Thursday, April 30, 2009

More Louisiana Fun & Fixins

Russell & his dad are carnivores!! :) They love MEAT!!! Rusty bar-b-que'd an enormous pork tenderloin, about 8 lbs of ribeye steaks and a load of ribs this passed Saturday afternoon. Claudia, Russell's mom, stayed busy in the kitchen most of the morning ("Thank you, Claudia!!") preparing all the traditional sides...potato salad, brocolli salad, baked beans and rolls.
The food was yummy and absolutely filling!!! The outdoor fellowship, while Rusty was slaving over the hot grill, was good for the soul!
Rhys has met his new and perhaps biggest fan, Aunt Tami!! :) She couldn't get enough of Rhys all weekend long! I loved watching them together!!! "Love you, Aunt Tami!! From all of us!" :)
Rhys was mostly dressed in his cute little (naked) b'day suit all weekend long!! Seriously, in four days, he only wore one outfit and only for part of that day! :) I'm pretty sure that's the "attire" he'll be sportin' all summer long! Makes it easy for Mommy!! :)
Daddy loves to exercise the little man...
...or show off his little muscles! :) Then, we got to visit Uncle Dale & Aunt Sharon, also some of the sweetest family I've married into!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Rhys' First Trip to the Zoo!!

We got to spend a nice, relaxing weekend with Papa & Grandmom Wright, Aunt Tami and Aunt Kristie & cousin Sierra Grace in Louisiana. One of our big outings was the Louisiana Purchase Zoo in Monroe, Louisiana, Rhys' first trip to a zoo! :) {That's not saying too much...if the little man wasn't sleeping, he was 'in his own little baby world' in his stroller. :))
Papa & Grandmom Wright, taking a break in the was HOT!We took advantage of the shady breaks, too!! Rhys was sportin' his 'birthday suit' {plus a diaper! ;)} because of the heat!The flamingo is one of my favorites!!
Aunt Tami and Sierra fed Jerry the Giraffe a cake cone. {I know...a cake cone? It's what the zoo keepers were feeding them! Interesting!}Little Miss Sierra Grace was BRAVE to pet the goats!! "You go, girlie!"
These alligators are REAL! Papa says they can travel up to 25 miles per hour on land!! I personally choose not to challenge that fact! The peacocks were everywhere! They're beautiful, but their screech scared Rhys, so I stayed clear of them! My protective instincts were awoken!! :)
Look at this turtle! Such a pretty shell!
Russell & Rhys taking a shady break. :) My sweet men...I love them!Wort hogs! UGLY creatures!
One of my very favorites...look at these prarie dogs! They look like little statues! Ha ha!!
I felt like I was in a scene of "Out of Africa" looking at this pretty lion!A rhinocerous...hangin' out in the shade.

This is not even half of what we saw at the zoo! I was so impressed at the variety of animals at the local Monroe zoo that I had to share!! {I know it's a lot of animal pics! :)}

That was just the first morning of our trip! Rhys did great, but he has no clue he was at the zoo...we'll have to go again when he's a little more aware of what's going on! :)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Birthday Continuation...

One of my very favorite verses is Hebrews 10:24-25, "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."

My very favorite girlfriend in this world treats me to some kind of surprise every single year for my birthday! She outdoes herself EVERY year!!! I am thankful for our friendship and for how the Lord truly spurs me on toward righteousness through Ashley.

This Monday, on my birthday, I received a package in the mail...a large manila envelope with a sweet handwritten note from Ashley, wishing me a happy birthday and letting me know that she was picking me up on Wednesday evening at 6:00 to take me out to birthday dinner and would have me home by 8:00 sharp! {She and I have babies that we must feed every three hours!! :)} Also in the package were menus to three different restaurants...nice, ritzy restaurants, I should where I'd never eaten! The choice was simple for me! I chose La Mesa Grill and Cantina immediately!! I LOVE anything of Hispanic origin, especially the FOOD!!! :)

Last night rolled around, and sweet Ashley was at our doorstep at 6:00 sharp! Russell was sweet to take our picture before our FUN girls' night out!!! Russell was also VERY sweet to keep our little man for a second night in a row so that I could go out! "Thank you - Thank you, Honey!!"
La Mesa Grill and Cantina at Downtown Five Points! YUMMY!!! First, we ordered from the Salsa menu: Pineapple Salsa & Chips! The pineapple was grilled to perfection and served in a spicy, sweet sauce!Next, we chose from the Tapas menu: Fried Cheese Sticks...breaded monterey jack cheese, deep fried and served with a spicy marmalade sauce. Again, YUM!Then, we ordered this delicious entree: Crabcake Sandwich on Sourdough, served with their signature Bravas, roasted spicy potatoes with this interesting, orange spicy sauce. Delicious!!
Speaking for both of us, ALL of the above are TOP recommendations! I can't wait to go back with my hubby!!! He would enjoy everything we ordered!
For dessert, we had to splurge with one of both my and Ashley's faves...TCBY!!! Cooled the palate perfectly after a sweet and spicy hot meal! :)
"Thank you, my best and sweetest friend!! You are the best, and the Lord continues to bless my heart through you!"
On another note, we are both officially 'soccer moms'!! :) That's right...our boys may be a bit young to get out on that soccer field, but we mommies are 'playing' the part in our new 'get-ups'!!
Like our mini-vans??? :) (Ours is a Toyota Sienna; Ashley's is a Honda Odyssey!)

I'll take this opportunity to admit that even a year ago, I was completely opposed to the whole 'mini-van' idea, but with the encouragement of my sweet husband's excitement and his "they're-so-functional" comments, plus the fact that my best friend was getting one, my heart changed!! :) God is good, and we are enjoying the mini-van! We're off for our second road trip in it this weekend!!

Darby, watcha think? :) The pic is for you!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

3 Months!!

Oh, our sweet son, Rhys!
You are 3 months old today! Yay!!! Mommy is super excited! As I was feeding you this morning, I was staring at you in absolute awe of how incredibly beautiful {or handsome! ;)) you are! Everyone says you look just like Daddy, with Mommy's olive complexion {and long feet and toes! :)).

I love that your hair is still slightly red, just like your daddy's was at your age! And the setting of your eyes is just like Daddy's too! I look at the color of your eyes each day, watching them turn from this amazing deep blue to slightly more brown with time.

I'm not sure where you get your perfectly shaped lips, but I could just kiss on them ALL day long {even with all the baby slobber}!! I think you have Daddy's cute ears, and I'm pretty sure you have my nose because it looks just like mine did at your age!!

You're getting SO big and heavier each day! Again, yay!!! I'm getting to put you into new, larger outfits!! This part is a little bit sad because some of your monogrammed clothes will never be worn again! :( Oh, well!

I've also noticed that when I'm feeding you, your cheeks turn bright pink and you tighten and loosen your hands, so happy to be getting good nourishment! We think you're soon to transition into sleeping longer nights, which absolutely thrills Mommy!! :) You do fight your sleep, when you're getting tired, but you come by that honestly, as Mommy does that, too...still, unfortunately.

A few last play by yourself on your activity mat so well, and you LOVE your bath! I could leave you soaking for hours, I think! I'm amazed that you've graduated so quickly from Newborn-size diapers to size 1's to size 1-2's and now to size 2's in such a short time! In only a month, you have your next pediatrician's appointment, and we'll see how much weight you've gained and how many inches you've grown!!
Daddy and Mommy are so in love with you, little man! We could not be more excited to have you as our son! Maybe in time, if God permits, you'll be a big brother, but for now, we are selfishly going to enjoy our time with you!
Happy 3 months, and we love you, son!

XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO from Daddy & Mommy!

Thank you to My Sweet Husband!!!

Russell surprised me with this BEAUTIFUL flower arrangement and balloon for my birthday on Monday!! I'd been out visiting with a girlfriend, and I came home to find this {and a manicure/pedicure gift certificate} on our kitchen counter!! I admit, I'm bragging on my husband, but I can't help it. He's truly an amazing man, husband and daddy! I love him and praise the Lord for him! Truly, just as Scripture says, "Every good and perfect gife IS from above!"

"Thank you, again, Honey!!! You made my birthday such a sweet day!!"

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Still Playing...

Although we're now parents and definitely wrapped up in every sense of the word {or in every sense of Rhys' sweet life!} :), and, although I've definitely been lacking in the blogging updates (but not for lack of keeping busy!!), we're still trying to maintain a social life, perhaps to keep our sanity!?!? :)

One of my favorite social activities (STILL!) is playing joker with a fun group! So, for over a week, I've had last night planned!!! While my sweet husband tended to the grill with the rest of the men, all of us ladies tended to cooking the fun side dishes and, of course, some good conversations, while inhaling the appetizer!! :) Just leave the women to catching up in no time!! :) We LOVE to TALK!!! After a yummy dinner of grilled meats, pasta salad, roasted Italian potatoes and sauteed zuccini and squash, we all piled up in the living room around none other than the Joker board!! :) In the midst of the games, we celebrated my and Kate's birthday's over yummy rocky road brownies and {the best EVER} Mayfield's Birthday Cake ice cream! "Thank you, Kate, for our birthday dessert!!" :)
The girls won the first game; the guys won the second. We're all ready for more! :)
Neal (in orange) & Arden (straight, blonde hair) joined our 'usual crowd' :) of Shegun & Mary and Aryvia & Kate. They 'fit' right in!! Good competitive skill! :)

Side note, Russell and I had prayed earlier yesterday over our evening, that the Spirit would lead our evening of fellowship and conversation, as well as lead Rhys in being fun, enjoyable (not fussy) company. The Lord blessed our evening in each of those ways, and Rhys was especially enjoyable. Kate was SO gracious to hold him during dinner so that Daddy and Mommy could have that little break. "Thank you, again, friend!!" ;)

Family Fun!!

Kristie, one of Russell's sisters, and her sweet little girl Sierra Grace came to visit us last week! We enjoyed a very relaxing time together, which was exactly Kristie's hope for this be refreshed with lots of rest! It was good for us to have that down time together, and I do hope the girls are nicely fulfilled from their vacation! "Thank you for coming to see us and meet little Rhys!!" :)We did venture out to Aldridge Gardens, a nearby botanical beauty! This place is just about in our backyard, yet we've never walked all the way through the park! It's gorgeous, and I am, once again, amazed at the beauty that surrounds our sweet home! Look at all the pretty spring flowers!! Tulips are amongs my faves!Some close-ups! Then, we mosied on to visit the geese, turtles and {HUGE} fish and feed them a some healthy whole wheat bread. :)
The gardens are perfectly calming with the pretty little statues, falls, rock gardens, etc.
That day was Kristie's birthday, so she requested a fun night...that we order out pizzas (my favorite...Papa John's!) and go swimming with them in their hotel's indoor pool! After the chilly walk thru the gardens, I was excited to relax in the hot tub! So, we endulged ourselves...
Notice Rhys' new swimsuit! "Thank you, Kristie and Sierra!!" :)
Also, notice Rhys' facial expression toward Daddy's meant-to-be-enjoyable idea of swimming together. Yeah, Rhys was not too keen on the idea of luke warm pool water. Mommy stood by the poolside, ready to wrap him up, in case the fussing began. It did. We then obliged the little man by warming him up by holding him and dangling his feet in the hot tub. He LOVED that! He comes by his preference for warmth/heat honestly...he is his mommy's son! :) I can't stand being cold!
Then, we all dove into some yummy red velvet birthday cake after singing "Happy Birthday!!"

The rest of our visit was as fun and relaxing, and we're excited to see the rest of Russell's family in Louisiana very soon!!

Friday, April 17, 2009

A Lady's Man???

Rhys, you are so dearly loved! People, especially women :), can't wait to get their hands on you! I can't blame them, really, and I'm trying not to be biased in saying that! ;) {Is that really possible?}

Miss Mary Grace came to see you, and you just smiled and cooed at her, which was so sweet to watch! My hope is that you'll continue to be such a hospitable host of our guests!! :) Then, all the ladies took turns passing you around at community group!
Miss Virginia (above) always wants some Rhys time!! :) She loves babies!!!
Miss Megan had to have her turn!! :) {Careful, son. Mommy is the sole bearer of your nutrients! ;) "Sorry, Megan!"}
Sweet Emily works in a hospital, so she's always so careful not to hold Rhys when she's been at the hospital, for fear of passing on germs. She's so thoughtful! "Thank you, Emily! Rhys is glad you finally got to hold him!!! Clearly, he likes you!!" ;)
And for the surprise!!!!! Ben wanted to hold the little guy, too! That's right! He 'plays' this macho role that he's so opposed to bambinos, but God is good to give each of us a soft spot in our hearts for sweet, helpless babies. After all, we were all babies, too!!