NKPG pride

pic from http://norrköpingpride.se/

this weekend, norrköping (the city where my love lives and where we are moving to in august), is celebrating the lives and love of all people with a pride festival. according to their website/program, the festival is a dream that the city will be a place of equality and freedom for all people. a place where each unique individual is appreciated, respected, and affirmed.

my love is gonna spend the day (hopefully!) visiting different events going on. can't wait to hear all about it, and i wish i was there too! even if i can't be there, the festival has given me a chance to reflect a little more about my week, which began with a little bit of "drama" (see monday's blog post: the rules of freedom). what could have easily been a devastating event has instead reaffirmed who i am, reminded me what really defines me (and it is not a job), and inspired me to continue to fight for the equality, acceptance, and worthiness of all people... homeless, disabled, criminal, elderly, young, foreign, addicted... no matter what race, gender, sexual orientation, economic status, intelligence level, or age. it's time for us all to be proud of who we are. and to help others discover their own pride within themselves. all are worthy! all have something to offer! all deserve to love and to be loved! and this weekend, norrköping is celebrating all these things...

you go, norrköping!

come, fly with me

i can't believe it! tomorrow i'm going to work in the morning
and then i'm headed to the airport to fly to my love in sweden!
that's right...I'M GOING TO SWEDEN!!!!

there are many different factors which have led to this amazing, unexpected trip. let me just say that i am overwhelmed at how all of this has come together... so many things working, way out of my control, to make this all possible. and i am so so so thankful! in no way could i have ever imagined the joy of being reunited with my love for 10 days in the middle of this crazy, long, difficult time apart. it's a gift and i'm still pinching myself to see if i'm dreaming.

so, my next post will be from norrköping! now, back to packing...
have a great thursday.

IKEA idag!

yep. i'm headed to IKEA with my friend, j today! it's been a long time since my last trip in the fall. gotta get a few things, and of course, the only place i can get exactly what i want is at IKEA. i know, i'm a shopping snob. *wink wink* it's gonna be really fun, i think, but weird at the same time. my love won't be with me and whenever i am in IKEA these days, i never know if i am in sweden or the states. hihi. IKEA looks exactly the same here... i mean everything is the same except the language on the signs. i'm missing sweden, so, i'm gonna give myself a little "swedish fix" today. yay! looking forward to seeing what the day brings!
mmm... my favorite!! and it's on my list!

IKEA in charlotte, nc, usa

christmas eve is christmas day

ready for christmas eve!!

christmas eve morning sunrise. lovely.

julbord (the christmas table is prepared!)

yummy food...meatballs, cocktail sausages, potatoes, bread, cheese, eggs, salad

Santa (Tomten) has arrived!


glögg, christmas candy, cookies...awesome fika!

merry christmas!!

merry christmas, world!

It's been a cozy Swedish Christmas so far... The big celebration is on Christmas Eve here in Sweden. Yesterday we woke up mid-morning, ate a traditional breakfast including ham, porridge, and coffee. We had candles lit, Christmas music playing, & made last minute preparations for the day. We headed out into the snow and to my love's sisters' family for the afternoon. There we ate aaaallll day (love it!), watched traditional Donald Duck cartoons. Yes, the whole population of Sweden gathers around the tv at 3 to watch Disney cartoons. We had fika & then the highlight... Santa Claus (Tomten) came bringing gifts for everyone! The kids (and me) were so excited!! More candy & food, and then more laughing, Christmas music, candles, and cozy times. We ended the day with a traditional American Christmas movie and some wine & chips. Me like! It was a fantastic day!! Today... Christmas Day!! I called my parents at 1(7am in the states). It was a little weird to wake up & not run downstairs to open gifts, but there was more to look forward to here. And it's really good to experience something new. We have had a good dinner again today, and are soon gonna watch a movie. It's snowing, candles are lit, & music is playing. Another cozy Swedish day. Pictures to come later! Merry Christmas to you all!! Love from Liz & Lina.

a snowy swedish christmas

as promised, here are some pictures of what's going here in sweden as we prepare for christmas (better late than never. hehe.)

i am so happy and excited to be here! it is amazing to experience christmas in another culture where many things are the same (but with a swedish twist) and a few things are different. the most wonderful thing is to be able to spend christmas with the one you love.

here we go...

the tram stop...it's how we get downtown. icy and snowy.

a beautiful winter scene downtown.

a church downtown...we went to a christmas concert there monday evening.

typical swedish window candles. you can see them in windows all over the city. beautiful!

the view from the window at home. love it!

the christmas tree lot around the corner. that's our tree being baled!

a cozy dinner with my love.

almost done decorating!

i can hardly believe the life that i have and how much love i feel. my friends, soak in every moment. enjoy every second that takes your breath away. remember to be true to yourself and to give love...give generously, and what you will receive back is immeasurable!


one track mind

i've got only one thing on my mind... friday! friday! friday! that's when i leave for sweden to see my love and celebrate the holidays for a few weeks and i can't wait!! the only thing standing in my way is a 4-day work week. it'll probably go pretty fast, so much to do this week! can't wait! can't wait! can't wait! (if you haven't noticed...i'm a little excited!). i've got a one track mind.