empty nesters

IMG_6183

wow. this summer has truly kept me busy. i have literally not been able to squeeze in blogging like i normally do. i mean, i suppose i could have blogged in the middle of the night, but i am not a night owl, so that wouldn’t have worked. but, now our visitors are gone, the apartment is quiet (too quiet),  and lina and i are all alone again. i suppose i have plenty of time to blog now. yep. life is returning to normal, which it hasn’t been since the beginning of may! and that’s just craaaaazy. but, so freaking amazing.

yesterday, our niece and lina’s cousin left us to return to sweden after spending 2 weeks here. if you’ll recall, they flew with us to the states when we returned in the end of july. it was an amazing and whirlwind of a two-week visit with them. we did the beach (which you can read about here), and then we spent time at our home in the mountains. there were tons of adventures, tons of laughter, tons of shopping (what do you expect with 2 teenage girls let loose in american malls?! – ok, they weren’t let loose, but you get what i mean) and tons of memories that none of us will soon forget. take a peek at just a few of them…

headed home (to the mountains) from the beachIMG_5827

 

hanging out at homeIMG_5828 IMG_5837 IMG_5880 IMG_5908 IMG_5909 IMG_5842 IMG_6014

 

an overnight trip to pigeon forge, tennessee and dollywood (dolly patron’s amusement park)!
IMG_5933 IMG_5967 IMG_5944 IMG_5856 IMG_5945 IMG_5953 IMG_5951 IMG_5991 IMG_5977 IMG_5981 IMG_5998 IMG_5988

up high in the mountains (and in the clouds) to ride on the blue ridge parkway & visit my parents who were camping nearby – we had s’mores & everything!IMG_6065 IMG_6057 IMG_6059 IMG_6068 IMG_6070 IMG_6071

fun times in asheville: a baseball game that was almost rained out & a day of catching the downtown vibesIMG_6131 IMG_6082 IMG_6083 IMG_6094 IMG_6139

10584572_1465361720385928_1542100479_n

IMG_6141

our last, long night of coziness togetherIMG_6150

 

hanging out together by the gate at the airport – the airlines let lina and i go through security and be with the girls until they boarded the plane. so cool!

IMG_6160 IMG_6162 IMG_6169 IMG_6168

so, lina and i are empty nesters now. it’s just the two of us again. and life will be returning to the “normal” life that we lead. it feels pretty good. but, it has been an incredible summer – out of this world incredible. i cannot even begin to express how grateful and lucky i am to have seen, done, experienced, and loved throughout the past 3 and a half months. needless to say, i am overwhelmingly amazed.

the girls made it home safely (eventually – plane delays & such), and it was a complete joy having them here. exhausting, in the most wonderful way. and i am super impressed with their english, their adventurous spirit, and how they worked all year last year to make this dream of theirs come true! you go, girls! we love you and miss you!

as for us: well, it’s time to get crazy!

photo

 

back to the beach

jelly fish nc aquarium

from the 1st of july until the 29th of july, i was in sweden – visiting family and friends. celebrating love. experiencing a crazy summer heatwave. seeing and feeling the best that sweden has to offer in the summer – blue skies, hot sun, and gorgeous land & water. i was a tourist, a photographer, and a translator. i spoke swedish with an unexpected ease (after one year of not really speaking swedish). i loved every single solitary second in sweden… but one week ago today, my time in sweden was up.

last tuesday, lina, paige, and i took a 5am train up to stockholm in order to catch a plane back to the states. but, we didn’t travel alone. we brought along two family members with us! our niece (lina’s sister’s daughter) and lina’s cousin, aged 14 and 16 respectively, joined us for their own summer adventure. so. much. fun. they worked and cleaned for a year to save money so they could go. they received birthday and christmas money, and earned their spending money for the trip – and, oh, what an exciting trip for two teenage girls! and what fun to get to see them experience the states for the first time!

since they were going to be with us for 2 weeks, we decided that we’d begin our arrival to the states by hopping in our car and driving directly to the beach in north carolina (where my parents live). my parents were amazing and drove my car to meet us at the airport in charlotte, where we packed ourselves in and started out on a long 6 hour drive on the evening of our arrival.

needless to say i was exhausted, but i pushed through, and we made it to atlantic beach – our final destination – at about midnight or something. after 27 hours of travel. a good night’s sleep, and then we were raring to go… ready for sun and sand and surf.

it was indescribably amazing to see the two girls and paige experience beach life for a few days – especially boat rides and playing in the ocean. the pure joy on their faces was priceless and absolutely beautiful. their giggles were music to my ears.

it was a great 5 days at the beach, but unfortunately, it rained the last 2 days. still… we found ways to relax, have fun, and entertain ourselves. but, soon, our time at the beach was over and it was time to head up to the mountains – time to go home – after 32 days of traveling! and to be honest with you, i couldn’t wait!

sweden sunset arlanda airport airplane silly airplane sweden cozy airplane nyc airplane vogue sound atlantic beach boat atlantic beach boat atlantic beach boat atlantic beach

woo hoo boat my love and me atlantic beach atlantic beach boat atlantic beach atlantic beach atlantic beach shark shack atlantic beach sunset atlantic beach dad atlantic beach sunset atlantic beach sunset atlantic beach cape lookout cape lookout dad cape lookout cape lookout cape lookout corn atlantic beach

rainy day at the beach

nc aquarium nc aquarium pine knoll shores nc aquarium pine knoll shores

jelly fish nc aquarium sweden atlantic beach

 now, we’re all cozy up here in the north carolina mountains, in asheville. doing some shopping, some swimming, and just some being together. we’ve got a week left and tons of adventures planned for the girls, including a trip to tennessee and an amusement park, some time hiking in the mountains, a baseball game, and some fun & cool restaurants. oh, and of course some more shopping!

you know, traveling is amazing, and i am ready to begin to plan my next trip! but, it is also so very nice to be home… in my own cozy bed, living the life that i love. and what’s even better is that i get to share it with some completely amazing people.

love and peace. xx

norrköping moments

IMG_7261

well, my friends, my month long visit to sweden has now come to an end. it’s so hard to believe. it seems as if time has flown by, and yet, it seems like forever ago i was in asheville. the past 4 weeks have been incredible. however, the two words that keep sticking out in my mind are beautiful and magical.

it has been the perfect swedish summer – never have i experienced a summer like this: sunny, hot, blue skies. the whole freaking time. so, the weather has been beautiful, but more than that, the moments and the people and the sights have been beautiful. and all of that combined with the swedish way of life – a way of life that is a bit slower, a bit more intentional, and a bit more communal – has made all of the beauty also magical. i feel a bit like i’ve had moment after moment of traditional, old-timey, the way things should be, swedish life. a very classic svensk sommar (swedish summer) – with strawberries, sunshine, eating outdoors, lake swims, picnics, walks around town, and gatherings with friends and family.

so, as i am flying back to the states today, i wanted to share with you some moments from norrköping – the city in sweden that i call home, since i lived here for three years. norrköping was our base through the 4 weeks we were here, so we had lots of days of just being, exploring, and meeting friends.

and, though i say goodbye to the city and my family/friends who are live here, i will cherish all of the memories and moments that i have shared with my love, with paige, and with all of the beautiful swedish (and dutch!) people in my life.

it has been an amazing summer. an unbelievable journey. and moment after moment that has taken my breath away.

IMG_4460 IMG_4471 DSC_0006 IMG_6858 DSC_0029 DSC_0032 DSC_0044 IMG_7261 IMG_4922 DSC_0469 DSC_0482 IMG_7345 DSC_0496 DSC_0512 IMG_4963 IMG_5062 IMG_5074 IMG_5284 IMG_5286 IMG_5288 IMG_5536 IMG_5540 IMG_5541 IMG_5579

DSC_0047

happy tuesday, dear ones. the next post, from the states, will be my 1000th post! stay tuned – it’ll be a great big celebration!

peace & love. xx

**all photos that have me in it (except for the last one) are taken by paige.