Shabby background

January 8, 2012


I wanted to start 2012 on a good note, blogging more, updating entires from all of our trips we've taken in Portugal and Spain, things I've been learning, etc.  I hope all of you know these have always been my intentions.  Yet being a perfectionist and one who takes a substantial amount of photos (yet doesn't love digital editing), I sometimes get hung up on which to choose, how to write it "just so" to make it funny, yet truthful... and the list goes on.  I'm a "pleaser". And I know I shouldn't be.  (As the year progresses, hopefully I can be working on that... :) )

Speaking of photos, I always loved the photo-a-day projects but never thought I could follow through daily to write a blog post  e v e r y  day.  Until now.  Something in me clicked and wants to do it, so considering it's the first week of the year, what better time is there to start?  Inspired by my friend Cristi, another American living here in Coimbra with us, I will take one photo per day and post 7 photos in one blog at the end of the week.  We'll see how they turn out! I really hope it will give all of our friends and family across the ocean a small way to be a part of our daily lives, and what a great memory it will be at the end of the year!  And without further adieu... here's Week 1 of 2012!


Sunday, January 1
Ringing in the New Year at Fábrica, the hot spot in the tiny town of Pinhel, Portugal, where Luis Miguel grew up!

Monday, January 2
Staying up way late to cheer on the Badgers in the Rose Bowl!  On Wisconsin!

Tuesday, January 3rd
Just after we moved to Portugal, and before I had a job, I volunteered a bit at the cerebral palsy rehab center where Luis is an Occupational Therapist.  His team of OTs graciously let me use a bit of their office space when I needed to kill some time between projects, and it was a great experience for me, getting to see what Luis does every day!  One day he introduced me to one of his clients, who just so happened to be playing with this toy.  I couldn't believe I was seeing it again after 25 years, because it was one of my favorites as a little kid!  I always meant to take a photo of it and send it to my parents, knowing they would appreciate it.  Who would have thought that years later, my dad would uncover it in a corner of the basement and then spend an hour fixing it up?!?!  Since my mom so graciously sent me a photo of him playing with it after he fixed it, I had to include that one as well.  :)

Wednesday, January 4th
Across the street from the rehabilitation center where we work is a large Christmas tree made of strings of Christmas lights, and there has been a sign "Visit the Nativity" for weeks.  Always forgetting to stop in, I was left wondering if this was a live person/animal nativity, a small table top one, or a big plastic illuminated yard decoration.  We arrived to see that was, in fact, a small room along the outside of the fire station (and sponsored by them, I believe) with a very elaborate nativity set.  Behind it was a 20x20 ft. "town", with various moving parts like water being brought out of a well, a sun and moon which changed all the lighting from day to night, etc.  Since taking a photo of everything made me step way back and lose detail, I decided to include one detail that was outside the Nativity, but still clearly an important part.  And note, this is in the parking lot right outside of our office, which you can see (the blue and white building) in the background!

Thursday, January 5th
I love foggy mornings, especially driving from the 'burbs into the city, where we usually can visibly see the fog resting in the valleys between the hillsides.  This morning was especially spectacular, considering the sun peeking through to light the city while the fog still settled behind it...

 Friday, January 6th
As I have mentioned in previous blogs, it is rare to find items on clearance here in Portugal, but on a routine lunch hour grocery shopping trip, I found these cute ceramic plates and small bowls in our same "is-it-charcoal-grey-or-is-it-brown" color scheme... and for 50 cents each!  Portugal is known for its ceramics, and though these are the cheap grocery store trademark, I still like them a lot!  Now we just need to invite more friends over so I can use them!

Saturday, January 7th
"How to make your wife happy", lesson #22:

[Wednesday]  "Hey Love... I heard it's going to be relatively warm, completely sunny, and not at all windy on Saturday... do you want to go to the beach and have a picnic lunch?"

This really happened, and is just one more reason that I love my life. (The husband AND the beach included :) )  We went to the beach the first weekend in January, and even took off our shoes and socks for about 2 hours!  It was beautiful, relaxing, and reminded us again of how blessed we are to live in such a beautiful place!


  1. I am so utterly happy about this 2012 blog goal! :) YAY!!

  2. Our fire department had an elaborate nativity too! So glad you guys are getting out enjoying life here! What a January we've had!