Meine Klein Blog

Matt Klein serving at Vienna Christian School

The Europe Cup


Austria is co-hosting this year’s Europe Cup along with Switzerland. This means that my neighborhood is in complete chaos for the coming month. There are crazed soccer fans everywhere! Today I took a little break and walked around the Graben which is the main street in the city. I took pictures of several different store displays as well as a few fans. Everyone has soccer fever! You can see pictures here.

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June 8, 2008 Posted by | Austria, Europe Cup, Life, soccer | 1 Comment

Welcome to the Jungle


Matt turned 30 this year. Actually, his birthday was a couple weeks before mine, but I blogged mine first. Tells you about my priorities. :)

Anyway, I threw him a “Welcome to the (30’s) Jungle” monkey themed party. It was a fun time of celebrating my favorite monkey. You can see pictures on our Flickr site here. The most popular gift of the night was the flying/screaming monkey. You send it flying like a sling shot and it does a crazy banshee scream when it hits something. A little scary when it comes at you, but mostly just fun.

The fun fact we all learned about Matt is that he has apparently played Barrel of Monkeys a lot because he pretty much always wins.

Happy Birthday Matt!

June 8, 2008 Posted by | birthday, Life, Matt | Leave a comment

Happy Birthday to Me!

Yep. Today is my birthday. Having your birthday on a school day is the best when you’re an elementary teacher. Today my students planned a surprise party for me. It was actually quite amazing. They plotted with Matt to have him come down at 10:30 and say he needed to talk to me. They even made him plan what he was going to talk to me about so he wouldn’t mess up. :) While he was talking to me, the kids decorated the room with balloons, banners, and cake. They got it completely decorated in about 10 minutes. Then when I walked back in the room, they crowned me with a tiara and sang “Happy Birthday!” I tell you, fourth graders know how to throw a party!

June 5, 2008 Posted by | birthday, Life, School, VCS | Leave a comment

The Story (With Commentary)

Here is the engagement story again, this time [with commentary by Matt]

Matt Skyped me around lunchtime to see if I had plans for the night. We both had basketball practice, but Anne and Jeff covered basketball practice for us so we could go out. Thanks Anne and Jeff! After school, we went to Matt’s apartment [I had to pick up the bling]. He said we had plans for the night, but he kept looking at the clock and stalling, so eventually I walked out to the elevator [She’s very impatient sometimes]. He yelled at me from the apartment, “What are you doing? You can’t leave. You’re not supposed to be out there. Come back in here.”

When I came back in he pulled a velvet box out of his pocket. He opened it to reveal a pair of diamond stud earrings [Bling Bling]. He said, “I wanted to give you something that you can wear everyday, and I wanted to give it to you in the apartment because this is where all the everyday mundane stuff will be happening. I want these to remind you that even in the mundane everyday things our lives will still sparkle.” [She has a pretty good recollection of this one because she wasn’t crying yet]

After that, we went to Schönbrunn. [Going in I noticed that the gate closed at 6. I glanced at my watch: 5:45. Oops. Guess I stalled a little too long] We hiked up the trail to the Glorietta, but he wouldn’t take the short way. He made me take all the switchbacks. When we were at the bottom of the hill the closing alarm started sounding. We went up anyway and got to the top right at sunset. It was a beautiful blue, orange, and pink sky. We stood on the side of the Glorietta and looked out over Vienna. He pulled out another velvet box. [She said, “You’re like a treasure chest!”] This one had a beautiful diamond necklace with seven diamonds increasing in size and layed out in an “S” pattern. [She teared up] He said, “I know you’re wondering why we had to walk up all the switchbacks, but I want this to represent marriage. We start at the bottom, and it takes work to get to the top, but it’s worth it. This necklace starts small and grows, just like our marriage will.” [With my breathing still a bit heavy from the climb, I said, “I made you take the switchbacks because it represents the journey we are undertaking in marriage. It will not always be easy. It may seem like we’re always going uphill. But if we commit to completing the journey together, our love will continue to grow more glorious like the sunset or the Glorietta. The diamonds in the journey pendant increase in size much like I hope our love will increase over the years] At this point I was crying and smiling all at the same time. :)

Then we started hiking down the hill wondering if we could get out now that it was closed. [We saw quite a few runners, so we tried following one of them. Unfortunately she was running and we weren’t, so we lost our guide before we found our way out] After about 45 minutes [It was more like 20] of wandering through the gardens in the dark, we found a fence to hop to get back into the main courtyard. Luckily we found an open gate at the front to escape through. [I was pretty impressed we made it out without getting yelled at in German] Whew!

After this we went downtown to the Rathaus. [This is her favorite building in Vienna] We sat on the steps of the Burgtheater facing the Rathaus. The Rathaus was beautiful with the ice skating and all the colored lights. He asked me if he had ever told me about the first time he knew he loved me. I said no. [So I told her. “It was getting close to Christmas, and I was looking for presents for you. I found a small pillow with that cartoon sheep I know you like. The one that says “Ohne Dich ist alles doof!” (Without you everything is stupid/meaningless). I figured you could snuggle with it when you missed me. (This one had a Christmas theme and said, “Ohne Dich ist Weihnachten doof.”) After I got home I started thinking about the theological implications of “Without you Christmas is meaningless,” and realized I hadn’t looked very closely at everything the pillow said. So I pulled it out of its hiding place afraid that it might say something like, “Baby Jesus ist doof.” Relieved that the gift was indeed sweet and not blasphemous, I was struck by a fact I had not previously considered: What it said was really true. Without you my life really is doof. I love you. I don’t want my life to be doof anymore. Tricia, will you marry me?”] After he shared the story with me, he pulled out the final box with my grandma’s ring in it. Then he told me he loved me and wanted to marry me. “Will you marry me?” Yes! and lots of kisses! Then he said, “Maybe you should stand so you’re taller than me.” :) [Kneeling doesn’t really have the same effect if she’s sitting on the same level] Then he put the ring on my finger. More kisses and I love yous! :)

We sat on the stairs for awhile just watching the skaters and enjoying the moment. After that we went to dinner at a new Italian restaurant that we had walked by.

It was perfect! We’ll be getting married on July 26, and I can’t wait! :) [Me neither]

April 20, 2008 Posted by | Life | 1 Comment

The Story

Matt Skyped me around lunchtime to see if I had plans for the night. We both had basketball practice, but Anne and Jeff covered basketball practice for us so we could go out. Thanks Anne and Jeff! After school, we went to Matt’s apartment. He said we had plans for the night, but he kept looking at the clock and stalling, so eventually I walked out to the elevator. He yelled at me from the apartment, “What are you doing? You can’t leave. You’re not supposed to be out there. Come back in here.” :)

When I came back in he pulled a velvet box out of his pocket. He opened it to reveal a pair of diamond stud earrings. He said, “I wanted to give you something that you can wear everyday, and I wanted to give it to you in the apartment because this is where all the everyday mundane stuff will be happening. I want these to remind you that even in the mundane everyday things our lives will still sparkle.” :)

After that, went to Schönbrunn. We hiked up the trail to the Glorietta, but he wouldn’t take the short way. He made me take all the switchbacks. When we were at the bottom of the hill the closing alarm started sounding. We went up anyway and got to the top right at sunset. It was a beautiful blue, orange, and pink sky. We stood on the side of the Glorietta and looked out over Vienna. He pulled out another velvet box. This one had a beautiful diamond necklace with seven diamonds increasing in size and layed out in an “S” pattern. He said, “I know you’re wondering why we had to walk up all the switchbacks, but I want this to represent marriage. We start at the bottom, and it takes work to get to the top, but it’s worth it. This necklace starts small and grows, just like our marriage will.” At this point I was crying and smiling all at the same time. :)

Then we started hiking down the hill wondering if we could get out now that it was closed. After about 45 minutes of wandering through the gardens in the dark, we found a fence to hop to get back into the main courtyard. Luckily we found an open gate at the front to escape through. Whew!

After this we went downtown to the Rathaus. We sat on the steps of the Burgtheater facing the Rathaus. The Rathaus was beautiful with the ice skating and all the colored lights. He asked me if he had ever told me about the first time he knew he loved me. I said no. After he shared the story with me, he pulled out the final box with my grandma’s ring in it. Then he told me he loved me and wanted to marry me. “Will you marry me?” Yes! and lots of kisses! Then he said, “Maybe you should stand so you’re taller than me.” :) Then he put the ring on my finger. More kisses and I love yous! :)

We sat on the stairs for awhile just watching the skaters and enjoying the moment. After that we went to dinner at a new Italian restaurant that we had walked by.

It was perfect! We’ll be getting married on July 26, and I can’t wait! :)

March 16, 2008 Posted by | Life | Leave a comment

The Announcement!

March 16, 2008 Posted by | Life | Leave a comment

Recipe Search


One of my latest de-stressing hobbies is reading food blogs. I like them because people have so many amazing ideas for yummy new food, but I also like them because they are full of good stories. I’ve found that when people write about what they are passionate about it makes for interesting reading no matter the topic. I’ve also found that people write great stories about food because food plays a part in most life events. People share a recipe then tell about how they made it for a birthday, or a wedding, or a memorial service. Today one of the blogs I read shared a new search engine made for people like me. It’s called Food Blog Search. That’s right, a search engine that only searches within food blogs. I may never be bored (or productive) again.

February 27, 2008 Posted by | cooking, Life | Leave a comment

Accepting God’s Mercy

Matt and I are reading a Lenten devotional by Henri Nouwen called Show Me the Way. I’m two days behind (of course) so I just read the devotional for Saturday. It’s about returning to God. He uses the story of the prodigal son as reference. I like what Nouwen had to say because he talks about the fact that the son returned for entirely selfish reasons, a fact that has always kind of bothered me. But then he talks about how God views us. I absolutely love the picture he gives of God’s response to us when we return – selfishly or not.

But Jesus came to open my ears to another voice that says, “I am your God, I have molded you with my own hands, and I love what I have made. I love you with a love that has no limits. Do not run away from me. Come back to me – not once, not twice, but always again. You are my child. How can you ever doubt that I will embrace you again, hold you against my breast, kiss you and let my hands run through your hair? I am your God – the God of mercy and compassion, the God of pardon and love, the God of tenderness and care. Please do not say that I have given up on you, that I cannot stand you any more, that there is no way back. It is not true. I so much want you to be with me. I so much want you to be close to me. I know all your thoughts. I hear all your words. I see all of your actions. And I love you because you are beautiful, made in my own image, an expression of my most intimate love. Do not judge yourself. Do not condemn yourself. Do not reject yourself. Let my love touch the deepest, most hidden corners of your heart and reveal to you your own beauty, a beauty that you have lost sight of, but that will become visible to you again in the light of my mercy. Come, come, let me wipe your tears, and let my mouth come close to your ear and say to you, ‘I love you, I love you, I love you.'”
~ Henry Nouwen, Show Me the Way, pg. 76-77

Then he offers this simple prayer that I am praying right now:

O Lord, my Lord,
help me to listen to your voice
and to decide for your mercy.

Amen!

February 25, 2008 Posted by | Faith, Henry Nouwen, Life, prayer | Leave a comment

Look Out Austria!

Well, the roads will never be the same. Yesterday I received my Austrian driver’s license in the mail. It’s kind of a fun thing to have. It makes me feel like I really live here. Plus, my picture turned out really cute. Now I kind of want to show it to everyone. :)


You can pray for us on Friday as it will be my first time driving a school van full of kids. We are headed to Budapest, Hungary for a basketball game. Fortunately, I’m not in charge of reading the map, but driving in Hungary will be a whole new experience!

January 22, 2008 Posted by | Austria, Life, praise, travel | Leave a comment

The Bridge at Andau


The first year I was in Austria, my friend Jean came over for a visit. She had a meeting in Budapest and picked me up on the way. Admittedly, I am a terrible history student, so I really had no idea of Hungary’s past other than the fact that it used to be under communist rule. When we went into the city of Budapest, I remember telling Jean that it felt like there was a heaviness in the air. Kind of a feeling of oppression.

Today I finished reading the book The Bridge at Andau by James Michener. While it’s not a complete history of Hungary, it is the story of what happened to Hungary under Russian rule. The book tells the story of the Hungarian revolution/uprising in November 1956 and the subsequent exodus of a large number of Hungarian refugees into Austria. The story is told from the viewpoint of several composite characters. These are characters that Michener created from the dozens of interviews he did with Hungarian refugees who crossed the bridge at Andau.

I can’t wait to go back to Budapest now. I feel like I will see the city in an entirely different light. I have a better understanding of what the country and her people have gone through and an amazing respect for them because of it. I also want to go to Andau, Austria which is just an hour and a half away. They have rebuilt the bridge, created a monument to the refugees, and built an open air museum in the city.

If you are planning on traveling to Budapest, I highly recommend reading this book. Just a warning, though, it made me cry on the U-Bahn more than once. So if you’re going to read it in public, bring some tissue.

November 11, 2007 Posted by | Austria, Hungary, Life, travel | 1 Comment