Turning 40

Can you believe this beautiful woman is 40?? Yes, that's me. Yes, I just said I'm beautiful. Go ahead...try and tell me differently. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

You would think I'd be freaking out, crying, screaming, ripping my hair out with much gnashing of teeth all while curled up in the fetal position rocking myself moaning the mantra "I'm 26, I'm 26, I'm 26, I'm 26.....". No ma'am. No sir. Noperooni.

This is going to be my decade.

Childhood is all about make-believe and creating worlds that do not exist. The teen years are all about survival. My 20's were all about exploring and my 30's were all about hanging on for dear life trying not to fall off. Don't get me wrong...each decade was magical in its own way but for some reason life never started to count till I met John and became witness and participant to everything thereafter. It was kinda like I was waiting for him, even before I knew him.

And from there on out it was a whirlwind. Marriage, business, baby...ups, downs, ins, outs...lots of tears and even more laughs (thank goodness). The last 12 years have been so rich with so many blessings I didn't even know were out there waiting for me and I am deeply humbled and thankful for every moment of love I have been given and have had the opportunity to give. To every person that has shown me their grace and generosity, I thank you. To every person that has bruised me in whatever way, I thank you as well. There is no way to fully experience and appreciate your blessings without a few thorns along the way to remind you of the gifts you have been given.

And then there's 40. EEEeeeee!!!! FORTY! In my 40's I will wish for the continuation and deepening of every relationship I have. I will wish for the continuation and clarity I seem to get each year of who I am. I will wish for the increasing feeling of how much I grow easier into my skin and enjoy that skin...yep...even with all the wrinkles. I will wish for the continuation of touching people through photography; to forever capture incredible memories to last forever and to bring forth beauty and empowerment through the knowledge that it is not how you look in that photo...it's how it makes you feel when you look at it. I will wish for stillness, patience (and lots and lots of it as the universe did not see fit to instill much of this in me from the get-go), foresight, prosperity, wisdom, kindness, generosity and empathy. I will wish for pure and unabashed delight and glee for every moment I spend with my daughter and a deepening and profound love for every moment I spend with my husband. I will wish that the universe squashes my ego like a bug all while rising me up to come into all that it has had in store for me all along...all the while waiting for me to smarten up and get it together to enjoy it. And I will wish for all the same to all of you. Maybe I'll even wish for a new pair of Jimmy Choos since the universe is listening. ;-)

I had the absolute and incredible pleasure of throwing myself a 40th birthday party this past weekend to round it all out and bring in my new decade with a bang. It was more fun than should be allowed. I would like to thank my dear dear dear friend Miss Raemie Bachman for all of the neurons you agreed to allow me to steal while putting this together. I absolutely could not have done this without you and I wouldn't have wanted to. Your friendship has been a gift and it was the cherry to set upon the top of the cake that was the last year I had in my 30's. Glad you finally made it into my life. ;-) And a giant THANKS for the delicious, delectable food that you made for the party. Just. Magnificent. Special thanks to my brother Sam for turning Ella's swingset into a fantabulous table, Kasey & Jody for the most delicious desserts ever (soooo PRETTY!), Ann for allowing me to raid your barn for all the fun details, Eric Wenning for the awesome photo booth, Rebecca Bloom for her tarot readings (you were such a highlight to my party), Oh My Grill for the super-fun food truck that fed my guests, my nephews Dom & Dante for keeping all the kids alive, Sonce, Justine and my mama for helping to decorate with me and John for lifting the heavy stuff.

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And a super-dee-duper thanks to all my friends and family that took the time to help me celebrate getting old. Wouldn't want to ring in this new decade without every single one of you. xoxo

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