This and That

Apparently I don’t feel like being a “share-er” anymore! Here’s what’s been happening.

We went to my favorite concert EVER. Needtobreathe at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park. They were everything.

IMG_5571We went to Greece. For ourselves.

DSC00282We went to Delaware. For a wedding. Amazing dancing.

IMG_6067We had our fourth wedding anniversary. Scott bought me a trip to Greece for our anniversary.  I planned the trip to Greece for Scott for our anniversary. 🙂

We straight up quit doing work ON the house.  Now I’m buying pretty things FOR the house. Guess which I like better. I dare you.

We went to Bermuda. For a wedding. Bermudians=party!

IMG_6191I jumped on the Essential Oils bandwagon. Have only tried what came in the starter kit. I’ve ordered a few more for immune boosting.  I can’t handle Scott’s ongoing cough/sniffle that lasts all winter this year.

I started taking spin classes.  I love it. Great workout, but it’s such a mental game for me! The first two classes I almost broke down in tears.  I think I need to throw some yoga in for good measure.

Family time and mini golf with my pink-loving mini me.

IMG_6053We (I) have had my heart broken by Hokie football.

We (Scott) have had all our (his) dreams come true. The Mets are in the World Series. Lets Go Mets!

IMG_5683We saw Josh Turner right here in our hometown. His {deep} voice is just as good in person as it is on the radio. And it’s an excuse to wear cowboy boots in Jersey.

IMG_6043And I’ve knitted 6 scarves. Help.

Shotgun Rider

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen that Scott and I went to a Tim McGraw concert on Saturday.  And you might think, “What fun those two have!  So glad they are enjoying their weekend.”  To which I would say, “Fooled you!” IMG_5443

Don’t get me wrong, the concert was a blast. It was an absolute lifesaver from the sheer amount of home improvement that consumed our weekend.  I’m still finding paint and caulk on my arms and legs.  I think my hand will forever be a claw that can only hold a paintbrush.

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But. We have finally…FINALLY…finished every project we have started.  I’m so excited to share finished pictures this week.  This has been such a long, grueling process.  And frankly, I’m just so happy I married someone who I can do home projects with all day and turn around and head straight to a country concert together.  We weren’t sick of each other and had so much fun dancing the night away.

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Tim McGraw always puts on a good show.  You know all of his songs and can dance and sing along all night.  He’s like Kenny Chesney – always a good bet for a live show.

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And he looks darn good in a hat.IMG_5450

The “During” Stage of Life

{House} facelifts don’t just happen.  But weren’t those “After” pictures nice?  Working on the house has been consuming our weekends and weeknights for awhile now.  I wanted to be sure to document the people doing the “during” work, not just the “after” pictures.  Because one day we’ll be able to just enjoy our house and our weekends, and I don’t want to take that for granted.

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We have had some incredible help from our family and friends.  Look at this sooty fireplace.IMG_5416

My family visited for a weekend at the Shore, but cold, rainy weather turned it into a work weekend!  Hi Megan!  Poor girl got roped into re-painting our fireplace.IMG_5172

And it looks so much better!IMG_4317

Mom helped me weed.  ALL the weeds.  They are the absolute bane of my existence.IMG_5178

Dad and Scott replaced rotted boards on the deck. IMG_5175IMG_5174 IMG_5179

And then Scott and his dad re-stained the whole thing.  It’s a BIG deck.IMG_5232IMG_5245

We also painted our 2 downstairs bedrooms.  Somehow we talked our friends, Todd and Allie, into helping us.  IMG_5235

You go to bed thanking Jesus for that sort of blessing.IMG_5238 IMG_5239

And when it’s all done – or feels like it won’t end – I employ my good friend, tequila.IMG_5217We have one more weekend of housework to push through.  Send good thoughts, prayers and maybe tequila!

House Face Lift

We have been working on our house like crazy recently and we just finished some curb-appeal projects this weekend. Mainly, we painted the shutters black and stained the front porch.  Here’s the house, looking all spiffed up.  I couldn’t be happier with the new black shutters.  Buh-bye faded merlot eye sores! IMG_5412

Here is the “curb-appeal” progression. When we moved in to the jungle:Front Yard

Post-ripping out all of the trees and bushes.IMG_1253

After laying sod.IMG_1320

And the finished product!  With black shutters and a stained deck.  And pretty pink hydrangeas.  I’m debating painting the front door black (we have leftover paint).  Or a different color?  Thoughts?

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Flashback Friday: Cape May

It’s summer time dreaming around here. Just last weekend we commented that we skipped spring. Scott said it with dismay, and I said, “Good! That is what I grew up with!”  Northern Virgina skips rainy springs and skips straight to hot and humid.  I love hot, so I love that about it.  Well, the weather decided to drop 25+ degrees and rain for the past week here in Jersey.  Blergh.  And brrr.

So we’re looking back at our vacation to Cape May, NJ last summer.  The past 2 summers Scott and I met my family there as a sort of halfway meeting point.IMG_2002

The beaches there are just beautiful and never too crowded.  We stayed right across the street from the beach that year and that made ALL the difference.

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These two.  Always with the playing.IMG_2020

Our vacations are pretty low-key.  Lots of reading while sitting on the beach.IMG_3454

I started the Outlander series on this particular vacation.  I’m now on book four (five?).  I am happy to have a series and I love the show on Starz.  They brought it to life just like I imagined it!IMG_2102 IMG_2101

Here we have an Irishman not in his natural habitat (under the portico).IMG_2100

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We try to do a couple outings because not everyone has my skill for sitting in a beach chair for a week straight.  I highly recommend Cape May Brewery.  IMG_2028

They have great beers (not all IPAs which is my complaint with most microbreweries).  And their complimentary glasses are always a unique shape. IMG_2030

And they grow their own hops on the outside of the converted airplane hangar where they set up shop.IMG_2032

We also like to have at least one seafood dinner out.  IMG_2005

And new last year – SUPPING!  Or Stand Up Paddle Boarding.  No pics, since only “the kids” went and no one wanted to chance a dropped phone.  We did celebrate with post-supping bloody mary’s.IMG_2039

I earned mine.  I ran into a pylon. Twice. IMG_2042

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We have a family fantasy football league.  We got to do the draft together in-person that year, which is always fun.  My sister had her manager on the line, just like in Draft Day.  It doesn’t look like he’s happy with her choice.IMG_2037

Cape May has quite a few wineries, so we decided to try one.  I’d prefer not to type the name.IMG_2060

I don’t think the East Coast will rival the West Coast or Europe (or New Zealand – Sauvignon Blanc for the win) for wine anytime soon, but the winery was beautiful. Our sommelier/host was phenomenal and the sangria was good (mom and I took it home and mixed it with sprite!).

We asked everyone their favorite part of the vacation. Megan chose stand up paddle boarding.IMG_2078

Scott said his favorite part was getting a “shiner.” He and my sister were horsing around and Megan clocked him in the face.  Or he walked into her fist.  There was much debate.  Runner up was supping.IMG_2068 Mom appreciated that every single day was “paradise.”  I’m not sure we could have asked for better weather.

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And winding out the group, Dad and I both voted for the winery.  We both have a slight fascination with France and love to try cheese and wine pairings, so I’m not surprised.IMG_2079IMG_2084We visited the Cape May Lighthouse on our final day.  IMG_2116

It’s nice. You get a workout climbing 5,325,8754 stairs.  And you get to feel like you are on a field trip again.  I mean, there was bird watching.  Come on. IMG_2118

It was beautiful, I’ll give it that.IMG_2114

And I can always count on this one for comic relief.IMG_2107 Good vacation, family!!

Blush and Champagne

Two weeks ago, Scott and I were in VEGAS, BABY for Maria’s wedding!  We took a 5:30 am flight.  From Philadelphia.  We left our house at 3:00 am. I couldn’t talk about it leading up to it.  My father-in-law is an eminently helpful individual and would bring it up to talk through the logistics and details.  Scott would just nod, “Yes, that’s right, 5:30.  Yep, from Philly.  Yes, we figured out the parking.”  I would just walk in the other direction.  Not trying to be rude, but it was just my coping mechanism with that hour of the morning!  Here I am on flight #2, post-make up-application.

The flight into Vegas was a PARTY!IMG_4520

We stayed at The Venetian and after checking in, headed straight to the pool party at TAO.  This is so far from my realm of comfort.

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But it was a great way to get the wedding guests together in a Vegas atmosphere before everything started.

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We roomed with our new friends, Allie and Todd.  Allie is a fellow bridesmaid (thats how we met) and fellow Hokie.  She lives in the next town (coincidence!) and we decided we must be travel partners throughout all the Miami and Vegas travel for the wedding.IMG_4540

We introduced the husbands once before spending 3 nights in one room together.  It went well, but we couldn’t predict just how smashingly they ended up getting along.  Todd came into the room and casually said, “I brought American Flag bandanas.”  The room went dead silent.  And that was when I knew, everything was going to be just fine.IMG_4533After a 2:30 am wake up call and an afternoon in the sun with cocktails, all we could manage for dinner was burgers.  They were amazing – definitely try I Heart Burgers if you can.  They also had great orange crushes/margaritas.  Cause it’s Vegas.  This is a Seoul burger (with Kimchi and a fried egg).

And then we went to bed at 8:30. IMG_4549

The next day was nails and rehearsing for the girls and golf, gambling and celebrity-sighting for the boys.  Isn’t the day before your wedding such a surreal time?  It was fun to spend some quick quiet time with Maria.IMG_4560 IMG_4563

Josh came in during our photo shoot and well, grooms need love, too.

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The fabulous foursome snuck in a little time at the sports bar in the casino.  Did I mention that the Kentucky Derby AND the Mayweather fight were both that weekend?  In the biggest gambling city in the world?

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It was a show.IMG_4569

The girls were so busy with wedding stuff, that we barely got any Vegas time. So we really enjoyed our stroll to and from the rehearsal dinner down the strip.IMG_4574IMG_4577

The desert sunset was just beautiful.  And Las Vegas is really just a playground for adults.IMG_4582

This is becoming gratuitous, but humor me.  We were dressed up and had places to go!IMG_4847IMG_4841IMG_4614IMG_4635

Oh my word, the Bellagio fountains! I was in love.  We stayed for 3 shows.  IMG_4634

Hats off to the designers/choreographers.  IMG_4640

They had classic Vegas-Sinatra, Big Band and the Grand Finale was Whitney Houston singing the National Anthem. We loved it and talked about it for the rest of the weekend.  There may have been fountain-inspired dance moves at the wedding… IMG_4622

Now! The reason for the weekend!  Would you just LOOK at that champagne and blush perfection?

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Our bridesmaid gift was this adorable PJ set.IMG_4666

I love it and can see no reason to not always have adorable sleeping outfits. IMG_4660

Here is our beautiful bride!  We had a nice, leisurely time getting ready.  And in true Maria and Rebecca fashion, the two of us wound up hidden from the make up artists fixing our make up, while having a giggle fit.  Don’t stand between us and eyeliner and bronzer, mmkay?

Maria was a beautiful bride, inside and out.  I can’t say enough.  My iPhone photos don’t do it justice.IMG_4678

The day was just perfect, as was the venue.

IMG_4852IMG_4843These handsome gents were there waiting for us.  We couldn’t have asked for a better support team.

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The beautiful bride.  (She had a GoPro in her bouquet – brilliant!)IMG_4854

It was a very emotional, beautiful ceremony.  As you can tell by the bridesmaid caught mid-tear brush (that would be moi). IMG_4735

I always try to soak up the messages at weddings, because it makes you treasure your own marriage.

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Speaking of marriage – I wore my wedding shoes again and it was GLORIOUS. IMG_4719

BFFs.IMG_4724

I promise, we talked to other people!  There were some dear lifelong friends there and I soaked up every minute of it.IMG_4734

Patrick is the closest thing to a brother I had growing up.  It warms my heart that we are such good friends with each other’s spouses.  Jenny and I talked throughout the whole dang dinner.  And forget about small talk, this was heart-spilling stuff.  And Patrick basically tackled Scott when ‘Enter Sandman’ was played at the end of the night.  My heart could explode from the happiness. IMG_4691

Why didn’t I play Enter Sandman at my wedding? Can I even call myself a Hokie?IMG_4726

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Maria had some lovely details.  IMG_4702

I can’t get over the cocktail napkins…Maria loves Josh more.  Are you serious right now with the cuteness!?IMG_4706

Dear friends, old and new.

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The cool thing about sharing a middle school & high school with Maria?  Getting to reconnect with your best friend from 7th grade. And marveling that she married a kid you met in kindergarten. And remembering why you got along so well all those years ago.  Hi Thanh and Randy!

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Basically, what I’m trying to say is that we had a good time, to put it mildly.IMG_4721

The Strip by night.  IMG_4720It was a wonderful wedding and I’m glad to have shared in Maria and Josh’s special day.

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Best wishes, y’all!  LOVE you!

Bizzare-o Weekend at the Fitzgerald House

The past two weekends have been domestic bliss, I tell you.  Without an ounce of sarcasm.  We have stayed home, worked on the house, gone to church, caught up on movies, saw friends and enjoyed the glorious weekend sunshine-y weather.  I literally couldn’t want anything more out of my weekends.  Except a trip to Greece, I suppose.

Friday night, Scott and I went to one of our new local favorites, The Robinson Ale House.  We followed it up, no lie, with a viewing of How to Train Your Dragon 2.  If you ask me it was even better than the first one.  And apparently, dragons are just big cats.  Because Scott and I both kept laughing at the bizarre behavior similarities between the dragons and Prince.

Saturday was gloriously beautiful.  We hit up an estate sale (two lamps for $1 a piece), drove to the ocean and came home and put our new (to us) weight set to use.  Yes, that is right, I pumped some iron.  First time since a brief, week-long stint in weight training class in high school.  You know I promptly dropped that class in favor of aerobics.  Do they still offer aerobics as a legitimate class these days?  Anyways, I’m still sore.  I would love to know why my elbows hurt.

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And in the afternoon, Scott continued to build doorway headers as we slowly inch our way to a completed downstairs. I can’t wait to show pictures of the final product.  Especially considering the amount of painstaking work that goes into making an old house level.  IMG_4434

Believe it or not, this is what level/90 degree angles looks like.IMG_4432

And I planted a vegetable garden!  It’s success is doubtful, but I’m hoping to get some fresh veggies and a few gardening lessons out of it.  Lesson 1: Stick to the list you go to the store with, which was informed by garden research.  Don’t get fooled by the fact that they are selling brussels sprouts! Because you might come home to learn from Google that brussels are more of a fall crop and should not be planted in the heat.  Well then.  I planted spinach, mixed lettuce, cauliflower and the doomed brussels.  And some marigolds, since they are apparently the garden equivalent of a bouncer and “keep pests away.”

At one point, Scott came outside to inform me that Prince had escaped the deck and was halfway under a bush.  He pulled him out and then we saw a MOUSE run out from the bush!  So basically, my fluff ball went hunting. Outside. Without any claws or real world know-how.  And I lifted weights.  Bizarre-o land for sure.

I also finished a small makeover/DIY project. Our house came with this massive (4′ x 5′) mirror.

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So I used up some leftover Annie Sloan Antique White paint on the frame.

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And voila – it’s hung in our entryway, bouncing around more light and filling the wall nicely. You can see that the sunny weather didn’t last past the weekend, but I’d rather have sunny weekends than work weeks anyways.

IMG_4457Next up: Building a grey-washed shelf or table under the mirror.  And then pretty candles and vases and decorations. Hopefully my massive muscles and the aggressive mouse hunter don’t get in the way.