Your twenties can just be… complicated.

For most, you are sifting off the muck of your old self, grieving losses (or just realizing there are things to grieve), testing the waters, moving into new and scary unknowns, confronting expectations, trying to settle into the right career and re-orienting yourself into your family of origin as a “mature” son or daughter (and not the 16 year old hormonal teen that still shoves your little sister). No big deal. It’s exhilarating and the absolute worst all at the same time. 

But we’ve started to see this trend going around amongst our friends. 30 hits and we notice a settling in of sorts. A comfortability with themselves and how God has made them. A resolve of things from the past and a newness of what this next decade can bring. There’s something about “30” that seems to bring about a change. There’s a little less time left, a little more wisdom and a whole lot of perspective that was never there as you blew out the candles at 20. 

On Saturday, we we’re welcomed into that space with a friend that is loved by the masses, but intimately acquainted with a few. She is one of those that really did it. She really put in the work and didn’t let life just happen to her. She took things with grace and welcomed change (even though it scares the daylights out of her). She said “no” when she needed to. She cried a lot and laughed all the more. She danced in the kitchen when she just needed to feel free. She learned how to confront, resolve, say goodbye to unhealthy attachments and began to embrace what was truly hers. Her name is Allison Michelle and she’s someone to be known.. someone to be loved.

You know, we moved in together at one point in our twenties (Lauren and Allison). And by move in, I mean that our room was so small (cuz, LA) that our beds touched and there was about a 3 foot “walking” path at the foot of our beds that was routinely scattered with clothes. I had known her for years. She felt like home to me and I somewhat attached myself to her because of it. You know when you show up to a city all alone and you stumble upon the one person that feels safe and you’re like, PLEASE DON’T LEAVE. That was Allison for me.

She didn’t know that I tried hard to be her friend for a while, but what she did know is that she chose to love me from the beginning and that meant she wasn’t leaving. She’s faithful like that. But sometimes it’s hard to trust that kind of love. You mean I don’t have to work for it?!?  My family always made fun of me growing up because I was kind of a mess; a compartmentalized mess… leaving it to basically my car and my room. Soon my friends adopted the chuckles and thought it was endearing and funny that I had this scatter-brained messy inner life. It seemed to end up defining me in a subtle way, and made me hide my face when I asked her to move in with me (the whole closet room thing), because surely she couldn’t bear my mess and lack of ability to get dressed in just two fives tries. She didn’t think twice about it and considered it a blessing to live with me – she just bought me a basket so I had a place to put my mess. This basket became such a representation to me of how people can always find a way to love one another just the way they are. 

This weekend, as we sat around the table with pink balloons and red wine (killer combo) and Motown playing in the background, she glowed. She looked 30, in the best way. Settled and loved and reveling in the goodness that was dancing around her. I saw her sit on my couch, knees in, having sweetly intimate conversations. I saw her savor the melty cheese and warm bread with every bite, and I saw her take in the warmth of the candles as we sang to our sweet Allison, and took a long moment to make a wish/pray… prish? We doused her with words as she sat at the head of the table. Memories and love and fierce truth. Her eyes glistened with tears and she received it like a 30 year old would.

She’s the girl next door with a wild side that not everyone gets to see. She’s the friend that will chase you down when the world is just too big and you are hiding in your bed. She’s the sister that hugged me and handed me a basket, when I was certain she’d turn me away.

Here’s to loving your friends and celebrating them at any turn, here’s to embracing our “30’s” with elegance and grace, family and wine. 

Love you Shmal.

-Inks (c/o Lauren)

P.S. We love wine. Shocker. But we DON’T LOVE GAMES- but games feel “partyish” sometimes, so we made a game out of wine:

Basically just buy a few different bottles of wine of various price ranges (the more drastically different, the better), cover the labels so there are no identifying factors, have people guess the order of expense as they taste test and write it down. You can also get crazy and try to guess the type of wine, region of grape, year, etc, etc… but we’re no sommelier’s over here so we just stuck to value. Maybe a bottle of wine goes home with the winner?

You guys got any other non-game-party-game ideas for us?


  • Allison

    😭😭😭 this is beautiful. These words are incredibly kind and gracious. I’m thankful for you both as my friends/sisters, this birthday was by far the very best. Love you sweet souls.


    Beautifully said! Oh how you are loved Allison, and my favorite part is, ” You mean I don’t have to work for it?”. Exactly. Happy Birthday lady.

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