i had a big ole blast down south.

i know. it’s been a almost a week since i’ve gotten back from my road trip to southern sweden for a big, family weekend, and i haven’t posted any pictures yet. my excuse? i have been sooo busy since getting back from the road trip… pulling an all-nighter to watch the election in the states (i gotta say it one more time: WOO HOO!). working a long 9 hour day the next day. preparing a sermon to preach. and a weekend full of work – i was at the church every night all weekend long. but, i survived & got everything done. whew.

and now it’s monday. and today, my day off, i’ve got a little bit of time to squeeze in a post featuring some road trip pictures. so, you’re in luck today. here come some snapshots from my long weekend about a week ago. i gotta get it done now because my love & i are off to stockholm next weekend, so there’ll be even more photos to share soon. i know. rough life, huh?

november is a super busy month for us!

day one: southward bound.





after a about four-ish hour drive, we finally entered the southern part of sweden, with it’s beautiful fields and trees. of course, the golden november sunshine made it all that more gorgeous. we settled into our hostel, with it’s typical southern sweden house style, and then headed over to lina’s aunt’s home to meet up with the rest of the family. after an evening of catching up, sipping wine, and eating a yummy dinner, it was back to the hostel for a good night’s sleep… or not.

when we went into the building & stuck the key into the lock in our room’s door, it didn’t unlock. nothing happened. the key wouldn’t budge. lina tried & tried. then, lina’s dad tried & tried. then, i tried & tried. then, lina’s uncle tried and tried. nothing happened. at. all. and it was 11 pm. gaaahh. we were all exhausted, and now this. however, we kept our spirits up & joked about it as much as we could. luckily, there was a locksmith who was nice enough to come out late & save us. so, finally at 1:15ish, we had no lock on our door, but we were able to crawl into our bunk beds and catch some zzz’s before the big family dinner the next day.

oh, and the rest of the landscape is this: the sea. amazingly beautiful. and so good for my soul.

day two: the day of tons of family & a big goose (or turkey, in our case) dinner. it was like a little mini-thanksgiving for me!




day 3: the do-nothing day




on our third day, we were recovering from family day before… much like how it feels on the day after thanksgiving in the states (without all of the black friday shopping craziness, of course). it rained off & on, which it had done all weekend so far; but the sun peeked out just enough for us to play some games outside (which the kids all arranged) and take a walk at sunset.

over the weekend swedes celebrated all saint’s day. it is actually a pretty big thing here. family members & friends visit the graves of loved ones and light candles. if you happen to be lucky enough to be in a city where there is a large cemetery, the candles are overwhelming and absolutely beautiful. since we were in the country, there were only a very few candles lit on the graves. still, it was a really good chance to take a cozy walk with my love in the cold, and wander around the church grounds. a beautiful evening.

day 4: first, a little shopping & lunch in a super rainy & cold helsingborg.



and then… DENMARK!






of course, on this day, the day of our little road-trip-within-a-road-trip adventure, it rain like crazy. and was cooooold. but, being the hearty swedes that we are (ok. i’m not so hearty & strong. i’m a cold weather wuss), we didn’t let the weather stop us. nope. we took the 30 minute drive from the country hostel/lina’s aunt’s house to helsingborg, sweden. there we wandered the wet streets, did a little shopping, and at lunch at a thai restaurant. and then came the highlight of the day… a ferry ride to denmark!

yep. you can pay about $10 and hop on a ferry to head across the water to denmark. it’s only a 20 minute ride and the boat leaves every 15 minutes or so. now, if you have read my blog for any length of time, or if you know me, (and my love), then you know that part of our heart lives in denmark. we love it there. denmark has been special to me for a very long time. and having a chance to pop over there, even for a few hours one afternoon to a tiny harbor town, is the perfect little denmark fix. ok. yes i would give anything to have a weekend in copenhagen and a weekend in odense (where i used to live – another story for another day), but still, the little town of helsingør, denmark was just perfect that day.

we wandered the tiny streets, warmed ourselves in a funky cafe – with hot cocoa and colorful marshmallows! – and i soaked in the danish accents everywhere i went. it filled my soul. then, it was back on the ferry & back over to sweden by nightfall. loved it.

day 5: headed home


after four nights in the hostel and four days with family, it was time to head back north again. of course, on this, our last morning, the sun was shining brightly. go figure. but, it was time to say goodbye to our cozy little swedish hostel home. time to say goodbye to the peaceful  sea. and time to say goodbye to the southern swedish countryside. it had been a great, cozy weekend and a fabulous chance to get away from our routine.

yes, this road trip has come to an end, but another one waits in the wings… and, as i said before, in 3 days we’re headed to stockholm!

hope you get your road-trippin’ groove on soon. peace & love.

ho hum. just another pic in the paper.

you got it. i’ve got another one of my pics published in a newspaper. no big deal. this is just how we photographers live…

i’m kidding. of course this is a big deal! and of course, i’m humbled, yet again, that this is the third time one of my photos has been published in a newspaper. this time my pic is in norrköping’s daily newspaper, NT. the “real” newspaper for the city. it feels crazy, amazing, and wonderful. and i’m so, so happy for blackbyrd, the band who was featured in the article. the photo is one i took in august when blackbyrd asked me to photo them during an evening concert.

led by the singer-songwriter frederick (whom i now call my friend), blackbyrd is a super talented group, playing music that is meaningful, calming, and soul-filling. the perfect music for sitting back and sipping a glass of wine. think norah jones, amos lee, simon & garfunkle, james taylor. i loved their music the first time i heard them, and i’m so excited that i’ve gotten to photograph them and let others see a little glimpse, hopefully peaking their interest. i am truly, truly humbled that my photos have been used in 3 papers now. i’ve learned from this experience that this photography thing is something i want to pursue, in conjunction with my writing. oh yeah.

the article & my big ass photo on the left page of the paper! i had no idea it’d be so big! aaaaand, you can’t see it, but my name is under the picture… i got credit!

you can check out my previous newspaper publishings by clicking here & here.

in addition to all of the newspaper excitement, i thought i’d share some pictures from my past week. fall is most definitely in the air around here, and i’m loving it.

it’s been raining off & on quite a bit. but, i love it.

perfect weather for some homemade chickpea & potato soup. mmm…

there have been sunny, chilly days too. i love these buildings.

and the leaves are beginning to turn. ♥

we open the church every tuesday evening for an hour and a half for anyone who wants to come in and just be. meditate. pray. light a candle. last night was really cozy & beautiful.

today i wore my green corduroy jeans & boots… fall fashion, ya know.

even though it was sunny earlier today, a rainstorm passed through, and this amazing double rainbow appeared outside my apartment window. perhaps a sign?

ok. time to make some dinner, and then it’s off to yoga. yesssss. you know how i love my yoga. here’s to wishing you a fabulous wednesday, peeps.

peace & love.

day 11: kitchen.

this is the rainbow rug that’s in my kitchen. love it. it makes me happy.

that’s all i’ve got right now. yep. today is just my instagram pic. nothing fancy. but, sometimes less is more. wishing you a good friday night. and just as a reminder, hug the people you love the most & let them know that you love them.


day 5: mexico, pride, & birdies.

hola! it’s may 5th. cinco de mayo! not that that means a lot here in sweden. but, in the states where we find any reason to party, we celebrate mexican heritage & pride on this day. of course, you know my love & i like to bring in a few american traditions into our home here, so i bought some corona to enjoy this evening. not quite the same as eating at cheap, little hole-in-the-wall mexican restaurant serving a bottomless basket of chips & salsa, but hey, i’m giving it my best shot.

speaking of pride, in our city we had a different kind of pride celebration today… LGBT pride. yep it’s norrköping’s pride weekend, and there are little things happening all around the city. ironic, huh? all of the inability for the methodist church to become an inclusive church, the upcoming vote on the marriage amendment in nc… both negative things, both working against LGBT people. and then, here, in my city, a weekend dedicated to lifting up LGBT people and to creating a more open society. even the trams have rainbow flags on them as they go all through the city this weekend. ♥

ok. now on the the picture for today’s challenge: bird.

i love birds. or birdies, as my love & i like to say. when i see them, wings spread wide, high up in the sky, gliding through the air… i always have this little twinge of jealousy. i wanna fly like them. i wanna feel that freedom of soaring in the air and feeling the wind on me. and some days, i wanna feel it more than others. know what i mean?  it seems like way up there, problems, worries, & fears can’t possibly follow. all that’s there is you & the big, blue sky. the air is clean, crisp, and it fills your lungs as you breathe in deeply all the peace & wonder that surrounds you. oh yeah. i wanna fly.

here’s to wishing you freedom & peace.

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!

rainbow books.

one day last week lina said that she wanted to rearrange the books on our bookshelf… by color. what a fun idea! so, last night, when we had some time we did it. ok. she really did it… i ended up chatting with my cousin on skype. but i was in the room. and i did arrange some of the books by color on the floor… anyway. it’s done. and i think it looks pretty fantastic! thanks to my love, our books are now art!

and today is the perfect day for reading. it’s freezing cold outside, gray, and monday. now, if only i could remember what color the book i am reading was… hehe.