Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Favorites

This Friday I will be listening to this on repeat...



Get Ready...

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Book It!

Ya'll remember the Book It program when you were in school, right? It was my jam. Being a life long book worm; I always had some free Pizza Hut! I used to read books in the line at school, had teachers take away books I was hiding under my desk, and my parents lecture me about reading at the table. I tend to go through books really quickly. I read the last book in the Harry Potter series in 4 hours. Right after I had finished reading the 6th book. I started at midnight and finally finished at 4am. Yeah, that's how I roll!
I love the feel of a book in my hand, but recently because of a little thing called an iPad I have been downloading a lot of books. Now, reading a real live book is still my preferred method, but the iPad is so easy to travel with that it is coming really close to taking over the top spot.
I received a lot of great book recommendations from the lovely peeps at work for my trip to London. So here is what I have been reading lately. What about you? Any good reads I need to know about?

PS If you read my blog please scroll down and officially become a follower. It would be appreciated!


Hunger Games
Suzanne Collins
It's the new Twilight, but better. No weird Vampire baby storylines to be found I promise.

Behind Palace Walls
Katie Nicholl
The awesome Lindsay Fisher told me I should read this in preparation for the Royal Wedding. Really interesting biography of Prince William and Prince Harry.


A Thousand Gifts
Ann Voskamp
Ann Voskamp has a blog called A Holy Experience. You can check it out here. Its amazing and always has an inspiring or thoughtful message I end up pondering all day. The book is a really good read. Check it!


Water For Elephants
Sara Gruen
Haven't seen the movie yet, but hear it isn't as good as the book (what movie ever is?). Great story about a man who runs away to the circus, and finds more than he expected along the way.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Kickin It Old School...

For a dreary Tuesday...





Friday, May 13, 2011

Royal Wedding Disney Style



















Just sayin...

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Current Obsession: Monarchy

When you have the cheap $12 cable you find yourself watching PBS a lot. Sometimes you catch the end of Ann of Avonlea, sometimes Pride and Prejudice (the Colin Firth version), and sometime if you get really lucky you can catch Monarchy. Have you seen this show? It sucks you in like crazy! It is a behind the scenes look at the Royal Family, and they happened to show 3 back to back episodes this past Sunday.
Two thoughts...
1. It made me really like Prince Charles more than ever. Poor guy has gotten a bad rap for sure.
2. It made me want to jump right back on the plane. Like now. I don't know why I torture myself.



Monday, May 9, 2011

British Telly and Michael Buble

Did you know that the Brits have some sort of obsession with watching 2 hours of Friends every day? And poker, pool, and stand up comedy? Ohh and then there is that glorious show "My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding" They had a special specifically for the Royal Wedding. It was like watching a train wreck. And of course there was the BBC, which decided to air their Royal Wedding coverage from 5pm the night before all the way through Saturday morning.

But the thing I probably watched the most was a special on ITV about Michael Buble. Yes, you read that right...Michael Buble. First off, have always been a fan, but I had no idea he was so funny and charming. Every time it came on I found myself not able to change the channel. Anyway, new found appreciation for Buble.

I leave you with the following...



Just sayin'

Friday, May 6, 2011

Dear Mommy,

Thank You...
For being the bestest mom in the whole world.
For always making every bad day go away.
For early morning snuggles when I was a baby.
For scraped knees healed.
For being there for every sporting event, choir concert, recital, play.
For supporting dad and showing me what a woman after God's heart looks like.
For making every Christmas, Birthday, etc magical.
For filling our home with unconditional love and support.
For taking me to get my ears pierced, and teaching me how to wear make up, do my hair, and look like a lady.
For Black Bottom Cupcakes and Chocolate Chip Cookies.
For always wanting to be in the center of the action and at every party.
For being an awesome Mom Mom.
For laughing and crying with me.
For that My Little Pony tent you gave me the Christmas I was 5 and all the presents inside it. That was awesome.
For freaking out a little inside every time I tell you I am going on one of my random trips. You are coming with me next time. Its not up for debate.
For staying up in the middle of the night worried about where I was, what I was doing, who I was with.
For always forgiving me.
For encouraging me in all my many different career ideas. (I know the "Chef" period was your favorite)
For always welcoming me home with open arms.
For teaching me how to cook, clean, do my own laundry, and be a domestic goddess.
For loving my dad for 40 plus years.
For making our house a home, and a place you knew you could come and relax.
For showing me what a servant's heart looks like and how to take care of other people.
Above all thanks for showing me what Jesus looks like.
I am so proud of you and proud to be Pat Theis' daughter.

I love you!


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Nice day for a White Wedding....(London Part 3/Royal Wedding Part 2)

Now for the Main Event...

Friday Morning I woke up at 4:30am....it wasn't really waking up though cause I had never actually gone to sleep. I had a few of you lovelies from the States forget that I was 5 hours ahead and I kept getting text messages every hour from different people...so sleeping didn't actually happen.

*Side note-One of those texts was from Maria telling me Mason was going to be coming a month earlier than her due date, so I couldn't be mad about that....I was way too excited!!!!

So I walked 3 blocks to Buckingham Palace...my initial thought was to try and get a spot around the Queen Victoria monument but there were just too many people. My next thought was to get a spot further along the Mall (pronounced like Pal people, Pal). So I walked across from Clarence house and was able to get a spot just a few light posts down from that. The Mall had some people camping out but not as many as closer to the Palace. I was able to squeeze in right between 2 lovely British Families. To my left were 2 sweet older ladies who had been camping out since 5pm the night before and to my right was an older gentleman and his 2 teenage twins, a boy and a girl. They had been there since 2am. It was pretty cold so I had bundled up and talked to them to help past the time. They were so super sweet. They both had stood out for Charles and Diana, but both said they were so much more excited that Kate and William were getting married. This seemed to be the opinion of most of the British population. Most were confident that because of Will and Kate's age, length of relationship, and genuine admiration and love for one another that it was a good match. Hopefully we all are correct. I mean I don't think the monarchy could really survive another marriage scandal/divorce like has happened the past few years.

A group of Americans were standing behind me, and we started talking as well. Turns out they were from Charlotte!!!!! How crazy and wild is that? It was really funny. Around 7am I offered to go get programs and coffee for everyone in exchange for a saved spot. The programs were available so those of us not in front of a TV could follow along as we listened over the loud speakers. Plus it was a great little momento to have of the big day.

At 10 things finally got started. Will and Harry left Clarence House to get to Westminster. The crowd went nuts!!! Over the course of the next half hour, the wedding party and Royal family started making their way to the Abbey. I didn't take many pictures of this part just because they were all in cars, and I wanted to make sure I experienced most of this instead of viewing everything through a camera lens. But I did get these 2 shots...

Prince Charles...I promise he is in there...

 One of the sweet little flower girls....

At 10:45 the Queen was the last to leave Buckingham Palace (which is protocal...she is always the last to arrive at any event), and then at 10:50 the beautiful Bride came riding down the Mall in a Rolls Royce. She looked AMAZING!!!! Everyone was going nuts over her dress and the choice of Sara Burton for Alexander McQueen was perfect.

Finally the wedding started at 11. We could hear it over the loud speakers, and fortunately for me the sweet ladies I was standing with had one of those old school portable TVs with an antenna. She made sure I could see it from where I was so I was able to watch from over her shoulder.


The crowds were so excited and sang every hymn that was played. It sounded beautiful. Throughout the ceremony the crowd would go wild. Once when Will and Kate said "I Will", once when Kate finished her vows, and finally when they were officially pronounced husband and wife. It was deafening.
What was even louder was the singing of the National Anthem. The whole procession route went crazy. Everyone singing, flags waving, and so proud of their country. Major goosebump moment for sure!!!
Here is a little video I took...notice how they get totally off from the music, but don't even seem to care.

video

After the ceremony, the Procession began. All the horses and soldiers and carriages were so amazing. I mean really, no one knows how to do pomp and circumstance like England. America we can't even compete.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, as they are now called, were so happy. I was able to get a couple great shots....





After the procession was over they started letting people out of the barriers to walk behind the police down to the Palace. It was crazy, but yet everyone was so excited that it was also really peaceful. No pushing or arguing. Everyone was just so joyful. By 1pm we were all in front of the Palace. Unfortunately, I could not see a thing!!! Just the back of some dudes head. I was however close enough to an exit that I could squeeze out of the crowd.

By that point I was so tired, and had gotten the shot I wanted that I decided to try and book it to my hotel in time to catch the kiss on TV. Oh, the joys of staying 3 blocks away. I walked into my room just as they had emerged....and then was delighted to realize that the fly over also flew over my hotel!!! I stood on my balcony and watched the fighter jets go by. It was awesome!!!

Decided to take a nap after all the excitement and cold weather I needed some rest time. When I woke up I was a little bummed to realize I had missed Will and Kate emerging from the Palace in Prince Charles' Aston Martin!!! I mean how cute was that!!!! Totally dissapointed that I didn't get to see it in person....I mean look how much fun they were having!!!

It was the perfect way to end my week in London and an experience I will never forget...I am still processing time there so bear with me if I have a few more stories to tell over the next few weeks....or until the next big adventure comes along.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Royal Wedding Part One (or London Part 2)

Ok a lot of you have been asking so I am just going to skip over the middle of the week and go straight for the Royal wedding stuff...well sort of...

So here it goes...

As the week progressed the sense of excitement kept building and building. You could just feel it in the air the closer Friday came. It really started on Tuesday with the announcement that the very first crazy fan had started camping out in front of Westminster Abbey. Here he is in all his glory...


By Tuesday the world's media had also descended upon Londontown. My mission through out most of the week was to stay out of central London in order to get away from all the people. However, considering my location just one block from the Goring Hotel (where Kate and her family stayed before the wedding) it was near to impossible not to get excited about the big day.


On Wednesday, I totally got sucked into the excitement of it all. I started thinking about whether or not to camp out the night before. I almost went and bought a tent people, I am not even kidding. I mean this was the scene on Wednesday evening...still 2 days away from the wedding outside the abbey.


The Media centers that had just been built around Westminster and Buckingham were now bursting with news agencies from all over the world. Media Centers in all there glory...



Thanks to my trusty iPhone, I had heard that Robin Roberts and Babara Walters were outside the Palace filming GMA. I got there just as Robin was crossing the street and was unable to get a picture with her, but did get pretty close to snap this gem...


The Today show on the other hand was filming in Trafalgar square. I decided to go by there and see what was going on. They were in the middle of their live broadcast so I texted a few people and told them to look for me. They turned the TV on and they could see me. Totally a cheesy tourist moment I know, and not something I would normally do but I figured what the heck. Me in my moment...snapped by Jacob Lewis and the Creative Family...


I got to see Meredith Viera (to my dissapointment Matt Lauer was not getting in until Friday). She was so super nice and allowed me to get a pic with her. She asked where I was from and if I was excited. We talked about the weather and how long I was in town. So super nice and was wearing some amazingly fierce fuschia heels.


After the excitement of my Today show appearance ;), I headed back to my hotel to rest up and change. On my way back as I have done every day leading up to the wedding I had to walk by the Goring to get back. As I passed I noticed some press, and lo and behold Diane Sawyer!!!! She also was super sweet and I got my picture taken with her too!!!! It was awesome.


My only regret/sick to my stomach moment happened Thursday night. I was standing outside Clarence House, which is the Residence for Princes Charles, William and Harry. There seemed to be a lot of activity because of rumors they were going out again for another rehearsal. Then it looked as if that was wrong and people started to clear out. I decided to be one of those that left and go back to the hotel. It was almost 8 and my feet were so tired I could barely walk back. As soon as I got back to my hotel I turned on the TV and there they were Will and Harry outside Clarence house...shaking people's hands and greeting the crowd the night before the wedding. I was so MAD!! I mean I had literally left there and walked the 15 minute walk back. It was sickening. Here is Clarence house moments before...


And After I left...


Ok....Part 2 tomorrow I promise...

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Death and Resurrection-London Part 1

Disclaimer: This will be a long post...stick with me here people.

"this joyful Eastertide,
away with sin and sorrow.
My love, the crucified,
Hath sprung to life this 'morrow"

My mother asked me before I left if I would be sad to not celebrate Easter with my family in the US. My response? I will still be celebrating, Jesus did die for the whole world not just America.
To give my mother some credit, Easter Sunday was always pretty magical at the Theis house. We dyed eggs, the Easter Bunny would come and leave baskets of candy and a little gift, and Easter Sunday meal after a great church service was always the hightight. Oh that meal...my mouth waters just thinking about it. Ham, Mac and Cheese, Baked Pineapple, Deviled Eggs, Yeast Rolls... I mean really...Momma Theis is the bestest.

So what was it like to spend my first 3 days in London over the weekend in which we celebrate the death and resurection of out Lord?

Well I arrived in London on Good Friday morning. Having left my bags at the hotel, I proceded to wander around London in the beautiful early hours of a still sleeping town. Friday was a bank holiday, one of the 4 that the wedding helped bestow on the UK. Most of the locals were taking the time to go on vacation and get out of dodge while the rest of the world was about to descend upon them in droves.



The weather was an un-seasonably warm April, with highs in the 70s and blue skies in the forecast. I spent some time in St. James' Park watching the runners go by and the beginnings of the tourist arrive at the Churchill War Rooms and the Household Calvary Museum.

After sometime reading, journaling and eating a little brunch I headed to Royal Albert Hall. Every Good Friday the Royal Choral Society and the Royal Philharmonic put on Handel's Messiah. It was beautiful! I mean first off you have Royal Albert Hall which is amazing in itself, opened in 1871 by Queen Victoria in honor of her late husband, Prince Albert. Secondly, the choir and symphony did an awesome job. I had some definite goose bumps the whole time.



After the performance was over I headed to my favorite pub, The Thomas Cubitt for a little dinner and some fish and chips!!! It was a great start to an awesome week.


On Saturday I headed out of the city center to North London. The Camden Lock market is one of the more popular street markets in London and a great place to find some good treasures. I was able get some fun jewelry and 2 new albums to add to the Vinyl collection. (Beatles "Rubber Soul" and U2 "Joshua Tree" in case you were wondering).


After my morning exploring all the vendors the market had to offer, I grabbed a quick bite to eat and hiked up to Hampstead Heath, one of London's largest parks. I picniced in the park, journaled, read and took in the view from Parliament Hill. You can see the whole city and it was such a gorgeous day that you could see the skyline perfectly.



After some rest time I continued on through Belsize Park to St. John's Wood and Abbey Road. Can I just say I LOVE Belsize Park. I kept thinking if (or when) I live in London this is where I would be. Its like a little village within this massive city. Its awesome and quiet and a perfect area for families.


Once I got to Abbey Road I paid my respects at Abbey Road Studios (like all good Beatles' fans do), and just happened to walk by Paul McCartney's House (which is literally the street over). By the time my Saturday adventure was over I was beat, and my feet were screaming so I took the remainder of the evening to rest and get ready for Sunday.

Easter morning I ventured out to Hillsong London. First let me start off by saying...the church shares the Dominion Theater with the Queen musical "We Will Rock You", which is a little bizarre going into church and seeing Freddie Mercury posters, but whatever. Second, Worship was amazing as expected even if a little bit too concerty. Thirdly, there was not a normal sermon like usual, but little mini sermons intermixed with songs, videos and skits. It was not what I expected and seemed like a service meant for non believers more than people like myself who were already pretty established in their faith.



After Church I made my way to St. Paul's. I knew they had an afternoon service and I also knew that the restaurant in the basement of the church had a really good Sunday Roast. I was not disappointed by the food at all. It was awesome. I had Lamb with Yorkshire pudding and Veggies. It was delicious.


After lunch, I attended the service. Can I say that I had so much more of an emotional reaction to St. Paul's than I did Hillsong? I think it was the reverence coupled with the grandeur of the cathedral and the beautiful singing of the choir. I mean really....tears in my eyes the whole service. It was beautiful.



Once out of church I realized how close I was to Tate Modern and decided I had some time to hang out there for a while. I spent 2 hours walking around and enjoying all the beautiful (and very weird) artwork on display before heading back to the hotel for the evening.


It wasn't a normal Easter, but it still did not dissapoint. Would I have liked to have my family with me? Absolutely, but I think it was a great start to a week where I really had a lot of time to spend with the Lord.

Ok sorry for such a long post...the next won't be as long I promise. (fingers crossed)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Weddings, Babies and all that goes with it...

Ok so all my efforts to blog over my time on vacation completely failed. It was probably a combination of things...my pics were on my camera and I couldn't retrieve them until arriving back in the US, my feet were hurting every night and my brain could not function from being overly tired, and I think I needed a few days to process everything that was happening.

Over the course of the next few days I will try my best to describe my time in the UK. All I will say for right now is the weather was gorgeous, the city was amazing, and some people you might have heard of got married.

Prince William and Kate Middleton

PS My best friend, Maria and her husband Michael had a baby. Mason Grey Dreiling born April 30, 2011. 5 lbs, 2 oz. 18 inches long. Am so super excited and can't wait to meet him in person!!!!!



 

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