Thursday, December 18, 2014

Welcome Baby Luke!!

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Welcome, little one!!

Luke Kyle Wolfley, our bringer of light.

7 lbs. 9.9 oz. and 19” long

Early Sunday morning, December 14th at 6:12 AM, we welcomed a beautiful baby boy into our family.  This past month has been a whirlwind of ups and downs as we’ve awaited his arrival, but we are especially grateful for the pure love we have felt by so many who have anticipated his presence.  It’s interesting to consider that Luke may have spent time with my dad; I have certainly felt his love for me since Luke’s birth and Gabe has twice made the comment that, “Papa’s here.”

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My mom was able to be with Jared & I through the labor and delivery, and it was truly one of the most sacred experiences I’ve ever had.

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It’s hard to believe that I am a mother to four.  I love each of my children dearly.  I know I’ve said it before, but there is nothing greater than being a Mother!  I am grateful for this life of mine.  I have cried a lot of tears over the past five months, but the last four days have been filled with tears of gratitude, hope, and happiness over this beautiful newborn who allows us to experience heaven in our home.

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Monday, November 24, 2014

Three Rubies

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“It is my firm conviction that there has never been a period in my many years of life when our Father in Heaven’s children have needed the guiding hand of faithful, devoted parents more.” - Elder L. Tom Perry

When the challenges of parenthood seem to overwhelm me, I try to take time to capture moments like these and remember that these three babes need me now more than ever.  The spirit of sacrifice takes root and encourages me to press forward.   

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Diaper Free/Girls' Room

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 Hi everyone!  How has your week been?  School was cancelled today which was nice.  It’s been really cold outside and the freezing temperatures have turned our neighborhood into Ice-ville.  

I’m really excited to report that Gabe has been diaper free for almost three weeks now...including nights.  I had him in diapers for three nights after the first few days of success, but he kept waking up dry, and he started insisting on “undies” during nighttime, too.  I consider it a miracle because I haven’t done hardly anything to instigate this.  In fact, I’ve been fully preparing myself to have two little boys in diapers.  He basically woke up one Monday morning and said “No Mommy, No!” to diapers.  He’s a little obsessed with using the potty (like every 30 minutes), but he’s very consistent, and I couldn’t be more grateful.  We all praise him like crazy every single time though, too, in high hopes that we won’t have a regression here in the near future. ;)

With the new baby coming, we’ve decided to put both girls in the same room.  So far it’s been going better than I thought it would, and I’m really happy with how it looks which is a major plus.

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Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the amount of housework required to sustain a family, especially since I’ve had helping hands in & out of my home the past few weeks - allowing me to rest and get better.   More often than not our days as mothers tend to feel like a giant blur of preparing food, picking up little messes, folding laundry, doing dishes, making beds, mopping floors, wiping down something, on and on.  I came across this quote the other day that struck a chord with me.

  “Housework is constant.  It doesn’t stop when you’re having a bad day.  It doesn’t always feel fun.  It doesn’t always result in Hallmark moments.  However, if we look at housework as family work, and focus on how it encourages love, togetherness, and essential opportunities for meaningful conversations, we’ll find so much more joy in this process of motherhood.”  - April Perry

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Darker the Night, Brighter the Stars

I am not afraid of the dark, but I do not like it.  As a little girl, nighttime was hard for me, but on clear, dark nights, I found comfort while focusing on the stars, especially the bright ones.  Sometimes darkness is thick - it’s impossible to see the stars - but regardless, they’re there…even when we can’t see them with the naked eye.

I know there will be times in each of our lives when darkness ensues, tempting us to feel engulfed by it’s heaviness.

But darkness always passes, beauty remains.  Light will always win.

I have so many things to be grateful for.  

I’m recovering from pneumonia right now which put me in the hospital last week (darkness), but my mom came to the rescue (bright star)!  She left this morning (darkness), but my house is spic ’n span and we’ve all been rejuvenated with good rest and delicious homemade food (major bright stars).  

 Despite my poor health the past several weeks (darkness), we still made memories that are worth blogging about (bright stars). :)

Pumpkin Patch Outing:

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Halloween:

(I know I shared these once already, but my Halloween post somehow got deleted.)

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Jared took the kids trunk-or-treating in our church parking lot and trick-or-treating along our street.  I stayed in where it was cozy and answered the door for all the ghosts & ghouls & Elsa princesses that came to our door.  After that, Jared’s brother’s family came over that night for a fun visit.  Notice the monkey nose picker.  Lovely.

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School Pictures (two bright stars):

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^^^ I can’t believe she’s a 2nd grader! I love her so much; she has been an amazing helper to me, and I love how her hair matches her eyes. ^^^

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^^^ Our cute kindergartner.  She’s about a foot shorter than everyone in her class, but she never lets it hold her back.  The other day she told me, “I’d be bragging if I talked about being small.  Not everyone is small, mom.”  ha, ha!  She is really big on organizing everything and loves learning how to read.  I absolutely love her and her fun perspective on life. ^^^

Double Rainbow:

A double rainbow surrounded our house early one morning last week.  By the time I grabbed my phone to take a picture, the second rainbow was almost gone.  It was nothing short of remarkable, and it brought me peace that day; I knew we were being watched over.

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“Perhaps they are not stars, but rather openings in heaven where the LOVE of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know that they are HAPPY."

- Author Unknown

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Eyes That See

The weather has been dreary this week, but I love the rain.  It’s so refreshing.  

Oh, and did I tell you that I won the award for housewife accident of the year?!  Two nights ago when I was preparing dinner in my lovely victorian apron with my Doris Day up-do (j/k), a splat of hamburger grease hit me square in the right eye.  The next day my vision was blurred enough that I found myself sitting at the eye doctor.  Somehow, the hot grease managed to land directly on my cornea leaving me with a nice eye burn spanning my line of sight.  Are your eyes watering yet?  How does this happen?!  It’d be funny to watch a slow motion video of this incident - okay maybe not really funny, but sort of funny.  The doctor said he’d never seen such a target hit.  Luckily, we live in a modern world with treatment options, and I’m well on my way back to 20/20 again.  

Either way, I have eyes that see most clearly when I’m on my knees...leaving unanswered questions to Heavenly Father, finding gratitude in my challenges, and enjoying the simple beauties all around me. 

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   (I really enjoy walking to Carlie’s bus stop each day to pick her up from school.)

P.S. Please consider wearing safety goggles if you cook dinner tonight. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Gabriel, We Love You.

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Gabe is 2 yrs & 4 months old now.  He is such a good little boy.  With AnnMarie & Carlie both in school, the two of us have morning time, & I absolutely love it.  I will miss our one-on-one time together when the new baby comes, but we are both looking forward to “baby” joining us soon.  

Today Gabe accompanied me to my OB appointment, and the whole time we were there he insisted on holding my hand while carrying his little diaper bag in the other hand.  He has been a babe of little words, but the past month has been exciting to hear his vocabulary blossom.  Yesterday morning as I walked out of my room after getting all ready for church (actually wearing make-up people), he looked at me and said, “Wow, Mommy!”  

Yeah, it made me feel pretty great. :)

His favorite book is called “Little Blue Truck,” by Alice Schertle and I read it to him every single night; it’s so sweet to hear him try to read along with me, too.  (He loves books more than any of my other kiddos have at that age.)

So basically Gabriel, I love you so much little guy, and I can’t imagine our family without you and your golden cherub curls.    

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Learning to Forgive

I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men. [D&C 64:9–10]

I would be lying if I said that anger was not a real part of the grieving process.  Sometimes I am angry at individuals...those closest to me…sometimes myself…sometimes people I don’t even really know.  Sometimes I feel abandoned, misled, or confused.  It’s difficult not to question an emulated lifestyle .  Some days, I feel so alone.  

I choose to forgive.

“It’s all part of the process,” people say.  “It’s totally normal,” which I suppose means I’m validated in my feelings...but how would they know?  No two trials are ever the same.  It’s easy to offer comfort when you’re secretly grateful it’s not you.  However, as a good friend explained to me, I have come to realize that 'grief, sorrow, and pain are universal...enabling us to relate with compassion and love toward those we see suffering.’  

I choose to forgive.

Insensitive remarks can cause so much hurt to the broken-hearted.  I wonder if that’s why some people choose to remain silent in the face of another’s adversity.  “How can they not say something about this?” I ask.  I know we’re all at different points in our progression, and most of us are fighting our own demons anyway.   

I choose to forgive.  

How can I rise above an outcome that cannot be changed?  How can I ever feel the peace I once knew?  I have never known such pain, and I know there will be many days ahead when my heart aches and my tears flow.  

Even then, I will choose to forgive.  

I know forgiveness is not a one-time choice.  I have to choose it every day, over and over again.  Often many times in one day - when I see the grief felt by my mom, my brothers, and their wives, when my own children ask questions that cannot be answered right now, when I look at pictures of happier times or see his pencil markings in all of my music books.

I choose to forgive.

Why?  Because I trust in Him, for “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13), and come what may, there is true joy in the promises of eternity.  

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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Soccer Daddy

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There’s something to be said about this man who works long hours providing for our family, yet still finds time to coach the cutest soccer team in town. :)  I’ve always known Jared was a good dad, but it’s pretty amazing to see him make a difference in the lives of other kids, too.  

His tech skills come in handy, too!  He has an app on his phone that keeps track of each player and their positions…while recording individual on-the-field playing time.  So funny.  I tease him a little, but he takes it seriously, and the girls love it!   

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GO…"Sparklers!"

Friday, October 3, 2014

Grateful in All Things

Today I am feeling grateful for so many things in my life.  

This morning it was my daughters and the love they have for each other.  Every October, spirit week ends with the annual Jog-a-Thon.  Students receive donations based on the number of laps they can run in one hour.  Carlie’s goal was to run 15 laps.  AnnMarie’s goal was to make sure Carlie achieved her goal. :)  It was amazing to see AM set a pace that pushed C to the end.  These two are runners!!  They both accomplished their goals, and it was inspiring to myself (and others) to see AM’s dedication to her little sis.  

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Later today my gratitude came from this picture of my big brother and his family.  Man, I’m grateful for the way they make me laugh.  The 80s stack:    

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I found myself touching my washer and dryer for a few seconds today.  My heart overflowed with gratitude over the simple fact that it was dependable…working…and washing/drying so many clothes all at once.  I had a quick flashback to my days in Argentina when line drying was all I had.  I have so much to be grateful for right now in my life.  

Happy Conference Weekend!!  

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Happiness Is...

"Happiness is not something ready made, it comes from your own actions.”     - Dalai Lama XIV

Happiness is choosing to smile on days when it’s hard to forget the pain.  

My family went to Island Park the day after my dad’s funeral in July.  Some close family friends of ours insisted that we take the keys to their cabin for a few days.     

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Nate and Emmy have only been newlyweds for about five months now.  They are so fun to be around.  I love them. :)

Happiness is walking hand in hand.

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Happiness is 'not crying because it’s over, but smiling because it happened.’  - Dr. Suess

Their beautiful vintage wedding reception happened back in April...  

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I personally think happiness is little girls with cute hairdos...

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and kisses that last a little too long. :)

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Happiness is a visit from your mom…seeing how beautiful and strong she is for all of us.

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Happiness is taking your son to the dentist for the very first time... 

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and styling your girls’ hair like cupcakes for crazy hair day at school.   

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There is good all around us.  We can’t be truly happy unless we’ve experienced the unhappy at times.  I hope that I can always remember to choose happiness.  Life can be ugly and hard, but I know that when we rely on our Savior every hour, every moment…peace and happiness do come.