love is in the air.

advent2

advent2

it’s the second sunday of advent. the sunday of love. the first week of advent has flown by & i have been pretty faithful to finding some quiet time by myself every day. go me. it makes my day so much more meaningful. it balances me out. it helps me to appreciate the little things in life. for the first time in quite a few years, i feel as if i am soaking up this advent season. actually, i don’t know if i’ve ever felt so present in the moment as i do this advent. and for that, i am so thankful. i suppose i am in an amazing place in my life.

i’ve been thinking about my marriage the past week. and today. as one of the things that i love so much. obviously, it is a bi-national marriage that lina & i have, and one of the things that i love about being in a bi-national marriage is the fact that we have two cultures with two sets of traditions. some of them are the same, but some of them are quite different. advent/christmas is one of those times that is quite different. we do out best to blend our traditions together, so we get a combo of a swedish & american christmas, and that has been so amazing in the past years. i mean, how much more fun could that be?! two ways to celebrate christmas at once!

still, we find ourselves in one country or the other during each season/holiday, and while we do the best we can to fill in the gaps of the other country’s traditions, it’s just not the same. there is always a little something missing. however, this year is different…

this year, we are getting to experience much of the traditions of both countries in their respective countries. we are soaking in all of the cozy, amazing advent traditions in sweden. and then, we finish off the season with the craziness of the states. it is totally wonderful to be able to spend part of the season in both countries!

so, we’ve got one more week of swedish amazingness during advent, and we’re gonna do it up right this coming week. then, it’s off to the states.

today, since my theme is love, i thought i’d share a few more things from the past week that i have loved to see, do, taste, hear, feel, or be. part of the swedish way of life in december.

morning lucia pepparkakor favetrees linasinging church

star

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches

peace & light to you all on this sunday evening.

november rain.

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a cold november rain falls endlessly outside my window tonight. but, i’m safe & warm inside. the candlelight flickers and glows. my family is close by. is there anyone luckier than me? 

“Now and then sprays of rain flew over and misted our faces. Every time I refused to wipe away the wetness. It made the world seem so alive to me. I couldn’t help but envy the way a good storm got everyone’s attention.”
― Sue Monk KiddThe Secret Life of Bees

“I want to believe that I’m not wrong. I want to believe that life isn’t full of darkness. Even if storms come to pass, the sun will shine again. No matter how painful and hard the rain may beat down on me.”
― Natsuki Takaya

“Oh, come forth into the storm and rout
And be my love in the rain.”
― Robert Frost

“Why the Egyptian, Arabic, Abyssinian, Choctaw? Well, what tongue does the wind talk? What nationality is a storm? What country do rains come from? What color is lightning? Where does thunder goe when it dies?”
― Ray BradburySomething Wicked This Way Comes

“The unwelcome November rain had perversely stolen the day’s last hour and pawned it with that ancient fence, the night.”
― F. Scott FitzgeraldThis Side of Paradise

“Folds of scarlet drapery shut in my view to the right hand; to the left were the clear panes of glass, protecting, but not separating me from the drear November day. At intervals, while turning over the leaves of my book, I studied the aspect of that winter afternoon. Afar, it offered a pale blank of mist and cloud; near a scene of wet lawn and storm-beat shrub, with ceaseless rain sweeping away wildly before a long and lamentable blast.”
― Charlotte BrontëJane Eyre

“That was the way it was that beautiful evening of cold November rain and muddy country roads and crazy windshield wipers. That was the moment of my greatest security and confidence; it was the time when I realized that love makes one a better person, a kinder gentler one.”
― Irene HuntUp a Road Slowly

peace while the rain patters down.

another afternoon in europe.

afternoon fika with my new cup & saucer from the antique store. courtesy of the above bakery.
just me. on just a regular day.
i made a little run to the bakery around the corner. why? because it’s there. and because we were craving buns & croissants.
afternoon fika with my new cup & saucer from the antique store. courtesy of the above bakery.
by the time afternoon fika is over, the sun has set. yes, this is the view from my apartment at 4pm, folks.

just a typical, regular afternoon in my life. not too shabby, huh? well, i like it. and, yeah, it’s pretty cozy here in sweden. even if it’s dark & cold. the candles, bakeries, and fikas make it all bearable.

and you know, i truly believe that living in the moment, being present in the present, is the best way to live. it’s not always easy, but if we’re aware, if we try to focus on the good & look for the positive, then everywhere we look we find beauty. we find love. we find peace. we might even find god. yes, in a candle flickering outside a bakery. or a stolen moment of quiet with someone we love. or in the beauty & silence of the sunset. it’s all about our perspective. it’s all about what we choose to soak up in our life, and what we choose to give back to the world. life can be extraordinary, if we let it.

who says ordinary days can’t be magical?

peace & magic.