Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sushi Night!

As we enter into the official "holiday season", I am reminded how much we as women give to our families & children. We take care of the shopping, the planning, the cooking, the cleaning & the myriad of other details. But, in the midst of all this "care taking", we rarely take time for ourselves. And because of that, we can often end the holiday season feeling worn out & burnt out.

I came across this quote recently that sums it up perfectly....

Eternally, woman spills herself in driblets to the thirsty, seldom being allowed the time, the quiet, the peace, to let the pitcher fill up to the brim. Anne Morrow Lindbergh

So, this holiday season, make a resolution to give yourself the time, the quiet & the peace to fill your pitcher up to the brim & even overflowing! Join us at one of our Red Tent events & for a few hours, remind yourself what it is to be just a woman... not a job, a wife, a mom.... JUST a woman!

Be 1 of the first 6 gals to sign up & join us for Sushi on Friday, December 3rd at 7:00 pm.
Hope to see you there!

*Details will be emailed to those that sign up.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Panera Bread Wrap Up...

Well, another get together has come & gone & I'm happy to report it was another success!

By 8:45, two of us were enjoying coffee & breakfast while getting to know each other. The conversation was animated & interesting & I'm happy to say there were definitely no "awkward silences"! About 45 minutes later another gal joined the group with a homemade treat to share & shortly after a 4th gal joined as well with her little one.

The conversations ranged from careers to family to hobbies & everything in between. The time came too quickly for us to return to school for 1/2 day pickup so we said our goodbye's.

I'm already looking forward to the next event & wondering who I will meet at that one!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

You Never Know Until You Try...

I was reminded again tonight at dinner time, as I coached my son to try his burger...."You never know if you like it, until you try it!"

This can really be said of life in general.... and certainly of making friends, exposing your vulnerabilities & making yourself real & approachable. It can be incredibly freeing to trust another person enough to let them in & see the real you.

And, you never know how amazing that can be or how amazing a new friendship could be until you TRY it!!

So, if you are someone who has thought about joining us for one of our get togethers, but haven't yet, because you've been too afraid to try... I encourage you to GO FOR IT!

A friend sent me this quote today....

"Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born." -Anais Nin

How amazing is it to think of the possibilities that each new friend could bring to our lives?!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Coffee & Danishes at Panera!

Our next event has been planned! I know November is a busy busy month with Thanksgiving right around the corner but I wanted to try & plan 1 more get together before we enter into December.

So, November 19th we will meet at Panera Bread in Frandor. If you are interested in participating, please be 1 of the first 6 people to sign up. We will meet in the morning after drop off (so, around 8:30 am or so) for some chit chat over coffee.

Hope to see you there!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Ladies' Night Wrap Up...

So, our first get together has come & gone & what a success it was! Although only 4 ladies signed up, (of the 6 open spots) we weren't short for stories & laughter!

The evening started just before 7:00 pm at Houlihan's in the dining room. The bar was waaaaay too crowded & noisy to be able to talk & get to know one another. After looking over the amazing "fresh made daily" menu, we decided on 4 appetizers to share & a few drinks.

We sampled the stuffed mushrooms... delicious & gigantic! The lettuce wraps were flavorful & fresh. The bruschetta was crunchy & tangy with the balsamic vinegar mixed into the fresh chopped tomatoes. And the tuscan salad was different & amazing with white beans, fresh chopped tomatoes & other seasonings served over mixed greens with crunchy long toast & a dallop of goat cheese!

In between the conversations about family, children, careers, likes & dislikes we also brainstormed on ideas for future Red Tent events & we've come up with some good ones! As the evening progressed we decided to splurge on desserts & coffee. The creme brulee, white chocolate banana creme pie & the snickers crunch ice cream dome all got rave reviews.

Each gal stayed as long as they could & the last 2 closed down the restaurant & were still talking in the parking lot 'til just after 2:00 am!

Thanks to the 4 ladies that participated & made this first event all we hoped it would be! I think we had a great start to what will hopefully be many more amazing get togethers!

I've heard it said that, "We all let people into our lives, but you will find that really good friends let you into your own!" And this is certainly how I felt at the close of the evening... one step closer to reconnecting with my own life.

So, if you missed out on this first event, be sure to sign up for the next one! You won't be disappointed!

*Note: Unfortunately the waitress we commandeered to take a group photo was NOT a professional but at least we got 1 photo for the record books! We'll do better the next time!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Clicks & Cliques...

As we begin this journey together, getting to know one another & our selves a bit better, I think it's important to keep in mind that not everyone will immediately "click". Some of us might not even "click" at all! That's just the way life is. You may have the same goals for your life but choose completely different paths to get there. Or, maybe your goals are somewhat different but your personalities are TOTALLY different. And then sometimes your goals, interests & personalities are all COMPLETELY different! That's OK!! That's what makes the world go round. Each of us is unique & special in our own way.

I hope that as this group gets going, & more & more women jump on board to see what it's all about & maybe even decide it's EXACTLY what they have been needing, that all of us will find at least 1 "soul sister". Someone who understands & gets you just the way you are. Maybe they share some of the same interests or ideologies as you but really their heart just speaks the language of your heart....whatever that language is.

I have a friend like this. She has been my dearest friend for over 30 years...since we were just children. No matter the distance between us, the years between visits, the time between phone calls, she always knows my heart. That, is an amazing amazing thing to find in another. Someone who loves you unconditionally. Her soul truly is the mirror of mine.

Some people don't think they need friends like that... I would beg to differ. Until you've known that kind of deep friendship, you will never know what you are missing.

I also want to remind everyone that this group, Red Tent, is not exclusive, it's INCLUSIVE! We are not about clique's. We want everyone who is interested to participate in our events as often as their schedules allow. Each of the events will be size limited but this is not meant as an exclusive thing. It's simply the best way to really facilitate getting to know one another beyond just the casual chit chat that happens when people get together for really large get togethers. Once we have a "base" of interested women participating then we will have an occasional larger get together. Some of those may even be open for those who participate to invite another friend of theirs from outside of MCH.

Because, like I said, we are NOT exclusive. We are INCLUSIVE! So join us! We are waiting for you!

Adventures.... and Drinking...

Initially, my goal is that Red Tent will host 1 event a month. Eventually, if attendance is high & varied (which I hope it is), maybe I will expand that to every other week.

Of course the familiar "Ladies' Night" is always a must but I hope to include morning events as well as night time get togethers & even all day weekend events or overnight activities eventually.

I want Red Tent to be a a good place to find an adventure that's been waiting for you...

Maybe a belly dancing class or a guitar lesson.

Maybe a photographic day trip or a wine tasting.

Maybe a road trip or a train get away.

Seeing new places & experiencing new things....and having someone to do it with!

Of course, all of these things will ultimately circle around eating & drinking... because at the end of it all, this is a tried & true way for people around the world, no matter what differences they have, to relate & communicate & enjoy time spent with one another.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Behind The Name...

So, I thought I should make a post on the idea behind the formation of this group.....

I did not grow up in Michigan, even though I was born here. I didn't go to college here & I work from home so I'm not out in the work "field". All this means I don't have roots here so I have no friends! I've been hoping & praying for years that a few perfect (for me) people *or even just one* would arrive on the footsteps of my life. I have realized over the years that although I don't need a lot of intimate friendships, I do need 1 or 2 deep friendships. That's just the person that I am. I love friendships.... really open, honest, authentic, non-judgmental friendships. I think everyone needs 1 or 2 of them in their lives but I also think most people either
a. don't realize that
b. don't want to commit the time/energy to it
c. don't know where to start to get that

I began to think that if 1 person would "get the ball rolling" so to speak, that others might jump on board. Since this is really a huge part of my life I want to see changed, I decided maybe I should be that 1 person.

I've never been a "mommy group" kindof person though. I've never been into play groups or other clique's.... even as far back as elementary school! So, I knew that was NOT the type of group I wanted to start. I also am not a big "princess, queen, goddess or diva" kindof person. So, I knew THAT wasn't the type of group I wanted to start.

As I thought about what type of group I DID want to start I began to list out priorities in my definition of a friend..... and that is how I came up with the purpose of Red Tent. Based on the definition of the group, the chosen name (Red Tent) seemed like a perfect fit (thanks Neesh!). In ancient times, the red tent was a place where women would gather to nurture, care, encourage & support one another...

The Purpose of Red Tent:

*To provide a way for women in a similar place in life to get to know one another in an intimate way
*To provide an outlet for women to escape from their regular motherly & wifely duties
*To provide an avenue for women to nurture themselves through intimate relationships, communication, shared experiences & adventure

I love big get togethers as much as the next person but my real hope for this group is that through it, many of the participants, myself included, become life long friends...

The best way to facilitate deep connections is through intimate small gatherings. So, for the most part, all of the events (which will be varied in time, place & activity) hosted by Red Tent will be such. They will always be posted on the bulletin board at MCH as well as the facebook page & this blog. They will be attended on a "space limited", "first come, first serve" basis.

In this way, there is also the opportunity for a different group of women to participate in each event, as their schedules allow & as they commit themselves by signing up. Because, I do feel friendship... true friendship is about commitment. It takes work. But it is fun & it should be spontaneous & adventurous as well!

So, hang on! Cuz here we gooooooo!