Saturday, August 30, 2008

My Heart Rejoices! My Heart Is FULL!

If I were to journal about our evening last night with our friends from RCC (Redeemer Community Church), I would journal a prayer of THANKSGIVING! Oh, how thankful I am, as my heart longs for hope, joy, encouragement, affirmation and the things that come from a relationship with God's body of believers. I love the Lord with all of my heart, mind, body and soul! How He is able to love each of us so personally is unfathomable to me, yet He does! I am truly humbled and in awe of His goodness! "Thank you, Father!"

We had some great couples over for dinner and intentional fellowship last night. I say "intentional" because I desire to really get to know these brothers and sisters. Last night was only a start, as Russell and I look forward to our continued friendship and growth with these couples. "Thank you, guys, for such a wonderfully yummy and fun evening!"

After feasting on Jenn's yummy brie & brown-sugared pecans baked in a Pillsbury dough, we moved on to dinner. Jamie & Charlie prepared a yummy salad, consisting of Romaine lettuce, blue cheese, walnuts and pears, tossed in a raspberry vinaigrette dressing. Russell & I made chicken parmesan over spaghetti. Jenn brought her mouth-watering yeast rolls, which are always a hit! :) Emily brought a beautiful and delicious strawberry, ice-cream like dessert, served over Oreo pieces. What a treat!!! I love pot lucks! :)
Jenn, Emily Hawes, myself & Jamie Erwin
Everyone focusing hard, strategically planning in the midst of a Joker game!

Ryan, Russell, Sam Hawes & Charlie Erwin

I praise the Lord for great friends and brothers and sisters in Christ. Russell and I had prayed before the evening that the Lord would lead the evening, that His Spirit would guide, that Jesus would be present. I prayed specifically that the evening would be a Hebrews 10:24-25 night, which says, "And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another - and all the more as you see the Day approaching." It was indeed a Hebrews 10:24-25 night! I think everyone would agree!
I rejoice because my heart is full!

18 Week Rhys in Mommy's Womb! :)

Rhys is growing alright, and Mommy feels great! I had my first conversation with Rhys yesterday, as I was driving home from the grocery store. It went something like this..."Rhys, Mommy loves you. The Lord loves you! Daddy loves you! Gosh, I'm a Mommy! You're going to be my first baby! Wow!" I got kind of teary eyed by this point. It was just a sweet moment between Mommy and son.

I felt him kicking for the first time on Wednesday! It was about 5am, and I was reading my Bible study for the day out of Isaiah 1. What sweet and perfect timing! I so wanted to share with Russell that experience of feeling Rhys kick! Thursday morning, I slept in, and about 6:30, I felt the little kicks again! I quickly told Russell, so he put his hand on my tummy and felt three little kicks for himself! Yeah!! "Thank you, Lord!!" What an amazing and sweet experience!

"Keep growing, little guy! Daddy and Mommy continue to pray for your spiritual and physical well-being, as we look forward to meeting you this coming winter!! We love you very much!"

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A Perfect Anniversary!!

My sweet husband absolutely showered me with love in celebration of our first year of marriage!! This last year has been SO good! So much change, so much fun, and we can truly look back and delight in how the Lord has steered our hearts in molding our lives together.
First, Russell brought me flowers!! Pretty, bright yellow lillies, roses and gerber daisies!

Then, in celebration of our anniversary and the good news of our coming son :), he took me to Brio's for dinner! YUMMY!

We started with Brio's signature LOBSTER BISQUE as our appetizer...Delicious! So rich & so creamy!

My meal:
With Romano crusted tomatoes, citrus pesto,
asparagus and crispy shoestring potatoes

Russell's meal:
Two 4 oz. filets, served with Romano crusted
tomatoes and Hollandaise

My dessert: I wanted something CHOCOLATE! So, I had this...

Rich chocolate cake with warm center topped with
Vanilla Bean Gelato and chocolate syrup

Russell's dessert: He tried a variety of crème brûlées...CREME BRULEE DOLCHINO TRIO
A sampling of three different flavored housemade crème brûlées –
hazelnut, caramel and orange

With the fun news of expecting a BOY and all the pampering from my sweet hubby, I'd say I experienced a perfect day!

"Thank you, Russell!!! Happy Anniversary, and it's been a WONDERFUL first year of marriage! We've got another eventful year ahead of us, and I absolulutely look forward to spending the rest of my life with you!"

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Evidence - another post by Russell

Well, as many of you know, we had a doctor's appointment yesterday. Shireen was brilliant to schedule it on our anniversary. So, we had a lot to celebrate. First, Shireen has put up with me for a year now! Secondly, we are expecting a BOY!

In this picture you're looking up at the butt with a thigh to the upper right and another to the lower left then the head up behind the butt cheeks. And of course, you ought to know where to see the evidence.

I've been convinced it would be a boy ever since we found out we were pregnant. But about two weeks ago, after hearing so many people say that they predict a girl, I started getting nervous. Not that I don't want a girl. I desperately do. But at the same time I'm terribly frightened by the idea. Not that girls are too much but that I'm too little. With a boy I'm somewhat experienced. With a girl I'm clueless. Just ask Shireen!

So, I am relieved and quite excited that we are having a son. I'm sure the next will be a girl. We have considered some names. His name shall be Samuel Rhys Wright. We will call him Rhys (pronounced Reese). That is the original Welsh spelling. Rhys means "God breathed" or "Inspired of God." And Samuel means "God has heard." He may endure a little ridicule because of the odd spelling but it will only add character.

Ashley found a verse in Job that we are very fond of and plan to use it with Rhys a good bit. It's Job 33:4, "The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life." I look forward to the day of walking through the book of Job with Rhys. I pray that Jesus takes hold of his heart at an early age. That he learns to walk as Christ did, in spite of my shortcomings. Your prayers are greatly desired!

And, as you know, Rhys likes to wave!

Monday, August 25, 2008

I Love Me Some Sunday Fellowship Time! :)

Russell & I got to have brunch with Dan & Ashley yesterday, followed by a brutal game of Joker! Ashley and I stomped the boys!! "Ashley, you rock!" Doesn't she look fabulous...not quite a week after a c-section and recovering well and quickly! Praise the Lord! "I love you, friend!!"Then, we got to dine on Papa John's pizza and Triple Chocolate Icecream at the deVilleneuve's last night! Once again followed by a mean (but always fun!!) game of Joker! This time, we played couple against couple, and Ryguy and Jenn stomped us! "Great game, guys! Y'all make a great team!!" :)

I love you, girls!!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Meeting Little Wells Sheheane!!

Seems like all of my girlfriends are either expecting or have just had babies! It's an exciting time and season of life!!
Speaking of new mommies, I got to go visit with Dana Sheheane and her new little one yesterday! Dana and I met at Mountain Brook Community Church and have been friends and walking buddies since. I wish we could spend more time together. She and Chris live less than 3 minutes away, so we have no excuse, except that life is just so busy. "Dana, let's get back to our walks when you're ready! At least once a month!" Gosh, it was so good for my heart to have that time with Dana and Wells. I enjoyed catching up, sharing, listening to her experience of pregnancy, labor and all the fun stuff I'm about to go through!! :) The time with Dana was sooo good for my heart. There really is truth to girls needing GIRL TIME! :) "Thank you for letting me come and visit, sweet Dana!!" :)
I snapped a quick shot of myself and Dana. Gotta love those "up-close-and-personal" shots! "Dana, YOU look AMAZING!"Dana and Chris just had their first...a little boy, named Wells. Wells is three weeks old (born August 4th), and he is such a sweet bundle of warmth and joy! I got to hold him for at least 30 minutes and loved every second! He's such a peaceful and content babe!
And he really does look like Daddy. :) Look at those perfect little features. "Wells, you are a sweet little miracle. I know that Mommy and Daddy look forward to raising you up to know and love the Lord, your Creator!! Having prayed for you this last year, I am blessed to finally meet you!! Love you guys!!"

Friends = Family

Happy Birthday, Jenn!
I know it was last week (August 13th), but we finally got to have birthday dessert with you, so we've officially celebrated with you!! ;) YEAH!! You look amazing, being due in less than a month! We are very excited, looking forward to meeting 'Deuce' (Baby deVilleneuve #2) and finding out his 'real' name!!
Jenn models her birthday dessert (I made her do it! :))...I made something like an icecream pie, layering Kahlua-soaked chocolate chip cookies, coffee ice cream, chocolate shavings and whipping cream in a Pyrex dish. It was very rich and very yummy. Jenn seemed to enjoy it, which pleased me! All of us girlies on Friday night...Jenn deVilleneuve, Laura Broom and Kathryn Hipp holding sweet Georgia Kate in her arms and Baby Hipp #2 (due in December!!) in her tummy! :)
Georgia Kate showing us how to play the 'peek-a-boo' game. No one could be cuter!While we girls chatted the night away...mostly about babies...since three of us are expecting, all of our husbands moved their 'party' outside under the Jeep! Dave Broom & Russell work together to loosen a stubborn pinion (I'm learning a little about the parts, but I will draw the line! Wouldn't want to know too much!! :))
Ryan deVilleneuve & Larry Hipp installed the ring on the carrier. The guys worked on the Jeep until a little past 9:00 when one of our townhouse neighbors kindly reminded us that we need to keep all the banging and noise to a minimum past 9:00. :)
We all had a great evening together...dinner, fellowship, girl time, guy really can't beat that! My heart was so full at the end of the evening, as I, again, see our Lord's love for us in how HE fulfills our needs through good friendships!

Russell's TEMPORARY Pet

Thursday night, I find this in our home! UGH! Russell was excited to have a pet scorpion, but he promised it would only be temporary. He proceeds to make a little home for it...dirt in this little plastic dish with a cover, poking holes into the cover so that it could breath. It has lived on our kitchen counter for two days.Russell is, indeed, a man of his word...I came downstairs this morning, and the scorpion and its home were in the trashcan.

"Thank you, honey!!" (Although the real reason he probably tossed it is because it was dying. I mean, what do you feed a scorpion?!?! Never mind, I don't want him to know! :))

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Welcome, Nathan Mack Matteo!!

You have been prayed over and long awaited by your mommy, daddy and so many others, like me, your Aunt Shireen! :) I was so excited to meet you on your birthdate...and a cool date it is...8/18/08! You're a cutie and very handsome!! I got to hold you for about 30 minutes, and I delighted in every second! Man, I so didn't want to put you down! I could've stayed in the hospital room all night long with you guys!
Mama Ashley, looking absolutely beautiful after a long day of labor, holding her little prize, Nathan. :)

Nathan's features are perfect! I especially love his little mouth! I think he gets it from Mama! :)

I'm still in such awe of my best friend having her baby! "Way to go, Ashley! As you well know ;), I am so proud of you! I love you guys!!"

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Baby Wright - Boy or Girl?

Hey, Everyone!

If you're interested in guessing what we're having, we'd love to hear back from you! I know it's just a 50/50 chance, but it's still fun to know what you might think! We know that only the LORD knows at this point!! :)

We find out on Monday afternoon, so let us know your guess!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

"Happy Birthday, Mama!"

My mom's birthday was actually last Thursday, August 14th. We girls all got together on Sunday afternoon to celebrate over lunch, cake and other goodies!
Above, Granny, myself, Lady Bug (the Pomeranian), and, of course, the birthday girl, my mom!
I sure enjoyed the above milk cake that my mom made! YUM! I've enjoyed the left-overs with Russell, too! :)

"Happy Birthday, Mama! I love you!"

P.S. Thank you, Soraya, for the pics!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Welcoming Andrew Joel Murphy!!

Katie Murphy's baby shower was yesterday!! We girlies had a blast, as we sipped on orange-sherbet punch, snacked on Lea's yummy spinach dip, a baked brie and, of course, the sweetly decorated, mouth-watering cake with ice cream! We were surely on sugar highs and having a wonderful time catching up and congratulating Katie on her coming little boy, Andrew Joel, due October 12th!

The 'old' Mountain Brook Community Church group! :) Barbie, myself, Katie, Ashley and Sarah...some great girls!

Katie all smiles with me & Lea...we had a great time, and Katie racked up on some great gifts for the nursery!

More pics here.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Diaper Cakes

A local mommy puts these cute diaper cakes together for only $35! That's about what the diapers cost! There are over 50 diapers included in this 3-tiered 'cake,' which makes this gift SO worth the investment for mommy-to-be! April Leonard is the local mommy artist :), and she will personalize the cake with names, themes, etc. I just got this puppy-theme diaper cake for Katie Murphy's baby shower, which was today! She loved it!! Her nursery theme is puppies, so this was perfect. Gosh, I feel so good to have supported a local mommy in her efforts, as well! What a great gift all-around!

I highly encourage you to check out April's site and get your next baby shower gift from her! She'll meet you anywhere!

Friday, August 15, 2008

First Signs of the Pooch

Russell is so excited to see "Junior" poking out! We're finishing up week 16, and I feel great! The baby's definitely had a growth spirt this week, as I've been hungrier and am now 'showing.'
Darby, this picture is for you, from me & Russell! ;)

We're excited to celebrate our one-year anniversary on Monday week, August 25th! A few weeks ago, while Russell was still at his 3-week annual training, I was praying toward our anniversary, asking that the Lord would lay on my heart something that we could do in celebration of our first year together that would be meaningful (and not sappy :)) to both Russell and myself. The Lord gave me the great idea of calling my doctor to see if we could go in on that day to find out the gender of our baby and celebrate that!! I shared the idea with Russell, which excited him, so I called our doctor, and he is great with us coming for an ultrasound!

So, Lord willing and the baby 'cooperates' :), we'll be finding out if we're having a girl or a boy on August 25th!

May the Lord continue to prepare our hearts for HIS will!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The "Pooch" Begins...

We're 16 weeks along, and I'm starting to show! I noticed last night that my tummy is 'pooching' out. At first, I thought it was because I ate so much for dinner...and the snacking leading up to dinner! :) Russell was quick to correct doesn't settle that low in your tummy. :) So, it's the baby!!

My choice snack for today...I've just been sitting at my desk eating these Triscuits all morning. I'm craving salt and carbs. I figure it's a healthy snack because it's wheat and has some good fiber! :)

Russell and I are doing great! Russell's enJOYing his new Jeep, and I'm feeling GREAT! High energy and a hearty appetite! I am praising and thanking the Lord for our blessings!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Russell's New Toy

Well, Russell came home from Atlanta at 11:00 last night in this...
I woke up when he came to bed, so he excitedly asked me if I wanted to go see it! :) Of course, I said "Yes." So, I trudge downstairs and outside, and, "Oh, my! It's so tall!" It has a 6" lift and brand new mud tires that make the Jeep look huge!

Russell's been like a little boy in a candy store, searching through listed Jeeps and 4X4's of all kinds the last several months, hoping to get one by the Fall! Well, he has one, now, and may the off-roading trips begin! Whoohoo!!

Guys, more specifically 'Acts 4X4' guys, :) get ready for some fun!
P.S. Russell just took me on a ride, and we did a little off-roadin' on a gravel area not too far from our house. Yeah, that's not gonna be my heart was racing, and we didn't even climb that big of a hill. "This sport's for you, Honey!" But I am VERY excited for him to have this new, fun toy and hobby!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Russell's Home!! :)

Hey, Everyone!

This is an overdue, brief email just to let you know that Russell is safely home from his 3-week leave for annual training with the military. He got home on Friday afternoon, and we spent just about every minute together until this morning when 'reality' set in and the work week began! :)

I am so thankful to have him home, and he is so thankful to be home!

Thank you for praying and for encouraging me/us while we were apart!! God really blessed the time to our hearts in so many ways, and absense ALWAYS makes the heart grow fonder! We praise the LORD!

With love and thanksgiving to each of you!