Sunday, February 5th
My mom sent me this cute wreath last year, as it's really hard to find Valentine's Day decorations in Portugal! It's perfect because it says "Amor", which is Portuguese for "love". I wanted to paint the letters white this year so that you could read them better, but not sure if I will have time before Valentine's Day!
Monday, February 6th
The fog was amazing as we entered the city today! I took various photos of the horizon, which were amazing, as it looked like cotton candy growing out of the hills, but this one was by far my favorite.. a bit skewed since we were driving! It seems as if the bridge continues on into infinity!
Tuesday, February 7th
Another beautiful day to take a walk during our lunch break, but today I was alone, on a mission to find supplies for Luis's Valentine's Day present (which I'm making!) at stores that are within walking distance of our Center. I pass this wall every day, and it's one of those things that sometimes goes unnoticed, but shouldn't! Across the street from the Center is a highschool of the arts, and students there painted this wall with reproductions of famous paintings. It looked especially vibrant in the sunshine today (even Marilyn's grafitti-ed blue mustache! :( ).
Wednesday, February 8th
This is really not super relevant to daily life at all here, as this car isn't usually in the hallway outside of our office, and the fact that the license-plate says "Snuggle Bug" really won't apply to anyone except for Emily, who has been my official "Snug" (that's short for "Snuggle" or "Snuggle Bug", for the abbreviation-challenged) since our days of sharing beds and bedrooms in host families on choir tour at Bethel College... but I simply couldn't resist! Luis has even learned to use the word "snug" as a verb, as he has heard it come from my mouth so many times. :) Em has been a dear friend of mine ever since our choir days in college, and I'm so grateful for technology that allows us to keep in touch! For all this and more, I couldn't help including this license plate -- though beat-up and faded -- in the photo of the day, as it makes me wish she was here with us!
Thursday, February 9th
I don't have a photo recorded from today, but since many days I take two or three, I'm including this one from a few days ago. I walk past this trophy case every day with various medals, photos, etc, from our sports teams and invitational events that APCC was invited to over the years. Waaaaaay down near that bottom are two posters signed by various athletes (one of which I assisted at various times... hi Dakotah!), one from a Power Soccer National Tournament in Indianapolis in 2005 (which I didn't even attend, as our local team in ATL didn't even exist!), and the IPFA international event that I organized with the Fernando Foundation in 2006. It blows my mind, sometimes, to think about how, even before I was a part of the US Power Soccer group, that one of my colleagues in Portugal attended a national event in Indiana that further led him and my now-husband, Luis, to attend the following event in 2006. Before I had even seen a Power Soccer tournament, and while working with a completely different organization (and later, losing my job there), the Lord was putting together details that would lead me to change jobs, meet my husband, date long-distance for three years, marry, move across an ocean, and then be given the gift of a job that allows me to work with the Power Soccer team here in Portugal, as well! Now if those crazy things don't lead you to believe there is a God, I don't know what will! :) You can check out more about Power Soccer (Powerchair Football, interntationally) here.
Friday, February 10th
Yay! Valentine's Day package from the parents! Thankfully we get home at a decent hour on Fridays, when Luis doesn't have clients at his part-time clinic, so we arrived home to a package slip 15 minutes before the post office closed! Highlights of the package included make-up and Conversation Hearts, as well as the movie The Help (SO GOOD!), insanely good toffee, and a St. Patrick's Day towel... because we Americans like to celebrate everything! (March 17th in case anyone wants to come over and eat something green!)
Saturday, February 11th
My dear friend Cristi invited me to help out with a Valentine's Day party she was hosting for her daughter, Lily, and 11 of her friends! Two friends of mine from choir have connections to their family through school and another event in Coimbra, so it was fun to see a mix of cultures and friends! Here the girls are decorating sugar cookies, one of their favorite things to do at Lily's parties!