relax. just another move.

I ll make it official now:

I´ve been busy like a crazy with our upcoming move!

Sorry, what ? Yes – we are moving …

Are we moving? Where are we moving? What are the circumstances? Where should we move to? What are our job opportunities? What will the kids say? How will they react? What school will they go to? What language should we speak? What will our neighbors say? (more on our lovely neighbors another day ) ….

That´s the kind of questions I had to deal with the last weeks. Now we´ve made that decision, grabbed the bull by the horn and

we are moving to Austria! 

I have a never ending list of things to take care and pay attention to.

20130424-212725.jpg

I keep on running to get everything done …
When are we flying out? What city are we flying out? What are the best deals? Oh – there´s a passport expired. Getting all documents together. Oh, the next Austrian embassy is only a 10 hours drive away. Fine. I´ll do that to! How are we moving our personal goods? Again with cargo air? Oh, no – that doesn´t work this time. Are we taking our family van with us too? Yes … then let´s talk about a container. Getting quotes from different companies. Terminate Hulu, Netflix and Time Warner and not to forget the Health Insurance. Talking about that, all the kids have to get their check-up´s and new glasses. Some more things on my list. Where will we live? Looking for houses. Looking for schools. Who can host a family of 5 for the first days? Are we having a farewell party? Shall the kids invite all their friends to say good bye? … My list goes on and on and on ….. and that makes me feel overwhelmed, but today … I will just enjoy another day, like all the others, just being in Nebraska. The good life! 

Howdy – today!

Melanie

move

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“How are you today?” – A lovely neighborhood

collage fallWe moved from a nice neighborhood in Austria to Nebraska two years ago. No expectations and not knowing what to expect. I´ve seen pictures of typical condos / townhouses and  just asked for a basement, because I was anxious to live in the so-called Tornado Valley and then:

 I ve landed in my personal TV show setting, that is real though!

As soon as we moved into our house there were neighbors knocking on our doors, smiling and bringing a plate of homemade cookies or brownies. Offering their help at any time.

Somedays I would look out of the window and watch my always friendly, never grumpy neighbors talking to each other and I was wondering if they were real.

“Hi. How are you today?”  Were I am from, it is in general not common at all to be friendly at first sight to folks you don´t know and you usually don´t offer your help …  but if people offer you help, then you really question the reason first. Skeptical. Always. This is in my blood. “Have a good one”.

WELCOME

WELCOME

Without knowing our neighbors well, we got invitations to their birthday parties, pumpkin carving celebrations, election parties and simply “let´s get together for coffee and cake” invite´s. They invited us into their houses, let our 3 kids play in their yards, and shared their babysitters phone numbers with us. They play pool or cards together, love to drink wine as soon as the kids are in bed, sell girl-scouts-cookies and block the street and get grill´s out for the annual neighborhood block party.

collage partyThis street celebrates every single day and especially every holiday. Christmas is magical, with all the lights that are set up and luminaries burning. Hundreds of cars driving through the street. Bumper on bumper on Christmas Eve. Yes, even Limousines and buses came through this year.

Halloween is far away from a nightmare. It is a movie like initiation. Perfectly well decorated and tastefully dressed up.

We could never had a better experience arriving in a country that you think to know out of Hollywood movies. If the perfect neighborhood movie setting was created somewhere, then it must have been here ….

I am sitting on the porch, on my rockin´chair. Finally spring has arrived, kids playing on the street, cats strolling around, neighbors raking, mowing the lawn, chit-chatting, lurking behind their windows, not wanting to miss anything, ….

Grateful that I didn´t miss that Nebraskan experience.

Get a peek and see this lovely, old Neighborhood all year round´.

Until then – “have a good one”,

Bree

Edelweiss Edelweiss

Salzburg, really?  “Sound of Music”  I hear. Most likely I meet Americans who traveled to Austria and visited Salzburg, not Vienna.

I´ve never seen “Sound of Music” until yesterday. What???? Yes, indeed. I am from Austria and have never seenSound of MusicbeforeMost of my Austrian friends have neither. What???? My family has netiher. What???? It isn´t a big deal in Austria at all as it is overseas. Barley known – I would say.  What????  How does that come? I don´t know either. But now since I´ve seen it I must say that maybe Austrians should watch “Sound of Music“.

Edelweiss, Edelweiss bless my homeland forever .… the Captain sings.

Today I ll say for the very first time in my life – very proud :

Edelweiss, Edelweiss …. bless my homeland forever. 

Griaß di & Bussi Babba
Melanie
PS:

AWesome MONSTERous ARTlove

Mail from home. This is something i truly enjoy! Being abroad, and having left loved ones behind creates more awareness of your beloved friends and family. Everytime a mailbox, postcard or letter arrives it brings so much joy into our house. Especially if the mail comes from someone who deeply cares and is a wonderful, inimitable artist as my beloved friend, aunt and my other half – Ulla.

This time I´d like to feature her new work. Her 7-year-old son Ian James was her inspiration this time. He loves little tiny monsters and has a blast drawing them … why not making them alive she thought and started her work with crafting little tag´s. I love my purple “Monsty” and hung it on my purse. The other one sits in my office and is my personal connection with her ….

collage

When I received todays mail I was swept off my feet and immediately in love with my new YOGA bag that holds a sketch from my daughter. The second Yoga Bag featured is for my ABFF and shows one of Ian´s “Monsty” sketches.

Ulli Feature2

 

collage

 

Love it? Want some too? Need a “Monsty”?  More information? Em@il her: ulla.banny@roomflow.at. 
and Follow me+ for another feature on Ulla´s  paintings the next time!

Until then, Bussi Babba

Melanie

Gotta love this American ride

Mid America
Where I live there are pickup trucks with their tailgate down …. 
pick up truck

some are red and some are green, but only when it comes to tractors, …
for their Husker Team everyone agrees on bleeding RED.

3 things

Bussi Babba
Melanie

PS: Yeah, okay … I did listen to Country music today while driving around. Sometimes I just have to do it! Hey, I am European – I just need this for the sake of my American ride!

check out – Toby Keith “American Ride” and Montgomery Gentry “Where I come from”

In case you are wondering, as I did, what a “tailgate” is … it is the back of the truck that can be lowered or moved, and a “tailgate party” is held on and around the open tailgate (see the BBQ grill on the pickup photo!!)

NO! Don´t smile …. it´s a PASSPORT PHOTO!

You might have asked yourself this already several times: Why are women with kids – so called “Mama´s”  always late?  Why are they never on time?  What kind of things keep them busy all day long? Why don´t they blog more often? (hmm – didn´t I say something about every other day or so!? )

Okay  –  here´s a simple task:

get a passport photo from a 3-year-old. A 3-year-old -that just turned 3- and literally thinks that he can now rule the world. His world.

After 25 minutes on his knees I felt sorry for the guy at Walgreens and went back home. Why should´nt I try it myself  ….. ???

See yourself:
 NOOOO - don´t smile

You found Lady Gaga´s piano & other AWesome finds

Some of my AWesome finds from the last weeks.

Tornado Shelter at UNL

Nebraska – and my Tornado experience, or how to freak out your kids … I ll tell you more about that some other day.

meinl

Meinl Coffee in the Midwest … yes! Hello Austria and Coffee Culture!

piano 2

Piano

I love Antique and Thrift Stores here … you never know what you´ll find!!! Seen in Omaha – Downtown.

 

 

William is back.

May I introduce you to William Wilson. He has been missing for several years and finally made it to Nebraska. I´ve found him in front of a Saloon in Lincoln. 
william
 
My former Travel-Buddy. Who always made us have special arrangements …  traveling with  a low-cost Airline and getting a seat right away (Priority check in for a bear!)  or the best place in a busy restaurant. William made friends everywhere we traveled too.Then … all of a sudden …  I got pregnant and gave birth to my wonderful daughter 7 years ago. Travelling with William  without an entire household was clearly impossible …  he decided to leave. 
 
Why there was no space for William anymore?
diapers, a huge amount of pacifiers ( in each bag at least one extra ), pad to put under your baby to change diapers, blankets, plastic bags! (for anything … that could happen), diaper rash cream, wipes, tissues, changing-clothes, socks, favorite toy to keep busy, favorite stuffed animal, teething medicine, and all other medicines you might need … and you want them always on hand with your baby, especially traveling on a plane,  individual packets of powdered formula, bibs,  hot water, cold water (already tired of my list? … hold on – there´s more to come!) front carrier or baby wrap, collapsible stroller and if traveling by car don´t forget the car seat, toys, and the portable crib ….  Stressed? Never mind, you´ll never leave on time anyway! 
 
William is Scottish. Proud. Fun and simple. A bear.  He loves to sneak out and get some food at night. Of course he loves to travel.  He had a serious accident while hiking through Scotland but I´ll tell you more another day about COYOTE & WILLIAM. 
 

Until then …  enjoy some of my favorite pictures from and with William in Scotland.

Bussi Babba
Melanie

… On some days I need cheerful and craziness in my already crazy life. Thank you William …  
William in Edinburgh
 
 

U-Bahn in Vienna vs. John Deere in Nebraska

I AM A CITY GIRL, ….

at least I grew up in a city. In Vienna, Austria. Let´s say I have spent most of my days in Vienna.

Tramways, riding buses, waiting for the next “U-Bahn” underground, shopping, riding bikes along the “Donau“, crossing busy streets, going to the park around the corner, getting angry at Vienna´s dog owners, drinking “Melange” , strolling around the famous “Schloss Schönbrunn” , hanging out at the “MQ“, listening and watching opera in front of the “Rathaus“, dancing at the “Volksgarten“, and eating Schnitzel on Sundays.
city girl
And now? I am in Nebraska. N E B R A S K A.
All I knew about Nebraska was that it has obviously a lot of corn. Still I couldn´t believe how much corn that means and how tiring it felt driving through Iowa and Nebraska. I80. That means. Corn. I80. Trucks. I80. Corn.
Driving for several hours without finding a place of “interest”, whether it is a castle, a shopping mall or a nice old town with tiny little cafe´s – that was something new to me…..
I didn´t know what to do with that wide land and nothing to see ….
at the farm
Today I see Nebraska a little different. Peaceful. Quiet. I feel sincere love for the farming land, the wide and open space. The sky. The stories. The people especially.
I ve gotten to known those tiny little things, whether it is an opossum living in a shed, the taste of homemade Angel´s cake, the sound of the Tornado sirens, wonderful bluestem grass, turkey vultures flying above our house, hayrack rides with an old John Deere or the knowledge of legendary Tom Osborne and the Huskers … I ve gotten to known those tiny little things that matter …
Get a taste of some lovely days here in Nebraska. A day at the farm with some dear friends and a morning walk with my 3 crazy but lovely little ones at one of my favorite places here in Nebraska to refuel, to connect, to simply walk and enjoy those sunbaked yellow hills and that open wide space I now truly love. Audobon Spring Creek Prairie Center in Denton, Nebraska / is worth a stop! Explore the Prairie with their unique Discovery Packs (assortment of tools such as magnifying lenses, binoculars, journals, …) and look out for traces of history and wildlife.
Bussi Babba – Melanie
PS: Did I really forget to mention I80´s Truck stop? The world largest Truck store ….. that´s THE place to see on I80!!
I 80 stop

BTW, BYOB, PB, OJ, PLS, RSVP, ASAP, CU, THX, JB … J/K…

AWesome – Thursday I love about …. 

Almost 2 years ago as soon as we arrived in Nebraska I realized that acronyms and abbreviations are not only important in our new american daily life … (BYOB, ETA, RSVP, ASAP, e.g. …) but also a fun way to express HUSKER Football love or many other fun statements on your car´s license plate.  Here are some of the many AWesome impressions:

Follow me*

Bussi Babba – and AV2 zan (auf wiedersehen)

more to come …

until then:

bhealthy