Never thought how much could a shoe rack mean. Never had one before… And now, that I look back, never felt the need for one. Always preferred a shoe cabinet, where all the shoes and slippers in use where kept in and out of sight. I believe this was a mean to have everything tidy and organized. At least in my head.

But now, for the first time ever, we have a shoe rack! I cannot really tell what has changed to lead me to a shoe rack. Was it the fact that the girls’ winter boots are bigger here? Was it to simplify the in and out of the house? Was it because “in Sweden, be Swedish”? Or just the one reason I always avoided – having, in acceptance, the shoes in sight.

And from the experience so far, it has been working surprisingly well. Until this week! But not for the expected reasons, not because there are shoes in sight or even out of place. But because it made me realize, after arriving home from dropping the girls at daycare, that the daily routines simply changed. They have now begun a new stage in their young lives, here in Sweden. And as important as it is fantastic, I cannot help but feel my heart tight.

Everyone is out, and my shoes are now the only ones in the shoe rack…

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The first days came as fast as they were gone. And so, since we have arrived, a week passed without being noticed.
4 suitcases to unpack and almost no furniture yet. 3 girls (me included!) adjusting themselves to the new home and to the lack of daylight... And also trying to find their places in this new reality...
Time to be creative now, not only when it comes to the children's games, but also to where to store everything... And specially now, that the 13 boxes where finally delivered.
The almost white canvas the house was when we arrived gave now place to pale brown cardboard boxes piled up and scattered on the floor.
The entusiasm of opening all the 13 parcels and finding out what was inside (as if it had not been me packing it all), was only compared to unwrapping Christmas presents. And now, as on Christmas day, there are children's books and toys everywhere, also waiting for a place to be.



The day just started really early. In fact it was still dawn. Still dark and silent outside.
The stillness of the street was in absolute contrast with the frantic energy I was experiencing inside.
Even though the changes that mark this day begun a while back, today is the exact day they will all get materialised.
We are moving to Sweden and leaving the sunny Lisbon behind.
Is this really happening??
With so much yet ahead before we can finally breath in the new home, there is no time to stop and feel the immensity of the moment.
All I have to do is to deal with every little challenge at a time and do not think much ahead.
4 bags, 2 carry ons, a stroller, a car seat, a nursery bag, a baby carrier, 2 kids, jackets.. And one adult - me!! I am already tired just by realising I only have two hands and there is so much to pull and push... The best way I have found not to panic was not to think about it and finding the courage to ask for help and just taking the confidence in people's good will.
The day is now over and finally quiet again. The children were able to find their peace in the new home, and despite the fact that my arms, shoulders and back are in pain, I really feel the need to express how surprised I am with all the help that came to me without even asking. Thank you all so much for making this day much easier and a more pleasant one .
It is now time to rest and prepare for the new beginning.



When a decision is to be made, is not usually easy. The instinct does not always lead the way, and instead, lists of pros and cons tend to appear. What ifs pop up and several parallel realities are displayed with multiple possibilities.
Any decision, either made by instinct or by thinking it through, comes from a context. And that context is made by a specific occasion with the information available at the time, with a certain state of mind and certain surroundings. So that decision belongs to that moment only.
That decision may not be the same a day earlier, or a week later. Or it may... We will never know exactly...

But in the end, the decision has to be made, either by instinct or by the help of a good consideration on that matter. So it is best to just accept it and not regret it, because it is the reflection of what we are and where we are at that stage of our lives.



Two weeks...

Just looked at my calendar today, and realised that a fortnight is the remaining time I still have in Lisbon before this great adventure begins.

There will not be enough time to visit all the places that mean the most to me. Not enough time to climb all the seven hills of Lisbon and be mesmerized by its wonderful views, by the city light and colors. Nor will be enough time to sit at every coffee esplanade under the sun, or to try all the new bakeries.

But all of these will remain a part of me. As a part of who I am and a part of whom I have become.

I can not say I am feeling nostalgic,. Just noticing the undeniable fact that I am entering a new context, and it is perfectly fine to miss what is embedded in me, and reminds me of my childhood.

The countdown has began!



November the 2nd is just a fine day to start a blog as any other day.

However, this day has a special meaning for me - I have just shipped 13 boxes to Sweden! 13... And almost all of them containing things from the girls - toys, books, cds, bicycles, play kitchen, doll's house, diapers (as if there were no diapers in Sweden!!!) and so on... and just a few things of my own! One or two boxes, I believe... It is true I am leaving most of my books, cds, photos, for now, behind. Could it mean none of those will be needed? Or could it be due to the fact that we are not selling our Lisbon house, and the idea of leaving it empty is somehow haunting... But in a deep, deep corner of my mind I believe it also works as a safety net... knowing we will have a place to return to.

Probably one day I will write about the 13 boxes! And the safety net...

It was only today I became fully aware that this change will really happen. In fact, it has already started!!! OMG

It is true we have been discussing this move for quite a long time. I believe a year, now. But one thing is when it is just hopes and dreams. We talk, we imagine, and we even make plans. Plans that we know are built on those dreams, so we never really give them neither the credit, nor the power for them to grow, to evolve.

And now, here I am, facing this new and somehow overwhelming change in my life.

It took me about four days to pack everything I had put aside to be shipped. Four days also trying to understand what I was feeling inside. Trying to figure out whether I was also leaving a part of me behind. And all I could feel was numbness. Probably because I was too afraid to admit the only present feeling was a practical need to have everything packed and ready by the time the moving company arrived. Or was my disconnection a symptom of anything else?

There was one day when I forced myself to stop, to allow myself to express whatever it was being held inside. To confront myself with any feeling, whatever it was. Some tears ended up falling, but it seemed my tears where just there because it was expected to, as if any person moving abroad should experience the sorrow and the fear of leaving everything (or almost) behind to start a new life from scratch. But why should it be like that? Why should I feel a hole inside? Why should I hold myself to that sadness? It is scary. For sure! I would be lying to say I do not fear this. I would be lying not to admit I ask myself quite often that "what if it does not work" question. But for some unknown reason, I keep moving without looking behind, without being swallowed up by any defeatist idea or attitude of that sort.

Sometimes life reaches that point when the everyday routines tend to overtake everything, so the focus remains only on trying to get every single item on the day list done, as well as to stay alive and get to the next day, and the next, and the next... And it gets boring and dull and uninteresting.

The idea of waking up one day feeling a sudden inner change does not really work. Not for me at least. Because I believe it is a process, and it takes time to grow and, in the end, to reveal itself. Like a gestation period. It is true sometimes a day comes when we just want to scream "I am done with this!", but for me, that is just an expression of that inner gestational process announcing itself. And the day will come when it becomes much clearer that the process is reaching towards its term.

So I think my numbness and disconnection really are a part of this new life growing inside of me. This new self. Which means the old gave way to the new. And it feels right.

So now the attitude , instead of being extremely loud, anxious and trying to be perfect and to control everything, as it was before, has gradually became a much more quiet and peaceful one. Just allowing to embrace whatever comes and appreciating the way there, by being, mostly, patient and flexible.

Which means the time came when I am able to say, over and out!