My dear friends, thank you so much for your wonderful, generous comments to my last post. I'm overwhelmed. I never think of myself as being "always gorgeous", not even a slight bit. Maybe I should show up in PJs or my fuzzy robe (love, love, love) more often. OK, maybe not. Thank you, guys! I am very touched by your kind words, you are amazing!
All right, on to today's look and some other stuff. Today was black, gray and white - the colors of the landscape in many places this time of year.
Warning: Many photos in this post.
Actually, I planned another skirt today, but it did not fit me - a little less desserts and a little more walking in my nearest future (though lately we walk, by my standards, a lot). I opened my closet, and this skirt called me immediately. I wanted to show it to you anyway, but here is the problem - my dearest photographer is at work, and when he comes back home, it's way too dark for photos. Oh no. What should I do!? Papa, papa! Come take a few pictures of me outside. And Papa comes to the rescue!
I have to say, for someone who has never learned photography professionally, he did a great job. Light was tricky, and the camera was new to him to use. But you have to know something about my papa. At the age of 12, when he was in 6th grade, he earned his first money (just like me! and it's the age of my daughter - his granddaughter now, hmm, I wonder, I wonder...). With his first earned money, he bought... a camera! A village boy, growing up at that point of time already in Siberia (he is originally from Central Russia), he was dreaming about a camera. He told me, that he used three (!) films per day back then. And then developed them at night. He literally had thousands of photos! So, with a little coaching (how this camera works) and running back and forth between my "posing spot" and his "photographer's spot", I think we managed to catch a few decent photos.
Jewelry! I love costume jewelry, my collection is growing, and I am glad that you are interested in a post dedicated to it. I will put it together some time in the near future (have too many things on my mind lately, but it's part of the fun for me, multitasking).
I enjoyed playing with shapes and textures within one color scheme. Love these heavy silver earrings which I bought on Bainbridge, in a little Turkish shop specializing in rugs. They have some beautiful and reasonably priced jewelry there (one of my bracelets today is from the same shop). Another bracelet and one of the rings are Justin's gift, made by a local jeweler in Gig Harbor - silver, mother-of-pearl, something else???
Finally, the piece I wanted to show you - this pencil skirt. It's a ruched knit skirt with fake leather stripes, and I just love the silhouette. It's modern and a bit edgy, and yet there is something almost timeless about it. It's very fun to wear - since the skirt has hidden panels, it's sort of springy, I mean literally I feel springy when I walk. And it's extremely flattering. It's still available online.
On this day, exactly 12 years ago, everything changed. I remember that day very vividly.
"You have a beautiful girl," said doctor Bork.
"A girl? What girl?" thoughts went through my head.
I did ultrasound twice, as it was required, and both times, she did not want to show us her gender. She wanted to be a surprise, and she succeeded. For whatever reason, I convinced myself that I was having a boy. Everything I prepared for my baby was blue. That's how she came to this world - as a big surprise, in every way. She still loves surprising.
I did not see her this morning, and when we met after school, I hugged and kissed her, forgetting that I had lipstick on - you can see my lips printed on Anna's forehead.
They put this little person, 8 pounds 6 ounces, on my chest, and that very minute she looked right into my eyes. I will never forget it. It felt like her soul needed to connect with mine immediately.
"This is our daughter," I said to her father, and tears rushed down my cheeks.
During one of my first visits, doctor Bork asked how I would name my baby if it's a boy. "Ivan," I said. "And if it's a girl?" "Anna." "Anna," doctor Bork repeated. "Like Anna Karenina." I know it probably does not mean much, but in the world that was so alien to me, in the language which I barely understood, he said something that warmed my heart.
Babushka prepared this beautiful tea party for Anna's birthday.
In a day or two, we went home. I remember sitting on the back of our little car, right next to that new to me thing called "car seat", with the new person in it, called Anna. She was coming home with us, to our small apartment - now it was her home too. I looked at her, and then through the window. Mid-January can be quite cold in the Upper Midwest. In Russia, it is always cold in mid-January which is, by the way, considered also mid-Winter there. The ground was barely covered with snow. I recognized the streets, the buildings, the traffic lights - all was familiar to me. The world has not changed, and yet, everything has changed.
I'm so thankful for having you in my life, Anna. You are AMAZING. Beautiful, kind, talented, bright, insightful, creative, funny, and wonderful in every way. I'm so thankful that in this huge world, we "met". I sometimes can't believe that it is you who call me "mama".
We had a fun family celebration at our local Jimmy Mac's Roadhouse - cozy, delicious, informal, just perfect. Pretty waitresses surprised the birthday girl with a cute funny nonsense little birthday song and a desert. Anna (or Anya, as we call her at home in a Russian manner) said, it probably became her favorite place. After dinner, we had lovely time at home, some good laughs and good chats, presents and tea time. Anna is also looking forward to two more celebrations - dinner with her papa and party with friends soon. Do you celebrate birthdays on just one day or you take your time? We somehow always seem to go on and on with celebrations.
Thank you, my love, for everything!
Outfit photos by my father Mikhail
Family photos by my love Justin
Skirt, sweater and furry scarf - Lane Bryant
Ruana - Chico's (old)
Boots - Born
Purse - B Makowsky
Jewelry - a store in Gig Harbor, Turkish shop on Bainbridge, Chico's, Lane Bryant