The Crazies of my 30th Birthday in Paris


That day I woke up at 3 Am in Dublin, Ireland. I got dressed, woke up my baby boy and put him into the baby carrier as my husband packed our luggage into the taxi. I walked through our Dublin apartment and said my last goodbyes to the beautiful Georgian place that was our home away for a few days.


We went through the airport and the 1 hour flight so quickly that the next thing I remember was sitting at the cafe in Charles de Gaulle airport watching the reunited couples making out as their coffee was cooling off on the table, totally a Paris thing, the full on making out in public that is.

Paris in June, for my 30th birthday.

The day when nothing went right but ended up perfect.

So what if my day started out with tired but wired where I couldn’t sleep of excitement and once we came to our Paris apartment, which was also just an absolute dream, I passed out for a few hours for a good nap!


What I found out later, like 2 days later, was that while I was napping my husband went to find a store which sold perfume, with the sweetest of love stories, and since they only sell that perfume in Paris and not online he went to pick it up. After finding the store, of course it was still closed, he waited for a while until past the time it was supposed to open, and there was still no one there, so he came back. (we visited the store 2 more times during this week and it was still closed – no luck, but the thought to get there and all the walking around really counts too)

Walking down on the street where we stayed.

We were staying in 7th Arr. and it was just beautiful! There was a store next door where they sold candles with a perfumer creating a scent for each arrondissement of Paris. Since we were staying in 7th, my husband picked up a candle for 7th and 6th to remind me of the smell and this place! Now that we are home for the last two days I am already burning the candle and it smells just like Paris.


It was a beautiful sunny day out so we went out thinking maybe we could squeeze a museum visit out of it, it didn’t happen once we saw the line. Naturally we went further to get something to snack or even find a place to eat dinner.


This is where fun started. We were walking as a family, looking at this beautiful city, and kept walking, and kept walking, my husband had a specific place in mind with a great view to sit and eat dinner there. We sat down to enjoy dinner, fed the baby, had a great view, a musician came over and situated himself in front of the restaurant playing saxophone, a family walking by broke into dancing and that was really fun to watch.

View from the restaurant. The musician came shortly after thusbphoto was taken.

Then the fun really started! Our food came and baby was sitting back in the stroller chewing some bread when my husband’s stomach pain became too real and he went to get some medicine at the near by pharmacy. He was complaining of stomach pain, but we thought he was just hungry. Within a minute of taking some medicine they recommended he said he was feeling nauseous, got up from the table and barely walked 10 feet before he just threw up. In the street. In front of the restaurant.

Once I recovered from basically dying and going through the ground to disappear from sitting front row center in the middle of the sidewalk, which is usually a great spot for a Paris cafe, I apologized for my husband to the people around, collected my baby and called a cab.

One thing I am thankful for – right before we left for our long walk to get to this restaurant we stopped by the bakery and picked up some dessert for later that night. There was wine at the apartment and two spacious bathrooms with a soaking tub. Once both my babies were asleep, one recovering from a day of travel and being shoved around in the stroller, and the other from food poisoning or whatever made him sick, I filled that tub!


Certainly I didn’t plan to spend my day this way. But life throws a curve ball, you just go with it. Oh, and I ate ALL of the dessert we bought that night.


This year I will take every opportunity to be thankful, for turning 30, going on a spontaneous trip to Dublin and Paris, for having a healthy baby and a trip where no one got sick or injured (well except for the one night ..). This year I am starting with valuing what I have, my family, my friends, people who surround me and love me for who I am. This year I am going to be thankful for crazy memories of diaper leaking in Louis Vuitton (more on that later) and throwing up in front of a restaurant, for missed flights, for mistakes, and most of all for forgiveness.


This was an amazing way to celebrate and a trip I will most definitely remember for a lifetime.

Mind Battlefield

The last couple of weeks I feel like I’ve been attacked and hit with so many grenades of the insecurity kind that I feel compelled to share with you ladies some thoughts on the subject.

Why are we, why am I, so negative and shameful towards my body?

All our body ever does is carry us through life, give us babies, feed the babies, give comfort hugs to those near us, waves hello, gives goodbye kisses, and welcomes home our loves ones. It protects, strengthens, comforts and loves on everyone else, so why don’t we do the same and protect our body by treating it properly and dressing it with respect and grace it deserves. Why not take time to strengthen our body at the gym, by going for a walk, eat proper fueling nutrition to give it power to keep going. Take time to comfort the body to let it heal, like after giving birth for example, and let the body rest on a regular basis (this one is hard for me, I tend to go and go until I’m really hurting) and take a day out of the week for a sabbath – no hard work physically or mentally.

After all the love our body gives to the husband, kiddos, hugs our friends, and pet the fur babies, I strongly believe we need to find time to actively love our body back. For me it means mani/pedi on a regular basis, sometimes a massage or a bubble bath with some alone time. The biggest fight in actively loving yourself, in my opinion, has to come from your mind. This battle every woman has to fight on her own and woman, I FEEL you these past few weeks. If YOU have been fighting in the battlefield of the mind against the weapons of insecurity and loneliness, I am with you.

You are not alone in the fight.

You are not alone because we, all and every woman, feel you.

You are not alone because God is there to catch every tear and hold your hand through every valley to help you walk out of that battle. Remember, you may not win every battle, and its ok because you just need to focus on winning the war. And I believe that you can and will win the war, you will build your self esteem, self love and self worth; you can do that by arming yourself with the strength of God, His love for you, His healing words and the perseverance to push through.

I am an introvert, it may be hard for some to believe that – but I am, I am just a very social introvert. When I am experiencing these attacks and the struggles I tend to close in and not share my thoughts and feelings with anyone, and let me tell you, it’s harder to get through when you’re dealing with it alone. So, find a friend or someone who loves you and will help you through the process. Talk to God in a way that works for you and you will find that your battle is almost over.

From one girl to another,

Luba

 

 

 

52 Date night ideas at home when the kids are asleep

Did you know?

When you have a good time you forget to take pictures, you get lost in the moment of joy and bliss.
When you are enjoying the company of your date you usually forget your phone, your world.

Forget the world for one night of the week and no matter how hard it is, spend time with your husband, spend time with your wife. Hold hands, hold each other and most importantly, leave the phones else where.

Here are some of our favorite ideas for your date night when the kids are asleep. Take 15 minutes, half hour or the whole night, once a week to grow closer to your spouse, the most important relationship, after your relationship with God of course.

  1. Make a gourmet meal together. One of you can take the time to grocery shop and pick out a special recipe – this can be the time to recreate your first date, or your favorite date from the past. Get dressed up in your fancy clothes, use the wedding china and get some candles.
  2. Exchange a massage. Pick a body part, because the woman who cares for a child all day long will never complain about a foot massage.
  3. Bubble bath and wine – the rest is left to your imagination.
  4. Work out together. Who knows, a little sweat and then a shower is good for the marriage.
  5. Go down memory lane and look through pictures/videos from when you were dating, from the wedding, vacations or honeymoon.
  6. Have a dance party.
  7. Get blue apron and cook a meal for your spouse and enjoy the conversation once kids are in bed.
  8. Striptease.
  9. Learn a new dance move or a new style together using youtube video tutorials.
  10. Host a dinner party and enjoy the company of another couple. Nothing like having people over to make you feel like normal functioning people of society.
  11. Make a meal for a family in need. Cooking together brings you closer. So it’s a great idea to let that benefit someone else. You can find out from a church or local charity who may be sick or in need of a meal.
  12. Do a house project together. Pick something small that will allow you to DIY together.
  13. Do a yard project together. You will spend time alone, rely on each other and learn new ways to communicate when doing, at the same time another topic to discuss other then kids.
  14. Make 15 sandwiches and deliver them to the homeless. Ok, one of you will have to stay home with the baby monitor, but you’re doing a good deed at the same time!
  15. Read a book together, even better to each other. Pick wisely on this one, there are plenty of adult books to read, some with lots of pictures. Just saying.
  16. Make your favorite cocktail and enjoy a relaxing evening with your favorite martini.
  17. Bake cookies, put them into cute little bags and drop them off to the neighbors mail boxes with inspirational quotes, without signing who its from. Chances are the baby monitor may work when you walk across the street, depending where you live, and you’ll get an adrenalin rush making sure no one can see you
  18. Watch a movie together. This may be a go to for most couples, just make sure you don’t fall asleep.
  19. Do a spring cleaning project.
  20. Do a wine tasting. This is one of my personal favorites especially after 9 dry months.
  21. Paint something together – can be a weekend project instead of just one night.
  22. Start learning a new language together, even if it’s youtube videos, even if its just for humor.
  23. Have a TV show marathon. 24 works great for this one, or it’s just a great way to catch up on all your favorite shows with some pop corn and cuddles.
  24. Sit in front of the fireplace and make out like teenagers. If you’re in upstate NY, this is a good one right now, it’s been incredibly cold and windy for March.
  25. Organize each others’ closet. Spend some time doing a runway show and let your spouse choose what clothes stay and what needs to be donated (bonus is saving money on date night so you can do some online shopping for new things after this one)
  26. Appetizer tasting. If you are tired of cooking for date night or tired of cooking period, pick up your favorite appetizers and do a tasting like the professional would.
  27. Fold laundry. If you don’t have a lot of time, or if you just have a lot of chores to catch up on, do the chores and make a little competition out of it. Whoever folds laundry first picks their reward of choice. You may be surprised that it will become your husbands favorite date night yet.
  28. Do a pedicure for each other, because men like to have their feet soaked and massaged too, they just don’t know it yet.
  29. Watch your husbands favorite sport, who knows, you may like it.
  30. Get take out and sit on the floor for dinner like you’re in college.
  31. Go for a walk, even if it means a lunch date and your baby napping is in the stroller while you’re walking.
  32. Sit down to plan your next vacation. You can dream right? There will be a time you can travel again just the two of you or you can take your new baby with you (be on the look out for my post about traveling with an infant).
  33. Mini golf. You can buy a mini gold starter kit on amazon and move some furniture in the living room for a night of simple fun.
  34. Coffee tasting. There is something about being a new parent – you are always drinking caffeine. So why not take advantage and french press locally roasted coffee.
  35. Bubble bath and wine. Because this one deserves a repeat on my list.
  36. Ask your spouse to teach you something, it can be sports, a favorite hobby or maybe cooking your favorite dish.
  37. Play cards, or board games. Whatever your favorite one is out of the two.
  38. Have you seen the movie “the fault in our stars”? There is a scene where the two kids in love lay on the grass and stare up at the sky. So do that. During one of the blood moons my husband and I climbed on the roof of our porch through the window, just looked at it for a while and took pictures. Whatever your version may be.
  39. Run through snow in your underwear. You may want to do this one at night to not scare the neighbors. If you don’t have snow – find a way to take a mud bath, even if its just for your feet.
  40. Breakfast in bed. Because weekends are the best and kids take naps during the day, and no one will notice if breakfast is at lunch time.
  41. Skinny dipping, it will be even more fun if its in your neighbors pool. After midnight of course.
  42. Play chess, or learn how to.
  43. Have an indoor picnic.
  44. Facials and those little cucumber circles for your own children induced dark circles. If your man is helping you out with kids, or if he’s just working really hard, then he will definitely enjoy this little spa at home kind of time with you.
  45. Order pizza delivery and pig out because you can still wear maternity jeans after the baby, they call it the fourth trimester, or firth or something..
  46. “Husband does my makeup” it’s a youtube thing, and I think in the end if you can get your man to do it you will end up on the floor laughing so hard trying to not wake up the kids that you will appreciate the silly times more then you think you would.
  47. Five more to go, you’re almost at the end of the year ideas. So I just want to stop and pause and tell you that it’s ok to just take a nap. Sometimes it’s ok to just sleep when the kids sleep.
  48. Take a long shower together.
  49. Make a time capsule video or letter. You can make it for your kids to view years later.
  50. Bake or make your favorite deserts (because not all couples have the same favorite desert) and sit down to talk about your goals. With kids and life in the way, it’s not easy to keep your eye on the prize. Talk about your goals and review the ones you wrote down in the past. They can be individual, or goals and dreams for your family as one.
  51. Ice cream sunday night. It’s a great desert to just skip over. Also since its so sweet, take time to talk about your financial goals. They usually will be a bit bitter with a look into the future, so dream sweet big dreams for your family financial future. The more you talk about it, the more you will stay on top of it.
  52. Pick your favorite date night idea out of the list above and repeat. Because why not.

 

I had a fun time with this list, what’s your favorite date night to spend with your spouse?

Ladies, love your man. Men, love your woman and hug her extra every night.

xoxo

L.

A mom’s rant on “the new normal”

After I had the baby everyone started telling me this is your “new normal” so get used to it. Get used to this life as if it’s going to be BAD, as if I should expect it to be a punishment. Punishment for love? (I mean, we all know where babies come from)

Frankly, I do feel waves of guilt and feelings of “this is my punishment” crawling their way into my mind slowly and it’s a conscious effort to keep that space clear from negative emotion. Ok, so most days I fail at keeping the attic of my brain clean, but so what, it doesn’t mean I should give up, it means I should fight harder.

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This week I learned something about myself. Not that I didn’t know it, not that I had never heard it before, I just learned it. I mean really learned something about myself that made me feel all empowered and like I am getting to know this new ME, at this stage of my life. I just sat there marveling at this quality and I think I am going to continue getting to know me and instead of getting down on all the failures, I will attempt with all my effort to build on my strengths instead.

This week as I reflected on some circumstances of my life, I learned that I am resilient. So many times I’ve fallen down, been disappointed, yet I still stay positive and keep trying. The thought of completely giving up has not registered long enough to become reality. This is huge news to me. It means a great deal of self empowerment and a true encouragement.

If I was honest though, at the same time this week an overwhelming feeling came over me when I was painting my nails. There is one thing I NEED – to be able to walk into a grocery store or shake anyone’s hand before a business meeting with a nice looking manicure. So about a month or two ago I started doing my own mani/pedi. I wash dishes, cook, constantly wash my hands – so it means doing my nails every other night if I’d want to keep my manicure fresh. Who’s got time for that?! I really got fed up – because while baby is down for the night, I’d rather cuddle on the couch with my husband then wait for the nail polish to dry.

So instead of feeling all beat up about my new normal – I am now going back to get my manicure done and embracing womanhood – because its empowering. Because when my baby boy is growing up I want him to know that a woman isn’t meant to do it all, she is meant to be the best at the role she was designed to do. I want him to know she is beautiful and graceful at every moment of joy and every moment of diaper spill all over the floor. I want him to know a woman who builds a life on her strengths and isn’t destroyed by her failures.

Yes, I am aware that the new normal is having a little human cry for you from early morning until night, and then in the middle of the night, tugging on your body parts expecting food every two hours, without considering that you may be hungry too, since it always happens as you are about to sit down to eat. The new normal is pregnant – but not too pregnant so people can still look at you and say “awe, you’re all belly”. Then in 3 months you’re expected to loose the baby weight, go back to work, have him sleep through the night and roll over (what if your baby doesn’t want to yet?) There is the house, dishes (every day), meals to cook (every day), clean floors, shower and washed hair at least 2 times a week, change all the diapers, put on makeup (every day), give time for your husband, spend time with friends.. I know I am missing a lot more on this list as every mom’s to-do list is different, but seriously, can we just stop and celebrate how resilient a woman’s body is?

You allow your body to go through so much and experience the joy of giving birth (whoever says that by the way never had to go through it without the drugs), then you bring the baby home to experience the “New Normal”.

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Let me just say that after 5 months of this new normal I think that WE – The Woman – are pretty freaking amazing. Let me just stop for a paragraph and tell you – husband, girlfriend, sister, co-worker – go celebrate your woman, especially if she is the mother of your offspring. Let me stop and tell you that if you’re not celebrated and you’re too exhausted to ask for it and demand it – you are amazing, you are resilient and you are beautiful. Your every effort will not go in vain, even though dishes in the sink and the pile of laundry on top of the dining room table remind you of the better version of you there once was. Be the best you today. Be the best version of you for your baby and for your husband, but most of all – be the best version you can be for yourself.

The new chapter of life where quiet frankly you – the mom – are the hero, the lifesaver is a great kind of normal, not a punishment.

Today, I will let the dishes sit for a little longer so I can hold my baby in my arms and take in every sigh, smile and every cuddle he will give me. Today, I will not let the Instagrammable world of expectations become the reality for my life. I will let the love of God allow me to love myself for who I am, and my every imperfection to be able to truly love on my family and friends.

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p.s. if you are a new mom, kudos, you did it. Not feeling me on this one yet? Just wait until month 4 – after three months of cluster feeding and growth spurts, I really think it gets a LOT easier!

 

Stay fabulous!

xoxo

L.

My most embarrassing pregnant-brain moments

I totally thought I would be able to escape this one.

I really thought I would be fine and not loose my mind during pregnancy. Nope. So many women told me that they couldn’t remember certain words and became forgetful with stuff that was common sense while they were pregnant. Some told me that the pregnancy brain went into mommy brain and they never felt as smart as they were before kids.
I’m not sure if that last part is really true, but I am certain that the amount of time moms spend worrying about their babies, their household, their husband and then their own sanity, certainly makes a woman question her sanity. Nothing is as it was before children. Kudos to you women!

I was just thinking recently about my upcoming birthday, this year is a big one for me, I am turning 30, and as I’m planning ways to celebrate this year I remember an embarrassing incident last year.

Pregnancy brain made me forget me forget how old I was. 

It was my second trimester and during a conversation with a friend age came up, I’m not ashamed of how old I am so I told her I was 27. We talked about having babies and how I just thought 27 was the perfect age to have my first baby. About a week later I was talking to my husband about our plans for my birthday and we almost had a fight about my age. He reminded me gently that I was in fact turning 29 in a couple of weeks at that point. I was in shock for about 5 minutes since it just felt like I aged a decade.

So here I am about to turn 30, loving life and just chuckling over how seriously convinced I was about my age.

Pregnancy brain made me snore – during a massage.

If you’re pregnant and haven’t had a prenatal massage – do yourself a favor and get one! It’s really amazing what a woman’s body goes though so be kind to it and treat your body well! I was in my third trimmest and really wanted to get some pampering and relaxing time after a long couple of weeks.

I really hope that my masseuse doesn’t find this on the internet somewhere because it would be even more embarrassing! She was so good at her job that the massage literally knocked me out! I woke up from the sound of my snoring and I just tried to brush it off as congestion. But really, is it a surprise? Since pregnant woman is usually always tired and ready for a nap or two a day.

Pregnancy brain made me walk into the mens bathroom instead of the ladies. 

I didn’t notice until AFTER I was in the bathroom stall and a man walked in.

Of course I was HORRIFIED!!! It was a restaurant, and event for my husband (which one I will not say so that local friends can’t figure out when and where it was) so of course I was supposed to be on my best, I was wearing a dress and heels, and then of course I had to go to the bathroom fifteen times.

The bathroom had funky picture signs on the doors instead of the traditional “Men” and “Women” sign. So in a need I just went in without thinking the picture through. I thought it was odd that they had urinals there, but then maybe they added them recently? I’ve been to that restaurant before and the bathroom looked different. Don’t worry, I was in the stall behind a closed door when I heard someone walk in and use one of the urinals. I was so horrified because it all came clear to me, I walked into the wrong bathroom. It was a good thing that the bathroom was spacious enough that I could hide in the corner without showing my feet, and trust me, I was so close to jumping on top of the toilet to hide my heels.

It all worked out well. Thank GOD! I was able to walk out without notice, or anyone saying they noticed, pretend all was fine and the next time I had to go to the bathroom I read the sign correctly, trust me on that one!

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Did you fart in public and just know that someone heard you? You’re pregnant so it’s ok right? Please tell me I’m not the only one, because seriously, this is TMI, but it never ever happened to me until I was pregnant. And then you get pregnant and fart in public because your body is not your own, its that little human.

 

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Do you have an embarrassing story to tell for a good laugh? I’ll be posting another blog with embarrassing stories of other moms, send me yours and it will be included in my post! Comment bellow or email me at lyubovnixon@gmail.com

Stay fabulous,

xoxo

L.

My pregnancy highlights

9 months is a long time only until you carry a little human inside, then it happens in a blink of an eye!

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My first trimester was so rough and I was so sick that I barely remember what happened. It went by fast, however, in comparison to the other part of my pregnancy. So I thought I’d share with you all some of the highlights (good and bad) from my journey.

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What I’ll miss the most is the movements and all the kicks inside my belly. Feeling little feet was amazing, even if they were up in my ribs for the last two months!

I am glad that dealing with nausea is over with. The worst part of it for me was throwing up every time I was brushing my teeth. It was literally the only nightmare for me before I got pregnant and that’s exactly what happened to me for 3 months straight!

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Second trimester was my favorite time. I felt like my bump was adorable and I could dress it up in so many ways! I loved shopping for cute outfits online. So far my favorite place is asos.com with a lot of options for dresses, shirts and pants!

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I had a lot of really fun moments that I will treasure for a long time! Among them was getting dressed up and taking maternity photos! It was a great time getting my husband out to do it with me and even though he was resisting, in the end he had a fun time and loves the memories those pictures created! Our photoshoot was actually on our 4th wedding anniversary and it was a great way to start celebrating the weekend!

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My husband is currently running for public office in Albany and this has been one of the busiest seasons of our lives! That’s why getting away for a baby moon was so difficult and also extremely refreshing for both of us! We didn’t tell anyone when and where and long we were gone for. It was perfect. We recommend that to every expecting couple if your life allows it!

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Second month of pregnancy was weird for me. I had extreme sensitivities to smells and food, and it was so bad that the entire month the only thing I could eat was pad thai and bread. You can imagine where my grocery money went to.

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For a while I thought that I was feeling my ligaments stretch, especially on the left side right where my ribs are, only to see on the ultrasound that it was the baby’s foot up in my ribs so high it was giving me real issues. Sometimes I couldn’t sneeze, laugh, cough without sharp pain, and tylenol became a must to fall asleep without feeling those toes playing with my ribs as if it was a piano! Somehow I feel like this is the pain I will miss. A lot.

I hope that sharing some of my thoughts and experiences during this journey is encouraging to some of you ladies! I am actually a private person and learned how to have public face, there are a lot of things I have kept private about my pregnancy, I won’t tell you how much weight I’ve gained even if I tell you that it was a lot more then I was planning on or wanted to, but I can promise that I can still be real about the ups and downs. And I’ve certainly had my ups and downs with this experience. It’s not always glamorous and there are a lot of gross moments, but in the end, my body is making a human from scratch, and that’s pretty incredible!

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Love your body, and what its able to do! It’s the only one you have! Enjoy every moment and every disappointment! Love every pound you put on to keep that babe healthy! Share your thoughts and fears with other women, they will support you and love you! Don’t be afraid to cry! When you have a real pregnancy brain moment, like the super embarrassing one, just laugh at yourself and let it go! Life is too short!

 

xoxo