Sunday, February 21, 2010


Us in front of our "soon to be home!"

The dig for our first home began on Wednesday, February 17, 2010! After a small setback on the dig, we weren't crossing our fingers for anything to happen soon. But when Ryan asked our builders on Wednesday how things were going, they told us they were digging that day! We were so excited!!! I decided to head there on my lunch break on Wednesday, and have never been so excited to see piles of dirt in my life! After sending a few pictures to Ryan via text message, Ryan had to take a peek of it himself and drove there after work!

Knowing that the construction of our first home is under way makes everything so exciting!! We visited the lot together this weekend and were excited to see our basement. It is a tad bit muddy in these pictures, but we were just excited to see it!!! In a matter of a few months our home will be in that location and it will be much more than a hole and dirt!

Our home (a view looking North)

We love our dirt-filled basement!

Street View

Our home (a view looking South)

Stranded in Sioux City

Our Valentine's weekend was such a great time! On Friday, we headed up to Okoboji to have a yummy stroganoff dinner with the family and rest before heading to Minnesota Saturday morning. We met the Wills family (Ryan's mom's side of the family) at the Pizza Ranch in Fairmont, MN and then headed to Aunt Kim and Uncle Greg's house to hang out. Amberly learned a new family tradition, Dirty Bingo! A dice game that includes having great luck at getting doubles and also grabbing gifts at lightning speed!

All was well as we woke up Sunday morning, watched some of the winter Olympics and decided to head back home. It wasn't long before we realized we weren't making it home that evening. Once we got closer to Sioux City, IA we had already encountered the white out conditions they had been talking about on the radio , with Interstate 29 closed, we decided that we should stay in Sioux City.

Since it happened to be Valentine's Day, we (Ryan and I, Mike and Sara) decided to make the most of it! We each received a complimentary drink from the hotel bar and played the question game while dining on a yummy chicken quesadilla. The next morning we walked to the IHOP next door and enjoyed breakfast while still waiting for the Interstate to open. We found out that it would be a while until the Interstate opened again, so we took a dip in the hotel jacuzzi, watched some more Olympics and found a nearby bowling alley. After bowling 2 games each and calling Road Conditions over 50 times, we needed a plan.

Interstate 29 was still closed, but we decided to brave Highway 75 instead. We were so glad we did!!! The roads were icy in places and white out conditions continued in spots, but we took it nice and slow and got home within 2.5 hours. It sure was a Valentine's Day we'll never forget!!!

Ryan enjoys the wonderful digs of the Holiday Inn

Mike and Sara enjoy being stuck in Sioux City!

Farwell Carrolls!

This past week we said goodbye to some great friends of ours, Lucas, Katie and Grace Carroll. Amberly met Katie while working at Student Involvement at UNL. And after the last few years, we've grown closer to this wonderful family. Katie and Lucas were married in 2007 and welcomed a baby girl just over a year ago...they are a very blessed family, and we are happy to have known their friendship. We wish you the best of luck in Colorado!!

Friday, February 12, 2010


Ryan and I have decided that there's no time for a winter hibernation at the Austad household! Since we've been cooped up in the apartment we haven't had a chance to go for a run on our paths or take advantage of the green space at the apartment complex to play some catch. Darn winter! However, we decided that we have to find a solution for our cabin fever. Sara and Mike (Ryan's sister and her husband) recommended we try P90X. So, we decided we'd give it a try!

As you can see from the picture above, that's what Ryan and I hope to look like when this is all over. ha ha, j/k. We're doing our best to take each workout to our own level. If you've tried P90X before, you know that the lead guy is VERY ENTHUSIASTIC about fitness. But when we're doing sit ups and pull ups at 6:00AM, we have to tone it down just a touch. So far, we've gone through the first week (pending tomorrow) and I think we've both enjoyed it. P90X is really good about doing different exercises each day. Some days we work our back and legs, sometimes we do just arms, and other days we try out yoga. (Ryan isn't a huge fan of the yoga days).

We thought we were both in pretty OK shape. But after a few P90X workouts, we've noticed that this workout is not for the weak. It's tough stuff! Cross your fingers that we keep up with it and we'll give you an update in another month or so!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Paint Before Digging?

Yes, that's right folks. We've picked out our paint colors...even though the digging hasn't started on our house, we sure know what colors we like! :) The permit process is supposed to take a few weeks...and today is exactly the 2 week mark. I can honestly say that patience is not high on either of our personality trait lists, however we're learning that everything takes time. Especially when building a home. But I digress...

one of the more "fun" parts about all of our house decisions has been paint colors. Its fun to think that no matter what color we choose, if we change our mind about it in 2-3 years, we can always change it. It's actually kind of a nice relief in a way. Painting a room is a tad easier than changing out granite counter-tops (or so I hear). So...we've picked a selection of paint colors that are warm and cozy and that will be neutral enough to go with a lot of the furniture and decorations we already have. (however the laundry room was a small departure from our cozy browns and tans)...but that's just because Amberly wanted a bright cheery place while doing laundry. Understandable, I think! :) We also picked out our stain color for the kitchen cabinets, the fireplace mantle and the stairway railings, I don't know if it really has a name, but we've been calling it burgundy cherry.

Our Stain Selection