I’m The Only One Of Me A 40th Birthday Celebration
In the famous words of Taylor Swift “and I promise that you’ll never find another like MEEEEE-EEEEE!!!!”
Yes go ahead… I know you are sitting there dying to belt it out. I give you permission! I’m belting it out as I write this. So go on, let it out because we LIVE once friends. And life is made for living! And I’ve lived half my life!!!! Oh my gosh, it’s true!
It’s my 40th birthday TODAY!
I’ve been on a journey to discover the only one of me- my own personal amazing up-and-down journey. And the thing I love the most about myself… is that I am getting really good at embracing that I am -indeed the ONLY ONE OF ME and that’s important. And perfectly perfect. The way it was meant to be. I can embrace this me-ness and celebrate it and accept it.
I spent my 30s focused purposefully on learning to embrace myself, love myself, forgive myself, and lean into ALL the parts of me in a way I didn’t know was possible. And let me tell you, there are many different parts of me – I’m pretty complex and emotionally expansive – I’ve spent most of my life feeling like I’m either too much or not enough for other people. What a dichotomy right!!!!??? But I have a sneaking suspicion this is the human condition and we all struggle with this.
But friends, I’ve come so far and I’m so proud of myself!
Like fine wine, I’ve gotten better with age. haha. I’ve learned so much about WHO I am in my 40 years- and I really like her deep down. So today’s post is simply to say I LOVE ME – it’s both a celebration of my life and a self- affirming post.
So in classic Tracy (only one of me theme) I decided to be SUPER extra for this birthday and do an entire “thing” about embracing myself and all the parts of me.
This birthday shoot series I’m about to share on this post, my newsletter, and my social media, is super epic because 40 is a remarkable milestone.
This birthday feels extra special-See my birthday is August 4 and it’s my 40th birthday!!! Hello FUN. So yes, it was the perfect opportunity to have a play on words and really bring out all the sides of me in a 4 part series. It’s also the perfect opportunity to call out the part of me that LOVES style and wardrobe!
Wardrobe and fun clothes have been such a huge part of my life. I’ve always seen my body as a canvas and my outfits as paint. It’s my artistic expression. And outward expression of my feelings.Ever since I was a little girl I’ve often been known to change at least 2 times a day. Sometimes I would have 3-4 outfits per day! haha. I got teased for it in college. I use to feel defensive or have to justify myself. BUT WHY????? Why can’t I LOVE changing outfits and loving that part of myself. I’m so tired of trying to be someone else friends! So I’m doing ME this year. This is the DECADE OF ME! haha.
I call this extra fun birthday shoot extravaganza my “4 for 40” I wish I was 300 years old because really, I could go for 30 looks hahah) I suppose I’ll settle for 4.
And it’s not just the 4 looks, but I tried to capture the 4 things I value most in my life currently AND have a TON of FUNNNN> I showcased my love of beauty in the world and beautiful clothes (think fairy tale princess), my hobbies & personality (like having run roller skating and colorful things), my family & the sea (I just love the beach friends) and my community of friends ( bright, colorful, silly and pure childlike love for life #barbieparty)
Also, I had to push myself to do hard things to get these photos.
Because that’s something else I will keep doing. Pushing myself to learn, love, and adventure deeper! And it’s okay that I’m different and extra. And I’m going to intentionally spend my 40’s embracing this more and more. Even when it’s hard. Even when I hear the lies. I’ve GOT THIS.
Okay so let’s dive into my extra me-ness & the 4 things I’m focused on in this phase of my life.
#1 | “Fairy Tales & Princess Tracy” A Love Of Beauty (within and in the world) – A shoot to celebrate myself & the beautiful things in the world, as well as push myself to do hard things.
Hello Glamis California SAND DUNES!
Within me, there is and always has been a Disney PRINCESS around every corner. In wardrobe and song 🎶 My family is constantly subjected to me breaking out in song several times an hour. It’s life giving to me.
Do you know what else is life giving? At least it was in my head and vision board? Going to the sand dunes dressed in my princess dress and doing a shoot of ME. Not a client! I’m always going to the craziest funest most beautiful places for my clients. But I WANTED A SHOOT OF ME IN A CRAZY AWESOME BEAUTIFUL PLACE! So I did it! I arranged and drove myself and my family and our friend Nate to the Glamis Sand dunes in the end of JULY!
But let me tell you it was a HORRIBLE idea…
I was miserable the entire shoot chocking in sand. Haha. But I wanted to celebrate this birthday in a big way by doing a few things I have never done before, like climbing around the Sandune‘s in a princess gown while the wind was blowing sand in my face at 50 miles an hour LOL
This might’ve been the best and worst idea I’ve ever had in my life. 😆 But these photos are epic and the memories are worth every painful bite of sand. #worthit
A huge thank you to my friend Nate Bridges for taking these gorgeous shots & dealing with me almost in tears the entire shoot, unable to look at the camera or look even halfway normal. hahahha. The most miserable shoot conditions and he didn’t complain once. He has so much grace for me and my psycho ideas! haha.
#2 | “Fun” Embracing my little girl self, my love of life, joy & self care (hobbies) This shoot was all about celebrating life, all the joy it has to offer & having pure simple fun!
There is the quirky fun silly and playful LITTLE GIRL always present within me. I don’t want to loose the joy I find in life. I wake up with it every day! I’m always trying to just have fun and remember what it was like to be a child. My work ethic is even a game in my head. I find joy in my work because I treat it like a fun puzzle or game to be accomplished! I’ve found this childlike love of games & fun drives life and makes it more enjoyable for me.
Can we just talk a minute about how our society shames us for being childlike…
and we spend most of our youth trying to “fit in” and just be like everyone else? We smash down our joy and love of life. I often feel ashamed that I have such a youthful soul whether it’s in my wardrobe or in the things I love to do or the joy I find in life.
But that’s over (I say this out loud to assure myself. haha this might be a lifelong struggle for me) But for this shoot & today I am EMBRACING and celebrating the little girl that still lives on within me-
I represented this side of me with my newest & OLDEST hobby- I LOVED rollerskating as a kid & I was really good at it. Most of my childhood and teen years were spent either on a bike, skates, or my horses. haha. (Really should have done a horseback shoot!) Next year…lol.
So this rollerskating look and super fun outfit was perfect!
Skating is so hot again right now so access to the cutest skates is around every corner! And I found the perfect pair! I started skating again last year during the heat of the pandemic and it’s been so fun. I’ve brought at least 10 of my friends to the dark side with me and I’m pretty sure I have a posse of skater girls now.
And my outfits????? YESSSS. I love it, I mean I have purple cut offs, rose gold shiny skates, and a tye die fishnet shirt!!! haha I LOVE IT!
Plus rollerskating is REALLY fun and I’ve been skating since I was like 4 so it felt perfect -also like I mentioned I’ve roped close to a dozen of my friends into getting their own skates so now I’ve built a tribe of roller skater girls in their 30s and 40s LOL💕💕💕💕
Thanks so my friend Katie for letting me hand over my camera again to take these shots. I was really impressed how well she did!!!!!!! Even when I set up all my settings for a friend and hand over my camera 90% of the time even composing or getting shot in focus doesn’t happen… but Katie ROCKED this. If she ever decides to give up teaching she could be a photographer! haha. She’s too good of a teacher to ever quit!
#3 | “Family” This shoot was all about my small little family of 3. I am a wife & mother and it’s HUGE part of who I am.
Family is incredibly important to me. I was raised with family being key. And as a wife and mother of course a HUGE part of my life caring for my family. I am a caretaker at heart and I love that part of who I am. I love that I take care of those I love.
A perfect day off for me is spending it and some sort of adventure or oceanside stroll with my family. We love to travel and see the world. Of course sprinkle in lots of snuggles and hugs and it’s golden.
And even though my family absolutely hates photoshoots they kept it together for my birthday on a beautiful beach 💕💕💕
because they love me. And I adore them and spend at least half of my life focused on them.
My poor husband kept it together for 45 solid minutes while our son ran around like a crazy person, acted like a typical 9 year old boy… haha that takes a lot of will-power. And I’m so grateful! I JUST LOVE THESE PHOTOS!
A huge shout out to my friend & assistant Nicole who I handed over my camera to for these 🙂 She’s so patient with me.
#4 | “Friendship” Come On Barbie Let’s Go Party! This shoot was my 40th birthday party with so may of my friends that embrace the fun, little girl, and silly side of me!
Last but not least-I am an incredibly LOYAL FRIEND to a fault (OK not to a fault anymore…ask me about all the healthy boundaries I’ve learned 😂) I am very thankful for my Community/tribe/girl gang/whatever you wanna call it.
The people I surround myself with are so amazing, loving, giving, and I ADORE THEM. I love really big and I’m not going to be afraid of that great love I offer. I’m so thankful for friends that receive my big love.
And so in proper Tracy-ness. I had to go super fun extra for this years birthday party!!!!! Everyone that knows me knows I LOVE birthdays and PINK and color and Taylor Swift… So there was a LOT of that going down in my back yard. ! I mean what is more fun than celebrating yourself for being BORN??? So why not go crazy and go all out to celebrate!
I had to bring all the qualities together for this photo shoot part of me…The little girl, the princess, the family & friend silly fun soul 😆
I mean I threw a Malibu Barbie pool party for my 40th birthday!???
😆 and asked all my friends wear really cute swimsuits and I made them custom yet matching tee shirts and go inside of a life-size Barbie box that I built from scratch. 😂
This party really pushed me.
Still a few days later I am VERY fatigued from all the work. I’ve been planning this whole birthday thing for about half the year. I plan lots of things for my friends & clients… but planning one for myself was a LOT of work.
My friends all offered to help and pitched in SO much the week of the event, but I had a very specific vision and I had a pretty darn good time planning it so I did put SOOO much of myself into it. But friends… it was SOOOO worth it. Sometimes we push ourselves and do hard things because it’s worth it and it challenges us to do hard things. Our mindset is like a muscle and we have to work it out to grow. So I did just that. And even exhausted days later I’m PROUD of myself for doing it.
Also a lot of people have asked how this vision all came together and so let me share!
So this look was electric as it gets.
Many things I already owned (some from college even) , the toys are actually all mine from my 4th birthday UNOPENED!
Most of this party I pieced together a lot of the items from etsy, amazon, world market, target, etc.
I designed and built the Barbie box! It started with a design idea on a scrap of paper and then sat in Lowes almost in tears with my friend Katie while Mateo ran around in circles trying to figure out how it would all fit together with pipes. I also bought the paint there. Then my friend Nicole has a cricket and I purchased the Barbie fonts on a font site and she printed them for me. We hit up Michaels for the giant cardboard and then her and I spent DAYS working on this box. It was INTENSE.
I designed the T-shirts in photoshop and researched printing places around phoenix- I ended up using @acmeprints
The balloons were a incredible sweet gift from my friend Risa and the company is “Bubble Hustle” @bubblehustle
The extra pillows, darling little signs on the table, and the cute barbie head cutout are from my friends at “Dang Fine Rentals & Design” @dang.finerentals
The pool floaties I found on “Funboy” and my sweet friend Risa again gave me the final matching piece from their Barbie collection! @funboy
Front Yard sign is from my friend Courtney Parmer / Heart Yard Signs Arcadia @heartyardsignsarcadia
Cold Brew from The Scott House Coffee/ @scotthousecoffee
When I did finally let my friends help they rallied and came thought of COURSE. They helped me finish decorating and setting up and tearing down. I’m SO grateful. I have the BEST tribe.
I’m so thankful to all my friends that came together to help me with this party. It was so epically fun 💕💕💕💕 I just want to call out all the hard work my friends & family put into my fun party:
There it is friends. My 4 for 40 birthday celebration!
There is at the very core of who I am a fully alive and finding joy spirit – seeking out life giving practices, finding joy in the journey, and always choosing kindness and resilience and practicing self love and self improvement.
I LOVE big and I FEEL big and I am learning to embrace all of it, I am a multi faceted person and I will allow myself to be all the things.
I will keep learning to lean into all the parts of me and allowing myself to be ME. Because like I said…in the wise words of Taylor Swift
Also… if you want to see my BIRTHDAY VIDEO again….
I’m The Only One Of Me
A 40th Birthday Celebration
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