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

Friday, October 28

Tuesday, October 25

A mobile for Austin

So for a few months now I have been on a quest for a mobile for Austin and in the process realized how tacky some of those prefab ones look. I have read a lot about using black and white (dark/light) and different patterns to stimulate babies minds so after a little research on Etsy I decided to make my own. Thanks to Kate, I had a nifty new circle cutter-she works at Michaels and always find me the most handy gadgets. In keeping with the theme of his nursery I used a variety of navy and light blue patterned and textured sheets of card stock. Then I went into sketch mode and planned how many circles I would need in each size and pattern. Mom had some wooden dowels and fishing line and I had hot glue, white paint and card stock so this project cost me a whopping $0!

I crossed 4 dowels at a centerpoint and hung a line of circles from the end of each dowel and then the longest line in the center point of all the dowels. Every other line is a different length so it has a cascasing effect and looks pretty cool from all angles. Then I spaced each paper circle 2" from the next by using a dot of hot glue on the fishing line. I finished it off by painting the dowels white and dropping fishing line from a tiny hook in the ceiling to hold it and ta-dahhhh!

Here it is from the side (aka. Mommy's view):
Here it is looking up at it (aka. Austin's view):

Austin loves it and this morning he spend 30 minutes talking to it as I was doing other things. His eyes get really big when it twists and turns as the fan blows. It has great movement and he told me he liked it much more than one of those stuffy store bought rigs.

I have a video of him talking all kinds of gibberish to it this morning but it won't seem to upload. I will work on that and hopefully get it uploaded soon.

In the mean time here he is in awe of him mommy's creation (or at least that is what I choose to think...he might just be working on a dirty diaper).

Friday, October 21

Balloon Race Weekend

I can't sum up in a blog post what an amazing weekend we had with the family. These pictures are so precious to me. We feel so blessed to have had all of Austin's grand parents and great grandparents in town along with his great Aunt Bev (as the kids call Great Bev) and Uncle Cory, Aunt Alicia, Nathan, Nolan, Neely, and Nora Kate!
Meeting G-G for the first time. Grandma Marilyn gave Austin so much love this weekend!

Meeting Papa Leroy and Ebby for the first time. Austin reached out and "shook" Papa's finger like he was saying "how do ya' do". You couldn't pry Austin from these two!

Waking up Saturday morning to meet Mr. Austin. Me, A, and Nora Kate.

Nolan loving in Emma. Sydney and Emma loved playing with the kids this weekend since they are used to getting a little ignored when the baby is around.

Mama Neely. She was SO good with Austin. I just wished she lived closer so she could babysit one day! She would even rock him and whisper "shhhhhh" in his ear if he got fussy. She knew exactly what to do without us even telling her.

Saturday morning when the Ross Monkeys met Austin for the first time.

We spent all morning rocking on the porch, drinking coffee, having breakfast, and waiting for the balloons. My S.I.L. Alicia and Nora Kate.

Paint project with the kids. We painted canvas trick-or-treat bags.

A seasoned veteran!

All the little monkeys sitting in a row.....Let's see if I can get this right:
Nathan 11, Nolan 8, Neely about to be 7, Nora Kate 3, Austin 3 months.

Austin and Emmet hanging out! Shauna stopped by on her walk to say hi.

Neely feeding, notice NoKe supporting his head...too cute!

My awesome brother and SIL Alicia. Cory was squeezing in a lot of Austin time since he will be leaving soon for Afghanistan :(

Balloon races with G-Pa.

Aunt Bev and Grandma getting the low down about to help crew and launch the balloon.

Dad and Nora Kate watching the balloons launch.

Okay I have to blog about Sunday because it was so special. Austin was baptized at Jefferson Street UMC by Rev. Ed Temple and Rev. Karie Sue McKaleb. After Zach and I took our oaths as parents, Ed placed water on his head and baptized Austin into the Christian faith. It was a very important day and as Ed walked Austin up and down the aisles during the hymn I started to cry thinking about last year at this exact time. I had been praying for a baby for months and I remember balloon race weekend finding out 2 of our friends were having babies and I was starting to worry if it would ever happen for us. To think back to that time and then be standing there in front of the congregation, our family, and before God baptizing our healthy son overwhelmed me with joy and gratitude. Austin is such a blessing to our lives and although it is an enormous responsibility to raise him to be a good and faithful man, I can't think of anything I would be more proud to do.
Rev. Ed walking through the aisles with sweet sleeping Austin

After church we celebrated with friends and family at our house and had a surprise birthday celebration for Ebby. It was a day I am adding to "my favorite days" list.

Oh yeah and there were hot air balloons, carnival rides, and bands too.....sorry I didn't get any pictures of that. We were way too busy having fun with the family.

This weekend we plan to do NOTHING and recover from last weekend. In the 9 years I have known Zach I don't think I have ever seen him nap but after the company felt Sunday he did some serious napping.

Happy Friday everyone. Have a great weekend in this beautiful fall weather! Austin says have a great weekend y'all and bundle up!

Monday, October 3

God's Counrty

It was the most gorgeous weekend in Oxford and Zach says it’s because the weather is always perfect in God’s Country. We came to celebrate the wedding of Zach’s buddy from law school, Joel and his bride Beth. We hit town right in time to catch lunch at Two Stick. Austin ordered the spicy tuna, volcano roll, miso soup, and ginger salad. Okay so maybe mommy and daddy had that while he sipped on his 5oz of milk but we could tell he is eager to learn the art of holding chopsticks and rolling sushi like Mr. Phat.

To finish off that perfect meal, we walked over to YaYa’s for some frozen yogurt. Yummy, that is our new favorite place in Oxford. Here’s Austin after he polished off chocolate with fresh strawberries. He requested one of the 8 flavors in his bottles instead of milk from now on. Okay, no need to report us to Child Protective Services…. Mommy scarfed it down before Austin even had a chance.
We ate our yogurt on the bench with William Faulkner. Austin enjoyed discussing poetry and short stories with him under the shade tree on the square. Austin’s favorite novel of his is The Sound and the Fury but he had to admit to Mr. Faulkner that it would be difficult to read in a town like Oxford due to being distracted by all the pretty girls walking by and lots of puppies too.

After a little shopping we were off to Taylor Grocery for the rehearsal dinner. Ribeye and fried catfish were on the menu and it was delish! I am starting to realize that every post about Oxford is centered on eating. I guess the “Square Challenge” from our college days where you would try to have one drink at every bar has changed to a meal at every restaurant…man we are getting old J

Continuing with our quest to eat through Oxford, Saturday brought lunch at Ajax with old friends. Austin loved the ambiance there and was mesmerized by all the funky lighting, or he was nervously staring upward and praying one of the 3 billion toothpicks stuck in the ceiling wasn’t going to fall on him.

After a little more shopping we went to visit our sweet friends, The Schoves. They were preparing to host a birthday party so Austin had to try on a party hat. Christopher is a really talented artist and drew Austin a few ships to go in his nautical nursery. Then it was off to the wedding and reception. Austin was a gentleman the entire time and didn’t cry one time the whole evening. Shout out to God for answering my nervous mom prayers! In fact he was an angel all weekend and I am so thankful that he is such a calm little boy with a happy disposition. It make traveling and socializing so easy.

Here is happy Austin right before we broke it to him that we are about to leave Oxford. We avoided a total meltdown by promising him another trip to God’s Country in a month and a condo on the square if he got a full ride to Ole Miss playing football. (that is if the football program doesn't lose its funding by then)