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| week twenty three | a spectacular wedding, an international visitor + keeping the balance

hello, friends! i do believe that i have returned to the land of the (regular) living after an intense, wonderful, super busy two and a half weeks. whew. it has ben so much fun. but, i must say, that it feels good to get back to writing my book, nesting, enjoying the long, long days as we approach midsummer, and just being with my wife. shhh… don’t tell her, but i plan on spoiling her in one way or another in the next few days. she’s crazy busy at work + deserves some time to do whatever the hell she wants. plus, we need a little reconnection, lovey dovey time together too.

but, this post is all about what’s been happening for the past week. and, even though we had said goodbye to our first two visitors at the beginning of last week, it was only 2 days before our next international visitor made her way to uppsala to stay with us for 5 days + attend the upcoming wedding over the weekend.

first, i focused on a few moments of just being  – making sure that i had a few minutes each day to just check in with my soul. coffee. meditation. reading. i’ve got to prioritize time for these things every single day – at least 30 minutes, if nothing else. so, i did.

the weather was (and has been) crappy for a while. chilly, rainy. just yucky. and my emotions have been a little flat lately, though inside my soul has been calm. i’m not sure what that is all about, but perhaps it’s the weather and/or the mercury retrograde happening up in our universe these days. in any case, trying to balance grounding myself + running around doing errands for visitors + the wedding was my focus at the beginning of the week.
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nicole, our third visitor, arrived on wednesday with a bottle of irish whiskey. woooooo! it had been 2 years since we’d all three been together, and it was so great. it’s amazing to have those friendships that stand the test of time + distance. but, now that we are back on the same side of the atlantic, it’ll be much easier to get together.

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we did plenty of shopping, eating out, enjoying the sun whenever it was shining, chatting, relaxing, and preparing for the wedding. lunch-stationen-sunshine my-love-spring wine-strawberries-picnic

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the wedding day had arrived! my brother in law and his fiancee had planned a fantastic wedding, and invited lina and me to be toastmadams, which means that we are in charge of entertaining/running/organizing the reception time. it was such an honor! so, after some morning planning with my love to finalize the reception, and some quick dress altering by nicole, we headed to the reception place to decorate! wedding-preparations wedding-nicole-sewing

as you can see, the reception venue was ahhhh-mazing. wedding-reception-norrlands wedding-reception-hall wedding-reception-tables wedding-me

and then, it was time for the wedding to begin!!

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back to the reception venue for dinner, entertainment, partying, and dancing. what a super fun, fantastic time it was! we enjoyed every single second of it. and i think lina and i did a pretty good job being toastmadams – it was unbelievably fun for us in any case! i didn’t take any photos, didn’t even have my phone/camera anywhere around me because we were so busy. but, trust me… it was a beautiful, wonderful, super fun evening.wedding-me-and-my-love-lina wedding-dance wedding-dancing wedding-couples-me-lina

so fun that we danced until the sun came up (mind you, the sun was rising at 2 am)!wedding-sunrise-uppsala

and there you have it… my jam-packed, memorable, amazing, busy, wonderful week. and yes, i believe that i truly am ready to get back to normal life again now.

so, back to writing my book and job hunting! and here’s to wishing you a great week – whether you find yourself doing unusual + extraordinary things, or whether you find ways to make your everyday life unusual + extraordinary!

onwards + upwards! xoxo

it’s a great day for a wedding

Today is a special day in my Swedish family… my brother-in-law is getting married!

Also, our dear friend from Ireland is in town for the wedding, and has been staying with us this week. So we’ve gotten to play host to our third visitor in two weeks with her here! And, we love that!

Today just happens to be her birthday, Sweden’s national day, and the wedding all rolled into one. So much to celebrate!

In just a minute, in gonna roll out of bed (or off the sofa is more like it), put on a pot of coffee, prepare a special birthday breakfast, and then spend a girlie morning with my love + our friend primping for the wedding.

Then, my love and I have the pure honor of being the toastmadames of the wedding reception/party. It’s a Swedish tradition to have a toastmaster/madam who is the go-to person for the reception. We will be the emcees of the reception, like someone who hosts the Oscars. We have organized and planned everything that will be happening during the reception time. Kind of like social directors on a cruise ship. Sounds fun, huh? It’s our job to introduce any speeches or other things that people want to do for the bridal couple, we give out all pertinent information about the reception, and we entertain. We’re the hosts, it’s as simple as that! And so much freaking fun. And we couldn’t be more honored to have been given this role!

So, that’s gonna be my Saturday: family, love, food, celebration. Perfect!

Here’s to the happy couple, Jonas + Magdalena! Wishing them a lifetime of joy and laughter and happiness!

Happy Saturday, friends!!

Onwards + upwards! xoxo

week twenty two | asheville vibes, pubs, and friends

happy monday, friends! i hope your last week of may was a good one. if i am honest with you, mine was very mixed. there were a few things that were super tough and challenging, and then there were some moments that were just completely beautiful and life-fullfing.

but, i suppose that that’s exactly how life is, isn’t it?

i mean, we all have our own struggles and battles and issues. we all have those things that keep us awake at night or stress us out or frighten us tremendously.

but, that’s why i want to do these monday wrap-up posts on mondays: i want to remind myself that not ever moment is a tough moment. it is so important to live with gratitude, to live in the present moment, and to  tap into the power that we have within us. for, if we simply dwell in the uncertainty + pain, then our lives will be eaten up by our worries and fears. life will flash by us and before we know it, we will realize that we have missed out.

so, in an effort to live a mindful, authentic life, i choose to let myself feel the joy and happiness and peace that pops up unexpectedly every single day. i truly believe that in in the midst of those bad days, there are moments that bring a smile to our face or give us a sense of calm. i choose to live in the present moment so that i don’t miss those moments, and so that i don’t get caught up only in the struggles of the past or the worries of the future.

life is here + now. and those tough times feel so much more bearable when we slow down enough to simply breathe + observe + be aware.

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last week, my love + i had the joy of having some visitors come to stay with us. and we loooove hosting people in our home.

our first guest was a “friend”… from asheville! i put the word friend in ” ” because we had never actually met her before, but had mutual acquaintances. and, since we are americans, we think it’s totally normal to meet up + stay with each other, even if we’ve never met before.

cynbone arrived on wednesday with the train – she is visiting sweden for 3 months (and maybe longer, who knows?!)) and wanted to stop by to visit for a few days on her way up north to explore more of the country. she stayed with us until saturday and we had the best time! we did a tiny bit of touring uppsala, visited pubs, drank beer, explored the grocery store (she loves to cook!), made dinners together, had long + deep conversations, watched netflix, sang abba songs… and became real friends.

plus she spilled all of her asheville vibes all over our apartment, so that feels amazing. it really did feel so cool to have an american, a fellow north carolina girl, here with us.

 

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and then, on saturday when cybone left, another friend came! this friend, from the city where we used to live in sweden, is someone who has become very important in my life + even more so in my love’s life. she’s just got an amazing energy and vibe, and we always laugh constantly.

she was only in town for 24 hours, and it rained pretty much the whole time, so we had lots of cozy moments at home. though, we did brave the wind and rain and cold by hailing a cab to take us to dinner at what lina and i have now decided is our favorite pub, churchill arms.

it was a quick little visit together, but oh so powerful.

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so, today, we begin a new week + a new month! this week is going to be super exciting in our world. we are continuing our hospitality on wednesday when our dear, dear friend from ireland (who’s swiss) arrives to stay with us through the weekend! we haven’t seen each other in a little over 2 years, which is way too long. it is going to be amazing to catch up with each other, and have some quality time together. unfortunately her husband couldn’t make it, so i guess that means that lina and i need to plan a trip to ireland pretty soon. wink wink.

she’s here not only to visit with us, but the main reason is because lina’s brother is getting married on saturday!!

so, we’ve got tons of wedding stuff happening this week in preparation for the big day on saturday. lina and i have the wonderful honor of being the toast madams for the reception/dinner/party, which means that we are basically the program leaders/emcees/hosts… we organize the program, entertain a little, and are the general knowers of all that’s going on, so jonas and magda can just sit back and enjoy their day.

it’s gonna be epic!

here’s to wishing you a beautiful first week of june, lovelies! and whenever you feel overwhelmed + confused, just remember to breathe deep. ground yourself, and seek out the beauty of the present moment.

onwards + upwards! xoxo