// week thirty five // just when everything was getting back to normal…

well, so much for routine.

i spoke too early last week about getting back into the swing of things. turns out that life decided to throw me a little curve ball + knock me off of the track that i thought i was on.

i got my first cold in over a year. yep. poor me, right? well, i most definitely did not get the things done that i had planned on getting done. i did get stuff done, but, yeah. as i said. the week was nothing like i had envisioned that it would be. besides the cold, in many ways, made the week was better than i’d planned. go figure.

our friend g, from berlin, was with us through last weekend + until tuesday, which was fun! a great reminder that, my wife + i live a crazy, never dull life. and we are so blessed by so many friends (and visitors!). as i said goodbye to her at the train station, i just knew that the next thing i was going to do was to go home and lay down. it was as if the cold finally took hold with a stupid scratchy throat.

our last few touristy moments with g

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wednesday, i did my wifely duties (laundry + some light cleaning) and stayed in my pjs all day – if i remember correctly. then, as the week started to close in on us, i had more chances to meet up with more out of town friends. no one staying with us overnight, but two friends from norrköping coming on two separate days. so, i enjoyed lunch out on both thursday + friday. collapsing on the couch again both days as soon as i got home to rest + eat chicken noodle soup. but, it was sooooo worth getting to see these two, completely un-related special ladies.

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all of the evenings my love and i stayed home. that was probably the one thing that seemed to be getting back to our regular day routine. but, since we were home, we began to notice how dark it is. the sun is setting before 8pm now! what?! time to bring out the candles and such. good god, we go through candles like crazy people in the autumn + winter. time to stock up now!

in addition to checking out candle status at home, i began to snap a few photos of the very early autumn season that’s starting to make its appearance. i just love this season. it’s the perfect reason to snuggle, netlfix, drink chai, wear scarves + boots, prepare for family + friends gatherings (think: my birthday, halloween, and thanksgiving!). and forage little bits of nature, bringing in the harvest and the warm, earthy colors.

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the weekend came + we had nothing at all planned. that’s right. you read it correctly: n o t h i n g!

all we did was stare at the moon, do some blogging + creating, some researching into new adventures that we are both are excited about, and watch all three “back to the future” movies. we did, however, venture out once when our friend contacted us midday on saturday for a little lunch adventure. so, we rode the train to a little town to eat burgers, milkshakes, and fries. i practically had to be rolled home afterwards. but, yuuuuuum.

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now that it’s a new week, i’m all healed. my cold is on its way out and i’ve got big plans for the week. i’m actually booked up with lots of different, but important things. it feels all so very right. it’s crazy how learning to simply go with the flow, to trust and accept and breathe deep in the midst of whatever is going on, somehow helps to lead us in the right direction.

here’s to wishing you a bright new week, filled with just the opportunities, challenges, adventures, and beautiful moments that you need. let’s all just practice bending and breathing and aligning this week. and, remember… september starts on tuesday! so, autumn (or spring!) is on its way for real now. new adventures are out there waiting for us!

lots of love and light to you all.

onwards + upwards! xoxo

// week thirty // nick’s in town + vacation has begun!

i don’t have any time, friends! we’re hopping a train to stockholm in less than an hour and i’ve gotta get dressed. but, i definitely wanted to share some photos from last week with you all.

my love and i went down to norrköping on tuesday. she worked from home and i kept in contact with my brother as he made his way to europe. then, on wednesday, he arrived in norrköping!

basically, my heart feels like it’s going to explode constantly. we’ve been touring, eating, drinking, chatting, and meeting up with friends. and there’s more to come, as he will be with us until friday!

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have a great week!! 

onwards + upwards! xoxo

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the one thing i love about easter in sweden

easter in sweden is a big deal. not necessarily because of the religious reasons, but because it is a long weekend holiday, and the first real celebration in the spring. like the united states, easter is right up there with christmas. there are traditions, decorations, and typical swedish things that you can count on seeing and/or doing every year.

i’ve spent quite a few easters in sweden… i think this was my 5th, and i knew exactly what to expect. time may have passed, and situations in life may have changed, but this holiday, this little break in regular, everyday life, remains an important time in swedish society.

my easter this year began on friday morning, as my love and i enjoyed a quiet, slow morning at home. then we hopped on a train and headed south to norrköping to lina’s parents’ home. we made it by dinner time + sat outside in their new sunroom through sunset and until the full moon had risen high in the sky. on good friday, it is expected that you don’t do much of anything – a tradition in respect of the day of jesus’ death. even though most people in sweden don’t really observe good friday.

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saturday, the traditional weird day between good friday and easter, is filled with a buzz here in sweden. though, it’s a buzz only with food + family here. nothing else. our saturday was pretty calm, even though it was busy – kind of. a long, lazy morning with lots of coffee + breakfast. meal preparations. a big 14 person lunch. lots of candy (from the easter eggs children get). a mid-afternoon fika. more relaxing, talking, and sitting around the table. pizza dinner. and then bed.

sitting around the table, eating, talking, and catching up is something that swedes do every well. it is highly possible to go from one meal to a fika to another little meal, and never leave the table. it was something i had hard time with when i first lived in sweden years ago, being a short-attention-span american. but, i have grown to enjoy the long, drawn-out meals where you really, really connect and enjoy each others’ company.

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on easter sunday, we began the morning slowly again, but left for church in the late morning. we visited the church where i used to work, and filled with people that lina grew up with. it was so very nice to hug some necks and catch up with friends and co-workers and other members. i have to say, we were treated like little celebrities when we walked in – what a boost to one’s ego. hehe. of course, after the service we had fika and chatted with even more people. it was really great to reconnect with some very amazing, inspiring people from our former life in sweden.

then, in the afternoon, we headed to lina’s aunt + uncles’ house for a birthday dinner for lina’s cousin who’s turning 25. there were about 17 of us or so. another amazing family meal of sitting around the table and catching up. as you can tell, it’s all about quality time together here in sweden.

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in the evening, lina and i hopped a bus back to uppsala. it was a long ride and we arrived close to 11pm. but that didn’t stop us from meeting up with lina’s brother for a drink at a nearby bar. he wasn’t with us for easter because he was with his fiancées family. it was a great way to wind down after a social weekend away, and transition back to being home.

easter monday is a holiday here, so everyone was still off from work. lina and i stayed home all day – minus a quick walk to the grocery store. doing what we love to do. and just being.

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so, in my opinion, easter in sweden is all about one thing: simplicity. it’s all about simply spending time together and enjoying that time with good food and relaxation. it is a fantastic little break in the everyday grind. and something that makes the swedish society so amazing. it’s  the ability to just slow down and just be for a sustained period of time – without needing to be entertained by something fancy. just some food and some people and perhaps a chance to enjoy nature a bit. for a whole weekend. something that many people (americans) could learn to do better. whether you are involved with a big family or there are only two of you, it’s all about stopping for a moment just to enjoy… well, life.

hope you had a lovely weekend, and celebrated in just the way that you wanted + needed.

onwards + upwards! xoxo