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Sabrina Leheis from Germany - Smartaupair of the Year!
 

We are delighted to announce that the Smartaupair of the Year 2012-2013’  is Sabrina from Germany, placed with the Vincent family in Northamptonshire!



We were overwhelmed by the number of nominations received this year and would like to thank all our families/au pairs for taking part.

It was difficult to choose a winner, as all the nominations were equally lovely!

However after consideration, the winning entry was based on both the family entry and respective au pair letter on their time together and experiences shared so far.

The winning family and au pair will receive £250 gift card to John Lewis!

Once again, we would like to congratulate both Sabrina and the Vincent family on their award!

Sabrina also receives a special thank you for her active contribution in our smartaupairs Facebook group!

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NOMINATION OF SABRINA LEHEIS FOR AU PAIR OF THE YEAR AWARD

Sabrina joined our family at the age of 18 just 2 weeks after our twin girls were born (10 weeks early) and 3 weeks before the first birthday of our son, Adam. Whilst the twins were to remain in hospital for another 4 weeks - to say that our life was hectic is an understatement. Sabrina has made it possible for us to enjoy the experience and care for all three children - she has exceeded all expectations as an au pair and is a truly caring, positive, proactive and helpful human being.

Right from the start Sabrina jumped right in and was able to help around the house with house work and playing with Adam and we were able to then develop a relationship and "routine" for when the twins came home. Sabrina and my wife worked together to develop work plans and duties and where most people would be daunted by the challenge of helping out with 3 babies, Sabrina seemed to rise to the opportunity and has been willing to do whatever she can to help.

With a cheery disposition and positive attitude she has openly listened to feedback and has given feedback and made requests in a respectful manner. Sabrina has developed a wonderful relationship with Adam and they read and play together in both German and English. She cooks meals, bakes cakes and biscuits and helps significantly with housework including preparing bottles and feeds for the babies, bathing Adam and changing nappies, ironing and light cleaning. She works more hours than had been expected and has willingly helped out in the evenings and at weekends when needed. In return we are flexible and helpful with her requests and needs.

Additionally she seems to respect the relationships within the house. Happily holding the babies, changing nappies, feeding the children and joining the family fun, she respects the fact that we are the parents and gives space and time for us to have our own private moments together as a family.

We've enjoyed watching Sabrina develop as a person too, becoming more independent, working with less instruction and on her own initiative. We are both pleasantly surprised that she has willingly and so ably helped out with caring for the babies - remember there are 3 so that help has been much needed and appreciated. Maybe you can imagine how stressful it becomes at times, yet Sabrina is able to keep cool and do whatever she can to help.

We live in a small village in Northamptonshire and Sabrina has been proactive in seeking out new friends and visiting London and other tourist attractions throughout England. She has also participated in family activities including visiting places of interest, walks, cycle rides and meal times of course.

Sabrina has developed a wonderful work ethic in line with you get out of life what you put in and she seems to really enjoy her role as au pair with us - in fact she has told us so on a number of occasions. It's not work or a chore for her and she works tirelessly with dedication, passion and enthusiasm and it has become part of her life and she has become part of our family.

Sabrina is quite clearly Au Pair of the year.

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And here is Sabrina's letter:

´The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.´
-Oprah Winfrey-

In July 2012 my dream became true and I would start a life as an Aupair for one year. When I look back I can say that I experienced so many new things about English culture, food and people I could never expected. But the biggest gift I got is my hostfamily, which makes my year so special.

To understand why my hostfamily is so unique you should know that there are Adam, Emily and Brooke – my 3 hostchildren. Adam has been nearly 1 year old when I came here. The first time I saw him I felt in love with this little boy. He cheers me up with his blue eyes and his bright smile. We can have lot of fun together reading books, playing with bricks or just being outside in the garden. One special situation will be alway in my mind: One Saturday morning, when I came home from Tennis, he ran into my arms with a big smile and gave me a big hug. I just really love him like my little brother. It is a pleasure to see how he develops from a baby to a toddler.

Emily and Brooke are even special as Adam. They were born 2 weeks before I arrived in England and were still in hospital as they were born 10 weeks early. I got tears in my eyes when I visited them in hospital for the first time. In the last few months they´ve grewn quite much, but they are still tiny.

So if you have 3 babies there is lot of stuff to do: preparing bottles, nappy changing or cuddling. Before I came here, I´ve never hold a baby so everything was new for me. My hostparents showed me, how to hold a baby, how to change a nappy or how to cook for toddlers. I appreciate their patience with me. In return I ask for feedback.

My hostparents taught me many things, e.g. cooking typical english food or doing the chores. Leona, my hostmum, became a friend to me and we can talk about many things. We became a really good team. But my hostdad is even like a friend as well. We both are passionate about cycling and sports in generall, so there are lot of things to talk about.

In my time here I had to work with different people who helped out taking care of the children. So my ability to work in a team increased, just as my english improved. On my weekends I try to explore the area in Northamptonshire by bike or I travel with other Aupairs in different towns in England. I like to meet new people, to see new places and to discover the english culture and history. Because my passion is sport I tried things I´ve never done before, e.g. Tennis or paddling. It was great fun!

If my hostfamily needs my help on weekends I be willing to help out - without extra paying of course. During the week I work more than I would have to, but I like to that. It is important for me to spend time with the family. In return they give me really the feeling to be a family member and not „just“ an Aupair. We eat together, watch movies or do sometimes a trip on the weekend.

It is a give-and-take. Becoming the Aupair of the year means you have got the host family of the year as well!

To be an Aupair is no job for me – it is a dream became true and my biggest chance to learn for the rest of my life!

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