Thursday, June 26, 2008

My Sweet Husband...

I could just go on and on about how my wonderful husband has cared for me and served me in our marriage of these last amazing 10 months! "Thank you-Thank you-Thank you, Honey!!!"

And it's only gotten better since I've been pregnant! :) Russell makes sure I'm well fed with proper nutrition (MEAT!) for both myself and our baby, that I'm drinking enough water, that I'm getting my exercise and rest, and that I'm doing well spiritually and emotionally. He frequently asks me, "How's your heart doing, Honey?" through all these interesting pregnancy-induced changes (great terminology, Angie! ;)).

And I must mention all the help around our house...I get home yesterday from work, and the kitchen is spotless and faintly smelling of cleansers. I was SUPER delighted!! I wish I'd taken a picture of the mess I'd left that morning as I headed out to work! The dishwasher had been full of clean dishes, which I didn't have time to empty, so I'd left a pile of DIRTY, GREASY dishes in the sink. He cleaned everything before I got home so that I wouldn't have to worry with it. Then, he went with me to the grocery store, which he normally avoids like the plague!

And, girls, last but not least, that which speaks to my heart...two things: 1-He asked if I'd come home, rather than go to the gym this Monday afternoon so that we could go for a walk together. I thought I'd lost my mind! I came on home, and we SPEED walked for about 50 minutes in the baking sunshine! That was the biggest motivation for my heart because I really wanted company during my workout that day. Russell hates being hot, and he's NOT a fan of 'exercising,' so he won some MAJOR brownie points that day! 2-He just brought me these....
Although gifts are generally not my love language, the thought behind the flowers meant a ton! He made the effort to pick up lunch and flowers and bring them to me to work today.

He's just a sensitive, compassionate man, and he's a super-excited daddy! :)

We're 8 weeks today, by the way!! We're very excited!!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Comment One, Comment ALL!!!

I am LOVING reading EVERYONE'S comments!!!

Thank you! Thank you!! Thank you!!!

Please continue to post ''re loving on us through your awesome encouragement! (Not to mention that words of affirmation/encouragement is SO my love language.)

Looking forward to more lovin'! :)

Thank you!!

Cravings Alert!!

It's been fun to know we're pregnant! We are truly praising the Lord, looking ahead to some fun life changes!!

Gosh, in the last several weeks, I've been experiencing all these weird differences in taste and behavior that I didn't know how to explain!! SO tired in the afternoons, crazy cravings, totally NOT even wanting to look at a salad (which, if you know me, I typically crave!), emotional ups & downs (but I think I'm actually always like that...I'm a, that's my prerogative ;) ). On the other hand, I did a mini-triathlon pregnant! In fact, that's one of the first things I exclaimed to Russell and the Dr. at our first appointment! :) So, it's been weird stuff, but still fun!

Russell just kept comforting me these last several weeks, but also playing it so cool. When the first pregnancy test showed one solid line and a very faint line five weeks ago, I knew we were pregnant! I knew it because of all these little signs!! I just kept praying that the Lord would help me to not focus on it, in order to guard my and Russell's hearts (thanks for that encouragement and for praying that with me, Ashley!). Then, this passed Monday, when we used the same pregnancy test and got the same result, I was not convinced it was, not pregnant. I asked Russell to pick up a better quality test, he did, we tried it, and sure enough...POSITIVO! :)

If you read Russell's post below, you know my reaction: loud screams of elation and joy!

So far, at 7 weeks, I really don't have much of an appetite. I used to snack all day long, but I don't even want to look at the snacks and foods in our pantry, in my drawers at work, in our fridge...YUCK! Too healthy! Too something...just not quite right. Yesterday, I pulled into Sonic at 7:30am and ordered the Route 44 Cherry Limeade, downing it within the hour, eating all three limes and chewing on the ice throughout the morning. I was able to force down some cottage cheese and saltines. For lunch, Russell brought me a Chick-fil-A icedream cup and a chargrilled chicken sandwich...I wasn't the least bit interested in the sandwich. The icecream was gone in 3 minutes or less! I think I just had homemade muffins through the night. :)

Today, pink lemonade and a muffin with strawberry jelly for breakfast around 8:00. Then, around 12:00, my stomach was churning and needing some lunch. I got in the car, and I just prayed, "Lord, what do I crave right now?" He led me to Zoe's for their chicken salad sandwich on 7-grain, fruit cup and Baked Lays. Typically, I can only eat half of that meal, but today I ate the whole darn thing!! YUM! I now sit here sucking on Now & Later candies...something about that bitter and sour taste that satisfies me!

Wonder what's next! :) I think we'll start with a Sonic Route 44 Blackberry Tea somewhere in the 2:00's 1/2-price between 2p & 4p!

Happy Friday, friends!!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Russell's Turn - Secrets Revealed

Well, Shireen has given me an opportunity to blog...or told me I had to. I'm not sure which.

Do you know how some people just can not keep a secret? My lovely wife tends to be one of those people. Of course I wouldn't dare complain! She simply loves to communicate. That's who she is and I love her! I must confess, we did agree that she could share with whomever she wished. But she told me she wanted to wait. Then a couple hours later she has shared with the world, or at least her study group. So, to make it official: we are expecting...a child, for those that are as dense as I am.

Here's how it happened. Actually, most of you probably comprehend the how. So let me re-phrase, let me share our experience.

Mid May we became suspicious about the potential addition to the family. I bought a home pregnancy test. Basically, if it shows one line you're not pregnant, two lines you are. Well, ours showed one bold, solid line and then a very faint tiny little thin line. I figured it was a cheap test and would have had two BOLD lines if it were positive. So we went with the idea that we weren't. Then this month the suspicions were even stronger. On Monday we retested using the same type of test and got the same type of results.

At this point I was confident that I had misread the results from the first two tests and that we had probably conceived in early May. But I played it off as if I still thought we were not pregnant. I simply didn't want to get our hopes up. (Yes, we started trying in April and are very excited)

So, I went to the drug store and picked up a digital, idiot proof pregnancy test. It came back with a "YES+". YEAH!!!! Shireen screamed loud enough that I just knew the neighbors would be calling the police.

When the police showed up....just kidding. She was able to get an appointment with her doctor on Tuesday. We requested an ultrasound and the doctor determined that we were 6 weeks and 5 days along. Making today, Thursday, the beginning of week 7. That gives us an approximate due date of February 5th!

That means that Sunday was my first Father's Day! Shireen went out and got me a card and goodies. Thanks Honey.

We know that many people wait until weeks 10 or 12 before they start sharing the news. But we figure that our friends and family should experience this with us. We ask for your sincere prayers. We desire a healthy baby, a pleasant pregnancy for the new mother, and a dream come true happily ever after. But we also realize that we live in a turbulent world. So, we ask that you intercede on our behalf. Request that God Almighty watch over this child and mother. That He protects them both from harm, and allows for the safe delivery of a healthy child. We desire that the child comes to an early understanding and acceptance of Jesus Christ's sacrifice for him/her and chooses to walk in an intimate personal relationship with Him.

Also, pray that I listen carefully and obediently to the Holy Spirit. Our future has a ton of issues on the horizon. It is even more critical now that I be ever vigilant. Thank you!

Here's the first picture of our new addition to the Wright family. He/She is very tiny right now. We'll be excited to share more in coming weeks.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

2008 Crawford Family Reunion

We had a great, quick weekend in Louisiana!! I guess I'm still recovering since I'm just now blogging! :) We drove over on Saturday morning at 4:00 and got back to Birmingham on Sunday afternoon at 1:30. It was indeed a fast trip, but it was so good to visit with Russell's family and meet a bunch of new folks (to me!!) at the yearly Crawford family reunion, Russell's mom's side.
Two generations of Crawfords, and then some!! :) What a fun visit!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Happy Father's Day!!

To all you wonderful daddies out there!

We praise the Lord for you and hope you enjoy a wonderful Father's Day!

I found and appreciate this quote and story behind it:

"Any man can be a Father, but it takes a special person to be called Dad."

How very true.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Ever Eat Your Words?

Have you ever said, "I'll never do __(fill in the blank)__ again!" and then later catch yourself doing exactly that again!?!?!
Yeah, I caught myself doing that today...and $2.72 and one junior-size swirled white chocolate mouse-&-cheesecake cup of yogurt later, I feel pretty darn amazing! ;) I am a happy camper!
If I must justify the expense, it has been 6 months since my last TCBY treat! Twas worth it!
P.S. Free cup or cone for Dad on Father's Day, June 15th!! Take your daddies and/or hubbies out on me :) to TCBY this Sunday, girlies!

A Middle Eastern Feast

Here it is!

Monday, June 9, 2008

The Good Things in Life...

From a previous post, you can read the preview of my schedule for this last Saturday.

From a 'post view,' I was pretty much right on schedule all day long!

Russell did leave early...I'd say, "bright and early," but I'm not sure that the sun was even out when he left at 4:45! I pulled myself out of bed, had my coffee and a great time with the Lord in my journal, then, just a few hours later was enjoying a great hike with Heidi and her sweet son, Isaiah! We hiked a good 7 or 8 miles, got a little turned around (ie, LOST! :)), but we came out of the woods just fine, and I'll tell you what...Isaiah is a TROOPER! He's only 6 months old, and he lasted all 3.5 hours, most of the time on Heidi's back in the coolest backpack papoose! His head just bobbed all around, while he went from napping to making the sweetest cooing sounds to playing with Mommy's hair! SOOOOO sweet! We thoroughly enjoyed our time together!
Heidi & Isaiah. I'm sorry I didn't get a picture of him in the cool papoose!! There'll have to be a next time!

I even squeezed some time in with my Granny! We went out for coffee and grandmother-granddaughter time, and we had fun!

One of Granny's and my favorite past breaks with a good girlfriend! ;)

Kathryn, Jenn, the picture of this Petunia is for you! Remember the cute party favors Kathryn gave away at Georgia's 1-year-old birthday party? This is the one I got! I re-potted it (with its one or two baby blooms) and gave it to Granny, knowing it would not survive at our home because we get too much sun outside and not enough inside.

I'd say, Granny's got a green thumb! :) Granny says it has a dozen blooms, but there may be more!

The evening was fun, too, as Sarah Dunn came over, and we prepared and grilled 8 lbs of ground beef kababs for our Sunday night Persian feast and then prepared our girlie dinner of Couscous Tabbouleh (we used Couscous, rather than Quinoa...I went to 3 grocery stores, and finally had to resort to a substitute!).

Then, a new friend, G, short for Gaukhar, who Sarah and I met on a golf course a few weeks ago, came over to join us for dinner and a start to getting to know each other. We had a fun, fulfilling evening together!

G & I

After such a great day, the cup of my heart is overflowing! I am thankful, for which I do praise our Lord!

Befarman! - "Welcome!" in Farsi

Redeemer Community Church plans to periodically have international dinners, just after our Sunday evening services, in which we will focus on a specific country or world region. This is a hands-on opportunity, through which God will broaden our perspective, hearts and knowledge! Last night, we focused on Iran and Afghanistan. My dad is from Iran, so I enjoyed getting this menu together, and the best part was that everyone pitched in, so I didn't have to do too much cooking!! :) We all had fun!

A platter combination of fresh mint leaves, green onions, radishes, French Feta cheese, lots of pita bread, walnuts and plain yogurt
Saffron Steamed Basmati Rice; Dill Steamed Basmati Rice; Bourani (eggplant side dish); Ghormeh Sabzi; Kabab-e Koobideh (ground beef kabab); Joojeh Kebab (chicken kabab)
Persian Ice Cream
Dugh (Sparkling Yogurt Drink), water and soft drinks

I was SO impressed with everyone's cooking skills and presentation of foods!! Way to go, all! Since I grew up eating Persain food every day, for at least the first 20 years of my life, I like to say that I know Persian food tastes pretty well. Stephanie & James, your Ghormeh Sabzi was PERFECT!! Reminded me of my Mama's!! ;) I wanted more, but I was too tired to get up and get it. Elaine, your kababs tasted exactly like the ones I've eaten in Iran! Seriously!! And it's the only dish Russell liked...he's not a fan of Middle Eastern foods, so two thumbs up there, girl! :) Sarah, I enjoyed grilling our 8 lb batch of kababs on Saturday night!! :)

Sarah, the sous chef, forming the kabab patties.

I did the grilling! It was HOT!

Now, that's a LOT of meat...actually, 8 lbs!

Back to the menu...Emily Whitty, Sharon and whoever else helped with the Joojeh Kabab, thank you!! It was beautiful, tastey, and I appreciated that it was cut up into bite-sized pieces!! Ashley, I'm sorry I didn't get to try the ice cream! :( I was busy talking and forgot about it! I'm sure it was yummilicious!!

A big thanks to everyone for making last night a special evening of fellowship over some yummy, authentic Persian and Afghani cusines! And a special thanks to Sam & Emily Hawes for sharing more about the countries of the middle eastern region and for leading us in an intentional time of prayer over what God is doing in that area of the world. What a delightful, blessed evening! It will be fun to try other cuisines of the world in the coming months!

I'm sorry to not have more pics to share of the beautiful spread of foods! By the time I got to church last night with my dishes, I was too exhausted and settled in a chair to walk back down to my car for my camera...sad! Well, someone else was snapping away with a camera, so I hope to come back and post pics very soon! Stay tuned!!

Friday, June 6, 2008

YEAH for Saturday! A Look Ahead...

I'm super-excited about my Saturday plans...
4am - kiss Russell good morning & good-bye as he heads out for a drill weekend...of course, I'll miss him!
5am - coffee & time with the Lord
5:30am - hearty breakfast of oatmeal and fruit juice
6:30am - call Heidi Drake to make sure she's up and "at 'em"
7am - hike Oak Mtn trails with Heidi Drake with her son, Isaiah, who she'll be carrying via papoose on her back! :)
afternoon - REST (ie, horizontal position)
5pm - cook night with a couple of girlfriends! Attempting to cook this & this for at least 40! Redeemer is hosting a Sunday night Iranian/Afghani-theme dinner after church.

7pm - Dinner (above) with the girls! Ever had Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah)?
Hopefully I'll get some fun pics throughout the day to share!!

Hope you have a fun Saturday planned, too!!!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

What to do on a hot, bored week night?

In the 90 degree heat of yesterday's evening (UGH!!), Russell and I went to our local library! We came home with movies, a book for me and a book on CD for him. I've been so bored since I finished A Thousand Splendid Suns! Gotta get my mind goin' again!! :)

So, we get home, I cooked one of Russell's favorites - Cheeseburger Pie - and then we plopped ourselves on the sofa to be entertained by Queen Latifah in Last Holiday. We just laughed and laughed! In fact, I haven't heard Russell laugh so much and so loud in a long time! The movie was genuinely funny and encouraging with clean humor and a good story line!
Check it out if you haven't! :)

I'm about to jump into another Francine Rivers book, The Atonement Child. Looking forward to it! I'll keep you posted.

P.S. Any other book recommendations???

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

"As for me and my household, we will serve the LORD." Joshua 24:15

God does give us the opportunity to come to Himself and to recognize and acknowledge to all that everything is indeed from Him and to Him.

I am grateful for our friends, Dan & Ashley Matteo. I lived with Ashley for 2 or 3 years before she met her permanent roommate and hubby, Dan, who I absolutely love as a brother! He and Ashley have only been good to me...Actually, they've been better to me than I have ever deserved.

I praise the Lord for His new gift to them - a new home! - as they continue to seek HIS will for their lives and now for the life of their coming son, Nathan, too! They invited friends and family over for Saturday night, and, in a casual, but also intentional setting, hosted a 'House-Blessing Party,' in which we were all invited to come, celebrate, indulge in yummy foods, always-needed fellowship and the opportunity to pray...we were encouraged to choose any room and pray specifically over it, as they passed out type-written, specific prayer requests per room.
"Dan & Ashley, thank you! And may God continue to bless your hearts and home that you may continue to bless others through it and to HIM!" What a yummy spread of foods! Fruits, veggies, chunky salsas, creamy dips, pizza, ham & cheese mini sandwiches, Eclairs...YUM!

Amanda Blake and I look like twins!Walter Arroyo holding little man Isaiah Drake, catching up with Russell.Thomas & Stacey Picardy with their newborn daughter, Sarah Kathryn. Angela Arroya catching up with Ashley's mom, Mrs. Mack.

We also had the opportunity to listen to James & Heidi Drake, as they briefly shared about their involvement with campus ministry at our local UAB. I actually went to UAB, and it was upon graduation that I accepted Christ as my Savior. I praise God for His placement of specific people and circumstances in my life at that particualar time so that I now know and love Him for myself. I am thankful for the Drake's hearts for God and for people to come to know and love Him. It is so often at this crucial college season of life that we are vulnerable and open to whatever seems of right guidance. If interested in learning more about the Drake's ministry, please email and visit

God calls us to fulfill the great commission, and I'm excited that we can do that right here in our local hometown community!

The Great Commission:
"And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.
Matthew 28:18-20

Sunday, June 1, 2008

A Must Read...

Just finished A Thousand Splendid Suns, and I highly-highly recommend it.