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Category Archives: LOVE

Update: Then & Now – A Decade of Togetherness.

Photo from October 2013
Celebrating 10 + 1 years of married life? Pretty nice.

Having the opportunity to spend a pleasant evening together as a couple? Even better.

Discovering that another couple of friends, posted here in La Paz share your same wedding anniversary date? Priceless! :o

 

Taking a quick look into the past, looking forward into our future.

Ten years of a life together: laughs, love, joy, challenges…

A few tears, here and there, because we’re living a real life – the two of us have built a story for ourselves and for our ‘nomad family’. The two have become five; and we’re grateful for what the past and present have brought to our family.

We’re intrigued with what the future will unveil…

We will keep moving forward, despite any difficulties or unpleasant moments… And quoting one of my favorite readings from our wedding ceremony: “love knows all things, love believes all things, endures all things… love never fails…” 

Now, cheers to many more decades together! 

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Then & Now: A Decade of Togetherness…

 

Taking a quick look into the past, looking forward into our future.

Ten years of a life together: laughs, love, joy, challenges…

A few tears, here and there, because we’re living a real life – the two of us have built a story for ourselves and for our ‘nomad family’. The two have become five; and we’re grateful for what the past and present have brought to our family.

We’re intrigued with what the future will unveil…

We will keep moving forward, despite any difficulties or unpleasant moments… And quoting one of my favorite readings from our wedding ceremony: “love knows all things, love believes all things, endures all things… love never fails…” 

Now, cheers to many more decades together! 

 

 
9 Comments

Posted by on October 18, 2013 in FAMILY, foreign service, LOVE, photography

 

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“Un café con leche, por favor…”

Café con leche (Coffee with milk)

Café con leche (Credit: Wikipedia)

Like many parents, I’m silently watching my children grow. And I say ‘silently’ because I wanna witness the process in its fullest, without interfering or attempting to change its course.

My oldest child, and the only boy of the 3, just turned 8 years old. Even though my secret wishes still perceive him as ‘my baby’, he’s growing to be a clever and compassionate young person.

I remain discreet, though, and again, silent, watching from behind the scenes the growth and maturing processes unveil themselves right in front of my motherly eyes… Not an easy task, if one asked me!

Raising children is definitely challenging, as many here may relate. But it’s worth every single second of it – even the ‘over-dramatic’ and ‘not-so-fun’ ones, when as a parent, you don’t really know which direction to take in order to avoid some imminent collapse!

Oh, boy! And those ‘crashes’ do happen! All part of the [parenting] game, as my mother would always remind me about…

But now, back to my initial ‘café con leche‘, or in good Portuguese, ‘Café com Leite‘, as my Portuguese heritage would recommend me to mention! Coffee with milk – as a born and raised Brazilian, the typical beverage served during family gatherings, office reunions, work events… or simply, what I would share with my mother, as the oldest child [and only girl], while chatting about life, love, future. I would share my doubts and my complaints. I would blame the world and in-between sips of the warm drink, praise women for moving far into the society. I would judge my peers and lay out possible solutions for any current political crisis…

In Brazil, when one invites you for a coffee ["um cafezinho"], it’s never just about enjoying the beverage together: it’s about talking, sharing emotions and feelings, exchanging experiences and secrets… it’s about being part of somebody else’s life; the warmth brought by a cup of ‘café com leite’ is a peaceful experience, well known by all Brazilians. And this experience I cherished with my own mother, up to this day, when our ‘nomad family’ has the opportunity to go to Brazil and visit with the grandparents…

This past week, taking advantage of the [Fall] school break, our family went out on a short trip to the city of Tarija, famous for its wineries and warm climate. There’ll be more about this visit, but not today. This time, my focus will remain on our family nucleus, and more specifically, on the very special bond recently established between myself and my little boy…

During the inbound flight to Tarija, my son watched me accept [from the flight attendant] a cup of coffee and milk, perfectly brewed, according to the Latino standards. And he was curious why I always asked for coffee, whenever we were out. I told him it reminded me of the moments I shared with my family, and specifically, with my mother. For the Portuguese, a good cup of coffee and milk is the best remedy for the mind and the soul…

His little eyes were curious and confused – how could a drink be responsible for building memories? How could a beverage carry such a powerful feeling, and trigger emotions lost in time?

I didn’t know the answers. Who does? I just feel it, and I cherish the memories it brings me… ♥

During our flight back to La Paz, our family was split among three rows: I had our baby girl next to me, and the two oldest ones, in the row in front of us.

As expected, it came time for snacks and beverages. The flight attendants showed up pushing along the beverage cart. My son turns to me, and I see his smiley face from in-between the seats. His face is happy, and yet, a bit guilty.

I’m confused, but waiting to see what unveils. He winks at me, and at that point, I hear his heart telling me: I want to build memories, like what you have with “vovó” [grandma]…

The next thing I hear is his flawless Spanish to the flight attendant: “Un café con leche, por favor”. My boy is growing… and he wants to be his own person… The flight attendant gives me a look, checking if it was okay to give him the small styrofoam cup with an once of tinted milk. “It’s okay, I reply”. He takes it, and from between the plane seats, asks me: “Mom, do you wanna a sip from my coffee? It’s pretty good…”

He was right… it was pretty good… Again, emotions that only a nice cup of  “café con leche” is capable of bringing up… :o

IMG_0399

 

 
12 Comments

Posted by on October 17, 2013 in BOLIVIA, FAMILY, LOVE

 

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Fearful Symmetry: Birthday Boy.

Birthday Boy, wake up!

Bus will be here soon… the school bus doesn’t wait, you know!

Birthday Boy, we know you’re tired – you always are!

Because it’s school day, and any excuse to miss school is a good one on your book!

Beloved Son, you’re older today…

Born to be wild, you definitely are!

Born Washingtonian, as you like to remind us… far from your mom’s home country,

Brazil.

But you carry Brazil in your heart: your soccer moves don’t deny your genes, your passion, your

Blood…

Birthday Boy, breakfast is ready… and so should be you!

Birthday Boy, you’re 8!

Biking away from home,

Believing you can conquer the world with your fast wheels… you’re still my baby, though… and will likely remain so…

Battle the mothers, that’s their fault! Can’t they see their little boys are growing?

Become a man, you will… one day…

But not today… Today you’re simply my adorable

Birthday Boy… :o

bikeInspired by one of this week’s Daily Prompt

 
11 Comments

Posted by on October 3, 2013 in children, FAMILY, LOVE

 

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‘Backward’ Tale – The Boy and The Girl.

 WeddingIt’s been a nice hand, more precisely, a full house,

with three Queens and two Kings

It’s been a roller coaster… living and moving…

And adjusting… and moving again.

They traveled because of work,

They moved because it’s their passion.

It’s been nine years and eleven months
Since the boy and the girl have wed.

One decade awaits to celebrate their togetherness

But it was not always like that


The boy had dreams

The girl had fears

And yet, they were so alike…

The girl had left her home country,
Her job would take her to a far away land

The boy would wait for her.

He had found a job, he had finished school.

His job would yet take him to far away lands

But the boy liked to travel

And so did the girl.

boy and girlThere have been financial difficulties.

There have been physical distances

There have been emotional challenges

But the boy and the girl have never given up.

That boy and that girl had met some twelve years back

And could not wait to meet up again… and again…

They traveled to see each other

They traveled because of work.

They traveled to unknown places, for the ordinary pleasures of moving, seeing and learning…

Even if there had been no money to travel, they would still do it

And simply pay for it later.

Some twelve years ago,

The boy had gone to the girl’s home country

To learn a new language,

To learn a new culture,

To find himself into a whole new adventure.

Without even looking for it,
He discovered love

And so did the girl.

Neither one of them had ever believed in love at first sight.

The boy and the girl were probably the most skeptical people on the face of the Earth,

But those two were so wrong!

And they found what they were missing, on each other

Some twelve years back…

Now, the boy and the girl have aged

And they are proud to show their hand: they’ve got the most perfect full house

With three Queens and two Kings….♥

king-and-queen-of-hearts-playing-cards-courting-each-other

This post is written in response to WordPress’ Weekly Writing Challenge. The details of the challenge can be found here.

 
36 Comments

Posted by on September 9, 2013 in FAMILY, foreign service, LOVE

 

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“Pay no attention to the woman behind the children…”

 

Behind the children

‘Who’s that woman?’

‘Which woman?’

‘That one, discreetly hiding behind her children…

Doesn’t she have a life of her own?’

‘Shhhh… Pay no attention to the woman behind the children…

She may hear you. She may get upset’.

‘She seems so afraid for her little ones… She looks so fragile… like if at any moment, she will break down into tears.. or break apart into small glass pieces… I would like to see her smiling…’

‘Why is she hiding from us? Have we done anything to her?’

‘Who’s that woman behind the growing children?

The one trying her best not to fail, trying her hardest to be up to any and all tasks, excelling on her parenting skills, in the hope that other parents would look up to her as a role model?’

 ‘Who’s the woman who lets herself be kept backstage, silently watching life play its theatrical acts, desperately witnessing her heart beat outside her body, every time one of her children crosses the house door and heads out  to the world?’

‘Pay no attention to the woman behind the curtains of life…’

‘She’s no Wizard‘.

‘She’s no Witch‘.

‘She’s not longing to find her way back home…’

‘Pay no attention to her – she looks tired and helpless…’

Behind the Curtain

Photo by Sara Biljana

Who’s the woman behind the curtain? Read more about her here…

 
16 Comments

Posted by on August 27, 2013 in children, FAMILY, LOVE

 

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An open letter to my nomad children.

         Dear children of mine,

         I recognize you may be still too young to understand many of the things that go around in your life.

        I’m also aware that you may feel confused at times, when your mother and father come forward telling you we will have to move, once more.

       I feel and I know your pain, and your disbelief. I myself felt the same when back in Brazil – your grandparents would come to me and to your uncles, letting us know we would again, have to change schools, due to new job assignments and/or the economic situation.

       One day you will begin hearing and understanding a very powerful word – ‘Economy’. It has the ability to change scenarios, to split families up, and to alter planning. Times were different when your mother was growing up, than it is now for the three of you. Back then, your mother, the oldest of 3 children, learned to cook, clean and take care of your uncles, way before she was ready to begin middle school. 

        You, my children, will not have to face any of this.I was a nomad child without the realization of it. I learned to cope with family moves before having to deal with any ‘high school drama’, so familiar  to any teenager. There was no time, nor space for ‘teen drama’. Childhood is a very special place in time, and should be lived through. Hopefully, it will not happen to the three of you, my children.

       You will be presented with the opportunity to experience life on its fullest. You’ll have the chance to choose your paths, making your own mistakes and learning from them…

       Life’s been laid out in front of you, and despite also living a ‘nomad life’ because of your mother and father’s work style, you’ll confidently be shielded from most of the difficulties.

       Your father and I are cautious and attentive to any signs of distress – please come to us with your questions, your concerns, your troubles. We’ll try to help you, and offer advice, as much as we’re capable of. Please let us know when you’re sad, when you’ve been hurt, when your heart is unsettled…

       We’ll be there for you. We’ll offer you comfort and our arms. We’ll talk together, and if needed, we’ll cry together.

        I’m very happy for you, my children. This nomad life has taught me a great deal, and I feel capable of transferring some resilience to you. I’m not passing on any resentment, any sadness or hard feelings… I’m thankful with what life has offered me, and my gratitude will show itself on the way we’re raising the three of you. I’m grateful life has given me the opportunity to become your mother, your guide, your safe haven. I sincerely hope you’re not disappointed on me…

        You will grow to become worldly citizens, grounded and compassionate. That would definitely be the best reward to me, still working on my parenting skills, but trying my best not to fail…

                                                        With all my love,

                                                          Your mother.

my branching tree...

 
13 Comments

Posted by on August 14, 2013 in expat, FAMILY, LOVE

 

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My closest friend is…

…the person with whom I share my dearest passions: traveling, photography, story-telling. We’ve become life partners, we’ve developed a strong relationship that goes beyond passion – we’re friends, we’re lovers, we’re secret keepers, and we haven’t gone at each other’s thoat after all the difficulties inherent to this most-challenging job: we’re parents to our children! :o

We share our lives together, and we’re helping each other raise our ‘little worldly citizens’.

We share our joys and our sorrows. We’ll be together for the long haul – wherever life takes us.

No challenge should fase us – we’ll always be in good company – our own. And as close friends should be, we’ll laugh and cry in each other’s arms…

 
13 Comments

Posted by on July 26, 2013 in LOVE, TRAVEL

 

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{Weekly Writing Challenge} How to prepare a ‘serial traveler’: Recipe, cooking times and serving suggestions.

 How to serve a ‘serial traveler’, inspired by ‘A Pinch of You’:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Preparation Steps:

Make sure you’ve got all the ingredients handy. Ensure their good quality and origin. When raising a child, remember to offer him/her a healthy dose of ‘worldly experiences‘: take them on field trips, sightseeing tours, museums, photo exhibits. Share videos and tales from your own childhood. Share with them your curiosity, your concerns, your dreams. Listen to their plans, their ambitions, their fears of the unknown…

[Note from the Chef] These are just suggestions for this dish. Alter as you please, adding or subtracting ingredients. Come up with your own unique recipe and most important of all, have fun cooking! :o

Get the oven going: Take advantage of each and every opportunity to show your growing child that the world is much more than what they’re gathering from social media tools.

Cooking and Serving:

  • Travel, go to places, move. By car, by bus, by train, by boat, on the back of a horse or camel. Try flying, but also, try different transportation methods – the stranger, the better! Dealing with travel difficulties is part of the learning process, and overcoming challenges brings the experience to a whole new level.

where's home?

directions

  • Spend some time planning your trips. Imagine how it would be, what you’d do, who you’d encounter… Dream about it. Enjoy the preparations and be ready to appreciate the reality, when the time comes.
  • Find someone who shares your passions, and share your life with him/her. I did that, and have no regrets: married another serial expat, and he’s helped me raise our 3 little ‘nomads’…

Kal9

  • Try meeting new people. Chat with them. Exchange stories. Build new relationships. Be yourself, be silly, and yet, be smart – care and attention are never excessive when moving out of one’s comfort zone…
  • Try out new foods – it’s an easy and fun way to immerse into the culture. Remember the smells and the tastes. Take a heart picture of the dishes you’re enjoying. Reserve for future use.
  • Check out city maps, newspapers, street posters. Don’t know/don’t speak the language? Go for the pictures, the colors, the textures, the funny images and signs. Remember: your friends or family back home are living vicariously through your travel experiences! IMG_5686
  • When traveling, visiting new places or renewing memories from old ones, take as many photos as possible. Keep them handy for future use. Store in a tight container [but please, not in the fridge!]. You will surely need them for future recipes…

 

[Note from the Chef] When checking out of hotels/hostals/B&Bs remember to always check under the beds for misplaced pieces of clothing, photo gear, baby toys, lost socks… and maybe… a kid or two! :o

  • Recipe preparation and cooking times may vary. Season it to taste. For some, it may take years and many mistakes/missteps before reaching the ‘optimum point’. Be careful: Try not to burn yourself, but if it happens, make sure you’re surrounded by good friends and good memories to help you through the tough times…

my branching tree...

Use your best judgment when traveling, but once you begin improving this recipe, there’s no way back – you’ve certainly become a ‘serial traveler’ like myself, my husband and these three little ones pictured above. We can’t really stay put for long

That said, guess how we’ve been raising these ‘tree branches’ over here?

Thanks for the inspiration!

 

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♫ “I wanna know what love is…” ♥

Love Notes

Taking advantage of this being “Mother’s Day” weekend, and inspired by a recent Daily Prompt suggestion, I’ll try to answer this tough question, and yet, illustrate the ‘response’ with a few musical memories… See if you can catch them!

We each have many types of love relationships — parents, children, spouses, friends. And they’re not always with people; you may love an animal, or a place. Is there a single idea or definition that runs through all the varieties of “love”?

Obviously, I’m not the first one who thought about this song ♫ when we saw the title for the prompt… and being a Foreigner myself, it couldn’t be any more fitting! :o Who doesn’t love a good play with words?

But, in fact, What’s Love?   - thought I “had a way on this, but still missing several connecting dots in order to finely tune down my ideas on love!

Here is my opportunity to try: I did not marry my First Love ♫, and because, like many, was always seeking for the perfect combination of Love, Trust and Honesty ♫, I was able to discover What Is This Thing Called Love ♫

Love Changes everything ♫.  We’ve become more than a couple, we’re a family, and with each child, we now wholeheartedly understand the meaning of Timeless Love ♫… There are different kinds of love, and we love each person in our lives, in a different way, no more, and no less… Simply different. Fortunately, there’s no single Meaning of Love ♫. But there’s definitely, Not Enough Love In The World ♫ to all the ones that need it!

That said, if I may leave a bit of advice, as somebody who’s constantly experience love, from my family, friends; from the one I chose to be my partner for life, the one who’ve given the most precious expressions of love – our children – here it is: “Put A Little Love In Your Heart“ ♫, and all will be well… ♥

Happy Mother’s Day, to all the moms out there! And much, much love to us all! :o

For the "non-Portuguese speaking world", inside the heart you may find the word 'Mãe', which means, "Mom"... too perfect, right? :o

For the “non-Portuguese speaking world”, inside the heart you may find the word ‘Mãe’, which means, “Mom”… too perfect, right? :o

 
22 Comments

Posted by on May 11, 2013 in ART, FAMILY, LOVE, music, photography

 

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{Weekly Writing Challenge} Their future, through the door…

IMG_4656It’s about 2:30 in the morning, and I see her coming in. The little body walked through our bedroom door, and I hear the sound of the so-familiar tip-toeing business… 

Her half-asleep self, messy hair, teary eyes, tell me she’s lost her sleep, and has come seeking comfort and protection in her parents room… not an uncommon event, and like any other night, I guide her towards the bed. She lies down next to me…

We hug, cuddle, and while asking her the reason for her sadness, I’m told she’s afraid.

My five-year-old tells me she’s had a dream, and in the dream she felt lost, lonely, and didn’t know where to go for help, nor who to talk to… She tells me she’s afraid of growing up, and in becoming an adult, leaving us [her parents] behind, like what I did, in her words, ‘when I left my  mother, and became her mommy’…

I let her know it had just been a dream, and that she was safe with me – her father and I would always protect her. I then, confessed I also used to fear the unknown, and often times, was too scared to think about it…

I told her that when I was her age, I used to fear growing up, and being left by the ones I loved. At her age I also began understanding the meanings of life and death, and all the events in between…

IMG_4645She’ll never have to feel lost or alone. We’d always be there, for her, for her big brother and her baby sister…

I told her the Future is something amazing, it’s like a dream you have no idea it’s coming, until you close your eyes at night, and let your mind take over your body…

By then, the teary eyes were gone, and through the fade light in our bedroom, the little girl hesitated in opening up a smile, which she finally did… I felt her comfort, her confidence, her trust. I knew she understood she didn’t have to fear for the unknown.

The future is just part of a sweet dream all of us experience… when we close our eyes, and let our minds take us through the bedroom door… into the unknown… :o

kids

Thanks for the inspiration! :o 

{Backstory} This week, the inspiration comes from walking through a door… imaginary, or a physical portal… 

 

 
12 Comments

Posted by on May 8, 2013 in ART, LOVE

 

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“Pay no attention to the woman behind the camera…”

Just a regular Saturday morning… Snapping shots of my most precious loved ones… simply a woman behind a camera…

 
8 Comments

Posted by on March 14, 2013 in BOLIVIA, FAMILY, LOVE, photography

 

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Photo Project: 52 Bolivian Sundays [week 7, 'Kiss'].

Here, the big brother welcoming his Valentine’s Day sister, with a kiss, a perfect fit for this week’s themeShe’s not a baby anymore… better to say, she’s a young lady… a ‘señorita’:o

We’re pleased, lucky and grateful for all the experiences we’ve been through, and we’re grateful for having had this intense, warm, active and loving girl into our lives for the past five years… Half a decade ago, husband and I received the best gift one could ever expect for Valentine’s Day: the birth of a baby girl! ♥ 

Find here, some lovely impressions from other bloggers… their special understanding of “KISS”: Thank you all for sharing! ♥

 

 
59 Comments

Posted by on February 17, 2013 in children, FAMILY, LOVE, photography

 

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Happy Birthday to our Valentine’s Day baby girl!

She’s not a baby anymore… better to say, she’s a young lady… a ‘señorita’:o

Like her parents, this young lady has already moved quite a bit…

She was not born in Rio de Janeiro, like her momma, not in Virginia, like her daddy. She did not have her Brazilian ‘vovó and vovô’  to welcome her into this world, nor her American ‘nana and abuelito’ to greet her when she first smiled… She was born 5 years ago, while our family was stationed in Mozambique, and was fortunate enough to have the unique Pretoria (South Africa) as her birth place.

Despite not having our families around, she was [and still is!] surrounded by love, through her parents’ friends, the extended family, and her now, personal friends in Bolivia.

This morning, before getting ready for school, still recovering from the very intense and fun Carnaval in La Paz, our girl came to our bedroom, holding her index finger upright: “Mommmy, would you believe we’re only ONE DAY away from my cumple?:o She’s right: Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and she knows it! For our family, this particular day will aways transcends all the commercialism, the consumerism associated with the date – it goes beyond that, it’s definitely, truly, unconditionally related to LOVE. The love between parents and their daughter…

We’re pleased, lucky and grateful for all the experiences we’ve been through, and we’re grateful for having had this intense, warm, active and loving girl into our lives for the past five years… Half a decade ago, husband and I received the best gift one could ever expect for Valentine’s Day: the birth of a baby girl! ♥ And, for the ones who may find hard to believe that there are no boundaries, limits nor geographical barriers for friendships, that little baby girl got some visitors… friends from DC [pictured below] came to meet her, while visiting South Africa… :o Our deepest appreciation for such a great demonstration of friendship! ♥

Baie Dankie, South Africa for such a wonderful Valentine’s!

Marcelas Birth 038

 
19 Comments

Posted by on February 13, 2013 in children, expat, FAMILY, foreign service, LOVE

 

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Photo Project: 52 Bolivian Sundays [week 6, 'Home'].

For this week’s photo challenge, we’re all trying to answer the question:  ‘What is home?’ Some amazing bloggers have already done it! 

What about you? ♥

Home is anywhere where one is able to share the joy of being alive, being its own person… Home is where we share, where we teach in exchange of learning… home is where we feel safe, surrounded by trustworthy friends… Home is the place where we share love…for a nomad like myself, trying to answer the question: “where is home” has a very unique response, because it’s a challenge to define ‘home’ for ‘serial expats’… Very personally, home is the place I feel free to be myself, and share all my passions! :o

Previous Posts from the Project “52 Bolivian Sundays”: :o

  1. Photo Project: 52 Bolivian Sundays [week 2, 'Illumination'].
  2. Photo Project: 52 Bolivian Sundays [week 3, 'Beyond']
  3. Photo Project: 52 Bolivian Sundays [week 1, 'Resolved'].
  4. Photo Project: 52 Bolivian Sundays [week 5, 'Unique']: the highest mountain in the Cordillera Real.
  5. Photo Project: 52 Bolivian Sundays [week 4, 'Love'].

 

 
21 Comments

Posted by on February 10, 2013 in BOLIVIA, FAMILY, LOVE, photography, TRAVEL

 

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[October Magic] Celebrating 9 years of marriage with… bowling!

So, yesterday, hubby and I celebrated our 9th anniversary… A week night, kids got school the following morning… everyone gotta go to work, as usual – so the night couldn’t be wild. We found a nice way to share our joy with a close group of friends here in La Paz - at a bowling alley! And, I had to wait for 40 years to have my FIRST encounter with a bowling ball! It was a lot of fun, followed by tasty spicy wings!!

 
6 Comments

Posted by on October 19, 2012 in BOLIVIA, LOVE, photography, sports

 

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[October Magic] Where are we, 3,288 days after the “I do”?

We’re heading to our first decade as a married couple. October has become a great month for celebrations among the Miranda Family. Today, the Miranda-Lima couple celebrates nine years of married life. Over 3,000 days, moved 7 times since we got married, having lived in 3 different continents, raising 3 children, 3 languages spoken throughout our house…

If you like multiples of 3, this is the right place! [Just kidding, but, gotta remind everyone: 3 x 3 equals.... Nine!]

It took me a little while to find my “Mr Right“… in fact, I had almost given up trying, when suddenly, he showed up – the perfect balance for my “high-demanding” – “need-to-be-in-control” – “almost-annoying” personality… I felt like he’d been “designed” to be my partner for life. Marriage, for the ones who’re experiencing, is definitely not an easy road. It’s bumpy. It’s curvy. It’s risky. No married life is picture-perfect, but ours is worth every second.

It’s been an amazing journey, filled with love, joy, easy and difficult times, challenges, victories and children – more precisely, three of them. We’ve enjoyed life together: we’ve already accumulated over a decade of Christmases and New Year’s Eves…

Every discussion or argument is a reason for reconciliation. And an opportunity to get to know the other person, a bit more, a bit deeper. One never stops learning. You learn as you go. You learn with your mistakes.

You learn by watching, observing, remaining silent, and by letting your thoughts out… [sometimes, not as nicely as you'd expect to do, but, hey, that's real life, right?].

Nine years ago, we said:

I Do“…

It was during a beautiful Autumn day in New Mexico, surrounded by close friends and family, gifted by the harmonious mountains in the background, and obviously, greeted by the happy tune of Mariachis:o

Right now, we’re happily living surrounded by volcanic mountains, in ‘breathless La Paz‘, Bolivia, our newest assignment with the foreign service. We’ve lived together and apart; we’ve cried, laughed, we’ve been ‘med-evac-ed’, we’ve been in and out hospitals, we’ve learned from life. We’re growing old together, and we’re very grateful for all we’ve received from life - the good, the bad, the incredible.

Obviously, I’m the Queen of Hearts, here! :o

Cheers to a loving couple, raising three kids, in this crazy world! :o

Now, let’s get ready to celebrate the first decade now!

And, where are we right now? For the curious ones, life is simple, it’s normal (??), it’s common… we’re intensely living the ‘real life’: the one you jump from bed get up in the morning screaming and rush to get the kids ready for school, before leaving for work. The life where we’re the ‘lunch bag’ fairy, the ‘grocery fairy‘, the ‘laundry fairy’, the homework helper. We’re being real… and we’re very stressed out thankful! ♥

We’re right here, living the real life! The original two have become five. Life’s still good. Love never fails…

 
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Posted by on October 18, 2012 in LOVE, photography

 

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This is why we do good things… (for our kids)

School trip to the movies, by my favorite first grader…

I’ve talked before about the challenges and joys of parenthood. I’ve dreamed of a world where moms would be able to wake up on their own, without being suddenly poked by cold little fingers letting her know they’re hungry/scared/thirsty or simply wanting to go outside and play, despite the side table clock showing it’s not even 6 am…

I’ve talked about being a traveler, an expat and an around-the-clock working mom; being a cleaner/chauffeur/house fairyall in one, and trying to perform my best. Let’s not forget the additional task: trying to be the hauling supportive foreign service spouse, cheering for my husbands accomplishments and hiding ‘little household lows’ (like a broken lamp), in order to keep the peace. Yeah, we are also peacekeepers, at any cost. I’ve talked about it all over here, shared and received advice from other readers/parents/expats, and I’m deeply grateful for such an incredible experience.

One thing I’ve never experienced was the opportunity to closely work with my kids school. Always, because I lacked time to volunteer. Had helped before, when we lived in Mozambique and Brazil, but my working schedule really forbid me from being more active. This time, in La Paz, Bolivia, I’m living a different story. I’ve got more time, not working outside the house, so, I can now indulge and offer my kids the support and presence I’ve been ‘semi-denying’ them for the past years (there has to be one advantage of being a ‘non-working mom’, right? :o )

This is the first time my kids are enrolled in a American School, so, I’m volunteering the school PTA, I’m a ‘classroom parent’, helping extra-curricular activities, you name it. Despite being a bit overwhelming, I’m enjoying (I’m also a workaholic, so, I get my ‘highs’ from being overworked!). This past week, I volunteered to be a chaperone for a school field trip. My oldest child is a first grader, and the school took the whole elementary branch to a morning at a local movie theater. What a fantastic experience! Super excited kids telling me stories (some purely made-up, like flying in rocket ships or turning into fairies/wizards during their spare time!)

Today, after school, when checking my son’s backpack, I realized why we, parents, try to do these little good things, being more involved, committed: there were two handmade cards, with his daily homework. One from my son, and the other one, from my ‘chaperoning team’. And those cards made me understand a bit more about the meaning of being a (school) parent – the child’s true appreciation:

This other one, from ‘my team’. Names carefully preserved, for obvious reasons. Keep in mind we went to watch a movie (Madagascar 3), riding the bus… :o

And the second one, from my son. BTW, the “moma”, I believe, refers to me…

I was so touched, so happy, and grateful for learning that, despite all the difficulties one endures as a mom/dad, our kids do appreciate us.

They “aprishyat” all the “staf” we do for them. And above all, they love us. They do love us very “mutch”… :o

Thanks for letting ME be part of YOUR LIFE! ♥

 
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Posted by on September 24, 2012 in children, expat, LOVE, school, volunteer

 

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Photography: B&W dads for Brazilian Father’s Day

 

In Brazil, Father’s Day is honored during the second Sunday of August, and it’s common to have the celebrations throughout the whole weekend, offering parents and children an opportunity to enjoy each other’s company at length. In honor of Brazilian Father’s Day, here are a few black and white images of the important fathers in my life: my own dad, who can currently appreciate the physical proximity to his American-Brazilian grandkids, always on the move; my husband, wonderful father of our three children, and my husband’s dad, who’s become a second dad to me, unconditionally accepting me as part of his family, in a quasi-adoptive manner, as the daughter he did not have (and later this year will have two “daughters“, when my soon-to-be sister-in-law enters the family in the Fall!). Here, to all the dads out there, Brazilians or not…

For starters, the husband: the best dad our kids could’ve asked for. A lot of commitment and willingness to learn…

 


welcoming our second daughter

 

Following, my husband’s father, my second dad:

He is the one I’m grateful for my husband’s parenting skills…

And here, my dad. The person with whom I share not only a total lack of coordination for sports, but also, an inexplicable passion for Science and numbers. The one who taught me how to count, is now counting my daughter’s little fingers…

 

 

 
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Posted by on August 12, 2012 in LOVE, photography, school

 

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UPDATED: Building Memories – the result: Three generations honoring multiculturalism.

The Greene Mirandas, The Lima Mirandas, The Solorzano Mirandas :o Three countries merging together into one multicultural setting!

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A Family Portrait: The best way to celebrate the bonds between different generations, especially when they’re all scattered around, due to work schedules and/or lifestyles… They live in different places, learn and speak different languages, share and cherish different cultures, but all with one common goal: to celebrate and honor the family ties…

 
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Posted by on July 31, 2012 in ART, children, FAMILY, LOVE, photography, TRAVEL

 

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Building memories through photography: three generations honoring multiculturalism.

A Family Portrait: [the making-of]

The best way to celebrate the bonds between different generations, especially when they’re all scattered around, due to work schedules and/or lifestyles… They live in different places, learn and speak different languages, share and cherish different cultures, but all with one common goal: to celebrate and honor the family bonds…

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Stay tuned for the results! 

[a.k.a. the long-wished Family Portrait!] :o

 
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Posted by on July 17, 2012 in ART, children, FAMILY, LOVE, photography, TRAVEL

 

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Happy Birthday to our Valentine’s Day Baby!

UPDATE: How is she now? :o

She’s not a baby anymore… growing up pretty fast, becoming her own person, very loving, very intense. Four years ago, we got the best Valentine’s Day gift: our daughter Marcela. Baie Dankie, South Africa for this wonderful Valentine’s!

With much love, happy birthday, darling! Feliz cumple, Feliz Aniversário!

 
18 Comments

Posted by on February 14, 2012 in LOVE, photography, post a day

 

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The first 365 days of her life…

“…if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world…if you tame me, it will be as if the sun came to shine on my life. I shall know the sound of a step that will be different from all the others. Other steps send me hurrying back underneath the ground. Yours will call me, like music, out of my burrow. And then look: you see the grain-fields down yonder? I do not eat bread. Wheat is of no use to me. The wheat fields have nothing to say to me. And that is sad. But you have hair that is the color of gold. Think how wonderful that will be when you have tamed me! The grain, which is also golden, will bring me back the thought of you. And I shall love to listen to the wind in the wheat…” ~Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince, 1943

For our ‘little rose’, on her first birthday. Thank you for being part of our lives…

 
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Posted by on November 30, 2011 in children, FAMILY, Fashion, LOVE

 

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Building memories through photography: dancing with our children

Photo Credit: Ms Sandra Miranda, California (2011)

 
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Posted by on November 16, 2011 in ART, children, FAMILY, LOVE, music

 

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We also said “I do”… Some 2,922 days ago!

October has become a great month for celebrations among the Miranda Family. Today, the Lima Miranda couple celebrates eight years of married life.

It took me a little while to find my “Mr Right“… in fact, I had almost given up trying, when suddenly, he showed up – the perfect balance for my “high-demanding” – “need-to-be-in-control” – “almost-annoying” personality… And he was the right one. I felt like he’d been “designed” to be my partner for life:

It’s been an amazing journey, filled with love, joy, easy and difficult times, challenges, victories and children – more precisely, three of them – our little treasures: Cesar, Marcela and Maria Cecilia.

Marriage, for the ones who’re experiencing, is definitely not an easy road. It’s bumpy. It’s curvy. It’s risky. No married life is picture-perfect, but ours is worth every second.

Every discussion or argument is a reason for reconciliation. And an opportunity to get to know the other person, a bit more, a bit deeper. One never stops learning. You learn as you go. You learn with your mistakes. You learn by watching, observing, remaining silent, and by letting your thoughts out… [sometimes, not as nicely as you'd expect to do, but, hey, that's real life, right? :o]

We’ve enjoyed life together… we’ve already accumulated a decade of Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations:

Eight years ago, we said: “I Do“… It was during a beautiful Autumn day in New Mexico, surrounded by close friends and family, gifted by the harmonious mountains in the background, and obviously, greeted by the happy tune of Mariachis:o

The Lazo Ceremony

[just for fun] Displaying the Mariachis Parade to the world!

"will you marry me?" and the answer: "always"... :o


 
18 Comments

Posted by on October 18, 2011 in LOVE, photography

 

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“Love believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails…”

Heidy & Paco

So, here I am, borrowing the text from the best man‘s speech, who also got the inspiration from the beautiful biblical quote – 1 Corinthians 13. 

Real Love is unconditional, and it should hold any weight, face any doubt, persist through hopelessness, and last any trial. Love should never fail… If it did, it wouldn’t be love…

That said, one of the reasons the Lima Miranda Family traveled from Recife, Brazil to Virginia, USA, was to take part at, help, honor and enjoy Francisco Miranda & Heidy Solorzano’s wedding (click here for their site!). The celebration joined friends and family from the east and west coasts… The five of us had a great time revisiting with family and friends, dancing, parting and the best part: we were able to witness the confirmation of the true love between those two. We welcomed Heidy into our family and our hearts. She’s now the newest Mrs. Miranda.

Here are some images from their special day:

Much love and our best wishes to the newly weds… from the Brazilian-American crew! :o

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Posted by on October 17, 2011 in FAMILY, LOVE, photography

 

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Watching the sunset from the top of the Duna do Por-do-Sol

One of the few places in the world where the sand dune has its colors changed from beige to golden yellow and gradually to pink, in an emotional spectacle to the visitors.

Before this trip, the last time I’d enjoyed the sun set from the top of the Dune was in June 2001. Without knowing, I was sharing the moment with the one who would become my partner for life. Ten years later, the two of us went back to rescue that sunset we left behind. We succeeded… :o

 
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Posted by on July 28, 2011 in beach, BRASIL, LOVE, photography, TRAVEL

 

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Ten years ago, the first date. Two became five. The love, remained strong…

Today my husband and I celebrate the 10th anniversary of our first date. Here we are, again at a beach town in Brazil, remembering the first moments. Now we’re joined by a lovely army: our 3 children.

The Miranda Family got to spend the Brazilian Valentine’s weekend at the Love Beach (Praia do Amor), in Pipa, Rio Grande do Norte. Kids had a  great time and the most deserving mom and dad got to enjoy each other’s company. Life has taught us a lot: we’ve been learning how to be more understanding, especially regarding little things, which in the beginning, used to upset us. Now, they just seem so small in the large scheme of things… We’re still learning…

{Note: the children’s nanny also came! (smart, right?)}

More details – about our relaxing weekend, the nearby beaches we got to visit – coming soon… 

 
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Posted by on June 14, 2011 in beach, FAMILY, LOVE, photography, TRAVEL

 

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Beach, bay dolphins, burgundy rocks, back in a bikini!

As promised earlier, here are some more images from our relaxing-exploratory weekend in Rio Grande do Norte, in the district of Tibau do Sul, a few hours from Recife . We got to spend a very restful weekend at Hotel Pousada Morada dos Ventos, where our incredible host (hotel owner), Tania, made sure every detail would be taken care…

Our favorite part? Hard to say… Somewhere between the hammocks, the short trips to the village, our best Mexican restaurant experience in the NE (so far!), and the peaceful walks along the white sands, searching for dolphins… Kids loved it. Baby napped as much as she could. Mom and dad enjoyed their opportunity to connect with nature, and with themselves…

Feels good to be together. Feels great to be back in a bikini! (Honestly, it was also part of the adventure!)

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Four to Forty – celebrating the birthday of our King of Hearts

Today is the birthday of the “Kings of Hearts” from our “Full House“, which also has a King of Spades, a serious and committed 5 year-old boy.

Siding along with the duo of kings, we’ve got three queens: “Queen of Hearts“, pairing with the celebrating King, and apparently the one in charge of anything “household-related”, making sure all parts and processes are in place. Our “Queen of Diamonds“, aka, “drama queen” is a 3-year old going on 13. For the last one, our “Queen of Clubs“, the jury is still out there – we’re not sure yet how she’d embrace her role as part of this full house

Today our King of Hearts turns 36. He’s almost departing from the house of the 30s. I’m sure it’s been a good and fun journey for him. In four years he’ll be joining his Queen of Hearts, and together they’ll rule the house of the 40s…

              From my humble heart to “His Majesty’s”, with all my love,              

Happy Birthday, Leonel!

 
35 Comments

Posted by on June 3, 2011 in FAMILY, LOVE

 

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