serenity + insanity

december has arrived, and so far it has brought me a big mixture of serene, cozy, quiet moments + crazy, stressful, frustrating moments. i hope that it won’t be such a big roller coaster month then entire time, but, if it is, then i’ll survive. i am certain that it is because no one should “plan” to make a big move to another country in the middle of a holiday season – craaaaazy. of course, we actually didn’t plan it this way. it just happened. and, also, of course, i am also certain that it is exactly the right timing to make this big life change. so, while i wish that the big mix of crazy and serene would even itself out a little bit, i have to admit that life is definitely not boring right now. hehe.

those calm and serene moments that help to balance out my serenity have been absolutely beautiful, and i just wanted to share with you some of them that i have captured with my phone over the past three days.

so get ready to take a little pause. breathe deep. and just let the solitude and serenity take over – reminding you that, even in the middle of a bunch of stress, there is always a moment of peace very close by. i believe that all we have to do is be aware…

xmas tree christmas coffee

december sky

basilica church chapel lights

coffee

funkatorium asheville beer

lights home christmas

pink sunrise

beer with my brother highland

light + peace to you, dear friends. xoxo

where the magic happens

IMG_0862

i cannot begin to describe to you how beautiful it is right now. i’m on my balcony and the sun is setting. it’s almost 75 degrees (24 celsius) and it’s after 8 pm. the sky goes from shades of dark blue in the east to pink in the west. there is not one cloud. i’ve got a glass of wine by my side, in my favorite deep blue wine glass. our little twinkling lights are on, wrapped around the balcony door, giving off a festive, warm glow. just below me, sits one couple enjoying their steak and wine at a bistro table, and another couple prepares their dinner on the grill. the fire in the fire pit is glowing where a few people have gathered to chat. others walk past, saying hi, as they take an evening stroll. it’s simply magical.

IMG_0884

this is how i am silently, peacefully, and quietly celebrating my three year blog anniversary. and it feels just perfect.

when i woke this morning, i wanted to do a big, celebratory post. maybe a contest, maybe something super inspirational. but, as the day progressed, i found myself involved in other things, other responsibilities, and i could’t seem to find to time to think about the blog, much less prepare a post.

until, right now. and then, i just knew that this quiet, solitary (how else would it really be in the blog world, though? in reality, we are all blogging alone, aren’t we) moment was the perfect time to just celebrate this day, this passing of time.

IMG_0881

so, i suppose that instead of having some grand look back over the past three years (you and i can do that by looking through my archives any day) and writing a summary, or instead of looking forward and making goals, promises, or challenges, i realized that the greatest celebration that i can give myself and share with you is the celebration of right now. to just be and breathe and give thanks and feel life coursing through my veins.

of course, i am grateful for what this blog has meant to me, how it has saved my life and changed my entire way of being, loving, and living. and i am curious, so curious, as to what lies ahead for me and for belovelive… will it touch and inspire people, making them laugh and cry and feel alive? will it become a book? will it become a money-making blog that allows me to write and live? but those are all what ifs… and not appropriate for living in the present moment.

what is important is where i am right now. who i am right now. this glorious present moment. and i give thanks for it. i understand from deep within my soul how blessed and amazingly lucky i am.

IMG_0866

tonight, dear blog, i celebrate you. and i celebrate how you have made me feel alive – how the words and images that i have created have empowered me to feel completely alive and happy and at peace.

yes, this day, this moment is magical. so, as i take a sip of wine, touch my hand to my heart, listen to the voices of my neighbors, hear the first crickets of the season chirping, look up to see the first star twinkling right above me, and breathe in all of life, i celebrate. and i give thanks.

IMG_0885

tonight, this is where the magic happens.

love & peace. xx

contemplation and adventure. that’s how i roll.

computer in my lap. blanket covering my legs, with my toes peeking out (’cause my feet always get hot). a single candle burning on the kitchen island emitting a cinnamon-y autumn smell and a soft glow. rain pouring down outside. cloudy morning darkness. a cup of coffee, of course. and a cozy, autumn playlist perfect for the mood.

i am basking in this first day of my 39th year. a year that i believe will be marked by contemplation and love and adventure. last year my love gave me my moleskin journal, some colorful pens, a funky, amazing camera strap. and what did i do with those gifts? i spent the year taking photos, writing, and coming the the conclusion, the complete understanding, of what my dreams truly are. and i used those gifts she gave me to chronicle a very important, transitional ,and amazing year – filled with deep heartache and extreme joy. excitement, confusion, fear, and amazement. a year that ultimately ended in experiencing dreams coming true.

yesterday, my love gave me mala beads (buddhist meditation beads), a gift card to a bookstore, fingerless gloves, and a tent with the a special note attached. last year, lina’s gifts to me were like a prophecy of my year. they were perfect. and so, i believe that this year’s gifts are the same. hence, my understanding of this next year to be one filled with contemplation and love and adventure.

it was a quiet, simple, and very meaningful birthday. and it was perfect.

SWEET MESSAGES FROM MY PARENTS.

IMG_4281

AN INSTAGRAM CHECK WHEN I WOKE UP… AND THIS IS WHAT I RECEIVED. WHAT A FUN AND AWESOME MESSAGE FROM MY SWEET AUSTRALIAN FRIEND, ASH!

IMG_4216

AND TO START MY MORNING OFF RIGHT, I TURNED ON THIS SONG. SNUGGLED UNDER THE COVERS. AND LET IT ALL SOAK IN… NOW I’M READY TO CELEBRATE!

MY LOVE CAME IN SINGING AND  BROUGHT ME BREAKFAST IN BED, FOLLOWING THE TRADITIONAL SWEDISH WAS WE USUALLY CELEBRATE BIRTHDAYS. SOON AFTER, I HAD A MAJOR HOMESICK MOMENT FOR SWEDEN. CRAZY, HUH?

IMG_4237

TIME FOR PRESENTS!!

IMG_4236

LOOKY WHAT I GOT! MEDITATION BEADS, GLOVES, A GIFT CARD TO FEED MY BOOK NEEDS, AND A TENT!! WHO’S UP FOR A ROAD TRIP?!

IMG_4265

LET THE BIRTHDAY FIKA COMMENCE! SUNNY DOWNTOWN ASHEVILLE.

IMG_4255

AFTER AN AFTERNOON OF WRITING, PLANNING, NAPPING, AND SITTING – ALL ON MY BALCONY, MY LOVE & MY BROTHER TOOK ME OUT TO DINNER. MY ONLY STIPULATION WAS THAT I WANTED TO BE OUTSIDE. AND THE BEAUTIFUL NORTH CAROLINA MOUNTAINS DID NOT DISAPPOINT. THESE WERE MY FAVORITE COLORS YESTERDAY.

IMG_4272

YEP. 39 FEELS PRETTY AMAZING. AND I FEEL OVERWHELMINGLY BLESSED.

IMG_4275

One comes of it, love it, love it
Let go of it, love comes from it
We’re not of this world for long
Faith and promise keep me honest
When starvation falls upon us
Daylight told me here I’d be
Gone with cold words spoke among hers
Wretched in the tongue of their world
We’re not of that world at all, we will never be
Wouldnt it be fine to stand
Behind the words we say
In the best of times
Oh, and you and I know all too well
About the hell and paradise
Right here on earth
Keep it, use it, build it, move it
Flames cant touch how time will prove it
Watch us fly as loud as we can
Let her heartbeat change what I am now
Wouldnt it be fine to stand
Behind the words we say
In the best of times
Oh, and you and I know all too well
About the hell and paradise
Right here on earth
– Avett Brothers 

now, it’s time to get started on my 52 to 40! peace and love.