when I think of being grounded, i think of being humbled. in awe. i think of all of those feelings + moments that lead me to bow my head or close my eyes and breathe deeply.

after the beginning of this year, i have definitely been humbled. reminded of what is really important. gotten a bit of perspective. i have been in awe of how life unfolds. i’ve felt amazed, overwhelmed, and grateful – while at the same time completely tossed about. sometimes, i think, that humility comes when we feel out of control, though. it’s a chance to regroup and scale back. the loss of control makes us vulnerable, and that reminds us how to live more simply + that the world/universe/spirit guides and moves around + within us. it’s a magical dance.

humility helps us to realign ourselves with our life’s purpose. we intentionally slow down + calmly let things come. grounding ourselves in simplicity humility keeps us focused and mindful.

as i embark on a year of monthly themes, all centering around my word of the year (evolve), somehow it seems that i have chosen exactly the world that i have needed/experienced each month so far: intentional (jan), brave (feb), wild (march), and now grounded (april).

magically, back in december, i chose the world grounded for april.

as i begin april, a bit more secure + stable than the past three months, and ready to settle in on a new path, i know that the first part of this journey is to begin with being grounded. everything always begins with be grounded. with simply being.

and, as if right on time, i realized that with the beginning of this month, i am celebrating five years of blogging! this amazing, humbling, grounding practice has given me so much. i’d even say that i have created + discovered so much of who i am and who i want to be through the past five years on this blog.

so happy blogaversary to me!

it is here that i have been writing and photographing and connecting through this little space on the internet. it truly has become a home to me, seeing me through many, many changes in my life. totally crazy changes in a relatively short amount of time, when i really think about it.

but, the thing that i have gotten the most from this blog is a sense of grounding. of knowing and being. of learning to live intentionally and simply. of creating a slow, mindful life.

so, i thought i’d celebrate this milestone + begin my month of grounding with a post filled with a few lists of 5 things that have happened since the beginning of belovelive 5 years ago. 5 sets of 5 things that have helped to ground and inspire me.

5 places i’ve called home in 5 years:


home asheville



home uppsala

// norrköping, sweden (2011-2013)

// asheville, nc, usa (2013-2015)

// the student apartment in uppsala, sweden (jan – march 2015)

// the one year sublet in uppsala, sweden (march 2015 – march 2016)

// our very own apartment in uppsala, sweden (march 2016 – ???)


5 people who have inspired + amazed me + stuck by me for (at least!) 5 years:
lina me gesine



brothers lina me


 // gesine (1) + nicole (2) // the two best international friends that a girl could ask for!

// my bro (3) + my bro-in-law (4)

// my love (5)

5 bloggers who’ve been with me from the beginning:

holly //  lanie // laura // meghan // paige

5 top blog posts of the past 5 years:

flying sunset


me hood graduation


lina me feet snow

// quotes about being an expat and living abroad

// five reasons she’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me

// when i called the african methodist episcopal church home

// ten things i learned during my first 6 weeks in uppsala

// when life tells you to evolve + be brave 


5 things i have learned in 5 years:

// bad ass-ery is where it’s at. and i am a bad ass chick who isn’t afraid to try anything new. and i will fight for my dreams. so, find your inner bad ass and let him/her loose on the world. live authentically as yourself.

// anorexia is a bitch of a disease – and my love is even more of a bad ass than me. i’ve come to realize that whatever demons, difficulties, weaknesses you find within yourself, they have the potential to be transformed into something that makes your life more amazing than you imagined. keep fighting. never, ever give up.

// embrace spirituality, in whatever form it may take for you.  it brings meaning + depth + power to your life. it is the ground of your being, keeping you rooted and inspiring you to fly high.

// thoughts become things. what you believe and envision will come to pass. i promise.

// let life unfold. the journey is in no way what you think it may be. let me repeat… it is not at all like you thought it would be. helloooooo…. five homes in five years! and, when disappointments or challenges or unwelcome moments come your way, stand firm and keep walking. keep meditating. keep yourself grounded. as you continue on, you will begin to see that life actually works out. somehow the timing of  it all is just amazing. so, keep trusting, my friends