Bump Pictures – Part 1

Life has been a roller coaster over the past 6 months (2-3 years really).  Blogging has slowed way down but I really want to document my pregnancy and this joyful part of our lives.  And I want to share with family/friend/anyone that cares to read this!  So here is my recap of roughly the first half of my pregnancy with my precious twin babies.

Five Weeks

  • My pants still zipped.
  • We hadn’t told ANYONE yet.
  • I had started to feel twinges of nausea and pregnancy symptoms.  But I felt pretty good overall.  I was counting my lucky stars for no morning sickness.
  • No real cravings, other than FOOD.  I kept saying, “I haven’t done anything to warrant being this hungry.”  Scott always gave me a look and said, “You’re growing two humans.”  It just didn’t feel real yet.
  • Frank Beamer’s last home game.  Won in overtime against North Carolina. Go Hokies!DSC00922DSC00923DSC00924

Ten Weeks

  • Last Christmas before we become a family of four!
  • I used a hair tie to hold my pants up (but was anxious to try my newly purchased belly band and Target maternity jeans).
  • Had told both of our families and close friends.
  • Got 3 high fives per touchdown (one for me, one per baby)  during the VT bowl game on 12/26.
  • Exclusively used the “Virginia Tech Mom” and “Virginia Tech Dad” mugs during our stay at my parents house.
  • Got nauseous if I didn’t eat basically once an hour.
  • Felt like I was hungover every morning (this was the extent of my morning sickness – not nausea but tired/dehydrated/hungry).DSC00943

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Eleven Weeks

  • Scott’s 31st Birthday! Celebrated with friends, old and new from near and far.
  • Hosted a New Years Eve gathering.  I prepared by fighting with Scott because I was cranky from a week-long headache (no Advil for pregnant women!?) followed by crying in Scott’s lap because I was so happy.  Scott prepared by hanging out (hiding) in the basement and riding the hormonal waves of his wife.

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Twelve Weeks

  • My 30th Birthday!
  • I squeezed myself into the pretty tulle skirt I bought pre-pregnancy.
  • Still felt hungover every morning.
  • The Bump had popped!
  • Scott and I saw our babies looking like babies (not beans) for the first time at our 12 week ultrasound appointment on my actual birthday.  After a broken ultrasound machine and a rush to the hospital, we got to watch our babies move and kick onscreen for a good 45 minutes!  One was nicknamed “The Kicker” aka The Scott Twin.  The other was much more laid back, aka The Rebecca Twin.  Yes, I am laid back in this equation. 
  • We officially passed into the “safe” zone and made the big announcement to the world (Instagram and Facebook).

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Fourteen Weeks

  • Officially out of the first trimester.
  • Started to feel less hungover each morning.
  • Everybody knew and it was so fun to talk about it. DSC00995

Fifteen – Sixteen Weeks

  • Life started to feel ‘normal’ again.
  • I often commented that I hadn’t realized how bad I felt during the first trimester until now – I felt so much better than I had for the past 3+ months.  But I still think I got it easy overall.
  • Forget to do official pictures with the good camera, but I snapped a little something weekly for mom.
  • Craving=chocolate cake.

Eighteen Weeks

  • Feeling good!
  • Went on 2 mile hike with Scott.  Get shell-shocked at the difference in my 16 week picture and this one.  I believe I said, “Why didn’t anyone tell me!?”
  • Took advantage of the unseasonal warm weather (and my new pink Hunter boots) at the beach.
  • Was getting seriously anxious to start setting up the nursery, but had to wait until we found out what we were having!!
  • At this point, I haven’t worn pants that zip in months. Elastic is my friend and there are usually at least 3 layers of clothing over the belly at any given time.
  • Prince has to make accommodations for the new shape of my lap.
  • Still craving = chocolate cake.

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So there you have it- the first half of my pregnancy!  Back with more soon!

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Fitzgerald Fourth of July

We had a Fourth of July full of family and friends. And alliteration.  The whole big Fitzgerald clan was in town for our annual summer get-together.IMG_5249

We were blessed with a gorgeous beach day on Friday (and a day off of work! even better!)IMG_5256

We are lucky to see our nieces and nephews as often as we do, despite the distance.

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July 3rd is a big day in the family so we had a celebratory dinner out.  We celebrated 11 years of marriage for Mark and Steph.  I hate that I didn’t know them when they got married!  I would have loved to be there.

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And Millie’s birthday!  I believe it was your 29th, right, Mil?IMG_5258

The Fourth wasn’t beach weather (insert sad faces here).  But Uncle Scott still got some good ol’ fashioned American football time in with Liam.   IMG_5275

Liam picked up the football after breakfast and said, “Who wants to play football with me?”  I think Scott walked away from me mid-sentence.

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He’s not even four years old! Look at him go.  Scott was so proud he nearly burst.IMG_5269

We spent the afternoon at the track.  It’s outside, you can bring your own food/drink and the kids can run around.  I highly recommend it.

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Winning ticket, y’all!

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We ended the weekend with a huge cookout.  There was limbo, a pinata and a dance party.  IMG_5316

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And my favorite – SPARKLERS!  Most of the kids were in bed so I asked the adults to humor me.  While I was spinning and dancing, I turned around to see this.  A line of people standing.  Just standing!  IMG_5356

Oh well.  Not everyone can have my flair! 🙂

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A big thank you to our family for making the trek to Jersey and making our Fourth festive!

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Easter

I hope everyone had quite the happy Easter.  Ours was full of family, jelly beans, good conversations, a great church service and eggs (dying, rolling, throwing, hunting). We spent the weekend in PA at Scott’s brother’s home.  Their church held multiple Easter services all weekend.  We went to church on Saturday afternoon and it was crazy convenient!

We went out for a family dinner after church in our Easter best.

IMG_4317IMG_4321Would you just look at Scott’s jacket?  He’s getting ready for the country club, it seems.

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IMG_4329Dying Easter eggs is a must with littles around.

IMG_4335It’s always fun spending holidays with the little ones.  For one thing, Uncle Scott gets to help them get ready for bed.  And picks Santa pjs for Easter.

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But you also get to be a part of the magic.  Where did those bunny tracks come from!?

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CANDY!  IMG_4348

Little Man takes after his aunt Rebecca’s love of gummy anything.IMG_4355

And Little Miss obviously inherited the sparkle gene.IMG_4349

Easter egg hunt!  We asked Avery how tall the Easter Bunny is.  She guessed 9 feet.  But it looks like he’s about Uncle Scott’s height…IMG_4362

This is the next big thing in strength training, I’m sure of it.IMG_4380

Who needs Cross Fit?

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So I’m pretty sure that Steph and I did the lion’s share of the cooking.  And yet, look who gets the glory.  Obviously kidding.  The family was very appreciative.IMG_4367

After a delicious brunch, the games began.IMG_4368

The Easter egg roll was my contribution.  Here I am facing off against the reigning champion.  My mother-in-law.  IMG_4382

She won our round.  IMG_4386IMG_4384

And the ultimate winner?  Mark, for the win!IMG_4389

Well.  The next game was an egg toss.  With raw eggs. Partnered with your spouse.  We did two rounds and Scott asked for a new partner after our first round.  #truelove. IMG_4394

Needless to say, we did not go far and I had yolk on my hands.  Or I did not throw far enough and Scott’s new shoes almost bit the dust.  The wind was against me!

But look at that form!  My sister-in-law and her sister started talking about their days playing softball.  To which I say, pffft.  I’ll challenge you to a ballet duel any day. IMG_4393

Your Hair Looks Like an Easter Egg!

That quote has nothing to do with anything, besides Easter.  I just love Grease.

Since we have a rather early Easter this year, I took a look back at our first Easter in our house.  I never shared anything here about the first big holiday we hosted for MY side of the family at the house.  It was a really nice weekend with my parents, my sister, her boyfriend and some Fitzgeralds and friends peppered in for good measure.

First off, food.  There was much and it was good.  My sister’s favorite blueberry muffins are always a hit.  They are super time-intensive but oh, so worth it.

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We had to get fresh bagels for our NJ visitors.  We tried a new place and I’m a fan of the proximity to our house and the fact that the gentlemen behind the counter gave me a 13th bagel for luck (Baker’s dozen? Yes, please.).
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Barefoot Contessa Greek Panzanella. You must do this, immediately.Easter20

I loved having the whole family in the house. We are always very low key when we are together and this weekend was no different.  The boys golfed, the women lunched, shopped and walked on the beach.

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Our lunch view.

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Have I mentioned I love where we live?

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When the boys returned, much more sunburned than when they left, we grilled and played games.  Every time we have a full house, I feel so blessed that we have this house that fits our family comfortably and that we are able to host.

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My family is big on games and we brought our friends in on the tradition.  Heads Up is our new favorite, mixed in with old favorites like Cranium.

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We also dyed eggs.  It’s an Easter tradition!Easter18

I don’t think Justin was ready for the intensity of dying eggs with the Burtch family.

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And then we satisfied man’s desire to build things and burn things.  We now have a make shift fire pit as a place holder until we can get a real one.Easter17

On Easter Sunday we went to church and then had to get down to business.  The business of football.Easter14

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And my preferred business.  Cooking.Easter13

Our feast included ham, Ms. Leslie’s green beans and “Rebecca’s potatoes” (and lots of bread, of course).  You know you’ve made it in our family if you have a side dish named after you.

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And then. You must know about this.  The Annual Easter Egg Roll.  It’s a tradition in my family since before I was born.  Basically, you choose your best, most favorite hard-boiled, dyed Easter egg.  This should be done during the egg dying process.  Mine is always a shocking shade of pink.

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Then, you pair up, oldest against youngest, get down on the floor and roll your eggs across the floor at each other.  The goal is for them to crash into each other.  Only one will break!  I promise! Try it, you won’t be disappointed.Easter8

The winner from each round advances to the next round, and so on and so on.Easter6

There will be losers.
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And one ultimate winner.  Bragging rights included.Easter9Happy Easter, everyone!

A Very Full Valentine’s Day

We celebrated {love} this Valentine’s Day, that is for sure.  Love of Family.  Love of Friends. Even a little bit for each other.  Scott and I had a lovely meal at our new favorite restaurant.  It’s called Mezze Cantina – or maybe the Gas Light – depending on who you ask.  But regardless of it’s identity crisis, the food is always spot on.  These are broiled oysters with lemon, garlic and butter.  Oh, yes.

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Valentine’s started on a high note with pork roll and my favorite rook coffee.

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But quickly devolved into changing a tire in the freezing cold.  Oh well, real life marches on – even on Valentine’s Day.

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For the rest of the day we had a bit of an impromptu reunion with my mother-in-law’s family.  We had people in from Ohio and North Carolina and the local contingent, of course.  We had lunch at the same restaurant – in the same room – as my surprise bridal shower!

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It was loud, crazy and fully what I would expect from this clan.10959834_10204748175536313_5800384933182324611_n

Look at this little Valentine sweetie!  Can you even handle the awesome-ness that is his shirt?  Is my Jersey showing? Because I want one in my size.

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After lunch, a group went to a local brewery (Carton Brewing).  It has a great vibe and is only $5 for 6 beer samples.  I can’t finish that many, but enjoy my time there whenever we go.  Probably in part because we are always there with a fun group of people.

I wish we lived closer to Scott’s cousins from North Carolina.  We always have the best time with them!  Although we do have a Virginia Tech vs. NC State game in the works and I could not be more thrilled!10420424_887636894593189_3409804528201068084_n

After yet another group get-together at dinner, Scott and I snuck in a drink a local bar, where the mood was anything but romantic.  Lets just say we encountered a couple who had discovered a love for chocolate martinis who wanted to tell us ALL about it.  We couldn’t do anything but laugh.

We ended the day with dear friends.  Scott and Stu are forever friends.  You know, the kind that fight in the snow on Valentine’s Day.

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Leslie and I lucked out that we get along famously.  As Scott says, “It makes things so much easier.”  He’s right.  I love doing life with these two.  IMG_3948

I hope everyone else had a love-filled, if not quite as FULL Valentine’s day!

One Year in our House

We have been in our house in New Jersey for one year.  Well, one year on October 18.  But life has been busy, y’all.  In the past year, we have accomplished quite a bit.  I still get overwhelmed and have to remind myself of that and rest easy that we are doing as much as we can.  And what we can do is enough.  Here are some of the highlights.

We ripped up our front yard and planted sod.  

We basically gave our house a major botox-injection-facelift.

Front Yard Before and After

I found our house on Google Maps street view.  it’s the best picture of the front of the house with a straight on  view…of the craziest tree ever.

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SO much better!IMG_1320

Now we have some serious landscaping to do next spring, but we still consider this one of our biggest accomplishments.

We ripped out plaster and put up drywall.

I promise we have walls now.  Just gotta get you some pictures!

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We bought a Jeep.

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We hosted at least six major holidays/get-togethers.

And that doesn’t include little visits here and there.

Thanksgiving (six weeks after the move).  I’m so proud of that, I feel like I should include it on my resume.

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New Years Eve

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Christmas (in January)

Fireplace

Easter

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Summer Fitzgerald Family Reunion

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Labor Day

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We traveled far and wide.

Punta Cana

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Harrisonburg, VA for Megan’s GraduationIMG_0936

West Point, NY for West Point’s graduationIMG_5888

Manassas, VA

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Boston, MA

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Cape May, NJ

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Amish Country, PA

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Rehoboth, DE

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Nashville, TN

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And that doesn’t include work travel!  I went to Anaheim, Las Vegas, Florida, Pittsburgh, and Chicago (and probably more that I’m blocking out).  Frankly, we are both a little exhausted.  But its fun to look back at what we have accomplished.  And our house has been the site of so many good memories for us and our friends and family already and I have a feeling that will continue for a good, long time.

Fourth of July Festivities

Getting back to real life after a three day weekend is rough, no?  Lets relive the three day weekend again, yes?

Thursday I had the trifecta – early dismissal from work, a glass of wine with an out-of-town girlfriend before catching the boat for my commute home.
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It was so beautiful I sat on the deck for the whole ride home.photo 2-7I got to see Lady Liberty to start off the holiday weekend on the right foot.photo 4-2photo 3-3Scott and I popped by the beach on our way to dinner at our new favorite place, Eventide in Seabright.photo 2-5How can you not love a place where the buzzer is a lobster?photo 1-5Arther got the better of most of our Fourth of July, so we spent the rainy day at the outlet mall.  When the sun did break through, I made sure our new, beautiful yard was putting it’s most patriotic face on.photo 5-2 We joined friends at a beach club for the evening.  Palm trees: native to Jersey, obviously.photo 4-3The rest of the weekend was spent beachin’, brunching, trying a new church, working on the house, catching up on TV shows, painting furniture, seeing friends and enjoying.photo 2-6 Basically, living free, loving America.  I hate to sound trite, but I truly am so grateful for and humbled by the freedoms we enjoy here thanks to the men and women in service, protecting us and our way of life.  photo 1-6