Thursday, February 16, 2012


So apparently, I'm getting old. Okay, so it's not old. But I just am not sure I understand how time seems to be passing by so quickly. People I am approaching 30. It's a little strange to even say that. I feel like I am an kid playing adult.

 Anyway my birthday was pretty low key this year. I had already gotten to celebrate with my family in the states. At my Mom's we had a "family birthday" to celebrate all the birthdays we had missed. This is a Ukrop's cake. My favorite cake in the whole world. It makes my mouth water just thinking about it!

I was also lucky because Miranda took me to PF Changs to celebrate my birthday before I left! We had good food and she even brought me a cupcake!! It was delicious!! (Miranda where are those pictures??)

On my actual birthday here, it started out good. I went and got my nails done in the morning. However, when I got home I wasn't feel very good. In the middle of the day I was running a fever. Luckily I slept it off and felt better in the evening. After my nap (and my fever broke) I decided I would need to have some sort of cake. Lucky for me I had a box of funfetti and frosting on hand, so I got to work! They were delicious and the whole family enjoyed them!

When Sidnei got off work, we got ready and went out to eat at one of our favorite Churrascarias. It was absolutely delicious. One of my favorite things to eat there is grilled Minas cheese. YUM. The good thing about going out on a Monday night is hardly anyone was there. So I basically had the individual attention of all the waiters and got what I wanted when I wanted it. And who doesn't love that?? Of course dinner was topped off with grilled pineapples and bananas. My mouth is watering again. 

Happy Birthday to me! This is going to be a great year!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The drive home

So after flying from Richmond to Charlotte, then Charlotte to Rio (I couldnt sleep the entire flight...I had a kid behind me the entire night kicking the back of my chair...and when I say kid he was like 10. I wanted to kill him). I landed at 10 AM local time and I waited in the Rio airport for 11 hours. I tried to get on standby (Lindsey, I should have just left to go have some fun) but was unsuccessful. I then flew from Rio to Belo Horizonte. I landed in BH after midnight. We didn't get to the hotel until 2:30 AM, went to sleep around 4:30 and we got up at left about 10AM the next day. Here is what I look like after traveling for WAYYYYYYYYYYYYYY too many hours and going on very little sleep. (And this picture is for my sister who says I only post the pretty pictures of me)

Anyway, I was happy that I was driving home on such a beautiful day. One of my very favorite things about Brazil is how blue the sky seems and how green the grass and trees are. The summers, while hot, are beautiful. Big, puffy, white cotton clouds, gorgeous blue skies. It made me happy! Don't mind the pictures, they were taken while driving (well Sidnei was driving). This is the Minas Gerais country side. Makes me happy to call it home.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

So I'm back...

I'm not really sure where the time went. It kind of felt like time stopped when I left the US. Only to find out it didn't. And the same with Brazil. I feel like time of course it didn't.

I'm really lucky and was able to go home for 6 weeks. Of course it still wasn't enough. I needed more time. And money. However after two and a half years, it was really nice to see my family. To hug them, to hang out, to laugh and have fun. Even the spats were fine..then it really felt like family time. (ha) Of course it was hard on Sidnei and I. I missed him terribly, always wished he could be there, was constantly reminded of things he loved...and he was sad because he was still at home, doing the daily grind thing, wishing he was there..and of course wishing I was with him. The man does not do well alone...let's just say that. And it's nice to be loved and missed as much as he loves and missed me.

Anyway so....things at home were the same. And different. I could not, for the love of all things, remember to STOP putting toilet paper in the trash can. After about a week, I finally quit, but seriously...UGH. Now of course, I am having the opposite problem. Which is not a good one to have. I can't remember to quit throwing the toilet paper in the toilet. I can't win.

My English was struggling. As in I wasn't allowed to mix Portuguese/English anymore like I did with just about everyone in Brazil between my co-workers and Sidnei. Not only that, but I think all my bi-lingual friends will agree, there are some words in English that just work better to describe something and some words in Portuguese are better suited for other things. I like to use both.

I noticed I had changed a little myself. Suffice it to say without too much detail...I like me now. For the most part. My southern accent came back in an instant...I love that, it just feels right. Anyway.... The things I value are quite different. But...I am still a first world girl. I miss my dishwasher, my dryer, my hot water heaters. And Costco. And great return policies.

The day I was coming home (to Brazil) I was surprised to find how sad I was. I woke up sad, which is really unusual for me. It was much harder leaving my family this time. I miss them terribly already. I still can't really think about it. The tears. However, once I arrived in Brazil, I did get the feeling. You know, it's good to be home, feeling. Normal routine feeling. And of course, there is nothing like coming home to the husband. It's nice to have him by my side again. And I kind of missed speaking Portuguese...which is really one of the last things I thought I'd miss.

So I feel like this post is kind of choppy. But I felt like I should do a here and there post. I really hope I can get back before too long. Time really didn't stop when I left...and it has taken it's toll. I just feel like I need to be there to take care of things...but they'll have to get taken care of without me. (I'm not very good at that).

Anyway bright spot of being home? I'm driving!! On the crazy lawless roads. AND I LOVE IT. FREEDOM from the hot, sweaty bus! I will admit I have been nervous as heck, but I'm feeling more relaxed. Also, I'm not driving during peak traffic hours.

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Food

I ate and I ate and I ate and I ate. The amount of eating was ridiculous. I don't think I felt hunger for the entire 6 weeks I was there. Food and I connect on an emotional level and seriously I enjoyed every single minute of the eating. Home cooked or eating was great! 

Friday, February 10, 2012

Last days

My last few days I spent back in Virginia with my Mom, sister, brother in law, and my Grandma. They were  really great. I miss them so much already..

Right before Rachael left at the Chic-fil-A parking lot.

At Grandma's.

Me with Gary before leaving for the airport...

Molly and I (she reminded me so much of was nice to have her company at my Mom's)

Me with my Momma

Me at the airport with WAY TOO MANY SUITCASES. The ridiculousness of it all.

The guy at the airport was really great and gave Mom and Gary passes so they could come back and sit with me while I waited for my flight. I was really glad because I wasn't quite ready to say goodbye. Of course the time was just one of those moments that still puts a ball in my throat...

I was really fortunate to be able to come home for 6 whole weeks. I was able to spend a good amount of time with my family and it was much needed. I loved every minute of it and I wish it was something that was more permanent for me. I know one day it will be. Until then....thank you for every minute, thank you for every single thing...and know just how much I love you and miss you all.

At the Charlotte Airport I was able to soothe myself with a Jamba Juice...something I hadn't had in too long! It was the perfect thing to end my trip home. 

Thanks for following along everyone. I know it has been lots of posts and lots of pictures, but I wanted to share my trip and have something to look back on and remember everything. 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Grandfather Mounatin & The Mile High Bridge

Going to Grandfather Mountain was probably one of my favorite things. I had been wanting to go the entire trip! When it rained on our last day on Monday I was really bummed out thinking we wouldn't be able to go.  However, Dad and Kim made an executive decision to go Tuesday morning and then head out from there! I was estatic! It was well worth it! Absolutely beautiful!

Our First stop was the Mile High Bridge!

After the Mile High Bridge, we explored the rest of the mountain. We went on a hike...Really beautiful, got lots of great pictures (my favorite! in case you didn't know..) and we went to a museum and an animal habitat as well.

This deer was not part of the habitat. He was a baby in the wild and it was really cool to see him and his brothers and sisters!


Black bear! I think he's really beautiful. He fur even looks just like a teddy bear to cuddle. Though he's not so cuddly. Just cute.

Giant amethyst in the museum!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Linville Caverns and Linville Falls

Linville Carverns is another great place to visit if you are in the area! We had a really good time and the cave was amazing! 

Look!! Tiny bats!

After the caves, we went for a hike outside. Where of course, I had to set everyone up for pictures. They love when I do that! Anyway we hiked out to Linville Falls. They were gorgeous! It was a short hike!

Here's my Dad!
Dad and the girls!

Dad and Kim
Me (I know you all are loving all my pictures!)
The Family
Me and the sisters
Look! Another picture of ME!
Dad and the seesters
Me, me, meeeeeeeeeeeeee!