Sunday, April 28, 2013

That Day {Remember this}

"It's a girl," she told me.

I've dreamed of hearing those words many times over, but not like this.  I pictured many exclamation points at the end of that sentence.  I imagined it in a birthing room, or a sonogram room.  I've imagined having a girl in my photographs.  A bunch of boys in their navy and gray with a pink bundle in the middle, the boys all gathered around looking at her.  I've imagined the comments at the grocery store.  They always say, "Are you trying for a girl?"  Now they would smile and say, "You've got your girl."  They would talk about how her poor future husband would have to get five brothers' approval.  I've imagined shopping for those first girl things.  I've imagined when the boys are off at college... we would go and visit them, my daughter and me.  She would play softball and piano, or maybe soccer and violin.  I would french braid her hair and tie ribbons at the end.  She would probably have a combination of her grandmothers' names.

I'm the one that asked.  I knew it was on my chart.  I knew I would have to ask and that they would not volunteer such information.  Some people don't want to know.  When I was pregnant, I was sure it was another boy.  I didn't have my hopes up for a girl.  I was so excited to have another boy.  I love my boys.  The nurse practitioner, this is what she said, "It's a girl.  I know this is hard news.  I know you have a house full of boys."  She was sweet to cry with me.  We hugged.  I gathered my stuff and walked out.  That office is so full of joy for so many, but my stomach turns every time I drive by it (which, by the way, is every single day).  That familiar feeling of sadness and regret... I have to fight through it.  It is sanctification for me.

I'll spare you all the details, but here's a few.  I met Chris in the parking lot of a coffee shop on my way home.  We talked.  We cried, again.  I didn't think I had any more tears.  It was just a week before Christmas.  I texted Chris later that day, "I've always wanted a daughter."  And then to find out I had one that I never had the chance to be Mommy too.  It was overwhelming.

My emotions have been all over the place since that day.  About a month ago, I was by myself at Target, and I slowly made my way through the baby aisles, and made a mental check list of what I would have picked out for her.  They have cutest chevron crib sheets.  Pacifier design has improved since Nathan was a baby.  They have little white pacifiers with a pink heart.  I got rid of my bouncy seat awhile ago, and I decided which one I would buy in its place.  I know.  It's strange to do such a thing.  For so many years, I was often in the baby aisles... replacing a pacifier, getting a new bottle, or picking up some diapers or baby food.  I haven't had a reason to walk through there in years.  It was therapeutic for me, this imaginary shopping trip.  I didn't cry.  It wasn't even overly sad at the time, but it helped me say good-bye.  I don't need to do that again.

I'm not sure I know how to express the extent of my sadness here.  Some of it is private.  Some of it has already lessened with time.  God is healing me.  He has been good.  Even in this bad circumstance, He's teaching me, refining me, and making me more like Him.  But even so, not a day will go by that I won't miss my daughter, that I won't wish she were here with us.  She would have fit perfectly in our family.  The boys would have been wild about her.  She would have had a great life.  We would've loved her so much.

A friend posted this the other day, and I had to stop what I was doing and write it down.

"Remember this,
had any other condition been better for you
than the one in which you are,
divine love would have put you there."


This is true for me.  For our family.  And for her.

I'm thankful for Truth, for those who have gone before me and lived in it, and for those who are now pointing me to it.  God had her days numbered perfectly.  This particular month has been more difficult.  She was due today.  I'm not sure how I can miss someone I've never met, or who maybe wouldn't have even been born yet, but I do.  I'll always be grateful for her life, short as it was.  The Lord has taught me so much.  I look on my boys with new eyes.  I feel like I love and appreciate them more.  They are all little miracles.  I knew intellectually they were miracles, but now I KNOW they are.  How blessed I am to have five sweet boys to call me Mommy.  And how blessed I am for the Lord to entrust me with this sorrow.  It's made me realize more fully the gifts I already have.  It's been a reminder that God knows what is good for me, and that I don't have to understand it.  And the best thing has been to realize my utter dependence on the Lord for everything.  It's all His.  I am His.

Remember this.

She is His.

For some background you can read That Day
That Day {Part 2}
That Day {The Hospital}

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Thompson Visit.

My college friend, Niki, drove all the way from Branson to see me last weekend.  She brought along a few spare childrens with her.  She is the proud mother of ten kiddos.  Yes, you read that correctly.  She does have ten kids.  She brought along her two oldest boys and her youngest little guy.  We had eight boys in the house and it was a fun, lively weekend.
Getting the house ready for guests was part of the fun.  When you've spent eight hours in the car, you need a homemade chocolate cake to greet you.

We HAD to go to In-N-Out.  Perfect boy restaurant.  Cheap, outdoors, and fun hats and stickers as a bonus.

I think this is perhaps the worst picture of me I've ever seen, but I'll put it out in cyberspace anyway, because it's the only one I have of us at our big race... a 5k here in Fort Worth.  It was lots of fun, and lots of free stuff and the end... making it a great way to start a Saturday morning.

Niki had never been to Anthro, so we had to go.

And Torchy's Taco.  Yum.  Yum.  We ate every bit of that queso.

Had to take her to Brewed.

And Trader Joes.

And what's a weekend with the Wolfes without a baseball event (or 2 or 3 or 4).

We pulled our table outside to play ping pong, because we could.

And on the last evening, we had to do a photo shoot.  That tenth baby needs his own special pictures.

My kids loved baby Branch.  He was like a celebrity around here.

Branch was such a good sport with all my boys kissing him and loving him all the time.

Isn't he a doll?

Moms of boys, you know how boys are so uncooperative for pictures.  This was the best we could get. But at least we tried.

This was Asher after they pulled out of the driveway.  He was crying and didn't want anyone to see.  He was going to miss baby Branch so much :(

It was the perfect visit.  Happy to see them come.  Sad to see them leave.
When can we do it again?

Monday, April 22, 2013

Homemade Granola

My mom passed this granola recipe on to me.  I tried a few others that I wasn't crazy about before I settled on this one.  I like how this recipe has minimal oil and minimal unnatural sugars and then lots of healthy stuff added in.

Here's a few pictures.  This is a double batch.  We can eat a double batch very quickly around here.

And here's the recipe in case you want to try.  I admit, I'm partially putting these recipes on my blog so I can look them up on my computer without trying to find this crumpled up 4x6 card it's currently on :)

3 cups old fashioned oats
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups add-ins, chopped
(this could be whatever you have on hand... cherries, almonds, walnuts, pecans, raisins, apricots)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees
Wisk oil, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, salt and cinnamon
Pour over oats and add-ins and toss well.  Spread mixture on baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.

We usually serve it over yogurt for breakfast, but I prefer to eat it as cereal.  Or you can just eat it plain as a snack.  It's your granola.  Do whatever you want with it!

Thursday, April 11, 2013


There's no meaning to this post.
But I love photography and how it captures moments.  Moments like these...
Socks on his hands during a cold baseball games.

Bangs in his face.

Porch swing chats.

Excitement before our Easter basket search.

Backyard whiffle ball with Papa.

Their cute faces up close.


Dressed up and ready for the game, excited to have Tandy come watch.


Games on the back porch.

My reader.

And this one.  He knows he has his mommy wrapped around his finger.

We have special guests coming today and we're so excited, but I guess I should start the school day, so we can start picking up the house.  It really needs it.  Nathan got out the Playmobil toys yesterday and they are somehow all over the house.

Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Strawberry Bread

We've been trying to eat a little healthier around here.  We're not doing anything crazy, just trying to cut back on foods which contain sugar or flour, and not eat anything fried.  It's pretty simple, but it eliminates a lot of my go-to foods.  But since I was pretty good during the week, I did make this yummy strawberry bread as a sweet treat this weekend.  This bread is delicious and while it's not totally healthy, it's not as bad as some desserts.  And, in my opinion, every bit as tasty.
Ok, so it's not the most gorgeous bread in the whole world.  Just like beauty can be deceiving, so can this very plain looking bread.  Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting, but a cake that pleases that taste buds shall be praised... or something like that.

The recipe is from this book.  A good friend gave me this years ago.  I love the concept of eating seasonally.  I'm not good at doing it, but every once in a while I pull it out and have always liked what I've made from it.  

Strawberry Bread
1 cup flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/4 cups strawberries mashed
3/4 cup sugar (I only used the 1/2 cup and could have used even less)
2/3 cup oil
2 eggs
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda

Mix all ingredients together.  I just threw all of this in my Kitchenaid mixer.  Pour into a greased loaf pan.  Bake at 350 for about an hour, but check after about 45 minutes.  It's done when toothpick comes out clean.

Monday, April 8, 2013

They Broke Our Hearts

I wrote this last two falls ago after the Rangers lost the World Series, but forgot to post it... it only seemed appropriate today as the Rangers begin a new season.


The Rangers did.  They broke our hearts.  When you live in a home with 6 boys, you have to realize that these things, sports things, are important.  I didn't know how much sports can affect your life.

Samuel at a game with me earlier on in the season.

Nathan watching the game.

While another one "keeps stats."

Playoffs come, and stadiums are made.

Halloween costumes are chosen.
Well, actually, we chose this mainly b/c we didn't have to buy anything.

A father and son get to attend game 4 together.

It's a memory they won't forget.

And then game 6 came along, and broke all of our hearts.
I had told them if/when the Rangers won, they could jump on the couch, then run up and down the street in their underwear.
When Neftali was pitching that final inning, we were standing on the couch.
Then we quietly sat down.
Then Hamilton batted in 2 and we were hopeful again.
Then we sat down again.

We are still fans.

World Series 2013?
Come on boys!

Sweet Samuel, just last night, conked out before the Ranger game was over (we had recorded it and were watching it later).  He had to wake up at 6:30 for a baseball tournament on Saturday and Sunday, and then went to the TCU baseball game, and then the day ended watching the Rangers.  This one never tires of baseball events :)