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, January 27

"Look"ing forward to today!

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-7

A dear friend recently told me about a bible study she was reading about fear, anxiety and faith. What she said has stuck with me and I apply it to so many things on a daily basis. So thank you my dear friend {you know who you are} for this wisdom, I will be carrying it with me today as I have my LASIK done.

I found this that supports what she said-
“According to the Bible, there is nothing wrong with realistically acknowledging and trying to deal with the identifiable problems of life. To ignore danger is fooling and wrong. But it is also wrong, as well as unhealthy, to be immobilized by excessive worry. Such worry must be committed to prayer to God, who can release us from paralyzing fear or anxiety, and free us to deal realistically with the needs and welfare both of others and of ourselves.” -Dr. Gary R. Collins

and Happy Friday from A-Man!

Wednesday, January 25

Personal Best in '12

I was telling my friend Lisha the other day on a long drive we had together that I am trying to commit myself to a personal best in 2012. Not just fitness or food, but all across the board... fitness, faith, eating habits, parenting, family, friendships, assertiveness, work etc. I have come to realize that excelling in some of these areas is outside of my comfort zone. I am challenging myself to change my ways, quit taking the easy way and step outside of that box and realize the potential, strength and control that I never knew I had. I commit myself now to everything I do but there is a difference between how I approach things now and a total devotion.

This is a process, and a long one. It will be a journey and not a destination. I am not sure you can ever feel like you are the best parent or the best Christian...but the goal is not to be the best, it is to do MY BEST and then year after year that best will grow better and better.

So cheers to all of you this 2012 and I hope you, too, have identified those things that you want to do better this year.

Now I'm off to teach my Body Jam {intense toning} class. Tonight is my 2nd week and I am loving teaching it. I got my CPR certification in December in case I wanted to teach {but I really just justified the cost of the class as a very important skill to know with a child and had no real intentions of teaching}. Well here I am, stepping WAY outside my comfort zone and teaching. Thanks to Zach, Shannon D. and Lisha for all the encouragement!

Speaking of being outside of my comfort zone, Friday I am going under the knife yet again. Call me crazy. Since ear surgery in November didn't quite satisfy my need to be poked and prodded, I am going back to have my eyes done. Yup, LASIK. So Megs and Lisha can no longer walk around wearing my "acid trip" glasses. [My girl friends in college said if they envisioned what they thought an acid trip would be would be similar to walking around the sorority house in Shannon's glasses.]

Monday, January 23

Sick Baby Weekend

Nothing pulls on your heartstrings more than a sad little baby with watery eyes and a runny nose.

Well this weekend we had big plans to attend a Mardi Gras Ball with Mom and Dad but Austin had his own agenda for the weekend that consisted of lots of sneezing, coughing,crying, sleeping, nose running, etc. The poor little guy got his first cold {no big surprise since we just completed the 3rd day of daycare}. So we cancelled our plans and hunkered down for the weekend with Austin.

Saturday he was pitiful but as happy as could be. He took 4 big naps and pretty much just woke up to eat. I hated to see him sick but I loved the snuggle bug he became. Usually snuggle time is limited to morning/night or during a bottle since he would rather be up exploring. Not Saturday, he snuggled and slept on and off the entire day and was perfect company during an entire movie on the couch. {ps. thanks to Tony's sisters for recommending Moneyball at Meg's bachelorette was really good!}
Here we are snuggled on the couch-- poor guy is sporting some red, swollen eyes.

I took every advantage of the increased number of naps and hit the gym and the kitchen to make some baby food. So glad he loves sweet potatoes because he has enough to last him to spring. Seriously...I ran out of baby food containers and had to put the excess in a bowl.

I was so excited to find a few blogs recommending pureeing baby food in the Magic Bullet over the expensive Baby Food makers sold in stores...same functionality but much cheaper. Thanks to Lisha and Lee, we had one in the cabinet!! It was wonderful and in a matter of seconds it pureed the veggies and fruits much better than a blender. So all you new moms, start saving your baby food jars and grab a magic bullet and you are in business!

No pics from Sunday....because Austin was not a happy camper. We had lunch at Mom & Dad's and he seemed really content while we were outside trying out some new bikes, but that was pretty much the extent of his happiness. Instead of sleeping all day like he did Saturday, he decided not to sleep a wink and cry ALL day. I know the poor guy felt awful when he even cried when eating his bananas and taking a bath and those are his favorites. Zach laid in the nursery for over an hour trying to soothe Austin to sleep, what a patient daddy!

Finally at about 8pm last night, his nose started to dry up a little and he was in much better spirits. He slept a little shorter than normal but when he did wake up at 7:30am he was is a great mood....thank goodness. So even though he usually does Daycare on Mon & Fri, Mom kept him today while he is recovering. Grammy and Papa make everything better.

I am glad he waited until 6 months to get sick because I am not sure I could have handled worrying about a sick newborn. At least I knew that if he couldn't breath he would roll over and get comfortable. In fact, this morning when I went in his room he had 2 blankets, 2 small pillows and a sock monkey all piled up next to him hugging. He had scooted his way all around the crib grabbing these items we had tucked away when he sleeps. I guess we are passed the point of leaving things "out of reach".

Looks like we are on the mend but I hope we aren't revisited by any illness anytime soon!

Monday, January 16

6 months already???

Happy 6 Month Birthday Austin…..{Lil’ Buddy, Sweetpea, A-Squared, A-Man, Punkin’, Punkin’ Pie, Love Bug, AJ}

We cannot tell you how much we adore you Lil’ Buddy! We can’t wait to go get you out of the crib in the morning and see that gummy grin smiling at us. Every day you have a new expression that cracks us up or a new trick to blow us away! Thanks for making the last 6 months so fun….our hearts our busting at the seams for you!

3 days

1 month

2 months

3 months

4 months

5 months

6 MONTHS!!!!

At 6 months Austin:

• Has 2 teeth
• Sits up on his own
• Rolls over. Used to only sleep on back but now he rolls to his tummy during the night
• Holds his bottle
• Sleeps 12 hours at night! (8pm-8am) Then 2 long naps during the day
• Loves the puppies and other babies
• Smiles a lot and laughs out loud
• Eats 4 bottles, 2 veggies and 2 fruits each day
• Loves his sock monkeys, musical lion and silver barbell rattle
• Loves his walker and "runs" down the hallway after the puppies
• Slept swaddled until 5 1/2 months
• Prefers to have classical music and noise machine at night
• Loves to walk holding your hands
• LOVES MUSIC, in fact he is mesmerized when daddy plays the guitar
• Doesn’t like really loud places- just like his mommy as a baby
• Is obsessed with lamps and fans-he smiles at them
• Does not like when Mommy wears hats
• Started daycare {school} 2 days a week and seems to like it
• Loves strolling {Grammy and Papa take him every morning}
• Obsessed with football, doesn’t really watch anything else on TV (we don’t encourage TV)
• Loves the forward facing camera on the iPhone and giggles when he sees himself
• Has not been sick one time {knock on wood}
• Speaks his own language
• Decided he was DONE nursing at 5 months. Way too cool for that.
• Loves being naked and enjoys baths
• Travels really well (by car, we are too nervous to try planes just yet)
*** He is the most amazing gift from God, and we are so grateful to have the opportunity to raise this sweet boy.

Tuesday, January 3

Ringing in 2012 with the Rosses!

The week after Christmas we left for Texas where we celebrated Christmas and New Years with the 25 Rosses! It was such an awesome weekend packed full of lots of baby cuddling {by lots of family members that were meeting Austin for the first time}, the 1st Annual Paintball tournament {complete with bumps and bruises}, huge meals, loud games, lots of pies, lots of gifts and most importantly lots of love. We packed into Grandma's living room and one-by-one opened gifts. It was awesome!!! Cory gave us a very special gift, a flag with a single star. Family that has a family member deployed display this flag in the window of their home until their family member arrives home safely. If you have ever seen this flag anywhere, now you know what it means...and we are proud to hang ours on our front window when Cory leaves soon.

That will be a Christmas/New Years that will stick with me for a long time since it will be a long time before we have our entire family together again.

Here is our little Ross/Jex Gang! Love them to pieces!

Here is the order: {Back Row} Nate, Cory, Alicia, Nora Kate, Zach, Austin, Shay
{Front Row} Nolan, Dad, Neely, Mom

Christmas Time!

Christmas was very special this year for 2 major reasons...Mom & Dad live here and we have Austin to share all the joy of Christmas with. Christmas Eve started by loading up all the toys we collected at our annual Christmas Party and taking them to the Children's home {well, this year Zach, Mom, Dad and Matt Pearson went while Austin and I napped as I tried to recover from the lack of sleep the previous night}. The rest of these pics are from Christmas morning with Austin. His favorite gift was his walker and he basically runs up and down the hallway after the dogs, it's hilarious. We got to spend Christmas with Mom, Dad, Steve, Sue, Kate and Victor. We really missed Kellen, B and Jules this year but he was stuck in Jackson working. We did get to have lunch with B and Jules and then spend a few evenings with Kellen after the holidays.
Truly a Christmas we will never forget and I am so thankful for the time with our family.

Date day with Mommy

I found out Sunday that I had Monday off and it was the greatest news knowing I got to keep Austin at home and spend the entire day stealing kisses from my little man. We slept late, watched Live with Kelly, napped some more, had lunch with daddy, went shopping with Grammy at Kelly's kids, made a run to the grocery store and then made it home just in time for dinner. On the menu, Austin's first {and most likely favorite fruit} BANANAS! He loved them!

It was the best day and I truly admire stay at home moms, it's the most wonderful opportunity to spend everyday with your sweet baby. And Austin is obsessed with the forward facing camera on my iPhone...he cracks up watching the adorable baby laugh on the screen. I got some great videos of him cracking up.... will post soon.