Thursday, May 28, 2009

working for THIS weekend!

i am so excited that this weekend is finally almost here. peter's mom is coming to visit us and has kindly offered to babysit for erik while peter and i go out for saturday night and all day sunday. so much to do in so little time, but it's going to be a fun and action packed day! we were initially planning on going to a movie saturday night and then have a nice dinner, but since the pens are going to be playing game 1 of the stanley cup finals on saturday night, we're going to search for somewhere good to watch the game. i think we'll probably still end up going to the movie, but maybe we'll go to a matinee at the waterfront before heading to washington. i am REALLY excited to have a night away with my hubby. it has been way way too long - well over 2 years! and then sunday is the comcast picnic at kennywood so we get free tickets, food and drinks. yay! and it looks like the weather is supposed to be nice too.

i still haven't uploaded many of my photos from memorial day weekend yet due to a host of computer/lack of time issues. we've been trying to get the house cleaned up and ready for our visitor, and at the same time get our computer cleaned up a bit and a new modem installed because our internet connection has been terribly spotty. and then something's happened to my cf card (from my rebel), and neither the camera nor the computer is recognizing it. i am bummed because i had a lot of pictures from around the house/neighborhood on there. i am going to talk to the pitt resnet people hopefully tomorrow and see if they can do anything to recover my files. they did such a good job with my computer that i am hopeful they will be able to help me with this problem too.

i did upload a few recent pictures last night. i'll save the family photos for another post, but here are a few others. i promise more will come soon, although it's not looking like i'll have much time during the weekend to work on it.

my aunt carol and uncle marshall have an awesome piece of property in waddy kentucky with some gorgeous flowers. i could have easily spent a day or more photographing them, however i just took a few minutes out of visiting family to take these.






and my favorites:


looking up

i have a thing for flowers in case you hadn't noticed. that's all for now. i need to get up and run around a little bit because it is getting late and my body is getting very restless! GO PENS!!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

home again

i haven't updated my blog since our trip to louisville, but just wanted to write that we made it home safe and sound. it was a good trip, exhausting and fulfilling at the same time. i will write more about it soon. i was trying to upload pictures last night, but my computer's hard drive was too full to transfer them from my camera's memory card so i spent my time backing up files and deleting them instead. i finally took the plunge and deleted several years (~40 GB) worth of photos to make room for the new ones. they're all backed up on my external hard drive, and the good ones are also stored on my flickr page, but it was still hard to delete them. i am paranoid that something will happen to years worth of memories. but they should be safe and sound!

as usual i find it difficult to get back into things upon returning from time away. i am putting together an order for some stem cells and all that i need to culture them. how exciting! i better get back to that. i will write more about our trip when i have more time and have some photos uploaded. i didn't take nearly as many as i would have liked to. i was pretty distracted for most of the time. but i did get some nice ones of grams and some of her great grandkids, as well as some others. for now, here is a really nice sunset photo with an interesting frame. i like this one a lot.

pittsburgh sunset - 15 may 2009

here are some teeny tiny forget me nots i found in our yard.


Thursday, May 21, 2009

memorial day weekend

we will be heading to louisville tomorrow morning, the whole crew of us. this includes my mom, peter, erik, adam, chrissy, morgan, marisa, maggie, and me. whew! i hope everything goes well. i am really looking forward to seeing my family and showing erik my "ancestral home." it will be very good to introduce erik to more of his family, particularly grams. i told him last week that we're going to see grams this weekend and he's mentioned it every day. he somehow knows that grams is special, and that getting to be with her is also very special indeed. i'm sad that it can't happen more often.

the past few weeks have been somewhat of a blur. i've been working on a new project at school that is taking a lot of time and not progressing at all. i hear this is normal, but it still bums me out and makes me feel more stress than i would like. hopefully i will be able to get something to work out eventually, and even more hopefully i will be able to get enough work done to graduate before i'm 40. good grief!

two of my photos that were chosen for the pittsburgh 250 project were picked to be displayed at the new childrens hospital campus in lawrenceville. only 60 were chosen, and i was told that very few people had more than one photo chosen so i am pretty excited about that. i have been collaborating with someone at the new research center over there and had a chance to stop by the hospital today, but unfortunately i couldn't find my photos. if anyone reading this happens to be going there in the future, please keep and eye out for my pictures and let me know if you see them! the ones that are on display there are:

phantom's revenge


monkey in the middle

i haven't uploaded many photos this week since i've been busy/preoccupied. i'm sure i will have tons of pictures from our upcoming trip, so that'll be fun. i'm hoping the weather will be good on saturday when we visit my aunt mary's farm because i would love for all the kids to get to see the horses ... and for me to take their pictures!

i almost forgot that erik got his haircut this week and he did so well! he sat very still most of the time and i think it came out nicely. here are the before, during, and after shots:




Tuesday, May 19, 2009

my mother's day

i have put it off long enough! i feel like i'll never give my mother's day 2009 a proper post, so i'll do a quick one now. that's just me, being the procrastinator that i am. in case you're interested, you can see a set of photos from last sunday here. it's a small selection of the over 630 photos i took that day, but i think they're the best!

we had a very nice mother's day weekend. the 'celebration' started saturday night with a quiet take-out dinner from one of my favorite restaurants (lulu's), two good bottles of wine, and a movie of my choice (nick and norah's infinite playlist - loved it!). on sunday, we went to kennywood with my mom, my brother adam, sister-in-law chrissy, and nieces morgan, marisa, and maggie. it was peter's idea to go, and i have to say at first i was a little skeptical. be we really had the BEST time. i think every single one of us had a blast. the weather was nice and cool so we didn't bake in the sun, and the park was so quiet that we didn't have to wait to get on almost anything. it was awesome! erik was big enough to ride lots of things this year that he couldn't last year, and probably the best part of my day was watching him have fun on the rides. i also had a blast going on phantom's revenge with my niece morgan for the first time, along with several other rides.

here are a few highlights.

erik's first picture with kenny the kangaroo:

a really sweet picture of erik giving maggie a kiss:
erik sneaking a kiss

all the kids with cowboy joe (maggie not so happy!):

me and my boy on his first ride on the jack rabbit:


the four kiddos in kiddieland:

on pounce bounce:

it was great watching erik and maggie enjoy themselves on the rides so much!
erik and maggie on the kiddie whip

unkie newt and aunt chrissy took erik on the log jammer:


morgan rode phantom's revenge for the first time:



and the racer:

the racer

and i attempted to take a few more 'arty' photos:
the wave swinger

the thunderbolt

phantom's revenge


chair lift and phantom's revenge at sunset

it was a GREAT day with my GREAT family! i am so lucky to have every one of them!!!

Monday, May 18, 2009

erik at the playground last weekend

i made another mosaic! i still haven't updated my blog for realz. i will get there sometime soon! but for now:

erik at play

Saturday, May 16, 2009

it smells like pittsburgh

pittsburgh is a beautiful city, but it sure smells awful sometimes! here's a photo of tonight's sunset:

pittsburgh sunset - 15 may 2009

i know i haven't updated my blog in awhile. i don't think anyone really reads it anyhow! but i will try to write something this weekend. we've been having lots of fun lately. please feel free to check out my flickr page, which i update much more regularly than my blog. i have uploaded tons of photos from the past week, so please have a look! hopefully i will return for a full length blog tomorrow.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

in the mood for mosaics

last weekend we took erik to the big playground at schenley park and i took some cute pictures of him with my rebel. here is a mosaic of some of my favorites that i think came out really well:

erik mosaic

so after that, i kind of got the mosaic bug again and thought i'd make a couple more flower mosaics because they're pretty and they make me happy. i went with the "thin vertical frames" layout because i hadn't tried it before, and tried to pick some of my recent flower pictures that would best suit that format. i like the way this one turned out:

flower tiles

i tried another with a theme of "blue and white" flowers, but i am not sure how i feel about this one. i think i definitely could choose better pictures. working on this mosaic made me realize that i really need to properly organize and tag the photos on my flickr account. what do you think of this one?

blue and white

this should be a good weekend (fingers crossed)! sunday is mother's day and we're going to kennywood - yay! the weather is supposed to be really nice too ... not too hot, not too sunny, and not rainy. and my hubby has promised me a nice quiet takeout dinner together after erik goes to bed tomorrow night, a bottle two bottles several bottles of wine, and a movie that i will likely get to choose. sounds perfect! i think we should have a mother's day every month!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

i love this kid!


yeah, falling behind on the blog as usual. i will try to put something together (for my own benefit) tonight, but we'll see. i'd like to blog about some of the neat things i got to do/see in minneapolis still, but i just haven't been in the mood!

upcoming things that i am psyched about:

--> kennywood with the fam on mother's day (this sunday)!

--> trip to louisville, ky for memorial day weekend!

--> comcastic kennywood picnic in a couple of weeks plus an overnight stay at a place as yet to be determined WITH peter and WITHOUT the kid that i love (thanks to grandma)! this will be the very first time peter and i have spent a night away together since erik was born. that's over two years, people!

--> the remote possibility of a summer vacation hopefully at some point!

yay kennywood twice in the month of may! i hope i survive the skycoaster with my niece morgan! oh yeah, and i am super psyched to take erik on the jack rabbit for the first time ... as long as it doesn't scare him too much!

the thunderbolt

Saturday, May 2, 2009

more on minnesota

tuesday was the first day of class and it was a long one, from 7:30 am until almost 6 pm. it was good though. there were only 5 people in the class, and they were all great, and the people who did the training were very helpful and generally nice. after class was over, i walked back to my hotel (the days inn) and got to skype with peter and erik again. it was really nice except that my connection there was terrible so it kept dropping the call. but it was great to see them even though i was far away. after that, i was hungry so i decided to go and find something to eat. i planned on going to a vietnamese restaurant that was within walking distance (since i didn't have a car). as i was walking out of the hotel, i heard someone yelling my name. i thought i was going crazy .... looked all around and didn't see anyone. but then i saw a window at the hotel opening and closing and it turns out it was naimesh from my class. he was thinking about going out too and just happened to be looking out the window when i was going by. we decided to see if anyone else from our class was hungry, but we didn't know their names so he went back to his room to get them. as i was waiting, another guy from our class anthony came down the elevator and was on his way out to get something to eat too, so the three of us took the days inn shuttle downtown to this place called brit's pub which was a (seemingly) authentic british tavern with a good selection of beers on tap and a menu full of english food.


i had a scottish lager:


and fish and chips:


which were both delicious! after dinner we walked around for awhile downtown. it was a beautiful night, clear and not too cool. minneapolis is very nice, clean, and was surprisingly quiet for that early in the evening. we saw the target headquarters and stopped inside the target store which had two floors and a cart escalator.


there was even a whole store devoted to scientology, which i found completely absurd. here is anthony posing in front:


as anthony, naimesh, and i were waiting for the shuttle:


i was so excited to notice that across the street in the target headquarters lobby there was a very large chihuly sculpture. i went back over to photograph it, but unfortunately the building was locked so i could only get a picture through the doors.


that was a really fun evening! the next day was another very long day of class, and dinner with the two directors of the course and a guest speaker who was an old friend of theirs. we went to this place called loring pasta bar in an area of minneapolis called dinkytown that was an old drug store and the building where bob dylan once lived. it was a really interesting building with very eclectic decor. i would have loved to have spent more time taking pictures, but i didn't want to embarrass myself in front of the class so i didn't. here are the few that i took.

the original drug storefront:


my dinner, delicious herb-crusted salmon with roasted cherry tomatoes and asparagus:


the live entertainment was a man playing a variety of instruments. i swear at one point he was playing jingle bells:


the bathroom was really cool and strange:


unfortunately the three professors were more interested in talking to each other than the rest of us, and we sat for more than an hour after we were all finished eating while they chatted and managed to thwart all of our attempts at breaking into the conversation. i wanted to get a chance to talk to erik on the phone before he went to bed and was getting tired of just sitting there, so i pulled out my phone and started text messaging at the table. luckily they took the hint and we got up to leave. i know it was rude, but most of us were thankful that the dinner was finally over!

thursday was our last day of class, and we had a really really interesting lecture from the guy who runs the ips cell core lab there and more laboratory sessions and other lectures. it was a great class, very intense, and went by way too fast! i wasn't sure what i wanted to do on my last evening in minneapolis. we had talked about getting dinner at a persian restaurant across the street from our hotel, but naimesh really wanted to go to the mall of america. i did too, but wasn't sure about navigating the light rail system. it turns out it was amazingly simple, and naimesh lives in nyc so i left it up to him to figure it all out. we had the days inn shuttle drop us off at the station in front of the metrodome, and took the light rail all the way to the station at the mall. here's naimesh on the train:


at first i wasn't all that impressed. sure it was a HUGE mall, but it seemed like any other mall ... until i saw the amusement park. i was amazed at how big (and FUN) it looked! the rollercoaster was so cool and i am a little bummed out that i didn't ride it. they even had a log ride, all right inside the mall!




there was also a huge lego store with lots of lego sculptures. i got peter a darth maul lego pen. :)



but my favorite part by far was the aquarium. i wasn't sure if i wanted to go in. it cost $20 and it was starting to get late. we hadn't had dinner yet and we wanted to be back at the university at a reasonable hour to meet anthony for beers. naimesh wanted to go in, so i went along for the ride and i was so glad that i did. it was really great ... much much bigger than i would have anticipated. we also got there just in time to see them feeding the seahorses which was really neat. i took tons of pictures. here are just a few of them:








this one's my favorite of the bunch:

starfish love

we made our way back to the hotel and found anthony at the leaning tower of pizza next to the days inn. we had some great local brews (surly furious) and a late dinner. it was a great last night, and we said goodbyes and i went back to my room and packed and stayed up way too late.

i had a direct flight back to pittsburgh and it was happily uneventful. i was lucky to be sitting on the right side of the plane to see the city as we flew in. here's a photo i took of my hometown:

home sweet home

i can't even begin to express how great it was to be home. i actually missed pittsburgh, and i especially missed my two favorite guys. i got some really great hugs and smiles and had a full weekend with my family to look forward to.