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, August 2

The BIG 3-1

When I was growing up, my parents always knew exactly how many days there were until my birthday because… yup, you guessed it, I kept them constantly informed.  Now my birthdays, although still very special, take a backseat to the millions of other things going on in the life of our family.  I felt like April and May flew by and all of the sudden it was birthday week and I had neglected to inform my parents each day of the countdown.  Haha!  But my parents and husband are awesome and had plans to make it special long before it arrived.  It started the week before as Mom treated me (us) to a spa day.  I had a killer facial.  Literally.  I went in for the Cadillac of facials and the “facial person” (is there a proper name for her like a massage masseuse??) informed me she could remove these small little bumps I had on my cheeks, apparently some type of calcium deposit.  I was all about it because although nobody has ever probably noticed them, I do and I wanted them gone.  Well a sterile needle, a crazy machine, and an hour and a half later I am left deposit free.  Although it was a successful process it hurt like hell, I imagined I was going to sit up looking like Freddie Kruger and scare the mess out of Austin when I picked him up from school but she assured me that my face was not gushing blood and that it was just a little pink but that would go away that day.  She was right.  Now my face is really smooth and my cheeks looks great so I am very glad I did it…remember beauty is pain.
The b-day week continued with trip to the Baton Rouge Zoo with the kids and some shopping. Austin had a blast.  We had lunch at Fat Cow and it was amazing but man you really feel like a fat cow when you see the portions they give you. Mooooo!

Our small meal at Fat Cow....mooooooo! And yes that is a normal "side" of onion rings. OMG
Riding the train with Papa
Austin's "cheese"
Austin's favorite way to get around, on Papa's shoulders.  Even before he could talk he would point to Dad's shoulders asking to get up. This picture sums up my parents --- totally amazing grandparents, so adventurous and youthful.
Talking to the tiger
Mommy & Maddy (@5weeks) riding the train at the Zoo
My handsome big boy. 
This is what Maddy did the entire Zoo trip.... looks like the Lions, Tigers, and Bears really WOWed her.

Strutting around like he owned the playground.  Mr Big Boy

My actual birthday was bitter-sweet for the simple fact that I knew it was my last day of maternity leave and the thought of returning to work and leaving Madeline was making me anxious.  Did I take enough time off?  Will her breastfeeding routine suffer from adding bottles to the mix? Will I be able to get back into the grind of the demanding projects at work?  Will I ever be able to focus on my job and not just daydream about being home with the kids doing all my Pinterest activities?  Will being at the office 8hrs a day make the housework, family needs, kid routines suffer? So many worries, some ridiculous and some very legit. 
I spent the day cleaning and organizing the house (with the help of our sweet housekeeper Darlene).  I had wanted to do this for a while but I hadn’t made the time.  Then mom and dad came over to babysit while Zach and I had a wonderful dinner at the Castle at Dunleith.  They never disappoint! 

Then we came back home to have cake (my favorite made by mom) with the family. It ended up being a wonderful day/week and it was so special that I got to spend it home with my kiddos.  I miss them so much since I am back at work but we made a lot of great memories while I was on leave.

Cheers to 31, I hope it's as good to me as the past 30!

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