15 February 2011


As a young single woman, I dreamed of the day I would have a Valentine...someone to send me lavish bouquets of flowers at work so everyone there would know that I am loved...someone to surprise me with expensive jewelry that I can show off so again everyone would know that I am loved. But that was Hollywood's version of Valentines Day...not reality. I learned that quickly when I fell in love with a man who doesn't believe in buying flowers or jewelry for me...he thinks it's a waste of money.

So I headed to work yesterday knowing not to expect anything until I got home. A few hours into my shift I went to the break room to make coffee. When I came back to the front office, Misty told me my boys were there. I was worried that something was wrong because Toran and Rory have been very sick and I even had Toran in the ER over the weekend for breathing problems. I rushed to the waiting room only to see the most precious Valentines waiting for me.

There in the doorway stood Rory with a single rose in his hand and not to be outdone, Toran was right behind him with one gourmet chocolate clutched in his hand. They came through the door, handed me my treats and kissed and hugged me. I couldn't have asked for a more special Valentine or a bigger surprise! Who needs lavish bouquets and expensive jewelry?! I've got my boys!!!

14 November 2010


It is common knowledge among my acquaintances that I am extremely afraid of birds and other fluttering creatures like bats, moths and crane flies. And ever since I was 10 and watched about 100 birds land inside my neighbors' chimney where they had taken up residence, it has been a nightmare of mine that one of these fearsome creatures would find its way into my chimney someday. Imagine my utter shock and disbelief when this not only happened, but it was discovered in the middle of our playdate with Marilee and her girls Friday afternoon.

We had all gone downstairs (minus Lina who was napping in Toran's room) to give Marilee a tour of the basement. As we were heading into the laundry room, I noticed that Rory and Toran had opened the glass door to our fireplace. I decided to finish the tour before going back into the family room to close it...I figured there was minimal damage that could happen at the time as there was no fire burning in it. As I approached the fireplace a few minutes later, I couldn't help but notice how the light made it appear that there was a bat-like creature hanging from the outside of the wire curtain that was now completely exposed due to the open glass door. And the closer I got to it, the more bat-like it appeared to the point that heart-stopping fear prohibited me from taking another step.

Not wanting to appear ridiculous in front of my cousin, I asked her to come over and take a look...sure that it was just the light playing tricks on me. Unfortunately, her eyes told her the same thing that mine were desperate not to believe. "It looks like a bat," she said. And then we evacuated the basement. You may wonder why I didn't just close the glass door and trap it in the fireplace again. The answer is simple: I have been tricked by a bat before...appearing to be harmless and unable to fly when it was just luring me in waiting for the chance to open its horrible little mouth and utter its horrible screeching noise and swoop in for the kill...it's true...just ask Michelle. So I could not give this bat a chance to do the same thing.

I had just decided to call my awesome, faithful brother-in-law Erik and ask him to come take care of my bat problem when Kevin surprised me with an unexpected visit. So we went down to face whatever traps the ferocious bat had planned for us. As it turns out, my husband is a little nervous around bats also...but after much deliberation and pep talks, he managed to shut the glass door. Now for the best part of the story...closer inspection of the creature through the glass door revealed that it was not a bat at all but a dead bird who died stuck to the wire curtain thrashing about and had been there for quite a while as Kevin described it's carcass as "fried" and "mummified". Lovely. The good news is Kevin managed to detach it and dispose of it and there aren't any signs that there are more birds in the chimney.

29 September 2010


I have a tendency to spend part of everyday reviewing the mistakes I made that day as a mother. There are times I lose my patience, raise my voice, and occasionally lock myself in the bathroom for a few moments of reprieve. And I find myself wincing as I look back at the mistakes of the day wondering which ones I'll hear about during a counseling session 30 years from now.

Today, while I was busy wiping spaghetti sauce out of Toran's hair and nose and neck roll (you get the picture), Rory was busy playing with his trains. And after a minute I began to notice a little tune coming from his direction. So I stepped over to him and I heard, "My God is so BIG! So STRONG and so MIGHTY, there's nothing my God cannot do! TOOT TOOT!"

This he repeated over and over again for the better part of 10 minutes even after he stopped playing with trains and starting running in circles around the house. And I found myself humming the song as I changed the kids' diapers and put them down for their naps. And that sweet refrain continues to play as both boys are taking naps at the same time and I actually have a few minutes to myself. And tonight when I review the events of the day, I will remember my precious two year old singing his version of the song I taught him, and I'll remind myself that I must be doing something right and that my God is indeed strong and mighty!

31 October 2009


Do you remember that children's rhyme your mom used to tell you that went something like, "there were 4 in the bed and the little one said 'roll over'"? Well, little did I know that verse was a glimpse into my future. I know all the authorities on child raising say NEVER to bring your kids into bed with you...but I confess, my husband and I have done it. It wasn't so bad when it was just one son...but when we added our 2nd baby to the family, we knew it would be a little cramped. Luckily our firstborn magically stopped waking up in the middle of the night wanting to sleep with us. So we indulged our bad habit and let the baby sleep in our bed as that seems to be the only way any of us get any sleep. Well...its been about 2 weeks now since Rory got sick and started waking up in the night and, you guessed it, coming to sleep with us. And of course Toran still sleeps with us because we've never made him sleep on his own. I am here to tell you it is extremely difficult for 2 adults, 1 toddler and 1 big baby to sleep comfortably on a queen mattress. But thanks be to God, last night both our babies slept in their own beds! I could hardly believe it when I put Toran in his crib and he kept sleeping instead of waking up screaming! Oh the bliss of a good night's sleep...until 5 am when Rory woke up...and that woke Toran up...and we spent the next two hours trying to get them to sleep again in our bed. Finally Kevin and I had to get up and get ready for the day...I carefully put Toran to sleep in his bed and snuck out of the room. An hour later and they are still asleep...Toran in his bed and Rory in mine! So, there were 4 in the bed and the little one said, 'roll over'...and now he has that queen sized bed all to himself! :)

18 October 2009

JUST ME AND MY MOM...by Rory George

We had a fun adventure planned for Friday...just me and my mom. First we took Toran to Grandma and Grandpa Coghill's - I didn't mind leaving him there to go home with Mommy and take a nap! After my nap we were going to go see a movie - I was so excited about this that I only slept for 15 minutes! My mom was surprised to see me up so soon.So we took an unplanned trip to the grocery store...just me and my mom. It had started to rain, so I got to wear my new hand-me-down raincoat! The grocery store was very crowded and hot, so I took off my shoes and hat and threw them out of the cart while we were walking - don't worry, my mom picked them up for me. She must have been hot too because she took off her coat while we were paying for groceries and carried me to the car in the rain without it.

After we dropped the groceries off at home, we headed to the movies...just me and my mom. I decided to surprise Mommy by finishing my nap in the car - it was such a good nap that my mom couldn't wake me up when we got to the theater. So she decided to get lunch instead. Since I was still sleeping, Mommy went through the drive-thru at Taco Bell. I woke up as she was paying for her order and calmly asked where my food was.
We parked at a nearby parking lot to eat...just me and my mom. Mommy gave me crackers, cheese and juice and then opened her bag to eat her burrito - the nice people at Taco Bell had given her 3 tacos instead. She must have been thirsty because she kept drinking her pop after every bite and fanning her mouth with her hand - just like when she ate David's jalopeno poppers! I guess she wasn't very hungry because she only ate one of them.

After that we decided to go to Cold Stone...just me and my mom. Mommy said that ice cream makes everything better. I got to have my own dish of cotton candy ice cream with gummi bears in it. I gave my mom all the gummi bears - she didn't seem to mind that I dug them out of the ice cream with my dirty fingers and shoved them into her mouth one after the other!
We decided to go to Target to buy a treat...just me and my mom. Mommy said we needed something to make up for the day. I didn't know what she meant because I was having lots of fun. Before we had a chance to choose something, Grandma Nina called and said that Toran needed us to come get him. He must have been sad that he was missing all the fun. We grabbed a copy of Finding Nemo and headed out the door - after paying, of course.

On the way we talked about what a great adventure we had! We made lots of special memories today...just me and my mom.

09 October 2009


My husband and I recently welcomed a new baby into our family. Choosing a name for both of our sons turned out to be a long and sometimes painful process. I wasn't sure what to tell him when he announced to me that his favorite baby name was George when we were expecting our first child. After finally agreeing to the name Rory George, imagine my shock and surprise when he told me he wanted to name our 2nd son George Rory. I am still not convinced that he was joking.

One name that we were considering naming both our boys was BRICK. At first I mentioned it to Kevin as a joke...but it started to grow on us. We could imagine our son, a stellar athelete of course, racing toward the soccer goal while the crowds chanted, "Brick, Brick, Brick!" I even convinced myself that I would be naming the baby after my dad Rick (which was another name Kevin vetoed). But in the end we listened to the pleas of our families and our own good sense and named our 2nd son Toran James.

Flipping through the channels the other night, I caught the opening of In The Middle and heard the narrarator introduce one of the sons as Brick! I could hardly believe it! It was as if someone had snatched the name right out from underneath us (kind of like Asher, but that's another story).

For a few brief moments I almost regretted not choosing that name. But then I remembered that my two favorite boys' names are Rory and Toran...and we don't have room to store all the bricks our son would have received from his Aunt Amy! :)

27 November 2008


Today is the last day that Kevin, Rory and I will call the house on Lois Lane "home". We are so excited about the new house we're moving to, but as I sit looking around our empty home, I'm struck with so many memories...and I find I'm a little sad.

There is so much about this house that I love: it's where we shared our first kiss; where we planted the maple tree that's grown taller than both of us now; where we brought our newborn son home to. We've enjoyed Christmases, birthdays and nothing special about them days. We've argued. We've laughed. We've changed. We've learned how to be a husband and a wife, a father and a mother. We've crammed a lot of life into the walls of this house.

And we'll do all this and more in our new home. We'll raise our children, figure out how to survive in a kitchen with no drawers, and continue to live everyday to its fullest. We will make new memories and cherish the old ones. And we'll always have a special place in our hearts for the house on Lois Lane.