Greg and I do not normally do anything big for our birthdays -- we celebrate quietly as a family, bake a cake, open a few gifts. But in the past year-and-a-half since moving to Texas, I have gathered a fantastic group of lady friends that I love dearly, and I thought --- what could be more fun than a Girls Only Birthday Party?
If I could describe my sense of style in a word, it would be "quirky", and since this was my party, I decided to go completely over-the-top with accessories and FUN! Ever since seeing the tutorial for these little top-hat fascinators over at Offbeat Bride, I've had an idea percolating in my head...
I didn't manage to create enough hats for all 10 attendees, but I did make these three, which turned out a little messy, but rather cute. (I actually wasn't sure if everyone would really wear these with me, but my friends ended up being more willing-to-be-daring than I had given them credit for. If we do this again, I'll make more.)
Put together with a Modcloth dress and a whole lot of accessories...
Dress, Modcloth ~ Shoes, Bergman Heel by Seychelles (from Modcloth) ~ Hat, made by me using this tutorial ~ Ruched cropped leggings, Victoria's Secret ~ Jeweled necklace, unknown ~ Audry Hepburn pocket-watch necklace (purchased on eBay, but available at ModCloth) ~ Bracelet, a Premier Designs gift from a friend ~ Feather boa, Michaels' craft store.
I'm not sure if my favorite part was the shoes, the false eyelashes, or the feather boa. Or the Audry Hepburn necklace that pops open to reveal a clock-face. Because the overkill on the accessories was probably NOT EVEN ENOUGH!
I encouraged everyone to over-dress along with me, but they all secretly decided to appliqué shirts with "Faith" for everyone instead (Lisa R. and Becca made 7 in one day!) (!!). Sweet, heartwarming, and hilarious all at once.
Top-ish (wonky) row: Susanne, Alison, Lisa R., Alicia, Brittany, Rachel, Lisa H.
Bottom row: Becca, me, Jenny.
We literally laughed all night long. My face hurt from so much smiling. Such a wonderful night!
Someone had ordered an Italian Cream Cake from a local bakery and brought it to the restaurant. (I am rather a bit shorter than the friend who ordered the cake, thus the message...)
While 31 years might not be normally considered a "milestone" birthday, it is certainly a milestone for me. This is the first year that I've felt completely at home in any location we've moved to with the Army, and it's all because of these friends. With these ladies, I can share my life, my fears, my dreams. We can talk about hard days with children, great recipes, family frustrations, sex, intimacy, love. We encourage and listen to each other, loving each person just the way we are, no qualifications.
While our family has found incredible friends at each place we've lived, we've simply never had this sort of tight-knit local (mostly neighborhood!) community before. Until we moved here, we never really felt that we belonged.
Greg will always be my very best friend, but there are some things that he just shouldn't have to deal with, and isn't as equipped to deal with as a man. Being able to vent and share with girl-friends takes the pressure off of him, and he doesn't have to deal as much with all of the crazy that is in my head. In these beautiful woman, I've not only found a safe place: I've found home.
(For the full birthday gallery, click through to our Flickr set.)