// week thirty one (part 1) // north carolina meets sweden

alright. i’m blessed beyond belief.

and because i am so grateful for so many different things this week, i am gonna need about 3 different posts to share with you my week 31. just to whet your appetite a little (and in case you haven’t had me bombing your instagram feed) here’s a little of what these posts are going to cover: my brother visiting sweden. stockholm’s pride parade. an airbnb vacation weekend with my love in the funky part of stockholm.

part one is dedicated all to my brother – and the insane joy that it was to have him visit us. i was a complete disaster after he left last friday (you may have seen this post as a result of that melancholy). but, before all of the sadness + missing his presence, we had some great times. nothing fancy, just sharing a bit of my life + sweden with him.

and it meant more than i can ever express.

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drottningholm palace :: the home of sweden’s king + queen
stockholm-harbor-drottningholmdrottningholm-boat drottningholm-palace-2 palace-ceiling-drottningholm drottningholm-ceiling Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset drottningholm-chanelier drottningholm-selfie drottningholm-chapel drottningholm-gardens drottningholm-palace drottningholm-stockholms t o c k h o l m
stockholm-norrmalm-hotel-view stockholm-gamla-stan-alley stockholm-gamla-stan stockholm-dinner-vasastan stockholm-norrmalm-hotel stockholm-sodermalm-books stockholm stockholm-omnipollo-2 stockholm-omnipollo stockholm-view-buildingsu p p s a l a

cathedral-uppsala friends-brother-beer-uppsala uppsala-brothers-and-sisters-my-love gamla-uppsala gamla-uppsala-mound gamla-uppsala-brother-nick gamla-uppsala-mounds-path gamla-uppsala-mounds gamla-uppsala-fence gamla-uppsala-flowers fika-cafe-linne-uppsala uppsala-pub goodbye-uppsala--brother-lina-mein the midst of all of the challenges + changes + tough times + beauty of our lives, all of that stuff that makes up life, it was good to just be together. to just have some time. and, in the end, that’s all that really matters. that’s what we hold on to. and, any chance that we get to feel blessed + at peace + loved, well, then we have been given a most wonderful gift. how incredibly amazing it was to have my brother here!

onwards + upwards!

 

 

mom + dad: still riding through it all together after 44 years

mom and dad jeep

i got this adorable, fabulous photo from my mom the other day.

it’s just a regular day for my parents in the mountains that they call home. top down. riding in the jeep. exploring and discovering and enjoying. usually taking the long road anywhere (thanks to my dad!). i just love this picture of them. it totally captures a moment, a typical moment. and i am so happy to see them living life in that wonderful moment.

i am celebrating my parents  today because this is my parents’ 44th wedding anniversary!

44 years is a lot of time for great memories, tough times, and lots of changes + journeys. and, they have shared all of that, and much more together. the good, the bad, the ugly, the beautiful, the painful, the joyful. you know… life.

and though some of us have been married more than once, or are divorced or single, which is ok (because life is what it is, and our journeys are all different, and hopefully our lives are better as they are right now – i know mine is!), seeing my parents reminds me what it means to be in relationship with anyone. it reminds me to never take for granted any person that i am blessed to have journey with me in life. and it makes me even more grateful and excited to celebrate them, and their commitment to each other. what a gift it is to have someone to share life with – traveling through the ups and downs, and the wonderful memories and difficult ones too… together.

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so, today, i wish my dear parents blessings and joy, and the happiness of remembering + honoring their past together; but more importantly, i wish them continued joy in their present moments together.

you know, we can curl up with our past, or freak out about our future. we can regret things or be frightened by things to come…

but to let our hair blow in breeze, while sitting beside the one that we have chosen to share our life with for the past 44 years… that, my friends, that is love. that is life. that is what it all about.

happy anniversary, mom + dad!

i love + miss you more than you will ever be able to understand. 

to love! onwards + upwards! xoxo

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| week twenty one |

i miss doing a weekly photo update. sharing the random little snippets of my life that i capture on my phone. so, i think i’m going to begin that again. then, the rest of the week i can focus on other kinds of posts: beer, travel, tips, spirituality… those things that are the passions of my life.

but, one of the things that i am most passionate about is learning to live in the present moment, or living a mindful life. all of my other passions, come from my desire for peace, to live an authentic life, in the moment, grateful for all that i have and all that i am.

but some of my passions lend themselves to sounds like amazing, crazy adventures. and, sure,  i love amazing, crazy adventures as much as the next person, but the heart of life is found in our every day moments.

so i don’t want to highlight only all of the unusual, special, amazing moments and adventures that i have on this blog. no, i want to share my love for the everyday as well.

when we learn to live every single ordinary day as something extraordinary, knowing that the adventures are found in those mundane, ordinary moments, then we begin to live a life full of gratitude. and we find that we want for nothing, that we already have so much. that life is beautiful, even in the midst of the struggles and chaos and stress. when we tune into those moments that make us smile, if even for a second, then our whole attitude changes. and life becomes one big adventure. every single second of it. a sense of peace falls over us and we stand grounded, like a tree, rooted to the earth, letting the winds and storms and rain blow by. soaking up the sun when it shines.

so, this weekly photo journal is my way of sharing with you those regular moments that have passed by in my life. hopefully you will get a little peek into my expat life in sweden, or find inspiration, or simply enjoy the photos. but, more than a photo journal for you, this is for me. to remind me that my life is amazing. to give thanks for every little thing. not to ignore the not so great things, but to claim the beauty that is life, even in the midst of all of the suffering and confusion and stress and uncertainty.

besides, i/we have but this one life to live. so, why not live it to the absolute fullest, enjoying it?!

happy-camper-mug

my love’s birthday was this past week
birthday-breakfast-lina lina-birthday-morning tapas-lina-birthday me-coffee- cafe-linne-uppsala-coffee

i cycled outside of uppsala + discovered some beautiful placesbiking-sweden- biking-sweden-country

we spent the weekend in stockholm: shopping for my brother-in-law’s wedding, drinking local beer, celebrating europe’s eurovision song contest victory (sweden won!) with some friends, and enjoying the super spring weatherstarbucks-stockholm-shopping shopping-street-stockholm omnipollo-soder-stockholm-microbrewery microbrewery-taps-beer-omnipollo omnipollo-beer me-beer-sodermalm-stockholm omnipollo-taps-sodermalm tacos-friends sweden-eurovision lina-me-melodifestivalen-eurovision late-night-stockholm-sky sodermalm-stockholm- stockholm-spring old-town-stockholm-alley lina-me-ice-cream-stockholm stockholm train-home-uppsala-sweden

happy monday, dear friends + family! wishing you a week filled with exactly what you need.

onwards + upwards! xoxo