day 2: skyline.

today has been weird. not my regular schedule, mostly due to the fact that i officially have stopped being at my internship, so my wednesdays are not the crazy 8am – 10pm days anymore. not sure how i feel about it. but, change is good, right? well, the alternative of being busy all day long gave me a chance to sit in the sun with my love this afternoon. we spent about an hour in our little apartment building backyard – the sun blazing down on us, turning our skin a little bit pink. as we sat there, i leafed through our paris guide book, familiarizing myself with the neighborhood where we’ll be staying. it sounds gorgeous. of course, we’ll be all over the place, but it’s always nice to have a great neighborhood to stay in as well. but, i digress. about my instagram picture. it’s the view i had of the skyline from where i was sitting outside. we’re so lucky to have a little backyard & so much sky to look at. plus some old, fab european buildings. loved my skyline view today.

after spending an hour or so outside, we went back upstairs. i was actually boiling, it was so hot in the sun. that crazy swedish sun… so freaking warm. upstairs, lina began baking & i changed my clothes and headed off to yoga. oh my gosh. yoga. one and a half hours of breathing, focusing, and being. so important to my life. it’s amazing how reconnecting with your mind, body, & soul makes such a difference, and brings inner peace (see yesterdays post. hehe.).

i hope at some point today you had a beautiful moment with a beautiful view. wherever you are… take in all that’s around you & find something beautiful. look up at the sky & keep dreaming.

love & peace.

sunday night pep talk.

lina and i were discussing tonight the next 2 weeks and all that we face. it’s crazy. both of us, in our work, have so much packed into the rest of april. stuff that will eventually turn out good, but for now, seems like a crapload of stuff that will suck us dry. i thought spring was supposed to be the time when we felt more energized, excited, and full of life. right now, though, all i’m feeling is exhausted even before all the insanity begins. and speaking of spring, what’s the deal with the weather in sweden this year? i know i sound like a broken record, but i seriously cannot take the cold anymore. my love and i have begun discussing warm, tropical places where we can relocate. not really. we’re dreaming. but, this cold & gray spring has got to go. at least if my stress level is high, nature could send me some beautiful days to help make things more bearable. i know i sound overly-dramatic. and i am. but, i truly am in need of some warm sunshine and i am truly freaked out about the next 2 weeks (let’s not even get started on what comes after that). a tropical island sounds like paradise right now.

anyway, with all that negativity building inside of me, i realize that i gotta get busy with my yoga. hard core. and writing. and i gotta focus only on the present moments. you know, live in the now. that reminds me, perhaps i should pick up that “the power of now” book i’ve started, but never finished. sounds like exactly what i need to help me focus. that and my love… she’s so wonderful. today we had a crazy laughing spell that lasted quite a while, but it felt so good. freeing. laughter… it’ll cure those stressed-out blues as good as anything.

the other wonderful thing about today was, that in the midst of all the rainy, cold days, mother nature delivered some semi-warm, beauty today. and i had a chance to ride in a car out to the countryside, catching a glimpse of fields, massive amounts of sky, puffy clouds, and sunshine. just what the doctor ordered. thank you, dear mother nature.

 a snapshot of the swedish countryside from a fast moving car. hehe.

after a birthday party out in the countryside, when lina & i got back to town, we couldn’t stay inside…. it was still so beautiful out. so, we took a long, leisurely walk around the city.

tonight, as i prepare for the upcoming weeks, i feel the pressure mounting. but, i know deep inside, that in all circumstances, i am not alone and that everything will be perfectly fine. it’s time to get my procrastinating ass in line and bust on through these weeks, support my love through her tasks, and keep my eye on the prize: paris for a long weekend in mid-may! the tickets have been bought. oh yeah.

so, i’m off to sleep now, even though i’m not ready to face tomorrow. but, come what may, monday will arrive and i will tackle it and all it has to bring. i think i’ll make a list and work through it to make sure i accomplish everything, and to reward myself every time i strike off an accomplishment. yep. that sounds like a plan.

for now, i’ll end by wishing you a cozy sunday night and by asking you to send good vibes to my little home here in sweden. enjoy the rest of the weekend, because right around the corner are tons of possibilities and opportunities. and with each others’ support, we’ll make it through.

strength and peace.

the love of my life.

i’ve always thought that love conquers all, that love can be strong enough to keep hope alive & make all things well. i still believe that. only now that i am a bit older and wiser, i know that love cannot do it alone. love needs patience, trust, hope, and commitment by her side in order to win. luckily, i have found that kind of love in my life. it is my overwhelming joy to share love, patience, trust, hope, and commitment with my wife, my everything. sometimes the road forward is not easy, but i am filled with hope because of our  love. sometimes the journey is filled with beautiful moments of bliss, and i am left breathless. to share the dark moments, the scary moments, and the breath-taking, heart-pounding, sunshine-y moments with someone… that, for me, is love. that is life. and this love, this life, is a gift that i have been given. you can be sure i do not take the love that has found me for granted for one second. i cling to it. i celebrate it. and i commit myself to nurturing it over & over again, every day. come what may.

 “the greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.”

~ from moulin rouge 

sending love & peace to you tonight, dear readers.

everyone’s out & about.

it was the first weekend of spring. we changed our clocks ahead & the days grew longer. the weather was beautiful. it was pay day on friday (for most people). and everyone – and i mean everyone – seemed to be out & about, enjoying every single moment of the weekend. it was also a work weekend for lina & me = tons of work hours & working at night. but, we managed to squeeze in some time outside under the sunny, blue skies just like everyone else.

we have all emerged from our winter blues & have our sights set on summer – even if it is only spring & there is the possibility for a snow day. nevertheless, right now in sweden, it’s all about seizing the day. spirits have been lifted & we have crawled out from under our winter blankets & out onto our balconies (which lina & i don’t have. but that is a whole other story. you don’t want to hear me whine.) and into the parks.

here are some snapshots of early spring days in sweden!

on my way to work friday night. the tree is yellow!!!

fika on friday with my love. blueberry pie. yum.

spring decorations in the shopping area. they make me so happy.

bought a paris guide book. we’re going in may & we’re booking our flight tomorrow! i cannot contain my excitement!

sipping coffee & soaking up rays.

saw a sunday matinee: the hunger games. go see it. the hype is right!

pasta carbonara a la lina. sunday night at home. dinner & a movie.

i hope that your weekend was great & that you feel ready to tackle a new week. thanks for reading, following, & commenting. you have no idea how much it means to me, my friends. and no, i didn’t forget my little quote of the day. i am taking sundays off. so, it’s just a little peek in pics for this post. but, there will be a quote tomorrow morning! see ya then!

g’night. peace.

at the end of the rainbow.

i’m hoping to find something at the end of the rainbow today, since it’s st. patrick’s day. i’m hoping that the luck of the irish will shower down on me and at the end of the rainbow i will find what i’m looking for… inspiration. though, I’m not really sure if inspiration is what i’m looking for actually. but, i do feel like i’m searching, seeking something. there is an unsettledness in my soul. one that leaves me feeling like i want to blog, i want to write, i want to be social, i want to live life, i want to do lots of things… but i can’t. i’m paralyzed. something is empty. i’m kinda numb. this is so not like me.

i realize that i’ve been experiencing my time in the desert right now. appropriate, i guess since it’s lent. and probably a side effect of being sick & at home for the past few days/week. too much time to think. alone with my thoughts. it’s a good thing to have  – time to yourself, but it’s hard. you come face to face with yourself. your demons. your dreams – both realized & unrealized. so, i suppose this blog post, which is marking the end of my little hibernation (well, i did actually leave the house yesterday for a cozy fika) is the culmination of my little dry period. (please let it be the end of my little dry period). i don’t want to stay here in the desert any longer. it’s lonely. and uninspiring. i am forcing my way out and back into real life… does it work like that? can i do that?

anyway. it’s st. patrick’s day. and i’m taking that as a good sign. a sign of luck. a sign of living life, of leaving my thoughts behind, of breaking free. tonight i’m gonna be a part of/lead a music cafe (sort of open-mike nite. no i’m not singing or doing anything musical.) at the church where i work. it’s gonna be a night filled with great company, great music, and great inspiration. plus, afterwards, lina & i have decided to go grab a guiness at a local pub where they will be celebrating all things irish. so, things are looking up.

still, i can’t knock this feeling of… something. restlessness. homesick-ness. being overwhelmed. all of the above? i don’t know. feels like i need an adventure. a trip. we’ve gotta get on with planning our trip to paris in may. only 2 months left!

in the meantime, the challenge i have is to look at the joy that is all around me. the opportunities (scary as they may be) of each day,  the tiny little buds that are appearing in very random places, promising me that spring & sun will return. the beauty of my love looking from behind her computer and across the table at me. that smile. that connection we feel. lina is my main inspiration right now.

i am reminded this morning that it is not about the promises to come, but rather the life that is. and, even  in the desert there is beauty. true, there is a desire to see what lies at the end of the rainbow, or what’s on the other side of the rainbow. to get out of the present, uncomfortable moment and into one that is more suitable & enjoyable. but, the more that i think about it, the more that i realize that what lies at the end of the rainbow is nothing more than the present moment. besides, if all i care about is getting to the pot of gold, then i miss the beauty of the rainbow all along the way.  it’s about the journey, not the destination. right?

of all people who should have wanted to get out of their present situation, st. patrick was one of them. kidnapped at 16. sold into slavery to the irish. and then escaped & returned home to wales. he had much to be pissed about. but, after decided to work in the church, he also found himself feeling a calling to go back to ireland to walk among the irish people. what?! return? certainly it was not his first choice of where to go. but, he did. and he served there faithfully, bringing with him the amazing belief that if we meet people where they are, as they are, instead of trying to get them to change into what/who we think they should be, then we can more effectively spread love to everyone we meet.

patrick didn’t avoid the situations in his life. he didn’t search for the pot of gold, always waiting for what came next. he used the moments in his life as they came. and he lived them to the fullest, faithful to who he was called to be.

last fall i had the amazing joy of visiting ireland (and our good friends) for the first time… and i loved it!! talk about living in the moment & enjoying life as it happens… those 3 days were full of life. so, in honor of the irish –  those fun-loving, jovial, life-living people on the island of green, i pledge to do the same on this day. and i pledge only for today, for those are the moments that matter.

 i took this picture of the river liffey (which means “life”) when we were in dublin.

 living life with my love on a bridge over the river liffey.

who cares what’s at the end of the rainbow?! just look how beautiful the rainbow actually is.

sláinte! (cheers! in irish.) peace.

now more than ever.

i’m freaking out. and i guess it’s time. perhaps i deserve it. i mean, i’ve had all this time off. you know, the two weeks i spent in the states enjoying life. i guess i need to face reality and stop bitching. ok. i’m not really bitching, i’m just freaking out.

but, when did this happen? when did i go from having all the time in the world to having no time at all?

  • year one in sweden: too much time on my hands & no motivation to use that time to write. i couldn’t. i felt paralyzed in one way, as i tried to find my place here.
  • year two in sweden: work, internship, life moving at warp speed, and all the motivation to write but no time to do it.

oh, the irony. it’s just crazy. hey, isn’t there a balance somewhere? does it really have to be so extreme, or at least feel so extreme? why does it seem to be all or nothing?

well, it’s more good than bad with all of the craziness in life… it just makes my head feel like it might explode, and i find myself dreaming of (obsessing about) spending an entire day in my pjs – which ain’t gonna happen any time soon. nevertheless, it’s really good (reaaaally good!) to have found my place here, to feel like i belong, to build my own life (with my love) here; and today at work was really good. really productive. really fun. i was listening to some swedish (which of course i do all the time because, well, that’s life), and i realized that it was me talking. i was goin’ to town speaking swedish, not necessarily like everyone else, but it was flowing easily out of my mouth. feeling natural in some way. oh yeah. felt awesome. again, i say, it’s really good to be building my life here.

when i got home after the super, super cold 8 block walk & a trip to the grocery store for milk , i was ready to put on my cozy pants, pull on my favorite t-shirt, slip on my slippers, wrap up in my blanket, and spend the rest of the day with my love. i did exactly that & it has been great. we’ve been chatting some about some trips (YAY!!!) that we are planning… paris in the spring (hello. i’m dying here!) and a possible early summer trip with our friend to gotland, an amazing swedish island. old, cozy, beautiful, natural, fairy-tale-like, i hear. in looking at our calendars, it came to my attention that every weekend, and i mean every weekend is booked from now until may.

and that made me freak out. lina too, i think.

 me not freaking out.

how am i gonna make it? i need & crave down time. i’m a recluse with a hermit’s heart. i mean, i enjoy spending time with people, hanging out with friends, and doing all the awesome stuff we have planned, but i also really enjoy (need) time to just be. when is that going to happen? and then i remembered… my 30 minutes of quiet every day – used to read, meditate, write, take pictures, walk, be. no phone. no computer. no internet. just me, a cup of coffee (if the activity allows it), a book/journal, a camera (depending on the day), and some music (if i want it). the only way i will survive this crazy, fun, over-the-top-busy spring is if i prioritize my “me time”. it is so necessary.

now more than ever.

here’s wishing you an amazing week. and some time to chill squeezed in somewhere, somehow. just do it. i’m gonna.

peace & quiet.

i’m in love with moleskine.

first let me say that i really like calendars! and since i love calendars, and all things office-y (yes. that does make me a nerd in one way), then i looove when the new year rolls around and it’s time to break out a fresh, new calendar. i’ve gone digital for most things calendar – wise, so i haven’t really used a calendar to write in for the past 5ish months, but i still need something small to carry with me everywhere so i can jot down tidbits of information.

and it just so happens that i have the perfect thing! last summer, when lina and i were in new york city for some days, we did a little shopping. duh. we walked into some random office supply store. something local, not like office depot or staples, on a little street off of 5th avenue. lina called me over & showed me the coolest little calendar for 2012. well, it’s actually a calendar set. in rainbow colors! each month is it’s own little calendar book, and all 12 of them stand in a little, black calendar book holder. i fell in love. so, we made the purchase and i began the long 6 month wait for 2012 to begin so i could get ’em down off my shelf & crack ’em open. and now… it’s only one day left and i get to pull down the red january calendar to begin the new year!

another reason i am so stoked about the rainbow calendar set is because they are moleskine. luxury. lucky, lucky me. moleskine makes sleek, simple, fantastic journals, sketchbooks, & calendars designed after notebooks used by legendary artists & thinkers over the past two centuries. think van gogh carrying around a little leather sketchbook while walking the streets of paris, ready to draw at any given minute he feels inspired. that’s me now. well, not the sketching part. but the little leather notebook & calendar part. for the first time, i’ve got a set of moleskine calendars & a moleskine notebook (that i got for christmas!), so i’m all set for the new year! new pages to write the stories & dreams of 2012, and blank calendar pages to fill with work, fun, trips, meetings, pub nights, fikas, and whatever else comes my way in 2012. yipee!

peace, peeps!