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

Tuesday, May 31

These two boys have my heart

3 years ago today, I married my best friend.....
it sure was a hot day, but the best day of my life.

Today, we saw our son...
who happens to look a lot like his daddy as a baby...
He even blew us a kiss.

Sometime over the next 6 weeks, we will have the honor of meeting this little guy....

and then I will have 2 best days of my life.

Friday, May 27

Our Growing Boy!

Happy Memorial Day weekend friends and family! Hope you have a safe weekend with wonderful weather.
Here is the latest progress on our growing boy. I will have to add the 33 week beach picture when I get back.

Monday, May 23

Celebrations around every corner!

As the temperature creeps higher….I get slower and slower mostly due to the size of this belly I am toting around, it just make the everyday movements a little harder. Zach has now volunteered to tie my shoes for me...I just hope I can make it to the end still shaving my own legs.

Last weekend my girlfriends in Natchez hosted a beautiful baby shower for me. Austin officially has more clothing than his father and I could just drool over all the sweet linen, seersucker, and gingham outfits he received. I got his new loot packed away in his nursery just in time to pack my bags and head to Jackson for the week for work.
Wednesday, I was coming out of a meeting when my co-worker Kensy asked me to run by another conference room with her to check on something. As we open the door, a crowd of co-workers yell “SURPRISE!”. Somehow, over the span of a month of planning and organizing not one of my co-workers spilled the beans or so much as hinted to a surprise shower. It was awesome and I actually love the feeling of being truly surprised….sometimes… and in the right circumstance (this being one of them).
The conference room had been transformed into a beautifully nautical themed party complete with a “Message in a Bottle” table, tons of wonderful food and punch, the most adorable diaper cake, a baby due date pool and life preserver d├ęcor with “Ahoy, it’s a boy” and “Austin Alexander Jex” strung across the walls. Then after I opened all the gifts, Laura D walks in with the BOB jogging stroller I have had my eyes on for months. I lost it! I was totally overwhelmed with gratitude for my amazing co-workers. Over the past 6 years, this group has seen me through the best of times and the absolute worst and somewhere along the way started to feel like family. It was an amazing day and I cannot express how thankful we are to all our friends for the support.
By Friday night, I had his new loot all packed away and although we still have 7 weeks, after the last 2 showers his nursery is officially ready for his arrival.

Friday, Mom and Dad came to town to open accounts, visit their new house (Dad’s first time to see it), and to celebrate my birthday. What an awesome weekend and I still have a hard time wrapping my mind around the thought of having them here for good. I feel like the luckiest gal in the world just knowing they will be 0.7 miles away especially since I have not lived less than 6 hours away from them since l left for college 11 years ago. We found this awesome end table for the nursery at an estate sale for.....get this... $20! SCORE!

Here I am this weekend....told you I'm getting LARGE!

Sunday I turned 29, and it was a wonderful day. Church, brunch at the Castle, relaxing, a yummy home cooked dinner and cake. I couldn’t imagine a better day especially @ 32 weeks pregnant. I had a few hours of pretty uncomfortable Braxton Hicks contractions that afternoon and for a minute there I thought Austin might think it was his birthday instead of Mommy’s. As we count down weeks until Austin’s birthday, I have a new appreciation for birthdays altogether.I always thought of it as MY special day but yesterday I thought, May 22nd was a day that Mom & Dad (and others) looked forward to for months just as Zach and I anxiously await July 15th. A birthday is a yearly reminder to all involved of the excitement, preparation, prayers, sacrifice, discomfort and extreme joy that lead up to that one day... that birth day.

(excuse my appearance, I had been laying on the couch with B.H. contractions all afternoon so I looked pretty rough by b-day dinner)

This is the adorable teddy bear Ann Tillman made for little Austin...I am in love with it!

We have an exciting week ahead as we leave Thursday for Jackson to see my amazingly gifted brother-in-law, Kellen, graduate from Medical School. Then we head for the beach to celebrate our 3 year wedding anniversary/babymoon to soak up some sun. Well, let me clarify…I will be lathered in SPF 80, under an umbrella wearing a ridiculously large maternity swimsuit and Zach plans to go commando. As in no sunscreen…he will be wearing a swimsuit. You can all predict how this week will play out… I have a feeling he will be joining my SPF 80/umbrella club by day 2. I promise to take lots of pics however don’t plan on seeing another blog for a while… I have some major relaxing to do since it might be the last time I get to in a long time!

Friday, May 13

Happy 2nd Birthday Jules!

This past weekend we celebrated Julia Claire's 2nd birthday with a fun backyard party. Ann made delicious Grits & Grillades and we finished it off with yummy birthday cake...I think Austin and I could have eaten 8 pieces of that deliciousness! Jules had a blast playing with her new toys especially the bubble machine and the sidewalk chalk...she was in awe of the bubbles. Note to self: Buy Austin a bubble machine if I want to get anything done!
Sue (Yah-Yah) practicing for Austin's arrival...she is SO good with babies!

Sweet Jules sharing her cookie with Mr. Bug

Miss Eden is seriously the happiest child, I guess with Aaron & Sarah for parents you have a reason to be!

I just love this pic, can't you just see them 20 years ago doing the same thing!

I am so excited about tomorrow, my girlfriends in Natchez are throwing me a baby shower! Thank you so much Laura, Lauren, Amy, Julie, Amanda, Martha, Shannon, Courtney, and are so thoughtful!!! Also this weekend we will continue to watch the Mississippi River rise...and rise...and rise. At noon the river was sitting at 59.87' above sea level, breaking the 1937 record of 58'. Please keep the families in Vidalia, LA and Natchez in your prayers as many of them move out of their homes and to higher ground until the waters recede. The river is supposed to crest on May 21.

Baby Jex Weekly Update: All is well with the little man. We have 9 weeks to go if we make it to 40 weeks...I have a feeling this little man might want to come a early....heaven knows I would like for him to (only if he is healthy and ready though)!

Tuesday, May 10

An Endless bucketlist!!!

Stop reading right now if you have a big project in your near future, a homework assignment, or basically any other reponsibilty because what I am about to share with you will consume your life...even more so then Angry Birds and Words With Friends.

Coolest thing in the world and I have to share with everyone. So I am mildly obsessed with the blog Young House Love. It is written by an adorable and uber saavy young couple chronicleing their life as they renovate their home, find awesome deals, turn trash (or craiglist) into treasure, or just do insanely cute stuff with thier baby girl Clara and dog Burger. Anyway, if you haven't read it, you should start. This came straight from their blog, a way to store everything you love. I do this now on my computer but just with a folder. This poor folder houses all the images and articles I referenced for the kitchen renovation, nursery ideas (saved long before we even dreamed of being pregnant), great photography and art ideas, and so on. Two main issues, if I ever needed more info I rarely saved the site where the image came from and I always dreaded the day my computer crashes and I don't have it uploaded to my external hard drive....all of my inspiration would be in the cyber blackhole and I would be in a severe state of depression.

Fear no longer..... I found Pinterest! This site lets you store all the things you LOVE. Sherry stores all kinds of things.....for the baby, for her, for the house, art ideas, etc. Well this Mother's day her amazingly sweet hubby got on her Pinterest (take a look at hers HERE) and found something to get her without her even knowing. It's like the world's coolest wishlist and idea hub all in one! This totally revolutionizes my creative world not to mention holiday gift giving! And you don't have to be an artsy fartsy dork like me, use it to bookmark favorite fashion trends, books you want to read, vacation destinations, restaurants, recipes, etc. I think I might call this my endless bucketlist. Hope you enjoy as much as I plan to!!!

Oh, one last detail that makes it even more have to be invited to join. I am awaiting my invitation as we speak, I am officially on the waiting list. Now I have something as equally exciting as awaiting the arrival of our baby...the arrival of my Pinterest invitation, okay maybe not equally exciting....but close!

Saturday, May 7

The belly is officially growing at warp speed!

The picture above is my belly at 28 weeks....

This picture is me at 30 weeks....just 2 weeks but what a difference!

WE HAVE A RIGHTY…or at least that’s my theory. This kid is sitting all nice and comfy on my right side. When they checked his heartbeat they started the Doppler on the left side and I could see the doctor’s furrowed brow as he heard nothing….I told him oh he’s not over there, try the right side. And there he was, my little righty. I’m not kidding this boy has set up shop and refuses to test the waters on the other side. I might be forced to start walking like I have a severe case of scoliosis due to his huge body crammed into my right ribs. This leads me to my theory…not only will he be right handed and be a fabulous right handed pitcher for a MLB team but he will also share a love for all things artistic and creative just like his mama, a fellow right-brainer. Sorry Zach, the next baby can be your right brained app-developing smarty but this one is all finger paints and jello sculptures.

30 Week Update

10 weeks (69 days) remaining and he is 3.2 lbs and is expected to gain ½ lb per week from here on out. At 18" long he is now the size of a head of lettuce.

Total Weight Gain/Loss: Gained 20lbs WHOA! I’m seeing numbers on the scale I’ve never seen before.

Pregnancy Highlights: Seeing huge movements of his entire body.

Symptoms: Well you hit 30 weeks and everything changes. Read at your own risk.

· I started having Braxton Hicks contractions Thursday. For those of you not familiar, these are intermittent rhythmic and slightly painful contractions. But unlike true labor, real contractions grow consistently longer, stronger, and closer together…I have just experienced these for a few hours in the morning and then they go away.

· Another wonderful symptom (note sarcasm) is my constant need to go to the bathroom. When we were at Double Decker I literally used almost every restroom on the square, Corey was in awe. That is the one time “own the bump”- I stick my belly out as far as possible and rub it to make sure that the vain girls in front of me that go into the bathroom in groups don’t spend 30 minutes primping when there is an obviously uncomfortable pregnant girl waiting. You wouldn’t believe how often this took place.

· I have given up on sleeping through the night. I can’t get comfortable and I constantly have an arm or a leg falling asleep so I am always tossing and turning. I’m so glad Zach sleeps through it, or at least he is pretending to so he doesn’t make me feel bad.

· And finally, I’m so freaking emotional and I HATE IT. We got a bill that was much higher than I planned for some renovations and I just shut my office door and started bawling….and this lasted a good hour. In those few moments I went from cloud 9 after a good doctor appointment to ground zero. I felt like our whole life was crashing down and we would never recover. Poor Zach, he is so good with me. After telling me we are fine and will be fine no matter what, I started to believe him. He even brought Debbie Downer breakfast to cheer me up. Oh and I put myself on probation from sad-blog-reading. I can’t handle people’s blogs about natural disasters oh heaven forbid a birth story. I will be puffy eyed the rest of the day. It's truly is pitiful.

Best Moment this week: Spending the weekend in Oxford with my girlfriends. Also after working out, I took a bubble bath in Austin’s new bathroom. I lit candles, turned on James Blunt and relaxed the day away. I just closed my eyes and thought about how much life will change in 10 weeks. I really like the nursery but I keep thinking “it’s just missing something” and that night as I was relaxing I realized…it’s missing Austin.

Monday, May 2

Weekend in God's Country

What a beautiful weekend to head up to Oxford with some of my favorite girls. The weekend started off at Laura's with Tivo'd coverage of the Royal Wedding accompanied by Tea & Crumpets. By "tea" I mean Skinny Girl Margaritas for them and crystal light for me and by "crumpets" I mean cookies! I wish I had pictures of us Friday night as we greeted Lisha at the Jackson Airport terminal wearing feathery mesh hats in honor of the 22 page wedding etiquette guide ....hat's highly encouraged. I think some people at the airport thought we were on a field trip from the loony house but when we all get together we don't seem to mind what anyone might be thinking! Then it was off to Oxford on the most gorgeous day, 75 degrees and sunny.
The square greeted us with the sounds of live bands and the smell of BBQ, Fried Catfish, and funnel cakes. We made our way to City Grocery where the girls had a baby shower and lunch planned. The shrimp and grits were amazing but nothing in comparison to the company of my girls. They showered me with awesome gifts for Austin and then we hit the square for shopping. I picked up this Larry Wamble print for Austin's bathroom. This artist is special to us and the Oxford print is hanging in our guest room and we gave the College Station print to Cory for his A&M graduation. I picked up a few other pieces of art and then we headed to Frank and Marlee's to sit on the deck and enjoy the day.
It was such a fabulous weekend filled with amazing food, side cramping belly laughs, and some much needed girl time. It was so hard to say goodbye to my girls and think that the next time I see all of them life will be very different- I'll be a mommy. As Farris Bueller says, "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." I am so grateful for weekends like this because as the years go by they are harder and harder to come by. The 8 of us are spread out over 6 states however when we get together it's like a day hasn't passed and we all fall back into finishing each others sentences. We missed Meghan, Kathryn, and Laura who are spread all over the country and couldn't make it. Kathryn was supposed to come but she gave us a pretty legit excuse, she lost everything including the diaper cake in Tuscaloosa's F5 Tornado. Our thoughts and prayers have been going out to her and Alex as they try to start over. This is her house and car after the storm, it's hard to believe it until you see the pics. We are so glad they are alive!She sent me this picture of what the diaper cake looked like pre-tornado....
And here it is after the tornado...We thought the weekend couldn't get any better until I returned home to see the news of Bin Laden. Not that is what I call a PERFECT weekend!