Today is my 38th birthday. I know this because my Irish twin brother called me and so I asked him how old he turned last month. 37. So that makes me 38.
And you know what? 38 is pretty great.
Better than 28, when I was trying to figure out how to be a new mom and lose the 60 pounds of pregnancy weight I had put on.
Loads better than 18 when I was trying to figure out everything, but somehow knew it all.
So I'll take 38 and celebrate. Which I did on Thursday because one of my oldest (as in, I've known her for a long time, not, she's-an-old-lady old), best friends threw me a rockin' birthday party.
Here is a picture of us, not at my party, but in Hawaii a few years ago during our Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition shoot. Don't be jealous of our supermodeliness.
A lot of friends came to my party which made me feel very special-- I like to feel special. And grateful. Because I don't think there is a better group of women anywhere. You can disagree with me and tell me how great your friends are. And I'm sure they are. But my friends are still better than your friends. And this is my tribute to them:
Karen: one of my Original Girlfriends whom I've known for almost 20 years now since she was a Laura Ashley dress, Doc Marten wearing (at the same time) freshman at the BYU. She knows all my secrets and will drive through L.A. traffic to come party with me and my friends in the O.C. even though most of us are blonde and tan.
Allyson: we spent three years of playgroup and pre-school together and then had to break up when our kids went to school. Now we have to settle for seeing each other every six months or so, but that gives us lots to talk about and it's always fun to catch up.
Sally: my investment club co-hort, gardening guidance counselor, and never grouchy neighbor. She likes me even though she is the nicest person in the whole world and I am not.
Heather S.: an actual model, she is generous enough to not get dolled up too often so she's only pretty instead of gorgeous. Then the rest of us don't feel so bad.
Valerie: mother extraordinaire who can hold her own in any crisis. I'm so glad there are people like her who have the courage--unlike me--to raise a lotta kids and raise them well.
Tracine: who is not going through chemo, she just needs a haircut in a bad way. She is one of the most interesting people I know. And I love to hold her baby.
Camille: I've tried to get adopted into her family because they are so awesome (not that mine isn't, hers is just 900 miles closer). She holds the title of The Most Creative Woman In The World. And I love to hold her baby too.
April: for years our paths crossed sporadically. I'm so glad they cross on a more regular basis now. Plus I want to go shopping with her because she always looks cute.
Alison: she's helped me birth my babies, find my dumb dog, decorate my house, raise my kids, and thrown me three awesome baby showers and one fantastic 38th birthday party...Seriously, what would I do without her?
Kjersten: she doesn't just bring the party where ever she goes, she IS the party. There is no one more fun than this girl. She has a talent for making everyone else feel like the center of attention.
Heather B.: this girl throws the parties. And they are AWESOME. No one is more generous. Everyone knows she has a lot because she gives so much.
Monica: we've shared many a breakfast and it's my favorite part of the week. She's tried to move away but we just keep pulling her back in. Because our lives are better with her.
Clea: I made her burned grilled cheese once when she was sad and she's still grateful for it. If I need to know something about anything, I ask Clea. Or if I need to borrow some cowboy boots, Clea's my girl.
Katie: she has 4 kids under the age of 6-- half of whom are twins-- and yet she still finds time to plan and organize a Daddy Daughter Sock Hop. Here is a peek at its fantasticness:
Jenny: we've preschooled and playgrouped our way through all of my kids and three of hers. We've quilted, activity dayed, exercised and park dayed together. We've laughed a lot and we've mourned a lot. And we're still mourning the loss of her son and our dream that one day my girl #2 would be Tess Hess.
Sheridan: my friend who teaches babies how to hypnotize people into having more of them. But I could be wrong about that, so you should read her blog here: enjoybirth.com/blog. She is awesome and one day we will go shopping again only this time I will make sure she wears a proper bra instead of packing one unpadded enough to be crumpled into her purse.
Angela: the better half of the "young Larsens." Good thing I like her so much otherwise I just might resent being part of the "old Larsens."
Brooke: she married my cousin's ex-boyfriend and still likes me even though I often introduce her to people like that. Co-room momming is just one of her many, many talents.
Bethany: who came late after the picture was taken because she was busy teaching all of our kids to swim so they don't drown in frothy swimming pools filled with whipped cream and flailing arms and legs. Best. Swim Teacher. Ever.
And a shout out to a few more girlfriends, far and near, who couldn't make the party.
Melanie: who inspires/encourages me to write and lets me win at Scrabble and games with trains. If you haven't read her book, you should. It's called The List and you can go here to get it: http://readandwritestuff.blogspot.com/
Nikki: who has enough faith to ride through the chaos of raising 7 kids--twins,triplets,single and soon-to-be single--with her hands in the air, screaming with joy. And sometimes frustration.
Paula: she's taught me that faith means more than just living your religion and I learn from her example every day. We will always have Belize.
Anonymous: she gave me the best girlfriend quote ever: "if God wanted me to have sex with my husband every night he would have given me more energy." AND I wish I could give credit where credit is due, but I don't want to embarass her.
Big Emma: her girls are my girls and I can always count on her for shopping and cooking advice. I just wish she were still close enough for me to invite myself over for Sunday dinner.
Lynn, Beth, Suzi: the other three Original Girlfriends. The Dancing Queens who could have warned Shawn what he was in for living with me, but were kind enough not to. Girl(s) You Know It's True...Ooh Ooh Ooh, I Love You.
These are my sisters. We laugh, cry, eat, bunko, read, swim, beach, play, and mourn together. We take care of each other and each other's kids. We can see each other once a day, or once a year, but our bonds of friendship keep us tied together no matter how far apart we may be.
They are like my sister wives, only better because I don't have to share my husband with them. Which is good, because he is also awesome and has spent many Thursdays and a few weekends alone so I could have my girl time.
Many thanks to all of you and the many more who aren't on this list but are still my sisters. My cup runneth over.