flowers trees blue sky

40 | may 2015: the sky is smiling (a playlist!)

 

oh, may! it is the prettiest month of the year in sweden, i do believe. blue skies. sunshine. flowers. warm weather. it is the perfect month to be outside as much as possible. and that’s pretty easy to do, considering that the sun sets later and later. by the end of the month, it’ll still be light at 11pm.

it’s a month that makes me feel alive. and in love – even if june is usually the month reserved for lovers. for me, may has not always been an easy month, but i think that is what makes it all the more sweeter. my love was very, life-threateningly sick for 2 mays in the past. and, so, now, we celebrate life + love + health every may. all month long, we focus on living life to the fullest. being in love with each other. soaking up the simple moments. and enjoying the beauty of the earth during the late spring.

so, all of that was my inspiration for this month’s playlist. it’s a playlist made for lovers + gardens. sunshine + blue skies. it’s all about laughing + being together. taking it easy, dancing, rejoicing. and squeezing every ounce of beauty + happiness out of every single moment.

so, go ahead. click on the photo below and follow the link to the playlist on spotify.

go outside, twirl in the sunshine, smile, give away free hugs, hava a picnic, gaze at the clouds, and remember that life is precious. let’s make the most of every single minute. there’s no time to waste!

spring-tree-playlist

happy may!

onwards + upwards! xx

you can also click here to get the playlist! 

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look up on this earth day

it’s earth day, lovelies. and i could do post after post about how much i love nature. this tree-hugging, water-loving nature girl, however, has decided to focus her earth day celebration on the beauty of the sky.

first thing every single morning and last thing every single night, i gaze out my window + up at the sky. i can’t help but do it. i look up to see the clouds, the sun, the stars. i look up to remind myself how tiny i am and how great this world is. i look up to think about all of those who are far away from me, and remember that we are all standing under the same sky. i look up and wonder what it’s like way up there past our sky. i dream of the stars, of floating on clouds, of flying free. i look up just to breathe.

so, in order to honor this life-giving, awe-inspiring piece of nature on earth day, i have gathered 5 quotes. quotes that i’ve never heard before, but that are so inspiring and beautiful. take a moment, read these words, and then look up.

earth-day-sky

“In the sky there are always answers and explanations for everything: every pain, every suffering, joy and confusion.”
― Ishmael BeahA Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier

“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.”
― John LubbockThe Use Of Life

“I let my head fall back, and I gazed into the Eternal Blue Sky. It was morning. Some of the sky was yellow, some the softest blue. One small cloud scuttled along. Strange how everything below can be such death and chaos and pain while above the sky is peace, sweet blue gentleness. I heard a shaman say once, the Ancestors want our souls to be like the blue sky.”
― Shannon HaleBook of a Thousand Days

“The sky is not my limit…I am.”
― T.F. Hodge

Look at your feet. You are standing in the sky. When we think of the sky, we tend to look up, but the sky actually begins at the earth. We walk through it, yell into it, rake leaves, wash the dog, and drive cars in it. We breathe it deep within us. With every breath, we inhale millions of molecules of sky, heat them briefly, and then exhale them back into the world.”                                ― Diane Ackerman, A Natural History of the Senses

wherever you are, my friends, take one little moment and look up. gaze. ponder. breathe. wonder. blink. dream. observe. slow down, just enough to take in all that you see up there. and give thanks for the beautiful earth that holds us and cradles us and gives us life.
isn’t it time that we give a little back? happy earth day, fellow flower children!

onwards + upwards! xoxo

tree-buds-blue-sky

blue skies + worshipping the sun

you know, spring in sweden is a little bit all over the place. rain, snow, and sometimes sunshine. – i am sure many of you experience the same where you live.  it’s not usually that warm, but when that beautiful sunshine shows her face, then her rays make even 5 degrees C/45 degrees F feel warm + nice. i’ve said this before, but the sun in sweden is something very special.

when the sun shines in the spring, it’s time to get outside and soak it up. the dark days are over, the cold has left us behind, the light has begun it’s return, the days are getting so much longer, and i (along with every other swede) become a sun worshipper. i literally stand and face the sun. i close my eyes… meditating, soaking in, breathing deeply, living in that very moment.

so, the other morning, after days and days of clouds, rain, and snow, when it was so beautiful, i decided to take a long walk for my meditation time. i explored the neighborhood behind ours, passing apartment buildings, houses, and cozy, little yards + gardens. the sun was warm, the breeze was cool, people were  out + about, and i simply gave thanks for the joy of walking and discovering and being.

i thought i’d share with you a little snippet of the amazing blue swedish skies that i have seen a little of this week. the blue skies make me feel so alive. i hope these photos do the same for you in a tiny, little way. enjoy!

sunshine-roof-window neighborhood easter-tree-square blue-skies square-tree-feathers sunshine-walk tree-buds

happy easter weekend, everyone. here in sweden, everyone has a little holiday from friday until monday. we are taking the train down to norrköping to visit lina’s family for a few days. but, we will be back home again on sunday, to enjoy the last little bit of the holiday here. so, it’s all about relaxing + enjoying for the next 4 days. wishing you a fabulous few days! and, if the sun shines wherever you are, turn your head up to her, close you eyes, and give a little thanks for the warmth + life that she brings. love + light to you all!

onwards + upwards! xoxo

my six senses instagram easter weekend.

i realize that it is already wednesday, but i’m still gonna share my weekend pictures now. i figure as long as it’s not the next weekend, then i’m still safe. just wanna let y’all know that my senses were on overload this past weekend/week. it was a combination good and tough times. and it was intense. lots of family. emotional. beautiful. difficult. and, as i said, intense. in good & bad ways. here’s some of what perked my senses.

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good fridaypinteresteaster lunch lunch toddlers sunnew life candles easter chickens tulipsbananas coffee

 

seeing: family gathered around the table for easter dinner. from the youngest to the oldest. so great. blue skies up above me. a bright full moon outside my litchen window.

hearing: our sweet little bella’s recorded voice entertaining our sweet little niece. nails being hammered into wood on good friday.

tasting: easter dinner. filled with meat traditionally, but vegetarians can make it work too.

touching: the wax dripping from the candles we lit on easter morning.

smelling: bouquets of tulips. fresh, crisp air on a long walk.

feeling: warm sunshine shining down on me. happy that early spring air has found its way to sweden. peace as i drank my morning cup of coffee on my first morning of spring break.

i made it through the week, and now i’m doing the best i can to just relax. spending some time at home. meeting friends for drinks. being with my love. although it’s my vacation week (or 2, who knows what i’ll do next week), it’s still a little tough in life right now. we didn’t make it to china, of course. but, i’m working really hard to focus on other things coming up… like moving. and there is still a sense that we need to focus on each day as it comes. survival mode, you might say. or enjoying the moment. it depends on whether you are a glass half empty or glass half full kinda person. me? i choose half-full. so, i’m determined to soak up my moments, breathe deeply, and remember all that is wonderful and that for which i am grateful.

by the way, speaking of senses, as i type this, my love is playing her guitar and singing. our cat is snuggling beside me. and the sunset outside is stunning. the pink horizon fading to dark blue overhead. life is not perfect, but sometimes for one split second, it feels perfect in that moment.

so, what has peaked your senses over the past few days? what thoughts have you got rolling around in your head?

peace, dear friends.

i choose to inhabit my days.

selfie

ok. truth time.

it’s monday. it’s cold. but the sun is shining. and i am weary. not tired or sleepy. but weary. mentally. march has barely started, and i’m feeling uneasy & anxious. i have some kind of ominous feeling about this month. it feels heavy. long. a bit frightening.

buds it’s true that i feel a little anxiety because i will be working full-time for the first time in almost 3 years starting tomorrow. but i will tackle each thing as it comes, and it’ll be fine. i know that. i’m not too worried about work. it’s the full-time work in combination with everything else in life. there’s a lot of other stuff on my mind too, regarding moving to the states, upcoming trips, my love, my family in the states. i feel quite stable in some ways, and yet disconnected from myself in other ways. but i am worried and concerned more about others than myself. and i wonder how everything will come together in the end… yeah. right now, i want to skip over march. i want to skip over the tough days and move directly into the light. just being honest, y’all.

waterfalli am fully aware that what i am experiencing is what we know as the valley parts of the journey. when i think about my journey photo challenge this month, it is a perfect symbol of exactly how i feel… like i’m traveling from darkness to light. like march is some kind of crazy tough transition month for me, chocked full of activities, work, and worries. and when i make it to the other side of march, something inside of me will be set free. but, for today, that feels like an eternity away.

industrialhowever, in the middle of all of my uncertainties, i must find a way to keep journeying. to keep moving foward day by day. because, let’s face it. it’s not possible to skip ahead. so, for me, i gotta make space for some quiet time to myself. time to turn inward. to listen. to just be & breathe. if i don’t do that, i won’t make it. i will not find myself balanced enough that i can take care of myself and be of any help to others. i also must remember to live life… to find those moments, places, people, things that stir my soul and remind me that this is all part of the journey. the dark and the light. and every day, every step contains a tiny sliver of light somewhere.

blue skiesso, “i choose to inhabit my days”(inspiration from Dawna Markova). to breathe through the tough, overwhelming moments and to laugh & dance through the joyful ones. to live in the here & now, even if it’s uncomfortable. besides, today is all i’ve got, right?

life is amazing

* all photos taken on sunday in norrköping. a reminder to me that spring will come. there is still hope.

wishing you peace and love today.

a magical swiss-irish wedding day. 3.1

ok. i have taken so many pictures that i must divide them up. i know that some of you are waiting for the wedding pics,but you’re just gonna have to wait one more day. hehe. however, the pics in this post are from the wedding day, so they still count. we had some time in the morning before we needed to get ready for the wedding, so what did we do? we took advantage of the grounds around kilshane house by taking a long, slow walk out in nature. the air was crisp, the sun was warm, and the morning itself was perfect & magical. take a look at what ireland had to offer us…

good morning & hello sunshine!

it’s a great day for a wedding & the shoes are ready for some dancing.

time for breakfast! here is the groom… he just received a lovely gift from his bride.

hmmm… i think it’s time for a walk out in this perfect weather.

the house in the distance. amazing.

the garden where the owners grow organic food, which we had the pleasure of eating. yum yum.

yes. i slept in this manor. this estate house. i still can’t believe it.

the conservatory. such a peaceful place.

the window to the room where we stayed is the top one on the left. loved it.

the morning was beautiful, but it is now time to get ready. we’ve got a wedding to attend!

almost ready!

as i said, the morning was perfect. relaxing & beautiful. i continually had a difficult time believing all that my eyes were seeing, all the i was experiencing. it was too much to take in, and yet, i was soaking in every single moment. and the most exciting thing was coming… the joy of witnessing & celebrating the wedding of two beautiful people, and the chance to share all these moments with my life, my everything… my wife.

so, the next post will reveal the magical, beautiful, amazing moments of the afternoon & evening. the activities, the people, and the fun. stay tuned & check back tomorrow. i promise you won’t regret it. and i truly hope you enjoyed the glimpse of the lovely irish countryside today.

if you ever have the chance to visit ireland, do it. you will not regret one second! and i promise that i will never, ever take for granted the opportunities i’ve had to share, learn, & experience this amazing place…

i’d round all of you up, pay for your plane tickets, and take you there myself if i could. we would have so much fun!

may sunshine & peace follow you everywhere you roam.