All photos on this blog are the property of Mary McGinty Photography (unless noted otherwise) photos may not be used or copied without my permission

Aug 24, 2014

Move in day at NIU

my boy's new home

Yesterday we dropped Tj off at Northern Illinois University. We were all excited and nervous. I still cant wrap my arms around the fact that TJ is away at college.
I went 1 year at NIU , 32 years ago and my God it's a 100% different school.
TJ knows 5 or so kids from high school that are here. His good friend Jake lives in the tower next door. TJ was nervous, but excited and couldn't wait for us to get on our way home. So we left him and were home by 2 pm.....which is priceless.
I text him this morning and he assured me he was still alive...good to know. It will be an adjustment period for mom and dad. One doesn't stop being a parent just because the law recognizes our first born baby as an adult.

TJ is living on the STEM floor of the newly renovated GN tower. The rooms are spacious and bright. Flat screen TV's are in the lounges.

 A blank slate, we did buy Tj a rug but he'll have to figure out the rest

 The view from TJ's window

The orange brick dorms are suites, 12 kids to a suite. 6 bedrooms and a large common living/dinning kitchen area. Another new dorm

 The brand new Convocation Center house the basketball stadium and double as an entertainment venue

 TJ's Hallway and elevator bank above and below are all website photos NIU

floor lounges

 Not a bad laundry room on tjs floor

A website photo of the newly renovated building and cafeteria below complete with salad bars, ice cream bars, sandwich bar , pasta bar, grill and special of the day. TJ can eat in any dorm cafeteria on campus

 Now that NIU has a stellar football team they have a new stadium where tj can go and WATCH the games. Those are his dorms in the bacjground

These 2 helper girls were standing there talking to TJ, so my Tim grabs the rug and a box and hands it to the girls saying "You aren't doing anything, help my boy out" 
I busted out laughing as they got all giggly... so willing to help the new adorable student

Aug 19, 2014

Graduation/18th Birthday party

Sunday we had TJ's combined Graduation-18th Birthday party. It really turned out fantastic and was a perfect way to close out the summer.
My family all came, Tim's Mom and brother, a bunch of friends, neighbors and of course at least 30 or so of TJ's friends.
I had such anxiety early on in the summer because we kind of let the yard and deck go when TJ got injured 3 years ago. I wasn't sure there was enough time to pull it off. After the premiere of Family Values and dance Nationals we got to work
Again, not a ton of different pictures besides my deck. I really wanted group shots of TJ and friends but that never happened.
The deck looked absolutely amazing...almost impossible to capture the jest of it all.
After family and friends left it was just Tj and his friends. They had 2 bonfires going and stayed out til the wee hours of the morning. I woke up to a basement full of sleeping teens.
Tj said after spending this last night with all his friends (they were inseparable all summer going from graduation party to graduation party June-August) he said he is now ready to go to college and begin his studies!!!!
Friday we take him to NIU!! TJ is living on the newly renovated...amazing!!! STEM floor. He will be with all the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math students. They have their own IT lab and tech support. The rooms are incredible as is the entire tower.

 Just Love and adore my baby Winter...just a sweet cutie!!!

 Katie and Juliette...exchange student from France that was here for 6 weeks. Spent only 3 of those with Katie's family

 lots of volleyball
 We literally have the best deck and yard for parties but never have them...weird

 My candy buffet

 I ran out of stain (a 5 gallon drum) and time...still need to do both sets of stairs and the majority of spindles. I really cant believe people pay to have this done. Thos deck would be thousands to stain professionally.
My joke: "What does a professional strainer and Mary McGinty have in common?"
'Neither of us has a Harvard Degree!"

 Karrick does this crazy fast finger clap, it's really fast and the camera picked it up

 The deck really looked cute, without the flash it was pitch dark. We dont have alley's so no street lighting in back...just bump up to neighbors which is much safer because there is no way for anyone to get in