Brian and Kelly’s Cross Country Adventures

Life in Baltimore

Happy Easter! April 24, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — eastkowski @ 6:11 am

I hope everyone is having a good Easter. Brian and I are going to Mass and then eating lots of Easter candy. I will also be drinking a pop since it’s been 40 days! :) We also got some special treats in the mail from the family yesterday. I always enjoy that. For dinner we are getting together with a few people who Brian works with. It should be a nice day.

I also want to say Happy Birthday to my cousins, Jordan and Bryan who’s birthday’s are this week. 14 and 21! I can’t even believe it. In fact, lets not talk about it because that just means I keep getting older too…

I hope the Easter Bunny was good to you!

Love, Kelly, Brian, & Moose


Kelly’s running a 5K?! April 19, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — eastkowski @ 5:10 pm

Yep, you read that right. I’m doing it. This was a decision that was made today. Here are some questions I asked myself today:

Have I ever been a runner? No.

Do I like running? No.

So, why in the world would you do this? Let me explain…

My co-workers and I have been doing positive, healthy things together for the last few months. We were doing weight loss and exercise goals. We all went in with lofty goals, which we didn’t quite reach. I will say that everyone weighs less than when they started and is exercising much more than when we started. There have been a lot of positive changes. We were finishing this project up and decided that we want to begin another one after Easter. A co-worker suggested that we do the couch to 5K program together. (If you don’t know what that is click here). Especially since none of us are runners at this point. Okay… I was persuaded. I could do what the program said. It’s baby steps to being able to run. Then we decided that if we are doing all this work, we should actually run a 5K. We looked for one in the area around the time we would finish our couch to 5K program. We found the Women’s Classic 5K. You can see the details here:

The race is to raise money for women’s health, especially assisting women while going through cancer treatment. We have decided to push ourselves and try to do the fundraising with it. We do not have our team fundraising page up yet, but when we do I will post here and I will email many of you who read this. Don’t worry, I will keep you all updated on the progress!

I’m pretty nervous about the whole thing. I can also come up with a million reasons why I can’t… but I’m determined, and with my team I’m sure we can do it. :) Who knows, maybe I’ll even like running by the end of it! (Doubtful…)

In other news, things are trucking along here. I have been going to the gym and doing spinning, bosu, step aerobics, and the elliptical. I haven’t lost 20 pounds or anything, but I feel better. I feel like I say this every time, but Brian is ridiculously busy with school and work. He has been working so hard and I can’t wait to see it all pay off for him. I know he can’t wait for school to be done. Mr. Moose had his annual vet visit (read: expensive!). Turns out he has a small cist on his shoulder that needs to be removed. Nothing too serious, but it does need to be done. That’s about it for now!

Love, Kelly, Brian & Moose


Civic Duty March 20, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — eastkowski @ 5:48 pm

I hope everyone had a great St. Patrick’s Day! We made Corned Beef and Cabbage! Are you surprised at me? Haha. We made a slow cooker recipe the day before. (Brian had class on St. Patrick’s Day so we made it early). I helped Brian with it, but he was in charge of the beef. I think he was pretty happy with the results. We had quite a bit after it was all said and done so he took a lunch to one of his co-workers. A co-worker who has a wife that doesn’t make meat for the family either! They do fish and seafood from what I understand though.

My St. Patrick’s Day was spent at the county courthouse. Nope, I’m not in trouble. I was called to perform my civic duty. I got there bright and early and sat around and waited. I checked facebook every 2 minutes, watched a very old movie, and read books and magazines. After lunch I was called in to the selection process. I was very nervous about all of this. After a very long selection process, I was chosen for jury. Then we only heard the opening statements before they sent us home for the day. This lead to a second day of jury duty. :( It was not a fun experience. Let me just say, that this guy was guilty.  After deliberating for over 3 hours, we decided that the State didn’t prove it so he wasn’t convicted. It was very frustrating. Friday’s are not a good day to miss at work so I felt bad putting the extra work on my co-workers. Lucky for me, we have a great team and they covered for me. My boss is also about to have a baby any day and we are very excited for her!

Last month we went on our WV ski trip. It was a great mountain. We had a lot of fun. There were 3 couples, including Eric and Amanda. We always have a good time when we vacation with them. The mountain was bigger than anything I have ever been on. I’m very glad that we went.

This weekend has been great. After (finally) getting home from JD on Friday we sat on the balcony and enjoyed the nice weather. Saturday I went to the gym and then dragged Brian around the mall. :) We left with lots of good loot and Brian should be good for the summer now. (I think he planned it that way so he wouldn’t have to go shopping again! ha!) After that we watched The Social Network and hung out at home. Today we played tennis. Then I did a little spring cleaning, including cleaning out the closet. After that some nice home made dinner and fresh baked cookies for dessert.

Hope you all have had a great weekend as well and are enjoying this weather!

Love, Kelly


It’s snowing in Baltimore January 30, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — eastkowski @ 9:19 pm

We got lots of snow this past week. About 12″. It was enough to have 2 snow days around here. I enjoyed the first one and accepted it. In fact, I was quite productive around the house. Then there was a second one. I start to get stir crazy and also annoyed at using vacation days for that. Oh well, it is what it is. We did get to meet our upstairs neighbors (while digging cars out) who seem very nice. Here’s a few photos of it.

The start

The end result. Many trees broke and people abandonded cars in the middle of the road!


Before we got all this snow we went skiing with some friends at Roundtop in PA. We had fun and it really helped me feel better about our upcoming WV trip. It’s good to get a warm up in! One of the friends we went with had never been skiing before, so we taught him the basics. He did great and really enjoyed it. Looks like we have some new skiing buddies. We hope to try out a few more places around here.


Skiing at Roundtop



At work things are getting a little hectic. In the last two weeks we have had 1 person leave, 1 person put in her 2 week notice, 1 intern start (who I am supervising), and 1 new temp start. We are also bringing on about 2-3 new staff members that we are working on interviewing for. And did I mention that my boss is going on maternity leave in March? On top of that we still don’t know what is going on with the grant that I am supposed to be working on. It’s a bit of an extension on what I was previously doing. We received the money because they were so happy with how my previous grant had gone. (Yay!) However, we have been having some contract issues. I’m also having a hard time recruiting. I’m torn about it all. I of course want the extra funding for the company and because it will mean I can stay where I am. I don’t want it because it is becoming a major time crunch with these contract issues. Also because of the recruiting issues. We will see. I have a feeling it will work out, so I need to keep plugging away at recruiting appropriate candidates.

Also at work we have started our own “Biggest Loser” competition. It does not follow Biggest Loser in any way. Four of us have set a 12 week goal. This includes weight loss and exercise amounts. It’s only been about a week, but it’s pretty exciting. It has been so helpful to have both some competition and support. It’s so much easier when everyone is in the same boat. This has also inspired me to join a gym for the first time. Crazy, right? I think so a little. I have an express membership (read: cheaper!) which allows me to go to 4 different locations if I choose too. They offer lots of group classes which is what I am interested in. I also have two female friends who already go there so now I will be meeting them at least twice a week for classes. My goal is to go an additional 2 times on my own per week. I tried spinning for the first time. It was much harder than I anticipated. I am also a bit more out of shape then I thought! ha! I am also going to check out the Zumba class and BodyStep. I’m pretty excited about it all. They are also offering an adult ballet class starting in March. I’m pretty interested in getting back into dance for fun.

If you are looking for a free way to count calories or track food and exercise I recommend Livestrong. It is really great for a free program, and it’s what we are using at work.

Other than that, we are looking forward to our ski trip the 10th-13th in WV with the other Eastman couple and another couple from MI. Should be a great time. I’m sure I’ll do a post about that when we return. :)

Love and miss you all! ~Kelly


New Adventures January 15, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — eastkowski @ 12:58 pm

If you are on Facebook, I’m sure you’ve noticed all the new crafty like things I have been up to. I don’t really know what has inspired me to do all this, but I’ve taken on some new things. I’m finding it fun and satisfying when I accomplish something new.

For Christmas I received an ice cream maker attachment for my Kitchen Aide mixer. It has been fun! The first time I tried did not go well. However, it was a bad recipe and not so much that I didn’t do it right. I learned my lesson and used one of the Kitchen Aide recipes (instead of something random off the internet) the next time. I successfully made cookies and cream ice cream. Homemade! It was a little more work then I expected, but not bad. You should have seen my face when I tasted it and yelled out “it tastes like real ice cream!” Hahaha. I was pretty proud of myself. I have also made a blueberry sorbet. If the next time you see us we have gained 50 lbs, you’ll know why. ;)


Making the ice cream



I also used my Christmas money to purchase a sewing machine. I have been thinking about doing this for over a year now. I’ve used a sewing machine once or twice before, but nothing extensive. This came about because I would like to be able to hem my own pants. Much more convenient (and cheaper!!) then taking them to the tailor every time. So, I shopped around and did some research and purchased myself a Brother CS-6000i. It’s a computerized machine and pretty simple to use. I also bought a book called the Sew Everything Workshop that has been very helpful. The first half is all about using your machine, fabric, cutting, and the basics. Then there are about 20 beginner projects that I could actually use. The first thing I decided to try were pillows. They did not come out perfect of course, but I’m pretty happy for it being my first real sewing project. I think next I’m going to make a wrap skit that is in the book.


My new machine

The first project, a pillow. (Still needs to be stuffed)



On top of the ice cream and the pillows, I finally completed my first afghan. Yep, a little over a year after learning my first crochet stitch, I made an afghan. Thanksgiving 2009 Grandma taught me a few basics when she came out to visit (along with the cannoli cream recipe!). Since then I have done a few small projects, like hats, scarfs, potholders, dishrags, and fingerless gloves. All have been very basic. I found a very simple afghan project and with the help of YouTube videos, taught myself another stitch. It got a little tedious and made me appreciate all the work that Grandma has put in the many afghans she has made for the family. I learned that I won’t do this one again. I didn’t like having to sew the strips together at the end. I’d rather make a continuous pattern. This was also the first time I learned to change colors too.


The finished product. (Before tucking in the tails)



So, don’t’ be surprised if you get a few homemade items from me next Christmas! :)


Accomplishments January 9, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — eastkowski @ 12:56 pm

Christmas Moose

The holidays are over. Sometimes life just goes so quickly! We had a great (but exhausting) time in Michigan visiting our family and friends. Sometimes we leave and I can’t believe how much we crammed in even though I feel like I only spent about 5 minutes with each person! Bottom line is that I’m so grateful that we are able to go home to see everyone at Christmas. After Christmas is usually the longest time we have between seeing family, which makes it so hard to say goodbye. I will admit that it has been nice to be back in our own bed and in our regular routine. Now I’m looking forward to our WV ski trip in February and the visits that I’m sure family will start to book with us (hint hint)! Just let us know and we will put you in the books. ;)

Grandma W, me, Mom Christmas Eve

Us on Christmas Day at Dad's House

Jen and Kevin on Christmas Day

We spent our first New Years Eve away from Michigan. It was a little strange! It was low-key but still fun. We went to a small gathering at a friend’s house. It was nice. We were with our closest friends in Baltimore. Now that it is a new year, everyone is blogging, tweeting, and posting about what their new years resolutions are. I don’t usually get into that stuff. It has got me thinking about what we want to do and accomplish this year though. I’m working on a list of things to help keep us accountable and to give us things to look forward too. Brian thinks I’m nuts of course, but that’s nothing new!  He usually humors me anyway. :) It ranges from small things, (like clip more coupons) to the bigger things (like work goals), to the fun stuff (like visit VA wineries and spend a day in Philly). There are lots of things in between of course. I don’t really want to call them resolutions, but I think it will be fun. It’s easy to say we are going to do something and then put it off. I think if I put this list on the fridge and see it everyday, it will help me to put these things into action. It also gets me excited about the upcoming year.

Some of our friends on NYE doing the "Chandler Bing face"

So, what do YOU want to accomplish this year? (Make sure you put visit Brian and Kelly on that list!)


Happy Holidays! December 6, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — eastkowski @ 6:28 pm

Thanksgiving was a lot of fun. I was fairly homesick that week, but we
got together with another couple and made a traditional thanksgiving
dinner which was a lot of fun. Brian remembered a few tricks that
Grandma taught him last year! ;) We also sat on the roof at their
apartment which was a great view of the city. They live near the
football stadium. You can our day below.

Guys cooking the Turkey

Rooftop View

MSU Football has been doing very well in case you haven’t noticed! :)
We have been watching the games when we can on Saturdays. It’s nice to
know a place that always has the game on.

We went the Sunday after Thanksgiving to get a Christmas tree. It was
a much different experience then it is in Michigan. We went to the
closest cut your own tree place to us. When we pulled up I thought we
were in front of the new or baby trees. I was mistaken. Those were the
trees! It was fine for us, since we needed an apartment sized tree,
but he just doesn’t grow them like we do in Michigan! There were lots
of fat ones but only two kinds so we ended up with a blue spruce. If
you know me, that is my least favorite Christmas tree. I prefer a
Scotch Pine, but he didn’t have any at all. Doesn’t matter though, we
had fun and our tree looks great in our apartment. This is the first
time we have put up a tree since we left Michigan.

Brian the Lumberjack

Last weekend we went to Christmas in Fells. The local businesses
compete in an eggnog competition and we tasted a few. We also tried a
new restaurant and then watched Duff from Ace of Cakes light up the
square. After that there was a lighted boat parade in the harbor.
After that we had to go and get a hot toddie to warm up . ;) Santa
comes in on a tug boat! Only in Baltimore! haha. Here are some blurry
pictures of Duff and the rest of the evening.

Hot Toddie!

Lights in the Square

Lighted Boat Parade

Duff lighting the square.

Duff on the right

Tug Boat

Another Tug Boat

Merry Christmas from Brian & Kelly

I have been watching and DVRing my fill of Christmas movies, and Brian
has been very busy studying and working. Christmas will be a nice
break for him before he starts another semester. Only one year to go!
(Although that feels like a long time for him right now.) Next year at
this time we will be celebrating his graduation. I’m so proud of him
and the hard work he is putting in.

Only 17 days until we leave for The Mitten! It will be here before we
know it. Especially with a couple parties and the last of the
Christmas shopping we have to do. We can’t wait to see everyone, this
is my favorite time of the year. (I’m always looking forward to
peppermint bark and cannolis!)

I think that about brings us up to date. We will SEE you in a few short weeks!

Love, Kelly & Brian



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