auf Wiedersehen

Auf Wiedersehen is not goodbye, but rather a German saying used to express farewell. It literally translates: auf, until + Wiedersehen, seeing again. I couldn’t think of a more ‘perfekt’ title for our final Mustard + Bananas post.

We moved from Frankfurt on March 24th and I knew someday this post would come. I needed to allow the space to acclimate back to American living, and give some time to marinate on our experiences. This blog, with all 87 posts, has been incredible for capturing over two years of our lives. From figuring out how to navigate a new city, new culture, new language – to traveling more than we could have ever imagined, and all the while discovering how strong we are both individually and together as a couple – there is no better gift.

In the spirit of celebration, today we will share Thanksgiving with our loved ones in the States (this is the first since 2013). One thing this whole moving abroad experience taught me is time flies, and before you know it it’s over and you’re figuring out what’s next in your life ahead.


It’s been nearly 8 months since we Sachsons left Sachsenhausen, and I will always be fond of this place. At first, the experience abroad was challenging, and as hard as it was, I’m grateful. I’ve learned how to find a better balance in my life, to never give up, to persevere when times are tough, and above all to appreciate the present moment.


Walhof’s – the place of our last dinner in Germany.

Coming home we moved back into the condo we left, and after the first night our place looked like a really bad episode of hoarders. It took us three full days to get everything back in place and what we found is we only really needed 2/3 of our belongings. I think living in 350 sq. ft. for two years taught us a very valuable lesson – to need less than what we think. We were more than happy to donate our 1/3 and settle into our familiar space.

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In our home I LOVE incorporating the items from our travels and gifts from our friends abroad. It was important to not have the space look exactly the same as it did two years ago, so we made changes by arranging the furniture in a different way. We are not the same as we were two years ago, and our place should reflect it.


The Duke was a gift from our German neighbors and Aperol is for my favorite drink I discovered while abroad, an Aperol spritz.

The glass candle holder is from my favorite Frankfurt coffee shop, Oheim. The bike is from our first trip to Amsterdam.

The glass candle holder is from my favorite Frankfurt coffee shop, Oheim. The bike is from our first trip to Amsterdam.


A few days later we were reunited with our sweet girl, Natalie. She was well taken care of while we were gone, and it took no time at all to settle into a routine. I love seeing her wake up in the morning and be so excited to go outside, as she leaps off the bed with her tail wildly wagging. Eating her meals, taking naps, and playing with her ‘babies’ (a.k.a. toys) gives her great joy. It’s the simple things that make her happy, and being with her helps me keep things in perspective by not sweating the small stuff.

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Shortly after moving back, I started teaching again at my home studio, Enlighten Yoga. It was a pretty amazing experience to go back to the place where my practice started. Not only have I changed in the two years I’ve been gone, but my teaching has also evolved. Everyone’s been so warm and welcoming, I truly am overwhelmed by their kindness. I’ve been told moving away helped me to “find my own voice” as a teacher. I suppose teaching yoga full-time for a couple of years will do that 😉


The studio has evolved since I left, and I think it’s better than ever. The teachers are amazing, and I’ve enjoyed taking their classes and learning from them. For my teaching, I have one permanent hot yoga class on Sunday’s at 10:45am. I also alternate three additional classes – yoga basics and yin. It was important for me to keep stepping out of my comfort zone, so this coming February I will be doing a 15-hour yin yoga training – a practice I fell in love with once I got abroad in Germany. I’m excited to keep sharing this love and passion for yoga, and it’s an incredible honor to come back ‘home’.

To get me out of the comfort zone even more, I decided to be open to trying new things. In April, I joined a friend at the bar method and admittedly, I did not like it. Something told me not to brush it off after one class, so I joined for a month, and after class five my opinion changed.

Photo credit: Bar Method Charlotte - Southpark

Photo credit: Bar Method Charlotte – Southpark

I find myself overcoming challenges in each class, and that’s why I keep coming back. You find out what you’re made of and continue to build strength. I started towards the end of April and I’m 16 classes away from hitting 100. This may not sound like a huge deal, but it is, ’cause at 100 you receive a pair of light blue ‘Century’ grip socks. My goal is to sport those socks by the end of the year!

In terms of a great (+ fun!) cardio workout, another friend shared a little secret. A $5 cardio dance funk class! This takes place every Sunday and when I can make it, I take it. For 60-minutes we dance with Lem Houston to hip-hop music with people of all shapes, ages, and sizes. Here’s the website if you’re interested in checking it out. A couple weeks ago, he offered a free 90-minute class at a local brewery, and two ladies from work came along. One of them described the class as “feeling like she was a Carolina Panthers’ cheerleader”, and I like that description. I can promise you this – you’ll sweat, laugh, have fun, and it will be the best $5 you’ll spend!


Speaking of work – I landed my dream job on June 1st. I worked nearly a decade for Charlotte’s local Coca-Cola bottler, and it was hard to leave. Shortly after the new year, I found out they were hiring a Marketing Brand Manager and the description was exactly what I was looking for. I wanted a job that had multiple facets with many moving parts – and I’m responsible for three main objectives:

  1. Event Planning – an internal 2-day sales rally for nearly 1,000 employees, twice a year.
  2. Media – as in radio/billboards and determining what makes sense for our territories.
  3. Grassroots Marketing – overseeing programs/budgets and bringing our brands to life.

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It’s been almost 6 months, and it feels like I’ve never left. My boss lady was a previous supervisor and it is great to work for her again. She is super cool, smart, and highly respected in our organization – I’m the lucky one to have her as a boss.

Photo credit: Paige Winn

Currently, we’re working on an exciting Diet Coke campaign with a few local bloggers, and I’ve enjoyed getting to know them. The following four photos are from the amazing Paige Winn.

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In my cube, it was a priority to make it feel homey and create a mix of old and new. The upper shelves are items mostly from my past: pillow was a present from my father-in-law, the three glass bottles are projects I personally worked on, the clock was from my former boss, my last service award, and spirit fingers from a ‘back in the day’ college promo. The items below the shelves are mostly new. To the left is a piece of the tablecloth we had in our German home, most of the pictures were taken during our time abroad, and a few cards given to us before we left Germany made their way into frames. I love this mixture – and completed the space with a gold lamp and a mug from home.


As you can see the schedule is pretty packed, yet with a full-time job, part-time yoga teaching, and spending time with my family – I find my balance. One way Kevin and I share our limited time in a quality way is through cooking. We tried three of those home-delivery companies and landed on our favorite.

We receive our Green Chef delivery on Wednesday, and three nights a week we cook a meal together.


Inside the box is everything we need to make a fresh, organic dinner that’s perfectly portioned.


In general, the dinners take anywhere from 30-40 minutes to complete and each meal is relatively easy to make.


Voilà! Delicious, nutritious, and we did it together.

Cooking in our kitchen, we always smile when we think of the German kitchen we attempted to cook in and how it was a little problematic to not have an oven or microwave. Moving back to our home, we gained a new appreciation for all that we have – a completed kitchen! What’s even funnier is pre-Germany we would drive to the local grocery store and now we resort to our “German ways” and walk the five minute walk. We laugh that it probably took us longer to get in the car, drive there and find a spot, rather than just using our two legs.

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The above kitchen pictures are from my original condo, just below our current home. A couple months ago we put it up for sale, and received an offer after only 15 days! We will close on Tuesday and hand over the keys to a newly married couple. They sent us a hand-written letter explaining as soon as the front door opened, they knew this place would be their home. The wild thing is that’s exactly how I felt the first time the front door opened, too.

Little did I know five days after moving in I would meet my neighbor Kevin, and a couple weeks later we would go on our first date. That night I knew this was my guy and I could not wait to call him forever mine. Next month we will celebrate three years of marriage.


At the beginning of this year, I wrote a post on setting the intention for change and I said the follow statement:

“Change is coming, but that doesn’t mean life should stop. It’s quite the opposite. It’s a sign to slip on the cute shiny pumps, pop the good bottle of champagne, and keep moving forward. Our plan is to continue creating as many memories as possible and I know when we look back on our precious time abroad, we will have no regrets.”

Definitely no regrets and we did live it up.

Moving home we’ve had so much to celebrate – a couple of birthdays, births of friend’s babies, two weddings in California, and even a visit from a friend who still lives in Frankfurt.

I’ve even had my heart melt when my Frankfurt girls brought me out to dinner…


Seriously, I’m beyond lucky and every single day I find gratitude and thanks.


“Be where you are, not where you think you should be.”

We are living proof that you can move abroad and flourish. I think if you have a dream – do what you can to make it happen. If someone would have told me when I bought the condo that I would be living in Frankfurt less than two years later, teaching yoga full-time and traveling Europe with my love, I probably wouldn’t have believed it.

Like anything else in life, when you are handed certain cards, you learn to play the hand you’re given. For me, I found love and that love translated into an incredible husband, many fulfilling friendships, and countless memories I will cherish throughout this lifetime.


This is not goodbye, but rather ‘until we see each other again’. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to those of you that took this journey with us. We loved German living and we love American living. One is not better than the other, it’s just different. No matter where life takes you, always remember to trust that it will work out exactly how it’s supposed to.

auf Wiedersehen,

Jess xx

Standing With An Army

Currently, my Army is 4,381 miles away, including Kevin who also happens to be in Frankfurt as I type this post. I cannot believe it’s been six months since I’ve said goodbye. Only a few people know this, but during the flight back to the U.S., I cried for a quarter of it. It wasn’t because we would no longer travel Europe. It was because of the people. We started out as complete strangers, and yet in the end, they became family.

It’s not easy moving abroad. You’re surrounded by another culture, a foreign language that you barely speak, and in a city full of new people. It took four days after moving to Frankfurt to realize I needed a purpose. I walked to the nearest yoga studio, asked begged for a job teaching yoga, and that ‘yes’ opened the door to meeting so many wonderful people.

These relationship didn’t end when we left Frankfurt. No, that was only the beginning. “Standing with an Army” comes from a song by Ellie Goulding and every time I hear it, I think of our crew. Our Army. I’ve lost count how many times it’s been played while driving, and always with a smile on my face and tears in my eyes.

I’m so thankful.

Before moving from Frankfurt, we wanted to celebrate with our friends. To help us capture the moment, we hired a photographer who snapped some really gorgeous photos of our farewell party. She was completely discreet that we barely even knew she was there!

Meet Rachel – she’s such a beauty – inside and out. She came to visit us in Charlotte during June and we saw Ellie Goulding in concert. During the show she, of course, sang her song “Army”, and when she sang the chorus it got me thinking.

Living abroad took us out of our comfort zone on the regular. It became our norm to feel uncomfortable at least once per day, and took a good six months before everything just sorta clicked. Then over time, one by one, all of these amazing people came into our lives.

The funny thing is majority of them were linked through yoga. This is pretty remarkable considering five years ago as I started teacher training, I had no desire to even to teach. In fact, in order to graduate it was required to teach a 60 minute class, and it was that class that opened my eyes to teach more. So, I did it part-time on top of a full-time job.

Little did I know that my part-time teaching would lead to lifelong friends in Frankfurt….Life is great in the way things just work out. These friends not only made our experience abroad, but they helped to complete it.

Thank you guys for always being there to call up.


And yet you understand, yeah like no one can.


When I’m with you.


When I’m with you.


I’m standing with an army.


I’m standing with an army.


When I’m with you.


When I’m with you.

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I’m standing with an army.

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Standing with an army.


Dark times, you could always find the bright side.
I’m amazed by the things that you would sacrifice,
just to be there for us.


And yet you understand, yeah like no one can.


When I’m with you.


When I’m with you.


I’m standing with an army.


I’m standing with an army.


When I’m with you.


When I’m with you.


I’m standing with an army.

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Standing with an army.


But, before the friends – this is how the story began.

Looking back on our journey of life abroad, we can clearly see the whole experience unfolded in a perfect way. Less than two weeks after we married in San Francisco, we were visiting Frankfurt in search of our new home. We found a cute little apartment that was shockingly 350 square feet, and in this semi-furnished place there were a few pictures hanging on the wall. Seeing a picture of the city where we just married, completely felt like a “sign”.

In the end, we were so grateful for this beautiful space. Small, yes, but filled with so much love. Believe it or not, I miss it. Looking back, one of my favorite moments would be us waking up on Saturday morning and making a couple cappuccinos. We knew this time abroad would not last forever, which made it easier to fully take in the beauty of the present moment.

Everyday, this guy amazes me. When he speaks it’s full of animation and intention. He has my back, no matter what. He’s funny, sweet, generous, kind, and trustworthy. He checked every box and then some. He is my best friend, and I feel like I’m the luckiest person alive to be married to him.

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Would my life be fine if Kevin wasn’t in it? Yes, of course.

But it’s so much better with him in it.

The pictures in this post were taken by Abbi Wensyel. Before leaving Frankfurt, I was in search of a photographer that could take pictures of us in some of our favorite spots. I came across Abbi’s website and really liked her work. After the initial email exchange, I discovered her parents live in (….wait for it)…CHARLOTTE! Some things in this world are simply meant to be 🙂