Slop…Sloppy Joes Yay

Malayna is growing up so fast.  It seems like just yesterday she was this tiny.

Now she is nearly 4 months old and has more than doubled her birth weight!!

With every move up in diaper size, clothing size, and chubbier legs, I can’t help but think she will be running around before I know it.  How do parents let their children go away to college?

She still looks a lot like Sam

However, she does take after me in a few areas…

She often gives a very serious/ stern look towards others.  Perhaps its the teacher side in me?  I’ve been told by many people that I look at them sternly when in reality I am just deep in thought (or confused).  I can not tell you how many times I get asked in the grocery store if I need help looking for something because I give “the look.”  I get it from my Grandpa O’Grady.

She also is the happiest in the morning, and according to my mom I was the same way.

She loves sucking her fingers.  I always sucked my two middle fingers.

She took her hands out as soon as I snapped the picture

And I wont say who she takes after when she doesn’t get good sleep or is hungry….Ok it’s me again!

Speaking of being hungry, last summer I was watching Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution.  He was a strong advocate in going into schools to revamp their lunch menus.  It was amazing to see what some schools were feeding their children.

One of the recipes I enjoy on his slow was his Sloppy Joe recipe. Sloppy Joe’s is a childhood classic meal, however we all know it is not the healthiest.  This recipe is a lot healthier than what you can normally get from mixing beef with a can.  It uses purred kidney beans to add some good fiber and protein.

I adapted the recipe to feed four people (instead of a whole school 😉 )

Sloppy Joes Revamped


1 pound of ground beef (we use venison which is a lot leaner but will give you a more gamey taste to it)

1 yellow onion

1 green pepper

1 can kidney beans

1/4 cup Ketchup

1/4 cup bbq sauce


1. Cook ground beef until no longer pink. Drain any grease.

2.  While beef is cooking, blend kidney beans in immersion blender.

3.  Add ketchup and bbq sauce in a bowl with the kidney beans puree.

4.  Add the onions and green peppers ( I didn’t have any green peppers) to the meat until soft.

5. Add the bean sauce puree in with the meat.

6. Cook for about 10 minutes

7. Serve on a bun with your choice of side.

*Sorry forgot to take a picture of the final product, but Lauren and Joe enjoyed them!

Power of a Praying Parent

Upon returning from my honeymoon over three years ago, I came home to a letter from my mom and copy of an insert from the book Power of a Praying Parent.

In the insert was a copy of the chapter on praying for your child’s spouse.  Included in it where dates and prayers in the margin that my mom spent praying for my future spouse.  Before I even met Sam, he was prayed for by mom.  My mom gave me the best gift I can think of growing up, prayer.  I am sure there were many nights she spent on her knees for Steve, Lauren, and I.

I have an even greater appreciation for this as I now pray for Malayna.  I am confident God answered many prayers from this book, including marrying Sam.

As a new mom I was hit with lots of worry about raising my daughter.  One night I decided to pick up Power of a Praying Parent and begin to read it.  Immediately, I was encouraged.  I was reminded of the truth that God loves and cares for Malayna more than I even do!  Every time I begin to worry about something, I am reminded to pray instead.

A section of the book states,

If we are not positive that God is in control of our children’s lives, we’ll be ruled by fear.  And the only way to be sure that God is in control is to surrender our hold and allow Him full access to their lives.”

The book addresses different areas of concern to pray for your children including securing protection from harm, being the person God created, and releasing my child into God’s hand.  It concludes each chapter with a prayer on that topic and bible verses relating to the verses.

I made these little verse book from the book for my friends as they had babies along with a copy of the book.  Lauren made me one for Malayna.  Its a wonderful “go to” prayer book filled with areas to pray for her.

I leave you one more insert from the book, “No matter what age our children are, releasing them into God’s hands its a sign of faith and trust in Him and is the first step toward making a difference in their lives.”

One pic of Malayna in her first pair of jeans (Thanks Halle!).  I know they are too big, but I couldn’t help but put them on her.

What do you think is the most memorable thing your parent did for you growing up?

Weekend Birthday Fun

This weekend was busy and lots of fun! Friday morning I enjoyed my bible study, and Malayna played with her “kissing cousin” Benjamin.

"Hey Malayna I bet you can't touch your toes like I can."

Friday night Amanda, Sam, and I went to go see October Baby. Without sharing too many details (who enjoys people who ruin movies ;)), it is about finding forgiveness and how precious and beautiful every life is. I highly recommend this movie!!  Our pre-martial couple’s son is one of the main actors, Jason, and he did a fabulous job!  Bring some tissues though!

Saturday we took a nice walk to our neighborhood pond.  Malayna wanted to go fishing, but I told her she had to wait at least another year.  She was pouting.

I then went to my friend Jenny’s baby shower!  She is due at the end of April!  Look how cute she is!  It seems like everyone pregnancy flies by (except your own ;0)

Saturday night I met up with the Bellingers and Jess at Maggianos and enjoyed a wonderful meal with great friends!  Love to be with them!!  Did you know you can get a pasta dish for $12 and take home another pasta dish FREE?! That’s two meals for $12, you can’t beat that!

Sunday was Sam’s Birthday!!  We celebrated by going to one of his favorite restaurants, Los Rancheros.

I embarrassed him by telling them it was his birthday and look what they did to him….

Anyone else worry about lice when they put on a public hat?

Everyone says that your love towards your spouse changes when you have a child, and I could not agree more.  Seeing Sam play with Malayna, hold her, get her dressed, and give her baths, makes me love him so much more.  He is always so willing to love on her all the time, and I honestly could not ask for a better partner to parent with!

I leave you with my favorite D man himself….

Chicken Enchilidas…And Saying Goodbye

Tuesday morning some ladies from small group and church had a little goodbye party for my friend Ashley.

Sadly, Ashley and her family will be moving away and we will miss her greatly!!

We are missing Lora in this Pic 😦

Ashley had her son two weeks before Malayna!  He is such a sweet, easy-going baby!

All the babies! Halle is in charge! Missing Madelyn and Ben!

For lunch I made some Chicken Enchiladas.  If you are looking for a quick and easy, yet delicious, chicken enchilada dish you need to make these!!  It works well too  for having company over because you can make it ahead of time and then just pop it in the oven when your guests arrive!

I adapted the recipe found here:

**This fed 7 people, 2 children and we still had leftovers!


1 small onion, chopped
2 tsp. oil
5 Chicken breasts shredded
1 can (14.5 oz.) no-salt-added diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 tub (10 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Santa Fe Blend Cooking Creme * This is the key ingredient YUM!
1/2 cup Cheddar and Mozzarella Cheese
10 flour tortillas (6 inch)


  1. Heat oven to 350°F.
  2. Cook and stir onions in hot oil in large skillet on medium heat 4 to 5 min. or until crisp-tender. Stir in chicken, tomatoes, 3/4 cup cooking creme and shredded cheese.
  3. Spoon about 1/3 cup chicken mixture down center of each tortilla; roll up. Place in 13×9-inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray; top with some cheddar cheese and mozzarella. Cover.
  4. Bake 15 to 20 min. or until heated through
  5. It makes two of these:

Please note Malayna and Madelyn’s similar expressions…HAHA too funny!

I leave you with Malayna in the tub…

Rolling Over

On Sunday morning I heard crying from Malayna’s room.  It sounded more like a I’m frustrated type of a cry.  I went into her room and found her on her side (from her back) trying to roll over.  That afternoon, Sam and I worked on getting her to roll from her side to her belly and sure enough she did it!!  Check out the video below.  I just learned how to post videos so expect more!

On Sunday night I heard her crying again in the middle of the night went in and found her poor little leg stuck in the crib side.  I moved her to the middle of the crib and she rolled over and went right back to sleep.

Tonight we had one of my favorite salmon recipes taken from Great Lakes Angler.

3 salmon fish filets (straight from Lake Michigan via Sam(on) on the Gotta Go)

1/3 Cup of Olive Oil

1 Tbsp. Zatarins Blackened Seasoning

1 Tbsp. Cavenders Creole Greek Seasoning

1/2 Tsp. Garlic Powder

4 Tbsp. Brown Sugar

1 Tbsp. Minced Onion

Mix all the seasonings in a bag with the fish and marinate for at least 4 hours.

Cook on the grill for 6 minutes on each side.  We use a fish basket which cooks the fish well and makes grilling easier.

I also cook the fish on the oven during the winter months and it turns out good as well.  Goes well with some rice and veggies!

Hopefully your humor is as weird as Sam and I’s. 🙂

Happy Saint Patricks Day

Happy Saint Patricks Day everyone!

Thanks to my Aunt Michelle for the adorable matching outfits!

Miss Mae Mobley (anyone seen The Help) had a wonderful first St. Patrick’s day.

Celebrating her 25% percent Irish heredity.

Pinching Daddy's ears. I don't know where she got that from?

On Friday night my mom made us corned beef, cabbage, carrots, potatoes, fruit salad, and Irish soda bread!  A classic Irish meal!  One of the best meals I have had in a while.


For dessert I made one of my favorite desserts….chocolate chip pizza cake!  I greatly enjoy making this for several reasons.  When you make a pizza cookie cake you do not need to use a bunch of cookie sheets and cooling racks.  It is also easier because you only have to put the cookie in once.  If you are anything like me, you get distracted and always forget you have cookies in the oven and they burn. 🙂  I also think when you make a pizza cookie cake there is more of that chewey, gooey goodness.

I follow the classic Toll House cookie recipe and use the pan version to cook.  I also have this wonderful pizza rack that Sam’s had for a while.  I’m not sure what the brand is but it cooks things very nicely!  It’s very important when you make a pizza cake that you allow an inch along the border for the cookie to spread out and cook.

Please excuse my ugly shamrock! I am definitely not an artist!







The final product



On Saturday night we enjoyed hanging out at our good friend the Mapels house!  The Carr’s were back in town and it was such a blessing to seem them.


Toy Bin and Nursery

Hello Everyone! Thank you for all your sweet comments and encouragement about the blog.  This gorgeous weather has been such a blessing to get outside and soak up some vitamin D. Malayna is definitely not used to the sun being out as the whole time we were on a walk she had her eye squinted closed.  As soon as we put these shades on her she was a happy camper!!  She must be like her mommy and have sensitive eyes to the light.  My Aunt Sharon gave Malayna a box filled with summer items (sunglasses, sun-dresses, sun hat, etc) for her shower.  It was such a creative and special gift and so nice to have with our early spring.  The sunglasses are so nice because they are adjustable as her noggin’ gets bigger!

What are you looking at?

Today I made this bin for some of Malayna’s toys.

As I am quickly finding out, toys begin to pile up and its nice to have a place to put them all.  This bin I scored at Target in the dollar section (although really $2.5).  I hot-glued buttons and those flowers on to add a little bling bling.

I also wanted to show you this birth announcement I got on  I love that I have a wonderful reminder of one of the best days of my life.  The announcement was printed on matte paper for only $8 and then I got the frame at Target.

Here are a few pictures of the nursery for those who have not seen it.  It was so much fun to put together and I think she is enjoying it.

Gwen Breeden made these birdies and the branch I found at Hobby Lobby.

This idea was inspired by pinterest. I used embroidery hoops and fabric from Hobby Lobby. Very inexpensive to do!

My roomate from college made this for all her hair bows and clips. Brilliant idea!

My favorite spot in the room. Lots of time spent reading, rocking, and feeding.

All our furniture was from Walmart believe it or not!  So far we love it!