Today, some reflection is in order as I tie off some loose ends with packing and last minute details. In July of 2009, I was in another airplane leaving my life in Santa Clara, California where I had graduated college and began working. My heart was still sore from the loss of my mother in January, I had no idea what awaited me in Brazil. My family had immigrated to the States in 1987, I was 2 years old and we proceeded to adapt, integrate and create roots, a life, an identity, first in Texas and then in California. But, with my mother's sudden passing and a certain restlessness, my father decided to return to his roots in Brasilia. My brother David, who was still in college at the time, decided to stay, and I was torn. On one hand, I had a job (3, actually, because that's the reality of an artist's life in the Bay Area), friends, and I was pretty comfortable culturally, but, on the other hand, I had never lived as an adult in my "home" country, I was missing the support and encouragement my mother was so apt at providing, and I was itching for change (this may be a common thread in my life). Since I had dual citizenship and could return at any time, I thought, "Let's try this out!". Well, this is year 10 of "trying this out"! In the last 10 years, I have become an art teacher, a professional artist, a business owner, travelled to new and amazing places all over the world, met my husband, made incredible friendships and connected with my Brazilian roots. I've learned about myself, about people, about love and loss, the creative process and, most importantly, cultivating a strong relationship with God that transcends circumstances, religious denomination and human expectations. All that to say that the prevailing sentiment today is gratitude. So much gratitude for so many blessings over the last decade. God is good. I have lived a rich experience in Brazil and am ready to see what God has for us as we move tomorrow.