i have a confession to make. i’m having a super difficult time concentrating these days. i am spending so much time daydreaming… thinking and imagining of things to come. i can’t seem to focus on the here & now. at the same time, i am completely soaking up the here  & now. weird. i can’t really explain it. it’s like i’m excited about the future & the present & the past all at the same time. i’ve got a lot on my mind. i’m feeling inspired. and motivated. yet, at the same time, i can’t seem to focus on those things that are my responsibilities. not. good. i’ve gotta get a grip & balance things better. i can’t spend every waking moment dreaming life away… then again, i’m not dreaming life away. i’m simply living it. some moments i am so fully in the moment, and some moments i am so focused on what might happen (i.e. following my dreams).

i must say, that my wife is causing me to daydream a lot lately. it’s like i’m falling in love with her all over again right now. everything feels amazing, like butterflies are fluttering around inside me all the time. i get lost in her beautiful doe eyes when i look into them. i am inspired by her motivation, her drive, her dreams. i can’t seem to get enough time with her these days… laughing, singing, talking, enjoying life with her. every single moment. yep. she’s the source of my daydreaming, i believe. and she is bringing me so much joy. ♥

but, all of this is a good thing. so, i guess i’ll keep daydreaming… we gotta enjoy life while we can, right? soak up the beautiful moments when we get them. let ourselves fall in love over & over again. and remain thankful, very thankful, when we feel this way on any given random wednesday in the middle of fall.

thanks for listening. here’s to wishing you a dreamy wednesday.




things that make me smile.

there are far better things ahead than any we leave behind. ~c.s. lewis

i went to work today.

even though i’m still on my vacation.

yep. i’ve got 3 days left of my vacation and i cannot believe how freaking fast 4 weeks have gone. it’s like i’ve blinked and the time just flew right on by. a few days ago i said that i was ready to go back to work in one way. and i think i still am. i’m feeling excited & motivated. but, there is this whole other side of me that is experiencing end-of-vacation panic. gaaahh. i don’t want the lazy days of summer to disappear. i mean, it’s almost midnight, i’m watching an episode of “criminal minds” (our new before bed ritual), and i’m just now finding the time to do a blog post today. isn’t this how it’s gonna be when i’m back at work? trying to cram everything i should do and want to do in one day, with time whooshing right on by faster & faster. and then, there’s the fact that this summer vacation has been different that i expected, tougher than i ever imagined, and a time that has changed my life. i’ve been scared, worried, sad, and confused. so, i’m not quite ready to give up my vacation just yet, not when i’ve learned so much about appreciating every little moment & realizing that it could all be gone, everything could (and often does) change in a minute.

as you know, there is this thing about life that is always happens. change. wanted & unwanted changes. abrupt & slow changes. we go from work to vacation, and then from vacation back to work. we go from a day of peace to a day of restlessness & worry. we move on, move out, & move up. things happen. it’s inevitable, change happens. the thing is, we can decide exactly how we want to face the expected & unexpected changes that come.

i have had some moments during this summer that may be tiny, little, regular daily moments, but they have been truly happy ones. perhaps i have become more in tune with appreciating all of the little things in life. so, it’s hard to prepare myself to leave these moments and head back to the daily grind. but, there is one thing i am sure of… even though things are changing, even though vacation is almost over & i’m headed back to work, i am certain that there are beautiful moments that lie ahead as well.

i thought i’d share a few of the things that have made my heart happy in the past few days…

a road trip to IKEA is always a good time.

and a new addition to the floor from IKEA is even better. hehe.

a whole week of cozy, rainy days. actually the perfect way to enjoy my last week of vacation.

homemade sunflower seed crackers. that’s right. i made them.

trying out new recipes: zucchini chips. yummi yum yum.

listening to my love sing. love, love, love it.

 this face. my heart is melting.

smile on, my friends. peace.

6 down. 6 to go.

how is it possible that today is the last day of june?! where has this year gone? we are halfway through 2012 already. it’s crazy.

well, because it’s the last day of the first half of the year i thought i’d do a little looking back (you know how i am about reflecting & reminiscing. i love it.). there  have been some really great things (a visit from a friend in the states, my job becoming a permanent position, plenty of cozy moments with my love), but it has also been quite a difficult 6 months as well. the past 2 months have given me a chance to reflect a lot, and i have realized that i have been in survival mode in some ways… enjoying & clinging to the amazing moments, of which there have been plenty. but, also fighting and surviving through some really difficult things. things that require much more fighting.

but, in some ways, i think that my survival mode has been what’s kept me sane. that, and my understanding that even though things are tough, there is something beautiful to be found in every day. still, i think that my instincts to be strong & fight get me into some kind of groove where i don’t realize how bad things may be. i am an eternal optimist. and a true believer in the idea that all things teach us something, all moments, all struggles can transform us if we allow it. and it’s good that i’m like that. but, if i’m honest, and now that i can look back, i have gained much more perspective. i can see all the amazing moments and all of the moments that i felt scared & defeated. it’s a little like 2012 has been oil & vinager. good & bad. amazing & heart-breaking.

i know i haven’t written much about the heartbreak & fear on my blog, but it is very personal. perhaps one day i will tell that story. for now, though, i am still in the middle of living it. still fighting, still adjusting to changes in my life, still clinging on to hope , still fighting, and still learning. it’s still too soon to write about it publicly.

but, as i embark on the beginning of the second half of the year tomorrow, i am poised and ready to keep fighting and to keep soaking up the moments of life. i enter the second half of the year certain of how strong i am, more in love with my wife than ever, humbled by the life that i live, and inspired to grab life by the horns and follow our dreams more than ever.

i thought i’d end with my favorite picture from the instagram photo a day challenge this month. i took it when i had some wonderful moments with my love. just being together. soaking up the sun (which has not been around that much this june) and simply enjoying a little stolen moment of peace & love… even in the midst of chaos.

so, today i say goodbye to the first half of 2012. i lay it to rest and close this chapter of the year. i am ready to embark on the second half of the year, with hope, strength, and more love than i could ever imagine for the woman i share my life with. and of course, i am ready to begin my instagram photo a day challenge for july. however, i’m only gonna post my pictures once a week this month. time to switch it up again.

i’ve said it before, and i’ll say it again. this photo challenge has inspired me so much. boosted my photography stills. encouraged my creative side. and most definitely given me a chance to slow down each day and see beauty even in the most ordinary and dreary moments. yes, i’m beginning my 5th month of this challenge. perhaps i’m actually going to stick with it through the whole rest of the year?!

join me if you’d like! it can be as simple or as complicated as you want it. just snap a pic & post it somewhere to share with others on Facebook, instagram, your blog, twitter, pinterest. you’ll be amazed how you will begin to see things differently. here’s the list for july thanks to chantelle at fatmumslim!

happy second half of 2012, my dear readers!!

wishing you 6 months filled with love, beauty, happiness, strength, & peace.

23: technology.

my first apple. still using the way, check the time. now look how bright it is outside. crazy sweden.

with technology, we always think about moving forward. progressing. everything getting better. faster. thinner. sleeker. cooler. smarter. and to be honest, that is what happens with technology. it gets “better” with time. it improves. i mean, when i was in college/university blah-blah years ago, we only had 1 computer lab. we had to sign up for a time to use one of the schools 10 computers if we wanted to have our papers typed, not hand-written. true story. i had a word processor in my dorm room. do some of you even know what that is? it’s a fancy typewriter that had a 3 inch screen that showed what i was typing on the paper that came out the back as i typed it. yep. and then, my cell phone. it was in a bag, and it sat on the floor between the 2 front seats. i plugged it into the cigarette lighter and it was only possible to use when riding in the car. it was a car phone. there were no real cell phones. i listened to cassette tapes & eventually had a crapload of cds in my car, all over the floor. in order to change the cd, i needed to stop at a stoplight or pull over, since it required so much effort to find a cd, take it out of it’s case, & insert it into the cd player. oh, and don’t even get me started on the internet. it was just being introduced to the public. i remember some conversation with an old boyfriend about email accounts. he had set up one (he was always on the cutting edge. still is.) and i had not idea what the hell he was talking about. why would i need an email? couldn’t i just call people? or visit them? (i had the same battle with texting some years later. hehe.)

so, in a rather short amount of time things have changed drastically. for the better? well, yes, i think. although, i could name a few negatives too. but, i’m not gonna do that in this post. in this post i’m admitting that i’m a techie junkie. there i said it. lina & i want the newest things. these things are fun & exciting, but smart & practical in many ways also. they make things work better, make life easier, allow us to communicate & keep in touch better. yes, yes, they’re expensive too. generally. but, we save our money & decide to spend it on these kinds of fun things, instead of buying new & expensive clothes, shoes, bags, etc. all the time. it’s our choice. and we choose to invest in cool, new, up-to-date technical things. yep. we’re  little bit nerdy in this way. and perhaps a little materialistic too?

however, today as i’ve been thinking about technology & all the great things it has done, i thought in general about moving forward. is it always good to be pushy & move forward? always anxiously waiting for the next great thing. is it good to always be so eager to progress? perhaps the desire to progress and move forward at warp speed is a symptom of desiring to be in control. at least it is for me, in some ways, i think. i want things to move on, to what i want them to be. and i always associate moving forward with being better. i want things done in my way, in my time. therefore, i want control over the situation. i suck at backing off & letting things be. but, perhaps i need to slow down. to accept & take things as they come. things will progress. that’s natural. but, perhaps sometimes i need to back off and stop trying to control the progression. just let it be. let things take the time they need to take. and while it’s taking it’s time, try to be aware of what’s actually happening now, how i’m feeling now, instead of always missing the now because of wishing/hoping for what comes next. besides i can’t get to “then” without experiencing “now”. i need today. and won’t i be a better person for living for today instead of always looking toward tomorrow?

in other words, wait. trust. hope. live.

it’s a fine balance, being proactive with our dreams, hopes, and futures… and waiting, letting things take their own sweet time, letting life unfold, trusting the process. life moves so fast anyway. why would i want to be in a hurry? i’d be missing out on so much.

here’s to all of us finding the courage & strength to back off a little bit. to slow down. to let time do it’s thing. here’s to trusting that, in time, we will all feel peace.

525,600 minutes.

today is my love’s birthday!!! ♥

Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes,
Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Moments so dear.
Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes
How do you measure, measure a year?

In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights
In cups of coffee
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife.

In five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes
How do you measure
A year in the life?

How about love?
How about love?
How about love? Measure in love
Seasons of love. Seasons of love

Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes!
Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Journeys to plan.

Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes
How do you measure the life
Of a woman or a man?

In truths that she learned,
Or in times that he cried.
In bridges he burned,
Or the way that she died.

It’s time now to sing out,
Tho’ the story never ends
Let’s celebrate
Remember a year in the life of friends
Remember the love!
Remember the love!
Seasons of love!

Oh you got to got to
Remember the love!
You know that love is a gift from up above
Share love, give love spread love
Measure measure your life in love.

i couldn’t help but think of this song as i thought about my love’s birthday. we listened to it yesterday as we sat outside in the warm sun, just enjoying being. yes, another year has gone. so much has happened. so much is happening right now. and there is so much more to come.

as years & milestones pass, i always find myself reflecting a little. today i’m reflecting on this amazing song… how do we measure our lives? our years? i dare say that the message of this song, to measure life with love, with the moments of simplicity & joy that we shared, is most definitely the way to live. it’s not about how much money we made, whether we lived up to others’ expectations of ourselves, or how much power & success we have; whether we kept it all together and lived life according to what we think we should be like, look like, act like. no. those things do not make us rich and successful. that is not living. that is existing.

instead, to measure our life in love is to think back to all the moments that took our breath away, the moments that inspired us, that gave us peace, that made us sing, that made us cry & laugh. the moments of sharing a cup of coffee, or a pint of beer, of sitting & chatting, of dreaming & discussing, or connecting with old friends & creating new friends. a life of love is a life of passion, one that is not afraid to dream, risk, take chances, try something new.

think of whatever makes your soul sing, what makes you feel alive, like you are completely in touch with yourself… whole, connected, inspired, able to breathe. where were you inspired? where did you feel free? loved? amazed? overwhelmed? at peace? how many moments like that have you had this past year?

this song that lina and i love so much, reminds us to live in the moment. to never give up. to never forget that life is meant to be lived fully… filled with adventure, love, inspiration, and peace.

so, my dear love. my amazing birthday girl, this song is for you. it’s meant for you. here’s to a year of life moving into the past, taking with it all of it’s moments of fear & frustration and it’s moments of inspiration & beauty, and it’s seasons of love. and another year – full of new experiences, new hope, and new, amazing moments- appearing before you. with so many new journeys to plan. so many daylights, and sunsets, and midnights, and cups of coffee to come. so many moments and seasons of love.

here’s to the next 525,600 amazing minutes in your life, my love. i am so proud to be your wife and i can’t wait to share the next seasons of love with you! i love you with all that i am.

happy birthday, my amazing lina!

here & now.

everybody keeps saying those words to my love & me.

focus on today. try to just be here. now. the problem is, i keep thinking about the past (fretting & dreaming) & wondering (worrying & dreaming) about the future. feeling overwhelmed & insecure? take it one day at a time. yeah. great advice. ain’t so easy to pull off though. but i’m trying. really trying.

i think i go to the past & the future in order to escape the not-so-pretty-present, whenever something uncomfortable pops up. but, i also think that i worry about what has happened and what will happen in an effort to control things. escapism and worry. two things that will suck the life right out of me. i know that. but, sometimes it’s just so hard. escapism & worry. a sure fire way to ignore the present situation, and therefore, miss out on little moments which may be beautiful ones. at the same time, perhaps escapism & worry serve as a tiny bit of a survival technique, when things are just too difficult to bear. the trick is the balance. i’m most definitely not saying that we should try to avoid feeling sad, depressed, afraid, worried, etc. our feelings are our feelings. it’s good to feel them. the balance comes when we feel them, but don’t dwell on them. don’t let them take over, so that we miss living in the present moment…  which may feel icky at the time, but we will survive.

many times the present is actually better than the past pain or the future worries. those things only bring us guilt & anxiety. focusing on the present allows us to breathe. to soak in the calmness & positive energy around us, whatever it may be. yes, the present is the place to be, the place to exist. the past & the future will always be there, tapping us on our shoulders, creeping up during our days. but, to hold fast to the moment we are in… therein lies our power. and our peace.

5 years ago i was in a weird, tough place. i had a lot of pain from a betrayal in the past that followed me around every day. but, i pushed away that pain, because it was too difficult to bear. instead, i chose to focus on the future. i kept dreaming of a future that was brighter. i lived for that future. i only thought about what was going to happen, and focused all my energy on what might come, how life could be. all the while, i was ignoring how life was. except for every now & then. every few months, then weeks, then days, i turned to a friend(s) and poured out my frustrations/fears/anger/confusion. deep inside i knew that something had to be done, but i was just too afraid; for deep inside, i also knew the outcome of facing the pain. i knew my marriage would end in divorce. so, i let off steam every now and then, facing the reality of the present. but, as soon as i let it out in a conversation with a friend, i went right back to living for the future. telling myself that everything would be better in a few months.

then one day, as i lamented my woes and frustrations to one particularly patient friend (love ya, mean it), he decided to say something. mostly he just listened to me rant & rave. but, on this day, he said something like this: “i’m tired of listening to you complain. i’m tired of seeing you in pain. stop talking about it and do something. you are living for this future that doesn’t even exist yet, and are afraid to look at what’s actually happening. open your eyes and see how life really is every day. notice that the only time you feel ok is when you think about the future and how it could be. you need to be honest and look at how it is now. today. do something.”

ouch. that was painful, but i wasn’t mad at all. i needed to hear that. i was ready to hear that. i needed a friend who loved me that much. because of him, and because i was ready, i did something. and, so began a year of soul-searching, reconnecting with myself, and rediscovering the power of living in the moment. my marriage ended. i decided to move to denmark. i followed my soul. i listened to my heart. i lived in the moment. and i fell in love.

now, 5 years later, i am reminded of the power of living here & now. it has become difficult for me to do that recently, but i learned my lesson years ago, so i will fight to stay in the present moment. i will soak it up. no matter what comes my way, i am not alone. i have found a great love with whom to share my life. and together, we will fight for this moment, to stay in the present moment, to live life. it’s not easy, but we have each other. and that makes all the difference.

to all you out there wondering at times, like me, how you will make it… i have some advice for us. slow down. close your eyes. breathe deep. feel your soul & know that, come what may, all will be well. all the pain serves as a lesson to make us who we are today. all of our dreams propel us to the future & keep us inspired. but, right now, even in the midst of chaos, if we take it one moment at a time, we will get through it.

sending you strength & peace.

day 8: a smell i adore.


i love the smell of coffee grounds in the morning.

i make my way to the kitchen, open the cabinet, pour the water, and then… it’s time. i open the coffee canister, the waft tickles my nose as i begin to scoop out the main ingredient of my cozy morning. it doesn’t matter if i have a morning off or only an hour before i have to go, the morning cup of coffee is necessary. it’s a cup of coziness, like a deep breath or a warm blanket. and the smell… the smell will always remind me of mornings with my love.

my morning pot of coffee ritual with my love prepares me. it gives me the time & space i need to begin my day, to transition from rest to work… slow moments shared together before the hustle & bustle of daily life takes over. or, on some days, the smell from the pot of coffee never ends, as we take cup after cup of warm yumminess, listen to music, read the paper, chat in the sunny kitchen, and simply enjoy the laziness of being together on a day off.

wishing you some lazy, cozy moments somewhere in your day.