I lingered in the girl’s section every time I went to the mall or to Target. I picked out adorable shoes and pink floral outfits and placed them neatly in the cart, constantly eyeing them as I strolled the aisles and then putting them back before checking out. After all, I did promise myself I would only buy a couple things until the arrival of my baby girl, then I would be free to do some major damage on my debit card.

I thought to myself, So this is what it feels like to have a girl. My heart ached at the preciousness of it all. I was so ready to trade dump trucks and tractors for kittens and bows.


And then the moment of truth finally came. The doctor pulled the baby out and I heard crying, but no one said anything.

Finally I whined, “Well?!”

Ryan looked up at the doctor and said, “Do you want to tell her?” And before anyone could respond I replied, “It’s a boy, isn’t it?”

They confirmed my suspicion. And because I am a horrible person and mother, I cried.

I cried thinking about how things would be in a couple of years with all these boys. I cried thinking about packing away the cute little pink and purple things I already purchased.

All the silly superstitious activities that I partook in did not pay off — like painting my nails purple all week so they would match the girl outfit I had packed in my hospital bag, and only having a girl name agreed upon.

No matter how hard I wished or how often I prayed, God did not give me what I wanted but, instead, chose to bless me with what I “needed.”


How exactly do I need four boys ages 5 and under? I am still struggling to figure this out. Either He has extreme confidence in me to raise good men and leaders, or He has a very twisted sense of humor and takes delight in seeing me sweat.

No matter what His motives are Ryan and I are very happy with our newest addition, Charlie Augustus Barthel. He was born New Year’s morning, after a high-speed trip to the hospital and minor incident involving the highway patrol.