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 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!

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