50 Years of Beauty- My BEAUTIFUL Friend’s 50th Birthday Celebration

Milestones. As humans, we experience several milestones. Some, we look forward to, others, not so much. The latter could be the thesis statement to another post, but I’m working on remaining on one thought or observation at a time.

Age milestones are bitter-sweet. Hello, new beginnings and adventures. Farewell,  comfortable and cozy. They make us smile and force us to hold back tears or release them, depending on our personality. Feelings of ambiguity and apprehension surface, it’s change, change is the unknown, the unknown is scary.

A few days ago, I was a guest at one of my favorite friend’s recent milestone. What milestone? Her 50th birthday celebration.

It’s party time… Oooh Yeah… My dancing shoes are ready… Dancing. Dancing… Dance machine, watch me get down… Wahoo… I’m so ready to dance the night away… 

“Wh…at? You’re going to be late… How… late?! You better be there, you’re my dancing partner.” Phew. He was only a few minutes late. He was my brother.

While my husband is super fun, too, he’s not a dancing machine. In fact, he “hates” dancing. He “hates” running and dancing, equally. I know, crazy, right? He must have cast a spell on me in our younger years because how did I grow so koo-koo over a running and dancing hater that I had to marry him? I think those J.K Rowling books he was reading gave him spell ideas… Thanks a lot, J.K. You know what, J.K? At this realization, you have gone down a 1/28 th of a dust particle on my list of super-awesome-people-I-wish-I-could-meet. Good thing he’s got a ton of positive traits; otherwise, you would be the first person I have ever sued.

50 Years of Beauty

My friend, officially, turns 50, today, but she celebrated with her select favorites on Saturday, 4/15/2017. I was honored to have been on that list. Why? Well, if you knew her, you would know how awesome and popular she is in many communities and circles. She is a rare, extremely, rare gem. She is one of the beautiful casings bursting with kindness and the best type of beauty- a gorgeous mind and heart. While I love many people, I’m quite selective with who I invite into my intimate circle of friends. She is one of a handful. So, again, if I choose you and annoy you a lot, my mind sees you as the bee’s knees and/or intriguing.

A tiny glimpse of her awesomeness

I’m sure you’ve been invited to celebrate many milestones. I have, too. However, I decided to blog about this one because it was not your typical milestone celebration. In fact, this was not even about my friend.

She decided to have a fun-filled bash because it was a way to give back. Uh. Huh.  Who does that, right? Her husband wanted to throw her a super-fun  50th celebration, but she declined. Until… the thought of using her birthday as a way to give back knocked on her awesome brain. She is on the board of many non-profits and volunteers and supports a ton more. She does all this while still remaining an incredibly awesome mom and  friend to many. Why I felt honored to be on the list.

You know how you often see “anonymous” on donation lists? She’s anonymous on a lot.

Da…nce to the Music…. Da…nce to the Music… There’s a party going on… A cel-e-bra-tion…

I LOVE to shake, shake, shake. Shake. Shake. Shake. Shake my booty… Shake my boo-ty… Ha. Guess what? So, does this awesome lady. She, also, loves to laugh, sing, read, learn and loves, loves, loves a lot more in our beautiful planet, Earth. Plus, she understands the importance of music and dance to a healthy mind and body.

While  her daughter is fortunate to have the resources to practice one of her many talents, for other children and adolescents with similar talents, attending a music or dance school is a luxury. My friend and her equally lovely seventeen-year-old daughter volunteer their time, talents, and resources to help a local dance school and it’s students.

In addition to volunteering time and resources to aid youth and adults, she used her 50th birthday to shine more light on the dance school and in lui of gifts, we all donated to the school. Pretty stand out, lady, right?

That’s Not All, Folks…

We got a glimpse at one of the fantastic programs the school offers before dining on super-I-mean-super-delicious-flown-in-from-Alaska halibut the morning of the party, prime rib (not a super fan of prime rib, but to other people, who according to my husband and brother, aren’t koo-koo, it was divine, too) and the works.

Don’t Cry. Don’t Cry. Don’t Cry… Think baseball. Think Baseball, but, Not Vince Sculley, Then You’ll Cry Even More.

Hmmm… How do I summarize the connection between mind, body, and dancing without turning this into another post within a post…? Hmmm…

Movement is Within Us

One of the samples we had the pleasure of experiencing was a teacher and student duo. With the help of the school, a woman who could have given up on the joys of dance when hearing her diagnosis, Parkinson’s, didn’t. Instead, she has been using dance to continue living and enjoying life. As much as I’d like to share pictures, I won’t because I didn’t ask her or her family for permission. Plus, I didn’t take any.

However, you can get a feel for what we experienced by letting you know what was observed: the knots, tingle in your throat, tightening of the chest, tear curtains fogging vision, and depending on your personality, looking away at moments only because you don’t want the curtains to turn into a a dam blocking and releasing the gush of water when eventually removed.

Beautiful People

Beautiful. Just beautiful. A reminder of what is beautiful in life. What matters. In single digit minutes, the energy and feel of the room was a moment I wish could be lived everyday in all our lives. People. Human rawness. Humans in the moment. Humans appreciating humanity. As a writer and observer of human behavior, I had to take a peek at the expressions around the room. I’m glad I did. I felt a little invasive since most of the people were reacting without thought of what others perceived, but I only did it because I had a feeling I was going to love what I saw.

Look at the sta…rs

Look how they shi…ne for you…

And, everything… you… do

Yeah, they were all… yellow…

Coldplay’s, “Yellow”. No matter the day or mood, it always gets me. I feel all the symptoms of waterworks preparing to burst. LOVE that song. One. Day. I will sing it, beautifully.

Darn that precious beauty for choosing that song. Seeing her hiding and winking at my sister as she prepared to surprise her mom struck a chord. As a mom, I knew how much what was about to go down on the stage was going to mean to her mom, the awesome lady who celebrates everyone else, even on her 50th.

After her beautiful words and dance, well, even I got a tiny bit teary eyed. Tiny bit. Ok, fine, a lot. I love seeing and experiencing the beautiful moments in life. Especially, parent and child moments.

I’m beyond thrilled this lovely woman chose me as one of her friends because she is a breathing treasure. A truly rare and beautiful gem.

Epilogue

Pictures… and I would share video if I could post video. Fun, fun, fun band…

My friend’s husband hired a professional photographer, so maybe, I’ll share really gorgeous pictures in different posts or tweets, but for now, you can see what my mom, sister, brother, and husband snapped. Husband doesn’t take many pictures, but he did take two group pictures, so I have to give him credit, I guess.

IMG_5662
Our menu. Delish, right?
dj pic
The super-fun-and-awesome-voices 80’s band. Foot loose, don’t loose… Kick up your Sunday shoes… Wee. Oooo… weee… I was a child in the 80’s, but my siblings and I were huge WWF fans, then. Notice Macho Man, Hulk Hogan, and “Rowdy” Roddy Piper? And, for you Chips fans, Ponch. Ha! Sibs and I loved this… Super fun to see them walk in… Major nostalgia.
kerri party
Close up of Randy “Macho Man” Savage. OOOOOhhhh, yeah…
dj pic 2
Hulk Hogan. I apologize for the poor quality of some of the pictures. I think I was on my dancing shoes, movin’ and groovin’…
IMG_5215
Aside from my husband, brother, and a few others, everyone else was dancing to the music… Dancing to the music… Lucky husband, brother’s foot was bothering him, so he skipped out on the shakin’ and rollin’ to chat and laugh away with him.
pic of sibs and mom
Mom, brother, sister, me. Photographer: Snooty-doesn’t-like-pics-husband.
IMG_5231
One of my dance partners taking a break. The dancing machine who gave me her dancing gene.
mom pic
The “OG”, Dancing Machine. That’s my brother’s thumb. He’s also not a fan of me posting his pic.
pic with sandy
That’s my sister and me. Thumbs up has become completely different since our Green Day concert fun. I can never see thumbs up in the same light, again. So, husband who added to all the fun we had on “Green Day Day” asked us to give him a thumbs up. Ha! He’s hilarious!
pic of me from Keri party
That’s me. Looking forward to all the tasty food and fun…
leg pic
Dancing machine on break.
IMG_5664
While I LOVE and often wear heeled shoes, dancing like a dance machine in these, means breaks are a must…
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