weekends are for catching up.

what could be better than having a very lazy summer saturday morning in your new home, enjoying a yummy breakfast, blogging away, seeing the love of your life sitting beside you, having a cute kitty snuggled up at your feet, and “watching” reruns of beverly hills, 90210 on the tube in the background? seriously. pretty damn near perfect, right? or perhaps i’m just a lover of the simpler things in life… i hope i am. i strive to be that kind of person.

in any case, this weekend has gotten off to a fabulous start. and that’s following a pretty awesome week too. sometimes i feel like i’m just going to burst from being overwhelmed by my life.

at the same time, as i enjoy the moments here in asheville, i find myself thinking about those of you, my friends & family, back in sweden. i miss you. and i cherish all of the memories that i have… feeling excitement already about the time when we will see each other again.

but, since i’ve been up to so many different things this week here in the states, i thought i’d update y’all on what’s been going on. so, here we go!

monday: got my iphone back (after it took a little swim in the ocean last week). and went to a protest. you can read about that amazing experience here! and found out, thanks to @murderingtime on instagram (one of my original IG buddies), that my belovelive photo journey now has passed 2000 uploaded photos by people from all over the world! you can see them all here.

photo a day

ash

a little postcard i got in the mail all the way from australia! it’s a greeting from @murderingtime. see how amazing instagram is?!

tuesday: we took care of our bonus-niece for the afternoon. love that girl! love her whole family!

bella

bella and the owl.

wednesday: stayed home all day & took care of business = emails, applications, blogging. cozy, fun stuff. at least that’s how i feel about it.

cozy work space

thursday: drank lots of coffee. yes, i usually drink alot. but this day was an unusually large amount. hehe. met with a journalist/blogger at a downtown asheville cafe for a networking session. we discussed my blog, writing, what my niche is, and just got to know each other a bit. sent out more applications (mostly teaching gigs).

world coffee

friday: well, it was a top-notch, amazing, one of my fave days back in asheville so far, kinda day! and i’ve got tons of photos to show you. ready?

sunrise

the sunrise from our balcony.

meditation

meditating outside. on said balcony. it doesn’t get more inspiring!

pool

after the premiere workout session in our gym, we had the premiere dip in the pool!

tattoos

no i did not get another… our friend, jessica, got her first! yay! (but i did make plans for my 40th birthday next year. hehe).

the gourmet chip company

made a stop at the gourmet chip company downtown for an afternoon snack. YUM.

the girls

happy girls. that’s jessica in the middle. she’s extra happy with her new tat.

asheville tourists

time for the great american pastime: a baseball game!!

family

bella’s first baseball game. and lina’s second. my 1000th.

play ball!

the national anthem is over… play ball!

baseball game fireworkssaturday is well underway now, and i’ve enjoyed my morning and am ready to move on to a few errands and then perhaps another dip in the pool this afternoon. tough life, huh? but, in my defense, it’s still summer… and i have a few things/plans underway next week on the job front. wink wink. you’ll have to wait fro another blog post to hear about that.

until then, have a fantastic weekend. take some time to breathe/meditate/be/listen. and seek out ways to be aware and present in the moments that you are given.

all my love & peace.

IMG_1964

red, white, and woo hoo!

i celebrated the fourth of july with a few fellow americans in sweden for the first time this year. fun! of course, i have celebrated every year one way or another… last year was extra special. anyway, it was a fun evening last night, so i thought i’d give you a little peek into our celebrations! hoping all you americans had a happy 4th! warning: there are more american flags than one should have around them at any given time…

IMG_1947

we stuck flags in our bags. hehe.

IMG_1960

DSC_0966

DSC_0970

IMG_1964

DSC_0974

our hosts. american on the left!!

DSC_0979

DSC_0986

DSC_0983

DSC_0991

IMG_1943

c7307d00e4cb11e2997822000a1fd57c_7

happy weekend to each of you! TGIF! peace out.

having an expat moment.

forgive me, but i must share a little bit of my american pride. even though i’m way over here in sweden, i made sure to sit myself down in front of this computer screen i’m typing on right now in order to watch the 57th presidential inauguration in the USA today. fun fact: i learned how to spell “inauguration” correctly today. it’s a tricky, weird word.

anyway. it’s been a good day for the states, in my opinion. i was so excited about the second inauguration of president obama for today! i had a feeling it was going to be powerful & touching ceremony. and sure, enough, as soon as the ceremony started, all of my american-ness welled up in me, made a lump in my throat, and fell down my cheeks in the form of tears. as i watched the whole thing unfold before my eyes on my screen, i was moved & inspired time & time again. from the beautiful, long opening prayer to james taylor’s simple song to the amazingly realistic poem (by a hispanic gay, btw) to kelly clarkson & beyonce’s powerful music to obama’s stirring, uplifting, ground-breaking speech. all of it was amazing.

i just have to share one thing, that directly affects me, that obama said today in his speech. he took the notion of and the belief in equality even farther than it has ever been taken before in a presidential speech on inauguration day:

“It is now our generation’s task to carry on what those pioneers began. For our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers, and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts. Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law — for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.”

beautiful, huh? and so promising! things are changing. i believe it.

yep. today i am a proud ex-pat – not just because of the above statement, but for everything that being an american living in swedent means to me. yes, i’m feeling a bit homesick. a bit nostalgic. a lot of hope. and so very blessed to call two countries, which i admire, home. but today… today, i devote all of my pride to my home land, the place where i was born. the country which holds my past & my heart. the place where i first learned about diversity, acceptance, carefree spirits, opportunity, and beauty – and what it means to be a well-rounded citizen of, not only the us, but the entire world. today, i dedicate all my thoughts, hopes, dreams, & prayers to the place from where i come, the place that made me who i am. the place that taught me to fly… the united states of america.

and that’s how it ended. whoa. over the top flood of emotions enveloped me, so i grabbed my love, and our german friend, and headed out to a new bar & food place for some dinner & beer to do our own kind of international celebrating. and we did just that.

happy inauguration day, americans! hope & peace.

monday’s message.

hello, world!

it’s a gray, cozy monday here in the northern land of sweden. i’m thinking that we haven’t seen the sun in about 2 weeks here, but i’m not really complaining. it is quite cozy. and, i mean, it’s fall… so it’s supposed to be rainy, chilly, & darker.

it’s been a really good weekend, i think. i was off & it felt quite calm, even if we were pretty busy. nothing was rushed, everything was fun, and the company we kept was tip top. so, here are a few snippets from my fall weekend…

after a lazy saturday morning, we headed out into a foggy, misty norrköping to the industrial area by the river. the old factory buildings are now museums, art galleries, and cultural centers.

we went in the yellow building in the above picture for a workshop… and heard an amazing & inspirational woman speak about life & freedom. the theme of the day was: ge into upp! don’t give up!

after the workshop we were invited to dinner at our friend’s home… an american!! and of course, when americans get together, all craziness can happen. fajitas for dinner (she’s from new mexico, so the fajitas rocked. wine, music, singing, video games. i haven’t laughed so hard in a long time.

sunday was crazy, yet calm. we were home all day, but we had a revolving door, with people coming in and out all day. lina was busy with projects, i’m not sure what i did, but i loved it. the last visitor was our friend, g, and we watched “the phantom of the opera”, well most of it… g had to go early. a really cozy sunday.

and here comes the message for monday…

i thought it was so inspiring and wonderful. something to think about… no matter where you are, or what you choose to do, even if it’s not much at all, soak it in. do it 100%. and enjoy every little moment of your day.

my monday morning: i’m gonna write today. ♥

what you do today is important because you are exchanging a day of your life for it. ~author unknown

peace and love.

time to get cultured.

here i am sitting on my sofa, sipping on a glass of wine, with about five blog posts swirling around in my head. so much to write, so little time. isn’t weird how you feel like you’re either gonna explode from ideas and things that you can’t wait to write about, or you’re gonna curl up into a little ball in a corner somewhere because you can’t think of anything at all to write about? oh, come on. it’s like that for you, right? i can’t be the only one. pleeeeease don’t let me be the only one…

well, i’m only gonna put out one post tonight, but tomorrow is my day off! happy dance. so, i’m gonna work on stuff all freaking day long. drinnk coffee. stay in my pj’s. of course, as luck would have it, i’ll probably be in that curled up in a corner mood when i wake up. just kidding. i have some goals, so i’ve gotta get some stuff done. or at least begin it.

but, tonight, i’m gonna share some pics from my weekend. i worked friday night (a blog post in itself. it totally deserves it.). awesome. incredible. and the rest of the weekend has been pretty amazing as well. saturday was “culture night” in my city (kulturnatten), a day/night that i love! there is live music, free concerts, good food, lots of little plays, poetry slams, eclectic art, and local shops stay open, welcoming you in with candles, snacks, and more music. it’s an artist lovers dream night. if you wanna know more about it you can read here. it’s like a funky, artsy, eclectic vibe pulses through the city and the streets are crawling with people.

enough chit chat. take a look!

saturday (culture night)

first stop… a little second-hand, vintage boutique. loved it.

bought a bag. THE bag. exactly what i’ve been looking for, for a year. and i found it about 5 blocks from my apartment. hehe. but, i’m totally in love. oh, and the necklace is new too! a birthday gift from some native english speaking friends.

vintage. boho. love-o.

on to an antique bookstore. freaking cool.

and then, a funky record shop. see the pattern? yes, i like old things. all things retro & vintage.

next up: a concert in the church where i work… swedish, russian, & gospel. sweet. (and my love was singing too!)

then, time for a pub or something with my love & a fellow american. on the way, we heard music. so, what did we do… we danced, of course. crazy, carefree americans. and proud of it. uh huh.

sunday

;

;

this here is what is known as a cinema (with a funky misspelling on purpose)… a place where only indie films & documentaries are shown = we love it.

we watched a documentary on olaf palme, sweden’s prime minister, who was assassinated in 1986. it was awesome. and i’ve found a new hero to add to my list.

on our way out… headed home for the evening.

all-righty, my dear friends & family. i suppose that’s all for this day. it’s late & time for bed. can you believe that tomorrow is october?! time is flying by. i blinked & september has just become a memory. i racked up tons of good memories this september, though. looking forward to october and fall settling in big time. i hope y’all have had a great weekend. if you feel like it, leave me a comment & let me know what you did!

sleep tight, my lovelies. peace.

happy 4th!

it could’ve been a bad day. it could’ve been insanely emotional, filled with tears and sobs, and the longing of being in the states with the rest of my family. it could’ve been a day ruined by homesick feelings, leaving me bed-ridden and under the covers.

but it wasn’t.

it was the complete opposite. of course, i missed (and still do now in the quiet moments of the evening) celebrating the 4th of july today in the states with my family’s traditional bbq and crazy, insane fireworks. it hurts in my soul when i think of it, and i am longing to be there.

still, i am very, very excited by and thankful for this day, which is coming to a close. i went to work, had another amazing time working with my college… geez we work together beautifully. then, i was invited to a fun & yummy lunch with some fabulous ladies. after that, i did some errands (which involved a little shopping. always fun errands), and finally spent some time with my love.

when i met up with her, i was greeted by whitney houston singing “the star spangled banner”, there was a big “happy 4th!” greeting on the wall, and a basket full of american junk food, candy, and soft drinks (stuff i don’t get here!) waiting for me. it was crazy amazing and i could’ t believe that she had co-conspired with her parents and gone to all this trouble just for me… because it is the fourth of july. america’s independence day. i seriously was in shock, going from laughing, to my eyes filing with tears, and then laughing again. needless to say, she surprised me in the most awesome way. ♥

at one point this afternoon/evening, lina and i were sitting outside on a blanket. we were listening to music, laughing, talking. i looked at her, and she looked back. i was mesmerized and captivated by her, sinking deeper & deeper into her blue, doe-shaped eyes. at that moment, i remembered something. no matter where i am, or where we are… no matter what happens. no matter what we face. no matter how homesick, scared, confused, or sad either one of us feels (she’s homesick for the states too), everything will always be fine. i will always be home… because of our love.

ok. here come some pictures of my july 4th celebration:

now, the sun is setting on this 4th of july. it has been quite different than most 4th of july’s i’ve experienced; and yet, it’s been really good. i’m headed to bed now feeling overwhelmed & blessed, like my cup is overflowing.

whether you are an american or not, i hope that you found something to celebrate today. if not, perhaps you’ll find something tomorrow!

red, white, & blue peace. (i just had to).