A week for reminiscing

Since high school, my three best friends and I have done the same thing, every year for my birthday.

When we were younger, I had a big pool party the last week of June. It was kind of like an end-of-year milestone, Sari's pool party. Tons of people came from school, camp, the neighborhood- everyone. We would spend the day swimming, eating, and enjoying the fact that school was finally over. After the cake had been cut and the last bikini-clad pre-teen had scampered into their mom's mini van...my three best friends would stay. We would open presents, lounge in our bathing suits, eat dinner, go skinny dipping (always), watch a scary movie and have a sleep over.

As we got older, word spread to our guy friends that this was our ritual, and being 17 year old boys, hearing the words skinny dipping sent them into a tizzy. First, they made fun of us, then they begged to come- sorry, no boys allowed. Despite repeated attempts to snag invitations, we held steady on our "nope, not tonight" rule. One year, mid-skinny dip, we heard a commotion. As we looked up from the pool, in through the gate marched our guy friends, butt naked, holding a cake ablaze with candles. They sang a beautiful rendition of "happy birthday" with grins wider than the grand canyon, and upon completion simultaneously turned around to reveal the words "H-A-P-P-Y B-I-R-T-H-D-A-Y" spelled out on their butts'. Throughout their performance, our over the top squealing (we were 17 afterall) caused the light sensor to cue a spot light on the guys, thus waking my parents. Did I mention the pool is right outside their bedroom? My dad, getting wind of the intruders, immediately yelled for them to leave. The boys immediately took off towards the gate while my mom, half asleep and wanting to get in on the action, executed quick thinking and ran to the driveway with a broom. What she was planning to do with that broom? We'll never know as the guys dove into their car (still naked) and sped off into the night before she could catch them- don't worry, they left the cake behind. Ah high school, that was one of my more eventful birthdays. 

The four of us back in high school

We've managed to keep the tradition alive all of these years through college despite getting older, engaged, moving,  etc (minus the after-dinner swimming, now we say "it's too cold"..ah to be young again) and it's one of the things I most look forward to as part of my birthday week.

Home from college for the summer; dressed up for an 80's party!

Seeing as June 20 is right around the corner, this past weekend was our infamous sleepover date. The girls arrived Saturday afternoon and after a gorgeous day spent by the pool and playing with Lia, we set off to the grocery store in search of dinner supplies. We grilled a delicious balsamic chicken, along with eggplant, portobello mushrooms and peppers and made a fresh salad with avocado, yellow tomatoes, (soy) cheese, and black olives...not to mention the two bottles of wine and skinny girl margaritas! We sat around the table for hours talking, laughing, and strolling down memory lane. It was so nice not having anywhere to go, or feeling like we had to rush home. Sleepovers are nice like that. After a quick clean up, we headed upstairs to bed at the alarming hour of 10:30 pm (we're so cool). We snuggled in, just like we always do, and fell asleep talking about what we would do differently, if given the chance. Having known each other for 10 years, we've been together through a lot. First loves, two graduations, heart breaks, going off to college, first jobs, apartments, being on our own. It hasn't been easy but most of it- none of us would change.

As I prepare to turn 25 tomorrow, I know there are a lot of things I wish I had figured out, things I wish I'd done differently, self-set milestones I've yet to accomplish but one thing I know for sure is that I wouldn't change our sleepovers for the world. While I may not have the whole love thing figured out, I'm beyond lucky to have 3 soul mates who make turning a year older, not so bad.

The four of us, at my apartment this winter.