Posts in love
Light Ash Blonde

I coloured my hair. The box said Light Ash Blonde but it turned out a dusty, hay-blonde with hints of green and brown. Unsatisfied and sad, I told you lets go to the beach instead. We'll get burgers on the way and just eat on our blanket. So that's what we did. 

IMG_6534.JPG
IMG_6536.JPG
IMG_6538.JPG
IMG_6542.JPG
IMG_6547.JPG
IMG_6546.JPG

I got mad at you for not taking any pictures. Why don't you wanna capture this moment with me? Then you started taking pictures, and I got mad again. No, not from that angle. No, not when I'm looking, please. I got mad at myself for being so mad at you, for ruining everything. I love you for always being there for me, mood swings and all. 

(But I swear to god if you don't come home soon and feed me I will kill you) 

IMG_6545.JPG
Happy Birthday Kiddo; An Ode To My Brother

Today's my little brother's birthday! When I told him I would write a post about him, he said: "Finally! You only ever write about your little sister, never about me". He's got a point! My brother's so close to me in age, whereas my sister is around 10 years younger than me. The relationship I have with him versus her is so different. What remains the same is the responsibility I feel for them both, being the oldest, and how their happiness means everything to me. Happy Birthday Eric! I love, respect and appreciate you and hope you had the most amazing day. One day I'll be there to celebrate it with you!

Here's some of the memories I have of growing up with you as my annoying lil' bro. 

Photo 19-03-2018, 10 25 21 (1).jpg

Memory I: We're playing outside our grey timber house, it's summer. Daisy, our golden retriever pup, is hanging around looking after us like a proper childminder. On the side of the path leading into our house there's an abandoned Jungle Book juice box with its content sipping out. There are ants everywhere. In that house we dress up Daisy like a doll whenever our parents are sleeping. In that house you spin around in my dresses; your eyes sparkling of joy at the beauty that is your sister's spinning dress that you, too, get to wear. 

Photo 19-03-2018, 10 25 31 (1).jpg

Memory II: Some of our friends are over; they're mostly your friends. Kids seem to like you more, you're funnier, tougher, more playful than me. We're in a different house, sharing a room with a giant image of a forest as our wallpaper. We're jumping on our beds, playing with Smurf-toys. You mention to the other kids that I wet my bed at night, and sometimes I even wet my pants during the day. I hate you for saying that, for sharing secrets. Other memories from that house: us bathing together. Us in mom's bed listening to her reading Barbie books. 

Photo 19-03-2018, 10 25 51 (1).jpg

Memory III: We're at our dad's house, dad's out doing something in the garden, helping grandma and grandpa most probably. He says before he goes, be nice to each other. I don't know why, but we start fighting. You get a scissor and throw it at me, I run out of the house, over to grandma's. At the edge of her house there's a rake, I take it and start swinging it around me creating a border that you can't get through. You cry and scream till dad comes back. Other memories from that house: us playing with Star Wars lego, us playing bats after our shower with our towels as wings, us laying in the dark in our bunk beds listening to scary stories on the cassette tape, us putting "spider webs" all over the house, us creating a trap for dad - so that when he opens the door to our room an object will come flying towards him.  

Photo 19-03-2018, 10 25 11.jpg

Today's your 27th birthday! You're almost as old as I am, you always are. You're the person I share the most memories with. We share trauma, we share joy. There are emotions grown from moments only you and I can relate to.

Here are seven traits of yours I really treasure, admire and look up to: 

1. You're just as sensitive as me. You're connected to your emotions, allowing yourself to live life with both the ups and downs. You understand depth in film and music and literature, it comes easy to you. You understand depth, layers, in people, too. 

2. You're a hard worker, both when it comes to your personal life and your work life. Most importantly maybe, you work hard at fighting for others. There's nothing that engages you more than equality for all and every person's right to live a better life. 

3. You enjoy happiness. You take real pleasure in the small things in life. A cup of coffee, a song, the weather, a view, a good meal, travelling with friends, travelling alone, meeting new people, being by yourself, writing, reading, drawing, finding something nice for your apartment, cooking, etc. 

4. Your ability to be independent. I've always admired how well you take care of things. Where I would fall apart, you persevere. You always seem to have projects going, apartments to move into, jobs to work at, a steady budget: things that I've been struggling with haha. You manage to build stability, no matter how rough things get. 

5. Your social life. People love you, you've always had many friends. You treat your friends like family, you understand the importance of people coming together and collectively growing and not just doing this independently of others. You value "offline" gatherings more than "online" ones. 

6. You're extremely funny, and no one can make me laugh the way you do because of what we share together. I'm guessing I'm the only one who could really laugh at some of your jokes as well, and I love that we share that. 

7. You always seem to understand what people are going through, and even if you don't understand you respect the struggle. You listen without judgement, full of empathy and compassion. 

I'm so incredibly proud of who you are and what you do. I'll always be your number one fan and defender. Love you, mean it. 

An Ode To My Sister

Memories from weeks ago on one of our walks. Heavy snowfall. Quiet all around us. Chansa the dog barking because there wasn't any action going on. Or because of happiness, because of us four being together in such beautiful landscape. Who knows. What I do know is that my sister was surrounded by people and animals who love her. I was and am one of them. Who loves her, who adores her. 

Photo 04-01-2018, 14 58 02.jpg
Photo 04-01-2018, 14 49 25.jpg
Photo 04-01-2018, 14 49 42.jpg
Photo 04-01-2018, 14 48 41.jpg

Yesterday, the 27th of January was her birthday. It was also mom's birthday, and I always have to apologise to her for focusing more on my sister's birthday. Sorry, mom! Happy birthday to you! And happy, happy birthday to my sister, my best friend. There's no one I so deeply care about as you. There's no one that can make me laugh like you. I want to spend every day hugging you, making you laugh, making you cry (why not), just hanging out. You're so incredibly smart, kind and brave. You inspire me to be stronger and more courageous. Look at how beautiful she is? How can one not love you? In the future I see us living together. With animals and nature and great food and laughs and hugs. I can't believe you're eighteen now, an adult. I'm sorry to say you'll always be my little baby. 

Photo 04-01-2018, 14 56 31.jpg
winter, loveEmma Carlsson
The Matriarch

On January 5th my grandma, my mormor, turned 80 years old. She lives far away down south, and we all went down for her birthday; mom, me, my sister, brother (+ his girlfriend), my stepdad, and my uncle. We brought coffee, cake and flowers. She didn’t know what was happening, she probably didn’t recognise us when we arrived, only in moments. Dementia. My auntie and one of my cousins joined us as we celebrated this matriarch, who will never fully know the impact she’s had on all of us.  

Growing up, my family was very female centred. My brother is really the only boy in the family. Otherwise we’re all-female, looking very similar with our long blonde hair. Strong, opinionated women. Loud. Grandpa was there of course, and different boyfriends to mom and my auntie (including all our fathers haha) from time to time. Different males that helped with the house. But we all worshipped one person, and that was mormor. 

We are all mini versions of mormor. We all love big dinners with family above all, the more the merrier. We set an extra plate on the table in case someone swings by. Mismatched everything. Things we find in garage sales, second hand shops. We love things hand made, just like she did. She hung onto everything, every little craft we did at school. She couldn’t let go. Growing up with nothing, it was her goal to treasure it all. Screws, clothes, paper bags and bicycles. Her treasures, her kingdom. 

Mormor wasn’t into negativity. She never showed signs of being sad or angry. She celebrated every moment, she saw the good in it all. She believed the best in people. She took care of them, the vulnerable. She lived to please others, to spread joy. She gave up her own space so other people could fit it, could be seen. She found it hard to sit down, relax. There was always something you could do, for someone else, to be of service. 

She despised gossip. People connecting over hating others, looking down on others. That’s not connection, that’s evil spreading like a virus in our hearts. She loved peace and quiet, except when it came to her family. Again, the more the merrier. The messier, the better. 

I write this in past tense even though she’s still here, with us. I wish I could repay her in some way. I guess me living my best life, me helping others and living out her values is repaying her. Ever since grandpa, morfar, left us she’s been disappearing more and more. Into herself. I guess life caught up to her, all those years of focusing on others instead of herself. Now she’s left very much with only herself, not remembering us too well. Not knowing how much she shaped all of us, how we’re the image of her.  

It pains me that I don’t live closer to her, that I can’t regurlary visit her for coffee and chats.  My biggest fear is that she feels alone, after having such a rich life filled with a big family of mostly women just adoring her. For her to think that it’s all forgotten now, that it meant nothing cause she’s there alone. At the home. Far away from most of her family members.

Tell your elders you love them. Tell them everything they’ve done for you, how important they’ve been. Send pictures that they can hold, words they can read over and over again in case they forget. I’m writing this as a reminder to myself, to do more of just that. 

Mormor, you’re the most beautiful woman I know. Your beauty isn’t just in your glorious face, but in your soul. Thank you for teaching me to be kind, to pray; feel the blessings of life even though you’re not religious, to share with others, to walk around in old, beloved robes all day with bare legs and slippers. Thank you for showing me that with family and friends, you are personal and free. You pee with the door open, while conversating with your loved ones. You invite them in. Thank you for salty, yellow potatoes and the best sauces known to mankind. You matter. So much.  

IMG_4129.JPG
IMG_4130.JPG
love, family, throwbackEmma Carlsson
Bless The Telephone
Photo 14-10-2017, 15 53 10.jpg

I love arguing with you for the sake of arguing. When our conversations get heated, and you get annoyed cause I can't help but smile and laugh. Because I know it's not that serious, even though we get so riled up over politics and philosophy and how to fix the world. I love how you're like me, always want to give your two cents. I love how you never just agree with me even though it would make things a lot easier. I love how you challenge me. I need that. Being so close to someone, yet being able to grow from that person's unique perspective is so amazing. I wish everyone the same love that we have. Sorry for being a pain half of the time, but you know, that Marilyn Monroe quote and all. 

loveEmma Carlsson