Friday, October 28, 2011


...from the moment of our arrival here, we have been on a journey of discoveries: the beauty and goodness in self-giving from "strangers", now-called friends; the humility of our three little ones, only desirous of our love, stability in our home and union as a family that makes them so at-home in another house, another country, a whole new continent; the joy that comes in having less, so much less, and being reminded daily how awesome it is to come up with new, so new, recipes; realizing that we cannot always see what we think we can really see until we step foot inside that place and begin to discover and be. This whole idea of discoveries came to me about one month ago. Well, to me and our camera, as I stepped in to our "grove" of a backyard. We could not enter it until a week and a half after our arrival because of a padlock that had no key until the beloved workmen came and O.P.E.N.E.D it. (I do not know if it would have been a bit strange, but I think the girls and I wanted to give them all a big American hug to say OOOOOOOOOOOOOObrigada!)) We ran into our yard and delighted in the vastness of it. The beauty of having such space to run, play, swing, climb, and collect bunches of fruit in due time was overwhelming. Thank you, God. Truly, this yard is a gift, as it all is. (The night before the backy-yard's (as Pita calls it:) opening, while we were out for a family run, we thought one of the tires was a flat, but the blessing in it all was that the backyard was opened the next morning, and I have been running laps --real laps-- there. God has it all in control.) This backyard is a wonderland. We have, as Madge describes, 4-5 mango trees, 1 avocado tree (that is the girls' climbing tree!), 2-3 banana trees, 1 guava tree, and hibiscus bushes as well as palms.
Nao acho que poderia fazer justica ao quintal, por isso, eu mostrarei-lo essas fotos.

You and Me

Yesterday, Little Caleb woke up from his nap, and it was just he and I. I took advantage of just being...with...him, my sweet little love. He is always looking at me, or peering into my eyes when I am holding him on my hip as he pulls his face infront of mine and just stares.
These are precious moments, my son. I dearly love you.

Thank you for the sweet ways of love. You plop into my lap as you take a few steps to Mommy, or you pull yourself over and then dive head-first into my lap. Joy. I love to hear your little voice call, "Ma-maa! Ma-maa!" The other day I was in the laundry room getting clothes folded, while you and Daddy were (making ice cream) in the kitchen. I don't think you knew I was where I was, until I opened the ironing board. You then made a noise and came fast into the room. Nursing time was our date then, and we didn't leave each other's side for the next half-hour. I treasure these moments with you, my boy. Ma-maa will always love you. Thanks for these moments when it's just you and me. Here is a song for you. It came to mind as I looked at you and thought, "It's just you and me," and Ma-maa couldn't keep her eyes off you!

Pita's Photos

We bought Pita her first own digital camera for her birthday. Both Madge and Pita LOVE to take photos. Who doesn't, right? Anyway, they each received a camera in their own favorite colors: pink for Madge and blue for Pita. We finally downloaded the SD card from Pita's camera and are uploading the photographs. In her own way, this is a photograph narration of the past 4 months. I have left them unedited since, well, that's the way it should be.

Outdoor Dinners on the Patio are My Favorite

We have been able to take advantage of the beautiful weather to have meals outside on the backyard patio. It's a lot of fun to eat out there, by candlelight as a family. You can still hear the tropical birds in the background. The sway of the palm trees in the yard soothes the soul as the slight breeze cools your toes.

Sunday Mass at the Metropolitan Cathedral

About a month ago now, we attended Sunday Mass at the Brasilia Metropolitan Cathedral. It has unique architecture and beautiful stain-glass windows throughout. One of my favorite elements is the entrance. There's a single entrance way. You enter from the front and basically end up going through an underground tunnel and then walk out right into the church. It's pretty cool.

(As we were walking home from the grocery store yesterday, with groceries in tow, Mares noted that we can see the Cathedral from our neighborhood, as our neighborhood is more elevated than the city and just across the lake. Hence, our neighborhood is known as Lago Sul (or Southern Lake).)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Priceless Expression

Where did they go? What was that?

Our Gauchas

Madge and Peach were showered and dressed the other night for Mass in their Brasilian "gaucha" garb. :) We weren't trying to get the gaucha-look, but due to the colder weather that hit this area of the country this past weekend, the girls got to wear their warm cow-girl boots, sweaters, and as always, their sweet faces. Madge came down the stairs to show Daddy her dressed-self, and said, "Sou uma gaucha!"

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Friday, October 14, 2011

True Love

Just this morning, I loved you so much. Every day, I love you so much. But, there are those moments that I see love just captured for a moment in time.

You were just about to head out for work when you ran upstairs to get a towel before your run. On the way out of the room, I think little Calsee awoke. So, down you cam with a sleepy, fuzzy-haired, Calsee lingering on your shoulder. Sweet, I thought. In love, I felt. You are my love. The man who can make me so grateful by the simple things in life: washing the dishes, asking to bathe our threesome as I prepare dinner, "get them" in a chase around the house, take off in a jog with Madge at your side-- just Daddy and girly time, talk through tantrums with our girlies and help them find what's wrong through words, creating a date night--like last night-- for us at home: a cup of tea, a bowl of stove-popped popcorn, a chapter of He Leadeth Me, and conversations about our day and our life together. These are the moments, the precious moments, that I appreciate, and say, "Thank you" for being my knight. I do not want headlines; I do not want the "world's" idea of love where looks, money, and the "high-life" make us soar (and then probably crash in the next life, if not also in this one). No, I do not want the glitz. But, I will take and rejoice in your goodness, the little things that make you the man God calls you to be. And, while receiving that and rejoicing in it, I am blessed and so very happy to be the one, forever, at your side.

All my love,

For a real-life reflection on what romance means to John and Lisa Clark's married love and a simple reflection of the extraordinary love that God creates in married love, read this.
(A small excerpt below:)

Sometimes when we’re doing some of the more mundane things in life, such as cleaning dishes, sorting laundry, or cleaning up after Veronica’s dog, we joke to each other: “It’s not the thrill it once was, is it honey?” But the truth is, it is still a thrill. I’d rather spend an ordinary day with Lisa than an extraordinary day with anyone else. I hope every man feels that way about his wife. But if your focus is on the proper things in life, why would life ever stop being thrilling?

In our modern culture, reporters and paparazzi seek out the exploits of famous actresses, professional athletes, and rock stars, and provide pictures from their romantic dinners and escapades. Six months later, many of these cultural heroes have left their former “loves” and have replaced them with someone else. I would like to hope that romance sets its sight a little higher than that. God intended romance to be better than that.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

You always meet us right where we are

In our lives, Dear Mama, you have continually saved us from scary situations, blessed us with your tender love in moments of new journeys, and always met us in our home, securing us with your presence, your love, and your closest connection to your Son. We were so happy to see your figure unwrapped from our air shipment (the first of two-- the second will be by-boat). We all kissed you. Welcome, Dear Mama, today, on your feast day here in Brazil.

We love you. Thank you for being such a loving Mom to us. Link

Air-freight arrival means more than...

...just receiving the "essentials." It means: amazing imaginary times inside, one-of-a-kind, "Dad-built" forts. Cardboard-- thick, thick, THICK --boxes, and sweet imaginations, make for beautiful moments of discovery that only cardboard boxes and childhood can.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

An Ode to the Birthday Girl

To My Beautiful Wife Birthday Girl,
Happy Birthday! It's the big three one. Thanks for the blessing you have been in my life and for the blessing you have been in the lives of so many people--family, friends, colleagues and even random acquaintances. I thank God for the gift of your life. I don't know where I would be without you! It's incredible to think that we have been best friends for eight years now! It's been such a wonderful journey getting to know you. I look forward to getting to know you even more for the rest of our life. You make our life so much fun, so much more meaningful, so much more spiritual, so much more connected and intimate.

The girls are so excited to celebrate your birthday with you tomorrow. I know that they won't be disappointed since most of all, they just love being with you. That's one of your greatest testaments: how much the kids all love and adore you. They might come to Dad for a fun time, but in the moments that really matter, they always run to you. You're such a wonderful mother. Thanks for the inspiration you provide us on a daily basis.

Happy Birthday, Beautiful! I hope that you have a wonderful birthday! I love you!