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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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!!

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!

Family Beach Day

I almost called this post “Irish People on the Beach.”  Saturday was our beach day with the family.  Such a different experience for Scott and I with the little ones running around!  No sleeping on the beach that day.photo 4-10

We had the whole family on the beach, even Nanny and Pop Pop!  That might be our biggest achievement of the weekend. 🙂

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Scott’s Aunt and cousins from Colorado were in town and it was such a pleasure spending time with them.  Those boys are so wonderful and could not have been better with the little ones.  And I found another kindred foodie spirit in Aunt Janine!  She knew more about the farmer’s market in town than I did.232323232fp83232>uqcshlukaxroqdfv6722477=6-2667-;9467253ot1lsiI also enjoy seeing my niece and nephews getting to spend more time together. And if I’m honest, I love hosting that because it is special time.  I LOVED spending time with my cousins growing up and whenever I did it was magical.  I don’t have a little one to contribute to the cousin gang so it makes me feel like I can still take part in it.

I see many more beach days in the future for these guys.  Owen and Liam are both such sweet boys.
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And Miss Avery has such a tireless, adventuresome spirit.
photo 1-12 photo 3-10 Jess told us that Owen wouldn’t wear hats, which is a shame since he has such lovely, fair skin.  Well, he didn’t seem to mind Aunt Becca’s fedora!  I put it on his head and he took off!photo 2-12

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It was a nice day and a nice change of pace for us.232323232fp83232>uqcshlukaxroqdfv62477=6-2667--;47-253ot1lsi232323232fp83232>uqcshlukaxroqdfv--6;=ot>2477=6-2667--;487253ot1lsi232323232fp83232>uqcshlukaxroqdfv6-63=ot>2477=6-2667--;484253ot1lsi232323232fp83232>uqcshlukaxroqdfv6829=ot>2477=6-2667--;47<253ot1lsiI’m hoping there are many more Shore days for us in the coming years.232323232fp83232>uqcshlukaxroqdfv659-=ot>2477=6-2667--;48<253ot1lsi