Thursday, January 15, 2015

Most Beautiful Month

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



  1. I love your springy skirt. What a good DIY to revamp a tired skirt. I'll keep it in mind!
    How wonderful to have children in our lives. And even more special and awe inspiring when we somehow have created them! I feel this all the time!! Enjoy your drawn out celebrations :-) xo Jazzy Jack

    1. That's so wonderful that the skirt inspired you for a new project - yay!!
      You know, in the everyday routine and some challenges, I sometimes forget what a miracle she is. I always remembered when she was little. I want to come back to always, always remembering it. Because it's not something trivial.

  2. Happy birthday to your daughter!

  3. happy birthday anya!!!!!
    yes, natasha - you have a beautiful daughter! and very talented, which is no wonder seeing papas photos, uncles art and your wonderful writing and creating.
    love the tea table - the oldschool china, the linen.....
    your look is very impressive - like a fashion pro - styling this black&gray outfit with brown and silver and the pop of white and on top the red bag - simply genius!!
    i wish i could pop over with some flowers and cake :-)

    1. Thank you, thank you dear Beatochka, you are so kind. I would be sooo happy if you stopped by for some tea and cake! Much love to you.

  4. HaPPy BiRtHdAY Anna!:))))) It's amazing how you made your little piece of heaven. You have wonderful family, you go for your passions, you have beautiful warm heart and strong spirit.

    PS. You look great and I love the jewelry, especially that round elements bracelet on your left wrist and middle bracelet on the right one:)

    1. Your comment leaves me speechless in the most magical way. You warmed my heart, my dear!!

  5. Happy birthday to your beautiful Anya! (I'm calling her Anya because we're all part of the blogging family, aren't we?)
    Yes, the world is forever changed once you hold your baby in your arms, isn't it? It's the most commonplace, most ubiquitous, most everyday thing, happening every second the world over, yet it's a unique miracle every time. And that's fantastic.
    Love your elegant outfit and spectacular jewellery - well done to your dad for stepping in to take the photos. And how lovely for you all to be together for Anya's birthday, that's so special. xxx

    1. Yes, we are a family! And yes, it is absolutely a miracle every single time, my dear Curtise.

  6. So inspired by this warm post, a whole family affair!
    Love that papa came tot he rescue and what a great job he did,
    That photo of both of your hands, and the jewelery you wore, took my breathe away, I amy have to go back to pinterest to make a new board..
    Your Anna is lovely, I know about the lipstick, OOPs!
    Love your black grey and white, the skirt is perfect, and the colors blend almost magically!
    XX, Elle

    1. Thank you, Elle! I'm so happy when something I do or write or say inspires people. I am very honored! :)

  7. First of all your outfit is so fun. It's hip and beatnik-y with just a touch of grunge but not in a too casual way. You know, Seattle like. ;) I love the skirt details and that whipped cream topping in the scarf. My daughter bought me a scarf very similar for Christmas but it was enormous and wrapped around twice. But I loved the fabric so much I ended up cutting it down so I could enjoy wearing it. I hope she's not mad at me.
    Your family photos are so very sweet. I can't even get my 16 year old to face a camera. I asked him what he's going to do when it comes time for senior pictures and he told me he's going to wear a tux and face the wall. Brat!
    Happy Birthday to your precious girl!

    1. Thank you, Joni! What an interesting, unexpected description. I didn't think of my outfit this way, but I see what you mean! I like this. :)

  8. Interesting post. Lovely look too.

  9. Наташа, тебе идет такая длина! Очень мило и кокетливо! Happy b-day to your beautiful daughter! Я обожаю дочек -- у меня дочь и у моей сестры тоже. С девчонками проще, мне кажется :))

  10. Oh I love this outfit and it is now another one of my favourites! It looks amazing on you in that way where yes the outfit looks gorgeous but the woman looks even more gorgeous. What a lovely story you told about the birth of your daughter and how much she means to you. It's an amazing thing, a mother's love, an amazing thing to have a child and I have no doubt at all that your Anna is wonderful and special and obviously beautiful just like her mum. I love seeing your family together, so happy and cosy and full of love. Your dad did a great job taking the outfit photos so maybe he would like to come and visit me and take some photos for me too! xoxoxo

  11. I still have tears in my eyes from your touching post. I send you my wishes and i'm totally on the same ground as you as a mother to my wonderful 12 years old daughter(well in October). These young girls are a fantastic generation! I love the last photo and yes, mine spends much time with the mobile,too.

  12. I'm not surprised that this ruched and leather-trimmed skirt is a favourite of yours, dearest's awesome!! Loving (once again!) all the layered jewellery; today it's the earrings that have especially caught my eye!! Boho-tastic!! P.S. Your dad did a terrific job with the outfit photos!! P.P.S. A very Happy (belated!) Birthday to Anya...looks like you all had a wonderful celebration together!! XOXO