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 29

Memorial Day 2012

Happy Memorial Day to all the men and woman who have served and are currently serving our country here and abroad.  Today we honored my brother, Captain Cory Ross, for his unwavering dedication to the United States Marine Corps.  He has made huge sacrifices to serve our country and we think about him every day.  Please continue to pray for him and all the other active duty service men and women.

We made Red, White, and Blue {berry} pancakes for Cory, too bad he couldn't make it to breakfast.  Austin enjoyed having his first taste of real- fresh from the farm- blueberries (thanks Matt!)

Okay the word enjoyed is an underestimate, he loved them.  Here is the play-by-play.  Showing me is plate is empty, hands up in the air screaming for more and then so happy to see more berries coming his way.  What a little ham!

Photodump from the weekend including chilling at the lake with Daddy and Uncle Kel, taking baths to break the fever, messy bed head and his new way of taking his bottle like a big boy standing up.

Tuesday, May 22


What a great night!  I thought we were going to Mom and Dad's house for dinner and wine and a low key evening since I have to leave town super early in the morning on business....instead I arrived to a room packed full of friends and family!  What a wonderful surprise and I just stood there in shock trying not to burst into tears.  Feeling so much love just overwhelms me...I wish I was better in surprise situations but I just stand there frozen in time (like when Zach proposed and had to ask twice).  I quickly snapped out of it as soon as I heard Austin burst into tears too, I think everyone yelling surprise was a little overwhelming for my calm natured little baybo.

The night was awesome and I got to spend time with the people I love and it meant so much to me that everyone went to so much trouble to make this day so special.  Mom and Dad had 30 cupcakes lined up on the table in a big 3-0 as well as drinks and dinner catered in.  WOW!  A special thank you to Steve and Sue for driving all that way just for the party and thank you to Zach, Mom and Dad for being such sneaky devils and pulling this off.

We ended the night with the family on the porch of Mom and Dad's house laughing with Austin.  This night will definitely go into the book of special memories.

Thirty and Thriving!

Well Mom informed me this morning that she tried all letters and "Dirty" and "Flirty" were in fact the only 2 words the rhyme with thirty.  So here I am on my Flirty Dirty 30.... excited to embark on the next decade.

I can tell you as of this moment, I couldn't ask for a more blessed existence.  My 20's encompassed so many life-changing experiences and I can't believe how much I packed into those 10 years when I think through the events.  I truly believe that age is only a number.  I look at my friend Shannon that teaches my TurboKick class, she is 10 years older than me and kicks my butt daily like she is 15 years younger than me.  She reminds me everyday, you are as old as you feel and I plan to feel great this decade.

So not to spoil my candle-blowing wish but I wish for a healthy mind and body, a faithful heart, endless creativity, a childlike spirit and many babies (sorry Zach). I feel like you spend your 20s roaming, exploring, searching and building your confidence and your foundation to thrive the following decade...therefore....


Friday, May 18

First trip to Sandestin! (not the last)

Well get ready for photo-dump extraordinaire today.  If you know me or Zach, you know the beach is our favorite place to be.  It's right up there with Oxford- both places just do wonders for your mind, body and soul!  So forgive me for overwhelming you but it was Austin's first trip to the beach and I have to document every second I can of Austin's life since they are flying by too quickly for me to keep it all straight.  We turn our blog into a book every year so I love looking back on everything this little guy has been up to.

My first beach trip...narrated by Austin Jex:

The journey started with a stop in Gulfport.  We got there and was pleasantly surprised to find the outlet mall down the street from the hotel so we just had to stop.  What fun! Mommy and I just got new shades so Grammy and Daddy needed some too. The next day mommy had to train some people for work so Daddy, Grammy and I hung out while she was out work.  
Grammy & Daddy are way cool!
My new shades!
Love shopping with Mommy, she lets me hold the bags.
Dinner @ Half Shell was really good
We were so excited that Grammy got to come. I am pretty much obsessed with her and want to take her everywhere!  We hoped Papa could come too but he had some other things going on so we had to make due without him.  Not sure where we would have put him if he did come....I think next time we will need to rent a bus because here's what traveling with 3 adults and a baby to the beach looks like.
We had the most amazing view from the top floor of our condo!  Hello  Gorgeous!

Here I am packing my beach bag.  
Fedora....check.  Shades....check.  Snacks...check.  
Now it's time to strut my stuff in my board shorts along the beach.

Here is daddy practicing for the wedding where he played the music.  I slip into a trance when Daddy plays the guitar....but enough already, let's get to the beach.

The rest of the pics pretty much speak for themselves!  I loved walking on the sand and especially loved swimming in the pool.  I wasn't so thrilled about sitting in the skin is far too soft for that abrasive sand.  My favorite part was napping on the beach and nothing beats drinking a bottle in the warm sun as you watch the ladies pass by.  I got to practice my new skill, waving.

I love Grammy so much!

Here I am doing by Cousin It impression.

Not too thrilled about the sand.  I like being clean.
I loved going to the Baytown Warf that night.  I got to see a ton of kids and I even got to eat at Acme Oyster Bar for the first time.  Well Daddy wouldn't give me any of his oysters and Mommy wouldn't let me taste her Pina Colada but Grammy gave me lots of yummy crackers and goodies..  She is always so good to me.  Too bad I fell asleep right before they got Gelato...I always miss the good stuff.

Here we are about to leave the beach.  The only reason I was okay with leaving was because it started raining but I am counting down the days for our beach trip in July, it will be the best 1st birthday ever!!  I love mommy's shirt, don't you??

So I have concluded, the apple does not fall far from the tree and I LOVE THE, love, love it just like mommy and daddy!

More pics from the weddings coming soon!

Wednesday, May 16

Happy 10 Months!

Not sure where the time went but I am more in love with this little boy with each passing day!

Tuesday, May 15

Mother's Day 2012: A love that consumes you.

It was my first Mother’s Day and nobody could prepare me for this feeling. The wonderful thing about being a mom is that you don’t need a holiday to feel special.  I have felt like the luckiest person in the world not just today but every day since July 16th
Me, Mom & Austin in Fairhope
Nobody could prepare my mind for all the things I have to think about just to get out of the door in the morning or heaven forbid pack for a beach trip.  Nobody could prepare my body for the aches I feel after spending the majority of the day bent over at a 90-degree angle chasing this little bundle of energy or holding his hands while he learns to walk. Nobody could prepare me for the pain I’d endure when he bumped his head or had his first fever, it hurt my soul far worse than it hurt his body. And there is nothing that anyone could have said or written that could prepare my heart for the tremendous love that consumes me when I think of Austin. 

 He is our world.  I feel so blessed that God chose me to be this little guy’s mommy.  So this Mother’s Day I am so grateful to my mom and to Randa for loving me and Zach so much it thoroughly consumes you, now I get it.  Thank you to my grandmothers for loving your children and your grandchildren this way.  I feel so lucky to be surrounding by loving mothers who live to love their children.

I got to spend a lot of great mother-daughter time with my mom at the beach and in Fairhope this weekend.  My mom has a quiet and calming nature that relaxes me and I have realized Austin loves it too.  He loves her so much and when she reaches for him he gets so excited and then nuzzles down into her chest like he can’t get enough.  It’s the sweetest thing I have ever seen.
I tried to catch the play by play:  

Austin LOVES his Grammy so much!
Happy Mother's Day to all the moms reading this.  I know you feel lucky everyday but I hope someone made you feel special too!  Zach, Austin and Mom made my first Mother's Day unforgettable.

Monday, May 7


We had a lot to do around the house Saturday so we spent Cinco De Mayo afternoon at the house enjoying our new yard.  A beautiful day, strawberry daiquiris and my sweet family...the day couldn't have gotten any better.  
We still have a lot to do to the yard- notice the dirt behind Zach, soon we are laying patio there. The sod was put down about a month ago and Zach has been babying that grass so much and thanks to his constant watering and fertilizing we now had a beautiful yard for Austin.  So we did a little swimming, some sprinkler time, some swinging and relaxed with Grammy and Papa.

I had the great idea to go out for Mexican food to celebrate but so did everyone else in the Miss-Lou area so we were packed like sardines in the restaurant waiting forever just to have our drink order taken.  We quickly agreed Magnolia Grill had our name all over it and we packed up and had the most delicious and relaxing American dinner with Mom and Dad.  Austin was such a joy during dinner and was so happy the entire time.  Nights like that make me so grateful to have Mom and Dad here watching Austin grow up.  He loves them so much!