A Year Later

Time flies

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Wow.  I can’t believe that a year ago today I was saying goodbye to my Dad and walking into the airport to begin a life changing journey.  Heading to Germany for two months on my own was one of the biggest leaps I have taken in my life thus far.  I know I have spoken and written on the experience I had and the impact it had on me previously, but looking back a year later I can now see even more the immense effects that journey had on my life.

First things first, I long to return every day.  There is literally not a day that goes by that I don’t yearn for a new adventure and a return to Europe.  I don’t even think yearn is a strong enough word to explain how I feel.  I know for certain that this feeling will never go away, but it is a feeling that I am 100% okay with.  This feeling shows me how much that experience changed me in so many ways.  My wanderlust grew 100 fold, and even though it is hard knowing that I do not have the luxury to just up and go whenever, I know my wanderlust will guide me to many adventures and experiences in the future.

Nowadays, as you know, I have started another adventure in a new place.  I have been here at SFA almost 5 months now, which is almost just as hard to believe as the fact that it’s been a year since I left for Germany.  However, it has been an amazing 5 months.  It has had its ups and downs, I miss seeing my family and friends all the time, but I can truly say that I am settling in great and love it here.  My job is the best one I have had, and I can’t see myself doing anything else at the moment.  Every day I go to the office, yet I feel as if I don’t ever have to “work”.  Isn’t that what 99% of us long for?  “Find a job you love and you can truly say you never have to work a day in your life” (something like that).  It is an amazing feeling to be in a position where I can personally vouch for that statement.

By the way, I have the best boss and coworkers in the world.  There is a true balance of fun, family, and career here, and I couldn’t ask for a better atmosphere to be a part of.  Season has officially begun and we just finished up our second week of official practice.  Due to the fact that our girls workout all summer and fall, and we are able to “practice” during these times, the feeling is different when “official practice” starts at this level than it is at JUCO, D3, or D2, but it is still a very special feeling.  Nothing like that “basketball season is upon us” feeling in the air!!  Especially when the actual outside air feels like “basketball season”.  In my opinion there is Summer, Spring, and Basketball Season.

I hope some of you have the chance to watch us play this year.  I feel as if we have a good balance of returners and new faces that will lead us to big things.  Our bench is deep and we are making huge strides in every area.  I believe it is going to be a special and fun year for us all.  Here in less than a month we will travel to South Dakota to open up the season.  The University of South Dakota is a traditionally successful program and we will actually be playing the very first basketball game in their brand new state of the art arena.  They sold the game out a month ago.  Should be fun, and would be a HUGE win and start to the season if we go up there and handle business.  Once we get rolling with playing, I will make sure to keep you all updated with how things are going both on social media and through my blog.  Also, if you have any questions on games, etc. feel free to contact me through email (scottke@sfasu.edu) or any of my social media outlets.  I’d be glad to chat!

Well, that is it for now.  I hope you all are enjoying this beautiful weather, getting outside, being active, and getting pumped for basketball season!!  Thanks as always for reading!!

Love,

Kayla

 

 

2015: A Year of Growth

I know I am a few days late, but I have finally gotten around to writing a post about the past year.  This won’t be in chronological order, rather in going through Kayla’s mind at the moment order, so bare with me.

2015 was one for the books, no doubt about it.  So many unforgettable experiences, first times, and bucket list checks.  A lot of disappointment and confusion led to a lot of growth, wisdom, and ultimately positive times.

To start:

I had an amazing season coaching at Cameron University.  We broke school records and set standards for future teams to come.  We reached the NCAA National Tournament as well, and the entire season was an experience I will be forever grateful for.

In June, I was able to return to the place I spent the first year or so of my life, Seattle, and had the opportunity to run my first half marathon there.  I was also able to venture to Canada during this time and see the USA Women play in the World Cup that they would eventually go on to win for the first time in 16 years.

In May, I had the chance to see our Nation’s capital with my dad.

I traveled to Haiti in July for my very first international mission trip and saw and felt things that I never could have prepared myself for.

I took a huge leap of faith and decided to take the year off from coaching and move to Germany all by myself for two months.  I won’t go into detail in this post (check out my previous posts), but I will simply say it was absolutely life changing, and possibly a total turning point in my life.

I grew apart from some friends, and grew even closer to others.

I made new friends as well, and am finally in the same general area as my childhood friends again (something that has been so much fun so far).

I had my first experience of subbing at many different levels in the Azle ISD, and have been teetering with the idea of entering the high school coaching ranks after two years spent at the college level.

I read the entire Bible in a year for the first time in my life.

I got rejected for jobs that I thought were meant to be.  Over and over again…

But most importantly, I learned to trust God in all of it.

I am currently training for another half marathon in March, doing some individual skills training in basketball, subbing, and helping out with the AHS basketball teams.  My mom and I are currently on day 3 of the Whole30.  It was has been semi-easy so far, but worse days are ahead of us I just know it.

I am also always planning that next adventure, of course.  I’ve learned that I can’t stay put in one place for very long.  There is too much out there to see.  My hear and mind longs to venture out to places I’ve never been, whether it’s over oceans and continents, or in the beautiful State of Texas.

Travel and the experiences and growth that come with it are 110% worth the price.  Every.  Time.

I pray that as 2016 runs its course through my life that I continue to trust in God in both the good times and the bad times, for He is the one who holds my fate and sets my feet on the path HE has chosen for me to go down.

I pray for continued growth and that God gives me the words and wisdom to share more through my blog, and ultimately my life to those who need and those who want to hear it.

I hope you all have a blessed, prosperous, and joyful 2016!!

Germany: 12/11-12/2015 (Munich)

12/11/2015

We went to Neuschwanstein today.  It is a castle so extravagant and beautiful that Walt Disney modeled his castle after it.  

  
I had been here before, and it is one of the few things I vividly remember from that first trip I took to Germany.  It is about a 2 hour train ride down to the Southern German town of Füssen near the Austrian border.  We then caught a bus to the small village at the base of the mountain that the castle sits on. We waited in line, got out tour ticket and time slot, then hiked up the mountain to the castle.  The views are so amazingly beautiful and make the hike more than worth it. 

   
    
 
   
   
Before catching the train back, we got some delicious döner to eat on the trip.  Exhausted, we just played some Phase 10 at the hostel bar and called it a night. 12/12

I woke up, ate breakfast, and did some more site seeing on my own this morning. I then went back and picked up Kalin to check out some more sited and show her some that I had already seen.  The plac was to meet up with Coach Hat this afternoon, but due to flight connections that were missed, and the usual airport shenanigans, we were not able to. 

We went to the Englischer Garden, a city park even bigger than Central Park, and saw the river surfers and Chinese Garden.  I tried eierpunsch. Not a fan. Lebkuchen though…I like lebkuchen. 

   
   

  
  
  

I then showed Kalin Old Town Hall and Viktualienmarkt, sited I saw yesterday morning in my exploring. 

   

   
  
We were hungry so it was time to hit up the world famous Hofbräuhaus.  The second we stepped into the place I knew why it was so popular. 

   
    

   
We shopped on our way back to the hostel for a bit.  I then headed back out to buy some souvenirs and ended up stumbling upon the most unique Christmas Market I have seen and probably will see.  It was a mix of 6th street, hippy art fest, and rave party.  

   
    

  
We leave late tomorrow morning to go to Cologne for the last leg of our trip and the end of my journey here in Germany.  I can’t believe I am only a few days from being back home!!

Germany: 12/09-10/2015 (Munich)

  
12/9

We arrived in Munich this afternoon, got to our hostel, found out how to do laundry, and went to a nearby Brauhaus for dinner. 

  
 12/10

Visited the first concentration camp Dachau today.  The place is already eerie and gloomy, and the fog that covered the grounds just added to that atmosphere. 

   
   
The museum that was housed in what they called “The Maintenance Building” was full of information. You got to go through a reconstructed bunkhouse, as well as your where bunkhouses once stood. 

   
    
   
At the end there were some religious memorials, and you were able to tour the crematorium where they burned the dead. 

   
    
    
 
Although depressing, it was an amazing experience.  

This evening we visited 3 Christmas markets and got to see a little of what Munich has to offer. It’s a beautiful city. I had some good food and took in the atmosphere around me.

   
    
   I still have a long list of places I want to see before we leave Sunday.  Tomorrow will be a day trip to the castle, and Saturday we will meet up with Coach Hat in the afternoon.  Luckily many of the sites are not only close to one another, but also close to where we are staying, so we should be able to view most of them. 

Germany: 12/08/2015(Prague)

Really wasn’t much on the agenda for our last full day in Prague.  One thing was for certain though, we would eat at Cafe Savoy before we left.  So breakfast there this morning was a must.  Let me explain this place.  It is one of those Instagram worthy establishments.  One of the places that, if you’re a foodie like me who finds out where to eat the second you know you’re going to a certain town, you stalk for weeks anticipating your chance to finally dine there.  I’m talking a table full of food that make you look like Marie Antoinette or something. 

My mom and I are always seeking out new bakeries and breakfast places to try out, and Cafe Savoy along with Oddfellows in Seattle are two that I wish she could’ve been with me at. 

I ordered the Savoy Breakfast.  It started off with a basket of 4 kinds of various homemade breads along with French butter and homemade jam.  Next came a “bowl” of Savoy Cafe au Lait that had cinnamon and chocolate in it.  Then a plate containing Prague Ham, Emmental Cheese, a soft boiled egg, and a piece of their homemade nut bread came out.  All for about $7.  Kalin got the French Breakfast.  For around $12 she too got the basket of bread, a croissant, fresh squeezed orange juice, a cappuccino, a piece of extremely thick French toast with apple slices, Prague ham, hard boiled egg, and French fries of course.  Before we left I had to get an apple strudel to go.  Let’s just say we didn’t eat again until about 8 PM when we decided to be brave and try out the “Gold Chicken” restaurant next door to our apartment. 

   
    
    
    
   
After our feast, we went and found the John Lennon wall, searched through some book stores, went and saw a huge national memorial atop a hill in a large park overlooking the city, then chilled until heading to a movie theatre nearby for cheap drinks and a $4 showing of Monty Python.  

   
    
    
   
Tomorrow we take a bus to Munich.  I loved Prague, but after spending so much time in Germany, I’m excited to go back. Our trip is officially half way over. 

Germany: 11/26/2015 (Thanksgiving)

I have spent the past two years away from home on Thanksgiving. Last year because of work, and this year because I am in Germany.  I LOVE Thanksgiving and I do not like being away from family on this day, but God always provides. 

Last year I spent it at one of my player’s homes in Amarillo with the team.  It was such a great and blessed time with a wonderful group of girls.  This year I was able to prepare a Thanksgiving meal on my own for the first time, and serve it to a family as their first ever celebration of the holiday.  

  
Not only that, but this morning the weather was nice, cool, and crisp with the sun shining for once!  The perfect Thanksgiving morning.  I went for a run before beginning my day in the kitchen. As I was cooling off, a man on a bike rode past me. Now this is something that happens 20 plus times a day. People love their bikes and feet around here and I love them for it.   This particular instance was different though.  

You see, I have been here for over 5 weeks now and I can’t remember a single time when someone I passed on the street said hello, smiled, or even acknowledged I was there unless I initiated the exchange.  It is just not something that is a part of the culture here like it is back home.

Well this man smiled and very brightly said “Morgen!!”, meaning morning in German. It made my day.  It is true that a simple hello or smile can brighten someone’s day.  Pass on the love and enjoy life, people!!! 

Anyways, back to the meal.  I timed everything perfectly, as my perfectionist planner self tends to do, and dinner was ready and in the table at the planned time of 6:00.  Everything looked perfect other than the missing roll that Lennart had already grabbed and stuffed in his mouth all in one bite. 

We sat down and I said that before we ate we all had to say something we were thankful for. *pat on the back: I said this all in German by the way*. Paula said she was thankful for the food I cooked and for her birthday coming up next weekend haha.  Lenny, well Lenny was being his usual self, tried to grab a price of turkey with his hands from across the table while we were talking and his dad got onto to him. He then proceeded to cry and complain about being hungry and wanting to eat right then and now.  Kid is 8 and couldn’t wait one more minute. Not gonna lie, this kind of upset me so I said just let him eat. 

Things settled down once he started stuffing his face.  They LOVED the good.  I was so glad and relieved.  Monika picked up the full turkey she had ordered on her way home from work and after eating the one I cooked she said that they will have to cook this again for Christmas because they liked it so much.  

   
 After dinner, Monika, Raphael, and myself spent about an hour drinking wine and talking about movies.  It was a great way to end a different but very very good Thanksgiving. 

Thank you to all of you who have been keeping up with the blog, and keeping me in your thoughts and prayers.  I love you all and hope they your Thanksgiving is a time of joy and happiness as mine was. God Bless!!!

Germany: 11/22&25/2015

11/22

This afternoon we drove about thirty minutes to an open air museum.  The place reminded me a lot of Log Cabin Village in Fort Worth.  It was a park where they had relocated historic German homes, shops, barns, etc, and out them all in one park.  Most of the building dated back to the 1700’s, but a couple of them were older.  One of which was from the  1400’s. 

   

   

  

They also had a walk through building that looked as if you were in a German town but you were indoors.  The mannequins were a bit creepy, but it was a neat interpretation of what a German city looked liked during French rule, Nazi party rule and then after WWII. 

   

   
It was very cold today, we even got some snow on the drive home, but I’m glad we went. 

11/25

It is the Wednesday before thanksgiving.  It snowed here again yesterday for a while. It did not stick though.  Paula is sick so she has stayed home with me the last two days. 

 Tomorrow I am cooking Thanksgiving dinner for the family.  I have never done this before on my own so I am excited and nervous about it.  Mainly nervous because they really don’t understand Thanksgiving.  I had mentioned it way back when I first got here and before I realized that dinner isn’t a big meal for them.  I had to make sure I told them this when she asked me about Thanksgiving again a few weeks ago. 

They also don’t ever eat turkey in Germany so Monika special ordered one from the butcher. I went to pick it up today and they didn’t have it so I got a huge turkey breast.  I told Monika this when she got home and she said I was supposed to tell them I was picking it up for her. She did not tell me this beforehand.  Miscommunication is a daily occurance around here.  I can make do with what I got though. 

I also searched and searched the store for canned pumpkin purée.  None to be found. So I made a pumpkin pie from scratch, not a bad accomplishment for my first time ever making a pumpkin pie.  Shhh… Don’t tell anyone that crust is store bought though. 

 I baked the pie today to get it out of the way. Hope it tastes as good as it looks.  I will be cooking the turkey, bacon wrapped green beans, mashed potatoes, bread, and gravy tomorrow.  Wish me luck.