Life is a test. We are not present on earth to just exist; we are here to learn. Life is a lesson. Love one another unconditionally. Love thyself unconditionally. We spend our whole lives learning to do this. Some succeed and some never have a clue. I'm trying. Love my fellow man. Don't react and don't always have to be right. This is one I'll have to work on for the rest of my life. Appreciate each day and recognize positive and negative as a part of life's experiences. Look around me and see life at it's best. The joys of living come as you strive to achieve your dreams. Its the quality of each day that is important, not the distant dream once achieved. Teach and nurture my children. You can never give them too much love. -Randa Jex 1/1/94
Wednesday, December 30
Who knew a 5 inch long little puppy I named after a candy bar would grow up to be so sweet! I guess the name was fitting after all. After 15 years as our family pet, Snickers lost his battle with old age on Monday, December 28. He had been moving slower week by week and I am just so thankful that Mom and Dad were able to make it home from Christmas in Mississippi to spend two last days with him and say goodbye. Snickers was such a joy in our home and now for David Letterman's TOP TEN Reasons why we love Snick:
1. He could play fetch for hours with his little bed ball
2. He peed on almost all of my high school friends, and most of them on a daily basis. He would just get so excited!
3. He used to jump in the pool after me and paddle so hard to stay above water and he would just swim with me...which was a challenge for a foot-long dachshund.
4. He loved to cuddle in the crack between your legs when you lay down (just like Emma!)
5. He was the best snuggle buddy and loved to watch TV with me and Dad...but for some reason Mom was his favorite!
6. He loved to go on walks up to the elementary school by our house and chase squirrels.
7. He loved to be totally covered up when he napped...just like Emma.
8. I heard the phrase "That is the smartest dog I've ever had" come out of my dad's mouth all the time. Although I was never was blessed to hear "That is the smartest child I have ever had".
9. Is face turned almost totally gray in his old age. He was so handsome!
10. For 15 years he made our family so happy and never asked for anything but love in return! What a great little buddy!!
Monday, December 28
I know I need to blog all about Christmas before I jump to New Years but I just cannot contain my excitement! We are headed for the BIG-D...and I do mean Dallas! Rebels are going for Cotton yet again and we will be there cheering them on in box seats at the new Cowboy's stadium. Thanks to our awesome friends Parker and Holly Aldredge...we will be enjoying the OSU butt whooping with friends in total luxury! I hear food and drinks are super pricey at the new stadium so now Z and I don't have to bootleg Doritos and canned Cokes into the stadium! So Thursday we are off for an exciting New Year's Eve in the city, a day to recover and eat at all our favorite places, and then January 2 is GAME DAY! It won't be the same without all my girls but we will cheer on the Rebels for everyone who cannot make it.
Can you believe 2010 is 4 days away??? Where did the year go?
If I don't blog before the new year....
May it be blessed with love, laughter, and a better economy!
Monday, December 21
On the 19th day of Christmas my true love gave to me.....100+ tacky people...and a partridge in a pear tree. No no no I am not bashing fellow holiday shoppers or crazy mall drivers..I am referring to our awesomely TACKY 1st Annual Jex Tacky Christmas Party! My day consisted of grocery store trips, cooking, and watching Zach, Scott, and Elliot rig the satellite so we could receive the Saints game. After hours of therapeutic cooking and listening to a combination of Frank Sinatra's holiday tunes and all 3 boys hanging out different windows in the house shouting "right there, right there" or "0%....0%...oh yeah 100% don't move" I was totally in the Christmas spirit and ready for a big evening with friends. The night started relatively tame as I put the finishing touches on the massive hor's dourves feast in the dining room...followed by the lighting of 3 gajillion candles and cranking up the Christmas music. Zach and I then assembled our "Jersey Shore" inspired attire and headed downstairs. Within no time, the house was filling up two by two! Tacky sweaters, 80's dresses, amazing floral Christmas hats, white suits, Candy cane purses, ornament earrings, and snowflake princesses filled our home. Oh and how could I forget...a Guido and Guidette (me and Zach!) The party was better than I ever wished and we are so blessed to have such wonderful friends! Not only did we accomplish having a great time, we asked each guest to bring a toy and we now have a foyer full of toys to deliver to the Natchez Children's Home. During the holidays as we are spending money and throwing parties...incorporate a charity or a person in need and you would be amazed at what an impact you can make!
Enjoy the pictures! We are looking forward to next year. BIGGER, BETTER, TACKIER...and more toys!
Monday, December 14
I love everything about Christmas..in fact living in a small town has made it even more enjoyable. I will give you one guess as to why...NO CRAZY SHOPPING TRAFFIC! I did almost all of my Christmas shopping locally, online, or it came straight out of my art studio! I do have some last minute stocking stuffers to pick up in Jackson this week but nothing we couldn't live without...now it is just a waiting game! This week is busy with Christmas parties back-to back-to back. I am not sure I am going to have any party left in me by the time we host ours Saturday evening. The attire is tacky and all that we ask is that you bring a toy and we will deliver them Christmas week to the Children's home! So come one.. come all...Saturday we will have a ball!
But the waiting game isn't for Christmas parties or presents...it is the excitement and pure joy of having both sides of our family here for Christmas for the first time! Christmas week starts with the treat of meeting Cory's new lady friend, Alisha! She is coming all the way from Tennessee to meet us...all of us! I am looking forward to a relaxing night with my side of the family...which always involves food and laughter and most likely a game! May I go off on a small tangent about how much I love games! We played Holiday Pictionary at youth group last night and we had so much fun...I was laughing so hard at one point watching teenage guys trying to read teenage girls minds! Good Stuff!! Then the Jex side of the family will join us Christmas day for a huge feast at our place! You know that "nervous-excited-hopeful-giddy-scared you will poison someone" feeling you get when you cook a big meal for a big group...yeah I totally am experiencing that and I love it!
So wherever you may be spending your Christmas, we wish you a full home, a full belly, and a heart overflowing with God's love. No matter how stressful entertaining/shopping/social calendars/work/kids/family/etc may be just remember all of these things are blessings and take a minute to SLOW DOWN and REMEMBER...The Reason for the Season! And since all of you out there cannot be with us on Christmas, although we wish you could, here are some pics of the house all dolled up "Shay Style".
Happy Holidays Y'all!
Wednesday, November 25
Monday, November 23
Well this weekend was one for the books! It was an amazing game that ended in the last second- Ole Miss 25 LSU 23!!! Zach and I were wearing out the phrase "this play determines the game" because in the last 5 minutes there were about 15 game changing plays! But I am sure you all witnessed the game in person or on TV so I won't go into details about how awesome the Rebels played....or how ridiculous Dexter McCluster's talents are....or how fun it is to have a years worth of bragging rights to all of our LSU friends.
So enough about football... let's talk kitchen. We are 2 days away from completion...WHOA! But our renovation would not be complete without renovations nightmares...literally. If you read the blog often, you know I have crazy dreams when I have something big coming up. Last night I dreamed that we had our cabinet doors installed (which is actually taking place as we speak) and the workers told me that they had some scratches and so they sanded off all the white paint and now they are ready for the final coat. All of my newly painted beautiful white cabinets (courtesy of Clinton Schove painting services) were now back to brown wood. Then they were attaching the drawer pulls all wrong. Some sideways, some diagonally...there was nothing I could do in my dream but stand there in disbelief as I saw thousands of dollars of cabinets ruined. The funniest part of the dream was when I saw my wedding photographer and his wife assisting in the cabinet fiasco. I walked up to them as they were drilling holes in my McCarty pottery serving dishes and attaching cabinet pulls to the sides of the dishes. I asked "what the heck are you doing"...they said, "we had extra hardware so we thought your bowls needed handles".
That might be the strangest dream yet. Hope all of you are having a blessed week whether you are working, traveling, or lucky enough to be home with family!
Thursday, November 19
I could not be more eager to get home tonight and start decorating for Christmas. Don't ask me why this feeling just hit- I am sure it was due to the massive amount of Christmas decor I stumbled upon when rummaging through the closets. I love that Randa loved Christmas as much as I do because I found so much great stuff....and well preserved too. She saved all of the kids holiday drawings from elementary school and her ornaments are neatly packed away in segmented boxes and boy are they beautiful. Many of them are hand painted glass and they are just incredibly beautiful. There are 3 things I am most excited about this year---decorating the banister (because I have not lived in a 2 story since my parents home), decorating the outside balconies (because I love when people go all out on the outside of their homes) and last but not least I am thrilled to be having all the family here and I have a secret gift for the Christmas feast! Some of my guests read this blog so I cannot divulge my secret gift just yet but it is something I am so excited about and if you have not guessed...it is hand made! We are having 19 people at the house for Christmas- the Rosses, the Jexes, and the Gewins! So tonight, don't bother calling...I will be neck deep in tinsel, garland, string lights, and Christmas cheer! Oh and I have to start creating the 2009 Jex Christmas Card- above is ours from last year.
Thursday, November 12
Now that we are days away from being done with the kitchen renovation, I think it is time to jump into another huge project....decorating our home for the holidays! I ran into a tree dilemma...although I wanted a live tree I thought a fake tree would be a good investment. I posted a message on facebook asking for recommendations on where to get a 9ft pre-lit tree and got so much help! So after reading all the feedback I decided to go real this year b/c we are having a big Christmas at our house and I love the smell and then I am taking some of the advice and picking up a fake one when they go on sale after the holidays! So if you happen to be facing the same dilemma...here is some great advice:
Emily Mayor Kaczmarczyk- Try Big Lots
Wesley Rogers- Just past Mammy's cupboard on the left. It's probably not open yet. Patience, my dear.
Carrie Pugh- There is also one in Ferriday...I buy my tree from Well's Produce on the end of Homochitto across from the Exxon, and next to the Donut Shop...and I think they deliver and dispose, too...
Jana Blackburn Weathersby- we got ours at Costco, I would try Sams too!
Ben Cochran- Mr. whiskers out 61s has awesome trees, and they deliver and set-up, they'll even come back and take it out of your house.
Kara Graham Webb- They have some at Sams but I just saw some at Home Depot I like even better! Plus you can get 10% off coupons on ebay for Homedepot. The one from Sam's was 189 and the ones from Home Depot were all price ranges, some more some less depending on how "lifelike" you want the needles to feel.
Lindsay Escue Prine- Try Hobby Lobby and Sears!
Reagan Stafford-I got my 7.5 ft pre-lit tree from Target last year for $100 and it is beautiful! You may want to check there!
Tiara Guard-Hate to admit it, but even Home Depot carries great pre-lit fake trees. And they are not super costly either. Unless you are a real woman's-man that cannot escape a hardware store without buying extra crap...lol.
Catherine Tillman Whalen- Martha at KMart.
Elizabeth Chesser- If you can wait, Home Depot's trees go on sale shortly after Christmas...sometimes as much as half off! We love ours!!
Becky Jex- We got our pre-lit tree at Wal-Mart for like 130-140 but it's def not a 9 footer.
Stephen M Jex- Ellen Hefley's husband Earl used to have a xmas tree farm so of town when I lived there. You might ask her.
Jeff Chao- Hobby lobby
Sue Geter-Walmart had some pretty ones! Also, you need to go to
Bebe Taylor Willcutt- Walgreen's
Corinne Haxton Pavlovic- 9 ft at home depot: $199 for pine. $269 for fir
Ruth Moseley Parrish- Sam's Club!!
Wednesday, November 11
So this year, let's all think of others that need our help and make Elle's first Christmas unforgettable!
Monday, November 9
By the way, while we were in the "crockpot-only" phase of our renovation I found an awesome recipe that is so darn easy. I made crock pot ribs (courtesy of www.about.com, busy cooks) for Cory and Zach and it was a hit! Cory actually compared them to one of his favorite restaurants. Whoa...that's the first time anything I have made in the kitchen was compared to anything positive. So here it it, you throw it all in the crock-pot leave for 9hrs and the meat is fallin off the bones yummy! I paired it with baked beans, queso w/spicy sausage, and tortilla chips. Yummm!
Crock-Pot Pork Ribs
Prep Time: 10 minutes, Cook Time: 9 hours
- 3 lbs. pork loin back ribs, cut into 4" pieces
- 1 tsp. pepper
- 1/2 tsp. allspice
- 1 tsp. ground mustard
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 cup water
- 1-1/2 cups barbecue sauce
Preparation: Combine all spices in a small bowl & rub ribs with mixture. Place in 3-4 quart slow cooker and pour water over. Cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours. Remove ribs from slow cooker and discard cooking liquid. Replace ribs in crockpot and add barbecue sauce. Cover and cook on low for 1 hour. 6 servings (i actually added the sauce in the beginning and never drained the liquid because I was going to be at work the last hour and then cooked them 8 1/2 hours total and they were perfect!)
Wednesday, November 4
Well here is the kitchen with the granite! Sorry if it is blurry it was taken with Zach's iphone but I will take ones with the camera tomorrow. Tomorrow might just be the most exciting day for me...I get my dishwasher back and the sink connected. I am aching to wash every dish and utensil in this house! Honestly, I just might put anything dishwasher safe in for a rinse...watch out Emma.
Tuesday, November 3
Well tomorrow morning we are one step closer to complete. Whoa, it feels strange even saying that word...lemme try again c..o...m..p.l....e...t...e! At 9am the lovely, breathtaking, long awaited granite truck arrives! We went with Brazilian Black for the granite and saw our slab last week. May I just say, she's a beauty. As much as I enjoy balancing crock pots on the counter joints and being able to put trash in the trash drawer without sliding it open, I think I am ready for a little counter top action! Zach and I had one of the most productive weekends and it really transformed the space. The cardboard floor coverings that hid our beautiful cherry floors for the past 45 days...gone! Tape trimming all the walls and mouldings...gone! Our newly painted bookcases were reacquainted with their long lost shelves. The 12 layers of dust that covered all surfaces, mouldings, and every pantry item (gotta love those darn louvered doors)...gone. So here we are in semi-emply living room. The only things in here- my lovely new blue chairs, the dog bed, the tv, and Zach's poang (comfy IKEA chair). We are debating whether the couch from the study should come in here for 2 weeks. It is a beast to move and would be temporary until we get our new furniture over thanksgiving. The girls (dogs) are voting yes because they know the more comfortable we are, the longer we stay downstairs at night. Enjoy the pics but don't get too used to it the way it is....it will look entirely different in the morning. Oh yeah and then Monday, the back splash is installed!
Monday, October 26
Wednesday, October 21
Click on it to hear the commercial!
Well the dreams have started. Right before we got married I started having dreams about any and every wedding logistic. In the past 3 nights my dreams have ranged from the best technique to paint the drawers and bead board, how I will decorate the bar for Christmas, and last night was by far my favorite. I dreamed that we unwrapped the stove (pictured in the post below) to find that it was 6ft tall by 18 inches wide. Instead of having 6 burners it had 2 griddles and it was nasty like it had been used. We tried returning it but we couldn't so we had to build the cabinets around this awkwardly large unit and I had to use a ladder to cook. Oh man- I gotta start drinking before bed to mitigate my wild dreams.
Tuesday, October 20
Although I miss my kitchen it was nice not having to worry about cooking this weekend with a house full of guests. We had the whole family in Natchez for balloon race (everyone but Cory). Mom and Dad from Houston, Sue and Steve from Louisiana, newly engaged Kate and Victor (whom we just met and LOVE!!) from Hattiesburg, and Kellen, Becky and little baby Julia Claire! We had a great time at the Balloon Race festivities although due to wind we only got to see a few balloons actually fly. We did get to hear some awesome music, eat great food, and even made time for a champagne toast in honor of Kate and Victor's engagement and the launch of Zach's new website www.gamedaymap.com. This site has already made such a splash and everyday we are inundated with emails, messages, and comments about how awesome the site is. I am SO proud of Zach and his idea. Check out the site and be sure to read "The Idea" and "How it works" to get the big picture! Life seems like it is busier than ever but I can also say I have never been so happy!
Friday, October 9
Granite = Britt
Tuesday, October 6
Monday, October 5
Friday, October 2
So check out Lisha "BLOG-MASTER" Lupher's Blog
Wednesday, September 30
Tuesday, September 29
Thursday, September 24
My best friend Lisha and her family need your prayers today!!!! Her baby girl Elle is in surgery as we speak repairing her heart. This is the big open heart surgery that Lee and Lisha have been nervously and anxiously awaiting since the 5th month of their pregnancy when they found out Elle had a heart condition. Please keep Elle, Lisha, and Lee Lupher in your thoughts and prayers today. I know this has got to be the longest 8 hours of their life.
Wednesday, September 23
Tuesday, September 15
Saturday, September 12
Wednesday, September 9
I spent my evening in the art studio finishing up a drawing and I just couldn't leave before I made one of my favorite babies something special. I started a tradition back in March when Elle was born, that every time she has a surgery I would make her a little "Shay Creation". So tonight she gets a door hanger for her hospital stay this month when she has her open heart surgery. I hope it will make one of my favorite families smile!! The bottom of the painting reads: "dear God, please heal my heart. Love, Elle" I made the little dress and hair flower from some of my favorite fabric and sewed a heart on the dress. I love how it turned out..I hope the Luphers do too!
Tuesday, September 1
Thursday, August 27
Love you guys!
Wednesday, August 26
Battle 1: Grasscloth is victorious.
Battle 2: will be this weekend and include a steamer....watch out grass cloth!
Our living room gameplan:
- Remove Grasscloth (easier said than done)
- Prime and Paint walls deep blue or something in the brown/tan family (leaning towards blue like inspiration rooms below)
- White Paint for bookshelves (including wall behind bookshelves), new mantle & trim, cabinets, moldings, and chair rail
- Add cabinet doors to lower cabinets
- Add a large (simple & traditional) white mantle and trim for fireplace sides
- Shannon to paint huge abstract artwork for above mantle
- Move flat screen to wall between windows
- bring in new blue accent chairs, rug, and lamp (shown above in picture)
- Replace dark leather couches (going into Zach's study) with a blonde sectional