Category: Family

Photo Shoot

We got the results from our Newborn Photo Shoot and they’re awesome. I, personally, can’t stop looking at them. I’m very excited to get some prints and frames and decorate the house.


Lots to update

We’ve got a lot to throw up on the blog. We’ve had Thanksgiving, a Baby Shower, and work on the nursery. Not to mention an expanding waistline. So here we go:

Thanksgiving 2008
Matt’s family came over Thursday morning to celebrate Turkey Day with us. Even though Matt spent a good chunk of the week worrying about the possibility of rain that day, things couldn’t have been more beautiful. So turkey frying was a go, and we fried 3 turkeys! One of them went home with Mike and his family, one went with Nick and Mikie, and the other was gobbled up. In this house, Thanksgiving day usually revolves around the Cowboys game, which was at 3. By the time everyone sat down for Pumpkin Pie and Better Than Anything Cake the game was under way. The Cowboys won! 34-9

First Baby Shower

The next day we drove to Baton Rouge for our first baby shower. Emily and Claire out did themselves (as usual). Everything was sooo cute!! Even though the cake wasn’t exactly what Em asked for, I would never have know because it was adorable. Em and Claire used blue and green jelly beans to decorate, and made adorable chocolate party favors. Emily even sewed cute fabric tablecloths to match the theme of blue and green. We had a good crowd, and I even got to see two of my oldest friends who I hadn’t seen in years, Hilary and Larissa. We got lots of good stuff, including a handmade quilt from Matt’s mom, Mikie. It’s beautiful! And we got the stroller we registered for. All in all we were feeling very blessed. The photo above was possible thanks to my niece, Stella. She thought I should wear her tiara – at least for one photo.

Here’s the cake.

And some of the decorations.


A few weeks ago – while he was visiting with Mom – Dad helped Matt assemble the crib we ordered. Then last Wednesday Matt single-handedly painted the nursery. That, along with all the stuff we got at the shower has been filling up the once empty room. Nothing is in place yet, nothing organized, but here’s a picture of how things are coming along.

Here’s Matt, hamming it up and painting at the same time. Imagine that…

Here’s the finished room.

Speaking of things coming along – the baby is really growing (as am I). Check out the baby bump at 28 weeks.

This Blog’s About to Get Busier

Big news in the Mattifer world – Jenn plus Matthew is about to add up to three, as we are expecting our first beh-bee.  Little boy or girl McGarity should be greeting the world in late February.  By coincidence, any ability of ours to post on this site should decline for 6-8 weeks.  :)  Do check back often, as we plan to keep you up to date with photos, news, etc.

Thanks to everyone for their prayers and warm wishes over the past couple years — we couldn’t have reached  this point without your support and love.

Happy Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day to our two dads, Richard and Nick. Our parents are out of town today, so we cannot see them in person. However, here’s a photo of our gathered family from last year. Click on the picture to see who’s who!

Charleston Trip

Earlier in the month, Jenn and I took a trip to Charleston, SC, where her younger sister Emily lives. We went to hang out with her and her husband Brad, plus meet the newest niece in our family Stella Belle.

While the flight to Charleston itself was easy enough, it paled in comparison to our journey to actually get on a plane.

To save a buck, I decided to book our flights using frequent flyer miles earned on United Airlines and its partner Lufthansa. Although it took six different customer service representatives and untold numbers of hours, I was finally able to secure two roundtrip tickets between Dallas and Charleston, with a stopover in Chicago.

For those of you who still remember the weather from Thanksgiving, a huge winter snowstorm blew through Chicago around that time, effectively forcing the nation to grab its collective ankles as travel to and from O’Hare Airport came to a halt. We were supposed to fly out of Dallas at 6:00am December 1st.

Instead, after three rescheduled flights, one airline change, and three gate changes, we left instead at 6:00pm. And by leaving, I mean we pushed away from the gate and sat in the aircraft for half-an-hour while a technician was paged to come reboot our plane’s computer.

We didn’t arrive in Charleston until well after 10:30pm. When we stepped off the jetway, the entire facility was dark and quiet, the only sound being made by our sluggish footsteps. Baggage claim had a population of five — us plus our three bags. We waited curbside quietly, as we watched other people before us grab rides, shuttles, and cabs.

A truck drove up and out stepped an angel clad in white. It was my brother-in-law Brad, wearing white medical scrubs (he was on-call that night). Our ordeal was finally over, and within minutes we were at their house, chowing down on the birthday cake that Emily had baked in anticipation of our original arrival time…of noon.

The weekend was short and quick, but we got to do see some neat things. Below are a few samples of what we saw — click on any of the pictures to be taken to a slideshow of our trip.

Celebrating Matthew's Birthday Sisters and Baby
Brad and His Baby Stella Baby Stella's Iron Grip The Two Flags Over Charleston Today

Bailey’s New Blankie

We got a letter from Matthew’s parent’s dog Bailey. He lives in Paradise, TX, and he wanted to say:

“Dear Cali and Excel, Thank you so much for my wonderful Valentine’s Blanket. As you can see, I love it very much.”

Claire and Larry’s House

Here’s a picture of our brother-in-law, Larry, surveying the tree Katrina tossed onto the roof of his new home. This picture was taken only days after Katrina decided to pay an unwelcome visit to the New Orleans area.

Larry and my sister Claire live in Mandeville, La. Most of the people in Mandeville were spared the brunt of the storm – and we thank God and all of your prayers for that! Claire, Larry, Claudia, one-month-old Maggie, their dog Frankie and cat Gibson returned to their home last week, and they are all doing fine. And I can only imagine how happy it must feel to be home again!

There are more photos of Claire and Larry’s home, and one home that wasn’t so lucky in their subdivision, in our Gallery.

Thank you all again for your thoughts and prayers!

– Jenn

Hurricane Katrina

It’s been a long week at the McGarity household. As many of you know, 100% of Jenn’s side of the family resides within southern Louisiana.Enough of you have been pinging us at various times that it might be a good idea for us to post some updates.

Claire and Larry have had an eventful year: building their first new house and welcoming another bundle of joy in our new niece Maggie. She wasn’t but a week old before Katrina knocked on the door. The two of them were quite prudent, taking their children to stay at Jenn’s parent’s house farther from the coast in Baton Rouge.

When the storm blew through Baton Rouge on Monday, Richard and Vicki’s house lost power, and it did not regain it until the middle of last night. Because of this, Claire and Larry moved over to a friend’s house which still had electricity. Meanwhile, Richard and Vicki were fine — after all, Jenn’s dad never turns on the air conditioning anyway. Everything is fine at their home — except for our wedding cake, which we had been keeping in their freezer since our reception last November. This Saturday is our 1-year wedding anniversary. Matthew wasn’t looking forward to the traditional partaking of the cake, so we have the opportunity to get a new cake. Although the new cake will be fresh and tasty, it can never be as delicious as the one from that day.

Besides family, some of our friends have been affected. Jenn is awaiting word from some of her childhood friends, who all grew up in Baton Rouge but mostly migrated to New Orleans after college. Our friend Don works for as an epidemiologist for the state of Louisiana, so you can imagine how busy he’s been lately. Matthew received an email from a coworker whose friend’s family had survived but lost everything material — he’s leading a PayPal fund-raising effort. Another friend of Matthew’s is all the way in Portland, possibly further in the dark than we are.

If you are wondering how to help, the best way is to donate money to an organization like the American Red Cross. This organization can do much more with cash than they can donations of food, clothes, diapers, etc. Last night, Jenn and I made what may be the first of many such donations to them. Coincidentally, the Red Cross was founded in response to another devastating hurricane.

Here is a link to the Red Cross and some other capable organizations:

And if you are wondering how specific areas of New Orleans are doing, these sites can help you out:

Thanks again for keeping our family in your prayers, and I am sure they also appreciate it! As we find out more news, we’ll update this post.


— Matthew and Jenn

Margaret Jennings Oggs

Check out the newest member of the extended family. Everyone, meet Maggie. Maggie, say hi! Click the above picture to see more of her.

Born on Tuesday, August 23rd at 12:30am, 20 1/2 inches, 8 lbs. 13 oz.


Nick and Mikie are selling their van, which has been around the world more often than Charles Lindbergh. Check out the auction site and place a bid!

Update 10-28-05: Found out from the old man yesterday that the van has sold for the requested price of $1250. His exact words:

Brunhilda went to live in Eddy, Texas yesterday – she will become an Ice Cream Truck. They probably already have the white paint and large brushes out! R.I.P.

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