a few months ago i decided to try my hand at yoga...

(image courtesy of googles images)

i had been wanting to get involved, but couldn't find a good place.

i went for a run one morning and ran by a house that advertised yoga. i took a brochure and stuck it in my shorts (hey, i was interested and desperate times call for desperate measures...)

when i got home, i took a closer look at the brochure and i could NOT believe my eyes!

yoga, monday evenings, 7:30pm, FREE

does it get any better than that?!

it took a few more weeks before i had a free monday evening.

i went in my old navy "yoga pants". i have to play the part, right?

it was the most relaxing, fabulous exercise i have experienced. i was hooked.
most mondays, i end up here - to relieve my body of the day's stress, exercise, and enjoy some "me" time that's really good for me.

if you have never tried yoga, i encourage you to try it out. it's a most wondrous exercise and way to relax your muscles.


Sven Jansson

today i was thinking about my morfar...

so i wanted to write a post in memory of him...

Sven Jansson, my morfar is my mother's father - well, he passed away, but he will always be my mom's dad.

morfar = mother's father (direct translation from swedish to english)

where was i?

oh yes...

the memories i have of my morfar...

him teaching me how to drive his stick shift 1990 Volvo on a frozen Lake Siljan days after i turned 16
gardening with him; his favorite part of the garden were his potatoes
him driving me to and from Granberget daily to ski & snowboard
him driving me to the first day of school at Leksands Gymnasium because i was too nervous to take the bus
learning how to bake bread from scratch in an old-fashioned oven - my brothers and i called it pizza bread - it was only recently i learned it's called "mjukbulla" or "softbun"

learning how to bake many things delicious
building sandcastles on martha's vineyard on one of his visits to America
bodysurfing at Chapoquoit Beach, Marconi Beach and many other beaches...
always having candy in his glove compartment of his 1990 Volvo
my brother Peter stating Bompa Gigi = translation morfar candy b/c he knew morfar kept candy in the glove compartment oif his volvo
orienteering with my morfar
telling morfar about Jesus
spending as much time as possible with my mormor and morfar during summer 2007 because i had a feeling it may be his last visit to America
i was right, he passed away May 2008
morfar meeting caleb during the summer of 2007; so glad this happened
going into the woods early in the morning to pick blueberries for me and my brothers to have for breakfast in 2006 on our first morning in sweden; when he came in he said "ja, man börjar att känna man är gammal" (yes, i'm beginning to feel old)
celebrating santa lucia with morfar in 2003 with my family and friend Mary Beth because it was his birthday
him surprising me with a season pass to Granberget for my christmas present from him and mormor December 1998
him and mormor driving me to Karlstad Universitet where i spent a semester of college in Karlstad, Sweden
wishing he could have seen the picture of Caleb proposing on Granberget June 2008
wishing he could have accompanied my mormor to my wedding October 2008
knowing he would have been so happy that Caleb proposed in Sweden; that we had a candy bar at our wedding; that the wedding ceremony was so personal; he would have danced with me; and he would have laughed
wishing he would have been able to meet my kids... (no, i don't have any children yet; they're in the someday plans for now)
oh how i miss his laugh, i wish i had recorded it, he was such a wonderful person
he was kind, friendly, non-judgmental, athletic, outdoorsy, helpful, a team player, a caring father, a loving husband, a wonderful brother, an unforgettable Morfar.
morfar, you are missed.
my trip to sweden wasn't the same without you.
my previous trip to sweden for your funeral was strange.
i know you're in heaven; i look forward to seeing you when the time comes; i hope you're having fun orienteering, picking blueberries, growing potatoes, swimming and building sand castles. i'm sure you're having a grand old time. make sure you save a spot for mormor. she misses you.
don't worry though, i'm going to keep her company as often as i can.
we spent time together for my birthday this year. i'll never forget it.
you married an incredible woman.
i miss you.
i love you.
your barnbarn sara linnéa

[ps-this will be edited with pictures once i can compile a few; just wanted my thoughts to the keyboard before i forgot]


favorite game

tonight caleb and i played a round of...


my favorite game :)

two people can play...

or as many as six people can play if you have the extension pack; which we do, since we are settlers enthusiasts...

i was introduced to the game YEARS ago...

in sweden; my favorite country, for obvious reasons... ;)

(granberget, sweden - where caleb proposed June 2008 - obviously it was much warmer!)

then my mormor (she's awesome, read this post) and morfar bought us (my brothers and me) the game for christmas one year...

not long after we got the game, i visited my friends shannon and mark and THEY pulled out settlers...

and then i bought the game for caleb for his birthday...

and now that we're married, we play it on date nights IN; we have a blast; i usually WIN

because i'm competitive like that...

and sneaky...

and because he's wicked good at RISK, he thinks he'll dominate at SETTLERS, and then i sneak up, and win the game... most of the time...

but i still love him, because we have fun playing, and occasionally he does win...

check out the game... you can get it here and i'm sure other places...

but make sure you get the expansion pack... if you ever think you'll play with more than 4 people...

oh, and happy settling.



i graduated high school almost 9 years ago; my ten year reunion is coming up... yikes
i graduated college almost 5 years ago; my five year reunion...
i'm married; does this mean i'm supposed to be more responsible?
i work a full-time job; i miss out on the summer, fall, christmas and spring breaks and look forward to taking a vacation and getting paid for it
i'm fully past 25 - is that considered over the 20s hill or will that happen when i hit 30?
january 7
i did have a birthday party in sweden and it was a darn good time
here's the set-up...

fläder tårta
kladd kaka






translation: cake, more cake, gingerbread cookies and saffron buns. juice and coffee. tulips to brighten a winter day


back to the grind...

it's back to work for me... i had a blissful 2 1/2 week vacation and now it's back to reality...

~a few highlights~

  • spending christmas w/caleb's family
  • johannes & rebecka's wedding on new year's eve
  • shopping w/my cousins (in sweden)
  • ice skating on lake siljan w/family & friends
  • having dinner w/friends at valpiano in stockholm
  • visiting my aunt and her family in uppsala
  • ice-skating w/linnea and my aunt anna
  • checking out the dom kyrka in gamla uppsala with my mom
  • shopping and spending time w/my mormor
  • birthday party for ME in sweden
  • cross country skiing w/uncle, aunt and mormor
  • spending time w/people i love
  • coming home to caleb...
  • celebrating "christmas" with caleb on jan 10

currently my body is functioning 6 hrs ahead of EST... so i'm off to take a nap!

pictures & videos of my highlights to follow... :)




today was my last day in siljansnäs; the thermometer read -24C so we thought it'd be a good chance to go skiing ;)

many people say that once it's past -15C it's almost too cold to go outside; this can be true... but i wanted to go skiing before i left...

so my morbror Håkan, his wife, my 79 year old mormor and i went out on a "liten utflykt". we packed sandwiches, coffee, hot chocolate, and candy in a backpack, put our skis in a thule rack and sped away on an adventure.

it was almost tooo cold to take pictures - as soon as you took your mitten off to take a picture, your fingers almost hurt from the cold.

however, for your viewing pleasure are a few pictures from our little adventure.

cecilia . mormor . sara

our "fika stund" by the frozen lake

sara . cecilia . mormor

i must say, it was awesome to go skiing with my 79 year old mormor (grandma). she is fabulous. more on her some other post. she turns 80 this year and hopefully i'll be able to do something special for her 80th birthday.

mormor . cecilia . håkan

racing to the end


trying to cross-country ski down a small hill...

here's a picture of my mormor

i am soooo proud of her!! it was -24C (which makes it -11.2 F) and she went out skiing with us.
it was such a fabulous memory and it was wonderful to spend my last full day in siljansnäs skiing with my mormor. :)


The Time Traveler's Wife

I'm on a roll... I finished my second book of the year; The Time Traveler's Wife.

It came at the recommendation of a friend of mine... I was hesitant to read the book, mainly because the movie trailer didn't appeal to me.

I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised. It was a sweet book about companionship, love, and commitment.

If you haven't seen the movie yet, read the book first. Now I'm interested in watching the movie...


The Unlikely Disciple

I just finished reading my first book of the year. It's a thought-provoking book by Kevin Roose.
In April 2009 I went to a youth leader event at Grace Chapel in Lexington, MA. The speaker of the day was Mark Helsel. Our group of youth leaders from Calvary ended up sitting on the steps of Grace Chapel eating lunch with Mark during the lunch break. Our conversation was about church, college, rules, etc and he started talking about The Unlikely Disciple, a book he started reading. After our conversation, the book was on my "to read" list. It wasn't until recently that I was able to get a hold of the book to read it for myself.

It's the first book of the year and it's already on my favorite books list. It was a quick read and roughly 350 pages. Kevin writes in a style that is easy for most people to understand.

Kevin hadn't graduated college and he already wrote a fabulous book... quite the achievement if you ask me.

After finishing the book, I started to think about my own life. What do I REALLY believe? Why do I believe what I do? Is it because of how I was raised? Did I choose for myself what I believe? What would life have been for me if I hadn't been raised in a Christian home? Would I even be a Christian? Do I approach Christianity the same way a "typical" Christian College grad would?

Maybe I should give a little background...

My parents became Christians during their college years and I grew up in an evangelical Christian home. We attended Sunday School and church every week. My parents were quite involved in church; as I got older my involvement in church increased. I wasn't one to attend youth group regularly, but I enjoyed helping out in the nursery, children's church and teaching Sunday School to younger kids.

As I looked into WHERE I would attend college, my three choices were UMass Amherst Isenberg School of Management in Massachusetts, American University in Washington DC, and Gordon College in Massachusetts, north of Boston. As the deadline neared, I decided to go to UMass. The day the deposit was due, I decided, no, I need to attend Gordon College.

I graduated from Gordon College, which is considered a "liberal" Christian college by Liberty's standards.
  • There are coed dorms - not coed floors though
  • There is both a democrat AND a republican club.
  • The professors lecture AND then press us to THINK for ourselves 'WHY do we believe what we believe'.
  • Gordon is a dry campus, but you're not expelled for drinking off-campus.
  • Gordon does NOT limit male-female contact to hand-holding; although if you spend the night with someone of the opposite sex on campus AND are found out you will get in trouble.
  • They have mission's trips, but nothing like the mission's trip described in The Unlikely Disciple
Where was I? Oh yes, the book. It was a thought-provoking read and I highly recommend the book to anyone who would like to dig a little deeper into what they believe or who would like to know what it's like to spend a semester at a strict evangelical college.

Of course, as I wrote above, there were many questions I asked myself, but I will review those in a later post.

Read the book.


Happy New Year 2010!!!

i can't believe it's twenty ten.

i remember ten years ago when people were nervous about Y2K - computers weren't going to work and the whole world was going to end...

this new year experienced a lot of hype as well... one of my good friends decided to "take the plunge", "tie the knot", "get hitched" - if you will...

johannes met a fabulous woman; they got engaged this past summer and decided upon a winter wedding in siljansnäs, sweden.

the last time i went to a swedish wedding was in 1989 - i was a flower girl in my aunt's wedding and the only thing i remember is my uncle having to change a baby's diaper to prove he could be a good dad... swedes joke A LOT at weddings...

anyway, i wasn't sure what to expect - i was told a LOT of speeches would be given...

the wedding ceremony was different than in the states, no bridesmaids, no groomsmen, no flower girls or ringbearer... they didn't allow ANY pictures to be taken during the ceremony, except by the photographer... this was a bummer for me b/c i have inherited a love for photography...

the ceremony took place at 6pm in the Siljansnäs Kyrka. there were candles everywhere, and white snow blanketed the outside world. it was breathtaking.

after the ceremony, the guests formed two lines and sparklers were handed out; we lit them as the couple headed out of the church to their get-a-way car, an old Volvo, quite classy

the reception was held at a restaurant at the top of Björkberget.
here's how the table was set and some of the decorations. it looked simple, classy and elegant. it was perfect for a mountaintop winter wedding.

the dessert :) yum - it was a mix between ice-cream and pudding - delish!

similar to the states, there was a table where presents could be left.
the theme for the presents was silver and gold.

a picture of Lucinha (Johannes' sister-in-law) and me. she's from brazil; she's friendly and beautiful. i love getting together with her! :)

my favorite parents :) unfortunately, my other (better?) half wasn't able to attend... he had school (he's going for his master's) and work... so i attended solo

ps- thanks for the dress advice kimmy :) i received quite a few compliments ;)

after appetizers, dinner, and dessert we went outside to ring in the new year :)
there was a beautiful fireworks display... more on that later.

at a swedish wedding, many people give speeches in honor of the bride and groom. i gave a speech, half english, half swedish. it was caught on video, so when i get back from the states, hopefully i'll be able to post it here (the internet connection is a little slow).

the wedding ended with a fun choreographed dance put together by johannes & rebecka's friends. it lasted until 3am - the longest wedding i've ever attended...

happy new year 2010!!!