red, white, and woo hoo!

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i celebrated the fourth of july with a few fellow americans in sweden for the first time this year. fun! of course, i have celebrated every year one way or another… last year was extra special. anyway, it was a fun evening last night, so i thought i’d give you a little peek into our celebrations! hoping all you americans had a happy 4th! warning: there are more american flags than one should have around them at any given time…

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we stuck flags in our bags. hehe.

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our hosts. american on the left!!

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happy weekend to each of you! TGIF! peace out.

instagram easter.

word on the street is that Facebook has bought instagram for $1 billion. that is crazy. really crazy. and, while i love instagram (you know i’m addicted) and i tolerate Facebook (it helps me keep in contact with people. that’s all i really use it for.), and i am thankful that they exist, i can’t help but think about that $1 billion. couldn’t it be used to, say, feed an entire country? wipe out homelessness? improve education worldwide? it’s a lot of money. and i’m reminded that 20% of the people on earth have 80% of the resources – or something like that. it’s been a while since i checked that statistic, but you get what i mean. in any case, when a company, or a person, or a country has so much money, how is it that there are still so many problems that could actually be solved? i know, i know. it’s because our priorities are screwed up. big time.

with that said, i’m now going to post my pictures from my easter weekend… using instagram & connecting it to Facebook. i admit that by using these social media apps i am now a supporter of this mixed-up world of priorities. and i’m feeling extreme guilt, since i just wrote the above paragraph. at the same time, these pictures, this blog, give me a chance to share my life, my voice, and connect with people – which is also incredibly important. so, i remain cautiously, confusedly thankful for instagram & Facebook. oh, it’s such a gray world we live in. there is no black & white. there are no easy answers.

enough of that. let me share with you what is most important, in my opinion. people. time together. i missed my parents & my family very much this easter… it’s even harder not knowing exactly when i will be in the states again. i had some emotional moments over the weekend, but i tried to enjoy all that was around me as well. and i had plenty of people around me, i was most definitely not alone. so, i consider myself so blessed. it was a busy, crazy, but beautiful weekend… even in the midst of missing my family in the states. the bottom line, though, is… how lucky am i to have family in 2 countries, to have 2 places i call home, and to be surrounded by such love & support no matter where i am?

 a swedish tradition: bring in some branches & hang colorful feathers on them. i have yet to do that in my home, but i love it.

the snow on easter eve morning. cold, but beautiful. we were at lina’s parents’ home to celebrate with a big family meal. remember, sweden celebrates on easter eve, rather than easter sunday.

 painting easter eggs. i get stressed out when it comes to artsy stuff… so i took pictures. hehe.

 lina’s sister’s daughter = our niece. loooove her! adorable-ness.

swedes do trick-or-treating during easter. yes, it’s true. actually it is the thursday before easter, but these kids came on saturday. two days late. girls & boys dress as witches and go from house to house to get easter candy. i’m not gonna go into the tradition & where it comes from (= i am too lazy to do all the research), but it’s a fun thing. these cute, little witches came to lina’s parents’ door to get candy & i snapped their picture.

on easter sunday, after church & lunch with some friends, we went to lina’s sister’s home for our nephew’s 10th birthday party. it was the same crowd that was at lina’s parents’ house the day before for the big easter dinner. lina’s sister, u, lives about 15 minutes outside of the city, so it’s always a great treat to see some nature when we visit.

at u’s house, we had the first bbq of the season!! it was cold out, there was still snow on the ground, but there’s no stopping swedes when it comes to grilling out in the spring. if it’s sunny, grilling is a must. i was super excited.

and then, finally, easter monday. the day to recover. it’s a holiday in sweden, and lina & i took full advantage of it. we sat on the couch all morning watching an alcatraz marathon (new series. love it.), then we met a friend at a cozy, old-fashioned cafe in the afternoon, and we topped off the day with a visit to our favorite pub with another friend. all in all, a great day off.

actually, all in all, a great weekend. hope that you all had a wonderful weekend too. now, back to the real world again.

joy & peace.