today is my birthday. last night i went to dinner with friends. other than the loooong wait to get the check and a slight concern that my passport was not to be returned by the restaurant staff (they take birthday discounts very seriously in russia), it was pretty awesome. and it was an excuse to order a couple of those big platters (boats, actually) of sushi, which was very exciting/delicious for me. i was gifted some flowers, a sparkly bear candle, and a red leather riding crop*, photographed below:
both of my parents sent me emails wishing me happy birthday. in a shocking turn of events, my dad is the one who wrote the crazy long sentimental email telling me how he remembers the day i was born so vividly (then explains it) and has loved me ever since. it made me cry a little!!!!! and my mom's email was also sweet, but a lot more concise. no tears needed. today i am slowly convincing myself to go to korolyov to hang out and bake with polly. it's only made harder by the fact that my body is really sore from the hour and a half of yoga i did the other night. BUT, progress is being made. i am almost in the shower (mentally, that is. physically i am no closer than i've been while on my computer all day) as we speak.
*i was also given some other cool things from cool people, but those are what i have a picture of.