Saturday, February 26, 2011

bookend in-laws

My father in law is coming to visit for two weeks tomorrow. My mother in law is then also coming to visit for two weeks in April. In the middle of this fun little sandwich my girlfriends are coming for a whirlwind tour I am calling:

'four fabulous girls see three amazing cities in two fantastic countries in one crazy week'

aaaand it kicks off tomorrow with the purchase of a futon to help situate all these lovely guests since of course, our container is trapped in never never land.

it does mean this blog is going road trippin' to do a little domestic traveling!

over the next month we area headed to:

:: Tiradentes (formally Sao Jose do Rio das Mortes) a little colonial wonder about 300 miles into the interior from Sao Paulo for a little culture check and then taking the train to Sao Joao del Rey for some more!

:: Iguazu falls, on the borders of Argentina and Brazil basically making Niagra Falls look like a stream...

:: Rio a few times, post carnival for the weekend and then with the girls for a few weekdays!

and hopefully many wonderful places in between and along the way! If you have any suggestions let me know!

(national lampoon's the truckster... quality)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

suit'n up

stripes = american
funky pattern = brazilian

initial thoughts:

-thank goodness for that thick band right?
-ohh and that is a size "LARGE"
-skin to fabric ratio has now been reduced from a comfortable 4:5 to a denuded 1:5
-my tan lines will be amazing for the debut
-maybe the patterns will scare people off before they see the rest of the package
-americans and their excess!

Friday, February 18, 2011


Because my friend said, I’ve never seen you so happy over a toilet seat for your birthday
            Well that was one of many things I bought myself back home to bring to Brasil, it was needed, it was cheap and it didn’t squish and make a puff sound every time it is sat upon like the current, need to now happily throw out one we had

Because I’m on cruise control
            The last three months feels like an airplane ride: Running to the gate, shew you just made it, sweating, boarding, finding places for your things in overhead storage sometimes inconveniently in the back of the plane when you are seated near the front, settling into your seat, then moving seats, mechanical problems once everyone was settled, waiting on the tarmac for hours not knowing when the mechanical problems will resolve, finally taking off, the shutter of the wheels on the runway, the bumps and turns to maneuver into the flight path groove, turbulence as you move through the elevation changes and… seat back we have reached cruising altitude.

Because I love champagne
            And so I drank a lot of it on my birthday. And the next day…. and the next….

Because you just never know
            I pinch myself sometimes and still think, wow I live in Brazil!

Because some things change
            I now wear spandex and perfume to the gym because a girls gotta fit in!

Because I do love ‘Glee’
            I am not going to be ashamed of it anymore

Because it was my birthday
            So I celebrated for two weeks and ate all my favorite foods, did all my favorite things and saw as many of my favorite people as I could from Bodo’s Bagels in Charlottesville to a little dinner in Itaim

Because I always wanted a lot of storms…
            To make me curl up and read on the couch with chocolate milk and now I get them at 430 every day!

Because it is just the sunset of my twenties
            Not the sadness of growing older

Because my birthday 
            Marked the exact day three months ago that we took off for this new adventure

Because I am one year older
            In a place I love with a guy I love and I’ve never been happier!

Because I love the fruit and colors of this country

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

blog woah

I spent last evening catching up on google reader and all of the sudden up pops pictures of me?! Yoola is a very talented designer and is always coming up with interesting creations so I follow her blog. I bought my wedding earrings from her shop on etsy and sent her some pictures as a thank you and kinda forgot about it. Now she is using them for a little bit of marketing, so I am going to market her!

Please check out Yoola's esty shop and her blog, her jewelry is one of a kind!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


I was homesick over Christmas, more than I ever imagined and while we had a blast doing our own little Brazilian holiday, I vowed to my husband no matter what from here on out we are going back for Christmas'. I needed my family and close friends, snow, home cooked meals and the traditions that only a home can cure. I hadn't planned on going back till this summer but my mom fell on some ice a few weeks ago and broke not only some bones but also her usually happy emotional state. This coming right after she had surgery last year and had finally recovered, I needed to be there.

I am sure every expat will concur, living abroad offers a wonderfully unique twist on life, one I've come to love but it all gets shaken up when family or close friends incur sickness or distress. I've always seen myself as someone who will be there come hell or high water so between my mother and my best friend who is caught in the middle of a wretched ordeal I did what I could. I found few moments for the computer but jotted down some thoughts as I came to discover in the end it was me that also needed the trip home. It was like giving thirst to a dehydrating body. I tried swinging in under the radar but quickly realized its hard to not try and see people and quench the appetite for familiarity.  Maybe it was the awful ride home that jolted my nerves but sitting by the fire drinking wine with my parents and the dog nuzzled in my feet gave a sense of peace to my soul. Laughing with friends till my face hurt and sharing an afternoon lunch like the old days reminded me I can leave knowing some things will always stay the same. Towards the end of the week I had a longing to get back to brazil.... I missed my life, my husband, the edge, the complexity, portuguese and the adventure that even a grocery store trip provides.

In that week I did it all... helped my mom recover and gain some cheer, shot some quick loving pictures of my best friend and her beautiful daughter, ate my heart out of my favorite French cheese, Indian food and homemade fondue and macaroni and cheese (yes I believe all of those have cheese in common, even my favorite Indian dish saag paneer) went to target and bought everything from a new toilet seat (more on that later) to shelf paper and a shower head, went shopping for a few summer things since mine are still hiding somewhere on the coast in customs and cured that need for some face to face affection.

Here are some highlights...

Momma and her little darling


Flourless Chocolate Cake


Sleepy Pup

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

accidental emotions

There is a place floating in the sky, suspended in some unknown quiet in the clouds where like children we imagined them like soft comfy pillows you could dance around in thanks to many hours of watching 'the care bears' as a child. In this case, my 'caring meter' was far on the rainbow side, signaling all was congruent with earth and that precious delicate world of wishes and wonder. That is the place I go in the midst of turbulence and shaky atmosphere.

The other night I was happily embarking on a quick journey home for the first time since I moved. Everything seemed quite smooth, I questioned various emotions I might experience upon landing in the US  as I waded through a 2 hour line into customs but all in all I was appreciating the chance just to be home for a bit. We boarded, I settled in with a glass of wine and proceeded to wait on the tarmac for 2 hours due to mechanical problems. It didn't matter though, it was 230am and I was intermittently doing the shut eye head bounce. Finally as we took off I grabbed a few quick glances back at my city down below and with another glass of wine and dinner in sight the 11 hours to detroit would soon speed by like a time warp.  Then, a half hour into the trip like nails scratching a chalkboard the flight attendants began to scram and dinner disappeared on its common trajectory up the aisle. My aunt was a flight attendant for years and told me never to worry unless its obvious the staff is. They looked terrified. Scrambling around they awoke most everyone and finally the captain came on to make the emergency announcement. We had lost all radar and had to return to Sao Paulo immediately. There was a storm looming so everyone was on edge as the plane turned around and headed back with the ease of a roller coaster.

Its hard to describe the next half hour as I tried to make my way to that place, to find calm amidst chaos. All the emotions I worried about regarding being back in the US were trumped by making it safely to the ground. It was then a 30 hour blur of more customs (after the de-plane at 4am we had 250 people that had to go back through customs to get inside the airport with ONE official's window open), lots of extra hours spent in the sao paulo airport, a tasty McDonalds breakfast, standing in a two hour wait for the american airlines counter to open for the morning while I was shaking from drinking too much wine a few hours earlier, new farmer friends from north carolina that were also trying to get home to the same area and even offered to drive me as close to virginia as possible once we got stateside... it was a mixture of sunrises, sunsets, tears, smiles and new friendships that finally got me home. I almost forgot to capture what it felt like to be back for the first time knowing this isn't really home anymore... my new home down south... well I already miss it.

Thanks to the clouds, that place that saved my sanity...

Monday, February 07, 2011

a week in pictures...

Sunday: The view from Terraco Italia... I think one of the best views in the city

Tuesday: Happy Dance, the air freight finally came, only 5 weeks later than planned! Spent the rest of the week wrapped up in soft towels, new sheets and using wedding dishes, silverware and other gifts we finally got to open for the first time.

Friday: Home Sweet Home USA... to be continued...