Friday, May 28, 2010

The "Almost There" Stage

We can't believe that it is now LESS THAN A MONTH until we will be closing and moving into our new house! We would like to call this stage of the build the "almost there" stage. It seems as things are winding down at the house everything is starting to look just about finished. A lot of the tile is laid in the house, and the banister on the stairs has been attached. Cabinet doors have been added, and the stone on the outside of the house is just about done. They started painting yesterday, and by the smell of the fumes have been going for a few days now! We had a meeting with our builders earlier this week to finalize exactly how we wanted the rest of the tile laid and where we wanted our driveway. The finishing touches stage will be here before we know it!

Knowing that the last few weeks of the build are upon us, that means that we have a few things on our end to finish up too. Our mortgage company- Bank of Bennington has been phenomenal to work with. After locking in a rate, we are now meeting with an insurance company to get the home owner's insurance finalized and all of the "paperwork" will be well on its way. Don't we sound so grown up? Mortgages, insurance, rates, etc. when did we go from writing college essays to locking in a mortgage rate?

A view of the bar with the cabinets up and the wine rack installed!

Full Effect of the bar area with tile.

Basement bathroom has tile!

The banister

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Congrats Melissa!

Congratulations to the graduate-- Melissa!!! This past weekend was spent in Sioux Falls, where we got the chance to honor the newest Augustana College Alumni...Melissa Austad. It was such a nice and relaxing weekend. Ryan has now mastered the art of the bon fire and is pretty excited about getting his own fire pit once we move in. After roasting marshmallows and making semi-smores, we got the chance to go on a nature walk Saturday morning with the entire family. And after a few graduation parties Saturday and a lovely brunch on Sunday, it was time to head back to Nebraska. As always, our tummies were stuffed and our minds relaxed.

Congrats again Melissa...we know that you will be a fantastic teacher!

There she is!

Mike and Sara enjoy the graduation festivites
(and no...she is not cupping Mike's "man-boobie")

Augustana Graduates 2010

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


YAY! I'm just plain giddy because it is exactly 1 month today until we close on our first home! WAHOOOO! Either this month will creep by slowly one day at a time, or it will zoom by and before we know it we'll be hauling boxes up the front steps of our new place. I'm not sure which I am more excited for...knowing that we'll be spending the last few weeks in our apartment makes things feel a tad bittersweet. But thinking about future happenings at the house makes us both run for the packing tape!

Speaking of which, We have started to process of packing up and coordinating items together. In the last month, we have designated a "moving basket." This basket is for anything important that we know we'll need during the move. Right now, it includes a gift for the builders, brackets for the surround sound, our new address postcards (yes I'm crazy, I already had them made), and how could I forget....those 2 large boxes behind the basket. They didn't fit, so we just pushed them close enough. These are a couple of our goodies from the NFM berkshire days. We figure we'll need those too. Until moving day they will be patiently waiting in their boxes, ready to be assembled at our new place of residence. 1 MORE MONTH!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Hooray for a Staycation

Ryan and I have both enjoyed our time in our one bedroom apartment at Whispering Hills, and really it was the first place we have ever lived together. But with only one real room to do anything in, things are getting a little tight. We're definitely ready to spread out in our home. Often times when we're bored, we have a few "go to" things we do. Nebraska furniture mart is usually on the top of that list, along with checking out the puppies at Tully's Kennel, going for a walk at the arboretum across the street, or just going to window shop somewhere. Whether its Menards, Bed Bath & Beyond or Best Buy...we usually walk around and do some "research" and then head out empty-handed. But we don't mind it...just getting ideas is half the fun!

No...we don't lead very stressful lives, but we were in need of a little "staycation." And we needed a little break from our regular routine. Ryan suggested that we head to the Hilton in downtown Omaha to relax for an evening, and I couldn't have agreed more. We left around noon on Saturday and got the chance to walk around by the Pedestrian Bridge and the ConAgra Park. It was a beautiful day, so we walked everywhere! I even have my first sun burn of the year to prove it! After taking in the sights and stopping for a quick break at Mr. Toad's, we decided to head back to the hotel and get ready for our evening.

Here's where the fun begins...I'm not sure if it was our ridiculously comfortable king size bed calling our name for a nap, but after our dinner at Old Chicago, all we wanted to do was sleep! We had really great hopes for the night...maybe grab a cocktail at a bar or two, meet up with some friends and go dancing. But sleep and rest won out. I guess that's what a staycation is for, right? When we woke up Sunday morning, both of us agreed that it was one of the best nights of sleep we had had in a long time. I guess that's what almost 10 hours of sleep will do for you!

King Bed...we'll see you soon!

Ryan on the Pedestrian Bridge

Me on the Pedestrian Bridge

Ryan does a little dance, he's excited about the staycation too!

Enjoying a beautiful day!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

House Update

Cabinets, an island, counter tops, stone and closets! That's what happened this past week at the house. We're so happy with the progress of the house these days. In the past we had ventured out to the house maybe once a week to see what had changed, but we have been at the house the past 3 days and have noticed something different each day! I guess that means we're getting closer to our closing date and to moving in!

The trim guys have been at the house for almost 2 weeks now working hard on getting the baseboards, the closets and the framing finished. We didn't realize how many different tools it took for trim work, but walking around the house has proven to be a maze these days. Darting through the sawdust piles and making sure to avoid the saws has become second nature. Ryan made a good point the other day...when we look back on these pictures we're going to be amazed at how much stuff they had in here!

These pictures aren't the most updated, I forgot our camera last night, so I'll have to take a few pictures tomorrow when we go to see it next. The bar is almost completely finished, just needs a sink, and then cabinets now have doors! As well as the tiling has started in the master bathroom and the upstairs bathroom. of my most favorite things, the cabinets for the laundry room are starting to come in as well...they are white and totally different than the ones we have in our kitchen/bathrooms.

Well enough's some pictures!

The Stone!!!

A view of the kitchen with the island added.

One side of the Master Closet

Master Bathroom

Ryan at the bar

One of the basement bedroom's closet

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Loving Spring!

Spring always reminds me of fresh cut grass, drinking lemonade, and getting out of school for summer break!!! While we may not be getting a couple month's long summer break from work, we can still enjoy the springtime! A few weeks ago, I ordered a few flowers from the Little Lamb Preschool for their annual fundraiser. I am pleased to say that my new planter and the flowers look just beautiful on our apartment porch! Its the little things that make me smile, and remind me that summer is on its way!!!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Type A?

A few weekends ago I organized the linen closet. After painstakingly going through our medicine drawers (see bottom left of picture) and throwing out old bottles of lotion, and body sprays from 2001, I realized my "Type A-ness" really paid off. Thankfully I have been going through our apartment bit by bit throwing unnecessary items away or putting them in a designated GoodWill box. I'm hoping this will help when we start packing to move. By tossing out or recycling old stuff we don't need anymore it should help out with the amount we have to move. Or at least I hope it does. What do you think? Too much Type A? Or just efficient?

I pasted 2 pictures together, so you can get the full effect. No 1/2 bad if you ask me! :) And no, Ryan doesn't mind the pink baskets much.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Mother's Day Weekend

Mother's Day Weekend was over a week ago, but it just made it to the blog today :) We spent the weekend in Columbus with my (amberly's) family. Saturday morning, we played golf at Quail Run, our foursome included, Ryan, Me, Jared and my Dad, Rick. It was a chilly morning, only about 40 degrees when we were ready to tee off at 11:30. But as the round continued it got warmer and warmer and turned out to be a beautiful day! Almost felt like fall without the trees changing color!

Saturday evening we watched some golf on TV, had a lovely hot off the grill dinner, and then played a lengthy round of hearts, while Kathy baked some cakes! Sunday, we celebrated Mother's Day by taking my mom out to Traditions Inn, a bed and breakfast, for brunch and also attended my cousins', Jeff and Kim's, graduation party. It was a pretty fun-filled weekend, with lots to do, but it was nice to just kick back and relax with family as well.

Thanks for everything mom and dad! We had a great time!

Jared's Tee Shot

My Tee Shot!

Dad's Tee Shot

And Ryan's Tee Shot

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Watcha gonna do Whatcha gonna do....

Bad Boys Bad Boys...watcha gonna do watcha gonna do when they come for you? That's the first song that comes to mind as I think about our attempt at breaking in to our own home. Last Friday, before Ryan and I headed out to Columbus for the weekend, we stopped at the house to check out the progress. (This has become quite a routine for us...I'm not sure what our Friday nights will entail after we're done building.)

We found the house locked! Which was at first a fabulous thing! That means that there is enough stuff inside the house that they need to lock it up to keep it safe. But that also means that we can't go in and galavant around like we used to at any time of the day. We checked all 3 doors, garage, front and back door and they were all securely locked. (insert "awww man" noise here). The windows provided a nice view to check out exactly what had been finished since we saw it last time. But we REALLY wanted to get in and peek at it closer. Since neither one of us have a criminal record, we weren't exactly sure how to approach this. In the picture below, Ryan tried a stick and we even tried to push my arm through a slightly open window...but nothing worked.

We went to Columbus with a very unsuccesful break-in attempt. Since then, Amberly has talked to the builders and the trim guys who are currently working at the house, and they have given us a code and a key :) No more breakin' in for us! I'm sure our neighbors loved watching our attempts!

Yes...he is using a stick. And No, it didn't work.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Stormy Skies

You know its tornado season when:

1. The skies change from beautiful fluffy white clouds, to dark ominous lighting filled storm clouds within a minute.

2. The bottom of your TV screen is filled with storm tracker announcements, and Jim Flowers pops in during your favorite show.

3. The apartment complex makes sure to remind you that the storm shelter at Whispering Hills is at the clubhouse... in the basketball court....which is 4 buildings away.

Happy Tornado Season!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Rubin's Renovation

Ryan and I aren’t the only ones with a home improvement/building project. Ryan’s sister, Sara, and her husband Mike started a kitchen renovation project about 6 weeks ago, and it is soooo very close to completion. They completely gutted their kitchen in a demo project done by Mike and his brother-in-law, Rob. The redo included new electrical wiring, cabinets, countertops, cabinet hardware, appliances and a lot of blood, sweat and tears. Ok I don’t know about the blood and tears part, but I’m sure they sweated, and I know there were a few plumber’s crack moments as well. Soon they’ll be cookin’ up a storm! Congrats to the Rubin’s on making it through your first home renovation project! Can’t wait to see what’s in store for the future.

Sara deciding what to have for a snack.

Those crazy Rubins. Always cookin' something up!

Congrats Sara & Mike!!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Bathroom Back splash Plan B

Ahhh…bathroom back splashes, how I love you. Yes, you are hearing me correctly. When Ryan and I decided to build our house, we each decided that certain roles needed to be assigned to each of us. While Ryan dealt with the mortgage business, and the final deadline closing date, I was the one to decide the details. Which type of door would we like? Did we want a laundry pedestal or not? And what kind of back splashes did we want in the bathrooms? Sounds like a lot of work? YES…but if you know me at all, I was up for the task and was grinning the entire way!

As you know, we are not a procrastinating couple, and when it came to selections we had them pretty much decided on within the first few months of the house project. So it really has been smooth sailing since early February. Until, errrr screech halt…we had a small back splash issue. The back splash that Ryan and I had decided upon back in February was a very subway-like tile with browns, greens and tans. It was quite a steal in the price department because it was on a special sale. Well…when the builders went to get the tile, it was no longer available. Awww shucks. But have no fear, Amberly is here! I had a Back splash Plan B. (actually I had a plan b, c and d…but I’m thankful we didn’t have to get that far).

After telling Ryan that I was prepared for a small hiccup on the back splash front, I headed to Home Depot and Lowe’s to get a picture of the three possibilities for Ryan to see first before the final decision was made. After a very rude Home Depot customer service rep offended me by acting like I had no idea what I was doing, I headed to Lowe’s. (Just because you’re wearing a skirt in the tile and grout aisle…doesn’t mean you don’t know what you’re doing). Lowe’s was a HIT! And Back splash Plan B was at an even better price than I had expected! So without further ado…I present to you…our bathroom back splash. Doesn’t she sparkle?! The lighting isn't the greatest, but you get the idea.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

amberly's 25th

Happy Birthday to me! Yep, 25 years old, a quarter of a century ago I was born. Lots of people told me that once you hit 25 or 30 you realize that you are truly an adult. I'm not sure if I totally agree...but then again when we sign our mortgage papers in a few months it might be a different story.

My 25th birthday was just wonderful. Ryan made scrambled eggs and toast in the morning and presented me with a very grown up birthday gift- a watch I had been wanting for a while now! My birthday was on a Thursday, so I headed into work intending to get some business done. When I walked in there were yellow balloons and DOTS (the candy) at my desk! 2 of my favorite things! My co-workers made me feel very special with a group card and lunch at Qdoba (also another one of my favorites). After work, I headed home to see my hubby. He was acting a bit strange, and hadn't told me exactly what was going on that evening. He had a surprise for me...and as stressed out as I get about surprises, I didn't want to spoil this one.

After a quick stop at Nebraska Furniture Mart to pick up an extra part for the surround sound system, we picked Sara up at her house and headed into the Old Market. As we walked into Vivace, an Italian Restaurant, I noticed our table in the back. There were 6 seats set, and we were the first to arrive. I was trying to figure out my mystery guests, when they arrived. My cousins, Kim, Kelli and Kelli's husband Gregg walked through the door! What a fantastic birthday surprise!!! After dinner, Ryan had ice cream birthday cake waiting at the apartment. I felt very special and loved. What a great birthday!!!

My Birthday Guests

My Birthday Loot! How special am I?! Thanks Everyone!

Ryan cutting the ice cream cake. We might've needed to thaw it a little longer.

He worked hard at it, and we all ended up with a delicious treat.

Thanks hubby for a wonderful birthday. You are the best husband a girl could have!

Friday, May 7, 2010

A new hobby perhaps?

Ever since Ryan and I decided to build our house, I have been chomping at the bit to get started with home improvement projects. But wait, improvement? How can you improve something that's brand new? I guess I need to rephrase that...home decorating projects is probably more like it. One new found interest of mine has been sewing. I don't actually have a sewing machine, and everything I've ever sewn has been by hand. (socks, buttons, etc). But I would ReALLy love to learn how to sew. I remember sewing things in 7th grade Home EC class, a pillow here, shorts there (that had the pockets in backwards...woops), and the occasional decorative table runner, and I remember loving it. But I'm talking about some actual big-girl sewing projects. I'm talking curtains, quilts, and Ryan's Halloween costumes.

But I need advice. How do you start hobbies like this? What do you need to begin? What sewing machine would be best? Any type of comment would be fantastic. And hopefully I'll be able to share my sewing progress once we get into our house and start the decorating!!

Isn't this adorable? This is the kind of project I'm talking about!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Goods

Last Tuesday was the big day. No, we didn't move into the house...but after hours upon hours and weekends of window shopping at Nebraska Furniture Mart, we FINALLY ordered all of our furniture and appliances. Thanks to our Type A personalities we were ready to go, with our spreadsheet in hand. You heard correctly, the spreadsheet was the best idea ever! Since we knew we would attend NFM's annual Berkshire Hathaway event months ahead of time, we created a spreadsheet with everything we would need/want in the house. Of course we had the basics on the list, Fridge, Oven, Microwave, Dishwasher. And then we added a sectional, bed and bedroom set, washer and dryer, home theater system, and carpet to that list. Each item listd the SKU#, brand, price, color, delivery date, etc. We're dorks, and we know it.

The night lasted a bit longer than we had anticipated, as it seemed that other people had the same idea of getting the best deals at the Berkshire Hathaway event. I believe this was the ONLY time we haven't been asked if we needed help by a NFM representative. We started our shopping at around 6pm, and pulled out of the pickup area around 9:30 that evening. Whew! Thankfully, we survived and we now anticipate the arrival of everything at the end of June! YAY!

Ryan shows off the Berkshire Hathaway Pass to Nebraska Furniture Mart. We're ready to go!

Monday, May 3, 2010

The First Inhabitant of 19827 Chicago Street

We are moving right along with the house these days. With the addition of siding and cabinets last week, the house is looking more and more "finished" every day. With still a couple months to go, we're starting to see how the space of the cabinets fills up the kitchen, bathroom and bar areas. Its really neat to see the stain that we picked out applied to the cabinets! Our selections are starting to show with each new additional puzzle piece of the house. We also got to meet the first true inhabitant of our house. Just this past Friday, we noticed a small bird's nest in the upper corner of the garage. Since that part of the house isn't drywalled yet, the bird made it home! Let's just hope those baby birdies hatch before the drywallers get to them first!

What a difference siding makes!

Yes, we're on the front porch, and we're waving.

Kitchen cabinets- Sara looks pretty excited!

Basement Guest Bathroom Cabinets

Master Bathroom Cabinets- Ryan practices brushing his teeth.

Ryan shows us where the bar cabinets will be.

Just hanging out in the backyard!