Missing you

Hey! I miss you! – says a friend that I haven’t seen in a while.

Yeah, I miss myself too.

I don’t know where that encouraging, reference Mariana is. She probably got lost in the middle of all the sleepless nights, which were the rule in the last 2 months. She surely left a track in the middle of the fussy cries, the kids disobedience, and the peed bedsheets.

Congratulations if you can spend months sleeping 3h per night and be fine. I can’t. And it’s not just spending nights awake and having problem-free days, it’s sleepless nights and having to see your little daughter suffer with a horrible pain that no doctor can explain (even when they tried to investigate), it’s seeing your oldest daughter learning your grouchiness, and having no energy to celebrate when they do things right.

And I can’t blame them. It’s not their fault that I’m grouchy. Melissa didn’t choose to feel that pain in her tummy nights in a row (countless…) Evelyn didn’t choose the bad role model of a mother that I’ve recently become. And Andrea didn’t choose to be teething exactly when everything else is falling apart.

I also didn’t choose that all of this is happening at once and I’m surely not dealing with it well with my own tiredness, never mind with their problems…

Someone once told me that mothers have no time to get sick. This person surely never had depression, or met a mother with depression. It feels like a whole that in theory you know the way out, but you just can’t get to it.

And I know all your Bible verses for that. The encouraging ones and the correction ones. And it makes me feel even worse because I just can’t put them into practice right now.

I know, God is sitting on the throne. And He’s not done with me yet.

Sorry, it was just another bad (normal?!) night…

Real Life and PPD

Andrea Alves Passos was born on the first of August 2014, at 8am sharp. She was the only of my babies who was born in the morning and she came in a different labor room than the other 2 girls. Gorgeous, smaller than the others, but still big: 8lb 5oz (3.77kg.) She was born with the same face as Evelyn.

Here, when you have a normal delivery and it’s not your first baby you only have to stay in hospital for a bit over 24h, so the pediatrician can check on the baby on “day 2″. Then you can go home. But this time I asked to stay an extra night to rest. It’s not like you can rest a lot when you have a newborn, but at home I’d have the baby plus the two girls.

When Evelyn was born, it was getting cold, she was a horrible feeder and it was tough! Now, looking back, I realize that I had PPD (Post Partum Depression.) I don’t have family here in Ireland, my friends were too busy with either small babies or kids in school, and none of them lived close enough that I could visit by foot. It was TOUGH!

When Melissa was born, I came home after 3 sleepless nights and had to face the baby, the toddler, the house and cooking on my own. Esdras had to go to the office the day after I arrived. Melissa suffered a lot with gas and needed to be held upright a lot, and Evelyn was 19 months old and demanded a lot of attention. It was HORRIBLE too. I remember telling Esdras that there was not a day when I didn’t think about getting out of the door and never coming back… See, PPD again!

It was different this time. I spent the extra night in hospital, having people cooking for me, not having to worry about cleaning, laundry, my girls being well looked after by their loving dad. I only had to feed the baby, eat and sleep. First week at home, this time Esdras had paternity leave, so he took over the girls, the cooking, the cleaning, the laundry and even brought me food in bed! I spent as much time as I could in bed, and all the visitor were saying that my house looked too clean and organized for someone who JUST had a baby! Second week, a dear friend-sister took Melissa and Evelyn to spend the week at her house, and she has kids who are friends with the girls so they all enjoyed. So I rested. I slept as much as I could, did something in the house, here and there, but I R.E.S.T.E.D. And look, PPD didn’t come around this time!

It’s not being easy: Melissa is doing wrong things to get attention, Evelyn still fights us saying she doesn’t need to go toilet, prepare the 3 (and myself!) to get out of the door is a challenge, breastfeeding when the other 2 want attention is crazy, besides hearing them screaming “mommy mommy mommy!” the whole day in between the newborn cries.
But those first 2 weeks with LOADS of help were essential to help keeping PPD at bay. I didn’t take medicine the other times, even because I only acknowledged that that’s what I had now on the 3rd pregnancy. But this time I firmly believe that it won’t even show up! I praise God for surrounding me with loving people to take care of me.

Being a mother of 1, 2, 3 or 10 is not easy, but without depression it surelly is less difficult!

* Did you have PPD? Talk to your friends and family, and accept all the help they can offer. There’s nothing wrong in assuming that this is what it is, and there’s nothing wrong in needing meds if that’s your case!

* Do you know someone who suffers with PPD? Offer practical help: clean the house, do the dishes, cook, fold her laundry, take over the older kids for a day or even some hours. It all relieves the burden on the new mom’s shoulders (and conscience.)

Share this! Who knows if my experience won’t help someone you know?
God bless

Real Life

This post will be available in English soon.

If you’d like to read the Portuguese version, click on the Brazilian flag on the right hand side.

Thanks for your patience.


I’m sorry for my last posts have started with an apology. Sorry for this one as well. But keeping a blog is not easy, especially when I do another thousand things, all at once. I didn’t manage to post even once a month, nevermind every week!

So, the blog has dropped in my list of priorities. :(

I know it’s nearly March, but I want to wish you all a Happy 2014, because I didn’t say it here yet. (Hey, better late than never!)

For those who don’t know, AlvesPassos #3 is on the way! Yes! We’re pregnant again! Nearly four months now, and because it’s the third pregnancy (and because my bump grew REALLY fast this time) it feels like I’ve been pregnant forever :)

Other plans and projects:

- Evelyn and Melissa are very active. They never stop talking and singing. It’s very cute, but it can be tiring at times. Especially being pregnant and having bad/short nights of sleep. They still don’t go to any school. Evelyn will start pre-school n September, and Melissa only next year. So, I need loads of creativity and energy to keep them busy, and to educate them (besides cleaning the house, washing/folding/organizing clothes, cooking, discipleship and church meetings, and time for the husband!)

- Besides the 12-hour shift with the girls, while they are awake, I’m also working every evening. Does anyone remember what my profession is (besides being a mother?) This current project I’m working with is very different from all the others I had before, but I’m learning a lot from it and it’s been worth joining it.

- In my free time (does that even exist?) I make planks for the new house. Yes! We’re moving again. At the moment, Esdras and some friends are paiting everything, then we’ll have to buy furniture (nearly everything) and move, in 1 month!

- And still, after all, we’ll go on a family holidays in the end of March (after moving houses), so I still have to save time to plan what to do in the trip…

*yawn* did I make you tired? I know, it makes me want to go straight to bed and sleep… but I can’t. My work shift has started… ONE HOUR ago! I gotta run!

Do you remember my profession?

May God bless your coming weeks! I’ll be surely busy ;)

One Blade (Portuguese translation)

Hi all!

I know it’s been quite a while that I don’t post. Life’s been more busy than usual, sorry for that! I assume everyone wants news on us, the Alves Passos. But today I’m doing a different post. I read a handful of moms blogs (and devotions blogs) and this devotion really spoke to me, so I decided to as the writer, Megan Breedlove, permission to translate her text to Portuguese into my blog. She agreed, so I did it. If you read Portuguese, click on the Brazilian flag on the top right-hand side of the blog and read my translation. If you don’t read Portuguese, I’m gonna give you a taster of what her text was like.

“Recently, I was having a stressful day. I had some things on my mind, and I was tired of doing child care. I told my husband I needed a break. He went outside and came back in a half hour later. “I weed-eated around the fence line, the shed, the swing set, and everything else out there,” he said, referring to the back yard. “Why don’t you go mow the rest?

[...] Romans 8:13—For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.”

Wanna read the rest? Visit Megan’s blog – Manna For Moms. The text is named “One Blade

I hope to be back soon to give you some news about us!

May God bring you peace in your heart, even in the midst of the business of life, and the troubles than it brings.

Lapland adventure – Feb-2013

Hi guys,

I’m writting this from inside a train going from Stockholm/Sweden to Narvik/Norway.

I will post some pictures and some info, but don’t expect much since the Internet here and the conditions are not very favorable.

The RyanAir flight from Dublin to Stockholm was fine but they did not play the song since it was not very on time (kind of).

The bus from the airport was fine, I was very worried in because there was a major disruption on the road going to Stockholm (due to snow), but it ended up well.

The train is great, we are sleeping in 6 beds carriages and it’s not bad, they provide linen, water, power sockets and light. There is a restaurant in the train and I got a cup of hot water to prepare my soup :)

Our next stop is Boden and from there we will stop for a night in Abisko to visit the Sky Station, From Abisko we are going to Narvik and from there to Tromso. Wow! Its a great adventure! (Later update, Sky station was fully booked, but we had a great time in Abisko)

Our group at the Dublin airport

Inside the train

** this post was edited/updated after the trip ended**

Me again, after trip now. :-)

After ~12 hours on the train we arrived in Boden,  the guys were doing great. No complaints and enjoying every moment. My 5 cents for you, don’t join a trip like this if you don’t like adventure.

At  Boden station waiting for our next train to Narvik.

Man, I know that sounds funny and even silly but this was my second time crossing the Arctic circle by train and I was very excited when that happened… We all have a desire to go beyond our limits and cross the borders that are difficult, going far like this is something that makes me think about our limits. What limits do you have in your life? Don’t allow the situation you are living or the wrong voices limit yourself. 

N 66′ 42.

Abisko Turistation! They are very good, they even have their own train station… We just loved that hostel! And we did not know it but that would be our best Aurora night, the Aurora was dancing in different colors and shapes.

Great! We arrived on our first destination Abisko!

We were: Hungry – Tired – Sleepy – Excited

That may be the first night that my 4 friends would see the famous Aurora.

Question for you, how long have you being waiting for something? Don’t give up!

After a meal and leaving our stuff in the room we went to chase the lights, 7:15pm was the time showing on the clock and our walk to the frozen lake without light pollution would take around 20 minutes.

 That’s it! We went twice that night to chase the lights and we saw fantastic displays both times.  Me and the guys were tired and we almost canceled the second walk, however, I did not traveled 20 hours to give up! The picture below were taken during our second walk.

Now we woke up at 7am to catch the train to Narvik, from there we will get a bus to Tromso where we will collect our car. Narvik is a lovely little town and the train journey was amazing…

The train was going through fjords and the red/orange light from the dawning of the day was creating a perfect scenery.

We arrived in Narvik around 9:40 and the bus to Tromso will departure at 12:50, 5 hours inside a bus! Again, beautiful way to Tromso, the guys could not sleep because the Mountains on the way were speaking loud.

While in Tromso we got the car and went to our Cabin, really perfect place for us! 

This is the view from the front of our Cabin, our car there rented with, which again provided a great service for the adventure. No surprises, the car just worked and drove us where we wanted. Thanks Avis!

The Cabin was fantastic, the camping site name is Strandbu and it’s a family business. Very little light pollution as you can see on this image and the provided for us as much logs we wanted to burn in our stove.

Comfortable, cozy and clean. What more should we ask for? Continue reading Lapland adventure – Feb-2013

My New Birthday


Parece que eu comecei o ano olhando pra trás! É que janeiro, para os Alves Passos, é um mês cheio de motivos para comemorar. Já passamos o aniversário de casamento (oba! 7 anos juntos!), na próxima segunda-feira é o meu aniversário de nascimento, e sábado passado foi outro dia especial.

Dia 19 de janeiro de 2003 foi o dia em que eu nasci de novo! Hein?! É, nasci de novo! Quando você ouve pessoas falarem que “nasceram de novo”, geralmente está relacionado a algum acidente que a pessoa sofreu e superou, ou alguma cirurgia grande que a pessoa fez. Mas o meu nascer de novo não tem nada a ver com acidentes nem cirurgias.

O meu novo nascimento surgiu das orações de alguns amigos. Eu não acreditava em Deus, odiava igrejas porque achava que tudo o que todas elas queriam era o nosso dinheiro (eu sei, infelizmente isso é verdade para algumas delas… e eu não concordo com isso). O lugar favorito para beber (muito!) com os amigos era na porta de uma igreja dessas. Eu achava que assim, bebendo em frente à igreja fechada, faria o meu protesto… Mas um desses amigos tinha algo que eu não tinha…

E à medida que nos aproximamos, eu via cada vez mais que ele tinha um conforto, um sei-lá-o-quê que eu não tinha. Lembro de uma conversa em que eu disse “às vezes tenho inveja de você. Eu às vezes sinto falta de ter algo para acreditar”. Parecia que o que ele acreditava o deixava mais confiante, mais forte. E eu parecia forte e confiante quando estava com os meus amigos, mas quando ia pra casa e os confetes acabavam, eu me sentia vazia.

Ele era cristão. E eu tenho certeza que ele não me convidou pra ir à igreja dele porque sabia do nojo que eu tinha a igrejas evangélicas (com todo o meu preconceito, sem não ter nem visitado nenhuma…). Mas ele orava por mim, ele e alguns outros amigos, eles oravam por mim. E um dia, do nada, eu disse pra ele: “Quero ir com você na sua igreja neste domingo!”

Não sei dizer o que me fez tomar essa decisão, o que me fez deixar meu preconceito de lado, mas eu fui. E naquele domingo, Deus falou comigo. Ele primeiro usou o pastor e a mensagem (pregação, sermão, como você preferir) para me tocar, mostrando que Ele me conhece mesmo sem eu nunca ter falado com Ele. Ele me fez, Ele me atraiu até ali, Ele me via chorando em segredo, Ele sabia que a minha “sabedoria, força e extroversão” eram máscaras pra cobrir o meu coração partido e rejeitado. E Ele era o único que podia mudar a minha vida.

Eu só precisava de uma mudança de referenciais. Os que eu tinha (mãe, família, escola, amigos) não estavam de acordo com o que Deus falou. Mas eu poderia tomar o próprio Deus e a sua Palavra como referenciais dali pra frente. A decisão era minha. Ninguém me coagiu, ninguém podia me forçar a nada… era só entre eu e Deus.

Nascer de novo é uma decisão. Jesus explicou para um homem chamado Nicodemos, no capítulo 3 do evangelho de João que quando nascemos, todos nós somos “frutos da carne”, e o que é só carne não pode entrar no Reino dos céus. Precisamos nascer do Espírito para podermos ter acesso a Deus. E nascer do Espírito pode parecer simples, uma oração de confissão, uma mão levantada na igreja, uma lágrima correndo junto a um sorriso, mas envolve uma mudança muito complexa.

Uma mudança de atitude. Eu decidi, ali, naquele dia 19 de janeiro de 2003, que viveria tendo como referencial a palavra de Deus. E dali em diante a minha vida começou a mudar. Muita gente diz que eu perdi muita coisa ao decidir seguir Jesus, minha “fama”, popularidade e alguns amigos que não me aceitaram depois que eu mudei, mas eu ganhei algo que não se pode medir: a vida eterna, o próprio Deus me guiando e cuidando de mim!

Assim, faz 10 anos que eu nasci de novo, não da carne, mas do Espírito de Deus. Agora eu sou nova criação, as coisas velhas passaram, tudo foi feito novo! Glória a Deus, pois Ele é bom demais!

Seven years ago…


Seven years ago…

Our story together started officially before God and men.

Praises be to the LORD God, who saved us, brought us together, and is faithful to fulfill His plan for our lives!

Esdras, I want the world to know .that love you!

February 2012 – Lapland trip

Hi guys, I wrote last year the post below to help people to see the Northern Lights without the need to spend 2k+

Chasing the Northern Lights

This post will show some pictures of the trip itself, we went by plane from Bodo and returned by plane from Tromso, however, you can do everything by train buying the super duper Minipris offers on the (Norwegian train website)

This is Oslo, our first stop on the Northern Lights pursuit. We all dream of something or someplace we want to visit and explore. Many of us believe our dreams are too difficult to ever come to fruition and even when they are possible sometimes our budget won’t allow us access to them. I will describe, using this set of 5 photos, how we saw the Northern Lights spending a fifth of the price required by the main travel agencies to see the Aurora. Firstly, cheap airlines offer return tickets to Oslo (from the major European Capitals) for ~ 50 Euro return, if bought in advance.

  When we reach Oslo the real adventure starts, we are heading deep into the Polar Circle and the train journey for 50 Euro return is a bargain of a lifetime. After 8 hours inside the train, travelling through many snow engulfed parts of Norway, we eventually arrived in Trondheim.From there we had 10 more hours of travel time left. Our destination was Bodø, a town ~100km north of the Arctic Circle.

The Lyngen Alps are ~350km north of the Polar Circle. Renting a car allowed us to find cheap accommodation, (typically B&Bs and log cabins) and more importantly to find clear skies to see the lights. Driving in the North Pole was something very special – the stunning views and beautiful skyline were mesmerising all along the way. The colour and light of the place felt like we were in another world. No buildings or pollution, no traffic noise or sirens, the only sound comes from the water, wind and wildlife.

After two hours of driving we had to stop at a beach near Skibotn, in the Troms County. The sky was clear and the Tricky Lady, as the northern lights are also called, was starting to show up. After an hour or so, the sky began to be painted with a Green Brush, the full moon and the stars seemed only a supporting act to the stunning Aurora display.

This picture was taken ~400km north of the Polar Circle at Skibotn, it’s definitely an unearthly experience. The beauty in the sky is different every time and it is a challenge to even attempt to explain the feeling you have when seeing it. The picture helps to explain what it looks like and how mesmerising it is.  This was the last night in Norway. This shows how possible it is to fulfil your dreams if you are willing to leave your comfort zone and think outside the box.


Welcome to 2013!

And as in any new year you receive a “blank page” that you can fill with your plans, thoughts, promises, actions, adventures and so on. It actually starts in December, when you start thinking what really you really didn’t like about the year and decide that for sure it is going to change after the 31st, or you look back on your frustrations, things you wanted but didn’t achieve during the year. Those are the so called new year’s resolutions!

Did you do yours? I’ve thought about some of them, but unlike I’ve been doing the past few years, I didn’t write them down, YET. December (and the 2 months before that) was crazy busy in this house, so I didn’t have much spare time. Between sickness, visitors, Christmas with a full house, unplanned trips and a crying baby day and night, I didn’t really have much time to think and was basically running on autopilot.

When I was thinking about my “resolutions”, I decide not to stick with the common, broad ones. I’ve seen how long term goals can help, but if we’re not specific about them or about progress they may end up being my next year’s resolutions too. If you Google the most common resolutions you’ll see that losing weight is one of them, probably because people just write it doen and never take any actions about it. Yes, I plan doing that. No, actually my “resolution” is to KEEP losing weight, because I did get quite thinner this year, even after having the baby (and yes, I know exactly how much I want to shed, and up to when, and how to get there!)

But, I don’t want to write just about common new year’s resolutions and the fact that I’m back to my wedding weight. I didn’t write it down my resolutions yet because I don’t want them to be me-directed. I didn’t write them down yet because, not because I didn’t have time to think or physically write them, but because I didn’t take time to PRAY about them.

I don’t want my 2013 to be Mariana-led. I want it to be God-led. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that my previous years haven’t been. I’m here in Ireland because God gave me and Esdras a clear direction to come and when to come. But there have been some stuff that He’s been pointing to me all through last year that I didn’t change and I’m willing to rely on Him to do it now.

Perhaps the first thing you need to do is decide to live a God-led 2013?! Perhaps you’ve gone astray of God’s path, God’s word, God’s people?! Perhaps you need a major change that will start by giving your life up to your Creator by trusting Jesus as your Savior?

I don’t know where you’re at, but I know some of the changes I have to make… And those are not the type of things like planting a tree that you do in a day. The changes I need to make are those that will demand daily efforts and commitments. I’ll have to work on something that I was never good at: being consistent/persistent.

Maybe that’s the change you need to make as well. But if you’re a Christian like me, you can cling to the promise that Jesus made “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20) If you’re not a Christian, maybe that’s the change 2013 is holding for you!

My prayer is that we live a God-led 2013! Happy New Year!