the halftime report

Well, today officially marks my 6-month anniversary in Germany, exactly halfway through my year as an Au Pair. It is so crazy thinking about that. I feel like it was just the other day that I was ringing in New Years with my cousin Margo in Dallas, and then nursing a severe hangover the following day as I flew out of DFW in the direction of Munich.

I arrived in Aschau at the start of the worst and longest winter of my life, one that I thought I would never make it through. But I obviously did, and I lived to see spring in Germany, everything changing from snow-covered and dead, to green green green. (It really is SO green in Germany). And spring has slowly transitioned into the start of what will hopefully be a nice, hot summer filled with days at the lake, bike riding, ice cream eating and tanning in the sun.

I never imagined I would make such good friends like I have made here. My friend Micha and I were talking last night about how it feels like we’ve known each other forever… as if we met 20 years ago. To make good friends so fast is truly a blessing. I also couldn’t be more thankful for my church and the community I have made there. That was my biggest answered prayer. I absolutely love my church family, my friends there, and the ways my church has helped me continue to grow in my relationship with God this year.

I’m also so thankful for my Au Pair family. They way they love me and truly care for me, always making sure I’m okay and have everything I need—they’re wonderful. I love my little boys so much. It has been such a treat to see them growing up this year and watch they ways they have already changed. Although they naturally have their moments and we have rough days, I love the relationship that’s formed between the boys and me. I’m somewhat of a big sister, friend to play with, but they have also come to respect me and listen and do as I say.

And Aschau, this little mountain town that I first feared, I have fallen in love with. I was so afraid of the idea of a small town. I thought it would be impossible to make friends or have a social life here, but I am thrilled to say that was not the case. I love how I can walk around Aschau and literally have my breath taken away at how beautiful a particular view will be. I have not gotten tired of waking up and seeing the mountain and castle from my room, or sitting on my balcony late at night looking at the millions of stars and the silhouette of the mountain. I love being able to walk to our favorite bars/hangout spots and have the bartenders know me and my drink order. I love that living here has made me more active than I’ve been in a long time, always walking or riding my bike everywhere, playing volleyball, going hiking, swimming- you name it.

I wish I could just freeze frame time right here. I have my friends, my Au Pair family, my precious town and finally some beautiful summer weather. I want time to stop for a little bit so I can soak in every second of this beautiful summer in Germany. I just want the days at the lake to never end and the nights in the beer gardens to last forever.  Is that so much to ask??

The scariest part is that I’m 6 months in and I still don’t have any better idea of what I’m doing 6 months from now than I did when I came. I’ve never been more torn than I am right now about whether I want to extend my stay a bit and try to find a job, or go back to the States and try to find a job. I dread the day that I actually have to make a real decision about this, and I dread disappointing my family and friends back in the States if I decide to stay, or disappointing my friends here who are begging me not to leave. Either way I will sadden a group of people and either way a piece of my heart will be left behind. I know that truly, this is a blessing. To have these opportunities and possibilities is not a chance everyone gets and I am thankful to have been given it. I just pray for clarity as time moves foreword and I eventually have to make this call.

But for now, I still have at least 6 months left here. It’s July, my favorite month of the year. My birthday is this weekend, it’s summer in Germany and I can’t wait to see what the second half of this year has in store!

So, cheers to the first 6 months, Germany! You’ve been too good to me.

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I also want to give a special birthday shout out to my beautiful cousin and one of my best friends, Margo, who turns 26 today. I wish I could celebrate with you and we could ring our birthdays in together this year- but I wish you all the best and miss you everyday!

Happy Birthday Margo!

Happy Birthday Margo!

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Favorite moments from my first 6 months, in chronological order:

my 1st weekend in Aschau

my 1st weekend in Aschau

winter balcony view

winter balcony view

first time sledding

first time sledding

sledding day

sledding day

skiing day

skiing day

solo trip to Hamburg

solo trip to Hamburg

wintery walks through Aschau

wintery walks through Aschau

winters hike with friends

winters hike with friends

a sunny snowy day

a sunny snowy day

first time up on the mountain, view from the top

first time up on the mountain, view from the top

on the mountain with a sleeping Timo

on the mountain with a sleeping Timo

good friends at our fav hangout

good friends at our fav hangout

a walk at the lake in Übersee

a walk at the lake in Übersee

celebrating friends' birthdays

celebrating friends’ birthdays

winters hike with the boys

winters hike with the boys

more winter hiking

more winter hiking

clubbing with friends

clubbing with friends

Lake Starnberg with my mom and brother when they came to visit

Lake Starnberg with my mom and brother when they came to visit

in Monterosso, Italy with my mom

in Monterosso, Italy with my mom

in Monterosso, Italy with my brother

in Monterosso, Italy with my brother

a spring hike in the mountains with a friend

a spring hike in the mountains with a friend

hanging at the Chiemsee on a spring day

hanging at the Chiemsee on a spring day

out with my favorite Colombian girls

out with my favorite Colombian girls

German beer. enough said.

German beer. enough said.

Late spring in Aschau

Late spring in Aschau

bike rides through Aschau

bike rides through Aschau

lake days with good friends

lake days with good friends

lots of soccer (Fussball) watching!

lots of soccer (Fussball) watching!

celebrating FC Bayern victories

celebrating FC Bayern victories

bike rides to the lake

bike rides to the lake

more lake days

more lake days

..and more lake days

..and more lake days

enjoying the Aschau swimming hole

enjoying the Aschau swimming hole

sunsets on the mountain

sunsets on the mountain

friends coming to visit and 1st day of Summer celebration

friends coming to visit and 1st day of Summer celebration

today, playing in the river with Timo, enjoying summer

today, playing in the river with Timo, enjoying summer

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6 responses to “the halftime report

  1. oh my gosh… i loved reading your story! that’s amazing that you traveled abroad to work with a family! how exciting!

  2. Happy Happy Birthday Hai Hai!! I wish I was there to celebrate but I miss you terribly!! Sounds like you’re having the time of your life, I’m so happy for you!! Love you!! Ps I will be happy whether your stay or leave after the next 6 months… I mean of course I would prefer you to come back 🙂 but I know how happy you are where your at and I’m just really proud of you and support either decision!

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