the first cozy evening

it’s wednesday evening and we have landed safe and sound in sweden. we’re all settled in at lina’s parents’ home, ready for our vacation to begin – receiving so many greeting on Facebook and instagram from people who are welcoming us back and making plans to see us sometime in the next 4 weeks. so, now, it’s time for tons of adventures, lots of time with friends and family, fikas galore, a week totally off the grid in nature, road trips and who knows what else we can get into! but, before we get into anything, this girl’s gotta sleep. so, with the sun not even close to setting now at 9:15 pm, i’m closing the blinds, drawing the curtains, stretching out and snuggling under the covers.  you know, it feels quite good to be here in norrköping again. everything’s beautiful, cozy, and familiar – just as i remember it.


photo by lina with my iPhone

night night, friends. peace & love. xx

i should be sleeping.

jetlag has taken over my mind & my body. i can’t think straight. i should be sleeping, but i’m not. i’m exhausted, but still awake. there is so much in my head. everything feels cozy & safe. i am inspired. i feel creative. it has been a tiring, yet amazing day. and now, i just want to write & write & write. all night. all day. and let the words flow. what a magical, beautiful, ordinary night this is.

wishing you peace & love.

gratitude 30: week 2

well, here we are. halfway through november. already! it’s crazy, isn’t it? time is flying by and we are speeding towards the end of 2012. my brain can’t really comprehend that, so i’ll wait to reflect on that later on in december. but, for now, it is mid-november and holiday decorations are springing up everywhere little by lithe. it’s almost thanksgiving. almost the beginning of advent. and…

it’s almost time to go to the states!!!! only one month left!

but, before i get too ahead of myself. lemme focus on here & now. the present moment. and all that i have been grateful for this past week…

day 8: sleep

it’s true. i’m thankful for laundry days because they end with me sleeping wrapped up in clean sheets. love that.

day 9: holidays

i capital L O V E holidays.

day 10: kindness

i am so lucky to have a cat who cuddles up to me, just to be kind.

day 11: friendship

a little cutie is best friends with her little toys.

day 13: music

in many ways, music is what makes my world go round. my faves this fall: the avett brothers, first aid kit, mumford and sons, and the civil wars. click on the picture to get my fall playlist.

day 14: time

every tuesday i have a chance to sit in a sanctuary in silence. i love this time. most tuesdays i’m alone. but sometimes there are a few others there too. but always, it’s quiet. and peaceful.

day 15: creativity

so true. enough said.

speaking of creativity…  this photo challenge is going quite well for me. it has re-ignited my passion for snapping shots on a daily basis. and  focusing on what i am thankful for is truly a positive mood booster.

so, i’m halfway there. december’s on it’s way & i’m still wondering what i’m gonna do as a photo challenge for december. am i gonna create my own?! and if so, what the heck will i use as prompts? there is something in me that says that it’s time for me to create my own. plus, the challenge of it excites me. to end the year with my own photo challenge… how cool is that? but, then i second guess myself and wonder how i will make it creative, fun, & exciting. what the heck will i use as prompts?! or perhaps i will create the photo challenge, but you all, my readers, can submit an idea for a prompt, and then it’ll be a community-made photo challenge. that could be cool too!

so, what do y’all think? should i try my own? of course i’d share it with all of you & invite you to take part! or should we embark on a photo challenge that we make together? hmm… let me know your ideas/thoughts, and i’ll get back with you on monday with what i’ve decided to do!

love & peace.

restless nights.


tonight i’m feeling restless. bored. like i don’t know what to do, but don’t really want to do anything either.

i think it’s the darkness. as i mentioned yesterday, daylight savings time ended last night. so, winter time is upon us. today, when i walked home after work at 2:45, i knew the sun was beginning its descent. it had already fallen below all of the buildings. by the time 4 came, all the lights needed to be turned on. by 7, I felt as if it was 10 since it had been dark for so many hours already.

usually i feel really cozy in the middle go the swedish autumn’s darkness; but tonight I was pacing the floors. nor even a few candles lit could soothe me. i gave up about 8:30, and my love (who felt just like me) and i crawled into bed. we lit a candle, i downed a glass of wine, and we talked about our dreams, about the future. we talked ourselves down from our restless evening. it’s now almost 10, and a respectable time to go to bed without feeling like a little old lady. the cat has made herself a little nest between us now, the final sign that its time to bring this day to a close & rest before tomorrow.

so, goodnight world. snuggle down and let the darkness envelop you. feel calmness & silence all around you.

peace, I wish for you.

tonight’s bedtime story.

finish each day and be done with it. you have done what you could. some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. tomorrow is a new day. you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense. ~ ralph waldo emerson

goodnight, from my little corner of the world.


wakey wakey.


why is it that yesterday, when i had nothing i had to do until lunch time, i woke up at 4:30 and struggled to fall asleep again; and today, i woke to my 6:30 alarm (because i am leaving at 8:00 for a meeting) and felt as if i could sleep for at least 4 more hours? why is it like that? is there some law of nature i don’t know about?

oh well. no time to ponder these things… the sun is shining, my pot of coffee is ready, i need 5 minutes of yoga/breathing, and then there’s lots to do! gotta run!

have a fabulous tuesday! peace.

sunshine & strawberries.

last night (as every night) i slept under the stars that hang on my headboard. i woke early to the sun streaming in the room and hugged my family before i rolled out of bed to make some coffee. (instagram challenge: where i slept)

one of the most lovely streets in norrköping.

yes. it smells as good as it looks.

today, like all other swedes everywhere, i bought strawberries for the midsummer celebration tomorrow. strawberries are a must during midsummer. and i successfully tasted (thanks to the cute middle-easter man selling them who offered me a chance to eat one after another.) and bought tons of yummy, fresh, swedish-grown strawberries. yep. i buy local.

this afternoon i spent some time on a blanket outside with my love. the weather was… how can i describe it best? p.e.r.f.e.c.t.

 the amazing blue sky made a perfect background for this little flower i picked.

 hippie love.

the sunset on the longest day of the year. 11:45 pm. crazy, huh?

you know, all of today was not sunshine and fresh strawberries. my life is real, filled with real pain & real problems. today, there were some very crappy, difficult moments. but, right now i sit watching the sun set on this first full day of summer. and as i sit here, the evening closing in around me, reflecting on my day and all the ups & downs, i realize once again the strength of loving someone. and of being loved.  my amazing love and i weathered this day together… the sunshine & the storms.

it’s true that there are many moments in many days that i’d love to skip over or erase, but i must remember that these are just moments. they will pass. and there is always some beauty surrounding even the bleakest, darkest, most painful & frustrating moments.

so, it may look like my life is perfect. that everything is, in fact, sunshine & strawberries. well, it’s not. it’s just that i try to practice mindfulness, being present in the moment. i soak in all the moments that come my way; but those dark & scary ones, i know that they do not last. i work very hard (and write in my personal journal) all of my thoughts, feelings, fears. sometimes i share them here. but, more than a place to write my every thought, this blog has become a place for me to renew myself and to offer inspiration & hope, for those are my most foundational beliefs. all of the pain exists, oh yeah. and i feel every little bit of it.  but, the love, the peace, the hope… they all exist too. but they do not only exist, they win.

hope you’ve had a beautiful first day of summer! get some vitamin d whenever you can. it’ll do you good!

peace, love, & strawberries.

day 28: today’s weather from my kitchen window.

  • 7am: mostly cloudy. wispy, light, with a tiny bit of blue peeking through. i had hope for a sunny day.
  • 1pm: cotton ball clouds & some blue sky. it still looked like it might clear up & warm up. holding on with hope.
  • 8pm: cloudy. overcast. windy. chilly. and yes, it even rained.

bye bye beautiful, early, swedish summer. the weatherman says it’s gonna be cloudy, chilly,  rainy for some days. hmpf. time to snuggle down under a blanket & start thinking about coziness again. speaking of snuggling down, i am so freaking tired (since i haven’t been sleeping so much/so good lately) and i keep going to be really late & waking up reaaaally early. tonight, though, i give up. i’m snuggling down under my covers, watching an episode of downton abbey, and then going to sleep – even if it’s still light out (though, it is after 10pm, mind you).

so, i’m wishing you all a good night’s sleep. may you feel calm, safe, & be able to rest for some hours… sweet dreams. peace.

oh, to be like the cat.

we have this routine in the mornings in our little home. not one that we decided on, but that has just happened over time. the cat loves to play early in the mornings… which we don’t really like, since she wants us to play with her and we’re still trying to squeeze in a little more bit sleep. so, we ignore (as best we can) her cries and her little paw pokes to our faces. we try to forget the fact that she’s running like a wild animal from room to room, just dying for someone to get up and play with her. but we don’t budge. we pull the covers up tighter & pretend to be asleep – hopefully actually falling back asleep.

fast forward about an hour, and our alarms go off. we usually give ourselves a little time to drink some coffee & read the newspaper/blogs in bed. but, still, the cat is unsatisfied. she keeps jumping up and talking to us, moving from room to room, not sure what she wants to do. and then, we get up and the cat is satisfied to follow us around a little bit as we get ourselves ready for the day. but, soon, in the midst of our morning preparations, we realize that the cat is no longer with us, no longer following us. where is she? yep. she’s now in bed. ready to take a long, cozy nap. usually crying for someone to lift the covers so she can snuggle under and have a relaxing morning.

i wanna be like the cat. after i’ve had my coffee and caught up on some news, i wanna snuggle back down under the covers, perhaps not to sleep, but to enjoy a lazy, relaxing morning. writing, reading, creating, even working some (maybe).

today i most definitely don’t want to get out of bed. it’s raining & snowing (april weather in sweden still remains to be optimal). it’s gray. my coffee is yummy. the cat has now made herself a little cozy spot beside me. everything feels good right here. i wanna stay. i don’t wanna face the weekend. well, part of me does, but the other part of me doesn’t. i’ve got a lot to do tonight, tomorrow, and sunday – job related. i am preaching for the first time in 4 years on sunday, and organizing a bunch of youth to help lead the service at church. i feel ok & excited about getting to preach, and yet overwhelmed at the same time… wanting the next 48 hours to just disappear and for everything to be over so i can breathe. not a good attitude, i know. but, even though i know that everything will be fine, i still am filled with anxiety and fear of the unknown. it’s always easier to breathe in the middle of doing something difficult & of course, after it is finished. but, before… that’s the time that will drive you crazy.

and on top of that, lina is gone this weekend for her work. she’s leaving in about an hour and will meet me at church sunday morning. thank goodness i have the cat (crazy as she is) to keep me company, calm me down, and make me laugh.

so, yes. in my dreams i could climb back into bed and stay there. with my little family. just us. here. all day.

whatever you face today, i wish you energy in the midst of it. and some rest for your soul later on. remember to take care of yourself, to make some time for just you.

peace and love, dear readers.

i’m callin’ it a night.


hello, my dear friends. forgive me for not being overly cheerful, inspiring, or exciting tonight. i am not feeling like my usual self tonight…. how has your weekend been? are you ready for a new week to start? if i’m honest with myself, i am not really ready. i don’t feel 100% right now. yes, i’ve got some kind of cold or something which is wiping me out. i don’t feel like doing anything but laying around, but even that doesn’t seem to be exactly what i need/want either. i physically feel crappy, so everything feels a little tough right now. poor, whine-y me. but tomorrow is a new day, the weather should be gorgeous, and i am headed to bed super early (like right now) so i can beat this crappy cold. think positive, right?

ok. enough about me… here’s to hoping you’ve had a great weekend!

see ya on the flip side. peace.