Girls weekend!

Those 2 simple words bring about great anticipation. I think they even remind me of my college dorm life. Those were the days!

I'm fresh off of a “Girls Weekend” with the Inspired Winers, and it definitely lived up to my high expectations. Too much food, too much wine and way too much fun. While the time we spend together is always enjoyable, a trip like this offers much more than a good time. It’s our chance to connect without the pressure of everyday commitments horning in on our time together. 

We danced, walked and talked, cried and pried, cooked, and shook with laughter. But for me, the most amazing thing about this weekend was what it wasn’t. Why? Because it wasn’t all that different than any other time we spend together. The Winers have a bond created by our mutual desire to help a cause that is dear to each of us. This allows us to be more connected to each other even when we’re not together. The luxury of being away from the world for a couple of days, with only each other, simply enhances the bond. 
Tiffany (right) and me goofing off

We are committed to work together to raise money for PPMD and to help find a cure for Duchenne. It’s not noble; it’s necessary. But this is only a benefit of our relationship. What brings us together every month is who we do it for:  Allison, Bobby, Matthew, Owen and McKenzie. 

None of us can imagine what it must be like for Allison, living every day with the challenge of managing this Duchenne intruder in their lives. We're there for her, loving her and praying for her. But we can’t really know. And because we can’t know how she feels, we work harder to make change – with her and for her.

What we’ve created is amazing, and I wish the same for everyone reading this. “Find your friends, and the cause will find you.” That’s our tagline for a reason – there’s truth to it. The experience of being mutually committed to something bigger than you, beyond your job, your husband or your family, creates a bond like no other. Knowing that we are in it with Allison changes all of us and maybe makes her road a bit more bearable. 

Did I mention we sang? Oh did we sing, and badly! Allison is the queen of the repetitive one liner, “All the single ladies, all the single ladies…” We laughed a lot, opened the wine early in the afternoon, and watched movies with only our own interruptions. Then we had a fabulous dinner (after taming the grill) and left most of the dishes until the morning.
Alexis, Michelle, Tiffany, Andrea, Allison and lucky me!

At the end of my “Girls Weekend,” I am reminded again of how much I value the place these women have carved out of my life, individually and collectively. And of how much they give to me unconditionally. I remember that I know them all a little bit better now than I did when we left on Saturday. But then again, that’s what happens when The Winers gather. You should try it with “your girls” sometime – you’ll experience much the same.

After nearly 30 years in the broadcast industry, Lisa Fields is now in charge of a new venture; she runs Broadcast 1 Source, a small software company specializing in FCC compliance for broadcasters. However, nothing compares to the adventure of raising rambunctious, sweet and charming Louie, her eight-year-old son. Lisa’s home, “Camp Fields,” is always open to small children, stray dogs and wayward adults! With this motto, is there any doubt that Camp Fields is the official headquarters of Wednesday Night Wine and the Inspired Winers?


Ten things I love about "wining"

My name is Alexis and I am new to blogging.

Sounds like an introduction to a 12-step program, but seriously, I readily admit that for weeks I have been struggling with (maybe even agonizing over) what in the world I would write. I’ve been home with 3 children for the last 10 years; I don't consider writing one of my strengths. I am much more confident with play dates, school functions, after school activities, church stuff and carpooling.

So here's the deal:  I’m going to share what I know and love about this great group of women, the Inspired Winers, who meet once a month for Wednesday Night Wine. I treasure their love and friendship, and they are constantly teaching me new things.

Below is a list of my 10 most favorite things about Wednesday Night Wine and Inspired Wining. If you have a similar group of women, you might recognize a few of these. And if you’re considering starting your own Inspired Wining group, here’s a taste of what you can gain from gathering together a group of women dedicated to each other and a mutual cause:
Michelle caught mid-laughter. 
  1. We laugh a lot! Many times, until we cry. There’s nothing like a group of women who won't let you take yourself too seriously. And don’t we all need to laugh more? 
  2.  We are a multi-purpose group. On any given night, we are a book club, a recipe exchange, a job fair, a board meeting, a support group and a comedy zone.
  3. We like wine and the fact that it encourages us to slow down and spend time with one another. A couple times a month, we all fly in from committee meetings or putting our children to bed. But then, we take a collective breath and leave the stress and busy schedules behind for a few hours.
  4.  We are all on the Parenthood Journey together. From babies to ‘tweens – we’re covering it all. I am so grateful to be with a group of women who understands that most of the time, I can't get enough of my children. But at the same time, there are days I delight at the thought of their wearing an electric collar – and I have the remote.
  5. As a non-foodie, it is fabulous to hang out with ladies who like to eat well. Our gatherings are never without an amazing appetizer, a healthy fruit tray or a decadent dessert. And now, I read labels, spend less time in the frozen food section, and I’ve actually tried to embrace meal planning. Seriously, thanks to this group, I actually give thought to the color and texture of my meal.
  6.  Because of our commitment to raise money for PPMD, I have challenged myself to do new and different things. I have taken risks. I’ve developed new skills. I am writing for a blog and have joined Facebook and Twitter, for Pete's sake! Who knew that fundraising could be so much fun or enriching?
  7. For the most part, our gang is a part of the sandwich generation; we’re caring for loved ones on both sides of the spectrum. We all have little ones we are caring for and if we don't yet, we will most likely have parents that will need our assistance. There is tremendous value in knowing that we won't go through this alone.
  8. When it comes to travel and recreation, we’ve got some adventurers among us. I love that we all like to travel and see other places. And the best part is learning where to stay, where to dine, how to save money…and even how to avoid bed bugs.
  9.  We are all concerned about our physical, spiritual and mental health. We are advocates for trying new things and seeking help when needed in the form of acupuncture, aromatherapy, bible studies, counseling, massage, meditation, pilates, prayer, reflective retreats, tapping, and yoga.
  10. These ladies make things happen. They are doers! Their never-ending supply of energy to care about their families, friends, work, kids' schools, favorite charities, and the church that brought us together is inspirational.
Think about creating your own Inspired Wining group – one that not only gives to you, but to the world around you. And while you're at it, we'd love to hear from you. Leave a comment about your friendships. Who makes you laugh? Who shares travel tips, parenting advice and recipes? Who celebrates your ups and shoulders your down? Share some fun stories with us. 

Alexis Williams may not be a good housekeeper and she’s even worse at being the tooth fairy. But she loves laughing, traveling, spending time with family and being a part of a community that makes a difference. Alexis is officially Inspired Wining's “go-to girl” for just about everything from developing community partnerships to securing our venues for Inspired Wining on Location events. A wife, mother of 3, a church and school volunteer, Alexis is the sharp-witted sweetheart of the group.