Love, Liberty and Ladies Who Lunch : Lynn’s 30th Birthday Celebration

There are girls who grow into the kind of women who know exactly what they want; from the kind of job they want to have, to the kind of car they want to drive, even to the type of man they want to marry! And while fate holds the cards for some of life’s happenings, other choices, like our friends, flow into our lives with ease. Meet Lynn, an engaging, insightful and funny young woman who knew just what she wanted for her soiree in celebration of her 30th birthday last weekend: Note eight of her closest girlfriends, great food, the best wine and pure decadence on the water!! Now I ask you, what could be more decadent than a YACHT?! And not just any old clunker boat, but a 97 foot private luxury vessel (the S.S. Minnow has nothing on this, guys!) So…all aboard and away we go!!

Now, I’ve always thought of myself as somewhat adventurous (there was climbing Dunns River Falls in Jamaica, parasailing in Mexico, going to the top of both the Arch de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower in Paris, paragliding in San Diego and even rock climbing at Chelsea Piers — all done with a slight fear of heights), but admittedly with this exploit, once I stepped onto the yacht and felt the slightest sway, I became a ball of nerves, pondering every scenario, like: what if I lost a shoe or what if my glasses fell off my face and slipped overboard (this actually happened to my friend Felicia on a class trip on the NYC Circle Line in the fourth grade — it undoubtedly scarred me for life!) or even, dare I say it, what if I became so queazy, I lost my lunch!! But as the guardian of the day’s memories, I couldn’t lose my cool (but more than that, I couldn’t let a pregnant woman in heels steal my shine — I see you, Toya!!), so I put all my worries aside and proceeded to document the fun!!

And what fun it was!! We all danced, laughed and shared secrets like great girlfriends often do! I was even made privy to some moments that I’m sure they would never want their mothers to know about — but reassured ladies, your secrets are safe with me! But mostly, in between enjoying the lobster and chocolate covered strawberries, the toasts of chardonnay, bursts of laughter and outright silliness, the point of the day was crystal clear — these women came together as pillars of support for one another and to applaud each other’s triumphs! It was an awesome thing to witness! I want to give a special shout to Senior Purser Ingrid and the entire staff of “Justine” — you guys were awesome and made us all feel so welcomed! Finally, as the yacht pulled into port the ladies huddled together for one last picture. Perfection. And as the limo pulled away after dropping me off, I couldn’t help but feel such joy for Lynn and her friends. Friends are the family we choose for ourselves. And Lynn, I’d say you chose some wonderful sisters to walk through life with…Happy Birthday!

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Here’s To Love

Love is what some would call a force of nature. As much as we may want to, we can’t command or demand love anymore than we can command the sun or the moon to raise and fall. But when the stars of life align and we encounter this grand and often fiery sentiment in its purest form, it will always be a cause for celebration.

I can remember the day clearly. My friend Kim was beside himself with happiness. Devotion spoke loudly with his every move. He’d finally found it. Love. And he wanted to share his excitement and utter joy with everyone he knew. He approached me on this day and said, “We’ve been friends for a long time and Yolanda and I would so appreciate if you would capture our day for us.” How wonderful it was to be asked to photograph their wedding. It was the most heartfelt request, the likes of which I couldn’t possibly refuse. And with that, I smiled and happily agreed to capture the essence of and celebrate love. On a brisk yet sunny February day before their god, their family and their friends, Kim and Yolanda committed their lives and hearts to one another. They promised to love, respect and cherish, to find laughter, comfort and trust in each other. Therefore what God has joined together, let no man separate.

And so, my wish for you Kim and Yolanda is that the love of God and His word never leaves your hearts. May this special love always be yours to share! God’s word says “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.” Thank you for sharing your day with me and allowing me to see the great promise of your lives together…HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!! Cheers!!