On the morning of my 49th birthday (over a mimosa!), my dear friend Kristi asked “so what are we going to plan for your 50th?” Oh my gosh – fifty – that was suppose to be my mom’s age, not mine! But in reality, it was only a year away.
As I gave it thought over the following months, I was not sure what or if I wanted to do anything other than our family celebration. I love birthday celebrations – but perhaps this one would slide under the radar.
Then, during a drive to the cottage at Easter last year it occurred to me: celebrating 50 was not just about me, it was about all the women in my life that helped me get here! Along with a family celebration, it was going to be a celebration of sisterhood – a girl’s party. With that in mind, I was able to quickly create a guest list of amazing women who I:
- Spent my favourite high schools years with,
- Studied in University and received an accounting designation with,
- Celebrated marriage and pregnancies with,
- Raised children together with,
- Cried with when heartbreaking challenges had entered our lives,
- Laughed with until our bellies hurt or until we laughed so hard we cried,
- Danced and sang into the night (to ’70s and ’80s music) with,
- Travelled with,
- Engaged in deep conversation with regarding balancing career and family, and
- Just simply admired, who made me smile and made me happy in their company.
Of course, there were several amazing women who couldn’t be there as they lived far away – but were certainly in my heart as I thought through turning 50.
With the help of Kristi and my girlfriend Cindy (both awesome event co-ordinators!), we began to plan the celebration. I had the vision of being a young girl going to a girlfriend’s birthday party back in the 1960’s. From the invitation, the party dress, Barbie doll cake, games, money in the birthday cake, candy, and the loot bag – it was a birthday party with adult girlfriends! The Breakfast at Tiffany’s theme became lunch at Denise’s – celebrating the best of the ‘60s:
- A classic little black dress (LBD) and pearls,
- ’60s food (fancy sandwiches, shrimp cocktail, devilled eggs, Ritz crackers and cheese, and marshmallow butterscotch squares),
- Drinks (bubbly and wine),
- A Barbie cake baked with quarters in it,
- Candy (jujubes, gobstoppers, and candy necklaces/bracelets),
- The music (a ’60s playlist),
- The “loot bag”, with an adult twist (mini Prosecco bottles with sample Avon lipsticks…remember playing dress up with Avon mini lipsticks?!), and
- Games were considered, however, musical chairs was not going to work and George Clooney was unavailable for “pin the tail on the hunk” – so instead it was a round of Brady Bunch and Gilligan’s Island trivia (with the winner coming away with a bottle of bubbly).
The Friday afternoon in June came quickly and the day was beautiful, warm and sunny. Our living and dining room was transformed into a 1960’s Tiffany Blue party space with balloons, flowers, and goodies. I cranked the ’60s playlist, put on my LBD and favourite red lipstick, threw on my pearls and put a fun tiara on my head (a “princess hat” according to my cousin Jim). I felt like Audrey Hepburn! My girlfriends began to arrive. It was a party of sisterhood – exactly what I hoped for and what felt right. I was surrounded by strong women I love in many different ways, the ones you know would be there if you called in the middle of the night.
As I looked around the room and made a toast to all of them, I felt so happy, grateful, and most importantly very privileged to have each and every one of them in my life. It was a feeling we all deserve to experience every now and again. We are all women with hopes, dreams, sorrows, successes, and challenges.
We are a sisterhood and we need to take time to celebrate. Why? Because we can!
Cheers to all of you and your sisterhoods!
Photos: Leanne Lynn Photography and Scotch & Coffee
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