Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Lagoa Silvano

So back in...July was it? When it was still "cold" (think high 70's and 80's...compared to right now, it's heaven) here, we took a nice break on one of the warmest days and went to the lake!

The lake grounds are really nice. They have pavilions where of course we had a place for churrasco (no get together is complete without it). I really thought the lake was really pretty. The pavilion was set on a hill, so you walked down to the lake, where they have a little sandy beach. I didn't get in the water (never did like lake water chicken), but it was so nice to lay out in the sun, eat (my favorite is grilled pineapple), and hang out.

View on top of the hill where the pavilion is...the slide never opened that day or I would have thought more seriously about getting in!

But they did open the little kiddie water park! The kids came running and screaming! They were so funny to watch! (That is my sister in law's brother and child by the way, not just some random people)

Those my friends are big swan boats!! I was so excited! I wanted to go find out where they were and go ride them. Unfortunately Sidnei had a MAJOR headache and laid on a table top for most of the time.

Can you tell he's feeling icky here? He got off the table top to go home so I snagged him to take pictures first. You can tell he was thrilled with that idea.

These next two were before the sickness ensued.

This really made me miss our times on the beach back home, but glad we have a place here too!

This was one of the craziest birds, wandering around the park. It had a crazy scary scream call and would go on for 20 minutes at a time. I would try to find out what it is, but I have no idea how...My Brasilian you know? I wish I had a better picture of it. It had a crazy mohawk feather thing going on!

Hopefully we'll be going back to Lagoa Silvano now that it's warmed up quite a bit!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Parque do Ipanema

Once upon a time, about two months ago, I uploaded these pictures. And never did anything with them.

So now, let me introduce (better late than never) Parque do Ipanema (ironically located in Ipatinga, MG). It is really the only "scenic" or pretty place to walk in Ipatinga. It really is a very nice park and kept really clean by the city. We love to go in the evenings right before it gets dark. We walk around, people watch (one of our favorite activities) and settle in later at one of the many vendors that are selling numerous things, including, but not limited to, hot dogs, hamburgers, churrasco on a stick (beef or pork), popcorn, fried bananas (like little chips), drinks (all varities), popsicles, and (my personal favorite) filled churros (you can fill them with chocolate or doce de leite (or dulce de leite or similar to caramel if you are more familiar). YUM.

Anywho, here we are:

This is a very peculiar. It is a little island with a windmil. I dont really understand it, but I hope to one day see the time when the paddle boats at the bottom are open on the pond you can't see here.

I thought this was rather picturesque at the time...but at least you can see the pond/lake I was talking about.

So of course I made Sidnei stand there (because of the picturesque-ness).

Pensive Husband, wife who thinks she's creative. If I look close I can make out his face in the darkness. In my defense it looked better on the camera screen.

An ending much like the beginning...self portraits.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Realizations--The Life Lesson Kind

Moving to a different country provides a lot of different opportunities for a person to learn and grow. For me, one of the biggest things I learning is about myself. And it's not all roses and sunshine. But let's start with that part anyway.

I have realized my capacity to learn is endless. And I love that. Every day, I learn more words and learn to say different things in portuguese. I am understanding more and more every day as well. I am proud of myself for learning so quickly. Though I am eager to be able to communicate effectively (it's probably one of the biggest things I miss) I am surprised how patient I am. When I don't understand (usually in a big group of people, where conversation moves back and forth rapidly), I don't get upset. I sit, I listen, try to find words and a way to understand what is going on. That is until my brain gets tired, shuts off, and wanders else where. But I try.

Another big thing I am proud of myself for. I am trying all sorts of different things. I have this thing about looking stupid in front of others...yes, yes, I know we all do, but a lot of times it has prevented me from reaching out and trying new things. Here that is not the case. I speak, even though I know I sound like a toddler trying to put sentences together with my limited vocabulary, hoping someome will understand what I am saying. I am trying new foods. I am eating vegetables ( still with me? Take a deep breath, shocking I know) and liking them ('s still me. I promise to call and verify this over skype...aliens have not...nevermind).

While all of these things are great, like I said, not all roses and sunshine. What has really been on my mind lately, and the way I am trying to really grow, is I realized how selfish I am. In fact, it has been on my mind constantly the last week or so. Here, in this family, we share. Everything. Big things, little things, no matter. We share. And the stupid thing is, I am the kind of person that will help you in anyway possible. Truly. I love my family, I love my friends, and I would do anything for them. But please don't ask me to share my THINGS. No, I don't want you to use my computer. No, I don't want to share my candy with you. Our boxes arrived a while ago. My MIL fell in LOVE with one of my blankets. I can't seem to part with it. Don't worry, I packed like four.

And here I am. Living with this family, that has opened their hearts, their homes. They would give me absolutely anything. In fact they have. My SIL especially. She has endlessly helped Sidnei over the years. She is the one that really tries to have a relationship with me. We go to the store on Saturday nights, to prepare for Sunday dinners, we always seem to detour and get ice cream. She always pays. The other day, she brought me home a pair of shoes, just because. She brings chocolate home, she gives some to everyone. She does all the laundry, every Saturday. In fact she spends her entire Saturday washing clothes and then Sunday ironing. Monday through Friday she works 8-7. She always puts her family first, and herself last. Always. She ordered two pizzas the other night for seven people. BIL and wife showed up, right when the pizza arrived. Perfect timing. She literally served everyone else and picked at what was leftover on the box. She gave everyone two pieces, I tried to tell her I only needed one (which was true, eating two whole pieces would be a miracle), but she wouldn't hear it. Not to say she is a saint, she's not. She's bossy and sometimes scary. She is the kind of person where you want to stay on her good side. But she is truly one of the most unselfish people I have ever met. And I truly admire that.

Just so you know, I am not terrible. Promise. I do share. The thing I hate, is the unwillingness I feel to do so. If someone asks to use my computer or camera, I want to say sure, and not think twice about it. Instead I am on the inside saying NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO...! And you want to know where it comes from? It comes from having too much. Never having had to share a lot because I've always had my own room, my own toys, pretty much my own everything. (Thanks Mom and Dad, not sarcastically, literally. I'm sorry I was never more grateful)

So I am learning. I learning from people who have enough, but they have enough because they share. I am learning to be the kind of person that recognizes just how blessed I truly was and am. I am in no way suffering by being here. I am just learning the difference between necessity and luxury. I am learning with Sidnei, to start from the bottom and work our way up. I am learning to share the blessings I've been given with others. I want to learn that things, are just that. Things. In the scheme of life, they don't matter. Things do not bring me the happiness I crave. Today I was going to write a post and give you pictures of all the things I was excited about from my boxes. But I realized it didn't matter. It was fleeting happiness.

Because I am realizing that really I am happy when my family is happy and we do this:

(This is everyone minus my SIL and her husband, Sidnei and I..we are behind the camera)
Celebrating my BIL's birthday. We were all sitting around, talking, laughing, having a good time. We didn't have much. We had some meat for churrasco, a couple of sodas, the fire...and eachother. (and rice, there's always rice)

"Happiness is like the old man told me
Look for it, but you’ll never find it all
Let it go, live your life and leave it
Then one day, wake up and she’ll be home"
-Happiness- The Fray

Friday, October 16, 2009

Birthday Pictures and Meet the Fam!

Us and the store bought cake...since my cake making ventures haven't exactly been successful here.

Israel (our nephew) LOVES when everyone sings Happy Birthday!

Here is Sidnei and his immediate family.
Starting Left:
Adriano (Sidnei's brother in law)
Julianne (Sidnei's sister in law and Israel's Mom)
Lucelio (Julianne's husband and Sidnei's youngest brother and Israel's Dad)
Marlene (Sidnei's Mom)
Jose (Sidnei's Dad)
Sidnei (He is child #3 (in case you were wondering) and Israel in his lap)
Lucinha (Sidnei's sister, the oldest in the bunch)
Amarildo Ney (we call him Ney(pronounced Neigh like what a horse does. I know that sounds terrible, its the only thing I can compare it too), he is #2 and Sidnei's older brother)
Angelica (Sidnei's sister in law, Ney's wife, sitting in Lucinha's lap)

Were you able to follow all that?

This year we had a nice low key birthday. Next year when I am more familiar with everything, I hope to party it up a little more! You all know how I love to celebrate!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Happy Birthday Sidnei!

Today I get to celebrate the life of a man who is good and kind and wonderful. I feel so fortunate to be here with him today. One year ago the only thing we wished for was to be together to celebrate days like this. Today we remember this and we hug a little tighter. And I still cry, but only because I am grateful to share his day with him.

Happy Birthday Sidnei! My world is a better place with you in it and I am grateful to have you in my life every single day; to learn and grow with you. Thank you for a million different things, but mainly for loving me so completely, dreaming big, and working hard.

In response to requests: here are pictures of us from the last couple of months. Mostly just of our faces because we don't have anyone to take the picture for us!

A visit to the country

A friend's birthday

Lagao Silvano (Lake Silvano)

Sidnei's Favorite thing to do: Churrasco (BBQ)

Trombini (The traveling amusement park!)

Up early for the Independence Day Parade

Visiting Friend's in the country

Our first soccer game last friday night!!