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

Monday, December 17

Baby Girl's Nursery Progress

We keep saying Baby Girl is already a Diva, getting anything and everything she wants.

Her nursery is the 4th bedroom and had been my storage closet/exercise room/catch-all room for the last few years.  For a period of time it had bunk beds, then a queen bed and a treadmill, then no bed and random antiques, and finally prior to cleaning it out it was pretty much just one of everything-  i total mess, hey but at least the rest of the house looked good.

Major work has already gone into this room and it's far from being complete.  Here is the breakdown:

1.  So first things first, we cleared out the bedroom and closet.

2.  Next Zach lime washed the brick chimney and it looks absolutely amazing in person.  Huge upgrade and so perfect for our daughter's beautiful retreat.

After just one coat, it went on like the consistency of milk.
After just a few hours, this is what happens! Still only 1 coat.  It is amazing how  it darkens with every hour.
3. Zach removed the nasty, dated carpet and carpet pad.  It was awful and didn't even deserve a picture.  I really don't want to remember that image/smell. Good riddance!

4. Zach sanded all the moldings and trim, patched all the imperfections in the walls, and caulked the base boards.  Although this is one of the least noticeable changes in the room, it made a huge difference.  Zach is a huge details person and the little stuff makes a room look perfect in the end.  Also I gain so much piece of mind knowing that every surface in her room is now "new" and clean!
5. I began paining what I could reach without a ladder (which wasn't much) the sweetest pink color imaginable- SW Possibly Pink.  Then Zach came behind me and painted all the high areas pink, painted all the trim and baseboards fresh white and repainted the doors white.  He even repainted the entire ceiling white. AHHHHHH! It looks amazing!
6. Zach decided he wanted all white outlets in her room so he replaced all the cream plugs, light switches, and facings with new modern ones.  Another small touch that I think made a big difference.

7. Zach installed a new fan- same one we put in Austin's room.  White, quite, and remote controlled for those 3am feedings when your comfy in the rocker and the baby finally fell asleep in your arms and you need the light dimmed and the fan speed higher.

8.  Dad and Zach begin to tackle the subfloor {insert prayer that we will not have any legs come through the ceiling this time around}.  After years of pets prior to us moving in, you can image what a subfloor under carpet looks like---nasty.  Yet another reason no pets will ever be allowed upstairs in our home.  They will replace the subfloor, then lay another 1/2' plywood layer prior to the Brazilian Cherry wood floors being put down.  Here is the kicker- Zach wants to have this complete by Christmas.....and when Zach starts a project it gets done fast so that might just happen if the weather cooperates (for the outdoor saw).

My favorite part of the entire process is Zach's painting shirt....I made it for him to wear to a Sorority Swap we went to in college called "Thank God I'm not...".  His shirt had a picture of a little girl on the front with her hands on her hips (foreshadowing maybe???) and it read "World's Best Dad" and I wore a 50's style dress with an apron (very Donna Reed) that read "I cook, I clean, I keep my man happy".  hahaha my, my, my how things change.  I love seeing Zach doing back breaking labor sporting that the words are so true.

Saturday, December 8

Happy Birthday Boo!

I always tried to make Zach's birthday special since he was a December baby and it's easy to get lost in the shuffle of all things holiday.  Usually by December 8th, you've decorated the home and tree, you have a few holiday parties under your belt, and you've gone to share your Christmas list with Santa.

Don't get me wrong I don't always take it to the level of the surprise party we threw him in college, but it's definitively not just another day around our house.  Besides, a quite dinner with family is more his style anyway. He doesn't even ask for gifts.....who is this guy??  I can't relate.

Being a mother now, I understand what a huge deal the birth day is.  July 16 (and a TBD day in April) will never be just another day to me..... it might not be significant to many other people but that is a day when the world was blessed, enhanced, and changed forever.  A day I counted down for 9 long months and I am sure Randa counted the days for December 8th as well.

Happy Birthday Michael Zachary Jex! Hope you have a special day since 32 years ago on this very day the world was blessed, enhanced, and changed forever.

Thursday, November 29

Baby Girl get's Lime Wash!

Time to Lime Wash....

I keep wanting to say Acid Wash and then the vision of Jonathan Taylor Thomas circa 1991 wearing acid wash jeans pops into my head.

Don't worry we are not getting Baby Girl acid washed jeans, we are getting her a lime washed fireplace.  We have a 3' W x 2.5' D rust red brick chimney that runs up the main focal wall when you walk into nursery, I absolutely love having the architectural detail but we don't love the color of the brick.  The back of our home was added in the early 80's so the brick new, perfectly shaped, and thin mortar-  and it does nothing for us.  Unfortunately it's not the gorgeous 1889 brick from when our home was born- you know the hand formed ones where no 2 bricks look the same.......oh NOW WE ARE TALKING!  Pair that with the thick, chuncky, uneven mortar.....oh baby!!! 

This brick makes me melt........ 

But since we don't have that lovely character in our brick, it will look more like the ones below when we finish.  Still very pretty and will be just the right amount of Shabby Chic in my little angel's room.  We are also putting in dark Cherry hardwood floors in Baby Girl's room and Austin's room to match the rest of the house.  I think those two contrasting tones and textures will pair really nicely!

I will upload before and after pictures.  Photography might be the only role I play in this home project since the phrase "lime wash" doesn't sound pregnancy friendly unless it is one of the steps in a facial.

Tuesday, November 27

So thankful!

We packed lots of family and food into this Thanksgiving holiday.  We were so thrilled to actually leave town by 8:30 on Thanksgiving morning with a packed car, full tank, and fed baby!  I know the days of leaving on schedule are numbered, since I still can't wrap my mind around how I plan to make it to work on time with 2 kids going to 2 different places every morning (Austin to school and baby girl to Grammy's).

We went to Steve and Sue's first to have lunch with them, Kellen, Becky, Julia, and Sue's mama!  Zach and I loved spending some time with Jules and enjoying her adorable personality....she will repeat everything you say which can get dangerous with the 2 brothers around telling her to "say this".  It was a great day with family and Julia Claire and Austin played for hours!  Their favorite things at G-Pa's were the golf cart rides around the property and racing tricycles all over the driveway.

I take my tractor time very seriously! 
Julia Claire Racing the Jex boys!  It was hilarious!

 Then we continued onto my grandparents home in Texas just in time for dinner.  We spent a few days relaxing at the lake, feeding the ducks, spending some much needed time with family, and shopping/dining in town.
We had lunch at the most awesome little cafe in Athens, Winnie and Talulah's.  It had an adorable cafe/coffee shop tucked right in the middle of a vintage "everything" shop.  They sold everything from antiques, to jewelry/clothing/purses, to fine linens, to old iron cribs.  They seriously had everything and most of the store was staged as beautiful shabby chic rooms and I was dying to get my hands on everything for Baby Girl's Nursery.....I did manage to walk away with a sweet pair of white feather angel wings that I just couldn't resist.  I am going to mat and frame them in our little angel's nursery!

One morning we ate breakfast on the dock and watched the ducks and birds.  I really think he could have stayed out there talking to them all day.

Austin loved watching the birds flying overhead and the ducks on the lake and every time we went outside he would wave towards the lake at the ducks.

Saturday we headed to Grandma Marilyn's for another plate of turkey and a whole lot of love.  She couldn't get enough of Austin's sweet cheeks and he was such a little ham.  Austin is totally in love with the outdoors and my dad is the best papa in the world.  He would take Austin on long walks through the leaves, golf cart rides, and explore the porches of Grandma's house for hours!

I think he was showing off for Grandma with all of his words, songs, games, and new tricks.  One word and motion he perfected while we watched the Ole Miss game was TOUCHDOWN!!!  He would throw his hands in the air and he got a lot of practice there towards the end of the game as the Rebels rolled over those dawgs.  Go Rebs!

Just chilling on Daddy during the big game!
Every time we walked into a new home, Austin would wear his "thankful for my baby sister" t-shirt and surprise everyone with the news.  I think there was a tie for best reaction between Sue and Grandma Marilyn.  Both screamed with excitement.  Everyone was so thrilled and my mom's side of the family informed me they all knew since it was family tradition on that entire side to have a boy first followed by a girl.

Sunday it was back to Natchez and I have never been so happy to sleep in our bed and have Austin in his...IN ANOTHER ROOM.  I really don't understand how people get any rest when their kids sleep in the same room or heaven forbid in the same bed as them.  By the end of the weekend I was totally worn out from having Austin in our room.


We have known for 2 weeks but we finally told the family in person over thanksgiving and shouted from the mountaintops.... it's a girl! We are beyond thrilled that Austin is getting a little sister in Austin and we already have him saying "BAY-BEE SIS-SER"

Monday, November 19

"Baaaaaaaaa" Races 2012

I would be remiss if I didn't blog about one of the biggest weekends in Natchez- Balloon Races.  I have been so busy I totally forgot to share pictures but I am glad I waited because the funniest part has transpired since that weekend.  Austin has become TOTALLY obsessed and infatuated with hot air balloons.  Or as he refers to the "Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa" (he holds the 'a' for at least 3 seconds) since he hasn't quite figured out the "loons" symbol.  We have 4 framed balloon race artwork pieces in the hallway downstairs from the recent years we attended.  He frequently stops and points at the artwork and says "Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaa" with his mouth hanging wide open like the beauty has astonished him each and every time.  He stops and points every time he sees a balloon on a shirt, poster, flag, etc. 

I am so glad that Natchez has the annual Balloon Race tradition for him to grow up enjoying- it has already made a special impact on this little guy.

Warning- if you aren't into picture books, stop comes and huge photo dump from the fun filled weekend.  Too many great ones not to share.
ENJOY!!  And come experience it for yourself one of these years! 
Friday night Fireworks over the river!  When Austin learned to say "OH WOW" and "POP"

Staying up late in my Jammies with all of my favorite people!

Dad and I woke up early to help our friend and pilot, Ken, crew the balloon.  They get to the pilots briefing well before sunrise and like to take off around 6:30am.  Our good friend Matt was staying downtown with us for the weekend and came with us- everyone had a blast.  Here is Austin with Papa saying "ohhhh WOW"

That is Ken's balloon up up and away!
Okay so the whole point to the balloon race is for all balloons to drop 3 bean bags on the "target" which is announced every morning.  It is an art to navigate the balloons through the wind conditions at different altitudes from the launch point to the target.  Here are some pictures of the balloons coming really low to drop the bean bags.  It was beautiful!

Austin and his good friend Molly hanging out and talking strategy at the target.
Then we came home to have breakfast {breakfast casserole, muffins, and enough Donut Shop donuts to feed a small country...yummmmm} with family and friends.  I pinch myself and days like this when our house is busy with our family and friends hanging out and watching our sweet kids take it all in!
Austin getting a morning "ride" on G- Pa's Harley.  Bad to the bone!

 Celebrating G-Pa's birthday!

Lunch on the bluff with the family

 Austin learns how to dip his fries in ketchup- hilarious!

Playing bubbles with cousin Jules!  Precious little people making precious memories!

My favorite picture of the weekend.  Austin was using Uncle Kel's sponsor badge as a telephone.  It was hilarious!

Austin loved the cars so much we gave the Carnie a million tickets and told him to keep him on it until the tickets ran out.  Austin rode every car including the pink Barbie jeep.

Enjoying the beautiful weather and the Pat Green concert to end the weekend.  Life doesn't get much better than Balloon Race weekend in Natchez!