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

Thursday, April 28

29 Week Update

29 weeks, 11 to go. Austin is weighing in at 3 lbs and is 17" long while momma is weighing in at +17 lbs. It's hard to believe he is only a few inches shy of his birth length yet will double or triple in weight. Oh golly, help me!
No real changes on the pregnancy front but as promised, I am posting weekly pics for the next 11 weeks since this baby has some substantial growing to do. (I lied about starting to use our nice camera, it intimidates me. I will leave the photography to Zach once the bambino arrives) Yesterday I passed my Glucose Test with flying colors so we don't have to worry about gestational diabetes and I also got my RhoGam shot since I have negative blood. Lately, Austin had made his presence know, that's for sure. He river dances all around my stomach pretty much every hour or so.
We have been enjoying this awesome weather by spending many weekends in the yard. I have to admit, I will complete a project two and then I mainly watch and rock in the rocking chairs while Z finishes the hard work. But that's his request so I am glad to abide. Emma and Sydney love passing out on the front porch in the sun. They get so relaxed they often give the horse-drawn carriages a break by not barking at them like normal. I'm sure a weenie dog and a Corgi intimidate those horses so much.

In other news, Cory is still awaiting news on his fabulous job opportunity at Vandy in Nashville. I would love to have my brother and sister-in-law that much closer so I have been crossing my finders, toes and anything ease that will still cross. He is so deserving of this position and it would be his dream job in the Marine Corps. Also Mom and Dad got an offer on their house this week. It's not final, you know how contracts work but if all goes well they will have a sold sign in the yard by this weekend and the move to Natchez will be in full swing. Dad has been a nervous wreck about selling, I think I am finally starting to realize where I get my impatience from. Especially since it has only been on the market for about 20 days!

And finally, I am headed to Oxford with my girlfriends this weekend to relive the college days, minus the booze. haha. Double Decker Arts festival is this weekend and my sweet girls are throwing me a baby shower. City Grocery Shrimp and Grits, here comes mama! But first we are making a detour through Jackson to stay the night at Laura's house where we will be soaking up the fabulous footage of the Royal Wedding. Yup, that's right, hats and all. Laura says she has a special night planned. Tea and crumpets anyone??

Tuesday, April 26

Austin's Hamptons Hideaway

Okay, our little boy's name is now B.O. and F.B.O (blog official and Face Book official)

Austin Alexander Jex
will be joining the Jex crew in the next 11 weeks. We are getting so excited and now the the nursery is done it is so hard to be patient. Here are pictures of the completed nursery and then later this week I will post before and after pics so you get the full story of how much effort Zach and I poured into this room. We also renovated the bathroom and pics of that will be coming soon too. Hope you enjoy the sweet nursery...what I call his "Hampton's Hideaway". We already enjoy it and some days we will just go in there and sit a spell and enjoy how peaceful it is.
The window wall was a Family effort: Zach constructed valance, I made the burlap valance cover and painted monogram, Mom made window seat cushion, window seat toy box was the Jexes, Steve made rocking horse long before Zach was born, Mom & Dad took us shopping and bought us the new leather glider/recliner, I made the throw pillows for the window seat and drew the sketches on the wall, the rocking chair was Zach's as a child.

Distressed oar from Pottery Barn and Lighthouse painting by me. I will take closet pictures once I finish hanging his clothes. The 50 baby hangers I have are far to few for his clothing loot even though Papa Dale believes a man only needs 45 articles of clothing. Also in the closet is the chest that was passed down from my mom to me when I was a baby and now to Austin.

Austin's bed where he will sleep peacefully through the night starting on day 1 :)

Sweet monogrammed bedding from

His window seat/toy box....thank you Mom for the seersucker window seat cushion. Seriously people, this thing looks like a pro sewed it. Contrasting piping all the way around top and bottom and a hidden zipper in the back. It's amazing. And thank you Dad for finding the most awesome foam in the world at a specialty store in Houston. It so comfy you could sleep on it! I sewed the pillows (look very amateur next to Mom's creation) and the Teddy Bear is from the English Teddy Bear Company. I got it 8 years ago when I was studying in England.

Pencil and Ink drawings I drew. The entire collection is for sale on my site (boys, girls, and neutral)

Zach's rocking chair from when he was a child

Cute little toy basket on the changing table from Mrs. Anne

Custom Row Boat, hopefully he won't try to paddle away from his crazy mom that won't stop hugging him.

Zach's little pony from when he was little.

His new book collection thanks to his Aunt Bev, the Kingwood shower hostesses, Mrs. Anne and an adorable book I found with Aunt Nette in Colorado. New bookshelves I picked out with Mom and Dad at Ikea.

Sweet wreath for nursery door and hospital door..thanks Aunt Ruth!

Old trunk that Randa refinished for Zach when he was in college. This is Austin treasure chest!

Rocking horse Steve built for his son Zachary (I built it long before he had a child on the way but he knew he was going to have a son and name him Zachary!)

As you can tell, the nursery is a collection of many old items that have been in our families, a few store bought pieces of furniture and a lot of little hand made creations from both sides of the family. This little man is so loved.

Friday, April 22

28 Week Update

(apologies for the photography...this was in my hotel room mirror via camera phone. I promise to start posting real pictures from our nice camera)

28 week Update

How many weeks/days remaining: 12 weeks (84 days)
Expected Due Date: July 15, 2011
Next Dr. Appointment: April 27 for RhoGam Shot, blood test, and glucose test

Size of baby: A head of Cauliflower- 16” and 2.5lbs

Total Weight Gain/Loss: Gained 15lbs

Workout: Still 3 days a week but Turbo Kick is getting tougher….those kicks don’t come easy these days. I try to mainly focus on upper body and squats. Also a huge thanks to Cory, Alicia, and Aunt Nette for keeping me motivated and completing another workout bet with me. Congrats Nette, winner winner chicken dinner!

Here is a little background on what this bet is all about, these bets started with my uber fit sister-in-law Becky and her family. Then 3 years ago before my wedding I started one with all my girlfriends, then the next one some of my family joined in and this last one was all my family and some friends of the family. The bets range from 5-7 months in length and it’s a daily bet where if you miss the designated workout or forget to send your “Workout Complete” text by midnight you paid the pot, then the person with the least missed workouts at the end takes the pot o’ cash. The workouts consist of cardio, abs, and jump rope 6 days a week unless you are pregnant and then it’s all cardio 3 days a week. If anyone is interested, I want to start another bet this fall!

Movement: Tons of movement all day long but especially when I lay down. He gets the hiccups about every 2-3 days. Zach will lay his head on my stomach and talk to him at night, the baby loves this and reacts a lot. I think Zach is a little jealous that the baby can’t be in his tummy moving around, he loves feeling him move!

Pregnancy Highlights: I love always having a little buddy with me. I was traveling this week for work and I just loved my car companion (the baby), he was moving a lot and it kept me smiling on the long trip and at night in the lonely hotel rooms!

Symptoms: Aches and pains in my ligaments and the sides of stomach. Doctor says this is all very normal since the uterus is expanding and putting a lot of pressure on those round ligaments (where the leg meets the torso). I had 3 more lightheaded spells this month, nothing too dramatic just enough to make me sit down, put my feet up and eat something right away to get my blood sugar up. I’m pretty nervous about the glucose test next week since I seem to have a tough time with my blood sugar sometimes (although my doctor says that is very common)

Best Moment this week: I am finishing the nursery, FINALLY!!! (pics coming). I just have a few hours left on the painting and we are DONE. His closet is filling up quickly with the cutest stuff (no Zach, we aren’t going into credit card debt) but my associate pastor gave me all of her adorable clothes from her son who is now a toddler. Plaid church jackets, lots of overalls and smocked outfits, and swimsuits! Another blessing this week, our friends Laura and Scott welcomed Molly Elizabeth McLemore into the world on Tuesday!

I hope you have a blessed weekend. May this weekend give you reason and hope and remind us all that the blessings we experience and get to blog about all come from one place!

Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. Luke 24:46-47

Friday, April 15

Kingwood Shower April 2, 2011

The 4 generations: Marilyn, Shannon, Baby J, Lynell, and Evelyn

The adorable wreath Ruth gave us for the hospital and nursery door! The lamb is a Scentsy lamb so it makes the nursery smell so good.

I am still waiting on some pictures from friends of the shower but I wanted to go ahead and blog about this so I didn't forget. What a gorgeous weekend to spend with family and friends in Houston. Friday morning Mom and I met Lauren, Deb, and Hunter at the salon to be pampered hand to toe, followed by a beautiful lunch outside by the lake. It was a fabulous afternoon and I treasure the time I get to spend with Lauren and sweet Hunter. I really miss her but when we get together it's just like old times...well old times plus an 18 month old and 2 buns in the oven. I also got the treat of seeing Lisha and Mrs. Anne that afternoon, who arrived with more treats in toe. Everytime I see these crazy ladies they bring adorable gifts for our little man! They are spoiling him, and I LOVE IT! That evening I met mom, dad, and all of my grandparents for dinner. It was great and I just love hearing my grandmothers talk about when they were pregnant. It was a totally different world then however we had so many things in common. Priceless moments I will cherish forever!
Okay okay onto the shower. I had a blast catching up with all our Houston folks! Some I have not seen in years and I wish I had hours to spend with each one of them. I was overwhelmed with all the sweet gifts we were given. Outfits for days, books for days (yippee!!!), handmade monogrammed burp clothes that had been individually prayed over.....seriously I was blown away by the thoughtful gifts. Also, I received 2 very special outfits. An outfit my grandfather bought in Germany during Vietnam. Ebby was pregnant with mom so he bought a girl and a boy outfit since they didn't know what they were having. He was at war when mom was born so he did not meet his baby daughter until she was 9 months old, can you believe that. It makes you feel so fortunate to live in an age of great technology where soldiers can meet their babies via Skype or FaceTime. Also Alicia and Cory gave me a box that contained Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed and when he is born he will get the something Blue. Something old was an adorable smocked romper that Nathan wore, something new was a set of adorable sock/shoes, and the something borrowed was a double breast pump! My brother can only refer to it as a "milk collection device" since he is still in denial that yes his sister does in fact have breasts. What a fabulous and creative gift!And if you know me, you know everything already has a place in the nursery and the newborn clothes are already washed (with sweet smelling Dreft) and tucked away!

Thank you so much to all of our friends in Texas that came to the shower, showing us more love and support than we could ever hope for. This baby will be so loved.

Wednesday, April 13

Pregnancy Moment #54259811

In case you thought wearing my underwear sideways ALL DAY was the kicker, just wait for this pregnancy moment. I am getting worried that these are happening more and more frequently. Alicia assures me it only gets worse (she has 4 kids worth of experience) and that baby J is guaranteed to be a genius. I guess her logic is that he is steeling all of my brain power to power his own. Go right ahead, little man! I knew you were a genius anyway.

So here is goes. This morning started out with a trip to the OBGYN (where I talked with about 12 people), then onto work (where I was talked with about 6 people), then home for lunch (where I had a long conversation with a good friend in my front yard), then the post office (where I talked to 3 people), then back to work (where I talked with a guy visiting from another office)....that brings the grand total to 23 people that did not inform me that I was wearing 2 TOTALLY DIFFERENT EARRINGS. I am so embarrassed- they either thought "bless her heart she is so tired with the pregnancy she can't even put the same earrings on" or "Bless her heart, she is so unfashionable she actually thinks a blue long dangle earring matches a short drop pearl earring". 8 of the 23 were men, so that makes me feel better because you know darn well they didn't notice a thing.

I am hoping my big belly was distracting them all and nobody noticed. So if you weren't having a good day...just look at yourself and realize that you actually match and that is something to be proud of!

Tuesday, April 12

Week 4- Week 26

Enjoy the progress of Baby J.I used to take pictures every few weeks but I am going to start weekly because he is growing so fast at this stage. A pair of slacks I wore just last week now feel totally different! We have our 27 weeks appt. tomorrow, please pray for a healthy report!

iVite in the NEWS!

Zach's newly launched app, iVite was featured on The Next Web- a huge international technology site that serves 2 million unique visitors and over 4.5 million a month..whoa! Great job Zach!!

Friday, April 8

An Exciting Week!

Well here is a rundown of this crazy busy yet productive week...

Monday night we put away all of our goodies from the baby shower in the nursery. Mom helped me wash all of the new born clothes and blankets and man did they smell good! Our little man has so many clothes, I just hope he grows slowly so he can wear all the cute outfits for a while. More pictures to come of the shower once I get them from the hostesses.
Tuesday, Zach took the Tom's challenge to go a day without shoes. I was very impressed that he did this on a Tuesday which is court day. He said it was perfect timing because it was guaranteed to be noticed and make a statement. So off he went, Shoeless Jex, to work, lunch downtown, and even looked at a business property with a realtor. Hahaha he was a site to see. After a long foot soak and cleaning, I allowed him to get into bed that night.

Wednesday, mom looked at more houses, visited banks, visited the chamber, and all the other things newcomers do. We all met for lunch at Mammy's to grab a delicious lunch and regroup. That afternoon is when we found the house I blogged about yesterday. After a long tour, she knew it was perfect for her, dad, and the pups!

Thursday was an action packed day! Happy Birthday to our nephew Nolan, he turned the big 8! Thursday afternoon we celebrated the good news that Apple approved and launched Zach's iVite app. Zach has been working so hard day and night for 3 1/2 months with his developers in Russia to build this awesome app. If you have ever used evite, it is very similar but for phones. You can use it to send reminders and invitations to your friends, family, and co-workers. I send reminders to Zach for things like "pick up milk", "lunch with friends at Pearl Street", or "trip to Houston" and then set a time to alert him in advance and notes if needed. It is so neat and very handy! If you have an iPhone you can get it here. The basic version is free and the premium version is $1.99. The Andriod app will follow. A little brag on Zach, he did all the design for the app. It looks great! He has a few other apps in the works so stay tuned, 2011 will be an exciting year.
Also we met with the owners of the house and agreed on terms of a contract. Then we had our awesome family attorney, Shoeless Jex, draft the contract. Within a few hours the contract was complete. That evening mom took me and Zach for a "thank you" dinner at 1818, the restaurant in Monmouth. It was nothing short of divine and the perfect way to celebrate so many exciting things that happened this week. We ended the night with white chocolate bread pudding and a bottle of wine. Here we are, all grinning ear to ear! (Don't freak out... the waiter poured wine in my glass but I wasn't drinking it)Friday is finally here and I am ready for a relaxing weekend. This morning Mom signed the contract on the house and headed back to Houston. I am getting so spoiled having her here and I can't wait until it's permanent. She wouldn't let me lift a finger and it was so nice to have an extra set of hands around the house, she even went grocery shopping for us! I have been out of town so much I think I will actually take time this weekend to just relax, go to the lake and do a little artwork for the nursery so it will finally be finished.

So in case you were wondering what our baby boy was doing all week while we were all 90 to nothing....he decided it was time to grow and show off!! I have gained 5lbs in the last 2 weeks and that includes a legit belly bump! This boy is getting really big and I feel bigger each day but I don't mind it just as long as he is healthy and happy in there!! I can now feel a big head or rear bulging out the sides of my stomach!

Wow, I am exhausted just recapping the week. Happy weekend everyone!

Thursday, April 7

A home for Mom & Dad

WE FOUND IT!!!! Thank you to all our family and friends that have been prayer warriors for us over the past few months as we try to find a home in Natchez for my parents. It was much easier said then done. There is very little to choose from in a small town and for a while it seemed like all the good ones were gone...until yesterday!

We found this majestic gem on the hill, right in the heart of downtown Natchez and complete with a view of the river from the upstairs windows. It is literally 1 street back from the river and a few steps from what I think is the most scenic part of the bluff (gosh I am kinda jealous of the view!) Here are some pictures...sorry some are blurry since I pulled them from the website.
Doesn't this home just beg to be called by a charming southern name?!?! Recommendations welcome.

Enjoy the pics, more to come in June after we have the keys!

Wednesday, April 6

Pregnancy Moment #54259810

So this is too good not to share no matter how embarrassing! Yesterday I was quite uncomfortable all day and I was facing the sad fact that it was time to upgrade into a size larger underwear. Then I got home from work and am changing into my workout clothes to go walking with Mom, when I realize I sure do have my underwear on SIDEWAYS. No, not inside out....that is too normal. Mine were sideways. No wonder I was uncomfortable, my newly thick waist was shoved into the leg hole.

Ah the joys of being pregnant, it causes you to be totally absent minded the majority of the time and I hear it only gets worse once the baby arrives.