what are you doing new year’s eve?

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well, that’s a wrap. the last day of 2013 is upon is, and i don’t know about you, but i am ready for some serious celebrating! this year i wanna get dressed up and be all fancy & girly. i wanna dance and go to a party and ring in the new year with people all around me.

i think i’m in such a celebratory mood because 2013 has been oh so generous to me… well, my love and i have worked for it, but we’ve also expected and envisioned it. so, as we dreamed and believed, we also acted and the universe opened door after door, showering us with amazing moments. and i want to celebrate all of that. i want to shout to the world, and spread extra joy today to everyone i meet… because i am so grateful and blessed. it’s time to try to give back a little of the amazingness that has been given to me in 2013. it’s truly time to celebrate.

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all of the serious, soul-searching, reflection is done. last night i spent a few hours with candles lit, a glass of wine by my side, pens and journals open, and my soul-touching playlist playing. i reflected on the past year and envisioned and planned for the new one. i wrote on the last page of my 2013 journal and then put it away, with all of my other journals. it was a very special and meaningful ritual. but, now, these end of the year rites of passage have been completed, so the only thing left to do is dance & drink champagne!

as you read this, i am either currently on my way or already in atlanta, georgia to celebrate new year’s eve with some friends – lanie (a blogging buddy) and her girl, charlie. my love and i hit the road early, because we’ve got shopping, exploring, eating, drinking, and having fun to do before we meet up with the girls in the afternoon to begin our celebrations. and, boy do we have some celebrations planned! it’s gonna be so great! the perfect cap to one of the most amazing years (with plenty of both ups & downs) of my life.

here’s to 2014! here’s to turning 40 this year! here’s to living life & feeling alive!Ā 

so, my friends, what are you doing for new year’s eve?Ā 

i just had to. they’re so cute.

wishing you the happiest of new years! bring on 2014!Ā 

peace and love. xx

nothing is weird in asheville.

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saturday night we did something that is sooooo asheville. we went to bele chere, the 35 year old street festival which has grown to become the largest of its kind in the southeast USA. unfortunately, the city of asheville, who sponsors & pays for the free festival, has said that this year was the last. booooo…. the word is that it is simply too costly for the city to continue paying for the three-day music, crafts, food, & beer festival. the streets are closed off downtown for three days, and the local businesses suffer (?) (or so i read in an article) because the vendors set up their tents in front of the stores. i any case, this weekend was the last bell chere shin dig.

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and we had a blast! we wren’t there for a super long time, but just enough time to soak up the atmosphere that i write about here on the blog all the time. yep. we were smack dab in the middle of the funky, eclectic, weird, friendly, artsy, country, urban mess of it all. the people, the music, the local beer, the street fair food. all of it was there, even the street preachers screaming that we were going to hell because we all were sinners, especially lina & me (same-sex marriage people!). and we loved every second of it.

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click on this picture to see a short video clip i made of this guy. hehe.

speaking of same-sex partners, the sheer number of same-sex couples walking hand in hand down the streets is astonishing. and so refreshing. it’s just that asheville is full of ALL kinds of people, all intermingling with each other, sharing a common love for the city and all she has to offer.

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have i said how much i love it here? how great it feels to be back? how right it is? well, i do. it does. and it is.

love, peace, & equality for all – and i mean all.

staying true to my yellow & blue.

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today is sweden’s national day – a national holiday that’s a bit like the 4th of july, but not quite so over-the-top/extreme. mother nature delivered a top notch day, perfect for doing what swedes like to do best: be outside, drink coffee, sit in parks, play, BBQ, be with family, and soak up the sun. it was super sunny all day long, and very, very warm. like i said… perfect.

we stayed home for a while, doing laundry & organizing stuff. but, then, we went to lina’s sister’s home outside of town to celebrate our youngest niece’s second birthday. it was a cozy and uncomplicated. just family, some birthday cake, a chance to catch up with each other, an evening bbq, and games/fun in the yard/pool. well, not me in the pool. the water in sweden doesn’t get bathtub warm like it does in nc. and i’m a cold water wuss.

but, instead of sharing pics of what i did to celebrate today, i thought i’d celebrate sweden’s national day with y’all by showing the two very different, but very much typical, classic sides of sweden: natural & urban. so, here come my photos from last weekend… part of it i spent in the woods and the other part i spent in the beautiful capital of sweden, stockholm.

sweden, today i celebrate you! you’re beautiful, natural, old, simple, and so inspiring. and i’m a lucky girl to be able to call you home. by the way, in case you ever wondered where my loyalty lays, here and now i confess that i am a lover of two countries and i call both of those countries home.

enjoying swedish nature at camp (with my kids from work).

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after leaving camp behind, i got on a train & headed to the big, beautiful urban city, stockholm.

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hope y’all have had a great week. it’s almost friday and the weekend is upon us! got any plans?!

peace & love.