There was a moment this past weekend when I was sitting at my birthday dinner with all of my girlfriends, everyone lost in conversation with one another, where I took a step back and took it in. And what I saw kind of hit me all at once, and I realized that in my 30 years, I've never been so lucky. I was surrounded by women from every part of my life. My oldest friends of over ten years, girls I went to high school with, those I attended college with, girls I lived with in the dorms, in our sorority house, and after. There were a couple new friends too that I've met along the way, those special women that I just clicked with the moment I met them. And there we all were, meshing into one group, and I can't even describe what an emotional thing that was for me, to be surrounded by so much love, by all of these people who mean so much to me. Growing up I've always been blessed with great, solid friendships, but like anything, it takes a lot of trial and error to figure out what both makes a good friend and how to be a good friend. There have definitely been times in my life I've spent learning and relearning both of those things, so I think I am even more grateful for the friendships closest to my heart after all this time. So on Saturday night there I was, about to turn 30, surrounded by these amazing, inspiring, positive women, who know me and accept me for everything I am, and I was just blown away by it all.
The rest of the weekend was awesome too- on Friday Andy flew in from Seattle so we (Anita, Andy and myself) went to dinner at LGO, then went back to Andy's room at the Hotel Valley Ho and ate way too many sweets. It was a late night filled with girl talking and fun, and it was the best way to kick off my birthday weekend.
The next morning I woke up and got a good workout in, then headed over to the nail salon with my sister to meet up with all the girls. We all got mani/pedis then headed over to The Phoenician. We spent the whole day out by the pool, lounging on chairs on the lawn, enjoying summery drinks (they have a great strawberry banana smoothie) and talking for hours. It was so much fun, and especially awesome because a few of my girlfriends had yet to meet until that afternoon! After our day in the sun we all went back to our rooms to get ready, then met up in Shirley and Alana's room for a mini-celebration before dinner. The girls gave me some of the sweetest gifts, and we enjoyed some Sprinkles cupcakes and other treats while we hung out and talked for awhile.
We did dinner at Citizen Public House and because it was Restaurant Week they had a special menu featured. I got the corn salad (delicious), chicken, and ended the meal with a "coffee and doughnuts" bread pudding. All of it was excellent. Afterward we went back to the hotel, hung out for a bit more, then went to sleep.
Sunday was full of friends and fun- Pita Jungle and Rita's with friends, a birthday celebration for our friend Danny at Thai Basil, quality time with my sweet Erin, and some great family time with my parents.
On Monday Hank and I shopped in the morning so I could pick out some birthday goodies, then came back to my parents' and celebrated with them. They of course made a huge deal (see below for the silly "Over The Hill" caution tape they made me walk through), and it was really wonderful. And then we ended our whirlwind long weekend by seeing our friends Broadway Calls play a show at Chaser's. They played so much old stuff, and I was the happiest birthday girl in the entire world to spend the last hours of my twenties seeing one of my favorite bands, enjoying Shirley Temples, and hanging out with some of my oldest and dearest friends.
I couldn't imagine a better start to a new decade. Thank you to Hank, Shirley and Autumn for planning such a wonderful weekend and all of my girlfriends for making me feel so special, whether they were there in person or sent love via flowers (Emily!) or phonecalls. I love you!
And thank YOU all so much for all of your sweet birthday wishes here on this blog, Twitter, humoring me as I over-Instagrammed the past couple of days, and always being so sweet. I feel lucky to have all of you in my life too.
Here are a million photos from the entire weekend, mainly taken with my iPhone. Enjoy!