Monday, June 28, 2010

Just wondering how it works here...

I am not trying to sound like a princess...

after living overseas for 7 years now, and spending my first summer in our own house, here is what I can't figure out:

How do Mom's continue to exercise when the kids are out of school?

I am going a little stir crazy without exercising. I feel the need for the adrenaline to kick in and the endorphins to get stirring. I want to feel the sweat and burn that comes with rigorous exercise.

But how can I do it? My kids are at that stage where I can't take them to the gym with me, but they aren't quite old enough to stay at home by themselves for a few hours.

Am I truly sounding like an expat princess? Well, maybe I am, and that is why I enjoy living overseas. It makes life just a little easier when you can take your kids to your club and know that they are safe and can run around, or swim or play tennis, while you do what it is you need to do.

I have never been one to let a nanny, mujer de servicio, or baba...whatever you like to call it in other languages...raise my children. Where it does come in handy though, is when you want to go and play tennis, or go for a walk, or even out for a quick lunch with friends, and leave the kids for an hour or two.

I think this is where other cultures thrive. They realize that women also need their alone time even when the kids are out of school. Now, a lot of women take that for granted and are never there for the children....and I have seen a few expats fall into this category over the years. They get so comfortable with their maids, that they leave their kids all the time.
I was not one of them! I never would be one of them...
but I am feeling the need for crunches, free weights, aerobics, swim laps...

I know I could get a pair of weights at a store, and get down on my floor and crunch away...
but I enjoy the class atmosphere. I like having someone over me telling me how many, what order and playing some trendy music to count to!

Oh and the Chunky Monkey from Ben and Jerry's ice cream....doesn't help!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Lost and found

Thank you Mythopolis...I am borrowing your title :)
Hopefully you do not mind...

It is the strangest feeling I have had for some time now.
I have a beautiful house here in Florida, but I feel almost homeless.
I do not mean any disrespect for the poor people in our world that are literally homeless. I have so much good and happiness in my life that my basket is (proverbially) overflowing. I often wish that I could help these people more. I read a phenomenal book called "Same Kind of Different as Me" recently, and it really hit a chord in my heart. I hope to some day be as selfless and helpful as the main person in this book is. Read it, it is worth it!

Sorry, I strayed from my point.
I feel a little lost because we still have no idea where our actual home will be. I am in my "house", and it is wonderful. The weather is beautiful. The breeze off the water is constant and refreshing. The sun shines every day and it makes me smile.
But I can't help but feel like this is vacation.

My true home is always where my heart is, and that is with my family. It doesn't matter if it is here in Florida or in some far flung destination. My home is where we spend our time together, learn from each other, help each other grow in many ways.
I hope we find out soon. It is really becoming quite difficult for me to not have something to grasp on to. I am usually the one in our family that lives for the moment...enjoying the beautiful skies and flowers around me, gazing at the sea and enjoying the unreal colors.
But now, I need the future to be determined. I need my mind to have something to work towards. I want to look to the future and be able to see where we are heading. For once in my life, I am trying to plan!!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Good Monday Morning!

Hello's been awhile, but here I am on the other side of the rainbow!

So, let's start with the trip out..
it went amazingly smooth, I am happy to report. We went to the airport on the craziest day in Rio...the day of Brazil's first World Cup game. The horns were blaring, people everywhere on the street...even walking the dogs was a pain because everyone kept blowing horns in their faces. I'm sure that my upstairs neighbors, who I am happy I am no longer living under because they always caused such a fuss over their barking, were not pleased with my dogs. They could not stop barking at all the shouts, vuvuzelas, and horn honking going on.

Anyways, we left right around the start of the game..and there were about 10 other cars on the road! NO ONE was out...except for the crazy people like me that chose to fly on this day. It worked to my advantage! Got to the airport in record time, had the ease of checking in with me as the only customer, and got everything settled fairly easily! They took my dogs, no questions asked..just checked over to paperwork to make sure I had everything in order for arriving to the US.

We went upstairs to our usual place where we have some food before the flight..(seeing as the airplane food is really gross!). Well, no one was moving, nor working, nor doing anything except gluing their eyes and ears to the television screens showing the game. We found a table and the kids wanted at least a drink...nope! No one was waiting on anyone! Then came the goal and it was so loud that you couldn't hear anything besides the shouts and vuvuzela horns!
Finally, the game ended and everyone went back to work. It was as if they were on a long, extended break.

This is one of the great things that I will take from Brazil. The Cariocas that I observed for the past 3 years have shown me that enthusiasm and pride of country and city take place above all else. You see it in their eyes and hear it in their voices. They are so proud that sometimes it almost feels unreal that they could feel so strongly. I may not be explaining it well, because I know we are proud of the U.S.A. also. But there, it is something else. Soccer is KING and the beaches run a close second. They live for the moment and not for the future. They enjoy their lives so immensely that they always have a permanent smile on their faces.
They walk with their speedos and bikinis, in their crazy fashions that are always the newest their Haviana and Ipanema flip-flops.

I had fun in Brazil and I will remember that feeling of enjoyment to purely enjoy the moment and live life to the fullest!

Monday, June 14, 2010

My horoscope for the day...

Build a few castles in the air. The way things are going for you now, they should have solid foundations and a comfy bed in each tower before long. Any long term plans you're brewing up right now should get the thumbs up, so don't be afraid to dream~and dream big. Why stop at just a few turrets~why not add a double-wide moat and some errant knights riding around the place.
So, what the heck...I am dreaming big, and I could deal with a few knights and a big moat to protect me!
Sometimes these are just so spot on...
could they tell me a time frame too?

The last couple...

Today and tomorrow
that is all that is left
The weekend was teary
too many good byes
There are those that you know
they will always be friends
they will always be around
our life
Then there are those that
you know this is it
there won't be an email
there won't be a call
Just a hug and 2 kisses
on either cheek
as is custom here in Brasil
I know, how sappy
but I need closure
even here on my blog
Don't misunderstand me
my blog will continue
but now, it will be from a new perspective
and a new location
See you in a few days
from the other end of the rainbow

Thursday, June 10, 2010

A roller coaster of a day...

Yesterday was certainly a mixed bag of nuts...

First, I dropped my dog, Bella off to the hairdresser for the last time.... and the hairdresser almost started crying?! Wow, I mean...I like the way he cuts Bella's hair, but really? I guess you just never know what something means to a person. I always knew that he liked Bella. He always teased me about taking her home for him! (which didn't leave me with a good feeling as I left her there, hahaha!) He did a really nice job today, and she always smells so good when she comes back! Her newest nickname is Abe Vigoda...remember him and his bushy eyebrows? Well, here are his eyebrows reincarnated in Bella:

Next, we went to our son's 5th grade graduation ceremony. The girls were dressed like it was a prom, and most of the boys had on suits or nice slacks and a shirt. It was a nice ceremony and I felt proud of my son when he put his hand over his heart as we sang the National Anthem. He makes us proud in his studies and he works hard. He was a bit upset when he didn't receive the award from Barack Obama, but I think he is getting over that now...(many hours later!)

Then it was a normal afternoon...except that my husband stayed home instead of going back to work after the graduation! And it was especially nice because...

My daughter fell after tennis class and chipped her 3 front teeth! Well, 2 are really not too bad and were able to be filed....but one, the front one, had a large corner actually chip completely off! We rushed her to the dentist and she took x-rays. It seems like there isn't any root damage so not root canal, YEA! Luckily her jaw bones were fine also...
so, she put her chip back on (?no clue what that will do in a few days time)...but it should at least get us to the US on Tuesday. She has a plastic type thing (sorry for the terrible description) holding her teeth together since the one that is chipped seems to be moving slightly. never ends...

Monday, June 7, 2010

It's starting..

What is starting?
The wind down...

You go, go go and then it starts to hit that this is all really happening.
I just told my maid that we were leaving Brasil, and she took it rather well.
I think she had an inkling when I started giving away many things that we either do not use or need anymore.
I also have been rummaging through my closets and making them look nice and orderly again. I should try to keep that habit up a little bit longer.

The farewells are starting too.Align Center..
Gabriela and I went on Saturday to a "last get together as families"...
well, the white elephant was in the room. We never really said much about the two of us moving....just asked if the house was ready for Gabriela and her family, and talked a little about the possible next location for my family...
but no one really said anything definite, like a good bye speech.
I guess that is not necessary between such good friends as we were with on Saturday, but it seems like the conversations were about anything else but leaving!

Then this week starts the real "lasts"...
lunches, 5th grade graduation, a party with church members...
It is hard. I snap a little too much at my kids, get mad at my computer for not working right...(the mouse doesn't work, the battery has no more life if I unplug it, etc...)
I get stressed thinking about how and what to say to my really good friends. I know it is not good bye, and I always throw that in there, but it is a parting. and I have a hard time parting.

Well, the time is winding away and I must get going....

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

What do I put for a title?

Sorry about that....but I have various titles, such as:
1. Two Weeks
2. What to Do?
3. Here we Go again
4. Should I be doing more?
5. Help!

Hahaha, really they all fit. Here's why:

I have two weeks left, from today. (#1) In two weeks, I will be leaving here.
The funny part is that I am leaving my house as is. (#4)
I am not packing everything up...or at least, not overseeing the moving company pack everything into boxes and crates. I am not making sure my precious pieces, like our big Amethyst stone from here, my vase from Murano, Italy, my beautiful paintings...
I am not watching any of it get boxed/crated properly.
I am not making sure the flat screen tv stays upright, in a vertical position, while they assemble the crate around it.

So, (#3) we go again! We are leaving, on a jet plane, and nope...
don't know when we'll be back again!
I feel very strange about leaving here.
I do not imagine the dramatic exit like when we left Venezuela....
Mostly because I booked our flight on the same day that school ends.
That means it will just be pick the kids up and head for the airport.
Why did I choose this?

Because there will be tears...
there is sadness every time we leave....
it was there last night when my son went to bed. He doesn't want to have to make new friends again, and leave his friends here....
Well, neither do I.

It always is hardest to leave friends. I have a few friends here that have really been great. We have traveled together, had numerous lunches/dinners/coffees...
It is hard to say good bye, but I know that these friends are keepers.
I know that we will all keep in touch with each other.
That is a comfort, but it still hurts to say good bye.
The every day routine is what binds so many people together. The friendship will last, but the little quick phone calls will not be there.
That's ok, though, as harsh as it may seem, someone will take that place.

I guess in some ways, that is what the beauty of it is, too, at the same time as the sadness.
We will make new friends. It will certainly not be a replacement, but, rather, a new friend to find. A new friend that will fill a different void that maybe we never even knew we had or needed filled.
And in that, the old friend, we will cherish even more.

So that leaves (#2)...
What to do? I should be packing what I am taking with me. So, what do you take with you when you know that you will never return?
I know that my "stuff" will be sent to the new location, but that will be quite a few months before I see any of that materialize again!
Once again..