friends

the people of 2014

people-2014i shared so many beautiful moments with so many beautiful people in 2014. i couldn’t just let the turning of the new year slip by without recognizing the fact that it is the people in my life that make my life what it is. i would be nothing if i were all alone. and i am so very thankful for the people that surround me and make me giggle, and think, and teach me what life is all about.

however, by no means is this an exhaustive collection of people. there are many that i know of that i have not included in this collage. but, at some point, for the sake on moving on in life instead of sitting by the computer for a week straight, i had to stop sorting through every single photo of 2014 and complete this post. hehe.

many of you, who are not pictured here, are people who i may have never met face to face. many of you blog readers + instagram followers. many of you are people i care deeply about, but i haven’t spent much time with you in 2014 (different countries and all that).  please know that you all have a special place in my heart as well.

this post, as a whole, sums up just how blessed i am to have so many wonderful people in my life. positive people. challenging people. people who inspire and push and irritate and constantly are there for me. i cherish each and every moment, the good + the bad, and i am completely + fully aware of the joy that you each bring to my life in your own special way.

so, thank you, for an incredible year! from the bottom of my heart, i wish you all peace, light, empowerment + love.

love, liz

 

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.

a video of our road trip: starring paige, lina, me & first aid kit!

there are perks to being married to a graphic design student. and one of the new ones is homemade videos. that’s right, my love has gotten into the groove of making videos  – and she is goooood. so, during our road trip to see first aid kit in concert this past weekend, she did a whole bunch of filming using her iPhone throughout our entire trip. and then she spent last night & this morning creating, editing, and finalizing an amazing and fun video of our trip! what a great way to preserve memories and laugh at how silly we are. i’m so excited and can’t wait to see what other videos she creates after this crazy, amazing, event-filled summer.

but, for now, check out this awesome 6 minute video of our weekend road trip!

peace and love. xx

and so summer begins!

i think it’s been a few years since i’ve been as excited about summer as i am this summer. the past 2 summers have been crazy, strange, different, and somewhat difficult – well, not so much last summer. the summer of 2012 was very hard, with lina in the hospital practically the whole time; and last summer (2013) was crazy & amazing. but, it was really intense with more hospital stuff, moving out of our swedish apartment, and then our move back to the states to begin a whole new life. big stuff, ya know.

this summer began with all of our swedish visitors coming and going, and a week-long trip to new york city in-between – a pretty awesome start to the warm, sunny months, i’d say. and now, we have had a tiny bit of down time. a chance to just be at home and enjoy the quirky beauty that is asheville. and, oh, have we soaked it up.

you know, usually i do (create) a monthly photo challenge. in fact, i have been creating and participating in photo challenges for 2 years now. however, june rolled around and i thought and thought about creating something for this month. but, something inside of me was nudging me to just be. to just enjoy this month and the next – without the pressure or challenge (which are good things!) of taking a photo every day, and without having to come up with a theme to create a new list. now that it’s two weeks into june, in the midst of just enjoying the days & the moments as they pass, i am finding that, while it was weird in the beginning to not be inspired by a daily focus/prompt, it feels good to be free from a photo challenge. i think i needed a break.

all that to say, i have been more present in the moment, more aware of what is going on, and more focused on people, than on photos. of course i’ve snapped tons of photos anyway – that’s just how i roll, since i love photography. but, it’s been without planning. and without thinking. and that feels freeing. and right.

so far this june i have read a lot, written a lot of articles for the paper, worked on my fika book, enjoyed a lot of coffee and beer, dined outside every single chance i get, and – most importantly – spent tons of time with my love and our friends. from making new friends, and opening our lives & home to some lovely, lovely ladies… to celebrating with pure excitement and joy that our amazing friend paige has now moved to asheville, making it her official home, i have felt so blessed and grateful for the life that i lead.

the rest of my summer seems to only bring more excitement and fun – tomorrow, i’ve got a little road trip planned to see first aid kit in concert, some more articles to write for the paper next week, my reynolds family annual beach week in one week, and then a month-long trip to sweden for all of july. then, there’s still august!

so, no, there will not be any photo challenges for me throughout the summer. instead, i will take photos of whatever inspires me, whatever moment i want to capture and remember, whatever little moment that i want to hold dear in my heart, hoping that when i look back at the photo later on, i will look back with fondness and stir the old feelings that i once had.

now, let me share with you some of those moments from the first 12 days of june – moments that warm my soul and make me smile.
reading smores frappe

black mountain fika group me little saturday

lina and me wedge swedish flag me and lina

it was sweden’s national day on june 6th – so we flew our little swedish flag & wore sweden’s colors!

summer food

my love farm burger asheville french broad river friends

photo by lina lina and paige
photo by linathe by water katherine and me friends by the river french broad paige and me
photo by linafika double d's lina and me

i wish you all of the happiness, relaxation, joy, & adventures that you want and need. you deserve it!

peace & love. xx

 

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.

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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

a road trip down memory lane

aren’t there days that you are feeling nostalgic and just want to wander down memory lane? i have those days every now and then, and they are a perfect excuse to take a little road trip. you know, a road trip filled with driving down old, familiar roads; but with fresh, new eyes.

well, saturday morning my love and i woke up and asked each other what we wanted to do. it was clear that we both had a little action/adventure on our minds. so, we decided to get in the car and head to the next county over, haywood county, where i used to live before i moved to sweden.

after a quick little trip to a shoe store (and yes, i bought a pair of shoes. score me.), we took the back roads from asheville to canton. the little town of canton is the small, mountain town that i lived and worked in for 8 years. on the way there, it felt so great to drive on curvy, two lane roads. simple. adventurous. and, like i said before, a bit nostalgic.

driving through the sad, never-changing, cozy downtown of canton, i felt as if i had entered a time warp of some sort. i tried to explain to lina that it felt completely familiar, like no time had passed at all, and like it was completely a different life all at the same time. it’s almost like some out-of-body experience. like the memories that flooded my brain were things that happened to someone else. it was so surreal.

but i drove the roads of canton and just let the simplicity of that life come back to my consciousness. it was a crazy time in my life – a tough time that ended in my divorce from my first husband. but, it was also a good time in my life. my last year there before moving, i began to understand little by little what soaking up life is all about. but, that was just the tip of the iceberg. however, there is not one part of me that wishes to go back. not at all.

canton

johnson drive, canton, nc

after the little tour of my old town, we headed out into the countryside. oh, it was so beautiful. there is nothing like driving on mountain roads. i always feel free. and connected. and there’s something raw about north carolina country roads. the people and the houses that dot the roads are good people, hard-working people. life in the rural mountains of north carolina is harder, and yet, simpler. driving on these roads somehow reminds me of what’s really important in life.

well, we drove on. and on. and on. and we finally ended up in waynesville, where we visited a few local shops and then enjoyed dinner at a local pub. come sunset, we decided we’d head home.

highway 110 bethel haywood county mountains sunset sunset being in nature. being with my love. remember ing where i’ve come from, who i was, who i am, and who i want to be is most definitely a great way to spend a saturday. you never know where road trips might lead you… and that’s the beauty of getting on the road and just going.

hope your weekend was filled with beautiful moments which gave you the chance to just be.

peace & love. xx

* important! i give credit to my love (lier.se) for all of the photos. she took the pictures. i drove. hehe.