Thursday, August 30, 2012

Babies come from Pier 1

Well at least a baby for this little family did. Once, about two years ago, when Jenya and I came home from a long trip to Russia, the mama owl was sitting there on the bed waiting for us (a gift from my mom). Then when I was feeling down from all the school stress, my mommy gave me this penguin to make a pair for the owl - they are both from Pier1. I, of course, feel like the penguin is Jenya and the owl is yours truly, but I do it with all the pairs, be it flowers, pets, or toys for that matter...
So when I got them, I decided that some day I will make babies for this pair, but I never got to it.
Today while checking out Pier1's sale, I found this little guy (or a girl) and had to get this pretty! She looks just like her mama, and my childish self is satisfied!
Along with that, our anniversary little present for Jenya was finally ready for pick up. Perfect timing on my part - only a week later... It is a little photo book that I composed out of our photos to highlight major events of the past two years. I am planning to make a tradition out of it, because although I take many photos, I am not a scrap booker, as I've said before, I am still working on our wedding album, and I haven't even started our honeymoon album - shame. I don't know what it is about scrap booking, but I just can't make myself sit down and work on it. Digital photo book is a different story...

I am pretty happy about this one!
On a different note, I am amazed at how God is working in my life! I made a promise to myself that I will let Him take over the stress of my life, and not be afraid and He is on it! The Father of my heart, I feel so safe in his hands! Just yesterday a patient called to cancel an appointment with me, which is a big deal because I have to have somebody in my chair every clinic. So having no hope, I decide to see if I can bring my husband again. I treated him last semester and he could only come back after 6 months - those are the rules. In my head I count the months thinking it is my only hope and it is not going to happen. Turns out he is due in 5 days! So the instructors, being their sweet selfs, allow me to see him that day! I call him and he is done with his classes and is close, so he comes and saves the day! I don't believe in coincidences and that was amazing!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


I am all about qute little things now. It is my secret best way to cope with stress of getting a higher education. Well now it's not a secret anymore. Here it is in a nutshell - if I am stressed, I make something cute, or find cute ideas to make when I run out of projects, like that's going to ever happen.
So yesterday I finished little crocheted converse shoes for a newborn, using this pattern. To be honest, it was ment to be a one weekend project - while watching Disney animated movies, crochet one on Saturday and another one on Sunday to take it easy. I have no idea why, but I struggled with this thing for three weekends! For some unknown reson, I kept messing up and finding out about the mess up when I was done with the whole shoe, so I had to redo each one of them like ten times! It was like a curse! Well, but I'm done now, had to say good enough, because they still had minor mishaps there and there. But they are cute, so tiny and soft! I don't regret anything!

Maybe owly will wear them for now...

One project completed, one to add to the list - and this one is for the futue (hopefully not too far future)...
This amazing lady came up with a way to make little pendants out of shrink plastic sheets! I am smitten! What is this shrink plastic? I had no idea it even existed, but how fun are these?!

Full instructions can be found here.
So that is that for now. I am off to school again, so far so good, I survived 2 days! Only 198 days to go! WE CAN DO THIS! Just need to keep finding time to make little cutesies!

Monday, August 27, 2012

The last day of summer break

This post could have bin a sad one. Especially considering that when I am writing it, I am already done with the first day of school and although it wasn't bad it was very hectic and I ended up falling asleep as soon as I came home, even though it was only two in the afternoon. Oh well, it might or might not get better later. Regardless it is just something I have to do and as I have said before, I choose to go down with courage and faith in God!
OK, back to the last day of summer break... It is not going to be a sad post, because it was quite a day! We had a corporate meeting at one of our coworker's house in the mountains. Considering that I work for my parents and so does half of my family and the rest are good friends of mine, and that the so-called meeting was in fact very casual, let's just say it was fun and no work related talk was allowed! We had tons of yummy food, rode our bikes around (I got to try dad's new toy!), saw many horses, shot many bullets and simply enjoyed the 78'F weather (when we left Vegas it was 93'F!)
So it is a photo galore from here on!

 A great ending to a great summer. What is next? - Thank Giving, Christmas, and all bunch of birthdays - here I come!

Recipe: Tom Ka Kai (Tom-Kha-Gai) chicken coconut soup

One of our favorite places to eat at is called Pin Kao (we call it pink cow and so is everybody else in town). We love their curry and this soup! I have tryed to make it at home a couple of times with different vegetables, and this is my favorite way...
 You will need:
1. 1/2 zucchini
2. lemon grass
3. 8-10 shitaki mushrooms
4. 1 carrot
5. 1/2 lemon
6. a bit of fresh ginger
7. 1 can of coconut milk (not water or cream of coconut, but milk)
8. 3 tbs fish sauce
9. 1 1/2 tbsp Chili Garlic Sauce (or more if you like spicy)
10. 2 boneless skinless chiken breasts
How to make it:
Cut chicken breasts in thin slices and cook in boiling water for about 20 min.

Cut  ginger in thin but relatively large slices, it adds amazing taste and smell to the broth but is not good to chew on, so it is nice if it is easy to decipher, so no accidental consumption occurs. Set it aside.

Cut lemon grass while you'r at it, same thing, bigger slices, so it doesn't get eaten accidentally.

Put both lemon grass and ginger with the chicken and let it boil on medium gas for about 20 min.
Meanwhile cut the mushrooms. I like to cut everything big for this soup, because that is how they do it in our favorite restaurant. But it is up to everyone's' taste.

Cut the rest of the ingredients - carrots and squash.

After the chicken and ginger with lemon grass have been boiling for 20 minutes or so, pour a whole can of coconut milk in there, add fish sauce and chili garlic sauce along with salt to taste. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon. Then add the vegetables and mushrooms.

Cover with a lid and cook on low gas for about 5  min if you are not going to eat it right a way, or cook for about 10 if you want to eat it immediately.
That is it! Nice and easy. The ingredients can be found in an oriental store, or even Smiths sells coconut milk, and when I don't have time to go to an oriental market, I just use a little bit more lemon juice instead of lemon grass.
It can also be made without chicken and with other vegetables. We love it here and I like making it at home!
Here is how they served it in the restaurant, we unfortunately don't have that cool pan! But that doesn't prevent us from devouring it all in one sitting!

image was found google

Sunday, August 26, 2012


My God's not dead, He's surely alive, He's living on the inside roaring like a lion! But I forget about it sometimes. Tomorrow is my first day of Fall semester and let's be honest, I'm horrified. What if I don't finish, what if I have to go back, when I am so ready to move on, I don't know if I will be able to deal with all of that again!
I remember about six months ago I was sitting in my instructor's office and she was telling me that I am the calmest person in the whole program, she asked me why, and I asked her in return: "professor, do you believe in God?" to my surprise she replied that she does. Then I told her that although I realize that anything can happen and there are many things out there that can lessen my chance of finishing this intense program, I strongly believe that my God will take care of it in the best way possible.
Yes I did tell her that! And at that moment it was true. Not only was I able to have hope and be courageous but also encourage my classmates.
What happened then?Somewhere along the way, the pressure got to me and I gave in.
This paper with this quote, that I got from our church at some point, really spoke to me throughout last year. I even put it in my school binder and read it every day!

I feel that I gave in, but I am going back to my old ways! My God is absolutely amazing and he loves me with a roaring love. He will never let my life turn into something that is not meant to be. He has a plan for me! And all I shall do is try my best and see what happens!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Baby animals

Sharon Montrose is an animal photographer. She did this beautiful and creative series of baby animal portraits. This will look amazing in kids room or nursery! When I start making money, or when I get a kid, whichever comes first, I will definitely get a few of those to put on the wall! This is a perfect example of simplicity being a masterpiece!

Friday, August 24, 2012

We are two!

Yes, we are two! We've known and dated each other for three times that, but we have been happily married for two years now! I love our marriage and how we are in it, it is so cute, I hope our kids would be as cute and healthy at two years old, as our little marriage is. Of course it would be nothing without love for each other, that God so generously supplied us with - without it, it would be sad, I really think so. I am so happy to be married to this amazing guy, I think we help each other be better, and it means we are on the right track. He is my bear - so cute and cuddly yet powerful, strong, and big! Only this guy can get his toy that he's been waiting for for so long in mail, bring it home, set it on the floor and play with it so much he falls asleep on the floor with all the parts laying on his stomach - how cute is that! I wish I could post a photo, but it would make a dent on his reputation, plus he is in his undies, so I will keep it to myself, look at it and giggle.
We don't give each other expensive gifts, but I did make this cake (that I described here as a complete fiasco) and a cake topper that is us out of clothespin - me in my dress and Jenya in his white shirt... (I've seen a similar one on pinterest and it gave me an idea for our little one...)
In the morning he went to work, and it was pouring rain. So I opened all the windows, set in the kitchen, listened to and smelled the rain, drank coffee, and watched our wedding video, and reread our wedding story. I honestly think nothing can be better than that. Then he came home, we ate and I presented him with the cake (it was a surprise and I hid it in the fridge behind milk cartons and told him to not go near it... It gave him a reason to send me to the kitchen for anything he wanted. He even asked me to bring him ice cream! It's in the freezer, it's not even close to the cake, not even the same door, you goof!) I was dreading the moment he tries the cake, because I wasn't sure how it turned out. We blew out the candles together and dug in - it was ahmazing! I honestly believe that it is because I prayed to God to save this cake because I spent so much time making it! He loved it and, to my surprise, I did too! So that turned out well!

Last year we established a tradition, that we really knew would take place even before we hit one year mark - to celebrate our special day in the same restaurant we had our reception in. We love that place and had a great time there last year!

This year it was even better! We got a bottle of young sweet white wine and ended up drinking it all, it was so good! We got a bit giggly as we indulged in our stake tar-tar, lobster, stake, and cremebrule! And we can't forget the freshly baked bread with home made butter - yum yum yum! We came at a perfect time too, when the sun was just setting, turning the sky above the lake bright pink, and then it turned dark and they lit the candles and the fire place, it was so romantic! And the black swans!

So we ended our happy day with live music, amazing food, delicious wine, candlelight, and lots of happy conversations about our past and future together!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Our wedding story

The days before our wedding along with the wedding day as well, are mostly a blur... Like splashes, certain memories emerge from time to time. It has been almost exactly two years, since the best day of my life to this day came and went. This is what I remember...

... I remember the evening before the wedding, we lay on the bed with a lap top, searching through our photos, trying to compose a glimpse of our life together for a slide show that we are going to put on a screen during the reception. We open folder after folder and cut-and-paste photos where we are together that we like. It is late and we have to get up early to go to church to get Jenya's first communion before our wedding ceremony. After, Jenya lays in bed and I read communion prayers, while kneeling in front of our bed (the most spiritual moment of our lives, I just wish there would be more of those)...

... I remember after morning service Jenya goes home to get ready and I get in the car with my parents to have the last breakfast together as a family of three (it's a family of four but my brother was in Europe at that point). We go to this egg breakfast place and I order an omelet with red colored fries (I think it was covered in paprika)... We waited in line for quite some time, but the breakfast is worth it! Mom and I have our coffee... I honestly don't remember the feelings vividly at that point, but there was this very special anticipation hanging in the air - we all couldn't help but smile, while chewing our food...

... I remember getting my hair and makeup done, I really liked the makeup artist and hair stylist that I had, she was a pretty red head and apparently she was good friends with our wedding photographer. My wedding dress hangs on the hanger on the wall, there is nobody else but us in the well lit room with many chairs for hair cutting (barber chairs? I don't know what they are called...) and mirrors.
Our photographer surprises us with a visit to take photos of the process - first hair then makeup... We are trying to explain to the hair stylist what we want her to assemble on my head as everybody oooohs and aaaahs over my dress. Photographer is taking photos of the dress and me.
 Then we talk my mom into getting her makeup done as well. When she is done we all are amazed at how beautiful she is with the makeup on. My mom's and my eyes really pop because of our makeup. We go into a dressing room to change into our dress, put our heals on and look in the mirror, my dad changes as well - we all look amazing (mom and dad match - I have never seen them dressed so well in my life!) everybody says we look amazing as we leave to go to church for the ceremony...

... I remember coming to church. We get to church at the same time with Jenya and I want to go to him, but my parents tell me to go to church, so that he can't see me before the ceremony. So they hide me behind themselves and make me stay in the kids room, the only place with air conditioning where I can hide. As I sit there on a tiny chair among chewed up toys and drawings on the wallpaper, all dressed up and ready, I look at the church hall through a large window, and see Jenya being led by the priest into the altar. We have to wait for the quire. The priest said that for the first time in thirty years of his practice a bride is not late, they weren't ready for it. I look at the icons on the wall, the paintings of Jesus and Virgin Marry and they smile at me it seems, I think that I should cry now, but I don't feel like it, I just feel compete and utter happiness - I just know this is going to be worth all the wait.
They let us know that my mom and dad will have to hold the crowns because the witnesses did not get assigned by the church, they gladly agree. Mom wants my dad to lead me to the door, where I meet Jenya, even though it is not part of the ceremony. The quire is here, photographer and her helpers have arrived, it is time...

... I remember my dad leading me to the door of the church hall, where my very-soon-to-be-husband is standing. The church is so well lit by the August sun! Because leading me to the door is not part of the ceremony, my dad is not sure when to leave and join my mom, so I kind of show him that it is time to go, but now, looking back, I wish I would give him a hug or something, after all in a very short time I would be given to my husband and it was an important moment for both my dad and I.
 The first thing I see is my Jenya's face - he looks a bit startled, but oh so hot all dressed up, and I really want to grab his hand, so I do, not sure if we are suppose to, but it feels right.
The priest is wearing his special occasion robe, my dad is tearing a bit and smiling and even giggling quietly, my mom is smiling too and lifting her poor feet from time to time to let the blood flow back to her toes, because I made her wear high heals that she is not use to, but she was stunning that day! I myself can't help but smile, I don't think I stopped smiling that day at all. The corners of my mouth were like Vegas heat - either really high or really-really high. We are still holding hands as the priest walks us through the ceremony. He tells us to repeat after him. I say "I do" and then Jenya says "I do" or maybe it was the other way around, and I finally get to wear my ring! I keep playing with it and looking at it - this is it, the sign that I am a wife to my husband, finally I don't have to prove anything to anybody anymore...
Then we hold the candles, and mom and dad hold the crowns. The wax from the candle spills all over my fingers so the candle melts onto my fingers. The ceremony proceeds - so beautiful and full of meaning. I look at the light of the candle and listen to the words of the bible "husband is to love his wife like Jesus loves His church..." That means love more than your own life!
We drink wine from a golden goblet and all I can think of is how sweet it tastes! And I don't even like wine, yet this is good! The priest says that this wine represents our life together - biter at times, yet a celebration nonetheless. I smile because our wine wasn't bitter at all!
I can't feel my toes anymore from standing on high heals for 40 min. We walk to the altar and the priest gives us last words if wisdom. "These rings you are wearing now, represent the eternity that your souls will be connected now, not even death will part you now!" My heart skips a beat - I wouldn't want it any other way! "The crowns we held above your heads represent you as human beings, being the crown of God's creation. But they also represent martyrs' crown, because as they were witnesses of God through all the hardships and even death, so should you and your marriage be a witness to all of the greatness of God" My heart skips another beat (oh, please God, let it be that way!) "These crowns will be awaiting for you in heaven, for from  now on, there is no more Evgeny and no more Anastasia, but you are one!" Another beat skipped, how amazing that this can be true! "And lastly, remember Paul,  who said that the wives should be subject to their husbands as to the Lord. Husbands should love their wives just as Lord loved His church and gave Himself up for her. You may kiss the bride!" I promise myself never to forget this first kiss with my husband.
Everybody congratulates us with many hugs and kisses. 
We go outside to take photos, we just move from one pretty location to another, we don't have to pose or fake smiles, we can't help it but look happy. I ask the photographer to take a picture of me being crazy about my ring, yes, I finally got everything I wanted!
I don't like taking photos overall, even though I use to model, but this was easy and natural to me, I was just so happy.
Then we get in the car, now I am driving with my husband and my parents are behind us - we are going to the lovely French restaurant on a lake for our reception. My mom is on the phone with my brother, he is still flying back from Europe, we are unsure if he will make it, so I pray he does.

...I remember we walk into the restaurant and the hostess and waitresses say that they love my dress, I like it, this is the day I am suppose to feel on top of the world and not be ashamed of it - so I do! The photographers come and we continue taking photos, the sun begins to set and most of the guests are late, but we don't even notice it.
Our waiter comes up to us and it turns out he is Russian! What are the odds! Some of our guests speak better Russian than English so they find it handy. I honestly don't think it's a coincidence, the whole day I felt like God was winking at me through these little "coincidences". By the time everybody gathers my brother arrives! He made it just in time! So we begin - people eat exquisite French dishes, drink champagne and wine (the restaurant is also a wine cellar and store) and say good words to the newlyweds. My dad has an opening word for us, so he is the one to begin it all. There are lights and water, and swans - everything is perfect: the weather, the people, the mood, and more than anything, my husband - he was absolutely perfect that day!

 ...I remember cutting the cake, we have no idea what to do with it, so we ask the waiter, what are the customs for cutting the cake, they tell us and we improvise. Jenya, ofcourse, makes it extra difficult for me to eat my piece.

 ... I remember everything is over before we know it, we say good bye to everyone and get in the car with all the gifts. Jenya starts driving and as we get home, he tells me to grab the bathing suit, I wonder what is going on, are we going to the to spend the night or something? As we drive, he refuses to tell me what's going on, but I keep asking anyways, excited that his day is not over yet. We get off the freeway on the strip and pull in by the Belagio - the most beautiful hotel and casino is Vegas. My husband parks the car at the valet, grabs all of our presents, gets a key and takes me to our room. Turns out our parents surprised us with a room for the night. When the door to the room opens, I am breathless because of the view that opens through the window - the lights of the strip, the Paris Eiffel tower the Belagio fountains - it is amazing!

Jenya setts up our lap top and calls his parents on Skype. Another surprise! Everyone who couldn't attend from his side of the family gathered in his parents house to celebrate with the wedding cake and everything! And we were able to attend (we love you Skype!) As I look at all the people that I've never seen before, I marvel at the fact that they are all my family now!

Later we lay on the bed and read all the cards that our guests gave us. I look at my handsome husband, thinking how lucky I am to have such a hot guy!
Suddenly someone knocks on the door, the hotel personel brings us a bottle of champagne and a huge bouquet of roses. Our parents thought of that as well! We have some champagne and I am going to stop there, as the rest is inappropriate but nevertheless unforgettable! The whole day was amazing - the people who participated, the atmosphere, the weather, the feeling that we are doing the right thing, and every cell of my husbands body and every part of his soul!

The END!