Wednesday, December 26, 2007
So, we turned around and came back home! We got home about 10:30pm, exhausted, disappointed and really trying to be positive about the whole thing. I was sorry that his family was all sick, and I really wanted to see the Lord's plan in all of this. Sometimes, we just don't "get" His plans! :)
Well, Christmas was definitely the Lord's planning and timing, and Russell and I learned some great lessons about God's ways not being our ways, along with lessons about how we each handled or could better handle certain circumstances in the future. :)
Christmas weekend was incredibly LONG and quite boring at times (okay, a lot!). I am not a complainer, so forgive me! :) Just speaking from my heart.
We did get to spend a fun evening with the deVilleneuve's, Ryan's parents and the Broom's ("Thanks, guys! Y'all are the best! Always an open home!") and got to eat some yummy Jim 'N Nick's, my favorite!!
Christmas Eve, I got a head cold :) (sniffle-sniffle). We did get to go to the Wright's and Forbes' here in town for Christmas brunch, which was fun and yummy, but I was so loopy from my meds that I was hardly there! :) I went to the bathroom, while at their home, and I discovered that I wasn't wearing any undies! :) Ha! Ha! Well, I was wearing long underwear, so that sufficed! :) A day later, I'm weening myself off the meds, now, and I'm starting to feel normal again.
God is good, and, Lord willing, we'll get have 'do-over' Christmas with Russell's family at the end of January.
Okay, your turn! Respond with your Christmas 2007 story...I want details! :)
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Russell has MRE's that are at least 5 to 7 years old! We pulled out two of them, and we found pouches of the following, indulging in some: pork chow mein (ugh!), saltine crackers, peanut butter, cheese (yuck!), chocolate-covered graham crackers (my favorite!!), a little bitty Tabasco sauce bottle, something like life-savers, a brown plastic spoon, sanitary wipes, napkin, a single-serving of Folger's instant coffee, matches, two tiny pieces of gum...all the necessaries, evidently! :)
I promise we won't make you try MRE's if we have you over! :) Sure made for an interesting and fun evening!
Sunday, December 9, 2007
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" 2 Corinthians 5:17
"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." Galatians 2:20
When I became a believer in Christ in June of 2001, a dear friend and very quickly a father-figure, Pete Wright, had just shared his testimony with me, then inviting me to pray the sinner's prayer in order that I might come to know the Lord Jesus Christ personally. I jumped on the invitation (Praise the Lord!!), and I am eternally grateful for God's divine guidance in orchestrating that life-changing meeting!
After praying, Pete shared 2 Corinthians 5:17 with me over and over again, saying something like, "Shireen, you are a new creation...the old you is gone, and you are now alive in Christ!"
I knew this had to be important, but I didn't "get" it right then. Six and a half years later, I'm better understanding and yet still learning the depth of this truth. As I learn more and more about my Savior, I desire His desires; I desire to be like Him, holy, clean, pure, righteous...
What a gift! I still struggle each day with self and the world, BUT I have confidence that the Lord loves me and has called me to Himself to be HIS representative. So, onward I go, learning and living out the new life!
If you see me, encourage me, hold me accountable, join me! It's the most rewarding decision and prayer I've ever made!
God bless you!
Friday, November 30, 2007
Any time we can get even just a chance to get together, we jump on the opportunity! Chris & Tara passed through town on their way to South Carolina. So, we all met up with the deVilleneuve's at a neighborhood breakfast favorite - Panera Bread - up at the Summit!
Tara clapping for Rollins.
Oh, we know the Lord has much in store for Himself through our families!
We excitedly continue to serve Him as we hold each other up in prayer and firm accountability!
LORD, you establish peace for us;
all that we have accomplished you have done for us.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
I give thanks for my new family this year!
Russell & I awoke early Thanksgiving morning (4:30!!) and drove over to West Monroe, Louisiana to spend the holiday weekend with his family. We arrived just in time to share a perfect Thanksgiving meal with the family!
"Mom, the turkey, dressing, yams, cranberry sauce, gravy, everything was absolutely delicious! Proof: You saw me indulge in left-overs for the next two or more meals!" :-)
Thanksgiving is such a sweet time to sit and visit, and that's exactly what we did! Dad knows I stay cold all the time, so he built the biggest fire, and Russell kept it stoked all weekend long! It was wonderful! We got some good, quality time with everyone...
Todd, Kristie & Little Sierra Grace
Smiles with Tami :) Aunt Sue & MomBundling up before braving the windy outdoors!
21st Century version of "family time"?!?! :)
(okay, so I was blogging so that we could keep you posted!! ;))
Sunday, November 25, 2007
We've been married 3 months today, and we are genuinely enJOYing every aspect and all that the Lord is teaching us in His grace!
We are thankful and praising His name!
Makes me want to have twins!
Saturday, November 24, 2007
His parents came to Birmingham to visit and celebrate with us! Mom made the icecream-sandwich cake - YUMMY! We were treated to Friday lunch at Panera, dinner at Superior Grill, Saturday night at the movies - we saw In The Valley of Elah - and then dinner at Jim 'n Nick's! His parents joined us for church the next morning for the first sermon on a new Prayer series. Then, of course, we headed to brunch at our all-time favorite brunch spot - The Village Tavern!
We praise the Lord for a great weekend of fellowship! I love my new parents!
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Todd & Kristie have been blessed with this new, tiny creation - a sweet gift from our Lord!
Well-natured and easy-going, Sierra Grace is the newest addition to the family! She's definitely loved and her sweet, precious presence certainly puts life into perspective. Oh, the gift of life!
Some time in June, we still did not have a place to perform the ceremony. Russell suggested the church, and I couldn’t even imagine it being available for an August wedding, only two months out! (Lack of faith on my part!) Russell called the church, and much to our surprise and delight, God was reserving that day for us! The church was available for August 25th!!
Russell and I moved on to further prayer, planning and watching. God worked out all of the details, kept us at peace, allowed us to enjoy the engagement season, and we praise Him for loving on us through so many individuals, couples and families, who went way out of their way in helping us plan this glorious celebration!
“Thank you all! We love you!”
Couples’ Shower – Ryan & Jenn threw us an all-out yummy and FUN party!
Russell mentioned on a Monday night that he wanted us to go on a “date day hike” the coming weekend. What do you think I said??? Of course!
That Saturday, we went back to one of our first date spots, hiking to a hidden geo-cache at Oak Mountain State Park. We opened the geo-cache, read some entries since the last time we’d been there, signed our names again, and sealed it. That was it?!?! I promise, I was thinking, “Good grief! Get me out of here! This is not all that I was expecting!”
Well, Russell wanted to hit another spot before we walked back to the main trail. He pointed due west with mention of a hollowed-out tree. I saw it, so I asked if I could lead the way. I did, and I went so fast that Russell could hardly keep up. I just wanted to “knock out” this other ‘geo-cache’ and move on with our day!
I got there, and leaning into the hollow of the tree was a wine bottle with rolled-up message in it! I was shocked and could hardly think or speak. I kept trying to say, “You had to do this, Honey! But how?! When?!”
Then, I read it…
Before I knew it, Russell was on one knee, asking me, “Will you be my wife?” to which I exclaimed, “Yes!!” over and over in squeals and pitches neither of us knew my vocal chords could reach! He put the beautiful 6-prong solitaire diamond ring on my finger, we hugged, laughed, enjoyed the moments, and I delighted in knowing that I would soon be Mrs. John Russell Wright! YEAH!!!
“Thank you, reader, for letting me share and reminisce!”
Ryan, Russell & Chris:
Rollins peering up at Tara:
We praise our Lord for such wonderful family!
Since introducing me and Russell, standing in our wedding and supporting our relationship to the present, Ryan and Jenn are another of our very favorite couples! We are now in the same community group – Alpha Omega – at Mountain Brook Community Church. Russell and I just need to have a baby to really fit in! ;)
February 8, 2007 marks the date of God’s new blessed gift in their lives – the birth of their son, Rollins.
No worries…we had chaperones. Gordon and Margaret Duncan joined us for this vacation.
Standing in front of the Village Fountain:
Oh, what a fun Christmas weekend! Everyone quickly learned that Shireen’s favorite seat in the house was not necessarily next to Russell, rather right in front of the fireplace! I mean, come on! It was December! And, oh, what a wonderful fire!
Meeting the family went very well, and it was only a matter of time before they would become my family!
Then, we went to our next big meal at Missy’s! Missy, Katie and Kali had been cooking since the night before to make Thanksgiving’s dinner a perfect and an absolutely beautiful display! It most definitely was the most colorful and picture-perfect spread, all-out delicious with every traditional Turkey-Day dish!
“Thanks, girlies! Y’all are culinary artists & gifted hostesses!”
Russell cut the turkey!
So, we drove over to Little Rock on a Friday and met up with our team members to form the team:
Chris Kear – Team Captain
Russell Wright – Team Navigator
Dawn Langner – Team Member
Tara Kear – Support Crew
Shireen Wright – Support Crew
Scott Harris – Support Crew
After Friday night registration, a hearty pasta meal at The Olive Garden and about 3 hours of sleep (!), we were on our way to the starting point! It was 4:30 on Saturday morning, the weather windy and bitter cold. First event: canoeing!! Brrrrr… All racers were launched into the lower end of a lock, which was then flooded so that racers could float into the open waters. At the sound of the horn, all canoes were off!! 14 hours later, the team had canoed, hiked, biked, repelled, climbed and crawled, successfully smiling their way to the finish line! I was SO proud of them!
“Go, team! Y’all rocked Raid the Rock ’06!”
Team members in action:
Chris, transitioning to the bike portion of the race!
Russell, in navigation mode!
Dawn, practicing her repel!
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
We took off the last Friday of September, 2006, loaded up the car and played something like "Twenty Questions" the entire 5-hour trip down. We learned a lot about each other, our families, our faith, our strengths and weakness, desires in life, etc. Chris and Tara drove down from Arkansas and met up with us into the wee hours of Saturday morning!!
This trip marked our first "real" kisses! ;)