Saturday, July 31, 2010

A Man & His Mower

I have a feeling that Ryan's most favorite part of being a homeowner is being able to mow the lawn on his own land. A lawnmower was high on our "to do" list before we moved into the house. But since the sod wasn't put down until a week after we moved in, we had plenty of time to research the perfect mower for us.

Ryan had looked high and low at many of the home stores, Menards, Home Depot, Lowe's, etc for just the right mower for the job. When one day, as he was browsing once again at Home Depot came across a brand new Toro mower with a sale tag. After learning that the previous owner brought it back because a wheel was broken, and it had never been used, Ryan was the proud owner of a new Toro mower. Of course, Home Depot had replaced the wheel with a brand spankin' new one.

After waiting 3.5 weeks for the sod to suck up all the moisture possible, Ryan was ready to mow. Even though he decided to mow on one of the hottest days of the year, he was as happy as a clam.

Friday, July 30, 2010

One of These Things is Not Like the Others

Remember that song from Sesame Street?

"One of these things is not like the others,
One of these things just doesn't belong,
Can you tell which thing is not like the others
By the time I finish my song?"

We walked out of Nebraska Furniture Mart the other night and found 2 very large trucks intimidating Ryan's. Poor Ford Ranger...

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sure...Why Not?!

This past weekend, Ryan and I enjoyed a relaxed and non-crazy schedule. With nothing more than a check up eye appointment on our schedule we were free to do whatever we pleased. We watched a few movies, Finding Nemo was one of them...forgot how much I loved that movie. And then we spent our weekend putting together a desk, going to church, washing our cars, and lounging around. You know the normal weekend stuff. And then Ryan reminded me that our neighbors had told us there was a par 3 course just north of our house. It was about 6:30 on Saturday night- so we had plenty of time to get a round we said, "sure, why not" and headed over to Elkhorn Ridge Golf Course.

It was a pretty course, shaped like a horse shoe, that gave us a good challenge. Here are some pictures from our round. I hope to have the video up sometime soon. What a fun summer, no cares in the world! :)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


I Knocked
You Weren't In
- Opportunity

I saw this saying on a decorative plaque at one of the stores at Lake Okoboji not too long ago- I regret not having my purse now, but at the time I thought, "What a nifty little saying." And really, how true?! So many times in life we bypass things that may be too tough, take up too much time or just aren't what we had imagined doing. When in the long run, if you buck up and try it might be surprised how well it turns out.

I'm into my 4th month of coaching at Ralston High School. I remember hearing about the position and going for an interview just to try it out. Ryan and I had really loved our lazy evenings together as newlyweds, but I felt like I needed a little something just for me. If you know me at all, you know that this was right up my alley. But, the only thing nagging me was the time commitment. Would there be constant practice? Would I be going to meetings, competitions and games nonstop? Would it just be too much on my plate?

This past week reminded me why I am coaching. My Varsity squad went to camp, and although I juggled my work schedule and camp schedule, I really enjoyed watching the girls learn and grow within just a few days. We got to bond over fast food dinners, and the numerous van trips back and forth from Creighton. I heard girly chatter and giggles in the back seat of the passenger van while they decorated their spirit stick and practiced their 8 counts. A flood of my own camp memories came back to me, and I realized that being their role model could be even better than being their coach.

We have quite a year ahead of us, but I'm looking forward to teaching, coaching and learning. This time...Opportunity knocked, and I opened the door. Lets just see where it takes me!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Our New Friend

The Austad family has a new friend...his name is MAC. Ryan and I admit that we're a little slow to the MAC experience. Our whole computer situation began a few months ago when my computer went belly up. My good ol' Dell laptop finally kicked the bucket in a blue screen/"I'm out of memory and I just destroyed everything on your hard drive" kind of way. However, in this wonderful newfangled life of social networking, most of our favorite pictures and videos made it to facebook or shutterfly before the catastrophe.

After months of research and many visits to the Apple store at Village Pointe, we decided we were ready to purchase our family computer. Last night we picked up a 21" Mac with a wireless keyboard and mouse for further "no wires please" ease. We were happy, blissful, full of energy and excited about the potential fun that this new computer would bring into our lives. And then we got home.

Ryan and I aren't much for tech projects. The guy at the Apple store said setup was pretty fool-proof. I guess we're worse than fools, because after arriving back at home around 8:00PM, and a Wal-Mart run for a new modem, we weren't actually fully operating until 11:00PM. You see, our old modem kept re-setting itself every so often, so our past Internet connection was an on again/off again relationship. And because we were so sick of rebooting, replugging, and rewiring our Internet connection every 15 minutes, something had to be done. After testing the computer out again this morning...everything seems to be running seamlessly!

We're still getting used to our new if any Mac users out there have some helpful hints or tips we'd love to hear them! Here's wishing everyone a wonderful week!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Sorry for the absence of blog posts lately. It has been a BUSY BUSY week for the Austad Family. With Amberly at Dance Camp and Ryan picking up things for the house, we have our work cut out for us. Hopefully it'll all slow down here towards the end of the week and we'll have another post soon. Hopefully all of our Nebraska family and friends enjoyed the wonderful 2:00AM wake up call of that thunderstorm last night...wasn't that a doozy?! Enjoy your week!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Our First House Guests

This past weekend, Ryan and I welcomed our very first house guests! Mike and Sara Rubin!

We had a FANTASTIC time! Our first event for the big guest evening was dinner. Ryan whipped up some wonderful Swiss & bacon grilled chicken sandwiches, with some Caesar noodle salad, corn on the cob and watermelon slices. We poured a few drinks and hung out on the porch for a while and then decided the fun was about to begin. After a quick trip to the supermarket, and a purchase of 5 bottles of "fun", we were back at the house with a crazy card game to play.

In the midst of the card game, we also had some ice cream Oreo pie and an impromptu Dave Matthews Band dance party. We're a pretty fun bunch if I do say so myself :) I even put mints on their pillow before they turned in for the night for that extra added touch!

Make sure to book your reservation at the Austad Casa soon...we'd love to have you!

Getting ready to eat some yummy dinner

no...we did not finish this. i promise. The Rubin's just helped us stock our bar.

Big Cheesy Smiles!

Having fun playing cards

impromptu dance party!

We're feeling the beat

I love Ryan's smile in this one

What a wonderful night!

Especially with these 2 crazy kooks!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Sure Brings Back the Memories

In the year 1999, (can't believe its been over a decade now) Amberly then Thomas, and Ryan Austad started high school in 2 separate states. While Ryan was off being a football stud at Roosevelt High School, Amberly had just made the Columbus High School cheer leading squad. Both of us endured long summer camps for our respective sports (yes, cheer leading is a sport).

Last week we were talking about summer camps, and Ryan was telling me all about the 3 a day practices in the South Dakota heat, and I reminisced about staying at the UNL dorms for cheer camp and eating the "delicious" cafeteria food. (the UNL cafeteria is also where I left my retainer on the lunch tray, let it go through the conveyor belt and had to call my Aunt Sue to take me out of camp and to the orthodontist to fit me for a new one- but that's a story for a different day).

After all the reminiscing and storytelling, I got to relive a part of my summer cheer camp memories with my Ralston JV Squad this past weekend. While the girls were more at home in their own school cafeteria, they sure learned a lot and brought back some awesome memories. From "big sisters" to ABC stretching, drill downs to spirit ribbons, I felt like I was back at camp with them. And with the Varsity Pom camp coming up this weekend, I'm excited to remember it all over again!

The JV Squad

Working Hard

With Their Big Sisters

Monday, July 12, 2010

A Fabulous 4th

We hope you had a Great 4th of July Weekend! This post is a tad late, but I guess better late than never! Ryan and I spent our 4th of July hanging out in our new neighborhood! And there were some awesome red, white and blue touches to our day. We decided to make pancakes for breakfast. Luckily I had red and blue food coloring, so we had patriotic pancakes instead! Ryan was a tad worried that they would taste funny...I'm just glad I got a picture of them
pre warmed- as the color wasn't as pretty afterwards.

After breakfast, we found some of our July 4th decorations (there were only 3 things- but hey it worked) and put those up. Since that only took 10 minutes, it was off to the store to find some kitchen stools. While they won't make an appearance in this post, I'm sure they will soon. However, we're still deciding whether or not we like them. By the time we were done putting the stools together it was time to head over to Becky and Rob's for some 4th fun! We stuffed ourselves with pizza, played some yard games, and had a great time watching Mike and the kids light fireworks. What a great way to celebrate our patriotism. Hope you had a great one too!

Patriotic Pancakes

Ryan likes 'em

Pushing Isa on the Swing during the 4th of July festivities

I think she's having fun :)

Sara and Becky

Happy 4th of July!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

A Surprise Birthday!

SURPRISE!!! Last Saturday, Ryan's sister Sara surprised her husband Mike with a birthday party...and we were invited! Score! After letting Mike loose on a scavenger hunt around the Omaha area, he arrived back at Becky & Rob's house just in time for drinks, cake, munchies and fireworks! Happy Early 30th Birthday Mike! We hope you had a blast!

The Birthday Boy!

Birthday Boy and Birthday Schemer

Unwrapping presents

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Red White and Blue Cake

My baking adventures began last weekend when I decided to try out a fun and festive Fourth of July cake. Now before you say it, I know I should be good at making cakes...runs in the family right? Well...I think I did pretty good. I'm no Kathy Thomas... yet. I started off with all of the ingredients I needed and a little My Best Friend's Wedding on the TV.

After about 30 minutes of baking, and hour to cool, another 4 hours to let the jello set in the poke cake, another 30 minutes of frosting and prepping...I was done! Wooooo! And ya know what? It was actually pretty good! Take a look for yourself, and just imagine me wafting the yummy cake smell your direction :)

The Ingredients
(Julia Roberts was a big help)

Mixing the Batter- see the box on the Left. Not gonna lie- its not from scratch.

Voila! A Decorated cake! I wish it had come out of the oven that way!

It doesn't hurt to have a hunky husband showing off the cake either :)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Steak & Potatoes

A staple for every Midwestern family meal has to be Steak and Potatoes. Ryan and I are no different! Our first true meal at our new place had to be something that we would savor and enjoy. Last Friday after work we hurried home, kicked off our work clothes & got into something comfy, and shimmied into our dinner seats to enjoy a wonderful meal. We had steak from the grill, Ryan's onion potatoes, and some very yummy (and very Nebraskan) corn on the cob. With a nice full glass of red wine, the meal was just fantastic. Definitely something we'll be making again.

The Table is Set!

Mr. Grill Hard At Work

A Delicious Meal

Let's EAT!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Feeling Settled

It's been almost 2 weeks now in our new home, and we're feeling more and more settled everyday. We now have a functional kitchen and bathroom, most of our basement seating has been delivered, and we're enjoying the quiet and privacy a home can offer. -I would like to say we don't walk around in our skivvies much...but those blinds sure did the trick! And I'm sure our neighbors appreciate them too. :)

While it still feels new, I wanted to write down a few things about the first weeks at our first residence to remind us someday of how it all felt. When anybody asks me, what's the biggest difference...I must say that it is soooo quiet. The first night we moved in as we were laying in bed, we could hear the bugs outside of our window. There is nobody stomping on the floor above us, playing loud music below us, or hacking up a lung beside us. It is piece and quiet...sometimes a little too quiet!

Ryan has been enjoying the downstairs extra bedroom as his "music room" where he has dusted off his electric guitar and has shown me a cord or two. I have been browsing through my cookbooks lately to find some baking inspiration, and have been checking out design blogs to infuse some creative decorating into our home. It feels nice to have a place of our own to call home. While there are still blank walls to be filled, we are enjoying every moment of home ownership!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Adventures in Homeownership- Step 2: Install Blinds

The second installment of "Adventures in Homeownership" is back, complete with full blind installation details. Or...just a few pictures of us trying our best at the install.

We ordered our blinds at a few weeks before moving into the house. We had a professional come and measure the windows so we knew that the blinds would be the correct measurements. Not that I didn't trust our amazing measuring tape just gave us a little more piece of mind. The blinds showed up on our doorstep this past Tuesday...and came in 7 large and heavy boxes. They were daunting....VERY daunting. At first, I was seriously contemplating calling up an installer and paying the fee to have him install them all. But then my wonderful and optimistic husband instilled a little motivation in me by saying, "Remember all those home improvement projects you've been excited about?" So, there it was, I bit my tongue and we started on the basement blinds.

We had started our little project by planning on completing the 2 basement windows, those were flush mount and should have been the easiest. The first one took the longest, at around 40 minutes. But after that we were breezing through them! We ended up hanging all of the blinds in the house (a total of 8) within a 4 hour span! Once we had a groove, we just kept on truckin' along.

With our trust Root Beer in hand, we were happy to sit back and take a look at our newest completed project. What do you think?

Step 1: Gather all necessary materials. Instructions, hardware, pencil, screwdriver and Root Beer.

Step 2: Install Hardware Into the window frame

Step 3: Place Blinds on Hardware and close shut, figure out tricky valance.

Step 4: Still...Figure out that Tricky Valance

Step 5: valance installed, try out the blind pulls

Step 6: Try out the tilt feature.

Step 7: Show off the blinds!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Dining Room Table = Excitement

I think we have finally reached the moment in life where we begin adulthood. You would think building a house would have some sort of effect on this situation, however the moment that really hit me, was when our dining room table and chairs were delivered. Not the fact that we have one, but the excitement that it caused! Remember Christmas morning when you were a kid and you've been waiting all year for the Big Wheel Bike or a new stuffed animal? That's exactly the feeling I had with the table. After the delivery guys set the table in our kitchen I was soooo very excited. A dining table?! :) WAHOO!

Ryan prefers to leave the leaf in the its quite a lot of space for the two of us to eat our honey nut cheerios at. But I can just imagine many family meals and game nights in the future around our table. And if you happen to have any meal requests next time you come to visit...please let me know, and we would be happy to oblige! :) Enjoy this wonderful Fourth of July Weekend everyone!