I have an older brother who thrives in the limelight. He is natural public-speaker and good teller of tall tales. When we were kids, he LOVED getting his picture taken. He was the kid that ate the goldfish at a party to get a rise out of people, and shaved his head into a mohawk on a dare. I, on the other hand, was a bit more reticent. I like to be the side kick, the silent partner, the committee member, not the committee president. Therefore, when a milestone birthday of mine was approaching, I was in a bit of a quandary. For you see, I kind of wanted to have a party, but I was feeling a bit insecure about it, and my husband doesn't think milestone birthdays are a big deal. Don't get me wrong, he is the consummate gift giver, he just doesn't feel the need to get carried away when one turns 30, or 40, or 50, as was the case for me. I wanted a party, but I didn't want to look self-centered by planning it myself. What finally gave me the courage was my beautiful friend, Susan. When she turned 40, she invited her best girlfriends to Minneapolis to celebrate her birthday. People flew in or drove from all over -- UT, RI, IL, WA. She met us at the airport with tiaras and beauty pageant sashes representing our respective states which we were "made" to wear the entire weekend. We did a variety of girlie things (spa day, bar hopping, Sunday brunch hosted by her parents, etc.) to celebrate her birthday. At the start of the weekend, I didn't know half of the women, but by the end of the weekend, I had made some terrific friends. Flash forward 10 years to Spring 2014, for Susan's 50th birthday. When her husband asked her what she wanted for her birthday, she said 'a girls' weekend'. This time, she gathered her friends, both near and far, in Chicago. We had another terrific weekend, which included eating at trendy restaurants, sight-seeing, and riding Chicago's DIVVY rental bikes along the Chicago Lakefront Trail, and more. I hadn't seen some of these women in ten years, so it was a great reunion. I also met some of Susan's new friends. At both of these birthday celebrations, Susan didn't come off as selfish. She came off as selfless. For you see, she threw these parties, in part, to get the people she loved, together, and to celebrate how much she cared about them. She bought us brunch, paid for our hotel accommodations, and gave US gifts as we went to catch our planes. It was HER birthday, but we were the ones on the receiving end. If you've followed this post this far, I thank you. The point of my story is: throw yourself a party to get all the people you love together so you can celebrate them. Carpe Diem! I planned my 50th birthday party to celebrate my friends. Selfishly, I did splurge on a new dress & shoes, and had my hair done, but I decided that this was a once-in-a-lifetime event. My dear friends, Bridget & Kirsten, helped my husband set up. And my other friend, Elizabeth, bought me the most amazing cake. I had a night to remember, celebrating my friends. Oh, and if you're wondering, my husband was a Rockstar. He totally rose to the occasion, and I think he enjoyed himself in the process.