Posts Categorized: Life

Home + House + Life + Scandinavia + travel / Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Tucked away

Still working through these Iceland photos. What do you think so far? Nuts, right? Paul and I rented a car for a few days and drove across the island. We stopped periodically to capture the houses built into mountains*. I’m guessing this technique came to be because it’s so (so so so so so so so) windy and the rock is at least one solid fortification. 
*kind of reminded me of that rock house in Laguna Beach. You know what I’m talking about OCers? 

Europe + Iceland + Life + Scandinavia + travel / Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Iceland Part 2: Look Pa, I’m outdoorsy!

Sadly, words like “an hour and a half hike to hot springs” aren’t super tempting. Had they never said it would take only 35 minutes I probably wouldn’t have gone. BUT, I’m SO glad we went. Really, this was one of the most terrific things I’ve ever done. Let me tell you how it all started. You’re going to want to read it all, I promise, so click at the bottom for the rest of the story and an overabundance of pictures. I’ll be putting the rest of the pics on Facebook soon. 

Our plan for the day was to go to the Vestmannaeyjar Islands (after seeing this picture, we just HAD to go, you know?) So we drove to the ferry only to find out that we could get there, but we probably couldn’t get a ferry ride back due to the weather. Rats! So, we drove around a bit and then our host thought we might like to visit the hot springs. Hmmm, sure. I’m not an enthused swimwear user in the freezing cold, you see. Well, we drove out only to find that the road was blocked by ice and rocks like this:
Not good. So, the Icelanders explain the infamous 35 min. hike and we get going. We set off with these adorable little one. (Notice the use of Icelandic sweaters–they really do wear them!)
We pass scenes like this, which keeps me a happy camper.
Then I feel like we’re going through that scene in Elf when he explains his magical trip Candy Cane forest. We keep going and going and going when and hour and half later…
…we land on THIS. Wha?!?! Are you kidding me? 
I shed my coat because we’d worked up some heat and it was surprisingly mild outside and reveal that I, too, had become Icelandic and was sporting a newly purchased sweater. Surprise!
We see a whole valley of steaming hot water, much too hot to actually touch so we keep on traveling down the valley to hopefully tamer temperatures when…
…when we spot this…you know, a sheep’s skeleton. Cuz that’s what happens in Iceland.
Oh, hey Paul!
We traverse the waters. Everyone does it with ease, but I’m a little frightened at the thought that this could potentially be boiling water and I could die. But, I do it without a hitch and I feel like I could conquer the world.
We finally find a moderate temperature and take a dip and soak for a bit. It was heavenly.
Afterwards we must document our moment with the waters. We get out the automatic timer because the only thing around here are us the sheep’s skeletons.
Now we must decide to go back up the way we came or head down the valley to the nearby village and call someone they know to take us back up to our car. We opt for the later. But we have a very tired boy on our hands who’s missed his nap time so people take turns carrying him. Minus me, I guess my only duty was taking pictures. Muhahaha.
Heading down the valley 
We finally make it down to the base of the mountain a couple of hours later and have some friends save us. Was it worth it? You better believe it. It was nuts! So surreal. 

Now, if this doesn’t make you want to schedule a trip, I don’t know what else will. 

Europe + Iceland + Life + Scandinavia + travel / Thursday, 26 Apr 2012

Iceland Part 1: Glacier Lagoon

Remember learning about glaciers in 4th grade and thinking, “cool” but you never really gave a second thought that you could actually see one because they ACTUALLY EXIST? Glacier Lagoon, or as the Icelanders call it, Jökulsárlón, is such glacier and the lagoon is oh so furreal. Yes, there are seals swimming around. Sometimes the icebergs turn upside down and then you can see the smooth ice patterns like the second pic from the bottom. The patterns Mother Earth creates are really out of this world. Ha. Punny. The boat rental handed us some really sexy onesy jumpsuits to wear, which really made my day because it made me a cozy happy camper.

You liking Iceland so far? Yeah, this is only the first of my batch of pictures so you’ve got to to bear with me.

I’ll be posting more to Facebook so I don’t overwhelm you with 300+ pics of each stop. You’re welcome.

Friends of Lars + Life / Monday, 23 Apr 2012

Remembering Briana one year later

Last year on this day my friend Briana Blackwelder died in a car accident driving from Utah to California to visit her family for Easter. (I celebrated her life by writing about her here.) I am so grateful that her family allowed her celebrations (not funerals) to be available online so that those living far away could view them. I was lifted up. I was reminded of the beauty and fragility of life by the words her dearest friends and family spoke. I was specifically touched by the words her brother, Ian, spoke and I’ve thought about them from time to time this past year. Ian had been driving the car, you see, yet spoke in very high spirits at the celebration. Many people asked him how he could be so happy and smile at that time and he commented that he knew that she was alright and that was how it was supposed to be. Somehow that was how it was supposed to be.
Here we are a year later and I’m wondering what have I done to celebrate Bri besides just remembering her. I guess I didn’t make a conscious list of things to change in my life though I certainly thought more about the way I’d like to pass on. Her family buried her in a lovely, quiet, green/foresty area in Northern California and a friend made a beautiful casket out of simple wood with ferns etched in and dyed a lovely green. Ferns were her symbol for her midwifery practice and life in general. The whole process was simple, meaningful, and loving.
Just remembering, however, doesn’t do much good unless it’s changed you for the better. Briana was stellar at speaking to your heart and valuing relationships. I’m not always the best at that. I am the worst at calling people (I hate the phone) and would prefer to work on my own projects than do anything else. I need to prioritize the people I love most and show them I care. 
A couple of week’s ago, Bri’s family asked us to remember her today by 

reading to a child, watching the birds, reconnecting with an old friend, going on a hike, taking a yoga class, eating pastries, buying something lovely for yourself, mending a broken relationship. 

I’ve been thinking what I would do and resolved to visit a friend who I’ve been needing to make contact with for some time. Then this morning I was presented with another opportunity to just listen to someone while they explained something that was bothering them. Sometimes listening is hard for me because I love maintaining my schedule. Then at the store I had another opportunity to help someone out and got a smile in return (that’s a big deal!). While at the store I bought two light pink geraniums (I forgot bags so I ended up sticking them in my pockets as I walked home, see above); one to remember Briana and the other to give to my friend. I can’t wait to see these beauties grow. I suppose there are constantly ways to help other people if you just make yourself available and look for them. 
A friend of Briana’s made the video above. These two midwives had been invited by the Women’s World Heath Initiative to help launch a program to save mothers and babies in Senegal. Even after her passing Bri was able to give in a small and beautiful way. Watch it to find out how. It’s a beautiful story. 
Bri, I’m thinking of you.

Life + Scandinavia + travel / Friday, 20 Apr 2012

Bless, bless Iceland

Well, it’s true what they say, Iceland is out of this world. I have so much to show you, but here’s a little teaser for now. Have a LOVELY weekend!


This went on this week:
not one but TWO DIYs, flowers made out of soda cans
and a floral candelabra for Styled Mag
This Girl likes colorblocking
Murder Mystery dinner with friends
the best in baby’s breath for Brooklyn Bride
Stephanie wrote the nicest thing and threw the loveliest shower for a mutual friend of ours (congrats Cristina!)

*”bless, bless” is good-bye in Icelandic. Such an awesome phrase, right?!