Monday, December 12, 2011

The Trip Here

The trip here was SO exhausting! And LONG. Though I suppose it is all worth it....I really hate how long the flight is! Anyway, we started off in Belo Horizonte (actually we started off on the drive there...but I'm skipping the death highway stories).
Saying Goodbye...never easy to do. 

I took a plane from BH to Rio. I never expected the plane to ACTUALLY be a Rio plane! Take a look!!
From the movie Rio! Cute right?? 

Flying above the rain...I think it's so interesting that under all those clouds is a rainy, ugly day. A good thing for me to remeber when I'm having a rainy day!!

When I arrived in Rio it was sooooo weird!! Everyone was speaking in English. The Gringos were in full force! It made me laugh a little bit! Anyway, while waiting in the airport, I had the good fortune of meeting a great couple named Bob and Alice! How I met them was interesting. I was sitting, playing Sudoku, dying of the sheer boredom of waiting, when Bob came and sat across from me. Being the curious people watcher that I am, I watched him take off his shoes and try to change his socks into circulation socks for the impending airplane ride. I watched him struggle for a good two minutes, while I internally struggled with going over to help him or not. I mean who is going to let a weird girl they don't know put on their socks? Well Bob apparently! I worked up quite a sweat helping him put those things on, but it was worth it! Bob and Alice are a really interesting couple! They have been travelling the world and had just finished a really interesting trip that I believe started in Spain and ended in Brazil! They spent the day in Rio, tromping all over Sugarloaf in torrential downpours before ending their journey with me in the Rio airport! There was another guy sitting close to us named Bruno. Of course after watching the weird girl put on Bob's socks, he wanted in on the conversation too. So the next hour or so we spent getting to know one another and it was a lot of fun! Here we are before boarding:
Of course when I boarded the plane, guess who I was sitting beside?? BOB! I know, right?!? We were destined to be friends! Thank you Bob and Alice for making my journey a little sweeter! I had a great time!!

I arrived in Charlotte the next morning, spent my time making phone calls to everyone to let them know I landed safely! 
While waiting a few minutes to board my plane to Richmond, I saw my luggage!! In reality I saw only 1 suitcase! Which of course I was like ummmm, hello! Where is the other one. On this tiny plane, we went out to the tarmac, so I stopped the girl who was loading baggage and told her they were missing one! And she was like oh, yeah! I know, what's your name? We lost it! Which I thought ironic since I had just re-checked both of them an hour ago. I thought if they were going to be lost it would be in Brazil where chaos reigns supreme. See what you get for judging a book? 

Anyway I landed safely in Richmond. Met another Brazilian who was going as an exchange program, talked to him until my feet hit the floor in the airport and took off to find my Momma! I spotted her and took off running! It was so wonderful to hug her...makes me cry even thinking about it. And of course she cried and then we laughed and spent the rest of the day happily ever after :) You know where she made me all my favorite foods! Starting of course, with Biscuits and Gravy. YUM. 

Stay tuned! More adventures to come! 

My beautiful Momma, her baby Molly, and Christmas lights!!

PS- It's cold here. I knew that. I just forgot what cold meant. My fingers have yet to warm up! :)

Saturday, December 10, 2011


Today I fly out for the United States. I will be there tomorrow morning (or Brazil's afternoon). It all feels so surreal. It's hard to believe that I'm going to be back with my parent's for the first time in 2 years, 6 months and 2 weeks.  How does time pass so slowly and so quickly all at the same time? I can hardly believe I have been here so long.

I am so excited to see my family. To hug them, to play with them, to just be with them. My sister is coming from Ireland too, so I will be able to see her as well (and finally meet that husband of hers)!

However with all the happiness comes an exception. Today truly is bittersweet. The sad truth about my situation is that no matter where I go, everyone I love can not be together. To be here, I hurt my family. To be there, I hurt my husband. It's days like today that make me sad. My heart squeezes in joy and pain all at the same time. And I just wonder, will it always be like this? Is there a light at the end of this tunnel that I am desperately searching for?

I know I am going to go and have a wonderful time. I am going to be so happy to be with my family, to see missed friends, to celebrate the holidays with all the force of U.S. commercialism that I love, to overindulge in food and shopping. I also know, when the day comes to come home, I am going to feel that familiar squeeze of joy and pain.

I know in this life, there are rarely those who experience complete happiness. Happiness is generally bittersweet as life is a series of choices we must make, rarely black and white, but always in the hazy gray. Please don't confuse this as unhappiness. I am not unhappy, in fact quite the opposite. However, I will always continue to hope that things will change for us.

Keep my in your thoughts and prayers in all my travels. I have missed participating in this online blog world. I have lots of stories and things to say. Hopefully I can carve some time out and share! Lots of fun adventures to share as I adjust back to the U.S.! Stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Red Masked Robin

Okay, so that’s not really his name…but seriously, how cute is he??
I found this little guy in my backyard the other day. He was so striking I had to get a closer look. Lucky for me, he looked like a baby that was trying to figure out how to fly. He was just hopping around. So he waited for me while I ran to get my camera! After a few minutes he figured it out and found his way up! Though let’s just say he could use a little more practice!
I loved his little mask! I thought of you, Danielle, as I was watching him! Ever seen him before?

Monday, November 7, 2011


Xerimbabo is an environmental awareness project promoted every year by Usiminas (the gigantic steel company that owns this town). The create HUGE walk through displays, complete with tour guides to give you information. It really is incredible and a LOT of hard work goes into it. It is free to the public and is open from August to September. Included in the exhibit is their small zoo. Many of the surrounding schools come to see the exhibit. Mine didn’t (but I have already suggested it as an activity for the kids for next year) but Amelia’s did. So I hopped a ride with her! Pictures, pictures (and these were back in august):

All of these beautiful birds were made by hand and with recycled materials!



Look at this huge 3D story book! I loved it! (I would be more informational…except we went a while ago…and now I can’t remember…Amelia feel free to chime in at any time!)


Again with recycled materials: Tree from aluminum cans, chickens from plastic wrappers, wall tiled with bottle tops, and flowers with aluminum cans. That last chicken is made from the little round piece that you push in with the tab…do you see it?




It’s us!

These are the best things EVER! If you stand on one side you see this.


If you stand on the other side you see this!089

And again…


See this is fun!

I couldn’t get enough of them!

Let’s save the zoo for another day…I have picture overloaded you all!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I’m a lucky girl!



There is something about Halloween oreos… I don’t know what it is, but they are my absolute favorite!!

Amelia’s Mom recently sent her a box for her birthday. And inside I got a treat too!! Smile 

Leanna, thank you so much for thinking of me! It absolutely made my day!! I was so surprised and so tickled! They of course were immediately devoured. Seriously, in two days, GONE. (in my defense, I had a little bit of help. But just a little! Smile haha)

Good snacks, even better friends. Life is good and I feel so blessed! Thank you so much!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Christmas Carols

I have been singing Christmas Carols. Particularly the one that goes... I'll be home for Christmas, you can count on me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm going home to see my family and spend the holidays and I couldn't be more excited!! Once Decemeber rolls around it will be 2 and half years since I've been home! I can't wait to see my family and friends!!! 45 days and counting!!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Grape Juice





Amelia and I found these in the store a couple of weeks ago. Call me juvenile…but I just couldn’t help myself.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Hobby Lobby


My first attempt at my new hobby! I really love bracelets. Especially big chunky ones that call attention. So of course, I love the first one. I made that one for me, but in a different color…to go with a shirt I bought! Anyway moving on, this all originally started because it was Amelia’s birthday! And while shopping for a present, I found a bracelet for her I loved! It just screamed her name! And then I turned over the price tag and did an inside head scream (those people were crazy y’all).  So I decided I’d make her one myself. You know, since I’ve never actually done that before.

(Also Amelia and people that know Amelia might be wondering why I thought a bracelet screamed her name since she doesn’t really do much jewelry, especially not with big FAT rhinestones in them. I’m not really sure either. But I decided to do one more toned down, just for her. Case in point bracelet #2. And just in case that really is just a terrible plan, I am also planning on taking her to lunch)

Anyway I thought they turned out well. And people have had really positive reactions to them. I have more coming. I also want to try and make necklaces too. But I need to take my time and decide what I want to do and what I want to buy. This is an expensive hobby. Anyway, people here tend to wear lots of things like this, so I hope it goes over well. If you love it, tell me. If you don’t, well…take Thumper’s advice.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The country…Part II


I am always amazed to see all the fruit in the “wild” I sound as ridiculous as I feel?? The extent of my fruit growing were strawberries, watermelon, tomatoes…and that was pretty much it.


Bananas (my favorite!)

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Avocado! Which we eat here with sugar, and it is delcious…though nothing beats a good guacamole dip! So if you are feeling adventurous, blend an avocado, banana, milk, sugar, and ice together, and have a tasty drink!

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Limes! Another favorite! And the tree too!

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Acerola (with bugs)…Acerola is a bittersweet fruit (for me)

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This plant has colored seeds inside of it. Here people use it in the food to give it “color”

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If you can see, that is a Caju fruit. It is where you get your cashew nuts. Not a big fan of caji, but will drink it when im out!

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Graviola (or in English soursop…what in the world??)

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Bobrina (like a squash! one of my favorite vegetalbes here)

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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

No Ordinary Day


Today is Sidnei’s birthday!! I won’t reveal how old he is…he’s s3nsitiv3 about his age….but of course I would be too if I had a smoking hot young wife!

I kid, I kid!

Anyway, I haven’t talked much about Sidnei lately. So here is what is going on with him these days…

When we moved here, Sidnei opened his own construction company. Things went really great and he stayed extremely busy. We hit a dry spot last November and although things picked back up, we didn’t like the way that dry spot felt. So Sidnei started looking for something with a little more security. And he found something SO MUCH better than we expected. He is a supervisor in an engineering company. That means, he is no longer doing the heavy work, he just watches other people do it. (Which is great because I was really worried about his back!) He works 7-5, M-F. He has off on all the holidays. (Well he would, except he’s been working them to receive overtime…as well as Saturdays..let’s just say I haven’t seen much of him) Anyway, but enough with all the specifics. The important thing is he is really liking his job (thankfully because it was kind of a hard transition for him…he wasn’t accustomed to not doing the work…) He has also really excelled. All of his supervisors are impressed and Sidnei is proud of himself which I love to see!

So now onto the birthday mush  mush.

I feel incredibly lucky. Sidnei is an extraordinary person. He is honest to a fault. (No really, if you don’t want the absolute truth, don’t ask) He loves and protects fiercely. He is funny and full of zingers. He is really handy. (Today he changed the showerhead…we have GREAT pressure now, I was so happy) He is extremely detailed (he watches over my jewelry making and fixes the flaws..seriously). Basically the man is good at whatever he does.

The truth is I could list a million different things that are great about him. But it all boils down to the fact, that I am so glad I get to celebrate him today. His life and the difference he’s made in mine. Happy Birthday to the man who forever changed the meaning of October 5th. I love you more than I know how to say!


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

In the country… part I

Disclaimer: I just found this draft…this happened a while ago…in fact in reality I don’t even remember when exactly…


We took a little trip to the country to see Sidnei’s (ex) Uncle. He lives on a little sitio. I really love going to spend the day in places like these. Full of fruit, animals, and me, the american girl with her camera taking pictures of EVERYTHING. Because seriously, the fruit here? Things that grow on trees? Craziness. Have you ever seen a pineapple plant? I hadn’t either. It was awesome.


So for part I, I decided to stick to beverages. First beverage, Sugar cane. We decided to make juice. Ant it was hard work for poor Sidnei!


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But absolutely worth it for us. (I had more, I just drank most of it.) Delicious!

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My second beverage was fresh coconut juice. I had no idea they looked all green on the outside until I moved here to Brazil. I just imagined they grew with their brown hard shells and that was that. Let me tell you, it is not easy to open those bad boys.

Look how they grow!

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And someone was kind enough to open it for me! The coconut water was so sweet!!

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I have to be honest, the first time I drank coconut juice I didn’t like it. But the taste has grown on me and on a hot day, there is nothing better than ice cold coconut water!

Did you all know that this is how coconuts looked? I didn’t until I came to Brazil. Did you know you could make sugar cane juice? I knew lots of things could be made with sugar cane, I just didn’t know juice was one of them!