March 13, 2014

That One Time We Went To Brazil and I Nearly Had An Identity Crisis

Last month, Kamron and I went to Brazil.  I know.  Crazy.

I almost feel braggy talking about it, but my husband works really hard to earn these trips through his work and well, it would be a crying shame not to go on them...

But that being said, going out of the country at that particular moment brought panic on me like I have never experienced.  Full blown anxiety attacks. We had booked the trip before we even knew about Scarlett and thinking about leaving her for a week after her only being with us for 6 months sent my heart beating right out of my chest.  Really, leaving all the kids for that long was a big deal.  FOUR kids is a lot to ask someone to take care of.  So we felt like we couldn't ask our families to sacrifice that much so we hired our friend and rockstar nanny to take care of the littles while we were away.  My mom dropped us off at the airport and I cried.  I really just didn't feel like it was the right time to go.  I mean, we all LOVE to travel, but we always take the kids with us.  This is new territory.

Nothing like making yourself out to be so important that you can't step out of your life for a week, huh?

But the main thing is that I worried after 15 years of being with Kamron that we would have NOTHING to talk about for a week.  (I confided in my friends about this hoping they would make me lists of topics on sticky notes.  Alas, my friends just kinda laughed at me and said it would be fine.) You know, when you get so used to the chaos of having kids to raise all day every day those moments of connection and actually talking about things that aren't logistics of getting lunches in backpacks and people off to school just don't really have the time to happen.  I was fearful that I'd forgotten how to talk about anything other than the day to day of what our kids were doing.  I had dread in my heart that my husband was going to find me BORING when he actually had to spend a week with me with no kid buffer.

The truth is, I have become boring.  And I LIKE boring.  After a roller coaster of a year and all the challenges that come with adding in older kids, I crave getting in bed at 9 pm and zoning out to reruns of The Big Bang Theory.  And meals in the crock pot.  And predictable schedules.  And making sure all the laundry is put away on Sunday nights.  (I would also add Wheel of Fortune at 7:30 but I'm worried about how grandma I'm making myself sound.)

And Kamron likes to GO GO GO on vacations.  If we are somewhere, he wants to see all the things.  All.  The.  Things.  And video tape all the things for posterity.  For real.  I like to see some of the things and then read all the words in my book.  We are just wired different.

So I got to Rio de Janeiro and decided that I was going to put on my big girl panties and pull out the fun girl that I used to be before the boring and mundane and the four kids and The Big Bang reruns took over.  I almost wondered if she was still in there somewhere or if she'd just disappeared.  It's funny trying to figure out what parts of you still exist when you don't use them very often.  Don't get me wrong- I'm fun and silly with my kids, but that's just a different kind of fun based on fart noises and stuff like that.

Y'all.  I mustered up that fun girl in 5 seconds flat and we had a blast.  We saw ALL THE THINGS and I still READ ALL THE PAGES.  It was like the best of both worlds figuring out who I could be independent of being a mom- cause one day these kids are going to move out and I will still be here!  (This is one of my biggest, deepest, darkest fears- that I won't be able to function or like myself when my kids are gone)  So this little exercise in freedom and fun and not worrying about who was getting to therapy on time was so needed for me.  In fact, it was sooooo needed that I didn't even know I needed it until I was doing it.  You learn a lot about yourself when you actually have time to think.

The trip was made all the more fun because two other couples from our area that work with my husband's firm were there and we all stuck together like glue for the week.  The six of us took over Rio and made memories and mostly ate our way through the whole city.  If you ask Kamron what the best part of the trip was for him he will shout out "The Food!"  Aside from the company, I have to agree.  The food in Brazil was out of this world.  Lots of meat.  For this gluten intolerant gal, I felt fantastic. Kamron felt like a balloon had lodged permanently in his stomach. See?  Wired differently.  And I learned that fun with adults mostly includes fart noises and bathroom talk.  So I wasn't all that behind the curve.

Here's a little rundown of our week.

Ready for takeoff!

The hippy fair in Ipanema Beach

We stayed at the gorgeous Copacabana Hotel on Copacabana Beach.  It's a real place!  Who knew?!

First night dinner with our friends Jordan and Kevin (on the left) and Jim and Sabrina (on the right).  We had so much fun and we laughed so hard that the six of us ate together every meal for the rest of the whole week.  Sabrina is actually from Rio so she knew all the best places to go and most importantly, all the best food to eat.

Visiting the Christ the Redeemer Statue was one of the most moving experiences of my life.  There is a chapel in the base of the statue.  You used to not be able to go in it, but they recently opened it up.  Walking in that chapel felt like Holy Ground.  I couldn't help but weep uncontrollably at the magnitude of Christ in my life and his impact in the world.  It was truly a remarkable thing to experience. 

Lightning did not strike us, nor did we burst into flames.

Check out the reflection in those glasses. 

Move your thumb out of the way, babe.

To get to the top of Corcovado Mountain where the statue is, you have to ride a train.  All these flags were in the lobby of the train station.  I love flags.

Cable car up to the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain

From the top of the Sugar Loaf.

See?  A love affair with the video camera.  See how happy she makes him?

Bliss.  I read The Signature of All Things (I wasn't as enamoured with it as everyone else seems to be).  Kamron read The Wolf of Wallstreet.  Cause he doesn't get enough stock broker in his real life.

Sugar Loaf Mountain in the background.

Our six-some.  Random man with tray of wine featured.  We gave him a thumbs up.

The musicians were so fun!

At Porcau Steakhouse.  Kamron's face in this picture makes me want to smother him with kisses.  That much excitement over meat.  Brazillian steakhouse = Awesome.  

Whatever kind of pie this was changed my life.  

Empanadas changed Kamron's life.  Oh my gosh, we still talk about needing empanadas almost daily.


People.  Brazilian men.  Lounge around the pool. Like. This. In. Speedos. #truestory

It was really cool to see some of the places that will hold the Olympic games in 2016.  All I gotta say is that Rio better get on it because we are only 2 years away and our tour guide kept saying "This is going to be where they build the pool" and you would be looking at slums and concrete ruins.  However, the marathon will be ending in the stadiums where they hold Carnival, which will be amazing to watch. 

We went dancing.  Late at night.  Past when the Big Bang Theory would have been on at home.  

See us in the coral dress and the white shirt dancing right in front of the stage?  Party on party people. 

Since we were in Rio right before Carnival, all of the Samba schools were perfecting their routines before the big competition.  We got to see the routine.  I was fascinated by the costumes.  How gorgeous is this?

And someone else was fascinated by these costumes.  Do you see how Kamron is holding up his finger symbolizing "BEST DAY EVER!"?  Bless it.

Truly, he was positively giddy.  Prancing would be the word I would use to describe it :-)  
Love that boy.

All us gals on our final night.  

Our last night in Rio happened to be Valentine's Day.  I think this is the first V-day date we've gone on since the birth of our first kiddo.  I wore lip gloss instead of chap stick because it was uber special.

Like Ellen's selfie at the Oscars.  Only no Ellen.  And no celebrities.  And Jordan is choking herself for some reason.  Whatever.

Are you sick hearing about the food?  Churros.  Hot and fresh and filled with caramel.  I die.

Kamron did not realize that his collar was popped over his jacket.  We never told him and kinda made jokes about it behind his back all night.  Keeping things classy and 1980's-ish.

Christ the Redeemer at sunset.

This was so good for us.  We have made time for TWO dates since we got back.  For the love.  Prior to that, we hadn't been on a date since Scarlett came home.  It just makes us better.  PLUS, we got to come home to this airport welcome wagon and all was right with the world. 

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