celebrating summer

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this weekend is the first day of summer for those of us in the northern hemisphere. *doing a little happy dance* the longest day of the year is upon us – a day filled with light (and hopefully sunshine!). a day where we celebrate the joy of the warmth, glow, and life that the sun brings us. it’s the kick-off of the season of relaxation, joy, free-spiritedness, laziness, and slowing down. i love this season, and everything that goes with it – especially the chance to be outside and enjoy moment after moment with friends and family. we throw caution to the wind, act just a little bit crazier and bolder, and remember the importance to balance our lives. for just a little while, we may set aside our schedules and routines to participate in the act of just being and living.

almost all of the past 4 or 5 years i have spent in sweden during the summer soltise, otherwise known as midsummer. i’ve spent the day celebrating a traditional midsummer celebration with traditional midsummer activities filling our day, such as gathering flowers, making crowns from those flowers, dancing and singing around the midsummer pole, eating strawberries, and staying up as late as the sun = practically all night because the sun doesn’t really set before it begins to rise again.

i’m going to miss those celebrations this year. but, we will be celebrating in the best american way that i know possible – for this first weekend of summer, my family (most of us) will gather at atlantic beach for our annual reynolds family beach week! it’s a crazy, hilarious, relaxing week filled with sun, sand, and surf. all we do is eat, drink, swim, chat, sit, sip, and laugh – a lot. so, if i can’t be in sweden celebrating midsummer, then arriving at the beach to celebrate and begin our 30th year of the reynolds family beach week is exactly how i want to spend the weekend.

in honor of the sun, at some point in the next few days, i will turn my face toward the big, golden ball in the sky and offer up my own prayers of praise and thanksgiving. i will soak up all of that energy and light, and harness it, using it to continue to work to make my dreams come true. on the first day of summer i will pause to reflect on the beauty and amazingness that the light brings to our life. and i will laugh, and dance, and love.

my summer gift to you is this little collection of photos from my american & swedish summers past, and a few favorite summer quotes to go along. slow down, read them, and receive these summer vibes – from me to you!

lina ocean

singing

my love on a bike

“I fell for her in summer, my lovely summer girl,
From summer she is made, my lovely summer girl,
I’d love to spend a winter with my lovely summer girl,
But I’m never warm enough for my lovely summer girl,
It’s summer when she smiles, I’m laughing like a child,
It’s the summer of our lives; we’ll contain it for a while
She holds the heat, the breeze of summer in the circle of her hand
I’d be happy with this summer if it’s all we ever had.”
― Maggie StiefvaterShiver

archipelago

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ego me tree hugger

“summer, after all, is a time when wonderful things can happen to quiet people. for those few months, you’re not required to be who everyone thinks you are, and that cut-grass smell in the air and the chance to dive into the deep end of a pool give you a courage you don’t have the rest of the year. you can be grateful and easy, with no eyes on you, and no past. summer just opens the door and lets you out.”
― Deb CalettiHoney, Baby, Sweetheart

relaxing washington square park

breakfast

“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.”
― John LubbockThe Use Of Life

stuga

“Maycomb was a tired old town, even in 1932 when I first knew it. Somehow, it was hotter then. Men’s stiff collars wilted by nine in the morning. Ladies bathed before noon after their three o’clock naps. And by nightfall were like soft teacakes with frosting from sweating and sweet talcum. The day was twenty-four hours long, but it seemed longer. There’s no hurry, for there’s nowhere to go and nothing to buy…and no money to buy it with.”
― Harper LeeTo Kill a Mockingbird

flowers summer

ocean

“Sweet, sweet burn of sun and summer wind, and you my friend, my new fun thing, my summer fling.”
― k.d. lang

wedge beer outside summer

chairs

“I almost wish we were butterflies and liv’d but three summer days – three such days with you I could fill with more delight than fifty common years could ever contain.”
― John KeatsBright Star: Love Letters and Poems of John Keats to Fanny Brawne

midsummer pole dance

beach family

“Summer afternoon – to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”
― Henry James

rooftop empire NYC

central park nyc

“New York is strange in the summer. Life goes on as usual but it’s not, it’s like everyone is just pretending, as if everyone has been cast as the star in a movie about their life, so they’re one step removed from it. And then in September it all gets normal again.”
― Peter CameronSomeday This Pain Will Be Useful to You

happy summer! soak it up! xx

from the mountains to the sea.

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hey folks! today i’m writing from my parents’ beach house. specifically their deck which overlooks sea water. yay!! that’s right, after two very long years without the north carolina coast, we are finally back. back to one of the places that i consider home. one of the places that has remained a constant in my life, when everything else around me has changed.

we left the mountains yesterday morning and made the 7 hour drive across the state, stopping several times along the way. sometimes out of necessity, and sometimes just to soak in the moment.

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we almost ran out of gas at one point (i was over confident), but our trusty navigation system took us on a little countryside tour to find a little country gas station in the middle of nowhere just in time. we literally rolled in on fumes. oops.

20130730-115528.jpgwe stopped at a roadside stand to buy fresh, local fruit and veggies. which, i’ll be cooking for lunch very soon!

20130730-115551.jpgand we stopped at the famous wilber’s barbecue in goldsboro… a family and downeast favorite for bbq and hush puppies. deeeelish!

20130730-115610.jpgwe made it to the beach just in time to see this amazing sunset. eat dinner. and then snuggle up in our cozy little room. i can’t believe we made it to my parents’ place… after all the dreaming and longing to be here for two years.

20130730-120000.jpgand so, this morning, i have the ultimate pleasure of sitting here, feet up, sun baking my skin, gazing out over the water, watching boats go by. and man, is it hot. and peaceful. and perfect.

20130730-114128.jpgafter a long and crazy month, we are bringing july to a close with a little vacation time. work in sweden is over, the flight and move to the states is done, and our asheville apartment (and all other practical details ) is complete. so now, it’s a week of vacay for us before back to real living in our new life.

while i’m a beach bum, i’m planning on doing quite a few blog posts, creating august’s photo journey (check back tomorrow!), riding boats, reading books, eating yummy food, and just being me. connected. relaxed. in love with life.

oh, my gosh, i’m a lucky girl.

sending peace & love all around the world (och många kramar till alla mina släkt och vänner i sverige! jag saknar er!).

 

 

 

 

full of archipelago love.

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oh, how i’ve missed y’all!

but, the time away was absolutely perfect. sweden delivered perfect summer weather the entire week that we were in the archipelago. we were surrounded by friends & family, which made everything that much more fun. there were moments of solitude and silence, crazy moments of high energy and laughter. singing, dancing, walking in the woods, rowing on the sea, soaking up the sun, scratching mosquito bites, smothering our skin with sunscreen, reading in our cozy room… and i even got some work done! all in all, i must say, that this was the perfect way to spend our last full week in sweden. i could not have asked for a better week!

here come a bunch of photos… sending a little archipelago love to you:

skeppsgården i mitt hjärta (skeppsgården in my heart).

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morning rituals. solitude & silence. complete peace.

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a little work for my last official work week. not a bad gig, huh?

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afternoons full of activity.or not. a chance to do whatever you want.

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evening campfires. sunsets. every night. cozy cozy cozy… even with all the mosquitoes.

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