The Best Month of my Life
For this post I want to do a little throwback to December 2018. Without a doubt the best month of my life! It all started a year before, however, when me and my now wife decided to get married at the end of December in Florida. I knew it would be a special time of my life, but boy did it all become so much better than I had ever anticipated. Let’s start at the beginning with MLS Cup.
It all started with us beating the New York Red Bulls in the conference Final. Right after that game, my family decided to make the trip from Germany to Atlanta for MLS Cup, meaning they would fly to the US, back to Germany and back to the US for the wedding in a matter of just two weeks. It was my mum, my grandpa, my two brothers, my stepdad, my aunt, my uncle and two close family friends. Nine people! It was awesome that they were here and that I could see them and spend some time with them before the big game. For some reason it calmed me down quite a bit, even though they were quite nervous! Actually, really nervous. I could see it in their faces, especially my mum. On top of that, all my classmates and my former coaches from Providence came to town, too. I had about 25 people coming to the game, but I was trying hard to treat it like any other game. I didn’t want to be so caught up in the fact of how big of a game it really was. Yeah, I had my moments where I was lying in bed or you just thought about what’s about to happen and I got pretty nervous, but for the most part, I did a pretty good job and felt good…. until we walked in the stadium with our suits on for the first time. That’s when it really hit me. There was something different about this game. The air was different in Mercedes-Benz Stadium. This is it, the trophy this city has been waiting for, my first final as a pro. There is a lot at stake today! In the locker room, you just go through normal pre game things like getting stretched, do a little core activation, making sure you know all the set plays, etc. The warmup is the same as always, the walkout was incredible and then it’s go time. Honestly, I don’t remember much from the game itself. It was all kind of a blur, but certain moments like the goals and some moments I had personally stick out. The last 5 minutes were probably the most enjoyable minutes of soccer I’ve ever played. I think I played those final minutes with the biggest smile on my face, knowing that once the final whistle blows, we can celebrate.
It was a great feeling, first being down on the field celebrating with all the people that have worked so hard for this. Then standing up on the podium, seeing Arthur Blank and Parky lift the trophy and finally celebrating with the fans. The beer and champagne showers were just like you would imagine them to be. So much fun and absolutely freezing cold. By the time things were calming down in the locker room, I had heard that all our family was on the field. Completely drenched and still with my skiing googles on, I went back out to see my family. It is very hard for me to come up with the right words to describe these moments. Sharing that experience with especially my mum, my two brothers and my grandpa was simply unbelievable and a dream come true, for all of us. The celebrations after were awesome and it went on until early the next morning.
I used to watch parades on TV, always hoping to be in the front of the bus one day, holding a trophy. Well, it happened and the whole experience during the parade was amazing. To really see how much this meant to the city and our supporters makes it so much more special. On top of that, I was able to share everything with my family. Overall, there were so many moments during that week that I just simply will never forget. But honestly, that was kind of the theme throughout all of December.
The least exciting event was probably my birthday, which fell right in between MLS Cup and our wedding. A couple days before Christmas, Casey, Freddy and I started our journey to Florida. Us boys dropped Casey off with her family and we continued our drive all the way down to the Keys, where we’d meet my family. Christmas was a bit different in the warm weather and on the beach, but after such a long season it was nice to relax and let go. After a few days in the Keys, we headed up towards Boca Raton. The rest of the families and our friends flew in during the following days and we were all getting ready for the big day.
It was time. The big day, December 30th 2018, was here. It was an amazing day, weather in the mid 70s, no cloud in the sky (very important for an outdoor wedding) and everything was set up and ready for the wedding. Remember when I told you how I felt during the time I walked in the stadium before MLS Cup. I had that kind of a feeling, just much stronger and all day. The day flew by, I had lunch with all my groomsmen, we got dressed and then it was time for the first look. I was stunned, Casey looked absolutely amazing!
The ceremony was beautiful and the reception was just a big party. Exactly what we wanted. We were the first ones of our friend groups to get married and therefore had a very young crowd present. All my family and friends that came over from Germany were so blown away by how Americans do weddings. They absolutely loved it and had a blast. We obviously threw some German traditions in there, as well. Overall, we had such an unforgettable wedding day and wouldn’t have wanted to change one thing about it.
The month of December 2018 was the best month that I have ever had. Getting married to the love of my life and becoming a champion were the two best days of my life, no doubt. It wasn’t just that, however, the time I got to spend with family and friends was so unforgettable and the experiences that we were able to share with each other were special. I am truly lucky and very grateful to have been part of all of it.