Always Close to My Heart


We are on a little getaway right now to recharge and get some family time with the kids before the new baby arrives. 

I woke up to a gentle patting on my side, which was not coming from the inside this time. Three blooming faces smiled at me and three beautiful pink flowers (dusty-rose (yet again!) is the color I’m being drawn to at this time of the pregnancy - what is it about colors and stages of life?!) were handed to me accompanied by hugs and kisses. Evyianne climbed from the foot of my bed all the way to my shoulders.

“Happy Mah-ver’s Day, Mommy!”, a slobbery kiss and a not-so-gentle hug accompanied his words.

My heart melted.

Those who I love the most and live for every day, surprised me in the most beautiful way any mother or woman can dream about.

Earlier in the morning (and I mean, significantly earlier, because at the time I opened my eyes the clock was showing almost 7am), Justin managed to get a fresh bouquet. He and the kids had a plan.

After waking me up to beautiful flowers, hugs and kisses, they presented me with a hot tea in bed, home-made notes of love and activities for the day. There was such buzz and excitement in the air, I couldn’t help but smile as I started to get ready for the day. It seemed to me there were some suspicious chitter-chatters, giggles and whispers, but we are on a mini-getaway, so I waived them off as a normal state of being for kids.

Except… it wasn’t.

When I came back, ready to go on with all the adventures presented 20 minutes earlier, a Monica Vinader bag was standing by the beautiful fresh bouquet.

My heart skipped a beat.

Just a few weeks ago, during one of my NY trips, I stopped by the flagship Monica Vinader store. I love everything from the jewelry designer: from the mission behind the brand, to the message and the unique designs. One of the most significant moments in my life has a little “token of happiness” created by Monica Vinader, so I couldn’t help myself but pay a visit when I was in the neighborhood. That day I walked out of the store with a new bracelet that had a personal engraved message on it, a message that means a world to me and keeps me going every time I stumble. I haven’t taken off that bracelet since, and everyone in the family noticed.

I don’t know whose level of excitement was highest, mine or the giggly girls’, who surrounded me and were practically glued to the spot as I opened a little brown box with golden letters. I wondered if it were earrings (I was eyeing some at a local Nordstrom) or a new ring for my right hand (because I am sure I buzzed Justin’s ears off talking about the “most amazing stacking concept!” ever since I came back from NY). But absolutely nothing could prepare me for what was inside.

As, I am sure, any mom does too, I keep those “scribbled love notes”, first pictures and handmade cards that kids give me throughout our life journey, as tokens of happiness and our memories. It is something I cherish dearly. Some of these things are kept in the album at home, but others, small, seemingly insignificant, are always with me: in my wallet, in my planner or hidden behind the case of my iPhone. Those are small tiny notes that give me purpose to live and purpose to wake up every day. They put a smile on my face no matter the news or the hardship of the moment.

In a little velvet pouch there was a custom beautiful Monica Vinader necklace, created with three pendants. Couldn't help but note : rose gold, just as I love.

Smiling directly at me out of a delicate diamond frame, there were two smiley stick figures inside of a scribble heart, engraved on a golden teardrop pendant.

This was a drawing Vasilisa gave me not so long ago. She said that was me and her, and lots of “love” - the reason why we were inside of the heart. I kept that drawing in my little blue prayer book that I keep with me always. Somehow, there was something about it that touched me more than anything else she has ever drawn for me, even though it was scribbled on a paper scrap. I didn’t want to ever lose it. Now, it will always be close to my heart. 

The little Redondo Beach getaway that I planned to surprise the kids with and create the best memories for them, turned out to be not only the biggest surprise I could ever imagine, but also my most touching and dear memory to date. A memory that is engraved on my personal, delicate necklace, and a memory that will now always be close to my heart.

 My Mother’s Day came early this year, but any men out there who are reading this, take note. These personal messages mean the world, they truly do. And also… when it comes to mothers and presents like the one above, you really don’t need a special date - every day in and of itself is a special occasion.


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*Thank you Monica Vinader for sponsoring this post together with LivingNotes.

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