day 31: something beautiful.

my something beautiful from today: our friends’/lina’s “brother’s” newborn baby girl’s hand. we’re aunts again. yippee!

good evening, good people.

well, it’s the last night of may 2012, and the birth of a beautiful baby girl into the family has gotten me thinking about beginnings & endings… wow. what a may it has been. i know i’m gonna sound cryptic & mysterious, but you’ll just have to excuse me. i’m not ready to talk about everything that’s happened. but just know that this may has been like no other i’ve ever experienced. it has, in fact, been the hardest time in my life so far, i do believe. and i know that it’s not fair to type out those words here & then not reveal what has happened, but as i said, i just can’t. i’m not ready. but, one day i will be. for now, i’ll leave you hanging. still, i have a few reflections & things i need to say.

yes, may is coming to a close. and i’m so thankful. of course there have been some beautiful moments, and i have tried to reflect them here, with my little photo a day challenge. but, to be honest, i am so ready to move onto june. you know, though, the photo challenge has been really good for me. the past few months have given me a chance to get in the groove of snapping photos every day, figuring out ways to create an image of whatever word i was faced with that day, and getting my creative juices flowing. but, this month, i dare say that the photo challenge saved my sanity. i had something every day forcing me to find something beautiful, creative, and lovely in it. and, you know what? i always did.

you know, it’s amazing. no matter what i am going through – and i say “i”, because i can only speak for myself – i find that, if i put my mind to it, if i let myself think & breathe for just a moment, then i will find something beautiful every day. something to be thankful for. something to soak in. something to touch my soul. something to remind me of the hope that is always there. something to point me in the direction i want to go. something to connect me with my love.

as may comes to a close, i just have a few things to say to you all. life is difficult and so scary that it feels as if you will be lost in a dark hole, never to be found. but, i guarantee that there is something beautiful to be found with the rising of the sun each day (because the sun does rise. every day). and, if you are as lucky as me to have someone to share it with, then hold onto that love. don’t take it for granted, and love like there is no tomorrow. trust yourself to be stronger than you ever imagined. you can & will survive more than you ever thought possible. and, on your way, in the midst of the darkness, slow down just enough to feel all the pain, sadness, & fear… and then, remember that you are not alone. remember that there is a tiny crack providing one sliver of light. and never, ever stop being you.

dear month of may, you have been a challenge (that’s an understatement). but, as i live & breathe in these last few minutes of you, i feel strength & hope because i have survived you. tomorrow is a new day. a new month. a new hope. and even though all the difficulty has not disappeared, maybe it’s become a little less daunting. in any case, i welcome you, june. bring with you sunshine, light, life, hope, and a new beginning. i beg of you. however, no matter what comes my way, i will face it, and i will find myself on the other side, waiting for july to come rushing in, in a mere 30 days. in the meantime, i will continue to click away with my camera… capturing those beautiful moments that pop up randomly and unexpectedly in life. i will continue to allow myself to seek beauty & snap photos… no matter what june brings.

what an amazing gift it is to find art every day, even in the dark.

my photo a day may pictures. something beautiful every day.

yep. count me in. here we go again! you are gonna join me, aren’t you? if not to take pictures, then to come back & check out mine, right?

may beauty follow you everywhere you go. peace.

you will get there.

pic from pinterest.

 you know, sometimes you don’t know which way to go. and sometimes you know exactly which way to go. sometimes you know exactly where you are, and sometimes you feel lost and overwhelmed. sometimes you feel like you’re drowning. sometimes you feel like you’re floating. sometimes things look up, and sometimes things look bleak. sometimes you feel hope. sometimes you feel despair. and sometimes you feel everything all at once.

but, one thing i know for sure. one way or another, life goes on. life gets better. i also know that feeling however we feel is exactly what we need to do. but the one thing that i am the most sure of, is to take life one day at a time, one moment at a time even. soak in those glorious, soul-touching moments and breathe through those scary, painful ones. one day at a time. one breath at a time.

one way or another, we’ll keep moving forward. we’ll keep living life and becoming more & more of who we were created to be.

peace for your journey today, wherever it may take you.

day 30: my personality.

“why am i as i am? to understand that of any person, his whole life, from birth must be reviewed. all of our experiences fuse into our personality. everything that ever happened to us is an ingredient.”  ~ malcolm x

people, this was not easy. i realized today i didn’t have a good grip on what my personality is like… at least from other peoples’ viewpoint. i mean, i know what i think i’m like, but how do i appear to others? what do others really think of me? how do they see me? and even more confusing, how do i take a picture of my personality? what kind of image do i use?

in order to solve this problem, i did what any good married chick would do… i asked my wife: lina, if you could describe my personality in a word or 2 or 3, which ones would you choose? well, she gave me an answer. a beautiful, humbling, wonderful answer. should i list the words here?

loving. caring. patient. listener.


i wonder, though, what would others say? but, more importantly, what would i say about myself? how do i see myself? and does how i see myself line up with how others see me, or am i living in some fantasy world in my head, thinking that i am one way while i actually appear a completely different way to others? who do i want to be? how do i want to be seen? something to ponder a while…

well, after wondering all day, i finally found some pictures that i decided to use for my image for my personality. i think it’s how i see myself, and i hope that it’s how others see me too, in one way or another.

peaceful. loving. calm. relaxed. independent. introvert.

“the most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are. you trade in your reality for a role. you trade in your sense for an act. you give up your ability to feel, and in exchange, put on a mask. there can’t be any large-scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level. it’s got to happen inside first.” ~ jim morrison

what do you think? how do you see me? how do you see yourself? how would you describe your personality? how would you capture it in an image?

it feels like a night for reflecting & just being. wishing you some moments just to be with yourself. peace.

day 29: numbers.

i kept trying to think of something really creative for today’s photo challenge… numbers. but, nothing came to me. though, i did keep looking at this clock this afternoon and thinking about how time passes.

and then i thought this: if not now, then when?

yeah. when? if i don’t live life, suck everything out of it that i can, soak up every little moment, seek out adventure, change, craziness, embrace my inner carefree, free-spirited nature, and take risks & leaps of faith… then what happens? if i don’t do it now, today, then when? tomorrow is not promised. an opportunity may never come again. and i do not want to be 85 years old, sitting in my rocking chair, wondering “what if?”. nope. not me. time keeps passing. and it moves faster & faster it seems. if i wait too long, time will slip right by me. life is to be lived… today. right now. right here.

so, if not now, then when?

don’t waste another minute. follow your dreams. live life. find your passion & go for it! ok. enough blogging for today. time to be with my little family…

carpe diem! peace.

day 28: today’s weather from my kitchen window.

  • 7am: mostly cloudy. wispy, light, with a tiny bit of blue peeking through. i had hope for a sunny day.
  • 1pm: cotton ball clouds & some blue sky. it still looked like it might clear up & warm up. holding on with hope.
  • 8pm: cloudy. overcast. windy. chilly. and yes, it even rained.

bye bye beautiful, early, swedish summer. the weatherman says it’s gonna be cloudy, chilly,  rainy for some days. hmpf. time to snuggle down under a blanket & start thinking about coziness again. speaking of snuggling down, i am so freaking tired (since i haven’t been sleeping so much/so good lately) and i keep going to be really late & waking up reaaaally early. tonight, though, i give up. i’m snuggling down under my covers, watching an episode of downton abbey, and then going to sleep – even if it’s still light out (though, it is after 10pm, mind you).

so, i’m wishing you all a good night’s sleep. may you feel calm, safe, & be able to rest for some hours… sweet dreams. peace.

photo premiere.

the first photo session with my new camera! lucky that i had such a willing & cute model.

happy monday morning. good luck out there. peace.

27: something sweet.

today was a a little bit sweet and sour, i’d say. up & down. so, it is with some days, right?

i know i write a lot about living in the present, listening to your soul, and finding peace & joy in the ordinary moments of every day life. i wonder how many people think that i just spit out all of that oozy, gooey sweet stuff.  i wonder how many people think that there is no way in hell that they can do the things i suggest/write about because they are simply trying to survive and don’t see any way out of where they are right now. sometime i wonder if my inspirational words only serve to irritate some people, like i’m too sweet and sugar-y. i’ve heard in the past that i keep my head in the clouds and seem to stay away from things that are difficult… that my life is so perfect and happy, that i would not understand at all those people who are going through real difficult times.

well, if you think that, then you’re wrong. sorry, you’re way wrong. my life is not always sweet. it is sour & bitter as well.

i must say, though, that i practice what i preach. i really do try to live in the present moment and listen to my soul (that’s why i do yoga, read, and sit). and i really do look for peace every day – even if i only notice one, little moment. and these things are not easy for me to do. they do not necessarily come easy to me, which is perhaps why i write about them so much. so, this blog, my pictures, the things i write, they are ways to help me stay focused in life. they are not to preach at you, dear readers.

and, by the way, my life is not perfect. i have had and do have many struggles. many things that try to pull me into the dark & entice me to give up hope. i’m just stubborn, though, i guess. i refuse to let the darkness win. i truly, deeply believe in love.

anyway, on a day that has been filled with sweet & sour moments, bitterness & joy, i want to share some tidbits of sweetness with you (typical me), seeing as that was the photoadayMay challenge for today (sunday). we all know that the sour stuff is there, but why should i focus on it? why should i let it win? it already causes me enough pain. what i need is to focus on the sweet things in life in order to get through all the sour. so, without further a due…

 on my morning walk to work, the suns rays were reaching down from heaven, filling me with hope & peace.

 afternoon fika at home with my love. i bought blueberries & strawberries. and i made some whipped cream/coolwhip stuff. that’s right, you heard me. i made it.

 bought a new camera!! thanks to my love’s great economy skills.

 held my cutie niece (lina’s sister’s daughter).

 had strawberry ice cream with chocolate mousse. tasted like summer.

 saw a gorgeous swedish field on the drive home this evening.

how has your sunday been? any sweet moments? sour ones? talk to me.

sending you hugs, love, & peace.

26: 12 o’clock.

an american classic for lunch at 12.00: a BLT (bacon, lettuce, & tomato). summer memories flooded my brain & my taste buds thanked me.

left the apartment just after 12 & discovered the circus is coming to town! in the square a few blocks from our apartment. course, i don’t think i’ll be going. but, it’s still cool to see. ya gotta love a big top.

kept on walking through beautiful norrköping on this spring saturday.

walking home on a warm, spring evening. i just thought the building & sky looked beautiful. and i’m having a little balcony envy too.

i’m ending the day at home like every other swede, or european for that matter, watching the eurovision song contest – a european american idol, except way bigger & definitely waaaay more interesting. each country sends a singer that won a contest in their home country. so, sweden had a song contest back in the winter to pick the singer who would compete tonight. you just gotta check out sweden’s chick… loreen. she is amazing! and all of europe is talking about her. go sweden!

listen to some good music tonight! peace out.

update: it’s now well after 12 o’clock am & sunday has arrived. i simply must get myself to bed. but, i had a little eurovision song contest update… loreen (the chick from sweden) won!! woo hoo! a proud moment for sweden!

 loreen singing “euphoria” right after she won tonight!

a little love for the blog world.

a week or so ago, i read a blog post by victoria where she thanked her readers for reading her blog, but also for writing on their blogs. as i read her post, i felt the desire to do the same.

i had no idea how passionate i was about writing until i got into the habit of writing on my little blog here. ironically, a high school teacher once told me that i was terrible writer. then, my job required me to write a lot – so i found myself reflecting & writing sermons and other inspirational things on a regular basis, falling more & more in love with the process of writing. and finally, i began journaling during a very weird, soul-searching time in my life. writing became my outlet for expression. now, writing has become one of the most important things in my life – i truly feel called to write, to share, to inspire, to connect. it is my dream to be a full-time writer, to earn my living from photography & writing (but that’s another blog post for another day).

and while it’s amazing to have this space to write & express my thoughts and feelings, it’s not just that. not just a place to spew out my thoughts & wonderings. this space has become a space for conversation, for meeting new people from all over the world. and all of this is making me a better, wider, more open, more loving person. i definitely feel more inspired than perhaps i’ve ever been. or at least in a completely new way. i feel more free, more like me.

but enough about me. this blog post is about you…

you who visit my little site once a day, once a week, or perhaps only one time ever. you who leave comments & engage in a little conversation with me. you who click that follow button & commit to continuing the conversation, the connection. you who are willing to embark on this crazy, eclectic relationship through the internet.

this post is also about you who write. those of you who type your feelings and thoughts out on a computer screen, and then share them with the world. you, who i agree with & disagree with. you, who challenge me to think out of the box and reflect on who i am. you who share little snippets of your life with me through your words and your pictures. i am honored to be able to get a glimpse into your life. and i sometimes find myself thinking about you at random times throughout the day… how amazing is that? you, who i have never met, and yet have made such an impact on me. and, of course, you, who are my family & friends living so far away from me. i am so thankful to be able to keep in touch.

for all of you, readers & writers, i thank you. thank you for being part of my life, for reminding me every day that i am not alone. i may not see you in person or hear your voice as your speak, but i do see you and i do hear you. and i am overwhelmingly thankful that you see & listen to me too.

what a gift it is to belong to such a wonderful, ever expanding group.

keep writing & posting, my friends. i’ll keep  reading.

and keep coming back to visit me. i’ll be here. peace.

25: unusual.

listen to this song as you read the post. it’s a little unusual, but it’s just perfect. i’ve had it on repeat all day.

[spotify id=”spotify:track:69vRwesV32B8GU6bBJ63uT” width=”300″ height=”380″ /]

the weather around has been unusually warm, which means that i completely missed spring fever & hopped right on over to summer madness. i’m telling you, it’s been w. a. r. m. dare i say hot. but, if i say hot, i say it in a non-complaining way because after months of cold & darkness there is no way this chick is gonna complain about some warm sunshine on her skin.

so, basically, i want to go on vacation. like now. it’s pretty much all i can think about. if i was in the states, then i would be having a mini-vacation this weekend. it’s memorial day… the unofficial official beginning of the summer season. a trip to the beach would have been in the cards. but, i’m gonna deal with the here & now. vacation comes in the middle of july. and again, i’m not complaining. i work part-time & have 3 weeks paid vacation in july/august. unheard of to this ex-pat from the country with no understanding of the importance of vacation. seriously, usa, 1 – 2 weeks per year? lucky i live here now where i have a total of 5 weeks paid vacation.

so, i’m not in the states, and i’m not heading to the beach this weekend, BUT the weather here is quite summer-like. ok, really summer-like! i broke out some summer staples from my wardrobe today, and that put a big ole smile on my face. luckily, i’ve also been able to enjoy some time outside almost every day with my love… just chilling on a blanket or taking a little walk.  love that quality time together. love soaking up the sun. love taking my shoes off and feeling the grass. love seeing the little creatures, like 3 squirrels that i am gonna say i’ve made friends with, as they scamper about taking care of business. love to see the trees all full of thick, bright green leaves. i just love it all. yeah, it’s been unusually beautiful here. and i’ve been enjoying seeing things come alive again.

so, this here post’s gonna be all about the sun, the blue skies (which are waaaay more beautiful than in north carolina. sorry, nc, but we don’t have the humidity here), and the warm temps, which have even caused a cozy little thunderstorm or 2.

walking through downtown today, i unintentionally found myself following behind 2 very interesting & unusual men. what’s their story, i wonder…

like i said. blue skies. green leaves. amazing. these are my 2 favorite colors. for real.

my most important summer item: my flip-flops. i live in them. and yes, they make me a total american. one of those laid back, hippie, tree-hugger-ish kind. i’m just not one of those high-fashion swedish chicks; and i embrace my free-spirited, non-fashionista, inner hippie. and hey, i’m in my late 30s. i know who i am and i don’t feel any pressure to be anything but me. yep.

 happy, sunny me!

hope you’ll have a gorgeous weekend, rain or shine, filled with those things that are most important to you. for me, it’s all about my love, my work, and a little time for myself. if i can balance all of that well, then i just might pull off a fabulous weekend.

wishing you sunshine, music to make you dance, and moments of peace.