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Family Time | It’s the Most Wonderful Time (Christmas Special)


Iva  1:15

Hi, and welcome to the Mom Bosses Abroad Christmas Special. Throughout this season, we've had amazing guests every week come and join us. And today we're switching gears a bit and we have the pleasure and excitement of featuring our husbands, our partners in life who are not only our biggest fans but also our biggest cheerleaders. So you will get to know a little bit more about Desiree and I and our families through a reverse style hotseat question format, and it's going to be fun. And as a quick disclaimer, no husbands were harmed in the making of this episode. So let's welcome Xavi and Fabian to our podcast today. Guys, it is a bit surreal to have you here with us, but it is Christmas and a wouldn't be any fun if we didn't have you with us today. So welcome!


Xavi 2:21

Thank you for having us.


Fabian 2:23

Thanks for having us.


Desiree 2:24

So good to have you on and it's funny actually because your kids were on this podcast before you so they already have more experience being in the hot seat a little bit. But we wanted to start this particular episode with a little bit of a backstory and a little bit of a tribute I think to Fabian because a little bit of a story is that Iva  and I would have never met if it wasn't for you. So Fabian and I actually went to high school together and Indonesia. We won't tell you how many years ago that was we don't want to date ourselves too much. But we actually went to school together and we were like the German crew representing at Jakarta Intercultural School in Indonesia. And we also live together in Frankfurt around the same time for a couple of years so we really spent some time together as well. And there came a time think around last year but no, almost two years ago that. you said ‘Hey Des you should meet my wife, Iva, because I think you guys would really get along. You're doing similar things.’ And I'm like, ‘Yeah, sure. Okay, fine. Of course, I love meeting new people.’ And I think Iva he told you the same thing didn't he?


Iva 3:50

Yes it was the same. It was the same and I was also like, ‘Yeah, of course. Sure. Sounds like a good idea.’ But we were really both busy, right? We were both like doing so many things. And I think it was a little bit later that we finally replied to his email. Because that's how he put us together through email.


Desiree 4:10

Exactly. It took us a couple of runs. And then we're like, okay, let's schedule a call. And then we had the call and I think we couldn't stop talking. I think it was like a two-hour call or something? And we I think the rest is history. It just clicked from beginning to end, up and down and so yeah..


Iva 4:29

Yeah so Fabian is the official matchmaker. He’s the official matchmaker and he's sort of like the executive producer of this podcast. Because he's also the one that got us together and that's how we got started. So that's a little bit of the background story on how we all came together. So now we are going to go a little bit into the hot seat questions. We're going to start off with Xavi. So Xavi is Desiree’s husband, so first question. What do you like most about where you currently live?


Xavi 5:09

Without any doubt, temples. The spiritual aspect of the city is quite magnificent, something that we've never seen before. And it’s something we have spent time over the weekend, whenever we are off, strolling around and really having that mental peace, which then is needed. So this is something very special in in the city.


Iva 5:37

And I think just having lots of temples around it just really creates this- I don't know, aura around right? It's like a very meditative type of energy is that what you what you feel you feel connected to that peace and tranquillity that comes from people that go to temple right to, to pray and I guess insight [inaudible]


Xavi 6:07

I think it's, as you said, it's an aura or it's also a certain behavior of people. You know, surrounding us. It's yes, everything is extremely polite, very respectful. And also allows you to have your, you know, your time to meditate or to balance yourself a bit. And I think when you know the difference, you know, compared to big cities, you have a the time. I think it really makes a big, big difference to have that, you know, reflective time whether it's a temple or a park and also the population is rather you know, is only around 1.5 million, so that also helps


Iva 6:47

Okay, and then next question, what's your greatest strength as a couple?


Xavi 6:54



Desiree 6:59

Are you sure?


Xavi 7:01

A hundred percent. I think so, I think we balance very well. You know, Desiree  has, you know, many, many positive traits. But in my case, I think patience or trying to understand, often, you know, the mood, behavior all the time...Desiree is laughing. But, you know, 


Desiree 7:33

To clarify he says patience because I am not patient and he is the most chilled and patient person ever, which is the reason why we balance and get along so well


Iva 7:50

Well that's why he said the greatest strength as a couple, like combined, but his patience is enough for the two of you, I guess then. It like compensates. 


Xavi 7:56



Iva 7:57

So, Xavi. What does Desiree do that makes you the happiest?


Xavi 8:05

You know, I said before that for me, patience is probably one of my main attributes as a as a couple or us as parents. In regards of Desiree I think she has that positivism always. She's always looking forward to things, very excited to do, and appreciate various small things in life and not necessary, you know, expensive things or she's just, you know, probably just the essence of things, which makes things you know, just as important, as basic they are. So, you know, that simplicity is something that nowadays is quite difficult to find. And I think she, she really has that


Iva 8:54

And I have to agree with you 1,000% because I do think that she is the biggest cheerleader, and that's why I just love you know, whenever we have our daily talks, because we talk all the time, and it's just, yes, as you say she really celebrates every little step with you, you know, she's as excited as you are about, like the tiniest things. 


Like, for example, just recently, I don't know why this happened. But I think I was the only person on the planet that didn't have Instagram Reels. And I was always like, ‘Yeah, I cannot do reels on Instagram.’ And then just a couple of days ago, I realized that I could and then I just send a quick message to Desiree. And she was also like sending a message like with lots of emojis and  ‘Oh my God, that's amazing!’ And you know, it's one of those things that it's like, yeah, whatever. Everybody has Reels, but she does have a point of making you feel like whatever baby step or milestone you have achieved is the most amazing thing in the world. So absolutely. 100% agree with you on that one. And then a little bit on the reverse side. What does your wife do that really gets on your nerves?


Xavi 10:04

Oh, many things! Just kidding, that's I think, you know, personality wise, we are very different. I wouldn't say that she's very dependent, but she likes to be surrounded by you know, their loved ones whether it's our son or myself constantly. And I feel that you know, as an individual I also need sometimes that space and it's not that she does not want to, but probably she needs more time together. So sometimes is, you know, is that gap, but it's good. I mean, we always discuss about it and we have you know, our time. I just came this morning from running and she definitely, you know, supports whether you know, I run or do any other activity, but yes, I think sometimes, you know, personality wise were slightly different but yeah, that's probably what it is.


Desiree 11:04

Okay. Noted. Noted because I thought he was gonna say he hates that I never turn off the lights when I leave the room or never close any cupboards after I've opened them. So that's good to know. already used to it. Well,


Xavi 11:19

But that’s self-explanatory


Iva 11:26

You have another you have a list of your pet peeves about Desiree. But no, we just wanted to know the one thing that really gets on your nerves and so what is your favorite way to spend time together?


Xavi 11:41

Well, now this is a bit difficult. Of course, the pandemic has not been helpful. But we love traveling. We love you know, gastronomy, restaurants, outdoor activities, and in a way that you know, the last probably 20 months even though in our, in our city, our country, we've been extremely lucky. But we both feel that. Yeah, traveling probably is our passion and eventually that was what really led to work in in different places and different cultures and so on. So this is actually the most exciting thing that we do together.


Iva 12:19

We hear you loud and clear, because I think we all have that traveling bug right? Especially if you’ve lived outside of your country for so long or you do have that international background of having parents that travelled quite a bit as well. And so, it's like oxygen like you do want to go and explore and see other cultures and see other places and it is hard. It is hard not being able to do that as of late so definitely can relate. Okay, and then what is the favorite, your favorite gift that Desiree has ever given you?


Xavi 13:03

Well there is probably a name to it is our son. I think this is of course, it's a game changer. We both felt extremely blessed of having him healthy. He already turned four years old and I think he’s a great reflection of both. Yesterday we were having dinner and she was insisting that you know ‘you are half Daddy and half Mommy’ and I always say that ‘No, no he’s 51% Daddy and 49% Mommy.’ But my reality I think, you know having a family and of course a little one coming up again it's probably is the best thing that could ever happen to a human being right being, you know, parents and an experience that…extremely happy for that gift thank you, wife. 


Desiree 14:00

Awww, I love you.


Iva 14:08

So now I guess, Fabian it's your turn to the hot seat. So I'm passing over the mic to Desiree. 


Desiree 14:17

So Fabian, do you think that Iva is a confident person? And why or why not?


Fabian 14:24

Yeah, I would say yes. And it depends a little bit on the situation or the circumstance. 


Desiree 14:32

Okay. Can you give us some examples?


Fabian 14:34

I think with her it's very much, she's very confident when obviously she has the knowledge of what she's talking about. Or she knows- I don't know how to explain it. Yeah, she knows what she's talking about she gets very confident. I think we're a little bit same in that.


Iva 14:56

I think what you mean is that when I put on my Nerdastic pants and I have done my cramming and studying for like ever. And then I feel prepared and then I'm like ‘Yeah, sure I can do this.’ But yeah, I do need to have some prep work to step into that. Yes, yes.


Desiree 15:15

No, no, I agree. I always think Iva is so confident, she really knows what she wants and where, at least which direction she wants to go and how to pursue that. And even if she's not sure at the moment, she will get it done. So, I think that's very confident to me for sure as well. And when do you think she is the most her? Like when can she be most like herself?


Fabian 15:43

Looking into the last 18 months, I would say it's really when she can I say serve- like I really feel the last 18 months with the change that she's gone through, she's just come out as, sounds weird, as a different person. Like she gets so much pleasure out of helping other people. And that's when her light really shines. So, I think she's, you know, the path she’s gone now is just amazing.


Desiree 16:15

Totally. I totally agree with that. And I think the beauty as well is in what we're doing together- what we've been doing together for the last 18 months as well, and I think the magic is that we can be totally ourselves like with each other. Because even though we have like such different things set up right, but it's so rare to find someone who you can be totally yourself with- without any filters, without any like any pretending, any acting nothing. Like if we're having a stressful time we'll both know about it. We're just be supporting each other right. So yeah, that's, that's totally true.


Iva 16:58

Yeah, yes, it does feel amazing to be able to say ‘Hey, I've been having like a really like that day, you know, this and this happened.’ And yeah, I mean, it's not about dwelling on it so much, but it's just saying like, ‘Hey, I'm not in my best emotional or mental state right now.’ and you totally get it and that's and that's fine. Right and some people make it a personal thing like ‘Oh my God…’ So yeah, true


Desiree 17:24

Yeah. But like Fabian says as well that's also how you know you're on the right path, right? Because you've been feeling totally yourself. You'd know you're doing is completely what you should be doing, it’s your calling so to say, so that's awesome. Yeah, so Fabian, what's the nicest compliment that she's ever given to you?


Iva 17:49

So many, so many to choose from


Desiree 17:52

Yeah, don't you know?


Iva 17:55

Just the first one that comes to mind. 


Fabian 17:56

The first one that comes to mind 


Xavi 17:59

That can be public


Fabian 18:00

I think it relates a little bit. It relates a little bit to what Xavi said, you know, regarding patience. I think in that sense, I think we're very different. She gets cooking pretty quickly. I am a bit slower I would say and she's like (clicking fingers) fast-paced


Iva 18:26

You're like a slow cooking pot, a crockpot and I'm like a firecrackers.


Fabian 18:30

So, I think in that sense, sometimes she's a bit annoyed. But I think also, I don't know whether it's with kids or something. I think sometimes she also has said (inaudible)


Iva 18:42

You know what, it's the Latin spirit coming through. 


Desiree 18:46

You know, I don't know because like Mediterranean or Latin, but we're both reversed here because I think that's why Iva and I get along so well because we're both very like, you know, quick, like hot-tempered and you know, and we have patient husbands or, you know, keeping everything calm so that’s good


Iva 19:05

To do the counter balancing.


Desiree 19:06

Yeah, right. Right. Good.


Fabian 19:10

So, I guess yeah. Just to come back to that, it's just, I guess, for me, that's nice, because I know, I can support I can, you know, we support each other or we complement each other, whatever you want to call it. So I'd say it's definitely that


Iva 19:26

One of us is keeping it together for the rest of the family that's what he said in a very diplomatic way.


Desiree 19:36

And if your wife could travel anywhere, to any country in the world that she wants, you know, once were allowed to for a month, where do you think she would go? 


Fabian 19:49



Desiree 19:51

Really? Because the follow up question would be,


Iva 19:52

Of course


Fabian 19:53

A 101%


Desiree 19:55

The follow-up question would be, would she take you? 


Fabian 19:57

I think her first her first answer would be no because she wants to spend a month with you. But she wants to take her family too


Iva 20:06

Yeah, You can do the babysitting. 


Fabian 20:07

Yeah, that's fine.


Desiree 20:10

We'll send you two off, you know, running, cycling, swimming, all of those things because I think that's where your shared hobbies lie as well. The kids are all around the same age. So we'll put them together and then Iva and I get to spend time together. I think it's the perfect plan.


Iva 20:30

It's the perfect traveling plan.


Desiree 20:31



Fabian 20:35

Will make sure that we train the kids to make sure they can stay on their own. Then we're all good.


Iva 20:40

Right, we say ‘Kids, we’ll be back, don’t wait up.’


Desiree 20:42

Exactly perfect. So where do you plan to live when you retire? Have you thought about that at all? Where do you guys want to settle down?


Fabian 20:55

Yep. I think that's pretty clear. It's either- it's a mix, probably. But it's Germany, Canada. One of those places, pretty sure 


Desiree 21:09

Oh, really? 


Fabian 21:10

Depends a little bit how it’s gonna go. Are we going to have two places? One somewhere there it's warm somewhere that's not? Yeah. That's definitely we're discussing that what's gonna happen you know, the next- are we gonna stay here in Singapore? The world is just so crazy right now. We're trying to figure out in the next midterm, 24 months, I think, what's next.


Xavi 21:37

I think the question, the question will be, when would you like to be retired?


Fabian 21:41

Oh, that's a very interesting question. Because we just had that, we've been working a little bit with some regarding, you know, financial advising and all of that. So, obviously, these questions come up, right. Yeah. And it's so funny, because Iva and I are completely the opposite. You know, I'm like, ‘I want to I want to retire when I'm 55, 60 max, right?’ And she's like, ‘I don't want to retire. Whatever I'm doing now I can do that until I'm like, 80- whenever until I die,’ And I'm like, ‘No, I want to travel the world, do my Iron Man’s whatever.


Iva 22:29

Yeah. And I'm like, ‘I can't do my work through zoom. All they need is a computer and Wi-Fi. 


Desiree 22:54

But maybe that shows as well that we found something that we're so passionate about that we can't even imagine quitting. We want to do it for as long as we can. But the key is the location freedom, the time freedom, we do it when we want, when we felt like it, we could do it from anywhere. Right. So I think that's also good because we're so happy to take your guys's lead on where you guys want to go, because we can just literally pack up our laptop and take our businesses to anywhere in the world. And then continue from there That's the beauty of it.


Fabian 23:13

I mean, Iva when she started this, she said, I have a hashtag that's called ‘I will retire my husband.’ 


Iva 23:21

Yeah, yeah


Fabian 23:22

So I question is when does that happen? 


Iva 23:25

Stay tuned.


Desiree 23:29

I would say so too. And I think there's some questions as well that we have for both of you at the same time, but we'll start with you Fabia while we are on your right now. But three words can you describe Iva in just three words?


Fabian 23:52

Passionate, smart, and loving. 


Iva 24:02

Oh, This is completely unprompted. It's not scripted, I guess. Xavi the same question. What three words best describe Desiree?


Xavi 24:12

I would say caring, genuine and talkative


Iva 24:36

Well, we do have a podcast 


Desiree 24:29

Yeah, it helps. It helps. It's good. Oh, that's good. Great. And because you both are such supportive husbands, we also want to say that, you know, we really appreciate that. We really appreciate you being so supportive and letting us chase our dreams, chase our goals, and really support whatever we have in our crazy mind. Sometimes we want to do this, we want to do that. And you are our biggest cheerleaders and you are,  I don't think we can cope sometimes without that, support. Just knowing you have our backs, just knowing you have you take those hours to take the kids out when we have something really important that we need to do, like our various certifications or meetings or whatever. So a big thank you to you. I think you do play, I hope we do tell you once in a while. But if we don't, we're telling you now thank you for all the support that you're giving us on this journey. And because you are such supportive husbands, we know you also know our podcast really well, right? So tell us which one is your favorite episode of our podcast?


Xavi 25:49

Fabian, you first


Fabian 25:51

Now you put us on the spot.


Iva 25:54

It wouldn’t be called a hot seat if we didn’t do these questions, come on!


Fabian 26:00

Okay, all right. I'm gonna do my homework. I will listen to a few. Have to be very honest, now, there's no hiding


Iva 26:15

Only the trailer. It’s okay if you just want to say the trailer 


Fabian 26:18

Now Xavi it’s your turn


Xavi 26:26

I'm trying to find it out


Desiree 26:32

Oh, man. All right. All right. Yeah. 

Iva 26:39

He's signing in.


Xavi 26:45

Alright. Diverse. Yeah. And just to prove that I was listening to you. One second. You see this one, it's played only a bit though, but it’s played. 


Iva 26:54

It’s like ten seconds. Which one is that?


Xavi 26:56

It’s the Big reveal. How soon is the big soon…That was April 22. Episode number four. It's perfectionism versus evolving your business. 


Iva 27:22

Okay. Okay. And that one you heard five seconds.


Desiree 27:26

Very good. So since that's like about seven months ago, be nice to, you know, just kidding.


Iva 27:37

No, we're just oh, we're just, we're just kidding. We just think I mean, you guys, it's a bit like a joke that we make in some episodes where like, ‘Oh, if you want your husband to not know something you can just go ahead and say it on your podcast, because most likely, they won't really be listening to that.’ But yeah. But no, we just we just wanted to tease you a little bit. It wouldn't be, it wouldn't be fun if we didn't do that. A


Desiree 28:04

Not to say we have some secrets in some of the episodes, but it's okay. We know they're safe.


Iva 28:09

Yeah, Maybe. You probably will never find them.


Echoing a little bit what Desiree just said. I just wanted to share that this past season we've had amazing guests coming to our podcast and a lot of the common theme of these amazing women that we interviewed that shared with us how they are really being Mom Bosses in their lives. A lot has to do with having an amazing supportive partner by their side and so we feel very blessed and we feel very grateful for having that support from you. And feeling that you are cheering us on into all the crazy adventures that we're getting into. But yes, it  is part of having that partnership and so we just we just wanted to say it out loud and say clear that we do appreciate and we're very, very thankful for having you as our partners in life as I like to say and our soulmates, even if it sounds cheesy, but it is you know, it is a beautiful journey when you're sharing it with someone that believes in your dreams as much as you do or sometimes even more than  you do. So yes. 


And we just wanted to share a little bit about you know, our family side of things because we are putting the spotlight on a lot of beautiful guests that we have but you know, this is our Christmas special episode. And it wouldn't have that Christmas feeling if we weren't sharing it with our loved ones special you and our families. So, we want to, you know, send a message of support- Well, gratitude and just being thankful for having you guys


Desiree 30:07

And then maybe for some of the audience listening out there as well for some of the other moms or even some of the husbands who may be listening in, what do you think of us having made that decision to build our own business and to you know, be there still for the kids and be there as full time moms at home but building our businesses alongside that. What do you think?


Xavi 30:28

I could replicate whatever you do, I will do it tomorrow. I like the intrapreneurship that you both have. I think this is not only you know, fulfillment of your passion, but is more about you know your personal freedom that you can work in your passion everywhere in the world without you know, time limited deadlines, corporate world etc. So, I think it's something that I believe Fabian is aligned with me or at least I will think that you would agree that having partners that they are entrepreneurs and that it's not easy. It's not easy to build that different countries, different regulations, but you know, there is a laptop, Wi Fi and really finding your you know your passion in life and of course the right partners and we are we are just a small percentage of the recipe. So yeah, 


Fabian 31:25

You took the thunder out, but it’s pretty much the same of what I wanted to say. I mean, when I met Iva, you know, she had, she had a nine to five job, and she was very good at it. But I always felt she was wasting her time, like you could just since it was a nine to five job. She had to do it for the money. But she was just way beyond that. And I don't say that because she's my wife. I just always felt that it's just so much wasted talent. And I think it took her quite some time to figure it out what and how. But I think this really has been the journey of the last two or three years. And yeah, I've just been pushing her as well, I guess. Yeah. So, I think it's really her calling and the fact that right now, financially it's not a must or  burden that gives her the freedom to really, you know, figure it out and take her time. 


But yeah, I think it's really that and if I could change tomorrow, it's the same thing. But how she's so inspired and so passionate about I don't know, she gets off a call with someone and she's like, ‘Oh my God, this person had this and that and you know, I felt like I really supported and helped’ and it just shows that this this this calling this deep desire to serve is something that is really ingrained in her values I think and the fact that she can now live that and really build something on it is great.


 I mean, I was you know, I always say to friends here now it's like I hardly get to see her anymore, right? Like at some stage we got to talk about this because she's so into like, I mean she's the most, like if she has a like goal and she wants to achieve something, she just gets so into the grind. But it shows that it's for something that she's very passionate about. And yes, she's building something for herself and ultimately for us as a family, I think. Yeah, and it's only the beginning. So I'm grateful. I think I'm blessed. I think it's giving her everything that she needs. I think we've just helped a little bit to give her the wings. And that's it. The future is hers and ours as well. 


Desiree 33:43

Yeah, thank you to both of you. Really that means a lot also for us to hear that, it gives us the fuel to keep going. And so thank you. And thank you so much for spending the time with us today as well.


Iva 34:00

And thank you for listening in and from our family to yours we wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a blessed New Year ahead as a Mom Boss Abroad. 

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