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

We will miss you SNICKERS!

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....
HAPPY 2010!
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!
Merry Christmas!!

Monday, December 14

I Love ChrisTmas!

I love everything about 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 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 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!

Much love,

Thursday, November 19

Feeling Merry!

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 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.
Happy Holidays!

Thursday, November 12


(By the way this is not our is from the web but I do hope to make mine look that awesome!)
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 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

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 Jackson to the fairgrounds and get you a pretty tree!

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


It is getting to be the holiday season as I am sure you have noticed. Holiday decorations on the street lights, Christmas music playing in the grocery store, and a festive colored email from loved ones letting you know what is on their wish-list this year! (hint, hint..Mom, Dad, Z...might wanna check your email!) Well this year as we start making wish lists I have the most incredible gift to add to your list. There is a very special cause that could use your help. The Wee Dream fundraising golf tournament was put together by some wonderful people to raise money for the Lupher families. Both Witt Lupher and cousin Elle Lupher have become pretty accustomed to hospitals, doctors, and a lot of attention not only from medical staff but also from adoring friends and family. Lisha, Lee, and Baby Elle Lupher are our best friends and little Elle has undergone a long stay in the hospital followed by a major heart procedure and is doing awesome. She is one active 7 month old and Lisha said she is such a joyful baby! Rolling around, talking, smiling, and laughing all the time....much like her beautiful parents. The golf tournament is just over a week away and we are trying hard to reach the $30,000 goal! This would help both Lupher families so much. Read more about the golf tournament! Donations can be made and if you are in the Houston area stop by the Longwood Golf Club in Cypress, TX on November 16 for an awesome evening of food, music, and an awesome auction! (including a Shannon Jex piece of art!)

So this year, let's all think of others that need our help and make Elle's first Christmas unforgettable!

Monday, November 9

November 9....YUMMY IN MY TUMMY

For the messy chefs out there, which includes me, you may now enter the kitchen and begin cooking! The backsplash is up! It will be grouted tomorrow afternoon so disregard the spacers but here is a little sneak peak of the stove area. I cannot wait to get home and see it with my own two eyes!

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, 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

November 4 2009

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 out Emma.

On an exciting note, Cory is coming to visit tomorrow on his way to North Carolina! We are so excited to see my bro...I will be cooking crock pot ribs, spicy sausage queso and chips, and a yummy pineapple and cinnamon dessert! Oh I love having guests! And may I say I have gotten quite good at crock pot meals. We had Apricot chicken and dirty rice Tuesday night and shredded beef BBQ on kaiser rolls today! There is just something so awesome about coming in the front door after work and the aroma of a yummy dinner hits you. We'll just call Mr. CrockPot a poor man's personal chef!

The lovely stone has arrived!

more to come after I finish my happy dance!

Tuesday, November 3

Floors, and lights, and countertops...oh my!

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 will look entirely different in the morning. Oh yeah and then Monday, the back splash is installed!

Wednesday, October 21


I have to BRAG BRAG BRAG on my uber fabulous husband!!! Gameday Map is getting rave reviews, in fact the Mississippi Business Journal called and scheduled an interview with Zach on Friday and the Natchez Democrat scheduled one tomorrow! The Oxford Eagle also emailed and is looking into the story! I have a bottle of the bubbly chilling at home and we are celebrating his news! Zach is a daily reminder to me that the sky is the limit...DREAM BIG and DO BIG! I checked my artwork log and I went from doing about 12 pieces a year to 65 in the past year since November '08--all because I have Zach pushing me to be better than I ever thought I could be. So today let's celebrate his talents and his success!


Okay scratch what I said yesterday about the granite. We have decided we like but don't love that granite sample so we are heading to Monroe this evening to pick our slab from the distributor. There are 4 others that have more depth that we are interested in. I think it is cool that you get to choose the exact one that you get.

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

A blessed weekend with our family!

I am finally getting to the point where I dread eating out. I know, can you believe anyone would ever say that. I miss cooking...I miss being able to whip up something as simple as a turkey sandwich and and orange slices. We thought we would be able to still make simple meals but the blanket of dust that covers the entire back of the house is anything but appetizing. We have the granite, glass tile, and floor samples in the kitchen we love the choices we have made after seeing them all together. This weekend will be out last big work weekend as we finish painting and then over the next 2 weeks the doors, drawers, hardware and surfaces will go in. Our stove was delivered Friday and we are in love with what we can see through the plastic wrapping! We went with our guts (literally) and got the 36" KitchenAid Pro series range with 6 burners. Consider this an open invitation to come experience the culinary wonders that will be created with is beast!

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 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

Brag on Z!

"Our guys" are working on the special touches now like the bead board and the moldings before the painter starts. It is prettier than I ever imagined and I am so excited to see it painted. I think the primer and first coat will go on early next week. I have to say Zach and I have made a pretty great design team. He has such a good eye for design (in a very straight, heterosexual kind of way) and he has chosen some things that I would never have taken the risk on but I love the decision now that I see it! I think all the hours of Candice Olsen, Design Star, and all our other HGTV shows really made him into a lean mean design machine! He chose the over the bar pendant lights, glass backsplash, countertops, and vent hood. Once you see it all, you might want him to come design your home!

I got a sweet email from him this afternoon when he made a decision on some vendors for some products:
Floor and backsplash = Mark
Granite = Britt

Here are pics of the bead board going up. Pic 1 is before trim and pic 2 is after.

Tuesday, October 6


After one week and one day I have never learned so many lessons in such a short period of time. Note to all those thinking of doing a kitchen renovation, there is no such thing as under budget. In fact I am starting to believe there is no such thing as on budget. But we know that in the end, it will be well worth it.

Monday, October 5


One week down and we have walls down, floors gone, lights up, and cabinets in! I laugh when I think about how we considered doing the work ourselves..hahah riiiigghhht! Tomorrow the granite company is coming out to measure and hopefully some of our deliveries will show up. Enjoy the latest video.
On another note, our little Emma is doing MUCH better! She was really sick Friday night and we had to decide if we should wait it out till the morning when the vet opened or drive her to Alexandria, LA or Baton Rouge where the nearest after hours vets were. After talking to my vet on phone a few times and trying all the over the counter symptom treaters, we decided to wait until the morning. She made it through the night and we found out she has an intestinal virus. Poor thing was soooo pitiful. She is back to normal now but she is on a special diet and has 3 pricey meds she takes 2x per day. You should see Zach and I prying open her mouth to get these pills is quite entertaining.
Here is a pic of Emmy relaxing on her big sis, Sydney. When Emma was sick I had her bed set up in the foyer and Sydney slept on the first stair all night to be with her. It was so sweet!

Friday, October 2

Lisha is the "BLOG-MASTER"!

I cannot do Lisha's blog justice by recapping the highlights because she has such an entertaining way of updating Elle's progress. There were some scary days this week but things are looking positive now and you just have to see the great pictures Lisha has taken of Elle with all her hospital entertainment! She is the sweetest little baby and has been through so much. I can't image 2 better parents to be seeing her through the process. Please keep praying for the Lupher family and the medical staff.

So check out Lisha "BLOG-MASTER" Lupher's Blog

Wednesday, September 30


Well the room is as empty as our wallet is about to be!! But it is exciting. They mapped out the cabinets today and they start on on them in the morning! I will take a quick video each day to show the progress!

Tuesday, September 29

Watch out-- they are on a roll!

Well today completes Renovation Day 2! They are moving faster than we ever imagined and the crew is so nice! Tonight we finished demo on the floor and I continued removing that darn grass cloth. It already looks SO different and SO good!

Hold on to your hats, it's gonna be a wild ride!

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


The renovation has officially started! WHOO HOO!! The contractors are coming tomorrow to begin removing the wall between the den and the kitchen and will build beams for the load-bearing wall. In preparation, we moved everything from the kitchen into the dining room. Then we started removing the terracotta tile from the floor. I use the term "WE" very loosely because I really had nothing to do with the tile removal. Zach definitely was the muscle behind that operation and I would follow behind cleaning up the chunks of tile. He is such a hard worker..... especially when it means saving some money! So here we are on DAY 1 (already sore and tired) about 1/2 way done with the floor removal and as excited as 2 kids at on Christmas Eve awaiting the first signs of construction!! Here are some pics of Zach hard at work. Also, we had to move our fridge into our pantry where we could keep it plugged in and it would be safe from debris.

Tuesday, September 15

A room fit for TWO!

I had the pleasure of meeting a really special person when I worked in the Marketing department. She is one of those people that you can talk with for hours about everything from what haircut to get to how to deal with a death in the family. She is genuinely interested in what you have to say and she was such a breath of fresh air! We had daily "vent" sessions in each other's cubicles and she got me through a lot of ups and down this past year. When I started working on the project teams I met another spectacular individual. He was the Business Analyst on one of my projects and I think it took a whole 5 minutes before we were cracking jokes about anything and everything. He has a great sense of humor and always knows how to lighten the mood when the projects are getting unbearable. So about 7 days after meeting him, I was composing an email and put his name in the "TO:" line. It then dawned on me that....whoa... his last name is Reeves...and so is my good friend in Marketing...hmmmm....I wonder if they are related. Sure enough these 2 were husband and wife. I sure felt like I rode the "short bus" when I realized how long it took me to make the connection. Brian and Dianna have become some of our great friends! Zach and I enjoy every time we get to hang out with them and cannot wait for their next visit to Natchez!

Now that I have introduced you to Bri and Di, I can tell you how excited I am about the upcoming birth of their twin babies Sophia and _________. (The baby boy has yet to be named but I think they still have a few weeks to decide). I just completed a nursery mural for them. It is a tree in-between the cribs. Above the girl crib there is a pink baby bird and above the boy's crib, a blue one. Then "carved" in the tree trunk are Brian & Dianna's names as well as Sophia and a space for the little boy's name when decided on. Before I finished Brian and Dianna had to go to the hospital. She will be in there for a little monitoring hopefully for no more than 24 hours. I cannot wait for them to return home and see the nursery.


Saturday, September 12

September 12, 2009: Julia Claire Jex is Baptized!

We were up bright and early this morning to drive to Jackson for Julia Claire's Baptism. It was a beautiful ceremony at St. Richard's. The priest said Jules is already a great Catholic because she slept through the entire ceremony, even when they poured the water over her head. She looked beautiful in her Christening gown and bonnet. Zach and I were in awe...she is precious and what a head of hair! I hope our children get the "Jex hair"...and the Jex height!

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

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!

L,L, & Elle- our prayers are with you this month as you approach the surgery. You are in one of the top 3 facilities for Elle's heart...what a blessing!! We love you!

Tuesday, September 1


The second battle of the living room remodel took place Sunday afternoon and continued this evening. After 409 and DIF failed to impact the brute force of the grass cloth, we had to pull out all stops. Thanks to Mrs. Ann, the Mighty industrial steamer joined the fight. Although it is going to be a long battle, we are making more and more headway on the paper removal each day. The steamer works remarkably well but it really does take a lot of patience. (I can just hear my dad laughing as he reads that...Shannon...patience?!) We moved the living room furniture into Zach's study at the front of the house and for the next few months while the kitchen renovation is in progress, the study will be our family room. The girls love it because they can cuddle with us while keeping watch out the front windows for horse drawn carriages, mail men, and especially other neighborhood pups. I might be in the market for some new living room furniture because we both love how comfy- cozy the leather sofas look in Zach's "man room". This weekend, in-between college football games on tv and Zach's 10 year high school reunion events, we are going to tackle the top of the walls with scaffolding.
Prep is by far the worst part of home renovation. Zach and I often start sentences with..."Good thing we love this house so much"... as we complain about all the "not fun" prep projects. We cannot wait to get our paint on the walls! I put together a little video to show you our progress (don't get too excited because we have not made much). Enjoy..and be easy on me...this is my first try at iMovie.

Thursday, August 27


My parents (Dale and Lynell Ross) are headed to the beach...beautiful West Palm to be exact. I cannot tell you the last time, if ever, this dynamic duo took a vacation. (Probably becuase of my college, rent, sorority dues, etc) Don't get me wrong, they are by no means hermits, they will fly cool places like Prague if dad is there on business but this is the first time that it is not on the tail end of a business trip and the location is somewhere beautiful and beachy without us kids in tow. So have fun mom and dad...get sunburned...drink too much....sleep late...turn off the Blackberry!

Love you guys!

Wednesday, August 26


Don't expect much out of the first few months of pictures. We have barely scratched the surface and already we know it is going to be a LOOOOOOG process. Sunday we decided we would tackle the grass cloth wallpaper in the living room. Armed with DIF, 409/water mix, and paint scrapers we went to town on the walls.
Battle 1: Grasscloth is victorious.
Battle 2: will be this weekend and include a 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
The pictures below are inspirations for colors and fireplace mantles: