I had a good weekend– carried out sushi, went to the movies, gave half my paycheck to Lululemon, sipped coffee during church and played soccer in the rain. All good things, all things I love. But I couldn’t have been prepared for what happened Saturday night.

Saturday night, eight of my closest girlfriends threw me a party to celebrate Styled With Strength’s first anniversary. That’s right, my baby turned one! I’m a big celebration person; celebrating is my thing. I keep a bottle of champagne in my fridge because you never know when you’re going to have something to celebrate, like an unexpected guest or a really good hair day. Birthdays, anniversaries, promotions, National Wine Day, you name it– I’m in. The fact that I can say “eightof my closest girlfriends” is something to be celebrated in and of itself. 

I’ve said it before– one of the things I’ve been blessed with abundantly is friendship. Borrow your favorite heels, sit next to you in church, solve life’s problems, hold your hand and catch your tears, type of friendships– true friendships. Friends you can call at all hours of the night in the midst of a quarter-life crisis to hear them say, “It’s going to be ok, God is good, you’re fabulous. I’m coming over and I’m bringing carbs.”

I knew about the party, it wasn’t a secret, and no one jumped out from behind couches when I got there. I really shouldn’t have been surprised about what I walked into, but these girls are in the middle of big, important things; things like growing humans and planning weddings, remodeling houses and getting promoted, reminding their husbands to put the seat down and nursing patients back to health. See­, big important things. So I just kind of figured we were using the anniversary of SWS as an excuse to get together, to block out some time in our big important schedules, maybe sip some wine and laugh at people falling down on YouTube– which was more than OK with me.

Wrong. So wrong. They had champagne and desserts and enough food to feed the entire SWS community. They made healthy dishes they found on our Pinterest boards– so thoughtful. There were signs and presents and cards that brought me to tears. They toasted to chasing dreams and having faith and they gave hugs that made me feel super-loved.

Katie gave me things I’ll “need in my purse when I’m a famous writer” (so cool). Others gave me coffee mugs and gift cards to Starbucks because they know Skinny Vanilla Lattes help shake the words out. I got flowers and candles and nail polish, because they’re fabulous and no girl should ever leave the house without freshly painted nails.

Through their thoughtfulness and support, what I have learned is this: a lot can happen in a year. Dreams can turn into reality in a year; old things can become new again. Progress can be made, faith can be strengthened and the best thing to hold on to in this crazy, spinning, sometimes intimidating world is each other– because when you have your people by your side, you can change the world, one story at a time.