Monday, February 28, 2011

We Made It!

Well, we're here in Minneapolis. Thankfully, we made it safe and sound!! We arrived at our new place on Wednesday night Feb. 23rd, however the movers weren't scheduled to move our things in until Thursday morning. So Ryan and I got the air mattress ready, ordered some pizza and just hung out for our first night at the Knollwood Drive address.

I can't believe that tomorrow will be 1 week already here in Minnesota. Time sure does fly when you have no cable/Internet and are wildly organizing and unpacking every box in site! You'll be happy to know that the cable company came today and spent a good 3.5 hours rewiring our house so that it is up to speed with the rest of the world, and I am very happy about that!

Here are a few pictures from the move in. I'll make sure and post a few more on facebook- but at least this will give you an idea and description of everything! Miss you all already!

Boxes in our old Master Bedroom

The Moving Truck- Yep we filled up the WHOLE thing!

Ryan would kill me if he knew I took these while I was driving. Trust me hunny, I was being very very careful!

We Made it to our new place! Ryan is excited to get in that front door.

Celebratory beer and pizza for our first night in the new house. That's Pizza and cheese sticks you see, trust me-even we can't finished 2 pizzas by ourselves!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Our New Home- Minnesota

Today, we are doing this....

That's right- we're driving. 1 Ford Ranger, 1 Hyundai Elantra, and 1 big moving truck. Today. To Minnesota. Because when we get here, this is where we'll live.

This is our new home- in Eden Prairie, MN. Here are a few pictures I grabbed from the listing site online before we move in. We love it. And are excited to put our own mark on it. I'm sure we'll have many more posts, once we have internet hooked up at the new place!

Formal Living AreaKitchen
As much as we'd like to keep the Husker Red Pride going in the kitchen- we'll definitely be painting that wall. :)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

State Dance and the Dance Clinic

Today, I am at the 2011 Nebraska State Cheer & Dance Championship with my Ralston Varsity Dance Team. They have worked very hard this whole school year to perform at this competition and I think I am as nervous (probably more) as they are! State Dance/Cheer has come a long way since I was a cheerleader in high school. In 2000, I traveled with my cheer squad to Lincoln, NE where we performed at Lincoln Lutheran High school against maybe 10 other Class A squads.

Now, the competition has grown and has relocated to the Grand Island Event Center. There are 2 days of competition, 3 different floors running at the same time and over 114 teams competing. Its definitely more intense than it was 11 years ago.

A few weeks ago, the girls got the chance to enjoy a simpler dance experience, with the Ralston Dance Clinic. They were able to teach dances to girls ages 4-11. It was a long day, as I was recovering from being sick, but the smiles on the little girls faces were priceless. They were loving every moment! And they performed that evening at the half time of the basketball game among ooos and aaahs from the crowd.

Sometimes taking the most stressful situations and looking at them through a different light can help the most!

My dancers with the older girls

Rockin' Robin!

The future of the Ralston Dance Team! :)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Monkey See Monkey Do

Sometimes you forget the impression you are giving off to others. Until those "others" are 4 years old. You saw Isa in my post about flash forward to the Austad family future. She is a doll, and is so spunky and full of energy- she kind of reminds me of me as a kid. Always singing, dancing and being active. When I arrived at the super bowl party a few weeks ago, Isa waved hello and then I conversed with everybody while enjoying some yummy football food.

About 10 minutes later, Miss Isa bounced down the stairs and came over to me. She had changed her outfit- which isn't surprising coming from a rambunctious 4 year old. She looked at me and said- "You need white socks." I was quite confused by her comment, until after I looked at her new outfit. She had changed into jeans, found a dress to go over it, and even buckled everything together with a heart shaped belt. She had gone upstairs to dress just like me! Isa had even asked her sister to use her straightening iron to go the extra mile. But her curls are just too darn cute.

To sum it all up, here's a poem. I gave this poem to my dancers at their very first home football game- to remind them that they are always a role model for precious little girls that may be watching. But I think its a good reminder for parents too.

There are little eyes upon you and they’re watching you night and day. There are little ears that quickly take in every word you say. There are little hands all eager to do anything you do; And little girl who’s dreaming of the day she’ll be like you. You’re the little girl’s idol, you’re the wisest of the wise. In her little mind about you no suspicions ever rise. She believes in you devoutly, holds all that you say and do; She will say and do, in your way, when she grows up like you. There’s a wide eyed little girl who believes you’re always right; And her eyes are always opened, and she watches day and night. You are setting an example every day in all you do, For the little girl who’s waiting to grow up to be like you.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Mastering the Art of Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

Last year, I read the book Julie and Julia. I never saw the movie, I always wanted to...but I guess I never got around to it. I figured that reading that book would invigorate my love for cooking and that I would become a world-famous chef in no time! haha- and then I woke up. I have found that while I am still learning the art of cooking, I really do prefer baking instead.

Ryan and I usually buy good ol' pre-made cinnamon rolls in the freezer aisle at our local grocery store. And when I feel really special I get the Cinn a Bon ones that have the extra creamy cream cheese frosting...mmmmm...ok- back to the subject. I figured this time that I would try my best to make home made cinnamon rolls instead!

Here's my process: (and here's a link to the recipe)

Step 1: Make the dough

Now, note to self: if you are just making cinnamon rolls for you and the hubs- you only need to make one batch- not 2, because when you make 2- you end up with 4 dozen cinnamon rolls- enough to feed an army.

Step 2: Make sure the dough sits covered as long as the recipe says, and make sure to use an industrial strength mixer- our hand mixer wasn't strong enough to mix it all completely- so I had to use pure brawn to get it to this consistency.

Step 3: This is what we call the oozing station. When you get ready to roll out the dough, I highly suggest an oozing station. Do you see that brown/yellowish liquid towards the top of the picture? When Ryan helped me roll these out, we loaded the dough with cinnamon and butter, so we made sure the runoff had a place to go.

Because of the amount of bowls, spoons, mixing utensils we used- this is what the kitchen looked like half way through the process. YIKES!

Step 4: Ok, so I didn't give you an exact play by play of the cinnamon roll creation, but you get the point. Here they are ready to go in their greased up pans for baking.

mmmm- don't they look delish?
Don't worry- they were.

Small sidenote:
I must also admit that I probably read the Julie and Julia book because Amy Adams was on the cover- she's my favorite. When I saw her in Enchanted- I about lost it. I want to be her-she's just so delightful in every way. Or maybe I want to be Giselle? I would look good as a red head! :)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Wits and Wagers Wahooo!

Mike and Sara have been our mainstay Omaha friends. Yes, we have other friends, but it seems like when we're hanging out and its just the two of us, we find ourselves saying "What do you think Mike and Sara are up to tonight?" Not only are they family, but both Mike and Sara have proved to be some pretty great friends that we can count on when we need a helping hand. Over these past 3 years, we have had some pretty fun times in Omaha together, and they will definitely be missed when we pack up and move in a few weeks. Mike and Sara- we will never be able to replace you.

Just looking back at the blog posts that we've written about Mike and Sara, I found this, this, this, this and this. I'm sure there are many more- but it looks like Mike and Sara have been our guest stars on this blog more often than I thought! :)

Here are a few pictures from our most recent game night with the Rubins. We started out playing a game called "The Game of Things" which was pretty fun, and then we switched to "Wits and Wagers" which was also a pretty hilarious game. Especially after a few adult beverages. :) The night ended with the ever fun game of Ryan hitting golf balls and Sara trying to knock them down- yeah- you have to be there for that one.

Mike listens to the rules of Wits and Wagers

The Group

Mike- please wake up. We're still playing!

Towards the end of the night- these two were in time out.

And the ever famous golf game. Look at Sara go!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

Hope you're all celebrating Valentine's Day with your loved ones this evening. Ryan and I are keeping it low key this year amidst all of the moving plans and are hanging out at home with hopefully some take out, a glass of wine and a movie. We seem to do that a lot don't we?

However, you celebrate- we hope you have a good one and remember that today is about love. So make sure to call up moms, dad, sisters, brothers, in laws and friends and let you know you love them. Days go by so fast that we all get caught up in our busy lives. I have some pretty amazing people in my life- so I might be pretty busy making all of my calls today!

Happy Valentine's!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sweet Baby Kate

One of the most amazing things in life has got to be the feeling you get when holding a new baby in your arms. Our friends, Todd and Jeannine Bryant, welcomed their first child into the world in January. Her name is Kate, and she's pretty wonderful.

Its amazing knowing that between your arms lies a whole person- a human being with just a few weeks experience at life. A mind that will be shaped and influenced by the people and experiences around her. Its such a wonderful thing that God gives us the opportunity to see life through brand new eyes.

Congratulations Todd and Jeannine on your new, tiny addition- Kate has some pretty wonderful parents to learn all about life from!

Saturday, February 12, 2011


I know you've all been patiently waiting on the edge of your seats to see my scarf reveal. Remember when I started out? Yep- that was just the beginning! And here it is now all finished and pretty and warm! Sniff Sniff, my little scarf has grown up! haha. I'm in a weird mood today.

After finishing the crocheted portion of the scarf I decided to jazz it up by adding black and gray ribbons to the ends of the scarf. It makes it just a little bit dressier, I think.

What do you think?!

Friday, February 11, 2011

A Night with Glenn Miller and the Greg Spevac Band

(Stock Photo from Google Image)

Imagine yourself in the 1940's. Dominated by World War II, the 40's were a popular year for Big Band music- Duke Ellington and Glenn Miller were the top dogs and their songs were a hit with young adults of the time. Among those young adults, my grandparents Fritz and Gen Mihulka. What started for my grandparents in the 40's as a sign of the times, grew into their life long passion.

My grandmother passed away suddenly late last year. And with her passing, she left my grandpa without a dance partner. Even in their 80s my grandparents were still attending dances and reminiscing with fellow dancers. In January, my cousin Kim mentioned that we should take my Grandpa dancing again- he had been itching to go. So, we did some research and my Grandpa got on his best suit and we headed for Fremont.

We pulled up to the Eagles Club in downtown Fremont and watched dancers shuffle into the big front doors. After hanging up our coats and paying our admission, my grandpa, cousins Kim and Kelli, my Aunt Pam and I hustled into the dance area. As I looked around, I realized that we had dropped the median age in the place quite a bit.

The dance lasted for 2 hours and I don't think my grandpa sat down once. My cousins, Aunt and I took turns jitterbugging and lindy hopping. And we even were asked to dance with a few other suitors as well-don't worry my Grandpa kept a good watch on all of us. It was pretty awesome to see everyone dressed up and having a good time at 4:00 on a Sunday afternoon. I wish there would be some sort of movement toward big band dance again- what a fun way to stay active and have a good time with friends and family.

My Grandparents Favorite Band- Greg Spevac Band

Kim and Grandpa

Me and Grandpa

The "Beautiful Blondes"
Kelli, Kim, Grandpa and Me

This picture gets me everytime. My Grandpa recognized a friend, Jean, who was at the dance. When they danced together, it reminded me of my grandmother so much- I just can't believe the likeness. (p.s. sorry for the blurriness)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Snowy Place Setting

One night I decided to jazz up our normal dinner routine and I went looking through my special occasion drawer. Yep- I have a special occasion drawer-don't judge. When Ryan and I were first dating, a home made meal together was a rare thing. We both had busy college schedules, he lived in an apartment and I lived in a sorority house. When we really wanted to celebrate something we made a meal together and brought out the "fancy stuff."

I purchased 2 place mats (shown here) and 2 nicer plates, so that any time we wanted to have a fancy dinner- those would be our main stay. I kept those place mats and found them the other night and decided to whip them out for a fun dinner. I paired them with napkins and plates we received as wedding gifts, and some snowflake napkin rings my mother in law gave me for Christmas one year. And Voila! A fancy Tuesday night dinner. Complete with snowy background.

So make tonight fancy- even if there is laundry piling up and the floors desperately need sweeping.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Mai Tais

As we start the farewell tour (aka, meet with friends and family before we move), we hope to stop at a few of our favorite Omaha spots before leaving for the frozen tundra. One of those favorite places of ours happens to be the Mai Tai lounge at Mt. Fuji Inn. Located around 72nd and Blondo Streets, this hole in the wall specialty drink location has been a favorite of ours since we first moved to Omaha.

It was a great meeting place for the Rubins/Austads, when we lived at our apartment at 108th and Maple Streets. With a 2 drink max on their signature Mai Tai drink, we always had a good time at the Mai Tai lounge! A few weekends ago, we were lucky enough to have drinks with our friends Dan and Marissa and catch up on life in general. You'll be hearing more about Dan and Marissa as we take a trip with them this summer to wine country. There has been a mention of a "no pants weekend!" (Meaning Marissa and I will be wearing dresses for the whole trip- Ryan and Dan you will be wearing pants).

Dan and Marissa


Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Have you ever imagined what life would be like next year? In 5 Years? or 10 Years from now? Ryan and I got a pretty hilarious look at what our "family" could look like in... let's say 7ish years.

Presenting - Austad Family of 4....

You got us- those aren't really our kids. But they are pretty cute aren't they? Follow me here- Ryan's sister Sara, is married to Mike and these are his sister's kiddos-Isa and Abe. Its funny because their Mom and Dad both have dark hair and these two are quite the toe-heads, so they seemed to fit with me and my fair-headed hubs. Thought you'd all enjoy a little look at what the future might hold! :) Thanks Becky and Rob for letting us use this as our Christmas Card this year, won't everybody be surprised? haha

Monday, February 7, 2011

Pretty Storage Solution

In the weeks before we move, I have started to take inventory of what has accumulated around our house. Before we moved out of the apartment, Ryan and I were pretty good at going through things and tossing/donating what we didn't need or wouldn't use at our house. I figured since we went through that process a short 7.5 months ago, that we wouldn't have much to do this time around.

Boy, was I wrong! How can 2 people accumulate so much stuff in less than 1 year? Thankfully, I was ready to tackle 1 area that we tend to overlook- the office closets. Now, before I begin I must apologize for not taking a before picture- as that probably would've helped to see the organizational of it all...but here's my "prettifying (pretty sure that's not a word) process."

Step 1: Find some old cardboard boxes you aren't using, scissors, tape and some wrapping paper. In my case, I found these 2 rolls at Target for $1.50 each.

Step 2: Measure out the paper you will need for each box and start wrapping like you usually would for a present.

Step 3: Fold in the corners, so you don't have to wrap the inside of the box. (this step saves some time instead of having to wrap the whole thing, since you will really only see the outside of the box anyway).

Step 4: Make a nice crease on the outside of the box and tape like crazy on the inside.

Step 5: Admire your pretty boxes...ooooh, aaaah.

Step 6: Insert Crap...I mean, Stuff into boxes and organize!