Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Keeping Busy

One thing I won't miss about Pittsburgh...the rain! It's been pouring down here all night, and so far, all day. I had my umbrella break on me on my way into work this morning, which in turn forced me to run in my high heels to get into the building semi-dry, while juggling my heavy purse that was carrying my work laptop and a box I had to mail to Ross later. What a morning!

But regardless, it's weird being back home in an empty house. I have many things to accomplish though, luckily, so I'm definitely keeping busy.

The house, for one, needs to be put on the market soon. My father-in-law and a local handyman he's friends with are finishing up a few last minute projects on the house to get it in tip-top shape before we list it. There were just a few unfinished things that Ross & I never got around to which will make quite a difference for open-houses, so I'm happy they are finishing them for us! I'm even a little jealous that we didn't do these things sooner!! Once they finish up, I can't wait to get it on the market, and see what kind of feedback we get. Hopefully we get a quick offer, but I'm also telling myself to not get my hopes up just so I'm not disappointed if we don't, and I have to stay here longer than planned. Either way, I'm anxious to get the house listed!

Secondly, my best friend is getting married in June, so me and her other bridesmaids, also my other closest girlfriends, are planning her shower, which will be at the end of March (which I just realized is only 1 month away!). So I'll be busy getting all the final details planned. I'm so excited to get to host this for her and it's so much fun having my other girlfriends be a part of it to help me with the planning! It'll be a great day and I can't wait!!

Other than that, I guess I'm enjoying some of my free time, not having any obligations to cook dinner, watching any chick flicks that I want, etc. :) I gotta live it up a bit because I know Ross is! ...As he keeps insisting the apartment is an all-out Bachelor Pad until I move down. Thanks hun! So this road goes 2 ways!

But for now, I'll keep on dreaming of the warm weather Ross is enjoying, and dreaming of the Caramel Brownie Chunk ice cream I have waiting for me at home for dinner :) Who says that's not a balanced meal?!


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Chillin' in Bham

So after a 2-day trek to Alabama and a very tense and stressful situation with Budget Truck Rental, Ross and I are finally settled in at the apt. I ended up having to drive Ross' car behind him the entire way since the car dolly did not work for his car, nor my car, for that matter! But other than that, and after lots of yelling and screaming at Budget, the rest of the trip went smoothly. Most of the boxes are now unpacked and its a sunny 60 degrees outside. Life is pretty great. There's no tv or internet yet but we both have smart phones to supplement that. Its actually kind of relaxing to think outside the box about what to do and not be a victim of tv due to boredom :)  We're enjoying our time together before I leave on monday, which I'm not looking forward to.  I'm eager to begin this next chapter and feel like these next few months will be hard to concentrate on! But anywho, I'm gonna go grab Ross to join me for a Shamrock Shake at McD's :) Lata!


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Today is the Day...

The truck is being packed.
The car is being towed.
We're off tomorrow to make the long haul south.
I've counted a million and one boxes that are going with us,
And a million and one feelings of anticipation of what's to come next.
I'm happy for Ross and his immediate move;
Sad for myself to have to come back to Pittsburgh without him.
But I'm going to make the next 5 days count.
Gonna do my best to not be stressed
And just enjoy living in this moment,
Because I really feel like we're starting a new chapter.
And it's bittersweet to leave our closest friends and family behind.
But I hope we find more of ourselves in Sweet Home Alabama :)


p.s. - I downloaded a blogger app to keep me connected on the road, so stay tuned :) A girl's gotta have something to do during a 16-hour drive!!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

My Photography Beginning

My cousin Angela asked me a few months ago when I bought my DSLR if I'd be up for taking newborn photos when Giana, her first child, arrived. So on Sunday, Ross & I set out to Angela & Dave's house to meet Giana for the first time, and to take some photos.  She was precious to say the least and only 17 days old. I was so excited to finally have a subject that wasn't Dakota!! I would've liked to take pictures of Giana sooner, but with the move Ross & I are preparing for, we were just too busy to do it any sooner! Giana was quite the cryer for the first hour, but after a bit of coddling and feeding time, she calmed down enough to get some decent photos :)

I'm the first to admit how FAR I am from being a professional after overexposing a ton of shots, taking too long with settings, and some of the pictures being completely out of focus! ...But after 600+ photos (200 of which I instantly deleted), here are some of the best shots. I had so much fun with Giana and can't wait to find more 'test' subjects so that I can keep practicing!  If only all subjects could be this adorable :)







Having Fun at Work

All work and no play is no fun at all! Every now and then I get creative on keeping myself busy at work :) A few months ago, when Ross could not see the light at the end of the un-ending job stress tunnel that was his past recruiting job, I had a little fun in Microsoft Word and made him his own personal flyer for work. His job was stressful to say the least, and sometimes humor was all I could offer to help him get through the roughest of times when words of encouragement no longer had an effect!

So back in November, I had a little fun, hoping he would post this on his office door for all to see (but sadly did not,'ll see to the bottom :)

So after a good laugh, Ross showed it to two of his closest coworkers, one of them being his former administrative assistant when he was in the HR Generalist role. She loved it as well, and while currently not meshing well with Ross' replacement at the time (who none of us understandly liked since they let Ross go and hired this new whack of a job who didn't even know basic HR 101 to replace Ross), Ross' admin asked for her own flyer! haha  It was kind of fun to make one from an Admin perspective...something I could give great insight to :)
And lastly, this week, I thought it only made sense to get Ross prepped for what's to come at his new job at US Steel, so I made him a new flyer! I think we both like this one the best! Perhaps I've found my new side business?! HA

 Haha...I hope the discretionary advisory was readable and you had a good laugh : )


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Fun with Photoshop

Since the new addition of my DSLR, I've been having a lot of fun learning how to use it, and actually getting to enjoy using Photoshop to ENHANCE my photos, and not completely fix them! I still have a LONG way to go with understanding my camera, but it's been a lot of fun so far :)  I even bought a new lens for my camera with some Christmas money, and have finally taken the chance to test this puppy out! Let's just say I LOVE it and am obsessed with it for such a neat little, inexpensive lens.

Enter my only willing (and difficult!!) practice model....Dakota. I even dressed her up just for the fun of it. HAHA Poor dog. Don't worry, she got way too many treats!!

So out of 93(!) are the best before and afters:

I was able to white out the background using a technique I saw over on BowerPower.  I saw it months ago and it stayed on my mind until I was finally able to try it myself :)

Sadly, making the 'before & after photo collage' in photoshop, took me longer than the entire session! haha It's all a learning experience!

She was NOT happy wearing the hat. It quickly came off!

And then the rest of 84 photos, pretty much look like this.....

Haha....o well. It was fun to say the least and I'm psyched to have one more technique under my rookie belt!


Friday, February 10, 2012

A Weekend Getaway to a New Beginning

Out of my huge to-do list, I've managed to neglect the blog.

Apparently finding auto insurance quotes, motorcycles insurance quotes, moving truck rental quotes, internet provider quotes, turning on electricity at the apt., and getting renter's insurance asap for the apt....... are all more important then updating the world (ok, there's only like 3 of you who actually read this, hehe) about our trip to AL!

But the trip to AL was a huge success! One, because we found an apartment we both love, Two, because we talked said apartment down on the price a bit (go US for negotiating :), and Three, because we're both even more excited about the move now due to the gorgeous weather we lucked out on while there, and the nice area we found to live in now I say....SELL OUR HOUSE QUICK! B/c guess what ya'll (you like how I sneak in the southern lingo?!), I can't move to AL until the house is off our hands.  I guess one mortgage and one rent payment add up pretty quickly! So Ross gets to go off and enjoy the sunshine while I sit here and freeze away. Call me Jealous. Or Kristin. I go by either :)

But on to our trip....

We arrived Thursday morning to high 60's and sunshine. Apparently we should've packed more t-shirts! Our hotel room at the Residence Inn by Marriott was awesome, although Ross swears the Embassy Suites was much better, but I wasn't about to start complaining considering it was company expensed! Here are a few pics of the room:

Let the apartment hunting begin!

We had a Nissan Sentra rental car. It had only 7 miles on it when we got it, fresh from the dealer....HELLO new car smell :) And that was about where the good of the car stopped. We dropped it off with 450 miles on it. Whew...that was a lot of driving in 4 days!!

Our hotel from the main highway:

Ross' previous stay in Bham at Embassy Suites. I have to DID look better than ours from the outside, haha.

Our apartment community.... Our garage is on the left of the pic, and our apartment is cut off on the right of the pic.

We're the bottom unit.

A small pathway out to the 'courtyard' area...

That's our back 'patio' that walks directly out to the back courtyard, aka....Dakota's yard....

Sadly...I didn't think to get any pics of the INSIDE of the apartment. O well :) You'll just have to come visit!

City line of Bham....I think I count 4(?!) skyscrapers. Geesh.

Ross drove me out to where he'll be working. Definitely not a town you'd want to live in.

 This is the administration building he's working in....

 This road leads out to all the steel-making plants. We didn't have access so we only did a drive-by!

Logan's Roadhouse = Yummy Food!

And throwing peanut shells on the floor!! Here Ross is building up his pile, haha...

The waitress thought he was trying to be polite and collecting them to not make a mess. Oh, if she only knew the scheme he was planning!

Haha...and don't worry, his pile was about twice as large once he was ready....

Firebird Grill had awesome steaks! Company expensed? Yes Please! This was our splurge :) This is where Ross' Director brought him when Ross was in town for the interview, and Ross wanted me to try it out.

 Wine & Beer sold in the grocery store? CHECK!

Ross' new hot spot...a fishing lake stocked with bass, catfish and a few others.

Do you dare drive to the other side? No thanks. Not in our poor lil' Nissan, lol. But I guess it actually wasn't as deep as it looks....we saw a mini van go through with no fear!

Lastly, we took a short hike the last day to see Peavine Falls in Oak Mtn. State Park. Very hard to capture a photo, but it was a fun little adventure.

And the road leading up to the falls had an awesome overlook.

The end!