Friday, November 21, 2014

#nelsendays week 46- Our sweet niece is here!

This has been quite an eventful week! On Wednesday, our sweet niece decided she wanted to make her appearance into this world six weeks early! The first surprise was her unexpected arrival, and the second was her weight- 5lbs 12oz! Baby girl was on her way to being a 10 pounder! Because she was born 6 weeks early, she'll be in the NICU for a little bit, but baby girl is a fighter! In fact, her name means "strong and courageous" and that she is!

So without further ado, let me introduce to you Riley Kathryn McGinnity:

Mama and daddy are doing great. They have the best perspective and demeanor- gracious and positive, ready to love that baby girl lots, and anxious to snuggle her tight when they can!

Meeting this angel baby for the first time was such a gift. She is so strong and beautiful! I even got to see a little smile when her mama reached for her hand. That moment could make a grown man cry, so of course this mama and aunt teared up.

Can't wait to hold her tight and snuggle her close!

It would be so great if you could keep her in your prayers whenever you think about it. We're praying for a short stay in the NICU and healthy, strong lungs. We already know that God can do immeasurably more than we can ask or imagine based on her safe arrival alone.

This is one of my favorite verses that we taught our UpStreet kids last year that I want to pray over Riley:

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Joshua 1:9

Here are a few other favorite shots from the hospital:

Ryan pulled back from the wrap to study Matt's face, and I about died. Love the smile on Matt's dad's face in the background too. :)

Big brother Jackson making his cousin, "Baby Ryan," smile!

And here's a look at what else we've been up to this week:

Day 316: Spending some time with Aunt Karen and Cousin Jackson before Baby Riley's arrival was on our radar! Love the way Jackson leaned in and squished Ryan's face for this pic. :)

Day 317: Making new friends in the mirror- sweet boo is quite smitten with himself. ;)

Day 318: Date night for our anniversary!!

Day 319: The nap boycotter ;)'s like he knows we're on the other side of the monitor. By the way, I mentioned this monitor in one of my recommended baby products posts, and now it's $90 off! It is GREAT!

Day 320: Showering Karen and Baby Riley 3 days before her surprise arrival!

Day 321: I shared this pic on our anniversary, and my mom brain said in the caption that 7 years ago we said "I do" and 6 years ago on the same day, we found out we were pregnant with Ryan. You smart people on Instagram and FB pointed out that my math might have been off, seeing that Ryan is clearly not 5 years old. HA! So yes, ONE year ago, on our anniversary, we found out we were pregnant. Thanks for the help- I need all I can get. :)

Day 322: This sweet buddy was fighting off a little cold but was still all smiles after every nap! Love him so. :)

I started a new series on the blog this week where I shared what we ate for dinner every night for the previous week, with recipes, appetizers, and take-out ideas included. You can check it out here. I'll do the same thing again next week! In the mean time, if you have any go-to recipes that need to be on the rotation, do share!

And exactly one week from today, the winner of the $1650 Christmas Cash Giveaway will be announced!!! Be sure to enter before Thursday night at midnight!

Have a great weekend, friends!!


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Last week's meals & dinner ideas

Lately, a few of my girlfriends and I have been texting recipes back and forth because it's so easy to get into a rut of what to make for dinner. And as much I love cooking, grocery shopping and making dinner looks a lot different these days than it did pre-mama days.

Grocery shopping alone is a more planned affair now. I used to stop by on my way home from work to pick up whatever I felt like making for dinner that night and some nights would spend a good hour in the kitchen enjoying the process of concocting a new meal from scratch.

But lately, following a recipe and using the crock pot have been my go-to methods for getting dinner on the table.

So what I decided I would do is track our weekly meals and share those recipes (and take-out ideas... we do a lot more of that these days too ;) ) with y'all, in the off-chance that maybe your days and weeks are a little busy for creativity in the kitchen too.

So here's what we ate last week!

Mexican take-out. Can't say that we've ever gotten Mexican take-out before, but man was it delicious and convenient. We had my favorite chips, salsa, and cheese dip as an appetizer after calling in the order and then ate our meal with Costco's pre-mixed Margaritas. Very tasty and only $8.99!

Love these- they're quick and easy and a good comfort food for cold days.

Crock Pot Meal: 

This is one of my new favorite meals. It is so easy and SO good!

Date night at Season's 52! 
They treated us to champagne and free dessert for our anniversary!

Dinner at my sister's house for my mom's birthday- and oh my word, my sister made the BEST meal! I can't wait to get the recipe from her and share it with y'all. She made a BBQ, bacon-wrapped chicken dish with apples and pineapple chunks that she served with mashed potatoes and green beans. Whoa. It was SO good.

Crock Pot Meal:
 I mixed one can of cream of mushroom soup, half a container of sour cream, and a 1/4 cup of parmesan and poured it over two frozen chicken breasts. I served it with Pasta Roni Shells and White Cheddar and Publix SteamInBag Broccoli Florets.

This meal was just okay. I think it would have tasted better in the oven, but it was a crock-pot kind of day. Next time, I think I'll use thawed chicken breast tenderloins and bake it in the oven. It definitely has potential and was easy enough that I'd like to try it again a different way.


Monday, November 17, 2014

7 Years of Marriage... and a flashback to the early days

Matt and I got married seven years ago today. SEVEN years! That does not even seem possible. I mean we're not old enough to be married for that long, right?!

When I was nesting and organizing before Ryan was born, I found tons of pictures of the two of us from our early dating years. So today, instead of imparting wisdom from our seven years of marriage ;) or reminiscing on the memories we've shared throughout the years, I thought it would be fun to flash back to some of those early days of dating and laugh... because some of these pictures are hilarious.

Church lock in sophomore or junior year of high school

School pictures

The first meal we made, haha- I love this picture his mom snuck... if only I knew what was being said at the time

Braves game on July 4th after we ran the Peachtree Road Race

Before a date to go see Third Day in concert

Prom junior year

Senior baccalaureate with one of our teachers who later married us. :)

high school graduation

date night- jean skirt and baggy jeans- man we looked good. Ha!

Getting ready to leave for college

Charleston with Matt's parents one Spring Break

Senior year prom

I have no idea what this is from, but please note- I'm wearing a choker.

First football game at Clemson- apparently pig tail french braids and an oversized t-shirt sounded like a good idea at the time.

For more pictures of our dating years (just in case these weren't enough for you), click here.

The winner of the $1650 cash giveaway will be announced on Black Friday, so be sure to enter for your chance to win before then!

Today I'm also sharing a list of gift ideas for the babies in your life. You can check that out here.

Have a great week!