oh how i love birthdays. and my love. and asheville. and norrköping.

especially when it’s mine! that’s right saturday was my birthday & it was a great day spent with my love! we worked on packing our bags (we are leaving for greece TOMORROW!!), made nachos for lunch, watched a movie, and just enjoyed each others’ company before lina had to go to work for the night. when she left, i headed downtown the walk around and check out this culture night thing happening in the city. and man, it was fantastic! i didn’t have that much time to be lazy and take in everything, but i soaked in the moments that i had.

i have said many times how much i love asheville (one of the cities where i come from in the mountains of north carolina) because of it’s culture, diversity, funky-ness,craziness, art, and hippie, nature-loving atmosphere…. well, tonight, a little bit of asheville came to norrköping! as i walked around the city at just about dusk, i snuck into little art galleries, shops, churches, and hotels. it was all about the little independent business tonight, and they all had something to offer. poetry readings, a chance to draw on the floor of a cathedral, weird & cool indian music, candles in every little store, music all over the place, arts & crafts. it was like a little piece of funky asheville landed on my doorstep tonight. i loved it!!

now it’s really late. i’ve cleaned, packed, and am seriously ready to go to bed. gotta get up and work at the church in the morning, then i’m all set to catch a plane. woo hoo!! can’t wait for my love & i to have a break and just be together. and in a beautiful place too. so, i’m off for a few days. but, i’ll return with pics galore – would you expect anything else?!

my birthday breakfast! a swedish tradition: make breakfast for the birthday girl (or boy), sing, & bring the breakfast & presents to her in bed. i love this tradition!

a beautiful fall day!

the birthday girl on her walk around town.

ok. here come a lot of pictures… ♥

gazing at an art gallery.

the inside of the hotel i discovered the other day. wow!!

i loooove this music store!!

the inside of it! and it smells like incense… be still my hippie heart.

book sale on the sidewalk! cool.

a cozy little store i had never seen before. tonight filled with dreamy, weird, tribal music. it just keeps getting better.

church filled with music & art. anyone could just walk up & join the choir and learn some songs. or grab some crayons & draw on the paper going down the aisle. or just sit and be quiet. a feast for your senses and creative side!

my addition to the art. peace. equality. love. what else?!

weird, but entertaining. hehe.

music everywhere. all kinds. love that.

one special area of the city. cozy. cozy. cozy.

teenagers street dancing!

have a wonderful week!!! peace, equality, and love. always.

happy fall!

it’s here! this beautiful time of year!!! cool, crisp air. colorful leaves. fuzzy blankets. cozy, warm homes. and soon… pumpkins!!

the entrance into our apartment.

outside our kitchen window. just lovely.

happy first day of fall!!! peace.

wednesday’s balancing act.

i’ve only worked there for about 1 month, but my co-workers at the church celebrated my birthday with me with a wednesday morning fika! the secretary of the church had a birthday last friday & mine is coming up, so we decided to have a cooperative birthday fika wednesday morning. in sweden, the birthday tradition is to invite people to your own birthday fika and prepare everything for them; so she brought lots of delicious, fresh bread & all the fixin’s for sandwiches and i brought the cake. sweden is over-the-top amazing with their pastries, baked-goods, and cakes – as you can see. if only you could have tasted! we set the table and had about 12 people there to enjoy a cozy morning fika in the church’s cafe. what a great way to start the day!

after lunch & more work at the church , i headed to my swedish “class”. it’s not really a class. it feels more like a free, private tutor. go me! i am continuing my swedish language education through an online course, and i meet my teacher every 2-3 weeks to go over what i have done and take a few little tests. it’s really informal & relaxed, and we move at my own pace – so it can go as quickly or as slowly as i want. i’d love to just fly through it all, but realistically, i must balance my work at the church, my “internship”, which is not officially an internship right now, my swedish class, and my family life. nevertheless, the class feels fantastic and i am glad to be studying & pushing myself even harder with my swedish!

on my way to the school where i met my teacher yesterday, i came across a few beautiful fall-ish scenes. even though i was walking in a drizzly rain, with gray skies all around, and a chill in the air, i enjoyed it. i mean, it’s almost officially fall (tomorrow!), and besides, there’s nothing like the warm, vibrant colors of the leaves to serve as an antidote for the dark, dreary skies.

my school.

after school, i headed to my internship (lina’s job) for the weekly wednesday night meetings. let me just say that sitting with 15-20 young people, watching them grow as leaders, seeing their strength and individual personalities, laughing with them, and talking with them leaves me feeling so inspired. and there are tons of questions and thoughts rolling around in my head these days, and i feel pulled in lots of different directions, but, seriously… how lucky am i? coming home to my love and my sweet kitty every night puts everything in perspective. i may be busy trying to balance my life, but i am so lucky, so blessed.