23.5

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I am a yo-yo blogger and I am sorry. But I’m getting sick of making up excuses (and I’m sure you’re sick of hearing them!) so I’ll just cut to the chase.

First and foremost, our amazing team won the championship. THEY WON, PEOPLE!!!!! All of it! They are the champ-yuns, my friends (and they’ll keep on fighting ’til the end… bum bum bum). What a hard-earned and well-deserved title. And as with any success, there came celebration. Lots of it.

Right after the big win, all of the fans rushed on to the ice to congratulate the team. Cue mosh pit. Trying to avoid the claustrophobia that was the rink, family and friends of the players partied in the locker room. I’m not sure that it actually ended up being more roomy (and it was definitely smellier) but it was a ton of fun. We drank champagne and beer, and heard a wonderful speech from the coach thanking the team for their hard work and the families for the support. After a bit, we headed to the VIP to celebrate with the sponsors and then headed to the bars with the fans.

if you squint really hard you can see me crowd surfing

my man is da man

aves and me, celebrating like the VIPs we are

The next day, most of us went to a restaurant called Josef’s for the day and took it easy. Real easy. I’m talking the “take your coat off and stay a while” type of easy. And boy did we stay a while. Six hours, to be exact. Just drinking beers and eating french fries.

Tuesday we enjoyed the great weather by having a picnic/BBQ at the Dom Park. Kept it low-key here too. Oh, but we did manage to grow some play-off ‘staches.

creepy.

The next afternoon was the biggest celebration. There was a parade (which consisted of one bus, circling and recircling the town… ha!) and a gathering in the Hauptplatz, the city square. TONS of fans came. I couldn’t believe it! The whole square was filled with people, most of whom were dressed head to toe in Black Wings garb, waving banners, and chanting all sorts of stuff. The guys were welcomed on stage one-by-one, a few speeches were given, and a lot of beer was drank drunk consumed. Then we went to the old city hall where we ate a delicious meal. After dinner was over, we went to a vinothek to celebrate the rest of the night.

getting their tires pumped

what a crowd!

brotherly love

the bros and their hoes

We ended the week with a celebratory dinner the next night. After that, we had to start focusing on cleaning up the apartment and packing our suitcases for the trip home.

Oh, I forgot to mention. Before all of this great stuff happened (two weeks before we returned it to the dealership) I crashed the car. Twice. In the same day. HA! It just keeps getting better, doesn’t it? Let’s just say Mike didn’t think it was too funny. As a matter of fact, I didn’t either until Avery talked me down and I slammed a few glasses of wine.

So annnnywho, the rest of the week was dedicated to tying up loose ends. We packed up, took care of the car, and cleaned the apartment one last time. I have to say, it was a little sad to see the place so empty. We did have a cheery distraction though. The day before we all left, Brian and Kelsey tied the knot. Yahoo! They are officially Mr. and Mrs. Lebler now. And since I am a small (large) sap, I made them a cake. Because what’s a wedding without a cake?

Now who wants to see my masterpiece? Everyone? Okay, drumroll please!

I don’t mean to toot my own horn but…..

Honk!!!!!

Are you impressed or what?! Now, don’t all of you come running to me to do your wedding cakes, this was officially my first and last. It was a pain in my arse (and it was only eight inches tall!). Brian and Kelsey also asked if I would take a few pictures of the day, so I’ve added a few of them for your viewing pleasures. Enjoy!

d

Chicka chicka whaaaaaaaaaat?!? You want me to take your wedding pics now too? No thanks. This will be my first and last as well. From now on, I will strictly be a guest. A very tearful, blubbering guest. I suppose if you needed a cake taste-tester before the big day, I could do that too.

And that pretty much sums up Austria. The flights home all went according to plan and so far it’s been wonderful to be home. Someday soon I’ll tell you all about my trips to Target (so far I’m up to four) and my summer plans. Until then!

Oh, and happy half birthday to me.

update: thith blowth

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I changed my mind. My mouth guard totally sucks, and I’m breaking up with it.

When I first put it on, I thought it was great. It was so snug! It felt like a really well-fitting sportsbra… but for my teeth. I went to bed happy as a clam, but woke up  feeling like I had been curbstomped. Okay, maybe it didn’t hurt that bad, but my mouth sure didn’t feel good. I imagine it’s the same feeling that people get when first getting braces or a new ‘tainer… like little mouth elves had been running around all night, pushing/pulling/rearranging my teeth.

So since I’m an “I need answers” type o’ gal, I made an appointment with Dr. Google.

He told me that my bite is stronger than it should be and the guard’s job is to reset the way my jaw thinks. The guard is there to show my jaw it doesn’t need to be clamped shut so tightly and this way, when I don’t have it in, muscle memory will know that my mouth is closed enough. Until then, my jaw will still want to close all the way and will overcompensate for the guard. That’s what’s causing the pain. Easy peasy, jaw bone squeezy. I’ll just have to be patient and hope that my mouth adapts sooner than later.

In conclusion, I’m not going to dump my guard just yet. I’m going to give it another chance, maybe even do a little couples physical therapy. Wish me luck!

juth relacth.

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I’ve always been pretty lucky when it comes to my teeth. I never had to wear braces and nothing major has ever gone wrong. (Humble brag alert: I was in the “No Cavity Club” until I reached double digits. Whoop whoop!) Annnyway. I’ve had a cavity filled before so I know what it feels like to need one done, and a few weeks ago one of my teeth started acting up when I would eat sweets. Which, you know, I do about a thousand times daily, so that sugary shit wasn’t going to fly.

The team has a really great dentist, so he told me to come right in. It was fixed before I could say “my mouf feel funny.” But then he told me that the cavity he had just filled was quite small and was likely not the cause of the pain. Instead, he suggested it was a crack in the same tooth that had developed from grinding my teeth at night. In his very best English, he explained that it was from “when things are not so good during the day and you…. *mashes his teeth together dramatically*….at night. You know?” YES! I do know! I totally get it. It’s from the major stresses of being a stay-at-home girlfriend all day every day. I just can’t take the pressure.

………

Okay stop. Rewind. I have no pressures. My job consists of doing the laundry (ha!) and keeping the house picked up (ha HA!) and occasionally going to a hockey game or baby shower. What the Sam Hill stresses me out so much that I’ve broken my tooth? And then I remembered. I stress about everything. I stress about grocery shopping and falling down the stairs and stepping on crumbs. No wonder my mouth is under fire. Maybe I should just chill out. Or mayyyyybe I should just wear my new mouth guard!!!!!!

Eeeeeeeek!! I type this with a giant mouth guard smile plastered on my face. I HAVE A MOUTH GUARD PEOPLE, HELLMUTHAFUCKINYEAHHHHHH!

Why am I so excited? I actually don’t know. I just am. Maybe it’s because now I can eat all the sugary/sticky treats I want and my mouth won’t hurt (I knoooowww this isn’t going to reverse the problem, but a girl can dream). Maybe it’s because I felt left out as a child who never got a retainer. Maybe ith becauth I get to thpeak with a lithp now.

If you haven’t put two and two together by now, the dentist suggested I wear a mouth guard at night to protect my pearly whites from getting worse. So of course I agreed. I even told him that I might wear it during the day. He said that wouldn’t be necessary. Actually, he warned me that my new accessory “isn’t sexy” so I should put it in when nobody will be looking at me. Thankth a lot, Dr. Werner.

cheeeeeeeeeeeth!

So the next time you see me, don’t be surprised if I’m talking all lisp-y. I’ve probably got my guard in.

word vom

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Vampires. Straws. Leeches. Black holes. Vacuum cleaners. My blog maintenance.

Wondering what these things have in common? Let me help you along. They all suck.

I’ve been a neglectful blogger lately, and I’ve left you–my loyal readers–hanging. I think it’s because I’ve been waiting for something monumental to happen before I post. But lucky for you I’ve decided it’s time to stop waiting and start writing. Don’t go expecting this to be anything amazing. No Shakespearean lit here, but hopefully I can at least keep you entertained for a minute or five.

Well, here goes. I call it “A Completely Random Compilation: Thoughts/Anxieties/Delights/Updates.”

  1. I am so beyond-words-excited to be going home (it’s down to only three weeks now!!) I am excited for so many things I can’t even list them. What? Try anyway? Okay. Family, friends, my dog, Target, TJMaxx, big roads, a language I understand, the good ol’ USD, Kraft mac n cheese, rubber bands, brown sugar, and friendly Midwestern strangers…. to name a few.
  2. For those of you who have not been keeping up with the team’s games, they have made it past the first two rounds of play-offs. Yahoo! Their first finals game is tomorrow night against KAC (sound it out… hehe). AKA Klagenfurt. AKA the city where Mike was born. And where his dad played for many-a-year. What I’m trying to say here is that these next few games are major-league for the Lebler family. The big cheese, if you will. Shit’s getting personal. Okaynotreally. Actually, I think I’m the only one that cares/thinks this is a big deal. Hmmm. Much ado about nothing? Maybe this will turn into a sonnet.
  3. I love the weather we’ve been having lately. Love love love. Shakespeare in love. It has been so beautiful and sunny that I’ve been forcing Mike to go on walks with me daily. We even made a little picnic the other day. Enjoyed it on the side of an Austrian hill. It was very Sound of Music. (Sorry for spilling the mushy beans, Mike).
  4. Speaking of spring-y weather, we did a bit of spring cleaning the other day. It all started after I stepped barefoot on a crumb. For the 9,485,073,825,904th time this year. Cue freakout. We have wood floors in our place, but I’ve only ever lived in carpeted houses, so the visible/palpable dust bunnies, sand, and other various particles that accumulate on the floor are new to me. I’m no clean freak but this was the last straw. I had JUST vacuumed. I swear I could lick the whole apartment clean and (while on my way to throw it all up) still get SOMETHING stuck to my feet. Back to the point. Mike did the bathrooms (bless his heart) while I vacuumed and re-vacuumed the apartment. I think I spent an hour and a half doing the floors. If I had stepped on so much as a grain of sugar after that ordeal, I think I literally would have gone mad. Okay I would have gone madder. 
  5. Mike knows little to nothing about girls/beauty and I think it’s funny. He calls backcombing my hair “pricking” and he calls my bangs a “pigtail.” Really? Can you tell he was raised in a family of all boys? Okay, maybe that’s not funny to anyone else but me. In that case, I’m sorry. I hate inside joke tellers. Or maybe that was a mommy move. (“My Billy does the CUTEST things!”) Ahh! In which case, that is so much worse. Since you know, he’s my boyfriend, not my son. Maybe I’m just digging myself into a weird incestual hole. ON TO NUMBER SIX!
  6. Hearing and seeing things get sucked up the vacuum hose is SO rewarding. Is that strange? Please tell me somebody else out there needs/loves instant gratification as much as I do.
  7. Remember my friends, Jana and Zip?  Well, Zip squeezed her little dude out so I could meet him before I took off (yes, that’s why she birthed him when she did), but I haven’t seen him since. The little bugger is already five months old! I can’t wait to see how much he’s grown. And Jana? Her wedding is coming up really soon. I am super excited for the big bash! Oh, and I’m pumped to get her invitation too… I heard some supersweet designer made them.
  8. We bought a wooden wind chime yesterday and it sounds just LOVELY.
  9. I want a dog. (Still).
  10. I will be home in three weeks!! I knowwwwwww I already mentioned it. But I am so excited to come home and see everyone. It deserved two mentions.

Okay, that was a lot of random shiz. Thanks for bearing with me.

when life hands you lemons…

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Well it took five months, but I finally got my visa. Went down to the city hall and was only waiting for about two minutes before the lady asked me for my autograph and 120 big ones. After all the hoops I jumped through to get this silly piece of plastic, I thought the moment it finally was in my hands would be a little more momentous, but she slid my hard-earned card to me like it was nothing and I was on my way. I have to admit I was a little let down by the lack of celebration, but the good news is that I’ll no longer have to worry about being interrogated/held captive by the Frankfurt border patrol.

When we got home I decided to bake a celebratory cake. Not just any ol’ cake either, but a lemon cake with yummy tea flavored frosting. I was inspired by an old friend who posted the recipe from a food and photo blog, and as soon as I saw the pictures I knew I had to give it a go. The recipe was a little more demanding than typical, requiring you to “add half of the dry ingredients, then a fifth of the wet, followed by eight twenty-thirds of the egg mixture” etc, but it proved to be worth it as the batter was phe-nom-enal. Baking the cake took a little trial and error too, as I was only using a bundt pan for the second time in my life.

a cake only a mother could love

It came out of the pan looking fantastic, right up until I tried to frost it. Have you ever tried to ice anything other than a sheet cake? Holy sh*t it was a hot mess. But if I learned anything in preschool it was to not eat the playdough judge a book by its cover, and my sinfully ugly cake was proof. The flavors were to die for. My only complaint was that the consistency wasn’t what I expected. “Lemon and tea cake” sounds like it should be delicate and moist, but mine came out relatively dense. Maybe I mixed it too long. Or MAYBE I wasn’t precise enough in the meticulous ingredient combination.

Who gives a rat’s ass, it tasted damn good.

I had a ton of left over ingredients from the cake, so I decided today to make a lemon-y pasta for Mike’s pregame meal. YUM. I found this recipe on allrecipes.com, but altered it a smidge for two reasons: a. there is no way in hell I am squeezing fresh lemons when I have lemon juice in the fridge and b. because I said so. If you’re going to try this recipe (which I highly recommend) my slight alterations are in parenthesis/italics. I left the directions as-is, pertaining to the original recipe.

Lemon Cream Pasta with Chicken

3 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (2 full chicken breasts)
1 lemon, quartered (about 1 Tbls storebought juice)
2 teaspoons garlic powder, divided (1 tsp, because nobody’s breath needs that much)
1 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
2 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (fresh juice my ass)
1 (8 ounce) package rotelle pasta
1 cup heavy cream (3/4 cup, probably will use milk next time)
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (too much work. take it out)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place chicken in a lightly greased baking dish. Squeeze lemon over both sides of the chicken breasts and season both sides using 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder and 3/4 teaspoon pepper. Bake until juices run clear and chicken is no longer pink inside.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, season the chicken broth with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil and add lemon juice and pasta. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until all liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes.
  3. Cut cooked chicken into bite-sized pieces and stir into cooked pasta, along with the cream and lemon zest. Cook, stirring, over low heat for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes. Stir thoroughly before serving.

Okay, enough with the recipes. This isn’t a food blog.

HOLLA!

pups and playoffs

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Last time I wrote, I left on a bad note. That wasn’t very nice of me, was it!? And I don’t have a whole lot to write about, but I figured it was time for an update, so here goes.

Early in Feb, the team took the guys and their families dog sledding at a place called Mountain Wolf Farm. It. was. amazing. We piled on the team bus with McDonalds and sack lunches, and started chugging along the Austrian highways. It was all fine and dandy until we started up the mountains, at which point I started panicking. And sweating (duh). We were vertical most of the ride up, and on the edge of drop-off cliffs. Obviously I was overreacting, but after the third icy hairpin turn, I started praying for all of us. Hail Mary, full of grace…

Nevertheless, we made it safe and sound, and the awesome day we had made up for my worries. The people from the farm let us walk around the kennels and check out the dogs – some of the most beautiful huskies and wolves I’ve ever seen – and then had us gather around for instructions. We were going to be driving our own dog sleds. Whhhhhaaaattt!!?? I was under the impression some professional sledder was going to sit us on a toboggan with hot cocoa and warm blankets and chauffeur us around on a scenic tour. This isn’t what I signed up for. The instructor told us we’d be on a sled led by two dogs each, but that the dogs wouldn’t work for you unless you worked for them too. Basically, after a few seconds of standing on the sled you had to help them along by pushing/running, so they wouldn’t think you were a total freeloader.

Well I ran, and I yelled, and I tried to bribe them with promises of chew toys and raw meat. But they wouldn’t move more than twenty feet before they stopped in the middle of the trail to poop/pee/sniff each others butts. Now, I know they weren’t working their hardest… the instructor told us the dogs could pull up to 300 kilos each. Or 300 pounds. Or something. Annnnyway, I don’t weigh 300 anything, so it should have been a cakewalk for them. And they shouldn’t have been too tired; it was only their second 10-minute trip of the afternoon. After I threatened to shake a penny can in their faces, they shaped up. The second half of the trail we flew along and had a great time.

after we went sledding, the dogs wowed us with a small choir concert

woofy

mike "the musher" lebler doin' his thang

After Mike and I both had a turn sledding, we headed back to the kennels to look at the dogs again. There were two in particular that I was ooh-ing and aah-ing over, so the instructors let us in with them. I was in L-O-V-E. The dogs were Irish Wolfhounds, and they were huge. The size of a small horse. And they weren’t even full-grown! All I could think of (other than how much I wanted one) was how gigantic their backyard business would be.

Mike, get me one of these dogs. Oh, and maybe pick up an excavator and dump truck while you’re at it.

pooper scooper XXXL

hi i'm five

We ended the day all packed in the warm lodge with soup and drinks. Snowy, sunny, and dog-filled, it was the perfect day.

The following week, Mike and I kept it low-key. I baked some Valentine’s cookies, attended another baby shower, visited the dentist, and watched a few movies; nothing out of the ordinary. Valentine’s Day came and went, and while Mike and I didn’t do anything extravagant, we had a nice day. The next day we were pleasantly surprised when a care package from my parents came. It was filled with sweet treats and a valentine for each of us. They also sent a month’s worth of word games from The Gazette… jackpot!

Other than completing crosswords and Sudoku, our days have been filled with job-stuff and hockey. Mike and I have both been applying like crazy (to no avail) trying to find something to do this summer. He’s got this idea that if neither of us gets a job, he’s going to build a hut in the woods and hunt/fish all day. Please God, let us find something.

Playoffs started for the guys last week, and so far they are 2:1 against the Vienna Capitals. They play best of seven games against the Capitals before the next round starts. Tonight is game four and is going to be shown live online. If you want to check it out, the puck drops around 10:15 am central time. Let’s go Black Wings!!

tlc=totally lame clichés

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I don’t get heated about many things, but today I am feeling a little warm. Why, sweet Jenna? What’s got you so upset?

Well….. as many of you know, I am a member of a sorority. A very.proud.member. And I get a little mother bear when someone talks smack about my cub. My cub being sorority life, of course. So when my good friend (and sorority sister) opened my eyes to TLC’s new show “Sorority Girls” I was a little peeved to say the least.

If you haven’t heard about it yet, this show features five American sorority girls who travel to the UK to establish Britain’s first ever sorority. Of course the show’s promo promises a season full of drama and scandal. This is upsetting to me for two reasons. One: I already have too many trashy shows to keep up with. I don’t need another. And two (the real reason): it is an awful and inaccurate portrayal of what sorority life actually is. It represents sorority women in a poor light and promotes negative attitudes toward something that is in fact, extremely postitive and life-changing.

Gamma Phi was the organization that lead me to my best friends. It opened all sorts of doors for me and taught me how to be a strong, independent, and fearless woman. I wouldn’t be who I am today if I hadn’t joined a sorority.

Okay. Let’s face it. If it weren’t for Gamma Phi, I’d probably be some friendless riffraff rocking back and forth in a corner somewhere because I was never properly socialized. I’d also probably own a hairless cat.

It’s no wonder I get emotional about something so close to my heart.

Anyway, I have a favor to ask you: please click here and sign the petition to end TLC’s show. Do it ’cause you love me.

home(less) is where the heart is

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When I first got here, time seemed to stand still. I was pretty homesick and the days just drug on, one after another, and verryyy slowly. Now that I’ve been here for over three months though, it seems strange that it’s been that long. My time here is already halfway over. I mean, it’s February, fachrissakes! (Sidenote: this is the first week that it’s been even relatively cold here. I am starting to think that we are just going to pass winter and jump straight to spring. Can I get a hell yeah!?) So going home has been on my mind quite a bit lately. Actually, figuring out where home is has been on my mind.

Mike and I obviously have different roots, so recently, deciding where to go after the season is over has been the topic of conversation… It’s Canada vs. the U.S. It’s the beav in one corner and the bald eagle in the other. It’s maple leaves or stars and stripes forever.

Nope, I lied. It’s wherever we can find jobs. If we are hired in the Himalayas as Sherpas, we’ll take it.

Honestly though, we need to figure out where we’re going and what we’re doing. Mike’s been diligent in job searching but I can’t say the same for myself. I really don’t have any excuses either, except that I hate doing it. It’s time-consuming and boring, and it can be pretty heart-breaking when you get turned down. Maybe I should just skip the disappointment that is job-hunting and go straight to living on the streets. With a witty sign and some patience, I bet I could make a pretty penny.

celebrate good times, c’mon!

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As I type this, I am admiring my “diploma” and humming Pomp and Circumstance. Why? Because this morning I passed my German language test. Aaaaaaccctually–modesty aside–I didn’t just pass my test, I got a 89% and a “sehr gut” from my instructor. HELL yes! They don’t call me “Bookworm” for nothin’.

Other than staring at my beautiful diploma, I’ve not done a lot today. I babied myself (Mike and I both came down with some awful cold the other day) and baked a cake. Then I ate the cake and babied myself some more.

Sorry this post is so lame, but I just wanted to let you all know that my test went well and I won’t be deported any time soon. Hip hip hooray!

free at last, free at last!

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Why hellooooooooooo! I know I said I’d try to write more often, but I’ve been busy hosting friends/family for the past couple of days. Still, here I am writing for the second time this month. I think I deserve a little cred… no?

Last week, my cousin and her friend came to visit. For three days, we explored Linz, and on the fourth, we left for Vienna. On our first night, we went to an amazing performance – a pianist and a soloist – at the State Opera House. Wednesday was our busy day, with a trip to the Shönbrunn Palace, the Tiergarten Shönbrunn (the oldest zoo in the world), Stephansdom Cathedral, an art museum (where much of Gustav Klimt’s work is displayed), and finally, an opera. Woah.

Let’s just say my feet still haven’t fully recovered from all of the walking we did that day.

Nonetheless, it was full and fantastic… and the sleep that night was as equally delightful. The next day we decided to take it easy, so we took a “hop on, hop off” bus tour of the city and shopped for the rest of the afternoon. I headed home that night, and crashed as soon as my head hit the pillow.

Now, for the past day and a half, Mike and I have been enjoying the peace and quiet that comes with not hosting any company. And let me tell you: it is so nice. Don’t get me wrong, I loved having family and friends here for the holiday, but it’s been a full month since our little apartment has been void of guests. A MONTH, people!!!!

Thank God Almighty, we’re free at last.

The only responsibility I have for the next few days is to study for my German test. I have to take (and pass) it this week in order to get my visa/not get kicked out of the EU. No pressure. Really. Other than that, I am as free as a bird.

Speaking of birds, I didn’t take any pics on my trip to Vienna, so here are some from my parent’s visit instead.

………….Huh? 

dear ol' dad and me, during our visit to cesky krumlov

okayyyyyyy cutest parents EVER

my teahouse: ta jenna

happy as a clam fam

weird/long story short, my family has an obsession with oversized stuffed pigs

ca-yute... plain and simple

Chat soon, my peeps. Auf Wiedersehen!