the first cozy evening

it’s wednesday evening and we have landed safe and sound in sweden. we’re all settled in at lina’s parents’ home, ready for our vacation to begin – receiving so many greeting on Facebook and instagram from people who are welcoming us back and making plans to see us sometime in the next 4 weeks. so, now, it’s time for tons of adventures, lots of time with friends and family, fikas galore, a week totally off the grid in nature, road trips and who knows what else we can get into! but, before we get into anything, this girl’s gotta sleep. so, with the sun not even close to setting now at 9:15 pm, i’m closing the blinds, drawing the curtains, stretching out and snuggling under the covers.  you know, it feels quite good to be here in norrköping again. everything’s beautiful, cozy, and familiar – just as i remember it.


photo by lina with my iPhone

night night, friends. peace & love. xx

where the magic happens


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.


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.


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.


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.


tonight, this is where the magic happens.

love & peace. xx

what you’ll find in my instagram feed at twilight.

after a few rainy days, with temperatures hovering just above freezing, snow finally began to fall again this evening, covering the ground & the streets. and i am so so happy about it. i mean, if it’s gonna be cold and wintery, it might as well snow. otherwise it’s just cold & dreary. the snow makes everything brighter & more beautiful.

tonight, as i walked to my yoga class, i couldn’t believe how amazing the city looked bathed in the colors of twilight and the fresh, white snow everywhere. needless to say, it took extra long to get to yoga because i kept stopping to take pictures. but, it was totally worth it. somehow the clean, white snow makes everything better – if even for just a moment.

look how beautiful it is where i live.

street trees IMG_7869 norrköping

have a beautiful evening. peace.

i should be sleeping.

jetlag has taken over my mind & my body. i can’t think straight. i should be sleeping, but i’m not. i’m exhausted, but still awake. there is so much in my head. everything feels cozy & safe. i am inspired. i feel creative. it has been a tiring, yet amazing day. and now, i just want to write & write & write. all night. all day. and let the words flow. what a magical, beautiful, ordinary night this is.

wishing you peace & love.

tea time is best.

if you’ve visited my blog before then you know that i love coffee, tea, candles, quiet times, meditation/reflection, writing and opportunities to just be. i guess you could say that i am a pretty introverted, laid-back person.

tonight i’m being true to myself and having a cup of tea (that my german friend brought back for us from her trip home to germany. she lives in sweden.) while i write this post. i’m sitting in the living room, but no candles are lit because i don’t want to admit that the summer sun is fading away and darkness is returning to sweden. in the fall and winter, candles save me with their warm glow. but, right now, as the sun is setting,  i’m enjoying the last few moments of natural light of the day reflecting on the meeting i had this evening.

just in case you don’t know, i work in a church; and tonight i had a planning meeting with the other minister about our church service for  this coming sunday. m (the minister) and i had not seen each other in 4 weeks, thanks to the long vacations in sweden. (love you, sweden). it was so great to see each other, and we immediately got down to business. and the flow started as soon as we began talking.

while we were planning, i looked ahead in the swedish lectionary book (a plan of themes for sundays) we were using to see what the theme for the day was on september 16. on that day, i will be preaching, having the talk, you know. there are many ministers who preach and spend their time standing in front of people telling them how bad they are, what they should or should not do, and exactly what they should believe. i am not one of them. my sermons are like blog posts, my preaching is like taking one of my blog posts and delivering in person to a crowd of people. it is my hope that my preaching is inspiring, challenging, and uplifting.

anyway, a few weeks ago, i wrote a blog post on rest (read it here), inspired by a daily meditational book that i use in the mornings (the theme for july & august is rest). i got a comment that said that my post sounded like a sermon and that the comment-er would like to hear me speak more about it. i thought about planning that for the 16th of september, but then i decided to go in another direction (following another theme based on another lectionary ). i felt like i would be forcing a sermon if i preached on rest… like i was choosing what i wanted to talk about, instead of letting the spirit inspire me. preaching on rest would be too easy and i might put in too much of my own bias, instead of studying & pulling out what the universe, what God, might be saying to me through the lectionary text.

well, tonight, as i peeked ahead to the theme for september 16, in the book we were using, i saw that it said “ett är nödvändigt” – one thing is necessary; and then the following bible passages to read with that theme were all about resting, pulling away, taking time for yourself, learning to just be and live in the moment. being. that is the one thing that is necessary.


i was totally amazed. how could this be? i had considered preaching on resting & being, but decided that it would be “cheating” since it was something i was choosing. but, tonight, right there in front of me, in the swedish book, were the words, ” i will give you rest” in the book i was working from. a sign? most definitely.

i know this is right. i can feel it. i wondered about it after i received the comment, but i brushed it aside. but, now, the universe has spoken. it is indeed time for me to write a sermon on finding rest, on living in the moment, on trusting God, on simply being.

so, my theme for the 16 of september has changed.

wishing peace & inspiration to you all.



day 28: today’s weather from my kitchen window.

  • 7am: mostly cloudy. wispy, light, with a tiny bit of blue peeking through. i had hope for a sunny day.
  • 1pm: cotton ball clouds & some blue sky. it still looked like it might clear up & warm up. holding on with hope.
  • 8pm: cloudy. overcast. windy. chilly. and yes, it even rained.

bye bye beautiful, early, swedish summer. the weatherman says it’s gonna be cloudy, chilly,  rainy for some days. hmpf. time to snuggle down under a blanket & start thinking about coziness again. speaking of snuggling down, i am so freaking tired (since i haven’t been sleeping so much/so good lately) and i keep going to be really late & waking up reaaaally early. tonight, though, i give up. i’m snuggling down under my covers, watching an episode of downton abbey, and then going to sleep – even if it’s still light out (though, it is after 10pm, mind you).

so, i’m wishing you all a good night’s sleep. may you feel calm, safe, & be able to rest for some hours… sweet dreams. peace.

march photo a day: week 1

as i mentioned in a previous blog post, i’ve taken up the challenge to post a photo a day using my instagram app – the challenge is to not only post a photo a day, but to follow the suggested theme/word for the day. the photos are also to be original photos taken on the day that they are posted (come on, no cheating by uploading an old pic from some file on your computer or saved on your phone.). since many of you don’t have instagram, and i’m not linking all my social media all over the internet, i thought i’d share my photos once a week with you. the first week in march has now passed (seriously? already?) and here is my installment of my original, taken on the given day, following the theme, instagram photos from this week. *smiley face*

day 1: up

zola’s fav morning activity:  looking up at the birdies.

day 2: fruit

riding on the train to stockholm/uppsala last friday, i snapped this shot of an apple. most swedish families are well-prepared with (healthy) snacks when they travel. i am not one of them. well, i’m not swedish either, so that’s my excuse. hehe.

day 3: your neighborhood

 24 hours later, after a day in uppsala, a trip to airport, & a day in stockholm we made it back home. this is my neighborhood at night.

day 4: bedside

hanging out bedside. cozy & warm early sunday morning.

day 5: smile

 my love is all smiles after buying a new keyboard. and i’m all smiles because i get to listen to her play & sing. ♥

day 6: 5pm

 as the moon was beginning to rise at 5pm, we walked home after a day of touring & shopping.

day 7: something i wore

 showing off my new, little, turquoise earrings.

so far, so good. it was fun finding things to photograph. now. wish me luck with following through for next week. and check back next wednesday for week 2’s update! in the meantime, take some time to slow down & notice little moments & glimpses of beauty all around you – take a picture in your mind or snap a photo with your phone/camera. then, share them! i’d love to see what you see from your perspective!

happy wednesday! peace out, peeps.

just thought i’d share.

good morning and happy wednesday! it’s the last day of the week that i have to be up way before the sun rises *happy dance*. at the end of each week, i work in the evenings/nights. at the beginning of each week, i work during the days. it’s a crazy schedule. but, definitely not boring. and the joy of those early mornings (since the pain of those mornings is obvious. hehe), is the joy & beauty of seeing the sun rise… seeing the darkness fade to light, and thinking about all of the possibilities that the day holds. who knows what comes our way during each day?

wishing you a day of beauty, love, adventures, & peace.