norrköping moments

well, my friends, my month long visit to sweden has now come to an end. it’s so hard to believe. it seems as if time has flown by, and yet, it seems like forever ago i was in asheville. the past 4 weeks have been incredible. however, the two words that keep sticking out in my mind are beautiful and magical.

it has been the perfect swedish summer – never have i experienced a summer like this: sunny, hot, blue skies. the whole freaking time. so, the weather has been beautiful, but more than that, the moments and the people and the sights have been beautiful. and all of that combined with the swedish way of life – a way of life that is a bit slower, a bit more intentional, and a bit more communal – has made all of the beauty also magical. i feel a bit like i’ve had moment after moment of traditional, old-timey, the way things should be, swedish life. a very classic svensk sommar (swedish summer) – with strawberries, sunshine, eating outdoors, lake swims, picnics, walks around town, and gatherings with friends and family.

so, as i am flying back to the states today, i wanted to share with you some moments from norrköping – the city in sweden that i call home, since i lived here for three years. norrköping was our base through the 4 weeks we were here, so we had lots of days of just being, exploring, and meeting friends.

and, though i say goodbye to the city and my family/friends who are live here, i will cherish all of the memories and moments that i have shared with my love, with paige, and with all of the beautiful swedish (and dutch!) people in my life.

it has been an amazing summer. an unbelievable journey. and moment after moment that has taken my breath away.

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happy tuesday, dear ones. the next post, from the states, will be my 1000th post! stay tuned – it’ll be a great big celebration!

peace & love. xx

**all photos that have me in it (except for the last one) are taken by paige.

celebrate life!

last month, my love celebrated her one year life anniversary – it was one year since she was put in the hospital for the second time to help her beat the anorexia nervosa which had taken over her life for the past 10-ish years. that last time in the hospital was the time that made all of the difference – as she is now on the road to recovery and has taken her life back.

however, today is the same in importance, if not greater. today is the two year anniversary of lina’s first visit to the hospital. two years ago today was one of the worst days of my life – and hers too. i remember experiencing it, but feeling like i was having an out-of-body experience at the same time. my love was knocking on death’s door – literally. it was so bad that she had no idea what was going on, her body was shutting down, and her doctors and psychologists had to commit her to the hospital. i went with them, but i remember the complete panic i felt when i had to leave her there. oh, just thinking about it makes my stomach do flips and my heart beat fast. i was terrified. she was terrified. but, she was not my love. the anorexia had taken over completely… i knew that lina was still inside, and i prayed that she would be able to rediscover herself before her eating disorder killed her. oh god, i was so scared.

she stayed in that hospital for three, long, difficult months. she fought treatment, and then she finally found the strength to slowly begin fighting the anorexic monster that lived inside her. she had amazing angels in the form of nurses and therapists around her that made all of this possible. they saved her life… but, of course, it was my love, herself, that actually saved her own life.

as for me, i learned more than i ever thought i would about anorexia, about myself, about living alone in a foreign country, about how to back off & let the health professionals take over my role of caregiver, about giving up control, about how to get my own life back and rid our home of the “third” roommate that had become part of our lives.

but, enough about the past. today it’s all about the present – right now. it’s all about celebrating my love’s life and the life that we share together. and, it is all because my love is  the strongest, most beautiful (inside and out!), most amazing woman i have ever known! she is a fighter and a survivor – and i celebrate every little thing about her amazingness today!

my love

so, here’s to living life to the fullest and loving every minute! xx

if you or someone you know is suffering from an eating disorder, remember, it is possible to recover – though it is a long, tough road. but, you cannot do it alone. there is help – there are people who can help. please contact someone. as my love would say… it is so worth it to get your life back.
check out the national eating disorders association here for more information.

sensory overload. part 14.

think spring!! amazingly, mother nature decided that she’d show us a taste of late spring/early summer up here in the north carolina mountains last week. trees have begun blooming, grass is getting greener, and the temperatures were pretty damn near perfect. and i enjoyed every single second of it…. from eating meals outside to taking long walks with my brother’s new dog (while my brother was at work). i definitely spent a lot of time outdoors. so, this week’s photos reflect a lot of nature and a lot of urban walks. enjoy!

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a massive case of spring fever has taken hold in our home! of course, as i write this it is cold and rainy outside, with not much hope of some warmth for the next few days. oh well… spring in the mountains. and april showers bring may flowers, right?!

happy week, my friends! peace and love. xx

sensory overload. part 10.

hi folks! i don’t have much time to write today, so i’ll be brief. the past week was quite fantastic with lent beginning and our first european visitors coming to town! they’re still here now = why i don’t have much time to write. i’m spending all my time having too much fun. so, i’ll just give you a post of lots of photos of moments that overwhelmed me and made my soul sing. hope you enjoy!

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wishing you a beautiful week!

peace & love. xx

sensory overload: part 9

you know how some weeks are just regular weeks? well, that’s how this past week was. just regular life – not that that’s bad. but, it’s those weeks that seem regular, boring, mundane, and/or ordinary that are the ones that teach me to find the extraordinary within the ordinary. and believe me, if you look, you will find it.

so, even though there were not ground-breaking moments, i quietly moved through the week just doing what i do. and looking back, i can see just how amazing some of those moments actually were. however, if i am really aware, then i am present in the moments as they happen. that, of course, is my goal.

the past week was full of little things that, as i looked through my photos, reminded me that i am so blessed -just to live the life that i do. that there is inspiration all around me.

in fact, i dare say that inspiration was actually the theme during the week:

an evening beer and cozy lights.


we rearranged our bedroom. a new perspective, and a funky loft feel. love it!bedroom

finished an amazing book: The Invention of Wingsthe invention of wings

Had my first book club meeting! so. much. club

my new favorite breakfast place: Biscuit Head & a great Fika meet up with incredible conversationsbreakfast

a lot of work/writing at home. ok. not as much as it should have

sunrises, sunsets, and silent momentssunrise


on saturday, I attended an amazing LGBT conference  – inspiration. networking. support. information. activism.
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sunday morning laziness with my little familysunday morning

and finally, the oscars on tv! it was a great show with (again, I use the word) inspiring actors, speeches, & moments


i need to seriously be really productive this week. motivated. effective. and creating that paradise that i say is my own inspiration for 2014. perhaps all of that inspiration that i soaked up last week will carry me through this week.

so, i’m gonna try to be all about business this week – and also taking care of my family (who are sick and having a rough time) – because next weekend some friends from germany come to visit! so, time to get moving. here’s to wishing you a great week, friends!

peace & love. xx

where is paradise to you?

“wherever my travels may lead, paradise is where i am.” – voltaire

it’s no secret that i love to travel. and i do it whenever i get the chance. i love big trips which mean saving big money for planes tickets. and i love little weekend, or even day, trips. and while my wanderlust is in overdrive right now – i am dyyyying for a road trip, i ran across a quote that brought me back to reality. or at least my reality.

i most definitely love adventure. i love exploring new places, new people, new sights, new food, and new cultures. and part of what i love about traveling is that feeling of excitement and awe and surprise, of being purely present in the moment. this quote reminded about what is really the most important thing… appreciating the where i am, soaking it all in, and letting it transform me. but, what i easily forget is that living in the present moment can be achieved no matter where i am.

so, instead of focusing on what i where i want to go, i focus on where i am. and where i am, is just as much of an adventure as where i want to go. follow me? it’s all about how i choose to see my everyday life. i can spend my days in misery, pining away for my next road trip or travel adventure (and part of me will always be planning and dreaming about that), or i can spend my days living life to the fullest right where i am. soaking up the paradise that is around me.

with that in mind, i grabbed my camera, bundled up, and headed out the door to see what i could see. i may not have gone far, but i definitely had some experiences. yep. today, my big travel adventure was right below balcony.

take a peek at what my paradise looks like today:

entrance verde vistaearly morningsnowwinter poolpoolparking lotsnow angelcamera selfieDSC_0941parkingevergreen treefront verde vistasnow covered roadhighway


photo by (my love)

my love and me

photo by (my love)

do you believe that wherever you are can be paradise? what is paradise to you?

peace & love. xx

* this begins my new series on thursday, which i will call “travel thursdays”. every week i’ll post something that has to do with travel – an inspiring quote, a photo, a place, a recent trip, an upcoming trip, tips, you name it. as long as it’s travel-related. so, check back next thursday to see where travel to next! 

making me all weepy.

think of this post as a little celebration on a completely random day.

one year ago today, i wrote an important post (click here to read it). it may not have been important to anyone but me. but, nevermind that. it was one of those serendipitous days that occurs every so often when you just know that everything is right. when your soul is not whispering to you, but shouting with joy and you feel as if you might burst. a day when everything makes sense and life seems exactly as it should.

it was a very powerful day for me. a day where i realized that i was ready. ready to really chase my dreams. ready to accept and understand and move forward. ready to admit that i would never go back – i could never go back – to simply living my old, “regular” life, but i knew that it was time to embrace the calling and the feeling that i was meant to write. no matter what.

and while it made sense to me, how any of that would be possible, i had no idea. i knew that i was going to do it. i had no idea how, but i believed. lina and i were already committed to moving to asheville so that lina could follow her dreams, but this time last year, i embraced that this move meant that i would also be following my dream as well.

it was as if i gave myself permission to just jump. to take a leap of faith and risk it. and that’s what last year’s post was all about.

this week, Facebook turned 10 and they created little videos for users based on their photos and updates – things they had posted on Facebook since they first began using it. i joined Facebook in 2007, just a few weeks after meeting lina. and i actually joined so that lina and i could keep in touch. so, our entire relationship was based on a friendship started in sweden and developed through Facebook messages and webcam chats.


when i clicked on my little one-minute video to see what Facebook had created for me, i was brought to tears by the photos and words that appeared before my eyes. it was a collection of beautiful moments from the very beginning of our relationship to now, in addition to some great highlights of my family and other amazing memories. i was so touched by my little video, and it brought to mind this incredible journey that i have been on throughout the past year. well, actually the past seven years…

so, i just had to share it with you. i wanted to share it as a way of honoring my life and reminding me of how overwhelmingly grateful i am. i wanted to share it with you to “prove” to you that you can make your dreams come true, that it is possible to live the life that you dream of and to find your passion. and i wanted to encourage you to never give up.

i hope that you, too, can look back over your life, whether it be 10 years or 10 days, and find things to celebrate as well. but, more than anything, i wish for you to feel hope and excitement and peace as you look forward.

click below to watch the video:

 peace & love. xx