five reasons she’s the best thing that ever happened to me

today is a special day in my little family. it’s my beloved wife’s 31st birthday!

in honor of her, i thought i’d share five of the ways that she is the best thing that has ever happened to me. here we go!

1. she’s a hero

i’ve never seen someone fight so much to live life to the fullest. she has taught me perseverance, dedication, commitment, and discipline. have i mastered all of those things yet? oh, hell, no. but, wow, how i have been influenced + inspired by her. and it’s not only me. i know, because i have heard, how many people look up to her and find strength in her strength.

2. she challenges me to care about myself

i can easily get swept up in always making sure that others’ ideas and opinions are represented, without sharing what my thoughts + ideas might be. this is actually a major issue of mine. not that i care so much about others, but that i don’t care so much about me. she reminds and pushes me that i have every right to have my voice heard and that i don’t have to please everyone else all of the time. i am worth it.

3. she makes people smile

ok. not just smile, but laugh. her humor is top notch. smart. witty. silly. it’s like this perfect combination of crazy weirdness and intelligent wit. whatever it is, she makes me laugh until my sides hurt. she puts a smile on my face and fill my soul with music.

4. she’s got talent

good lord, my wife can do almost anything. perhaps she can actually do everything. she’s handy in the home, organized, tidy, athletic, musical. she’s an artist, a book worm, a guy’s gal, a gal’s gal. she knows a lot about a lot. she loves to talk deep. she loves to chat about the weather. she can canoe a canoe, pitch a tent, ride a horse, hit a golf ball, dance like no one’s watching, cook + bake, create movies, sing, play the piano. i’m telling you… the list is endless. and, while all of her talents help me out, they also show me what it means to be a well-rounded person. and, once again, i am inspired to be better, to learn more, to try more.

5. she’s like me, but not. 

sharing life with my love is amazing. there is no other person that i’d rather spend my moments with, and every moment is infinitely better when she is nearby. we have the same values and enjoy the same things, and yet, we have our own very unique personalities as well. so we are alike, but not. she’s  a great balance for me. helping me to get my head out of the clouds sometimes and back down on earth. and, i’m just enough of an idealistic person for her. we’re two individuals, coming together to share the ups and downs and ins and outs of life. and it just works.

my-love-2015my days would be incomplete without her. my nights would be empty. and my life would be completely out of balance. in all of her unique, beautiful marvelous ways, she just fits. she is the one that i choose over + over again. and i am so very thankful that on this day, 31 years ago, her light came into the world. how blessed am i that i get to see and feel and absorb that light every single day?!

love and light and peace, to you, my everything. happy birthday! xoxo


a simple valentine

dedicated to the one with whom i share my life’s adventures. my love, my partner, my wife. my everything.
i love you. always. ♥


lina and me celebrate

celebrating five years of marriage!

while most of you celebrate boxing day or annandag jul (sweden’s second day of christmas) or simply rest up from all of the holiday festivities, my love + i are celebrating our marriage today. that’s right, december 26th is our anniversary!

this year, we celebrate five years of marriage! i can’t believe it has been 5 years already. time flies by, and each year gets better + better. we have been tested through tough times, and have been blessed many, many times over with a life of pure joy, bliss, + adventure. we were married in sweden on a cold, snowy, gorgeous day. have made our homes in sweden and in north carolina, traveled to many countries, met tons of new people, and enjoyed special moments with those who have been in our lives as long as we can remember. yes, we have built a beautiful life together. i have never been happier than any + all of the days that i have shared with my dear lina. she is my best friend, my soul, my ass-kicker, my inspiration, and my absolute everything.

the past year has been a beautiful one, with so many shared memories. and, to honor, the amazing every day moments that we have lived + the incredible, overwhelming adventures we have experienced, i’ve created some collages of us, showing some of our memories throughout the year. my heart is so full!

collage 2014 my love and me 4 collage 2014 my love and me 2 collage 2014 my love and me 1 collage 2014 my love and me 3 collage 2014 my love and me 5

happy anniversary, my love!  here’s to many, many more!!


light + love xoxo

i’m a pro at building castles in the air

oh these dark days of advent… they’ve got me all messed up in my head. i am someone who is always positive and i have a pretty good level of self confidence. but, recently, i have started doubting myself. wondering if i will ever accomplish the things that i want to accomplish… and, the shitty thing is, i know exactly what i want, and yet, i don’t do it. well, in some ways i don’t do it. in other ways, it’s all i do. hard to explain.

my love is finishing her last final exam today and what that means is that this part of her journey is over. she has reached her goal and accomplished it all with an amazing amount of success. i have watched her over the past 2 years as she decided what she want, fought for her life to make it possible, made it happen, and then reached her ultimate dream. she is freaking amazing. i am so inspired by her. and i am so ready to celebrate her achievements with her!

she even said to me this morning, with a beautiful smile on her face and a twinkle in her eye, that she has made her dreams come true. and then, she told me that she knows that i will make mine come true too. and i saw and felt her complete belief in me in her eyes.

but i’m not so sure… right now, in these dark days, i’m wondering if i am capable of it (a thought that is usually so foreign to me).

i’m so big picture. so dreamy, with my head in the clouds. i have grand ideas and i plan them all out, but i have a super hard time following through. i cannot focus. i don’t work my ass off like she does. but, oh how i want to. and i know that all i have to do is actually just BEGIN. but, something is holding me back. something like myself. and something else takes my attention. like right freaking now – i am blogging this instead of reading through my journals for my book. what is wrong with me?

[ now, friends, this is not a “poor me” post at all. this is simply me reflecting and being totally honest with myself. i think it’s important to look honestly at ourselves, even if the truth is hard to see and it hurts, to admit. and, if you have read my blog for a while, you will know that this is how i process stuff.]

anyway, just as i was beating myself up more and more – yet so grateful for my love’s complete, unconditional belief in me, i decided to head outside to the balcony for a minute to snap a photo of this morning’s sunrise – something that i have now done every morning in december. when i came in, i looked at the photo for a minute and then stumbled across this quote that i have never seen before:

“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put foundations under them.” :: Henry David Thoreau

as soon as i read it, some of the pain + guilt that i feel was released. i realized that there is nothing wrong with me, and there are things that i need to change all at the same time. i’ve got the first part of the quote down pat, i’d say. i’m a pro at building castles in the air and dreaming big dreams, believing that they will come true. the foundation part, the part where you work with the universe to create your dream into reality… not so much. still, according to thoreau, i’m on the right track. and i’ve got people behind me. i always have. my love, being my biggest supporter + cheerleader.

but, i need to figure out what comes next. how the hell do i get stuff moving to the next phase? why am i missing some integral, motivational thing that others have? why do i want something to happen and then don’t want to do anything to make it happen?

of course, i’ve had dreams before… and i have made them come true. and, of course, i know that there is such a thing as timing – that things will unfold in due time, and it will all be better that i had imagined it. so, i know that i must be patient and work with the universe to manifest my dreams. but, i also know that action is freaking required. and right now, for my current dreams, it is here that i am lacking motivation/energy/willpower.

so, i will just send this post out there into the universe. i am not asking for any advice or anything. i am just rambling and talking. what i do ask is that you send some vibes and goo energy out there on my behalf, or think of me. i can use the inspiration. feeling this way is very very strange to me. i never feel down on myself. but, as the season of advent call for, i embrace the little dark, not so great places inside of me. i will sit with them. because know that the light is stronger, and that i will find a way to make shit happen. thanks for listening, dear friends.

light + love xx

the day that love came to north carolina

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here we are. in 2010. at a rally for marriage equality in raleigh, north carolina. 

yesterday was day one in north carolina.

what does that mean? it means that it was the first day, ever, that same sex couples were finally treated as equals. the first day that same-sex couples received the right to file for marriage licenses and get married. and the first day that my love and i were legally, officially, recognized as a married couple in my home state.

it’s been a long time coming, and for a while, i wondered how long we would have to wait to be able to have the right to marry and build a life with the one that we love. but, tonight i saw same sex couples getting married in asheville, north carolina. like legally married. not a commitment ceremony, but a real live, legal marriage. with paperwork from the government and all. in north carolina!


it’s a long legal story, that sped up in intensity this past monday after a ruling in virginia struck down the law that defined marriage as only between a man and a women. in other words, it was unconstitutional (illegal). that ruling opened the door for other states to also strike down their own bans on same-sex marriage. north carolina has had a ban on gay marriage for a while now, but i didn’t really believe that the law would be stuck down anytime soon.

so, after a lot of drama and a lot of waiting, and hoping, and wishing, and last ditch political and horrific stalling tactics by republican, and almost giving up, at the last minute on friday night, a judge in north carolina ruled that the ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional (because of what happened in virginia on monday). and then, within minutes, same- sex marriages were allowed to begin. I couldn’t believe it when i saw it in my twitter feed.


when i saw the news on twitter… i ran to lina. we stood in amazement. just looking at each other. suddenly, within a flash, our marriage was recognized in our state. suddenly we were a married couple in north carolina – with rights and privileges. not just two girls living together. but, legitimately married. it felt amazing. and i could hardly breathe.


here we are, literally minutes after same sex marriage became legal in north carolina last night. we had to celebrate with a photo of a real, live, legally recognized married couple!

the government offices where you get marriage licenses stayed open late all across the state after the ruling in favor of same sex marriages. and couples poured in to get their licenses, and then immediately get married. there were ministers and clergy available everywhere to marry people right on the spot.

we decided to hop in the car and head down to the government building to be a part of this historic moment, and when we arrived, we saw that there were people milling about everywhere. couples were scattered in groups on the stairs in front of the building, getting married right there. other couples cheered them on. lina and i joined in. it is unbelievable how this truly affects the lives of so many people and so many families. it is so amazing that this has happened. that it is real.

to be clear, lina and i do not have to get married again. we were married in sweden almost 5 years ago, and as of last night, that marriage is now legal in north carolina! so, no ceremonies for us. only celebrations that our love and our marriage is something that is real and valid and recognized now. *deep breath* amazing.

here are photos of the wedding ceremonies and celebrations happening just after the ruling. it was so emotional and powerful and unbelievable…

IMG_8663 IMG_8667 IMG_8668

the rest of the photos are not mine. i pulled them off of different places on twitter. but, it shows you just some of the couples in asheville that got marriage licenses and got married. what a huge, mind-blowing, heart-exploding day! look at how cute these couples are – and they (along with lina and i) get to celebrate their love – and be recognized as full, legitimate spouses!

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yep. yesterday was day one. the day that love came to north carolina. the day that equality and justice won. i am so proud. so excited. and so overjoyed. and you know what else? it really did feel different walking around today, holding my love’s, my wife’s, hand – knowing that we are not just two women who live together. but, in the eyes of the law of north carolina and the united states, we are legally married. it is a binding contract, affording us the same rights and privileges as opposite gender couples. and i cannot adequately describe to you how incredible this feels.

yesterday, love won.

light + love

making time for my love

lina and me

Whoa, life has been busy lately. So crazy… and I have been no where near living any semblance of a regular life. I mean, nothing’s been really bad. A tiny bit of stress, but just so much other stuff to focus on mostly. And, I have been so thankful that I have been here to give my attention to other people and other things for the past 3 and a half months, but I need me time. More importantly, I need me and Lina time.

I’ve been thinking… in addition to communication and respect and honesty, the one thing that I find so important in marriage/relationships is making time for each other. Just the two of you. And, while I’d love to book that ticket to some island and just go dangle my feet in a pool with my love beside me for a week, I know that is not possible. However, it is most definitely possible to set aside time for each other – just my love and me. So, that’s what we’re gonna do. Of course, there are lots of amazing people to see and things to do this weekend, but, we will also carve out time to just sit in our home, stuff our faces with popcorn and wine, and binge on True Blood’s last season. We will make some meals together, drink coffee on the balcony together, and work in our studio together.

Yep, for the next few days, I’m giving all my attention to the one who makes my world go ’round. Happy Friday Eve, peeps!!

Peace & love. xx

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.

lina’s life anniversary ♥

i remember exactly what happened one year ago. in fact i wrote down every single moment in my journal. it was the day that my love decided to take her life back by admitting herself to the hospital for intense treatment of anorexia.

i could not have been prouder. and yet, i was terrified. nervous. sad. and so very scared.


just 2 years ago, lina was sent to the hospital – committed – because she was dying from this eating disorder that was slowly taking every bit of life from her. but, she somehow managed to fight through those (almost) 3 months in the hospital and came back to life some – though much of it remained a struggle.

last year, exactly one month from today, she and her counselors (and i) decided that it was time for her to go back to the hospital for more intense treatment. she had to get this under control and fight to make her dreams come true – which was to move to asheville and study graphic design. so, we packed her bags and headed over to check her in – knowing what lay ahead for us both. a long, hard fight for lina. and time all alone again for me. even though she did not want to do this, something inside of her was stronger than the disease. and she did it.

we knew that it had to be done. but, neither one of us wanted to be separated. it was so tough to admit her to the hospital, and then leave her there – though i saw her frequently and she was even able to sleep at home some near the end of her treatment. and i can’t even imagine what it was like for her – being stuck there to face her fears and figure out how to live. while she was there, i spent lots of time, sitting with her, watching her do puzzles, and just hanging out with her. but, she did all the work. i suppose i’ll never know the fight that she had to fight – and all that she had to face.

luckily, and amazingly, lina had lots of incredible professional people surrounding her and helping her through it all – challenging her and comforting her. and our dear friend, nicole, flew from ireland to be with me the first few days that lina was gone, so i wasn’t alone. i also relied heavily on this blog as a means to process and help me focus – both last year and two years ago.

it ended up being about two months of treatment in total (from april 12 – sometime in june), just before we moved to asheville, that lina stayed in the hospital. but, she was determined. she fought her demons. she had amazing help. and, with all of that help and pushing, she took her life back.


so, today i celebrate life – most specifically my love’s life. i cannot imagine living without her – and it came close to that at one point. but, my lina, my amazing lina, kick anorexia’s ass (though she still is recovering and fighting today – it is a lifelong process) and chose to live life. and i’m thinking… if my love can fight her way back to living her dream, and finding happiness and peace within herself, then anyone can do anything.

she is my inspiration. the love of my life. my best friend. and the whole world to me. i am so blessed to be able to share every single moment of living life with her. i’m not sure that i can actually express in words how she makes my life beautiful and meaningful. and i cannot begin to tell you how we have now dedicated our lives to celebrating every single little moment we encounter – i suppose as a way to celebrate how much we now understand about living life to the fullest.


for us, for me, life has become about those little moments that we find ourselves giggling. about enjoying the simplicity of just sitting together. of soaking up the sun, listening to the radio, riding with the windows down, sipping on a cold beer outside, sharing that first cup of coffee in the morning, dancing around our apartment… just regular, little, amazing moments with lina. that’s all i need to be truly happy.

what an incredible fight. what an amazing person. i am overwhelmed with love and admiration.

congratulations, baby! you have no idea how proud i am of you! xx

you can read lina’s thoughts and reflections on today on her blog…. click here.

sensory overload: part 6.

happy monday, dear ones. hope your weekend was great. mine has been pretty calm and relaxing. just perfect, you know?

i’ve decided to start doing all of my sensory overload posts on mondays, so i can highlight all of the things that have happened throughout the last week. kind of like a round-up of the previous seven days in preparation for the next seven days coming up. plus it gives you a little peek into my everyday life – something that i have established as an important part of my blog. you know, that’s just who i am.

i’ve toyed and struggled with whether i should have more planned posts, and i am going to challenge myself to plan out my posts a month in advance, and then write them as they come; but i just can’t let go of the part of my blog that a is simply me sharing the ins and outs of my everyday life. so, all of my sensory overload posts are going to serve that purpose. and that makes me so excited.

this past week has been really, really great. mostly because my dear, blogging friend paige has come back to town. she’s been here since wednesday and will be here until tuesday – unless she get’s snowed in! fingers crossed!

i’ve got a ton of photos to share with you since this week has overloaded my senses to the max. let’s get to it!

super bowl sunday with some old friends. so great.

monday beer date with my bro

trees highland

a productive tuesday. love those kind of days, don’t you?

wednesday: a little cappuccino for work and a little road trip to south carolina to pick up paige!downtown asheville coffee americano road trip south carolina

thursday: a pitcher of bellini and ice on the blue ridge parkway = fun day with paige!white peach raspberry bellini asheville blue ridge parkway rime mountains ego selfie for the love of wanderlust ice me ice

friday: a little more freelance work, some shopping downtown with my love, and an awesome friday night concerteagle market streets eagle street the fika girl hippie downtown asheville urban outfitters shopping the grey eagle concert the grey eagle david ramirez

saturday snuggles and more downtown adventureszola art gallery wicked weed beer pub cycle street music

happy new week to you! here’s to wishing you lots of sensory overload moments in the next few days! breath it all in. soak it all up. and love the life that you live. 

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.


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