Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Decisions Decisions

With home building, comes the process of making lots and lots of decisions. Don't get us wrong, we love making decisions, and thankfully we both have similar tastes as to what we want in our home, but there are so many things first time homeowners never think of! Luckily, we have some great tools to make our decisions easier.

#1- our builder has an online selection system to keep track of everything! From the stone color to the carpet, we can see every detail marked down and every comment made.

#2- We're not procrastinators. As you know, Ryan and I don't procrastinate...I'm not even sure if I know what that word means. We like to do things ahead of schedule, so if there are any bumps in the road, we can take care of them before things get NUTS. So far, all of the "big decisions" have been made on the house. And now we get to focus on the fun and pretty things that makes a house a home.

#3- detail oriented. Well, I guess this is more of an Amberly thing rather than a Ryan thing...he's my "big picture" guy. I tend to get some weird high when I research things to find the best buy, the best quality or the best deal. Take for instance our flooring situation....

Our builder has given us an allowance for wood flooring in our kitchen and our dining room. I may be crazy, because this selection doesn't need to be made until probably April...but I want to make sure we have all of the options. Last night I spent over an hour at Menards checking out wood floors, after being asked 10 different times if I needed help, I decided it was time to leave. However, my search continues...on to Nebraska Furniture Mart today and possibly Lowe's and Home Depot tomorrow :) Wish me luck!

Which "Wood" You Choose?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

So...We're Building!

That's Right Friends and Family! We're building our first home! Above you see our beautiful yet bare lot, but in 5 months it'll be the Austad Residence! We are so blessed to have this opportunity to build our first home, and thank God for the help and reassurance he gave us during the entire home search process. Everything works out for a reason and God sure does have a plan for us! We'll make sure to update as the progress continues! God is Good!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Lost Blog Part 7

Christmas Goodies
Sooooo…..I learned a lesson this year. Less is More. Waking up this Saturday in a very festive Christmas mood, I decided it was about time to make some Christmas goodies and treats of my own. I had watched my mom, aunts and grandma make such delicious treats over the past 24 years of my life…so why not me? However, what they didn’t share with me was the work that it takes to complete these fabulous goodies. Here’s a small timeline of my Saturday:

11:30AM- decide that I would like to make some goodies
12:00 NOON- A trip to the store for my heavy artillery
12:45- Ryan makes lunch and I make a game plan
1:00 PM- Start to make chocolate covered pretzels
1:45 PM- finish pretzels, onto making dough for sugar cookies and peanut butter cookies
2:00 PM- set pretzels in freezer to set, start to make inside of chocolate truffles
2:45 PM- decide that I have made too much of a mess and clean a bit before tackling the peanut butter kisses.
3:15 PM- take peanut butter kisses out of the oven (whew 2 things down, 2 to go)
3:45 PM- dip truffles in outside chocolate and add snowflake sprinkles
4:00 PM- cut out sugar cookie dough and bake (note to self for 2010…do not place cutouts too close together-they might bake into each other)
4:30 PM- sugar cookies out of oven, start to frost
4:45 PM- Clean, clean, wash dishes and clean and sit on the couch to relax.

After almost 4 hours of baking, I was done! Everything turned out great!!! But maybe next year I’ll split it up into a 2-3 day task!

The Lost Blog Part 6

The Nutcracker
This past Friday, I took Ryan to the Nutcracker Ballet. Yes, that’s right my husband went to the ballet with me…although right now he might be yelling at his Playstation Football game….he enjoyed the ballet as well. Maybe enjoy isn’t quite the word, although I appreciate his willingness to sit and enjoy something that I absolutely LOVE! Dance has been part of my life since I have been little, and just in the past few years I haven’t been able to partake in the joy of dance. There’s something about watching the dancers on stage, the costumes, the makeup, the movement and the music that takes me back to a time when I enjoyed everything that was theatre and dance. I hope that our future children will get to enjoy at least some aspect of theatre/music/dance…but for now I’ll just enjoy the Omaha Ballet Company’s interpretations.

The Lost Blog Part 5

Our “Christmasy” Place

I have to say that the Christmas season always brings to mind such wonderful memories for us. Not only does this time of year remind us of Jesus’ birth, but also as the beginning of our journey as husband and wife. Only a year ago we were gearing up for our wedding ceremony and reception…and as the days got closer, the snow fell, and the Christmas decorations went up, and the anticipation mounted. This year, we put up our own Christmas tree and decorated our apartment. It was interesting to see the different ways we both interpreted Christmas-time. Ryan wanted a simple tree, while I was more inclined to really go “all out.” So…we compromised, I got my silver ting ting and Ryan got his traditional Christmas ornaments, and I have to say that everything turned out just wonderful. It’s funny how a string of lights or an old ornament can bring back so many fond memories. Enjoy this holiday season and everything it has to offer! Take it all in this time of year, for it seems to go by too fast.

The Lost Blog Part 4

Our First Thanksgiving!!!
…as a married couple. For most holidays, Ryan and I have spent them with our own separate families. In this past, Ryan and I have spent a few Easters together and one Thanksgiving in South Carolina with Ryan’s family. So this year, we switched it up and spent Thanksgiving with my family in Columbus, NE. It was such a great time…and we really enjoyed the relaxing time it was. We learned the Thomas family recipe for gravy and Ryan even helped my dad with the dishes! It was a fabulous time!!! A lot of football was watched, turkey was eaten and I think its quite safe to say that we stuffed ourselves silly! We went to the movie, Blind Side as well while we were visiting and I think we would both agree that it is a movie everyone must see. Such a heart-warming story with a big message! We hope you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving!!

The Lost Blog Part 3

Happy 25th Birthday to Ryan!!

Ryan turned 25 this year!!! And since it was the first birthday that we have been married for, I decided to try and make it extra special. I did my best to wake Ryan up with a candle in a muffin with a Happy Birthday Song. Although, I don’t know if my groggy husband appreciated the 6:45AM wake up call on his birthday….I was super duper excited. I also had the chance to make my first cake. For all of you who know my family, you know that my mother is a celebrity in Columbus for cakes. If you have ever needed a cake in Columbus, NE my mom is usually the person you turn to. So, safe to say…I had some pretty big shoes to fill. Upon Ryan’s request, I made my first chocolate cake with chocolate fudge frosting. I have a feeling Ryan enjoyed it!

The Lost Blog Part 2

GO BIG RED!!!! Ryan and I decided to take advantage of a Husker ticket opportunity and head to the Nebraska vs. Kansas State game. It was a perfect night…a small chill in the air and of course Valentino’s pizza to enjoy! The Huskers won and we got the opportunity to tour our ala mater. Of course, Ryan isn’t as nostalgic as I am…so we took a quick tour of Chi Omega and my heart melted. Oh, how I miss those college days in that sorority house! Maybe it wasn’t so much the house that I missed, but the friends and memories that made it special. UNL will always be our “college home.” There truly is No Place Like Nebraska!!

Sara, Dave and Ryan enjoy the Husker Festivities!

The Lost Blogs

Remember a few posts ago when I said my computer wasn't working. Well...now it is! :) So...here are a few entries I'd like to call "The Lost Blogs." Enjoy...

In November we got a chance to head to Lincoln to have a game night with some great friends! Todd and Jeannine Bryant hosted a fabulous evening of games, a few drinks, and dinner! It was great! Ryan and I got to try a brand new game called “Funglish.” Kind of like pictionary for words. You pick from a random assortment of adjectives that describe one word and then your team tries to guess it. It was such a great game for a big group. And of course “Catchprhase” was one of the favorites as well! Thanks again Jeannie and Todd for hosting…we had a great time!!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Really? 1 year already?

This weekend, Ryan and I will be celebrating our 1 year anniversary. Yes, that's right, 1 year! I can't believe it either! It went by so fast, but was filled with so many wonderful experiences, moments of laughter, love and learning. I can remember this time last year, the Friday before the wedding. I believe we were decorating at the church at exactly this time, enjoying our good family friend, Norma's kolaches and putting together the final touches. The boys were only given specific tasks...see below. And then we enjoyed a nice lunch together before finishing up the decorations and heading to the rehearsal.

Our wedding day was everything we hoped for and more. The weather cooperated by bringing some snow (a light dusting if I remember correctly) but nothing too serious so our guests could still attend. The girls got ready at the salon, while the boys set out the favors at the reception site. I can still remember sitting at the salon watching all of my bridesmaids getting their hair done, I donned a wide smile and a happy heart for the rest of the day.

What a wonderful blessing we have in each other. There isn't a day that goes by, that I don't thank my lucky stars that I found such a wonderful man. Ryan is truly my other half. I can't imagine spending the rest of my life with anyone else, and I am already imagining our future together.

Thank you to our friends and family for being a part of our growth as a married couple. There are many lessons you have taught us, and for that, we are grateful.

Lunch Break!

Boys showing off their decorating skills
(Jared, Tyson, Ryan and Jason)
my brothers, my husband and soon to be brother in law!

The girls get ready at the salon

Our first glance at each other on the day of
our wedding. Can't you tell I'm excited?!

Saying our Vows and Exchanging Rings

Bouquet Toss!

Mr. & Mrs. At Last!
Happy 1 Year Anniversary Ryan!