave! I’m proud of him and can’t decide if I’m happy that we now have another driver in the house (AND a new car insurance policy) or if I’m sad because now I’m needed even LESS than I already am. Either way…it’s a huge change in our household. Feels weird. And let the “Can I borrow some money for gas?” questions begin!

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Top 10 Rules To Live By

I wouldn’t say I’ve been going around, willy-nilly, NOT following any rules. As anyone who knows me can attest, I ain’t crazy. I live my life the best I can and I try to be a good person. But sometimes I make bad decisions and sometimes I harp on things a little too much. That being said, I’ve decided to write down the Top 10 Rules that keep me on track. Lately I’ve been working on being a better me. It’s not an easy task. Even though I’m not an alcoholic or a drug addict or a compulsive liar, I have my moments where I’m not the best person I can be. I imagine we ALL have these moments and for me, it’s all about staying focused because there’s just so much crap out there that can permeate into your psyche and steal you away from who you are. So here are MY Top 10 Rules To Live By…

10. I Can’t Save Everyone From Themselves. The Best Thing I Can Do Is Save Myself
Seriously, no matter how hard I try, I can’t change anyone or the way they think. All I can do is make myself better. I truly believe that. And so, in the end, it’s best to do what is good for myself.

9. Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff
If I let every little teenie tiny roadblock that gets in my way stop me from accomplishing my goal, then what kind of person am I? It’s all about keeping things in perspective. One small step back can’t stop 2 big steps forward. So I’m trying not to worry about it and keep pushing forward.

8. Once My Bed Is Made, I Get To Lay In It
I am guilty of pointing fingers and blaming but the truth of the matter is…it’s not always someone else’s fault. Most of the time (and I would say probably 97%), it’s MY fault that things happen to me. So it’s my responsibility to accept my limitations and move on. And if I make a bad decision, so be it. I gotta learn from it and hope the negative experience teaches me a few things.

7. Expect Absolutely Nothing From Others. 
High expectations are often my downfall. Sometimes I expect so much out of everyone. But I’m starting to see that sometimes it’s best to approach everything from the opposite end…expect absolutely nothing. This way, I can build from the ground up and not from the top down. I find it’s more productive and it leaves me with a a greater satisfaction when my expectations are met or exceeded.

6. Don’t Talk Politics OR Religion With Anyone Other Than Family
Let’s face it…both are very touchy subjects and can bring a huge rift into relationships. Just agree to disagree and don’t even bother trying to change someone’s mind because, quite frankly, we all believe what we believe. Nothing you can do about it except move on and smile. It’s not worth fighting over.

5. Do Everything As Good As You Can Otherwise…What’s The Point?
This one is big for me because I sometimes approach home improvement tasks with such a negative attitude that I never get them done correctly. I’m always afraid of failure when it comes to doing just about anything around the house and I can never seem to get around that. So…I skimp on the details. It’s in those moments when I feel less confident that I really need to focus and work harder at learning the finer details. So many lessons, so little time…

4. Don’t Be Afraid Of Anything
This is a very big world and sometimes I compartmentalize and want it to be so small but…it’s not. It’s HUGE with so much to see, so much to do. Some days I find myself simply wanting to curl up in my bed and not wanting to ever leave. But as I grow older, I never want to say I didn’t experience this life. I need to get out as much as possible; listen to my music louder, taste things I’ve never tasted and enjoy all that this world and my life offers.

3. Listen To Ferris
He might be only a high school kid (and a character in a movie), but he makes sense…“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while…you might miss it.” And that is the absolute truth. All I have to do is look at my kids to realize and understand this. One day they were babies and toddlers and the next? They’re driving my car and off to another social engagement. Stop and take it all in every once in a while. There is no need to be rushing around like a madman all the time. Enjoy some moments and put the phone away. Memories are important and not for everyone. Sometimes they’re for you and you alone. Keep them close to your heart and always remember them.

2. Love A Lot And Let Them Know
Recently I’ve had a lot of friends pass and it has affected me. People who have been friends for years and who I consider to be important in my life. Those people were not just passing by. They were integrated in my life. Once they are gone, they leave a hole. It’s important to tell those you love how important they are to you. You never know when it might be your last time seeing them or talking to them. Life can take some sudden, drastic turns. Don’t get caught thinking you have time. It doesn’t work that way…

1. Follow The Golden Rule
At its most basic, it’s the ONLY rule that truly needs to be followed. It’s not hard and it can get me so much farther than I probably imagine. “One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself.” Pretty simple. And have I followed that rule my entire life? No. So now I put it at the top of my priority list where it belongs.

And with that…time to get out there and follow these 10 simple rules!

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Open Mouth, Insert Golf Shoe


Imagine winning the 2017 U.S. Amateur event, defeating the then-ranked #3 amateur in the world and accepting an invitation to play in one of the world’s largest golf events, the 2018 U.S. Open. Now imagine having possibly one of the absolute worst rounds of your young career, shooting a +13 at Shoal Creek and coming in dead last in the 164 player field. Cue to a few hours later, you’re trying to unwind and forget about how poorly the day went on a course that had been water logged for 2 days and had allowed very little preparation for an event of this size. You’re probably tired, mentally exhausted and sick of just about everyone telling you, “Don’t worry. You’ll get ’em next time!” Then…as you’re waiting for the elevator in your hotel to take you up to your room…?


I was looking to unwind after a long day also. The FOX production crew had been in the truck for over 10 hours, on the air for 7 of them and without commercial breaks for over 5 hours. My co-workers and I had just wrapped up dinner and were calling it a night. As we walked up to the elevator, Sophia Schubert and her parents were standing there with her golf bag in tow. Now…I have to be honest…I didn’t know how Schubert’s day had gone at the time. During our on-air window, I imagine we saw maybe 70 or so golfers. But I DID remember her gray shirt (most of the golfers wear white or bright colors) and that set her apart. I also remembered that we ran a story about her and her 2017 Amateur win. So I ASSUMED that she probably had at least a somewhat decent day and, looking to be nice to a stranger in an elevator, I chose to say the following…

“Nice round today!”

After a brief moment, her mother turned to me and said…”Do you want her to punch you? That was the worst round she’s ever had in her life!” Now…I’d like to say things took a turn for the worse from there and that there was a all-out brawl in the elevator as we made our way to the 8th floor but there wasn’t. Actually….it was a very cordial conversation and I found her and her parents to be rather nice. Little did I know that this young lady had actually HAD the absolute WORST ROUND OF HER LIFE. I didn’t find that out until maybe 30 minutes later when my co-worker, Ben, texted me that Sophia had come in last in the field for the First Round.

Needless to say, I felt bad about it. So bad that I decided to blurb about it on Facebook so I could let the world know what an idiot I am. And let’s face it…it’s also a little bit funny to me considering….what are the odds that the one golfer I actually got to meet this weekend was the one that had the worst day of her life?  The odds are pretty slim. And yet…here I am…writing about this encounter in hopes that this young lady who has a megaton of potential will someday see this, possibly remember the encounter and laugh along with me. I know her parents understood. They were probably thinking in their heads what an idiot I was at the time…but I get that. When my kids don’t do well, it makes me a little bit crazy also. But her parents were very nice about it and as we split directions on our floor, they said “Goodnight” and wished me well.

Anyway…the point of this post is that I often say the best thing about conversations in an elevator is that they are short and usually meaningless. Just a fleeting moment when you can get to talk to someone and then part ways, often times never speaking again. If Sophia Schubert and I never meet again, I’d be okay with that. However, if there is a chance that she happens to read this someday, I would hope that it will be after she’s won a major tournament somewhere and she’s fully recovered from this weekend and it makes her laugh a little. She was perfectly nice in the elevator despite running into me and I can’t imagine how she must have felt after having such a bad day. So I apologize to Sophia and I look forward to seeing her on tv and at some point winning a bunch of golf tournaments and having a successful career. As for me…I’m thinking maybe I’ll just keep to myself on the elevator from now on.

Consider it a lesson learned.

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March Madness 2018


This year for the Madness, I found myself following the eventual national champion,  Villanova Wildcats, throughout the tournament! In Pittsburgh, Nova easily took out Radford in the 1st Round then romped on Alabama in the 2nd. Moving on to Boston (where I drank my share of Dunkin Donuts for the week), the Wildcats managed to dispense of pesky West Virginia in the Sweet 16 and then they beat Texas Tech in the Elite 8, despite having a bad shooting night. Then it was on to San Antonio, Texas where they clobbered Kansas by shooting an INSANE number of 3-point shots in the first half (they were 13/26 from the 3-pt line) and then won in the Championship pretty easily over Michigan, who had a 14 game win streak coming into the game. Nova was led by Donte DiVincenzo, who came off the bench to score 31 points and received Most Outstanding Player honors.


With this being my second Final Four (but my first on the CBS/Turner television broadcast), there was plenty to be excited about as I got to realize one of my work goals for myself. I’ve always wanted to be at the Final Four. Of all of the events I’ve done, college basketball is easily my favorite and being on the show crew was a privilege and an honor. One of the highlights of being in San Antonio was that my family joined me for a few days as the kids were on spring break. Despite the fact that I didn’t get to spend a lot of time with them, it was cool having them with me for this event and I got to spend Easter evening/April Fools Night with Christopher as we were invited to play basketball on the Final Four court for a couple of hours. Not only was this a “Bucket List” item for me, but it was made even MORE awesome since Fer was there to play with me! That was an experience I’ll never forget! And to add to it…we both played pretty well considering how intimidating that court was! Playing in a football stadium, it’s  LOT different than playing at my local gym, that’s for sure! But he and I both shot pretty well and we had a great time! While I was at work, Steph and the kids went to the Alamo, the San Antonio Zoo and the National Championship game. I was able to go on a Riverwalk tour with them and I think the change of scenery for this spring break was good for them. We love Destin, FL (which is where we’ve gone for spring break for the last 6 or 7 years), but it was fun doing something different and I got to work an event I have always wanted to work!!!

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The Devine Ms. Janice



Through the years, I have made many friends in the television industry. Although we tend to live all over the place, we still find ourselves thrown together in any given city in any given state, all working to get a broadcast on the air and then we hop back in our cars and planes and go home. We never really having the chance to tell one another what a pleasure it is to work together. As “tv people”, we can find a lot of negative in the jobs we do….but secretly….we love it and can’t even consider any other options. And we love those that we work with.

My dear friend & co-worker, Janice Devine, passed away yesterday. It was a complete surprise to me. Having heard only the weekend prior that she had been ill for over a year and that she was in hospice, I didn’t know how far along she was or what the situation was. I have known Janice since the beginning of my career. She was often one of the graphics operators I was paired up with when I first started working for CBS and she and I, through the years, often found ourselves working together for other companies as well. When I heard that she wasn’t doing well and wasn’t taking calls, emails or texts, I realized it must be urgent. But I didn’t realize HOW urgent until the word came of her passing on Sunday, January 14th. I was at work in Bloomington, Indiana, working a basketball game, and the word was like a punch in my stomach.

Here’s the thing…for as long as I knew Janice (which was probably 17 years or so), I never really got the chance to tell her how much I enjoyed our time together. She was a genuine, bright, shiny light in this world. A woman who was ALWAYS smiling on the outside, even if things around her weren’t so shiny. I can’t recall ever hearing her speak badly about anyone (which would be a first in the television industry), I never saw her upset and I don’t remember there ever being a time where she was down or unhappy. She was always on…and she was always happy…and she was an excellent friend & co-worker.

I know she died of ovarian cancer, I know she fought for over a year and I know she kept it quiet. A lot of people on social media were surprised to hear that she had fallen ill. I wish I had even a couple minutes just to tell her what a pleasure it was knowing her and being her friend. It has been almost 6 years since she & I worked together. I recall chatting with her on Facebook a couple times since the London Olympics but they were usually short conversations. It saddens me that I didn’t have the time to chat with her more. She was truly a diamond in the rough.

Rest in Peace Janice. Thank you for being such a great friend and mentor. This world is a sadder place with your passing. You will be missed greatly and you will always be in my heart.




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Another State Championship!


Winning a state football title ain’t easy. And winning it twice in 2 consecutive years is almost impossible. But this year’s Beechwood team did it, blowing out their opponent, Raceland, 41-0 in Lexington, KY. Christopher was more of a part of the team this year, seeing action in the state semifinal game but not in the championship. Even though he didn’t get a chance to get on the field, he made me proud the season, playing quarterback for not only the JV team, but also with the froshmore team and then backing up the starter for the varsity. He got a LOT of good experience and hopefully this will lead him into a position to take the Beechwood Tigers into next season with the same state championship aspirations that they had this season!

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Thanksgiving 2017 & A New Tradition?


This year was another stellar Layton family get-together! As usual, we spent time hanging out with Mom & Dad, crashed at Uncle Frank’s home in the woods and had Thanksgiving dinner at Aunt Mandy’s house. Everyone got their fill (including Dad, who didn’t break his record speed for time spent eating dinner but still put in a good effort) and we played some card games, watched football and watched AJ show his older cousins how to play Madden 2018.

Although we didn’t get to go to a movie this year, Frank and I DID manage to watch a little bit of the underground classic, “The Room”, which is, without a doubt, one of the most ridiculous movies I’ve ever seen and I didn’t even get a chance to finish it! We also watched “Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets”, which wasn’t as bad as critics seemed to make it out to be. Actually…I kind of enjoyed it.


Also this year, Frank & I had the opportunity to play in our high school alumni basketball game! Even though we were on separate teams and had to play against each other, it was probably the most fun I’ve had playing basketball in a long time! Just wish I had played better. I had 4 points but also managed a couple bad airballs (mostly because I was sucking wind most of the game) and let Frank push me around a couple times on the baseline. Gonna have to fix that for next year!


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