London Calling! Yes please!

Loveys, where to begin?

I crossed the threshold into my forties. But there's something about flying to London with your mother and your sisters, seeing the sights of the city from up top of a double-decker bus, riding a river cruise down the Thames, oohing and ahhing and drinking champagne while you see the Tower Bridge and The London Eye and Parliament, then taking a little drive to Highclere Castle where you have lunch and tea and scones in the basement cafe at Downton Abbey, then coming home and having an amazing party (complete with a party bus and a deejay and more champagne)--there's something about all of these things that makes turning 40 actually incredibly wonderful. And I wouldn't mind doing it all over again.

This Thursday night I have tickets to go see the Downton Abbey movie, and it's crazy that I was JUST THERE. What in the world. Loveys, every moment was amazing. I. Can't. Even.

The last few weeks have been a whirlwind.

You know those dreams you have in your heart? The ones you never really mention but think would be amazing? Like taking a trip to London with your mom and your sisters?

Speak those dreams. Bring them to life.

I knew I wanted my 40th birthday to be special. What made it absolutely incredible were the moments I got to spend with my mom and sisters, and back home, with girlfriends from near and far. I'm so, so grateful to my sisters for joining my mom and me on the trip of a lifetime, and for Laura and Jeff for planning the most epic 40th birthday bash ever.

There were so many moments where I just wanted to freeze time. Breakfast at the hotel with my mom. Being amazed by Westminster Abbey all over again. Giggling over champagne on the river cruise with Sara and Laura. Pulling up at Downton Abbey as one of the girls on the coach turned the theme music on her phone. Crossing Abbey Road. Shopping at Selfridges. Sitting at an outdoor table at a cafe by the river Thames. And experiencing all these moments with my favorite women.

Visiting Jane Austen's house and pausing for a moment on the stairway, overwhelmed as I headed up to Jane's room. Hearing the music to Pride and Prejudice played on the old piano by one of the visitors as we toured the house. That was an unbelievably perfect moment. Buying wands for the kids at the Warner Bros. Studios Harry Potter experience. Touring Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, light rain falling as we sat in the covered stands. Sharpe on TV in the hotel (one of my favorites!).

Buses and trains and Ubers and taxis--every day was such an adventure.

 I miss London already.

But after we got back to beautiful Virginia, it was time for my party. Michelle, my best friend since childhood, arrived in town. Then I was surprised by my best girls from Colorado! Nancy and Danielle came and with these three girls who've known me so well for so long, it was time to party. We joined up with my fabulous friends here in Lynchburg, and it was a girls' night to remember.

I loved every minute. In fact, I'm so sad it's over.

We might need another girls' night soon.

So far, I think turning 40 has been fantastic.

I feel so blessed and ready for this next chapter.

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