Sick at the Koois. AGAIN! I don’t know why this happens whenever I stay here for long periods of time. Perhaps it’s because I’m so paranoid of getting sick and passing it along to other family members, that I get sick and pass it along to other family members. I’m blaming Will, though. He had the sniffles before I did, and now I have an actual illness. Yes, I am aware that it’s 5:33 in the morning – a rotten time to be awake. Not even the dog is up yet. But I had to get up. I was having weird and scary Harry Potter dreams and was legitimately afraid that someone or something was going to pop up outside the window and Avada Kedavra me. Oh well. Maybe Spongebob is on.
No fall has ever come close to being as wonderful as the Fall of ‘08. Now two years later, I find myself still daydreaming about bundling up inside the Schloss then running outside and hopping onto the 43, heading towards Stephensplatz. I miss the smells, I miss the weather, I miss the languages, the culture. I miss hearing “Gross Got” after every DM visit. I miss Neuwaldegg. The PARKS. Oh my goodness I miss the parks. I miss trains. I miss the quiet nature of the Viennese. I miss ordering kebabs in German.
One time, I tried to order a kebab using my newfound German. Unfortunately, I was still a total newbie and tried anyway.
“Ummm, eins Kebab, und nein tomate und nein… onion.”
My attempt to order a kebab with no tomato and no onion only halfway succeeded. I found out later that onion in German is actually, zweibel. Who knew?
Since Vienna has been heavily on my mind, I have been getting out my beloved journal that I so dedicatedly wrote in nearly every day during my 3 months abroad.
I don’t typically read the homework part of my journal unless I want to remember the name of something or read about my extreme dislike for Baroque architecture. Instead, I flip back to my thoughts. Some of them are horribly embarrassing. Some of them are just day-by-day updates. And then I came across this gem of a journal entry. November 22 2008. Ah, we had had SUCH an interesting journey before this entry was written. It was the end of my second 10-day travel. We were in Switzerland, my favorite country. The girls I was traveling with and I just barely escaped an incredible blizzard that was going to hit Gimmelwald, the mountain our hostel was on. After hours of waiting and train hopping, we finally made it to the Zurich train station in hopes of catching the last train to Vienna. Because of all the blizzard delays, we missed the train to Vienna by 3 minutes. The next one wouldn’t be till 6:55am. It was only 12:03am. By this time, we had been without sleep for over 60 hours and had no choice but to stay awake until 6:55am. The trams were closed for the night so there was no way we could get to a hostel – plus there was a blizzard. The Zurich train station is an open train station, so we couldn’t sleep anyway without being in the snow. When I wrote this journal entry, I had had multiple cups of coffee and coke, and was sitting in a McDonalds for the second time that night after having spent an hour in there previously, followed by 3 hours in a Burger King.
November 22 2008:
I’m in McDonalds for the second time tonight. I don’t know what time it is, and I don’t know what day it is. I do know that it’s like a club in here and if I threw up, it would be nothing but coke and coffee. Gross. I don’t even remember the last time I brushed my teeth. And my iPod is dead. I am BURNT OUT on the following things:
Hot chocolate, chocolate, coffee, french fries, McDonalds, eating out, bread, butter, peanut butter, cake, not getting sleep, club music, loud drunk people, anything dealing with trains, gaining weight, feeling sick, face breaking out, hair out of whack, going days without getting to brush my teeth, paying for bathrooms, paying for bed sheets, hours of idle time, the loud obnoxious girl that’s in McDonalds here in Zurich, being liked for Obama, my money belt, being ready to go home, not being able to work out, being away from the girls, missing campus life, not having ketchup or ranch dressing, luke warm showers, cornflakes cereal.
I was sitting on the second floor of McDonalds, facing a giant window and watching it snow in Zurich, Switzerland.
I’ve got to get back to Europe.
I. Can’t. WAIT!!!
October 11 was the 5 month mark. Will and I have FIVE months left till we’re married. It’s soon, but mostly (feels like) far away. And I still don’t feel like I’m the one getting married. All the signs are pointing in the right direction: I have a ring, I have a dress, there are bridesmaid dresses hanging in my closet, I’ve met with florists and bakers, I have a wedding planner and a checklist, friends greet me with “How’s my little engaged friend?!”
Oh yeah. It’s all comin’ together.
But I still feel like I’m planning some event that’s just going to be a big deal. I’m waiting for the day when I sit straight up in bed and say, “OH. This whole event thing is MY event. WHOO!!”
Every day I find something to add to my “Things I’m Looking Forward To Once I’m Married” list.
- Kitchen Utensils – YES. I never thought I’d care about this, but I learned that I really enjoy being in the kitchen and that having good kitchen equipment is vital. Last night I made Bacon Cookies (it’s true – come try some), but before I could put it all together, I had to make the bacon into bacon candy. Because I have no-name lame cookie sheets, the bacon candy would not come off of the tray. Yes, I know I was supposed to use parchment, but it simply was not available. EVEN SO, the bacon shouldn’t have stuck like it did, nor should the cookies have made the mess they did. I’m looking forward to having knives that cut, spoons that strain, and a crock-pot (all great registry items…). Also an apron. I’m really excited to some day own an apron, especially since I’ll be cooking a lot.
- Dave Ramsey – Dave is going to be all up in our marriage. Every time I open my wallet, he’ll be there. Every time we make a purchase, he’ll be there. It sounds scary, yes (given that there will be a little man here and there), but I’m ready to officially be an adult. In five months, no longer will I say “Parents, may I have…” because instead, I’ll be saying “Dave, can I have…” and when he says no, then I’ll say “Will, can I have…” and then when he says no, it’ll all be worth it!
- Furniture – Now, you all have heard me talk about our future furniture. Our crate furniture. But we’re really working to turn this furniture around and it actually looks pretty good. Once the furniture is the way we like it, we’ll be able to decorate the apartment. This is the frightening part. I first have to learn how… to be a girl. Erica has been my sidekick for four years and has always done all the decorating. She decorated both apartments that we’ve lived in, she’s my fashion guide, and she’s helping me big time with this wedding. Now I’m going to be on my own (girl wise) and left with an apartment to decorate! I’m sure I’ll figure it out though.
- Bed time – Before you go all TMI on me, hear me out. Will has a full-time job and I’m a full-time student. Our schedules require us to both be in our beds way before midnight (though I realize I’m writing this very near to midnight). In order for this to happen, he has to leave my place or I have to leave his place at 9:30. No extra MASH episodes, no extra cuddle time, nothing. 9:30 is the time. I know it doesn’t seem like a big deal, but when I’m stressed or especially grumpy, 9:30 is the worst thing in the world and I cry for about 10.5 seconds then get over it. Once we’re married, we can watch all the MASH we want! (Right, Will?)
- Being a Mrs. – Mrs. Holly Kooi. Awwwwww!
There are things from the here and now that I’m going to miss of course. Mainly I’m going to miss living here with Erica and Brianna – the two girls who make me laugh, encourage me, challenge me, and watch TLC with me. I’ll also miss Karissa knocking on my door at odd times in the night fully equipped with stories, though I’m sure Karissa won’t miss me knocking on her door and asking for another ingredient and/or kitchen utensil…
I’ll also miss this:
Like I said, Erica and I have been pea pods (ask Erica) since day 1. What you see here is our beds pushed together to create a giant best friend bed, complete with our stuffed animal friends: Ringo, Brownie, and Red Panda. Last night, Erica came back at some crazy hour, like 3am or something, because she had been watching a scary movie with Seth. She jumped in bed, which woke me up, and she frantically whispered to me that she had watched a scary movie and was therefore, scared. I told her she shouldn’t watch scary movies, she said I know, and we fell asleep holding hands.
I’m beyond excited to start a new life with Will. I’m a little nervous to leave my old life as one of the girls. But no one ever said you couldn’t combine the two a little here and there. So, March 11, please arrive soon. Because Will and I want to have our friends over for cookouts and be a hip married couple!
And I want a kitten. (SIGH – in like, 3 years)
I have 3 stories for you.
Every Wednesday, from 9 to 3, I spend the day teaching and talking with 4 year olds. Their worlds are absolute fascinating if you’re able to listen to them long enough. Their imaginations are incredible, their speech is adorable (for the most part), and their perspectives are hysterical. Today I found myself reading book after book after book in the Reading/Doctor’s Office Waiting Room Center to a gathering of girls. One of the young ladies could no longer concentrate on book number eight due to “the boy in the red jacket”.
4 year old girl: Miss Greene! Someone – um – someone said that that boy over there in the red jacket is cuuuute.
Me: Oh yeah? Was that person you?
4 year old girl: *Shakes her head with a definite no*
Me: You know, saying someone is cute isn’t a bad thing.
4 year old girl: *Eyes get really big* Oh! Well then yes it was me.
Me: So you DO think he’s cute then…
4 year old girl: Yeah he’s reeeeally cute! *pause* Miss Greene. Do you know what cute means?
Me: Well, maybe. What does it mean?
4 year old girl: Hahaummmmmmmmm, cute means, um, cute means like, like hubba hubba!
I bet you didn’t know that definition.
Steak, chicken, and fish are my favorite dinner items. If bacon were a main course all by itself I would add it to the list. So last night, Will’s dad grilled steak, chicken, and fish. Heaven! Now, in my defense, I was in a hurry. Will and I had to leave by 6:15 in order to make it to Financial Peace University by 6:30, and we sat down to eat this magnificent meal at 6:05. I only had 10 minutes. And then on top of that, I love steak, chicken, and fish. I ate all three at a fairly quick pace then left with Will for FPU. When we returned from FPU, Will’s mom said she had a story for me. Will’s mom, dad, and little brother Seth all went to the park while we were gone. On the way there, Will’s mom made the comment to Will’s dad about how he’s getting a daughter-in-law who likes fish. Seth backed up this comment with his own:
Seth: Yeah, but did you see how Holly ate her steak? She ate it like a rabid dog!
Mendy: Seth I’m sure Holly wouldn’t want to be compared to a rabid dog.
Seth: Okay, a wild wolf then.
OKAY! So Brianna has an amazing new Pi little sister, Ali, this semester who is now having to endure Rush Week. Luckily, Brianna is the best Big ever and has her do pretty awesome things, like speak in a variety of accents for an entire day. Brianna also had her make up an entirely new, uh, psychological brainteaser. You know, another one of those “picture a box, where is it” things. Ali gave me, Erica, and Brianna the test at the same time last night. We had to picture a plane, the color of the sky surrounding the place, where we’re sitting on the plane, who we’re with, what happens when the plane dissolves, what colors we see when the plane dissolves, and a bird. We finished the test, then Ali revealed to us what everything meant, then ended with, “And the bird represents Jesus.”
During Ali’s test, we all had been doodling what we pictured after each question. When Ali stated that the bird we pictured represented Jesus, I happened to look down at what Erica had drawn then immediately busted out laughing.
Erica’s representation of Jesus:
The couple holding hands is Erica and Seth of course, smiling upon their little bird friend (Jesus). Best picture ever.