But I am also left to realize that there is a lot more about me that you don’t know…. So I am taking this opportunity to tell you a little bit more about where I come from, what my journey has been like to get where I am today!! I’ve been looking for older pictures (a pretext to get them organized) to share and what a trip down memory lane it has been!!
I was born in March of 63 in Lisbon, Portugal. I was the fourth out of six children (three girls, three boys), coming from the family of a German Jewish refugee.
I studied in a French school from the age of three until I graduated from high school, having done my studies in full immersion French language for 7 years, until I transferred to the Portuguese section of the school to start middle school. I still know by heart all the French nursery songs I learned…!!
I went on to get a degree in Economics from the Universidade Catolica Portuguesa (I saw Pope John Paul II twice!!) and a MBA from the Universidade Nova de Lisboa, after which I started working as an investment banker. For two years, I worked in the origination, syndication and placement of Bond issues with the Banco Portugues de Investimento.
In the spring of 91 I met my prince charming on a blind date!!! I had been divorced for a couple of years (a disastrous 3 year marriage I entered when I was only 22...), and was over the moon to meet Mark, a Marine Staff Sergeant in charge of the American Embassy’s Marine Security Guards. We got married September 11, 1992 and moved to Irvine, California, where Mark was stationed. It was a difficult transition, especially because Mark was on a 6-month deployment rotation to Japan every year…!!! It was very tough to be left behind and have no family to lean on…
But soon, our own family started growing…!!! Even though we were devastated to lose our first pregnancy, we went on to have, as you know, four beautiful children!! Our first child, Anna, was born in April of 95, just one month after Mark’s return from another deployment to Japan!
When Anna and Clara were only 2 years and 10 months, Mark decided to apply for a repeat Embassy program and we were assigned to London, England, where we spent about a year and a half. We lived in a four level flat (yikes!) and I started teaching quilting classes from my home to fulfill a need to connect with other women!! How much fun was that! I still keep in contact with some of the friends (and quilters) I made!!
Our next post was Rabat, Morocco. It remains to the day as one of my all time favorite places we have ever lived in. Our third daughter, Rita, was born in Portugal in between post rotation, and so we joined Mark in Rabat when she was only a week old… We lived in a wonderful large house with a great back yard only a few blocks from the Embassy, the older girls attended a preschool just across the street, we had a wonderful maid called Laila who loved the girls, and we really soaked in the culture!! And we were only a two-hour flight away from Lisbon!!
In the summer of 2000, after almost two years in Morocco, we sadly left Rabat and Mark prepared for a civilian life after 22 years with the Marine Corps. We did not know where we would live or what job Mark would be able to get… So, for a month after his retirement, we traveled cross country from Quantico, Virginia to Fresno, California stopping at special places we had always wanted to visit, like Niagara Falls, Mount Rushmore and Yellowstone National Park, among many other wonderful places. Eight thousand miles in one month!!!
We ended up choosing Oregon to call home and we love it!!! We bought our first home 7 years ago and added a son to the mix! From the need to decorate this home, and after discovering Rachel Ashwell, came the love for all things vintage!!! I opened my first mall space with Lisa 5 years ago, and , well…. The rest is history!!!
So, in celebration of my 100th post, I have gathered some great things for a giveaway… Not just one giveaway, but THREE!!! I really wanted to give you wonderful bloggers more chances to win something… So, I have gathered special items from 3 special countries that played a part in my life: Portugal (of course!), England and Morocco. Each giveaway includes picks from that country, and you get to pick which one you would like to enter!! If you post about my giveaway or put it on your sidebar, I will enter your name three times (you can enter each of the giveaways or put all your entries in your favorite to increase the odds of winning!! - just make sure you let me know what you prefer...)!!
(this giveaway is now closed... Thank you to all who participated!!)
Giveaway # 1 - Portugal : a typical portuguese embroidered apron, a generous piece of Alcobaca cloth fabric and some very old bone buttons!!
Giveaway # 2 - England : a wonderful english floral tea tin, a Royal Albert "American Beauty" little dessert plate and a yard of a wonderful Tana Lawn pink cotton fabric purchased at Liberty's!
Giveaway # 3 - Morocco: a great rusty metal sconce, a parketry wood box and a darling perfume bottle!!
I will pick a winner the morning of my birthday, Saturday March 28th!! Good luck to all, and thank you again for all your support and love!!!
P.S. If you leave me a comment in order to participate in my triple giveaway please make sure to let me know which one, so I know to put the name in the right hat!!
(This giveaway is now closed... Thank you to all who participated!!)