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, 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!