Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Leaving Brasil

It never felt real. Like it was never actually happening. Not when we stopped buying groceries, and gave away everything in our pantry. Not when the movers showed up, or when they left, leaving nothing behind. Not when we attended our despidida (going away party.) Not as we said our last goodbyes, as we drove out of the condo for the last time, as we pulled up to GRU. Never. It never felt real, like we wouldn't be coming back. That's been the hard part for me. The living of two lives. Being a part of two worlds; having one foot in the US, and one in Brasil. 

In the weeks leading up to our last flight out of Brasil, we were busy. The boys kept to their school schedule. I kept to my art classes, and weekly lunch dates for sushi and yakkisoba. There wasn't much that was out of the ordinary, except that we were slowly going through and purging things we no longer needed, unhooking dishwashers (that deserves it's own post), giving away food and stuff, and untying the ties we had to Sao Paulo. 

We ate at our favorite restaurants, stocked up on Havaianas, and just kept moving forward toward a day that seemed forever away and just around the corner. 

The boys on the crossway between Shopping Morumbi and Marketplace Shopping.

Pao de Acucar. I wanted to remember the grocery stores, and forget them at the same time. 

Always playing. No matter the age, they played with everyone. 

The boys' last day of school. Bittersweet.

The Clube. SO many memories here. Clube Nights.

The night of our going away party came. I swore not to cry, but it always seemed to be right. there. The boys stayed for a bit, and then went to a friend's apartment with the babysitters (Piper and Will; I sure miss, Piper!)

All my favorite people were there (except Mindy) and it was just fun eating, drinking, and just hanging out one. last. time. I drank too much champagne, a few too many beer shots, and by the end of the night, having not yet cried, I totally lost it in the lobby. Thank goodness, Jen wasn't there to witness. She was one of the ones, I wasn't looking forward to saying good bye to. But lost it, I did, and basically locked myself in Megan's bathroom, and cried for a long time.

Mindy told me once that it was okay to be sad, because that just meant I had a lot of good memories here. And I do. As much as we complained, and grumbled, we made lots of great friends and had lots of good memories. Just looking at these pictures makes me teary.

I would love one last night with you ladies!

We left the next day, and had Anna not started crying, I might have made it without more tears, but you cry, I cry. It's how I work.

So, I guess this is goodbye, Sao Paulo. I miss your people. And a few other things, but mostly the people. What a crazy adventure that was. We are back in Arkansas, and there are moments that almost make my stomach knot and twist because we were there, and now we aren't. And it will hit me that we aren't going back, and our life is here, not there, and we WERE there and now it's starting to feel like a dream. It sounds nuts, and maybe you would have to live outside the US to understand. I'm happy we went. Happy we know what it's like to live outside, and come back, and appreciate the way life flows here.


Someone tell me to just stop with the blog already. MONTHS behind. Hemispheres behind. Countries and Time Zones - Behind. sheesh. 

Picture It: It was September of 2016; Heath and I decided to take a super quick trip to Rio, since I hadn't been in the three years we had lived in Brasil. Three days before we were set to leave, I was walking to pick the boys up from school and I stepped on essentially a drain cover on the sidewalk. I placed my foot on the corner of the large, concrete slab and it gave way. My foot fell in and naturally I automatically tried to get it out, and it got pinned between the side and the concrete block. I gathered my wits, and pulled my foot out and sat down. My foot was bulging in various places and bleeding, so I called my friend Mindy to pick me up. The conversation went something like this, "Hey. I think I broke my foot, I need you to pick me up." Always calm in a crisis, she asked where I was (sitting on the sidewalk, can't miss me). I arranged to have the boys picked up by another friend, called Heath, and waited. Several people had stopped to help at this point (only one who spoke english) and Mindy was there in minutes. Once in the car, Heath called again to verify that I actually did break my foot and that I wasn't just overreacting; to which Mindy said, "yeah, she broke it." To make LONG story shorter - after an x-ray, MRI, and CT scan - no broken foot - seriously, a miracle. BUT - the doctor did say that unless Heath was going to carry me around Rio - the trip was off. 

I mean, I'm still surprised it was broken because THREE months later and it still hurts, and there are certain shoes I can't wear. Anyway - keeping the streak alive with no broken bones, ever.

Fast forward two weeks and Rio was back on!

We made it up to the Cristo - and to say it was windy was an understatement. There were still a LOT of tourists because the paraolympics had just finished, so we weren't too keen on getting out on the platform in front of the Christ.

The stairs are another must-see spot. Created by an artist, who's death is still under suspicion, according to our guide, it was neat to see tiles from all over the world.

Up to Pao de Acucar, or Sugar Loaf. I have a thing with heights. and plummeting to my death. I'll tell you a story about para sailing sometime. The little ride up to the top was almost too much. I always think of those lines snapping, and the little cable car just bouncing down the mountain. Morbid, right?

We have the picture above in a really large size that I bought in Sao Paulo. I was happy to actually have been in the spot it was taken.

 The black and white tiles are specific to regions in Rio. This is the Copacabana pattern. There is one for Ipanema, as well.

In our whirl wind 24 hour trip to Rio, our last stop was the Botannical gardens. They were really gorgeous. I will never look at an orchid without thinking of Brasil.

On our way to the airport, we went into a pacified favela. Not something you want to do in Sao Paulo. This particular favela has 24 hour police presence. We were really excited to see Rio, and to see it as a tourist. We stayed at the famous Copacabana Palace and ate some yummy food! What a great last trip while we were in Brasil.

Friday, September 9, 2016


"Hello, is it me you're looking for?
'Cause I wonder where you are
And I wonder what you do"

Sorry. I think this is the longest I've gone without updating this blog. Is it even a blog anymore if you go almost SIX months without posting? Grrr. 

In our last segment, ahem, I covered Easter. Good grief. We are going to speed up this train and cover a few months at a time. The boys' school holds a Mother's Day program every year. The art they make is adorable, and definitely falls into the "keeper" pile. 

I began going to art class several months ago. Cayden was dying to go, so we had a mother/son art day!

Beckham is a tough nut to crack. He's not really "into" anything in particular. Unlike Cayden, who is obsessing over Pokemon, Star Wars, and being Hawk for Halloween.  But Beckham likes Basketball and Soccer, and generally anything that has to do with running.

We are lucky. I mean it. Living in Brasil for almost 3 years, we have had our fair share of flights in coach with babies. Crying babies, tired babies, uncomfortable parents, sleepless parents. We've done it; survived it, but are oh so thankful to be in business.

We generally have a few requirements when we hit the DFW airport. Cayden's request is usually McDonalds, but we have shown him the light - and they are called DONUTS! And there is nothing sweeter (no pun intended) than getting off a long flight, and sitting down to coffee and donuts. Seriously. Nothing. Better. 

We have also been really fortunate to rent a house when we visit home. It's got plenty of room, and it's really great to just have a place to put our stuff. We are close to family and friends. A win-win. 

Since this is just a partial catch-up. In the first part of our visit home, we celebrated Beckham's birthday with a Strawberry Motorcycle cake. I have no clue where he came up with this idea - but far be it from me to deny the kid. It was a pretty darn good cake too. We went to the splash pad, made one trip to the Farmer's Market, and definitely caught up with family and friends. I'll save that for another post - in December....Just kidding, I think.