I guess I will start with the good news! Which sorry, it requires a bit of an explanation. My teaching certification program began on the same day as my step-father's passing. I contacted the professor before leaving for the funeral, and she told me not to worry, that I only had to finish all the coursework by December 5th. I hopped on the plane with my books papers that needed to be completed, full of hope and determination. Of course, I was not prepared for those horrifically difficult two weeks of running to doctors and setting up home care for my mom. I then convinced myself that although I had fallen two weeks behind, once I returned to Germany and got life back on track, I'd complete everything. Then came the phone call from my aunt that turned my life upside-down. And, caused every thought other than for my mom to fly right out of my head. It is amazing when I think back to those days in the hospital that I was purely focused on my mother, and nothing else. Once I realized the course would be impossible to complete, we were overloaded with lawyers, banks, and clearing out the house. I was finally able to call school yesterday, and beg for mercy. The professor was kind and understanding, but said that she did not have the final decision as I had missed the withdrawl date. Fortunately, today at work was quite busy, and I had little time to obsess on my teaching program. When I got home tonight, I contacted the school. The good news? I can still withdraw, but the money I paid will be put towards the next cohort. Yes, I can start from the beginning, this time in February. That's absolutely perfect for me! I am so excited! And yet another thing to be thankful for!
Before calling the school yesterday, we went to the Stuttgart Christmas Market. We officially kicked off our Christmas Market season, which actually began last Wednesday in Stuttgart. It was so enjoyable, especially since we got there at 4, before it got busy and cold. First stop though was Starbucks.
Although Starbucks is not Christmas Market tradition, I decided it would be a close second to mulled-spiced wine, and it would be a good hand-warmer. We wandered through the rows of stalls selling everything from food and Glühwein (mulled-spiced wine,) to slippers and kitchen items.
I was actually had a mission though, I needed to find a Christmas ornament for an upcoming ornament exchange. So, we worked our way through the food stalls, and through the housewares and clothing towards the area where the Christmas ornaments are sold. Another enjoyable part of the market is to look at the roofs of each stall, as they are all uniquely decorated.
The area where I was headed lies in the Rathausplatz, or the square in front of Stuttgart City Hall. It was so neat to see that they had chosen certain windows of city hall to cover, and turned the building into a giant Advent calendar!
As we wandered through all the stalls, I really felt the Christmas magic that is truly unique to Germany.
After I found the perfect ornament, we headed back and stopped by the outdoor ice rink for a while.
It was such a fun evening! I am eagerly anticipating many more Christmas market visits before the season is over.