A Week from Due!

A Week from Due!

I am officially 39 weeks pregnant; just less than a week away from giving birth to our little one, inshallah, and that’s just according to my due date. My sister thinks I may be a few days early, and it’s overwhelming to think that the time I have left to prepare is so limited! I guess you can’t ever be 100% ready for your first baby and I’ll just learn things as I go, but I always just look at my stomach and tell him, “Keep on baking, baby!”! We still have so much of everything to read and learn as we anticipate his arrival.

The part I was becoming more and more nervous about was the actual delivery.  When I heard about what to pack in the hospital bag and what to expect from the experience, just the thought of ice packs and adult diapers make my lady parts hurt. I’m so very thankful for youtube videos on breathing exercises and meditation during labor. Hopefully I’ll be able to remember the techniques. My biggest hope, which overshadows any fears, is simply that we have a healthy baby boy and everything goes smoothly.

Now that I’m so close, I’m feeling a lot better about things. We’ve taken a CPR and Safety course, as well as a Baby Basics class, and on the 4th of July we took a tour of the hospital. I literally asked 4 million questions. I felt bad for the other people in the group but hopefully they benefitted from what I was asking! We went around the room and everyone said their due dates, which ranged from late July through September. I just looked at my watch and was like, “uhh.. next Wednesday”. It was pretty funny 🙂 We procrastinated a bit on taking the tour but it ended up being great. Plus, late in the game if there’s a fear of actually going into labor, you’re already at the hospital! So maybe it was smart of us to wait 😉

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GENDER REVEAL

We had a traditional cake cutting get-together at our apartment in TX to find out the baby’s gender in late March. Everyone thought it was going to be a girl EXCEPT for our nephew, Layth, and our cat, Chuchu (yep, it’s true). We ran out of all of our pink favors and in the end when we finally cut the cake, we saw nothing but blue! It was a shock for all of us! We got to FaceTime with my parents and sister in VA, and as we cut the cake, they opened a box to reveal blue balloons. I wish all of our family could be in one spot but this was such a special moment and it was amazing to be able to share it with our families via video chat 🙂

BABY SHOWERS

Below are some photos from the pregnancy journey that I wanted to share with everyone! The nice thing about having family in two places is I got to celebrate twice and have two amazing baby showers, ahumdulillah! At the start of April in Virginia my sister threw me a travel-themed shower, and it was so fitting for me and my love for adventure. I was expecting it to be just close and extended family, and then my friends started showing up one by one and surprising me! I literally cried because I didn’t expect it at all. Then in TX, my sister-in-law threw my husband and me a woodland-themed baby shower. We were surrounded by my husband’s family and had such a sweet time. We didn’t want to touch anything at the table because of how perfect the set-up was! We are so beyond thankful for everyone who helped us welcome our little one into this world. We now have everything he needs to get settled into this world ❤

Eid Mubarak | Special Announcement!

A little over a year ago (April 29th, 2016), my hubz and I tied the knot! Now, we have some exciting news to share with all of our friends around the world…15

You probably guessed it – We’re expecting!

Our little one is due on July 12th, 2017 inshallah (God-willing). We’re a little late on the announcement but we thought today, Eid Al-Fitr, is the perfect day to spread the happy news!

We are so thankful for all the sweet wishes and can’t wait to be parents. We have just a couple of weeks left to prepare. With all the reading I’ve done and the random facts I now know about babies, one might assume I’m an expert…. but we’ve talked to enough people to know that you can research all you want but no one can describe the feelings you’ll have, experience you’ll gain, and tough moments you’ll tackle when you actually become parents.

We’re excited for all of the new adventures we’ll be having with the new addition to our family. If you have any advice for first-timers, we’d love to hear them – leave us some love in the comments!

Shoutout to my amazing husband for all of his love and support throughout this journey, and for the sweet maternity shoot. In these photos I’m wearing this dress by Louella, and basically lived in Louella tunics throughout my pregnancy. SO comfy. More about that later 🙂

We hope all of our Muslim friends have an amazing Eid spent with loved ones ❤

Eid Mubarak!

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The Listserve – Leading up to Love

Back in May I was selected to write on The Listserve, out of a pool of more than 20,000 people. It wasn’t that I was smarter than anyone, or experienced more; it was a random lottery. Every day someone is chosen to send an e-mail to the rest of the people who are on the list. Literally, you just plug in your e-mail to the site, and you receive an e-mail each day from someone, anywhere in the world. People send WHATEVER they want – all text. The other day I received an e-mail from someone in San Francisco, CA, tomorrow I’ll probably receive an e-mail from someone from a country I’ve never even heard of. I love hearing about peoples’ ideas, adventures, favorite books, life lessons, obstacles, reflections, and all. When I got chosen, I actually missed the 48 hour deadline because I’m AWFUL at checking my e-mail. Luckily, I contacted them and after learning that I could never be put back in the drawing if I missed my turn, the lovely staff gave me a second chance. I didn’t have anything crazy to say, but I was excited at the idea of being able to share my thoughts and experiences with the world, however basic those ideas may be. If I offered some sort of understanding, or had someone relate to me, I did something right… and I did! I received a couple dozen e-mails in response by people who were somehow affected by my words:

[The Listserve] Leading up to Love

I was hoping I would win the Listserve at 25 when I have it all figured out. All the 25-year-olds are probably shaking their heads because they’re waiting for 30 when they’ll have it all figured out. Maybe we’re all clueless. But maybe that’s a good thing! Imagine a life so intricately planned out. Where’s the fun in that?

I’m 23 years young and I have no sense of direction, whether it’s on the road or in life. I really don’t care about being a legend or being remembered. I want to enjoy my life, do good, and be happy with the people I love. I live about 15 minutes away from Washington, D.C., working at a nonprofit where I couldn’t be happier. Part of the reason I think I’m so optimistic is because of my faith, Islam, and the whole whatever’s-meant-to-happen-will-happen idea. I keep this in mind when I’m feeling down and you’d be surprised how quickly it shifts my perspective.

My family is a bit crazy, but it makes for interesting conversation. My mom is a red-headed white woman who grew up in DC, and my dad is a Pakistani brown man who came to the states in the 70’s. I wear a hijab, or headscarf, and we as a family confuse and amuse people quite a bit…

Sometimes I even confuse myself. For the past year I’ve been jumping between wearing a traditionally-styled scarf and a stylish turban. Although I rock the turban, one of the main reasons I wear it is to avoid negative reactions from people who are a little less open-minded. It sucks because I don’t want to hide my religion, but I don’t want to be looked at as an outsider, either.

While I don’t want to get into the implications of displaying my faith openly wherever I go, it’s shaped who I am today. Some of it good, some of it I could do without. I’m overly-considerate. This may sound great, but I envy the people who do what they want regardless of what others might think. I’m very observant of others and I generally make decisions based off how I think others will react. I’m trying to slash stereotypes and change the face of Islam. It’s what got me interested in filmmaking as a hobby.. the Muslim perspective is almost nonexistent. Sometimes I’m excited about the opportunity to represent Islam. Sometimes it’s too big of a responsibility to try and take on.

Ok, that’s enough about me. Today I gave a ride home to my friend Michelle, who told me about how she met her husband and how deeply in love with him she still is. And the cool thing about it is that he’s deeply in love with her too! She talked about something seemingly obvious, but often ignored… A relationship should have an equal amount of input. It can’t be one-sided. So make sure you’re showering all the right people with your love.

Love is the most important thing in the world. Love the little things, like good food. Take it all in. Love yourself, love God if you can, love your family, love your partner. Make sure you’re getting and giving a healthy dose of love.

S/o to my sister/bestfriend Samirah, my crazy brother Khalid, my friends Zaid and Sue Sue, who share my Listserve love, and Lina, who hopefully succeeded in helping me avoid looking like a fool with this email.

I give to: IRUSA
I rant at: PinkGingerale (BlogSpot)
I write for: Coming of Faith





If you had something to say to 1 million people, what would you say? I highly recommend the Listserve to EVERYONE. Meet strangers from across the globe, experience cultures, open your mind to strange and exciting things, offer a hand to someone in need. Every day I get one e-mail that makes me smile wide, and I learn something. Everyone has experienced something that no one else in the world has experienced. This is what makes us unique, while bringing us all together. Join us in connecting the world 🙂

I’m not sponsored by The Listserve, I just wanted to share.

Richmond, my 2nd Home

Trips to Richmond are my favorite, as you know if you’ve been following my blog. Maybe I love Richmond excessively, which isn’t too healthy, but I lived there for four years so it’s definitely got a huge place in my heart. I visited in early April this year, and I want to share my good feelings and way more information than needed with you all. I’m trying to catch up in posting since I’ve been MIA for so long 😛 bear with me. bare with me. bird with me.
A morning run with my bff, Erin, at Hollywood Cemetery. It was my first time there, and it was BEAUTIFUL. She’s in the National Guard so she’s super fit, and I’m in the National Donut Club, which isn’t a real thing, so I’m super slow. Look how beautiful we look with no makeup on! Ahh, naturaaal. I love the feeling.
After our run/walk (lol because I’m awfully out of shape), we got made up to spend our day adventuring. Red is one of my favorite colors to wear, as many of my photos show. I’ll wear it every day, I don’t care!
I love her because she, like me, is down to look like a fool for our own amusement. We do the most ridiculous things together. She’s so down, I can’t even handle it sometimes. I’m like, “Erin, let’s make a movie!” and he response is always “HECK YAH!” Ahh, I’m so thankful for good friends. 
Lunch at Strawberry Street Cafe with the girlies. Mariam is too cute.

Nadiah and Sameen ready to chow down on brunch at the cafe :)) love them! 
I love Karl so much – he’s one of the most talented people I know. He does it all. He’s always there for me when I need a badass photo to be taken.

TORIAN is one of my favorite people at VCU. This time when I saw him, he literally made me cry my eyes out from laughing so hard at some pranks we did in our early VCU days. I think of him as a tough critic, but I value his opinion so much when it comes to art of any form, especially film.

Robalu Gibsun is my favorite poet in the entire world. He is the reason I first got into and started to love slam poetry. I just want to write down everything he says in my moleskin journal and keep it forever.
Jessika with a “k” was my resident and now she’s an RA :’) I’m so proud of her for her hard work to get the position and maintain it. She’s going places, and I can’t wait to see where. IGGY is my Social Work buddy for life, even though we both decided we probably don’t want to do Social Work for the rest of our lives. I met him the summer of 2009 during our VCU orientation. We sat by each other while picking classes for the upcoming semester and since then, we’ve slacked off in more classes together than you can think of before getting rejected together by Teach for America and deciding “F*** this Sh**”
this is how dorky I look when I laugh

Find me a reason to go back, please.

Beaches and Dreams

Earlier this summer I went to the beach with some friends… it was the best beach trip I’ve ever been on! I’ve had bad experiences as a hijabi – not knowing what to wear that wouldn’t draw too much attention or that would be comfortable to swim in and quick-drying. This time before we went, we made it a point to take a shopping trip the week before. We got silky leggings and long tops and went on our way 🙂 I didn’t feel self-conscious at all and that’s because the company was so amazing. I didn’t care so much for the beach before, but I’ve found a new love.

I OWN THE BEACH, SUCKAS!
POCAHONTAS PANCAKES
Mohammad after lunch, ready to surf the waves
LOVE THESE GIRLS. Coworkers/Friends/Homies
my standard don’t-give-a-shit pose
Mazin flyin’ high on the shore
I ran into Saira and Sara, my two college friends, while at Pocahontas restaurant! SMALL WORLD, INDEED. They tried to hug me when they were soaked and my clothes had already dried. Eep!
Trying to get a bird’s eye view of the sand 😉