Five Years

Colt and I have officially been together half a decade. When I put it that way… I can’t even believe it. I mean, when you think about it… in the same, or even less time, we know more people who have met, married and are on their way to getting those 1.87 children. While we on the other hand seem to be over here like hey, what country do we need to see next? We haven’t taken the typical path, and you know what, that’s ok.

For those of you who don’t know, Colt and I actually met nine years ago when we both transferred to Texas State University in the Fall of 2008. He walked into my apartment with a friend (hey Jeremy) to actually hang out with my friend who was over and watch a movie (thanks Ashley). I didn’t think much of him (sorry boo) because when someone is interested in your friend, that person is off-limits people. Over the years we ran into each other often, always said hi, chatted, were friends. He even tried to save me from a horrible date I was on like the true gentleman he is (I happened to totally miss the fact he was slipping me his number and never called… face plant). It wasn’t until after I had graduated in 2011, and had gone back to visit San Marcos, that our conversations turned into something a little more (apparently I had lost my bitch vibe? I tried to tell him it was because I thought he was into my friend… my bad). He had come to Dallas shortly after that last run in and I told him I was busy and couldn’t hang out. I honestly didn’t want to drive from Fort Worth to Dallas, and figured this guy wasn’t into me anyway, so what was the point, right? Three months later it all finally went down. I had moved to Dallas, and we met up at Milo Butterfingers. After many drinks, a late night turned early morning, a TCU game, one fabulous dinner party and pub crawl later, he was standing on a picnic table at Barcadia announcing that we were officially dating (I guess after knowing someone that long, whats the point in taking things slow?). From that point on this relationship has been nothing short of an adventure.

    

We’ve moved more times than I would like to admit, spent more months apart than I think anyone else could handle, traveled the world, lived and thrived in a different country, and even raised a dog! There has been so much to be thankful for (some I hadn’t realized until now), but with the good always comes the fair share of challenges (but we will save those for another time). In the end, I wouldn’t trade any of it, if it meant I didn’t get to do life with you CJK.

   

-Courtney

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Status: It’s complicated

As many of you may have noticed, and my mother has continually pointed out, there has been zero, zip, zilch, nada coming from this blog the past few months. I wish I had an amazing explanation as to why this has been the case, but instead all I have for you are some technical setbacks, followed by a little we’ll get to that later mentality.

First, our site crashed. Yes, our lovely blog was gone, deleted, on the back end by our web host. Second, my iPhone crashed (anyone see the theme here?) resulting in the loss of all the pictures we took on our holiday vacation in December. Then we had finals, and the day after that I jetted off to America for three weeks. While I was away Colt was at training camp followed by the start of fußball season and work, work, work. Upon my return to Austria my body decided on a lovely stay at the premier Steyr Krankenhaus (hospital) and we wrapped all that up with the start of a new Semester at school.

Although I wish I could say we were SO busy l-i-v-i-n-g life (which we were) there were also a few set backs that put the halt/kibosh on this thing called a blog.

We’ve vowed to catch you all up over the next few weeks though, meaning you may get a post about Christmas in April, but hey… better late than never, right?!

Thank you all for your patience!

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-Courtney

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How our Journey Began | Part Two

I wish I could sit here and say this was an easy decision for me as well, but as the people closest to me know, it wasn’t. Nor was writing this post for the world to read. How can I possibly put into words how much of an impact making this decision has had on my life, as well as give the proper credit to the people who shaped me and made this dream of mine come true? They both, took time. Talking about home and leaving “home” for me right now, is and will continue to be hard. Because I miss it, dearly.  But I also know that this decision I made, this decision that I’m going to write about, was the right one. For me, and for us…

I was raised in a tight knit family with a larger than life “hero” for a father (a real life hero, he was a fireman y’all) who did, and quite honestly still does, everything within his power to make sure my brother and I have everything our hearts have ever desired. He is my rock, my stability, and the strongest man I have ever known. He’s the reason I believe in fairytales. My mother, my best friend as well as the adventurous one, has a traveling spirit that I am quickly realizing we share, and I even embody, more and more. Thirty-five years ago she left her small midwestern town to move half way across the country, without knowing a soul, to start a new life in the “big” city. She has been my confidant, my backbone and the first to support me in every decision I have ever made.

Along with my parents, my grandmother “Mamoo,” my great Aunt Jojo, and last but not least my Aunt Cindy worked hard day in and day out to not only be present for every phase and activity throughout my life, but also to be able to take me to museums, musicals, art exhibits, shows, and anything else that brought culture into my life and opened up the small world I was living in. They are the foundation and reason I am the person I am today, and for that alone, I am blessed. Also, I am lucky to have a large family in Nebraska that I honestly don’t see as much as I would like but have also provided me with more love than I could ever ask for.

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Unlike Colt, I only have one sibling, my brother, Connor. I have never been more proud of someone in my life. He is the most kind hearted, funniest human being on this planet. And although he happens to be my younger brother, whom I may or may not have tried to give advice to on multiple occasions, he’s also the person I look up to the most. For his drive and determination. His success at work. For his spirit to see and explore and just flat out live life. Doing all of this at the age of twenty-four, continues to amaze me.

I can’t talk about my family without including my other “family”: Uncle Terry, Story’s, Stacy, Buddy, Spradling’s, Roz, Cathy Doyle, Laura, Ashley, Prayr etc… Every one of these people has shaped me for the better, and I know that at any point I could turn to any one of them. I’ve been lucky, not only for my immediate family, but for my extended family as well.

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I was lucky enough to be able to travel from a young age, wether it be my summer trips to visit my grandparents in Nebraska, or family vacations, and even weekend tournaments around the country playing select volleyball. I realize now, reflecting, that I was happier when traveling. I’ve always been a shy person, a guarded person, but through travel, I felt like I could break out of that shell for the first time. Growing up I lived to make my family proud. I wanted those good grades. I wanted that volleyball scholarship to college. I wanted that business job in Dallas that would make me feel like I had “made it”. And guess what? I achieved them all. Yet something was still missing. Something I couldn’t pinpoint until Colt came into my life and pointed it out to me with a blaring neon sign ( Which I tried to block out with a pair of my way too expensive sunglasses) for far too long. All that traveling had changed me, and the white picket fence life I thought I should want, I realized, wasn’t for me.

It had just marked four years at a job that I honestly and truly loved and was happy to have, yet I knew that my life was coming to a crossroads that I couldn’t avoid. I had been feeling “stuck” for some time. My passion and creativity felt stifled and I didn’t feel the true happiness I expected to feel from following the path you’re supposed to follow and being able to afford the things you always thought you wanted. I grew up craving stability, needing stability, yet I was also craving change, but I didn’t know how to go about that change or in what shape or form. That change would come in unprecedented fashion. Turns out, it came in the form of a 6’1″ fußball player with a dream and a one way ticket to Austria.

I’m still adjusting to this new life, adjusting to a different type of normality. I have good days and bad, but I needed this change. I needed to explore and try and find my new adventure.

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“Travel changes you. As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life — and travel — leaves marks on you. Most of the time, those marks — on your body or on your heart — are beautiful. Often though, they hurt.” – Anthony Bourdain

– Courtney

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How our Journey Began | Part One

For me, this decision was easy. I simply, had a dream. Since I can remember I have always dreamt of becoming a professional athlete. I grew up the son of a professional horse trainer, which in my opinion, mirrors the grind of reaching the “big leagues”. I believe this played a major role in sculpting my ambition to do the one thing that I loved most, make my living by playing soccer. My father’s profession has taken him many places. One of which, is Austria, or formally known as Österreich. This of course bears significance in the fact that it was a door that would later be opened in order to initiate my process of achieving my dream; but lets take a step back and rewind to the very beginning…
I am one of five children, (I know, my parents have clearly never heard of such things as  birth control and other contraceptives) all of which, grew up with a soccer ball at our feet. My father’s work was a non-stop rollercoaster of travel. From weekend to weekend we were traveling to every horse show within 1,000 miles. I mention this primarily, because it was during these travels that my older brother and sister (Cody, who at this age had just been baptized by the beautiful game, and Christen, basically my twin. Seriously, only 10.5 months apart), as well as myself, would utilize the majority of our bountiful free time kicking a ball against a wall or wrangling enough kids together to create our own match. This gave me a huge advantage, as did my amazing “chili bowl,” regarding my skill level at this age.  After excelling at the recreational level with my squad The Rowdy Boys, the time for “select” came at the age of 10. I was approached by a few of the player’s parents and was asked to tryout for and join a small club from Arlington, TX known as Legend FC. We were a very talented group of players who were eager to compete. We played in a tournament in which we qualified for, what was then and still is today, the most competitive league in North Texas, the Coca-Cola Classic League. Spending the majority of my youth in this league offered a very high level of competition. A few mentionable names coming out of the league include Clint Dempsey, Lee Nguyen, Omar Gonzales, and many other players that have reached the professional level.
As I began to experiment with other sports in High School I started to stray from my soccer dominated lifestyle of 20+ hours a week and began focusing on other sports like football and basketball. I found the same success in these sports as I did in soccer. I received high honors within football and helped my basketball team to a 32-1 season my senior year. I started to receive letters from colleges regarding both soccer and football scholarships, but there was one problem. I was very naive. I wanted, and waited, for an offer from a Div I program for either sport. It never came. I told myself I would walk-on wherever I decided to attend college and had decided that was my plan. After following my close friends to Blinn College, that thing called life hit. At this point my father had taken his talents to Europe and with two other children in college and two more still in school, I was on my own. When I entered college I was forced to find a job in order to pay my way. The only catch was that I was without a vehicle. My ambitions to continue my sports career were undesirably swept under the rug. I was working 30-40 hours a week, taking a full load, and trying to do it all without a vehicle. Looking back, I must have been quite a hassle for all of my amazing friends (you know who you are) that lent me their vehicles and chauffeured me around town. After two years in College Station, I made the absolute best decision and transferred to Texas State University. After settling into San Marvelous, I ran into some old soccer friends from our select days who informed me they played for the Texas State Men’s Soccer team and invited me out for tryouts the following season. After making the cut, I played three seasons representing the Bobcats. To say the least, my time playing in college rekindled my passion for the sport and I began to wonder if I could make it to the next level.
     

While coaching High School soccer right out of college I was told about a tryout for the San Antonio Scorpions, a NASL team established in 2010. I was not able to make a lasting impression and the tryout yielded no results; it was back to coaching. After a trip to visit my father in Austria with Courtney, a friend said that he might be able to land me a tryout if I wanted to give it a shot. At first I was a little skeptical as to whether or not there was anyway in hell I could find a way to come over and just could not pull the trigger on quitting my job paired with trying to figure out how Courtney and I would be able to make it work. At this point I just kind of left it up to fate. A couple of months upon our most recent return home to Texas I got a phone call from my father saying that they had set up a tryout for a club that plays in the Ober Österreich Liga. I packed my bags and set-off to see what I could do.

– Colt

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