Archive | Living Abroad RSS feed for this section

A Day In The Life Of Jennifer!

13 Aug

To end my series of “A Day In The Life Of…” I decided to needed to interview someone who doesn’t have any children.  For the past month I’ve introduced you to a family with 2 working parents and 1 child, a family with 2 working parents and 2 children, a family with 1 working parent and 3 children and a family with 1 working parents and 4 children.  A should immediately write a disclaimed when I use the word “working” because as all of us mothers know it isn’t like we’re sipping on lemonade and getting pedicures while our husbands are hard at work (in fact, according to salary.com if a stay-at-home mother was paid for her “job” we would bring it just under $140,00)!

With that being said, I’d love to introduce you to Jennifer.  Jennifer is currently living in Oberhausen, Germany (any basketwives playing in Dusseldorf she is a great connection!) with her husband Kay.  However, Kay is currently living in Turkey because of his job as a pilot.  Confused yet?  To sum it up, American girl meets German boy, fall in love, move to Germany, get married, girl goes to school, learns German and gets job, boy finishes school and gets job as a pilot and both are currently working and loving life with their newest addition, Binx, the cat!

Name: Jennifer

Occupation: C&A Associate

Jen’s Day

7:20 AM – Wake up to a furry face biting at my nose. Although I have my alarm set for 7:30 am he always seems to wake me up 10 min before, yes that would be my cat Binx. I roll over turn off my alarm and get out of bed. First things first I make a pot of coffee. I can not function with out my morning coffee.
I then prepare my lunch for work which consists of a Turkey & Cheese sandwich, banana, and yoghurt.

8:00 AM – I sit down at my computer check emails, facebook, ect., before jumping in the shower to get ready for work.

9:00 AM – I am finished with getting ready and have just enough time to stuff my face real quick with breakfast so that I am able to catch my 9:34 am train to work.

10:10 AM – I arrive at work about 45 min early. Grab a coffee and get my things ready to start my day at C&A (a retail store located in Düsseldorf, Germany)

11 AM – My day starts…… I am decorating certain areas of the store, putting out new clothing programs, making sure all sale items are up to par, and last but not least interacting with customers throughout the day.

2.30 PM – I take my first break which is about 40 min long. We get 1 hour each day. I sit down in the breakroom eat and then I head outside to get some fresh air and before I know it its time to go back to work….

5 PM – I take my second break which is 20 min long and it always goes by too fast!

8 PM – Finally time to go home!!! I run fast to catch my Sbahn (a small train) to the train station so I am able to catch an early train home.

9 PM – I am home and my little Binx is greeting me at the door. I put my things down, clean his litter box, clean up the kitchen from my morning breakfast, and then I prepare dinner. Usually skype with my husband if he is not out flying around.

10 PM – Finally time to relax w/ my E-Reader & a cup of hot mint tea.

11 PM – Bed time…..only to do it all over again the next morning.

How would your day differ if you had a child/children?  How my day would differ is that I probably would not be working. I would then be a stay at home mom. This is a subject my husband and I have already talked about if we ever plan on having children. My husband is a Pilot as you know this is no normal 9 to 5 job, he is often gone. It would be rather difficult for me to have a job and be, I guess you could say a “part time” single parent at the same time. With my work hours now I am often gone 12 hours out of the day. With children I would have to make sure someone was able to pick them up and bring them wherever they needed to be, as well as watch them and take care of them until I come home. That being on the days my husband is not home to help out.

Advertisements

Cheap (European) Flights

2 Jun

I was reading All You magazine and I read an article about inexperience international flights via 3 websites.  I checked them out for myself and you can really find some amazing deals for a quick holiday in Europe.

EasyJet

SkyScanner

Momondo

For example, on EasyJet I planned a 3 night vacation in Paris and a round-trip flight in late June is about 70 euros.  That’s a steal if you ask me!

SkyScanner and Momondo also do trips throughout the United States!

What kind of basketball fan are you?

23 Mar

>

A fellow basketwife of mine from Traveling Allowed wrote a funny piece called “What kind of basketball fan are you?”  Check it out!

As I read the following categories I started laughing out loud because I’ve met at least one wife that could fit into every category.  As for myself, I had to go back and read them twice before I could make my decision.  First and foremost I am The Knowledgeable Wife.  I’ve played and watched basketball my entire life.  I don’t want to sound full of myself but I really know the game (just ask my husband who always asks for my analysis of the game once it’s over – ha). But along with The Knowledgeable Wife I am guilty of being The Critic as well.  Anyone how has seen European basketball knows that 80% of referees are absolutely horrible (was that too harsh?).  Bad calls both ways, bad calls one way, making up calls after the messed up the last call, etc., it never ends.  And I am the first to call Adam out when he needs a little boost or wake up call.  To top it off, I love to give the referees my two cents; never in a rude way but you will most certainly hear me yell, “I am sorry Sir, but that was an AWFUL call.”

So to all my basketwives/girlfriends/fiancees what type of basketball fan are you?

Married to a Baller: New Website Design

28 Dec

>I don’t know how many basketwives read my blog but if there are any, I would encourage you to go check out my dear friend Erin’s new and improved website.  She has a new layout and new feature that focus on connecting people through basketball.  One of my favorite features is the google map she has that you can pinpoint where you’re going and see if anyone else has played there that is apart of her contact list.  It is such a helpful tool as many of you can imagine!  Let’s give Erin a big thanks for all of the information and resources she continues to provide for us 🙂

To all my basketwives & girlfriends!

2 Dec

>Is it silly to say that I am happy I am no longer a basket-girlfriend/fiancee and finally a basketwife?  HA!

Anywho, my dear friend Erin has once again thought of an ingenious idea.  Basically she is a creating a massive list of country contacts.  As you can see in her “Calling All Basket Wives and Girlfriends!” post she already has 27 contacts who combined have played in 122 different cities.  For anyone who has lived overseas, this truly is a special list.  It is always nice to have other wives on the team but it is even nicer to know someone who has lived there before.  The gift of sharing is a great thing!

If there are any wives or girlfriends that read this blog that would like more information or to have your information pass on to Erin, please let me know.  You can also email her directly at erin@marriedtoaballer.com.

>Our Time in Kolobrzeg, Poland

24 Apr

>The season is officially over. Unfortunately, the team lost their last 4 games by a total of 8 points. I know, it’s crazy. I think I would have rather lost by at least 10 points each game. There is something about losing by 1 or 2 points that makes it so much more difficult to get over. We have had a wonderful 4 short months in Poland and believe it or not, I have actually discovered a lot since we’ve been here. Here are some of the things Poland has taught me:

  • I can live without a car. It’s been 4 months since we’ve been here and neither I, nor Adam have drove a car.
  • I can survive in absolutely, outrageously cold temperatures. For about 2 straight months it was anywhere between -5 degrees to 20 degrees fahrenheit. I don’t care who you are, that is cold.
  • I can live without fast food, even in Europe. Truth be told, I love McDonald’s in Europe but you would never, ever see me eat McDonald’s in the states. Well since the closets McDonald’s is 40 minutes away, I’ve only had it about 3 times since we’ve been here and I am totally ok with that.
  • I can survive without shopping; kinda. Believe it or not, I’ve only bought 3 new piece of clothes since we’ve been in Poland. 2 shirts and a tank top for a total of $34! That’s amazing for me.
  • I can survive without a dryer. I never thought it would be possible but it totally is.
  • There is nothing a club can say or do that doesn’t surprise me. It has been a circus here at times but we’ve fought through it!
  • I can get by with only knowing 3 words in Polish; hello, good-bye and thank-you.
  • Every older person wants to touch your child. They want to pinch their checks, hug them, kiss them and show them some love. After 4 months I am finally ok with that, I will wash him in the shower before he goes to bed.
  • It’s ok to let Jayden away from my side when we are at the gym or in the city center. Everyone knows he is Adam’s son and watches out for him.
  • And last but not least Poland has taught me that I have one heck of a solid routine. Why? Because people wonder where I am or where Jayden is at certain times of the day. For example, 11 AM on a Tuesday, a lady came up to me and was so confused why Jayden wasn’t with me. I told her that it was a special day since we missed school on Friday that I let him go on Tuesday instead!

I never thought we would end up in Poland this year but it has truly been a blessing. We have an adorable flat, Adam has great teammates and we have met a great family since we’ve been here. We found Jayden a small, private school that he loves and living in the most popular resort city in Poland has been great. But every story has an ending and our story in Kolobrzeg is coming to an end. It is on to the next journey and I can’t wait to see what the Lord has in store for us!

As of today, we have no idea when we will be flying home. Hopefully we should know something on Monday.

>Living Overseas: The Mommy Edition

21 Apr

>

Work; not only is Adam a professional athlete but he is also a father.
I spent the last 3 days thinking about what I was going to write in this post and as I am typing I am still trying to find the right words to say. The point of this whole Living Overseas: The Mommy Edition is to explain to you “how I do it” (a question I’ve been asked countless times).
Typically Adam goes to practice twice a day for 2-3 hours each practice. Fortunately, Adam’s coaching staff has been kind enough to let Jayden go to some practices with him and as soon as they are done he is able to go play on the court. This is the highlight of Jayden’s week. He loves to go to work with Daddy and play with Adam’s teammates. But then there are the days Jayden can’t go and the meltdown begins. I have been having a very hard time explaining to Jayden that Daddy plays basketball to provide for our family. It is his job. I truly don’t think Jayden understands the full picture just yet. To Jayden, playing basketball is a game, it’s fun and anyone can play. I know he just turned 3 and he is still young but I want Jayden to realize what a privilege it is and how blessed we are that Adam can use his God given talents to provide for us.
There are days I tell Jayden that if it wasn’t for Daddy playing basketball then Mommy would have to work and he would have to go to school everyday. Those are the days he lets out a, “Thank you Jesus that my Daddy plays basketball!” And then there are game days, which we treat extra special in our house, when Jayden says his prayers at the dinner table, before we leave for the game, during the game and even after the game, win or lose. I know that Jayden realizes that basketball is very important to our family and without it he wouldn’t be able to do all the fun things we do; especially the things that cost money. But I pray that as he gets older he is able to understand the amazing blessing the Lord has given us and that we must cherish it for as long as we can because Daddy can’t play basketball for forever.
So how do I get the point across to Jayden that playing basketball is Daddy’s job and not just “a game?” Well, I am still trying to teach him that but what I wrote above are the steps I have taken thus far.

>Living Overseas: The Mommy Edition

18 Apr

>Schooling/education.

This has been a particular touchy subject since I have had so many people tell me their opinions about if they think it is right to send Jayden to school in Europe. Here’s the thing, living in Europe is no different then living in the United States. Kids still go to school, take the bus, learn their numbers and colors and play with their friends. The only difference with Jayden is he doesn’t speak the native language. Of course it is harder for him but if the day came where he begged and begged and begged to stay home because he hated going to school then yes, I would let him stay home. But I honestly don’t think that would ever happen.
In France, Jayden went to a private school 3 days a week for 3 hours each day. By the end of our time in France, he spoke more french then I could. Here in Poland, he goes to another private school 3 days a week for 3 hours. Since Jayden is older now, he is understanding that not everyone speaks English like he does. He does come home everyday and have a new Polish word for me or tells me that his classmates said, “Good-Bye” to him.
There are times I wonder if Jayden is behind in his learning but as far as I can tell he is doing just fine. To keep him on track we try to use ABC Jesus Loves Me at least twice a week to practice a particular number, letter, color, study a particular verse in the bible and learn a weekly song. Jayden seems to love it and I think it is a perfect amount of learning paired with religion for a 3 year old.

>You know You’re in Europe When…

14 Apr

>your 3 year old son uses sentences with “in the states” in them. For example, “Mom, I get to drink that fuzzy drink when I am in the states.” “Mom, you know that restaurant in the states where we get ice-cream if we finish our meals? I like that place!”

And…
while at school your child goes on a field trip and you had no previous knowledge of it. You didn’t sign a permission slip or any wavier.
I find the second one to be one of my favorite things about Europe. If a classroom took their students on a field trip, even a walking field trip, without parents knowing or signing a permission slip in the states all hell would break lose. If a child for some reason tripped and hurt themselves on that walk you can guarantee a lawsuit. If baffles my mind of what America has come too.
According to Jayden, today his teachers and the older kids, “not the babies, Mom” went for a walk to the church in the city center and place small Polish flags they made in Art class around the church and sang songs. He is not sure why they did it but I imagine it was to pay their respects for the passing of the Polish presidents and the other passengers on board.

>Living Overseas: The Mommy Edition

14 Apr

>Friends.

Similar to family, our friends are a big part of our lives. Over time I have lost some of my close friends, why? I am honestly not sure. Maybe because I live 10,000 miles away 9 months out of the year or maybe it’s because the friends I have lost touch with are in totally different chapters in their lives. But because of this it is really taught me to appreciate the friends I have. No matter how far away I live or if I stay home with my 3 year old on a Friday night instead of going out those closets friends are still by my side. If there is one thing I tell Adam all the time is that he has the best group of friends anyone could ask for. His friends are like his brothers. They are always there to help him or support him more matter what. His closet girlfriend and him use to argue and disagree but it just drew them closer. Today, we have all became friends and she is on our wedding! I am so thankful for all of our friends for each one of them holds a special place in our hearts.
Most Mom’s go over to their friends house to talk about the week, have a glass of wine, let the kids hang out or just go to a movie. That really isn’t the case for me. When Adam signs a contract the first thing I do is look to see if there are any other Americans on the team. Why? So I can then see if he has a wife or kids so I know I will have at least 1 friend on the team (it is amazing how basketwives just connect with each other). There have been times when there were no other wives, at least no wives traveling with their husbands, on the team. Therefore, as silly as this sounds, I had no friends, in a foreign country, where I didn’t speak the language. Of course it was hard, but we always make the most of every situation. Last year in France, I was so blessed to meet amazing girls that made the season so much fun. This year, with 4 Americans on the team, there are no other American wives. However, one of the Polish players has a wonderful wife with a 3 year old daughter who we’ve become close with.
Because Jayden is so young, I don’t think much about him and his friends. He makes friends wherever we are. The difference between kids and adults is that kids can play together and have a blast even if they don’t speak the same language. It amazes me when I watch Jayden interact with other kids even though I know they don’t understand each other. I do, however, worry about how Jayden will do with making lasting friendships as he gets older. He knows that when we head across the pond that the kids we hang out with back in the states will not be going with him. He knows that he will not see his cousins until the summer time. And he is totally ok with that now. My biggest fear would be that he would have a hard time letting kids his age into his life when he is older because we are constantly traveling now that he is young. I pray that he will take after Adam and I and see that friends will always be there for you even if you are not always with them.