a weekend in stockholm.

i’ve been dying to find some time to share these pictures from our weekend in stockholm, and i need to go to bed big time (my new job starts in the morning!!), but i just can’t let another day go by without a post. while i have tons to write about (stockholm stuff & soooo much more), i can’t ever seem to squeeze in the time lately, so this will be a post full of pictures… which, as they say, sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. ok. enough talking… let’s let the city of stockholm speak for itself!

thank you, stockholm, for a wonderful weekend full of friends, food, fikas, shopping, and cozy times. see you again, soon!

blogging on the bus.


Geez it feels early and i am in desperate need of some coffee! But, friends, I have made it to the weekend – and it’s a weekend without work! Yesssss! However, I’m having some conflicting emotions right now…

On the one hand, I’m on my way, as I write this, for a fun weekend in Stockholm with my love! Shopping, pubs, dancing, friends, cafes… woo hoo!! Not to mention, I’m traveling in style! I’m on a bus that boasts luxury seats with craploads, free wifi the whole trip, snacks, drinks, etc. Love it. So, being off this weekend, having a little road trip, and good weather ahead is setting this up to be a great weekend!

On the other hand, I’m thinking about my family in North Carolina. The all live at the beach, and there is a massive hurricane bearing down on the coast. Everything seems to show that the worst part of the hurricane is headed straight for my family & their homes. Gaaahhh. Most of them are leaving their homes, but a few may have to stay, which worries me greatly… I’ll keep up as much a I can via Internet & some phone calls. Hurricane Irene, please be gentle.

Now, I’m gonna sit back & enjoy the next 2 hours, surf the net, and track the weather in the states. Hope you all have a great weekend!!

Peace & safety.

what’s a festival without fireworks?

well, my love & i have found ourselves at home on the sofa tonight. and we are having so much fun! doing what?! absolutely nothing! with nothing hanging over our heads tonight and a chance to just sit, i’ve found a little time to post a few pictures from the festival last weekend. as i said a few days ago, we worked most of the festival, but we squeezed in a few festival musts-sees and must-dos. here’s what we saw!

 they set up rides and games in the square one block from us!

there were people everywhere in the middle of the street fair!

at night, everyone rode the rides, and then just before 10, everyone headed down the main street to see the fireworks. it was crazy!

don’t you just loooove fireworks?!!!

peace out!


no time. at all.

seriously. i have no time right now. every minute seems to be taken up with something. most of it is work-related. but, every free minute is busy too, it seems. though i must admit that all of the busy time during my free time is fun stuff. still, i feel as if i am running around like crazy. as soon as i get home at night, bedtime comes quickly,  and then it’s time to get up and start everything all over again. and i desperately want to write. i seriously want to just chill. but, right now, my focus is on other things. you know, i have learned to take things as they come in life and to try to live in the present moment (not always an easy task). yes, right now, life is busy. and perhaps that is exactly how it should be. it may be difficult, but the time will come again when there is not so much going on. what i need to do now, in the midst of all the craziness, is to embrace all that craziness and get everything i can out of every moment. so, instead of complaining, i’m enjoying whatever is going on around me…

besides, my love and i am going to greece in one month, so that means that i will have vacation activities on a beautiful island for one whole, relaxing week! lucky, lucky me! and with that trip sitting right in front of me, i can make it through this next out-of-control month!

peace and calmness in the midst of your week.

one year and a signed contract.

one year ago today i moved to this lovely country known as sweden. i can hardly believe it’s been a year! time has gone so fast, and the year has been wonderful!

my brain was full of creative things to do with this post, and i so badly want to do them; but the hour is late, we have hardly been home for 3 days, and we have worked like crazy this weekend. so, i am exhausted and my sleep is a little more important right now. but, i couldn’t let the day pass without a tiny little post marking this occasion.

as i said, it has been an unbelievable year. my love & i flew (with our cat!) to sweden on this day last year. we stressed about jobs and swedish classes, but everything worked out… slowly, at first, but worth every bit of stress & fear of the unknown. soon after we arrived we moved into our cozy apartment and have celebrate a year’s worth of holidays here. lina has found an amazing job, i’ve started and completed swedish classes (meeting an eclectic & fun group of women along the way), and i’ve had an internship. but, that’s just all the things on the outside. there are so many little things that have been new & amazing for me.

i walk everywhere. all the time. i do my grocery shopping in a lovely square. i live in the middle of downtown, near a river. snow covered the streets and fields of sweden for about  months. i lit candles for about 6-7 hours every day in the middle of the dark, cozy winter. i kept walking everywhere. i ate a home a lot. i listened to people walking in the streets at night. i mastered doing the laundry in foreign, swedish washers & dryers. i answered the phone in swedish. i decorated my first home with my love. i cleaned to make a little money on the side. i read. i began writing again. i had a few meltdowns. i rode the tram like a swede. i took a lot of pictures. i didn’t travel every much. i hardly did any shopping (except for food). i now have a “usual” at our neighborhood pizza restaurant. i had cozy sunday night movies with my love. i found my favorite pub. i tried to keep in touch with people in the states. i skyped. i was a housewife. i got excited about the first days of wearing sunglasses in the spring. i can now attend church and understand what’s being said.  i have eaten a lot of bread. i am the queen of making good coffee. i can speak swedish…

and today… i signed the contract for my job as a youth minister. yes, i’ returning to working in the church and it feels wonderful. today, as i sat at the table and talked with the chairperson of the church administrative council, i was about to burst! on september 1st i report to the church for my first day! it may only be a part-time job, but it feels so right. and the time that i am not working with the church will be filled up with writing my book, studying some more swedish, and hanging out at my internship (but not as an intern after the middle of september).

i cannot even imagine what this next year in sweden will bring, but this past year has been amazing! i am so thankful, so blessed, and the luckiest girl in the world. i could have never made it through this year without the support & comfort that my love showed me, and the snuggly-ness of our cutie cat. my little family is the best and this year has been fantastic! as i look ahead i’m only thinking one thing: time flies, so we better do all we can to soak up every single moment, keep dreaming big, find the courage to take a risk, and never give up hope. who knows where we’ll all be in one year and what we will all have been through. but, i do know that it will be one amazing, helluva journey!

and i’m starting right now!


august festival in town!

it’s the middle of august and that means it’s time for a big, 4 day festival that takes over the whole city. woo hoo!! street fairs, fireworks, games, food, music, beer, amusement park rides, and tons of people! the festival began on wednesday, but it’s friday so now things really get into the swing of things! last night we took a walk through the city and watched the fireworks over the river along with every other man, woman, & child in norrköping! it was insane!

i have enjoyed the festival so far in little bits & pieces, and we’ll see how it goes today… my love & i are working (since we work with teenagers/young adults, and  this is a big weekend to work with them). so beginning in about 15 minutes, we will be out in the middle of everything & on the job! it’s raining right now (ugh.), and is supposed to continue the rest of the day. so it seems like it’s gonna be an interesting night. wish us luck!!

i’ve gotta a lot to write about, but it’s all just gonna have to wait until sunday! have a fantastic weekend!

peace out.

my favorite poem.

it’s just a sidewalk, in this picture above. it was just a trip to the grocery store that gave me this little scene. and there was nothing special about it. there was no fork in the road where i had walked, the path didn’t split. though, there was an intersection in front of me. but when i looked at the picture at home, i saw something. or rather i remembered something… my favorite poem and what it means to me.

when we come up on any crossroads in our life, we must decide which way to go, sometimes not knowing what lies at the end of the road. however, many times, we’re traveling on familiar roads, to familiar places, and giving almost no thought to where we are going. we could drive it in our sleep. or we’ve ridden a certain train so many times, that there is nothing new to see. we become blind to all that is around us, bored by it’s ordinariness  (is that a word? well, you get what i mean). i would argue, though, that even the ordinary roads have something new to offer as we journey on them day after day.

but, what if we are presented with a new road, a new opportunity, or a detour? it’s so easy to just skip right past it, and continue on our old, familiar path. a new road is terrifying. and then, what if we are presented with a fork in the road, where the road splits and we have no idea what’s down either path? do we take the one that is well-worn and travelled often? or do we set out on our own, blazing a new trail that perhaps only a few have trod before?

i must say… i yearn for the one less taken. of course, the well-travelled one may be a safer bet and more practical. but, both are equally beautiful. both have much to offer. and if i choose one over the other, then i will surely miss out on what lies down the path of the unchosen road. still, i am drawn to the road less travelled. it’s wildness, it’s simplity, it’s naturalness.

as i write this i am longing for a day in the woods in the mountains of nc, where i grew up, where my parents took me on hikes and took me camping. and then as i got older, i did it on my own with friends and colleagues (i created a hiking group at the church where i worked). i am longing to go out into the woods and spend some time getting lost, observing all that is around me, listening to the sounds, and breathing in the air. i can see in my mind’s eye the sun shining through the trees, golden and warm in the cool air. i want to walk in places where few have walked.

i suppose that in my life, i have also chosen the road less travelled again and again. i don’t usually follow the typical route, and what a crazy journey it has been for me. it has been scary, challenging, amazing, and life-changing. but, i have experienced more and seen more than i ever could have imagined.

yes, whenever there are 2 roads, my heart says to go down the one less travelled. the one not taken will always be a mystery. but, the calling seems to be to not follow the same ‘ole path as everyone else. the calling is to take that leap of faith. to trust. to explore & discover. to grow & be changed by the challenges and the beauty.

so, i’m with robert frost. blaze your own trail. and be true to yourself. it will make all the difference.

“The Road not Taken” ~ Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood
and sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
and looked down one as far as I could
to where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
and having perhaps the better claim
because it was grassy and wanted wear;
though as for that, the passing there
had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
in leaves no feet had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –
I took the one less travelled by,
and that has made all the difference.

peace to you. even when the road ahead splits.

there’s nothing like a scary movie.

yes, i love them. scary movies. not the disgusting, zombie, hockey-masked killer ones. but, the psychological, twisted, freak-you-out ones. you know, the ones where you sit under the blanket and close your eyes, but look through your hands. and you spend every second making guesses as to who the “bad guy” is. i love it! and i’m watching one right now. it’s the perfect antidote for my insane exhaustion. usch. i am so tired. not to be a complainer or anything…. it’s a busy, busy week at my internship, so i’m completely enjoying vegging out on the sofa with my cute little family tonight. from tomorrow until saturday there will be no time to sit. it will be busy, but fun!

speaking of cute-ness, look at my sweet little kitty. gaahhh. i just wanna squeeze her all the time.

ok. back to the movie! hope you all have a great week!



feels like summer is almost over.

it’s sunday night. and completely dark out. in fact, it’s been dark for at least two hours now. the day was cloudy and chilly, and we stayed home. just hangin’ out.

it feels like summer is coming to a close and fall is sneaking up on us here in sweden. i know that there are some warm days left, but there is a change happening here. schools are beginning in one week. everyone in the city who was on vacation is coming back to work this up-coming week, so summer vacations for the most part, are over. darkness is beginning to take over our daylight time more & more every day. and for the first time in a long time, i saw the need to light some candles.

so, today, in the midst of the gray weather & faced with the upcoming end of the summer season, we just enjoyed being at home. playing a little kinect (= xbox video games), just sitting and being, having two funny & wonderful guests for a light dinner & tea (and fun conversation!), and adding the peace & coziness of candles back into our daily routines. yes, we have a busy, busy, crazy, work-every-night this week ahead of us which we are not really looking forward to. but, today has been cozy. not perfect. not adventurous. but, cozy. and i feel content. for, not every day is over-the-top amazing. but, every day does have it’s own little amazing moments. i promise.

peace & goodnight.

a simply mystery.

the most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. he to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed. ~ albert einstein

generally i would post a picture of some beautiful landscape like the grand canyon, or the stars in the night sky, or the ocean, or something overwhelmingly mysterious & beautiful when i want to try to capture an image of mystery. but, i came across this picture that i had taken this past spring of an old man walking down an alley in the old town in stockholm. i just felt that this captured moment was just as amazing, just as mysterious, and just as beautiful as any stunning landscape. in fact, part of the mystery of mystery is how something so ordinary, some moment that just passes us right by, can be so beautiful. there is so much to be in awe of, to wonder about. all it takes is being aware and observant, recognizing the loveliness or the loneliness all around us. and, then, we are mysteriously connected with all that we see.

open your eyes. look around. see the mysteries unfold.