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.




there’s just something about a beautiful door.

i had good karma today. it began with this crazy urge to dance this morning, and continued with a whole morning filled with inspiration and productive work. i freaking love it when i’m inspired & on task. feels really good. i should try it more often. hehe. i’m certain that it was the dancing feeling that got me started off on the right foot (hehe. no pun intended.).

after completing my work, i tackled the tv/internet/phone company. i marched right in there, questions scribbled down on a piece of paper, pushed the button to receive my ticket (what number i was in the line of what felt like thousands of customers before me), waited & explored all the technology in the store, and then represented my home well by asking well-educated, precise questions about what we need to do to add cable to the tv we bought for the bedroom. 5 minutes later i left the store, with everything ordered & set. 10 points to me.

this afternoon, on my way to another personal, and extremely important, meeting, i was greeted by a man wearing a green apron, holding a box of frappachinos in his hand, passing out the delicious goodies to everyone who passed by on the street. huh? as i approached this frappachino man with a van, i realized that his green apron said starbucks, & he was passing out starbucks coffee. WHAT?! YAY!! now, you must know there are only 2 starbucks cafes in all of sweden. two. and, of course, they are not in my city. so, as i walked & sipped my caramel macchiatto frappachino, i wondered… does the free coffee gimmick mean that my city is getting a starbucks?! a girl can dream…

i ended my day out & about by walking by the door to the building where my love & i were married. (insert “awwww” here). it’s actually not that weird to walk by this door. i do it almost every day, but today’s little photo challenge was to photograph a door, so i chose this one. i walked right up to it and had a flashback of standing in front of the giant, wooden doors with my love just a few minutes after we were married. that was 2 and a half year ago. the memories of that cold, snowy winter’s day came flooding back. i can honestly say that i am more in love with this amazing woman today than i was on our wedding day. how beautiful it is to share a journey in life together.

as i said, i pass that door on a regular basis, and i often think of my wedding day. but today something felt a little different. more powerful. more amazing. today, as i took the time to revel in my memories, i felt that the best is yet to come. it felt like a turing point to me, standing there, looking at that door tonight. yes, the past has been beautiful & i am more happy than i ever thought i could be to share life with lina; but what lies behind the next door… i can’t even begin to imagine. i am certain, especially after all the good karma swirling about me today, that whatever is behind the next doors in our life, we will face it together; conquering our fears, living life to the fullest, following our dreams, making new ones, and growing as individuals & together.

i began wondering tonight… a door is neither the past nor the future, but a symbol of the present moment. this door, as i stood before it tonight allowed me the chance to reflect & wonder, but more than just that, inviting to just be in that moment. to not turn around & look at the past. or to not walk through the door to the other side just yet. but to just be. the past has been lived, the future is yet to come. today. in that moment. in front of that door… anything was possible. and i felt an overwhelming sense of calmness, joy, & excitement all at the same time.

peace  to you, in your present moment.

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.

on being present. here & now.

sometimes, something comes along at just the right moment. call it karma, providence, serendipity, luck, whatever. somehow it just happens… it’s a mystery. a sacred, secret, wonderful mystery how these things happen. but they do. and just when i needed it most, in the midst of all the hustle & bustle in my life, & in my head, i stumbled onto this quote. i’ll not say anything more about it, just pass it along to each of you to soak in as you feel…

“by living deeply in the present moment we can understand the past better and prepare for a better future.”

– Thich Nhat Hanh

a little challenge for us all: when you find yourself today dwelling on the past or living too far into the future with plans and anxiety, remember to be in the moment and savor right then and there all that life, the universe  has given you. just be.

wishing you balance & peace. ♥

everything old is new again.

yesterday i mentioned that i went to a baby’s name-giving service (like a baptism, but not) in an old swedish building. the building, now owned by the city, was built in the mid-1700s in a place which, back then, would have most definitely been the country-side of norrkoping. now, i would say that it is within the city limits, though of course not in the middle of downtown. the sign outside the door read that it was first used as a meeting place, as well as a place for parties & other social gatherings… which, of course, is what it is still used for today. very cool, i think.

i imagined people coming by horses & carriages in the winter’s snow ready to celebrate one of the many holidays or festivals (not that we have any snow these days. ok. there is a tiny bit of white stuff on the ground in a few places, as you can see. still, it was freezing cold outside – and inside for that matter). i couldn’t wait to get inside & see what lina had said would be a building that i would fall in love with. and, oh, was she right!

when i walked into the chilly, old, wooden building i was immediately taken back in time. in the big gathering room i could almost hear the violins and accordions playing. i saw the men & women dancing around the room together, forming lines & circles. i felt the history of this old building… it was as if i was surrounded by memories of people i’d never known; and i was very thankful to have  the pleasure of joining all of those who have gathered here before to come together to remember, dance, sing, and eat. i felt honored to now be one of the many who have graced this beautiful building, celebrating one of life’s important events.

the picture above is of the main gathering room, or salon. look at that old floor. can’t you just hear all the footsteps & see all of the people dancing around in the room, dresses twirling and people clapping?!

 my love, her aunt (the pianist), and the parents. trying to figure things out before the ceremony… look at the paintings on the wall. exquisite!

glasses ready for toasting the little baby girl & welcoming her to the world!

cozy & yummy fika after the ceremony. love the simple, yet elegant decorations.

after fika, and getting to know some fun, new people, lina & i took a 30 minute walk back home. it was dark out, really cold, and a beautiful evening to take a brisk walk together. did i just say that?! am i becoming swedish? i enjoyed a walk outside at night in the cold. i walked all the way across town, thinking nothing of it, except that i wanted to do it again soon. huh?! what a change in thought for me… from a lazy, take the car everywhere (mostly because i had to), it’s too cold i don’t want to go outside for even 2 minutes american girl to a “lina, we really need to take walks like this in the cold, in the dead of winter, at night” kinda girl. what an amazing transformation. i like it!

i don’t know if a walk is gonna happen tonight, perhaps… but, i know for sure that there’s gonna be a cozy movie showing on our tv, some candles lit, and a glass of wine to wind down this week.

here’s to the end of a great weekend & a one-week countdown till we’re off to the STATES!!

peace & love (and winter walks!).