2014, I name you:
The year we lived in four countries.
Slovenia > Germany > USA > Italy
The beginning of 2014:
The beginning of 2014 was a whirl wind. We were still in Ljubljana, stressed and going over 60 days with no paycheck. It was one of the hardest hockey seasons we hope to ever experience. We finally decided it was time to figure something out. In February it was decided Jerry would head back to the states to play for the rest of the season. I would stay in Ljubljana for a few days to say goodbye to my friends and such.
Remember what happens next? Jerry left. I was heading downtown for a coffee with two of my friends and … my phone rang. It was Jerry’s agent. “Where’s Jerry”…. “On a plane”…. “F***”…. “WHAT?”… “There’s a team for him in Germany”… Jerry landed in Toronto. Spent the night. Jumped on a plane the next morning to head back to Europe.
We were heading to Krefeld, Germany for the rest of the hockey season.
At the time I couldn’t wait to get out of Ljubljana and find peace again (okay, and a paycheck for my husband….). But, the truth is… it was extremely difficult for me to leave Ljubljana. I cried the entire day until Miika and I headed to the airport. This was it. The chances of us ever playing here again are slim. Despite all that crap we went through, it seemed so small compared to the friendships and memories we made there. We grew up there, it was our first European home, it changed us… in the most beautiful ways possible. People in bakeries knew my name, the grocery store knew I wasn’t slovenian but I tried so hard with my fake accent and butchered words, and we had 20 kids that looked up to both Jerry and I with every bit of their little souls.
So, I decided at the airport that night as I was leaving….. “here is a little piece of my heart Slovenia, keep it safe”.
Arrived in Krefeld:
I won’t lie. I was scared. Coming in to a hockey team with barely 3 months left? All of these people have formed bonds and we are just supposed to show up. It can be a weird situation. Boy, was I wrong.
Everyone in Krefeld took Jerry and I in like we had been a part of the team the entire season. First of all, the girls were ALL amazing. I couldn’t believe what a great group of girls they were. They never made me feel “new” or like I didn’t belong. It was a wonderful experience for me in that sense. We knew that Jerry might not even play a single game while we were there but it was for the experience and an opportunity we couldn’t pass up. Thank God we didn’t. While there were days that it was hard for Jerry to sit in the stands and watch, it ended up being extremely rewarding. It just so happened that the starting goalie got hurt, so Jerry ended up on the bench one night. 5 minutes into the game…. Jerry had to go in.
Sweat. Tears. Shaking. Smiling. Pure Bliss.
The girls sitting next to me probably thought I was going to pee my pants but I tried to remain calm. Jerry just got to step on the ice for a league he had a goal of reaching. A “dream” you could say. It was a great game and he ended up playing a couple of more after that. Aside from hockey we met some great people. The owners of our apartment were amazing, two people we will never forget. Jerry really loved the coach. The staff was wonderful. There were a lot of positive things.
Did I mention Karneval? Yeah, one of the best/wild days of my entire life! We all had so much fun. Playoffs were insane. The boys were expected to go further but unfortunately did not. They had a week or two of team/fan parties after the season… and then we’d be heading back to America for the summer.
Krefeld was a great memory of 2014, something we will never forget.
Que the panic about next hockey season.
Back to the USA:
We flew home the day before my 24th birthday.
The first thing we did (literally on the way home from the airport) was have my mom stop at Arby’s. I celebrated my birthday the next day…. and two days later it was back to work for this girl. I was so happy to be back in my groove! I truly enjoy working. I always have. I love my “work” friends, even though I hate calling them that because they are really just some of my best friends.
I worked a lot this summer. Miika and I did our annual dog walks. Jerry spent time with all his roller hockey guys, 3 tournaments and USA in Czech Republic (he has no fun at all)! I tagged along for the tournament in Florida. Which was nothing short of F-U-N. Jerry loves the boys he spends his summer with – the boys of summer – as I call them. We celebrated family birthday’s, hung out with friends, spent time with family and tried to enjoy our summer as much as possible. We went to concerts, spent time at my family lake house, and ate at a lot of our favorite places. Like I said, I worked… a lot.
We celebrated our FIRST anniversary! In Kings Island.
Where we got the phone call that we would 99% be heading to Italy for the hockey season.
Italy it was – Brunico to be exact.
I spent my last week of work in Nashville then we packed up and headed to Italy.
We arrived in Brunico mid August. It’s a great city. Small but beautiful. You are close to so many awesome places. The team has been having great season and Jerry is also having a great season himself. Mostly it’s just been a relief to have all the normalcies. A paycheck, gear for Jerry to play with, a decent apartment (minus the neighbors)… those type of things. The staff has been wonderful and Jerry loves his hockey coach.
Every year has its different challenges. If I absolutely love everything one hockey season, check me for a fever. You go through your little bouts of homesick-ness and missing home, to never wanting to go home, back to missing your friends and family…. every year. We live extremely close to some of our best friends who live in Bolzano and play hockey there. We even got to back to Ljubljana this month to see all of our friends! We’ve experienced some great stuff this year! At the top of that list, Oktoberfest. So glad we got to experience that! Next to Karneval in Krefeld, one of my favorite days ever. Florence in November was beautiful. We still have some time to do a couple more trips before the end up the season. Which… is approaching really fast.
After Oktoberfest…. comes baby Kuhn! LOL.
In late October we found out we are expecting! As you probably know or read in my last post. It was a huge surprise. A good surprise! It gives us so much to look forward to in 2015.
I’m ready for a new year and a fresh start. Ha, how cliche right? Seriously though I’am! In no way was 2014 horrible but it wasn’t always easy.
I’m looking forward too:
Watching my belly grow
The birth of our baby
FInding out where the 2015 hockey season is going to take us
Summer at home with my family
Being a step closer to completing college
Letting go of people who no longer serve a purpose in my life
Saying goodbye to any of 2014 stresses and moving forward
Bonding with my amazing husband
Watching Miika become a big sister
So this is 2014 in a very small nutshell. A lot happened this year! All I know is, I have no idea where my year went. It was great and it was crappy. Lots of smiles and lots of tears. Another year of growing!
This New Year’s eve will be a little different from the past years, as I won’t be enjoying any wine or champaign but I’m sure it will be just as wonderful!
Here’s to the next 365 days!
I (we) wish you all a very happy New Year! Say goodbye to all of those things you don’t want to bring to 2015 and hello to all the new. Many blessings and positive vibes.
– Amanda …. (Jerry + Miika) ❤