Sunday, November 29, 2009

Advent Advent ein Lichtlein brennt

Last Sunday in Tennessee!!!!! It's insane how quickly 2.5 months have passed and time has come to pack up and leave again.  Between packing we made time to go on a short hike up the hills and a trip to Opryland to see the lights. More than two million lights twinkle their way through until early January. Impressive to say the least. In addtion to all the lights they have a gigantic nativity scene with the Christmas story being read out loud on repeat.

Today being the first Advent Sunday we celebrate the coming of Jesus. If that's not a reason to party, I don't know what is!! Love knowing that people back home will light the first candle and will bring out their advent calendars. My brothers, after my mum told them that they're too old for that by now, put our old calendar up and filled it themselves last year :) Can't wait to see what they've done this year haha

Saturday, November 28, 2009

visuals to the last couple days

Anne and Andrew stumbling upon a film set

work - the last coat woohoo

7.45am Thanksgiving morning

reminded me of a pilgrimage, but it's the charity run/walk


P. girls and extended family @ Liz's ornament shower

Friday, November 27, 2009

cliches and funny movies

First ever Thanksgiving and it was fabulous.
Started out really early to walk the Boulevard Bolt - a 5 mile run/walk to benefit the homeless people in Nashville. Although it was freezing and I looked like a clown - turned out to be okay as people were dressed up as turkeys, Santas, Indians, etc - it was the best start of the day. It's nice to see people taking time out of their holiday and give back to their community.
What followed was the above mentioned cliches - a house full of people, Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, football, games, an overload of food and funny Christmas movies (Elf anybody!).

Things I am thankful for this year...
an awesome God who took me on a whole new adventure
a family, who still love and believe in me
amazing friends
the Lago di Garda crew for being who you are
different airlines taking me places
Willi Dungl tea
being part of a great church
my MacBook
sleeping in a bed for most of the year
Zeke for making me laugh every time I see him
Zoe and Malin for giving me a chance to work with them
Florence and the machine, Kings of Leon, MuteMath, Mark Ronson, As Tall As Lions
Jetty for making me climb up that mountain
fresh air
My Glorious for memorable moments on the road
Wimbledon Common
Life is full of things that don't necessarily have to be there but they are. I always wonder why I get to be part of this unfolding journey, that is so rich in everything.
I've stopped asking why and started saying thank you.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

preparations and memories

Thanksgiving prep is in full swing in this house. There are batches of dough rising, sweet potatoes are roasting in the oven and cheese grits bubbling away on the stove.
Considering that Christmas is a month away and this little dance in the kitchen will repeat itself, I asked Missy why the two are so close together. She said "those pilgrims couldn't wait for a couple months!" haha
I'm not complaining, the house smells amazing and is getting full with all the girls and their better halves coming home  to celebrate.
My London family celebrated last weekend and they had 48 adults and 22 kids in their home :) I bow my head!!!!

Last night we stopped and had dinner at California Pizza Kitchen. Memories from my first trip to the States came rushing back... fun memories of when my brother was frozen solid after having about 6 or 7 glasses of pink lemonade or not being used to US portions, we couldn't move around after lunch. Can't believe that was seven years ago.
It baffles me how much has happened in those years, the places I've seen or lived in and ALL the people I got to meet and do life with. No matter where I wake up or what the circumstances, I know that I am blessed!

Tomorrow morning we will get up early and be part of the Boulevard Bolt. It's a charity run/walk to raise money for homeless people. I'm super excited and will fill you in tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

late nights and ball games

If you haven't watched a football game in a sports bar, you haven't really experienced America. Very good when the home team is winning, not so sure what would happen when losing, but there was dancing in the street!
Finally met Anne's boyfriend Andrew in person yesterday. He's a track and field runner who is finishing his post grad in DC at the moment. Funnily enough Sarah's class had to write about their modern day heroes and one of her class mates wrote about Andrew. They've been giving him a hard time ever since haha.
After dinner we all ventured out to watch the Titans game at some bar in Nashville. Fun times with too much beer(the whole pitcher thing... so not what we do) and crazy people. Loved it.

This was in my fortune cookie last night. Couldn't stop giggling as earlier that day I had talked to my friend Simon, making plans about hitting the snow at the end of the year. Haven't been on a snowboard in 15 years, as I wrecked my knees(went skiing for the next couple years which didn't help the knees either!), and would love to take it up again. Told him that they have to take it easy with me. Being the ever optimistic, encouraging person who's lived in a world of "you can do it" and "we believe in you" etc was confronted with him saying "that's gonna hurt". Thank you very much Simon, I much prefer the fortune cookie :)

Monday, November 23, 2009

countdowns and chats

Time has been flying past so quickly it is ridiculous. Yaya's days in the US are numbered :)
It feels like such a long time ago that I came over here and met the amazing family P who have showered me with love and hospitality. Wish I could give back so much and just pray that they will be blessed abundantly for taking me in. (considering that I was supposed to stay here for a weekend and 2 months later I'm still with them!!! they're legends!)
So after church (including a rendition of Alleluia Alleluia Alleluuuuuu-ia which still makes me think of a certain Mr Bean episode) and a quick lunch, we headed to downtown Nashville once again to walk around like tourists. It was a quick visit as the rain kept coming down. Slowly it feels like I know my way around the city. Like and hate that part... After two years in Sydney I finally felt like I know how to get to places, short cuts, etc and than I had to leave. What's the point?!

Life is great everyone and I could burst with thankfulness and gratitude. Just got to chat to these two

An hour an a half later their battery died and we finally hung up haha. Talking to your besties is like a shot of energy. Heard funny stories from the EheG and we're all going a bit nuts over celebrating New Years Eve together. Crazy things happen when we all get together, you wait and see world!!!

A few pictures from the last couple days...

Vanderbilt - Lipscomb game

the hot light at Krispy Kreme was on

so to annoy my brother a photo of what he can't have :)

dad this is for you

he's everywhere

streets of Nashville

Fort Nashborough replica next to the river, where people first settled

Saturday, November 21, 2009

the blind side

Please watch this movie... it's an amazing story how one person or in that case a family can change another person's life.
We watched it last night, fighting our way through the Twilight crowd and it was totally worth it.

Friday, November 20, 2009

dreams and life

Recently I was asked if I was interested to speak at a high school. Not sure if it will happen due to crazy schedule but I've been thinking about it ever since.
What do you tell young people when you get an opportunity such as this?  First I thought that they'll get me to speak about Austria (done that before at a primary school in Glasgow and all those little 10 year olds wanted to know was, if I've ever been on the set of Sound of Music), but their teacher has been pushing them to pursue their dreams lately, so they thought I could help out with that.
Not sure how much you can talk about dreams and pursuing them without bringing God into the picture!!

My dreams have varied over the years, from joining the circus when I was about 11 years old over working in the fashion/film industry(costumes) when I was about 15 years old to working in the events/music industry and touring with a band. Funny how all these things have one thing in common - travelling. 
Despite all this I made a decision years ago to follow God wherever He wants me to be and life has been a roller coaster ride to say the least. He's brought me to Scotland, Australia, England and currently the US (travelling anybody!!!) on this journey. I've worked in events, with a band, in the fashion industry and most recently got a chance to gain experience in the film industry. How crazy is that?

At the end of the day all I can do is agree with Paul who says in Ephesians 3,
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

With Thanksgiving around the corner, I'm thankful for this adventure I was allowed to embark on and more than ever for my family. 
Although my parents don't understand what I do most of the time and think I'm insane the rest of the time - they never put limits around us kids in terms of what we can achieve. I honour them for who they are and how they raised us. They recently celebrated 30 years of marriage which has become rare in todays society. Love them and a gigantic THANK YOU goes out to them!!!!!!
Can't wait what the next year will bring but I can smile at the future, knowing it is in safe hands.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

games and people

The last couple days have been rather relaxed after a certain person left for the UK.
Monday night we went to a basketball game, Vanderbuilt vs Lipscomb. I guess basketball is my favourite game to watch as it is so fast paced and all over the place, but what truly made my day was the couple sitting in front of us.
He had his earphones plugged in and was giving everyone around him a updates on all the other college games going on across the country. She was so into it that when she clapped her entire body was moving up and down. (don't think I've ever seen anyone clap that fast either) In addition to that they had binoculars!!!! Felt like sitting next to a bird watcher and in case anyone is wondering, we had an amazing view of the court so unless you want to see the pores on the players faces, no binoculars needed! Fascinating indeed.

Started another coat today, but spent the last hour packing my bags. After a lot of back and forth we are going to drive to Dallas, TX. ROAD TRIP!!! The route changes every hour at the moment and I've stopped asking. I'm packed for a week and as long as we make it back in time for Thanksgiving, it's cool with me.

Monday, November 16, 2009

colours of Tennessee

some pictures I took on my walk around Radnor Lakes yesterday... gorgeous doesn't even begin to describe it! 

Now imagine all this with Bobbie Houston speaking to you on "she clothes her world in salvation". It was amazing.

the waiting game

Sometimes I wonder what all those ladies 200 years or so ago felt like. Sitting around and waiting... Waiting for what? To take a stroll in the country side, to sit down and read, to be married off, to have tea with other ladies/neighbours.
I've been feeling like that a lot over the last couple weeks. There were so many days and I had no idea what was going to be happening that day. Will people pick me up? Am I going to work today? Are we going on a sales trip? etc.
It's annoying but you learn to live with it and the big plus I get to read a lot more and I've been busy making Christmas presents :) Don't think I've ever been that organised before regarding presents. Maybe when I worked at Starbucks and everybody got coffee that year! I'm excited about creating stuff at the moment and might even start sewing my own stuff again. We'll see.

Looking forward to chatting with the lovely Ruth later.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

pins and needles

This entire last week was dedicated to sewing samples and this morning around ten I was finally done. Yay!! My fingers are pierced and in pain from all the hand sewing. Haven't done that much since school days :)
I put up a personal record in making a coat in two days(cutting to sewing on buttons)!!!! It was an old civil war coat pattern, that didn't fit a hundred percent, but I'm proud that I finally managed to do it. Thank you itunes, Radio 1 and SNL late last night for keeping me company...

It's been gorgeous the last couple days and it rather felt like torture to be kept inside, so I'm off to soak up some sun now. Have a fun Sunday everyone. 

Friday, November 13, 2009

early mornings and sore fingers

For the last 3 days I've been working non stop on putting samples together and our designer seems to come up with a new project every day. It's kind of insane, but he doesn't get this.
Last time this happened was when I was working on this indie film called "Live East Die Young", but for some reason when you work as a team, it's always more fun and somehow easier when you work out problems together. Besides the point that it is more fulfilling when you have the outcome (actor in clothes on set) right before you.
Anyway. I need to start a coat now and finish it by tomorrow night. The challenge is on!

Oh and because life hasn't been crazy enough lately, we're going on a road trip to Dallas. I'm expecting great things and I can't wait to drive. More on that later.
Seems like my time in the States is rushing by and it's only two weeks till Thanksgiving, that's basically it and I'll be back in London before I know it.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

how to do things knowing they wont work

For the next couple days I'll be a seamstress again.
When you create your own stuff, it's always easy to do things and figure out ways how to do them. At the moment this is not easy, especially when working with someone who has very little knowledge in garment construction. Fun what ideas pop up but very unrealistic to follow through :) This dress coat is driving me nuts but I'll try anyway and hope for the best!!

As a picture says more than a thousand words...

Monday, November 9, 2009

the incredible MUTEMATH

About 7 years ago, my brother Ulrich and I traveled around the States for 5 weeks. One of our stops was a music festival in Minnesota where we had gone to see a band called Earthsuit perform.
Sometime before that I saw a picture of them somewhere, had never heard of them, but I was intrigued by their style of clothing. They were so out there - mind you, this was way before Lady Gaga and her crazy antics existed :) Anyway I instantly wanted to hear what they sounded like and from the first bar of music fell in love with it.
Long story short, we found out that they were going to play while we were in the US so we just got tickets and went for it. We got to meet them and they told me that they were going to the UK later that summer. On my way up to Scotland I swung past their show at Soul Survivor(which as it turned out was a God thing as Soul Survivor radically changed my spiritual life. Thank you Mike Pilavachi and team). It was lovely to hang out with them that day and I remember thinking that - besides them being the sweetest, most polite southern boys ever (Europeans take note) - they are such an enormously talented bunch of guys, big things will happen to them.
Well I've followed what they have been doing ever since and 7 years later I am in Nashville and finally got to see them in their new outfit called MUTEMATH. They were ranked 2nd behind Coldplay for live performance by the Rolling Stone which is an understatement if you ask me.

It was phenomenal, intense, loud, incredible, ridiculous, breathtaking, crazy and the list goes on.
I've never seen so much energy and sweat on stage. Thank you very much boys.

The supporting band needs an honorary mention, As Tall As Lions were amazing as well and they'll be in the UK in December. Good night world.

sunshine and MuteMath

We had the most gorgeous weather today. Clear blue skies and abundant sunshine!
Tried to read my book outside by the pool, but had to go inside as I started to get really red. This might be my summer after all haha. Anne, Sarah and I even went to a popsticle place mmmmmh.

Fun things today were, talking to my friend Simon, who always makes me laugh. Can't wait to spend New Year with him. Dance party extraordinary awaits :)
And I still can't stop laughing, talked to my youngest brother Joachim today and he told me that our brother was rapping at kids church this morning and he had mixed a beat specifically for that occasion. Muhahahaha Decided we were gonna call him U-Dawg from now on and later he sent me this picture

If that is not terrifying, I don't know what is :) Love them, they are crazy!!!!

When I talked to my favourite 2 year old yesterday, he wanted to see more photos of his Yaya so I played around with photo booth while sitting outside today :) These are for you Zeke Zeke

love this dress, thanks Lidinha x

Off to see MuteMath in a bit. A dream will come true yippie yay. More on that tomorrow x

Sunday, November 8, 2009

catching up

Got to talk to my family and friends today and it felt good to catch up.
Went to Robert's basketball game in the morning and oh boy were people into it. Parents yelling all over the place, especially fathers knowing everything better and each shouting directions across the court. 10 year olds are quite fierce I have to say and the team fought and sweated but still lost. Great game though. There was this little African American boy and I have never seen a cuter kid in my life. His already got this swagger going on and maybe it's because he's the smallest of his team, but he's got attitude. Amazing!

This link is for Lidia, stumbled across this on my daily read through other blogs and I have to say I LIKE it. Check out Lonny.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

housemates for life

When you've lived in several parts of this beautiful planet, you meet amazing people wherever you go. Some of them will do life with you for a season and others are like family that will remain in your life for a long long time.

My Brazilians are of the latter kind :)
I love them dearly and treasure the time we get to spend together. Once upon a time we used to share a house in the mighty suburb of Glenwood, Sydney. Crazy things happened and we were all stretched to grow during that season. I was spoilt to spend some time with them this week. Here is the evidence.

Love you to pieces, thanks for having me xx