// week thirty four // for the love of routines + rituals

not that i don’t love vacations to the max, because i do. but, i also most definitely enjoy that time of year when the last days of summer seem to be creeping up on us and it’s time to get down to business again.

if you have the luck to live in europe (and maybe australia. just not the united states, i know), then you have hopefully had a long enough vacation that you feel rested and reenergized. ready to tackle all that will be thrown at you.

not only do i feel rested, but i feel re-inspired and so ready to get back to my routines + rituals, the things that keep me and my little world running. i also feel ready to tackle lots of new and exciting projects, possibilities, and opportunities.

yes, for me, life begins again, like a kind of rebirth, with the coming of every autumn. and i am always anticipating that fresh start, clean slate feeling.

of course, here in sweden, summer has had a firm grip on us for  the past few weeks, so there’s more light to soak up before the dark, cold days are again upon us. in addition to beginning to get back into the groove, my love + i have also tried to live it up, having our last little summer flings of warm days and late nights.

here’s a little taste of the rituals + routines that i have welcomed back into my life.

morning rituals: coffee (with milk!). meditation. long weekend breakfasts.milk coffee meditate pancakes home
afternoon routines: bike rides. exercise. walks in the sun. errands downtown.
bikeuppsala hippie van trees workout
evening fun: gazing at the sky, hanging with friends, sunsetsbirds beer sky sunset
weekend freedom: a dear friend visiting from berlin, picnics, bbqs, sunshine, s’mores.

lina me gesine Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset me gesine bbq picnic uppsala

it was a good week of easing back into things. hope you have had a great weekend, and here’s to wishing you a wonderful week ahead filled with lots of good energy + inspired moments.

onwards + upwards! xoxo

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.

IMG_0917

a little nature. a little urban. a perfect fix for my soul.

hi friends! long time, no post… huh? geez, i have missed y’all. i’ve missed writing and posting, but i have been super busy the past 4ish days. and i do believe that the busy-ness is only getting started.

IMG_0866

natural, woodsy liz.

this past weekend i was in the woods with the teenagers i work with from friday until sunday. oh, my nature soul was soooo very happy. the weather was quite beautiful as well. sunshine. warmth. and even a bit of cozy rain one of the evenings. we played games, had some little chat hours (i had 3 little workshops on challenging yourself, taking risks, and believing in yourself), did some BBQ-ing, watched a movie, laughed, hung out by a lake, and just enjoyed being together.

IMG_0917

on sunday, we left the camp in the morning and headed to the church. during the morning service, i got to serve communion (always a great, powerful honor), lead the service, recognize some of the youth, and then there was a moment that the congregation said their official “goodbye” to me (though i work until july 15, but people are gone from regular life after midsummer – june 21). it was emotional standing there with those i had worked with standing behind & around me. gaaahhh. as much as i have left places, it never ever gets easier. but, it always makes me feel grateful, amazed, and so overwhelmed to have had the experiences i have had.

as i stood there, listening to the chairperson talk, feeling the people around me, i thought about the craziness that my life has been. the amazing craziness. to get to move to sweden. learn a new language. get a job. in something i am educated for. work with really good people. and have a chance to be me, even though i am in another country. it was in that moment that i felt i needed to pinch myself, to know that i was actually this little american girl from north carolina, with big dreams and hopes, who has had an opportunity to live them out. to follow them, and watch them come true.

the only advice i have for all of you who have even the tiniest dream is to chase it! chase that soul-filling, mind-blowing, seemingly impossible dream to the ends of the earth if you have to. and be patient. sometimes it takes a while for dreams to materialize. for me, it took 15 years to get here. but, it was so worth the ride.  trust the universe. trust god. and trust in yourself.

IMG_0972

sunny stockholm liz.

after my work day (work weekend i guess) at church, i rushed home, jumped in the shower (because ewwwww… i had been camping for some days), and headed for the train station. yep. within a couple of hours of leaving the woods, i was on a train headed to the big city.

my love and i were off to stockholm sunday evening – monday evening. lina had an appointment at the american embassy…. to determine if she would qualify for a visa! sunday night we stayed with a friend, and since the weather was summer-like, we walked to a harbor area with a rock mountain overlooking the water and had a BBQ. it was more perfect than perfect. truly.

monday morning came, and the sun was still shining. we ate breakfast on a balcony and then headed downtown to get lina to the embassy ontime. it was a nerve-racking time, not knowing how things would turn out. things are quite complicated/weird with us… since we are 2 women, married, and bi-national. though lina was applying for a student visa and not a green card (not possible thanks to DOMA and same-sex discrimination), there was still a chance they’d question things. but…. everything went perfectly! and she was approved!

IMG_1002

while she was in the embassy (i could not enter and be with her), i walked. and walked. and walked. and like a tourist, i took pictures every 10 feet. it was such a great morning for me, and i felt guilty for having such a peaceful time while lina was going through an american visa interview.

after celebrating the end of the visa process together at an american restaurant in stockholm, we spent the rest of the afternoon wandering, shopping, and just soaking up the beauty of the city built on islands. then, it was an early train back home and a cozy landing into my own bed after 3 nights away.

all in all, an intensive, but unbelievably amazing weekend! i took tons of photos, of course, which i will post in a few upcoming posts. but, for now, i’ll leave you. we are in 100% moving mode in our little home. time to get down to business. woo hoo!

sending you peace and love.