Sunday, January 30, 2011


Lunch! Nom Nom Nom!
"F*&$ THIS and F*@$ YOU!"...
....came mumbling out of my mouth this morning when viewing the incredibly high number staring back at me from the little glass window on my scale.  And trust me, that dumb piece of modern technology that is more of a torture contraption than a helpful device almost saw it's last day and read it's last pound this morning.
After realizing that it's only partially my scale's fault for being accurate and honest, I decided to spare it from total domination.  However, I have decided that sometimes my scale should take some advice from men and instead of giving you proof that your ass does look fat in those jeans, to just read "error."

So today was my panic day.  Don't start gossiping and thinking that I am going anorexic but I really just want the scale to read a weight that doesn't make me lose my breath tomorrow when I see it.

Day #1
(really trying to embrace the European time format)
Let's play I spy....
Who can find the problem?
I think it's clear that I consumer 99% of my calories between 17.00 and 22.00.
I should probably work on that.

Au Revoir

I sat here in a past life.
Princess Morgan
That has a nice ring to it
Here are to some of the best memories ever created with family.  
My mother and I had such an incredibly fantastic time together.  Not only did we work through the problems and struggles of Russia, but we also managed to see three beautiful cities that hold centuries of fascinating history, play 87 games of backgammon, cook some delicious American food, and really enjoy the time we got to spend together (with no fighting!).
I am so sad she had to leave but I am so thankful that she arrived safely back in America.  I was terrified of letting her get on that plane after the recent bombings in Moscow.

But I think it is pretty much safe to say that I have one of the best moms in the world (if not the best).  She has flown around the world to my rescue countless times and without fail, whether I am in Turkey, New York, Israel or the Antarctic, she has found a way to turn all my problems into positives and make that light at the end of the tunnel reappear.

So with a clear head, a full fridge, and some seriously need will power...
I am facing day #1 of turning this experience into something special
and dropping some weight.

I eat because I'm sad and I'm sad because I eat but I think when I post my before pictures of the journey I am about to embark on, I will scare/disgust myself into sticking to this.  I really honestly can't believe I am going to make this challenge public because it's humiliating but I view it as character building and motivation to endure as little shame as possible.
So wish me luck and send some ideas my way on how to make some time pass.
Get as creative as possible.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Where's Waldo?

My mom and I are true warriors.  Not only have we mastered the Moscow metro but we mastered the Russian alphabet.
We somehow managed to drag our butts out my door and walk to the metro at 5:00 in the morning after only a couple hours of sleep, navigate the metro which fails to provide any signs with familiar characters of the english alphabet (we even had to change trains), and then find our train to St. Petersburg.  
It was such an adventure and I feel so accomplished.
There is just something about getting on some sort of transportation that moves at a very fast pace away from what your every day life consists of.  It's like freedom is becoming more visible and palpable and the weight of responsibility and the standard daily occurrences slough off the further and further you travel.  
So you must imagine that I am feeling pretty darn good right now being all the way at the Baltic Sea.

Here are just a few pictures of our adventure in St. Petersburg today in the -40 degree fahrenheit weather.
Our gorgeous hotel!
Get excited for pictures from St. Petersburg: Round 2 tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Once again, I embarked on an adventure to Israel only to have the most incredible time!  I think it's a sign that Israel is where I should be spending some portion of my life, whether it be 1 month or 10 years.  My guess it will probably be closer to one month.
The flight service to Tel Aviv was fantastic.  With a full row to myself I stretched out and caught some shut eye only to awaken to soft comfy blankets that smelled like flowers.  For those of you who do not live or spend much time in Europe, soft blankets are a serious luxury compared to the usual stiff, line-dried sand paper we use on a daily basis.
A couple days in the sun with my mother and some healthy, natural, fresh food was exactly what I needed to reset my body to pound the court for three more months before I travel back to Israel to renew my visa for a second time.  I am even more excited for Mission Israel: renew visa round two because I may get to lay on the beach for a day in a bikini and most likely catch up on some much needed tanning time.

I will leave you all with a collection of some very disjointed pictures I took on our trip to Jerusalem.  Such an incredible city with so much history.  If you ever want to feel completely insignificant or an intense desire to figure out your purpose, I suggest you take a little trip to Jerusalem.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Small Escape

After my match tonight I am heading to Israel for two days of fun in the sun and to meet my mother!

I can't wait to 
explore Jerusalem
drink iced coffee
sit in the sun
wear sunglasses
see the water

Even though this is a business related trip, I am so flippin excited for a small, sweet escape!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Marina may have left today and I may be very sad but I am going to see this as the first day of a fresh start.
I seem to be having lots of fresh starts lately.....
let's hope I can get this one right.

My friends, I have managed to do the incredible!
I have put on so much weight that I don't recognize myself.
I wake up every morning and I look like I got my wisdom teeth removed.
My coach has even noticed and started making me ride the bike every day after every practice.
My initial reaction was depression and wanting to curl up in a hole and starve myself until I could actually look at my reflection in a mirror without feeling total shame.
However, due to my profession, my skimpy skin tight uniform, and my televised matches, I have to deal with humiliation and embarrassment of lacking total self control.
I guess the only way to deal with this is to laugh and drop some serious weight fast.



...Marina left...
...She's gone....
I can't believe it
I wasn't quite sure if I could handle the transition of having someone with me 24/7 to endure the wrath of Russia to riding solo in less than 24 hours so I called in a replacement.

I will meet my mother in Israel on the 17th and we make the journey back to Russia on the 18th
She's in for a treat.

Once we arrive back in Russia and my mom experiences what life has been like for the past 3 months, she is going to drink me under the table.
Oh yay!


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Don't Do Dessange

I think the most difficult part about being in Russia is having to deal with my hair.

Problem #1
I workout every single day, twice a day and clearly need to wash my hair on a daily basis.  Oil and sweat is not a good combination for volume and flow.  I know this doesn't sound like a problem yet because washing my hair on a daily basis is nothing out of the ordinary.  The problem is that the weather outside likes to stay at a chilly -14 and wet hair either results in icicles coming from your hair or more often then not, a runny nose and flu like symptoms.  So to prevent either of these unwanted results, a daily blow dry is required which is now resulting in overly dry and crispy hair!  I have recently opted out of washing my hair for days at a time after a blow dry to try and salvage what is left of my healthy hair.  It's seriously depressing when all I want to do is feel clean and put together.  Instead, I am feeling like a grease monkey who welcomes frequent bad hair days.

Problem #2
European blonde is a terrible color and I am sorry for everyone who is an innocent victim of this urine shade that you Europeans call blonde but it is not flattering for any skin tone.
However, all blondes bear the terrible burden of the unrelenting upkeep of roots.  Three months is a lifetime to let these luscious locks grow with no maintenance but I was terrified to destroy what my hairdresser has worked so hard to create.  Clearly I take my hair very seriously ;)

Problem #3
I caved and found a salon called Dessange in the center of Moscow.  The reputation of this salon has been great all over Europe.  I did what I thought was enough research but much to my dismay this salon was horrible.  I now understand why there were no reviews for this salon in Russia.  I am sadly wishing I got the European blonde instead of what this outcome was.  The hair dresser, at random, selected pieces of my hair with painted it with bleach.  The end result was multiple pieces of white, fried hair that won't even stay straight when put under a straightener.  Now the worst part of the whole experience is that I paid $600 for this lady to destroy my hair.

Feeling very stupid and not making this mistake again (for at least 6 months or until the next season abroad).  That mojito in the picture looks like I could be a good solution as well.

I Have No Secrets, But Maybe I Should?

I can't believe I am about to share this with you because it is slightly embarrassing but really more impressive.

Sadly, Marina is going to be leaving me here in Russia and moving on to bigger and better things in Azerbaijan.  I pretend I am excited for her but I secretly hate her for leaving me here.  She was my support system.  I even compared her to Camilla.  
She doesn't really understand that it's an honor and not creepy.
But now, I am going to be making the rest of this journey on my own.

For old times sake, Marina and I hit our local bar to celebrate her new found freedom and our friendship because it's really a rare thing to make such a great friend in such bizarre (for a lack of a better and more socially acceptable term) conditions.  And my God, did we celebrate!

I am not a drinker.  I have never been a drinker.  I didn't even drink at my own wedding.  But for some reason I have decided to start my college lifestyle about 6 years too late.

By the end of the night we paid off our $350 bar tab which included
22 Jager Shots
12 Vodka Tonics
2 Beers
1 Pizza

I know this screams, "You have a problem!" but I had to share an all time low.  It's nothing to be proud about but I unfortunately have to admit that I am impressed.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A Great Start To A New Year

Who cares if I am a day late with starting my new year.  After a long conversation with Camilla last night, we have decided that this is going to be my year of learning.  It may not be my year of success and great fortune but I am definitely going to learn about me, learn about different possibilities, learn about photography, learn languages, learn about history and culture.  
I am going to be so smart by 2012.
Today was my day to learn how to be brave and alone.  To learn not to need anyone other than myself.  To learn how to use the Metro in Moscow and a honest attempt at learning about the history of the Kremlin.  

I really did want to learn about the Kremlin.  I was just a little sidetracked by the amazing mall covered in lights.  I felt like such a little kid/man as I was drawn towards this huge shiny building.  I probably looked like a fly being mesmerized towards a light only to meet its death.
And like the fly, met my death, I did.  
Upon entering the mall, I saw was the chic, crisp, clean layout of the Louis Vuitton store with their gorgeous display of bags and the aroma of expensive leather. guess what happened next.
I am now the proud owner of my first Louis Vuitton bag.

I have to admit, I kind of knew I would trick myself into shopping instead of learning about the Kremlin.
I'm a very convincing girl when I want to be.

I think I will go back tomorrow.