This past weekend, Sharks blueliner Christian Ehrhoff packed his bags and headed back to Germany for the summer. However, this year the trip was a little different as he and his wife, Farina, were toting their new baby girl, Leni (LAY-nee), back home.
Christian and Farina went the simple route when attaching a name for their daughter, using only the first name without a middle moniker.
“No middle name, all we could afford were the four letters,” joked the Sharks defenseman.
As for the first name, the process was rather simple.
“We liked the name and it was my grandmother’s nickname,” said Ehrhoff.
Like any professional athlete who has experienced success at all levels of life (think playing in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and the Olympics), the birth of a child puts everything into perspective.
“It’s just an awesome, awesome feeling,” said Ehrhoff. “To hold your daughter in your hands for the first time is the best experience.”
When the Ehrhoff trio arrived home, there were excited family members waiting on them.
“You can’t imagine (how excited they were),” said Ehrhoff of taking Leni to Germany for the first time. “It’s the first grandchild for both of our parents. They couldn’t wait for us to get home. We were definitely excited to see all our family and friends.”
Reaching Europe from California is an ordeal within itself. Flying across the United States can be arduous, but going all the way to Germany from San Jose with a new born was a new proposition all together.
“It’s 10 hours to London and another hour to Dusseldorf,” said Ehrhoff, which is only 15 minutes from his summer home. “We flew out later in the day about five, so hopefully she could sleep. Our parents were there (with brothers and sisters). They all came to pick us up because we needed three cars just to get all our luggage back.”
Or maybe they were just that thrilled to see the newest family member.
Upon arriving in their homeland, Christian and his little family began to settle in for a quiet offseason.
“It’s nice to get home a little every summer,” said Ehrhoff. “We have a condo in the town where I played (Krefeld). We won the German League my last year there. My parents live 15 minutes away and Farina’s live 15 minutes in another direction.”
As for the home, it had already been prepped for Leni.
“Farina was in Germany in January and she got the crib,” said Ehrhoff. “The two grandmas went out and got baby stuff like diapers.”
Ehrhoff couldn’t wait to let the excited grandparents meet Leni in person.
“They had seen her on Skype, but it’s not the same as holding her,” said Ehrhoff.
Ehrhoff says there isn’t much in the way of summer plans.
“We’re just going to get used to our new little one,” said Ehrhoff. “At the beginning of July, we’ll go to Paris for the NHLPA summer meetings. From there, we’ll see. We’ll keep it pretty simple. We have two weddings at the end of June.”