Women for Women International… changing the world

This adventure all started very simply. Dinner with friends at their favorite little neighborhood Italian restaurant. Kirsten shared stories about her walk across Bosnia the previous summer and her newly adopted ‘grandmother’. Her face lit up with passion while she talked about Women for Women International and co-chairing their annual gala. Kirsten has always struck me as the kindest of souls. I didn’t realize that she is also a force of nature.

Over the last few months she and her co-chair Michelle rallied not just me but dozens of others to the cause. The dedicated committee that I was invited to join… well, the truth is that I just don’t have enough words. These women welcomed me with open arms and we settled in to work together. We shared tea and cocktails and more work on the tiniest details than you can imagine. There was even a bit of back garden DIY, accompanied by Pimms, of course. And inspired by them, we assembled an incredible team of photographers who helped me photograph the event. Up to London for the evening, Clare, Fiona, Karen, Cristina, and our assistant, Katie, proved themselves equal to the fortitude of our committee. (And wickedly talented to boot.)

Women for Women International works in countries recovering from conflict to offer training and education to changes the lives of women. Through women, they change not just a single life but the future of a nation and the planet. Over the course of a few months and one incredible evening, I watched, and was blessed to lend a hand in, the ways that those of us fortunate to have can have a true, measurable impact on the world we live in.

Last Thursday night, as one person after another shared their passion for what is possible and the ways in which WfWI has changed their lives. I kept thinking about Kirsten’s adopted grandmother. Her own family ripped from her, she has not just Kirsten, but literally hundreds of people joining together to change her life. It’s true for every one of the more than 28,000 women around the world who have graduated from WfWI programs. By the pence and pound and dollar and yuan… we are changing the world.

I laughed. I cried. I made friends for life.

Marieke - Hi Lovely,
what a beautiful post, what a beautiful program and what a beautiful men in the images, ;-)!
X Marieke

Lindsey - Beautiful!

Kirsten - You are truly amazing! Your blog brought a tear to my eyes and a huge smile on my face! We couldn’t have done it without you. Xxxx

Yep… Paris!

Alright, I may need someone to slap me back to reality. We’re in Paris… for Valentine’s Day. I mean c’mon? Who gets to do this?! It sounds cliche but it really is romantic. Jodie was due here on business and two days ago he told me to pack a bag. I had no idea where we were going until we got to the airport this morning. He did make me promise not to make a scene at the airport when I found out, but I made no such promise about the blog…

Did I mention that we’re in Paris?! My sweet, beautiful man surprised me with a trip to Paris! I just don’t have enough words for how spoiled and grateful I feel. I’m so fortunate and I feel so loved that he would think to do this for us. You get happy in a marriage and you discuss everything and it gets harder to create surprises. Well done, darling man. Well done indeed.

Rebecca Portsmouth - Hope you’re having the MOST wonderful time. Do have a red wine/champagne/expresso for me :)

We’re in People magazine!

Ok. Remain calm… we’re in People magazine! Flipping. OUT. Have been doing crazy happy Snoopy dances around the flat since I found out. Jodie thinks I should be sedated. Mom is hitting the stores to buy out every copy. Must find prosecco and really, really good celebratory chocolate… and it’s even a fairly big picture!

Laura & Fred’s Wild Horse Inn wedding was an absolute delight. It was such a joyful day and their family and friends were over the top wonderful. There was rousing Soul Man performance, a grandfather’s serenade, and even cowbells. And to now see Sophie get national coverage… bring on the goofy happy weekend o’ glee…

ursula (room to bloom) - Ace! Well-done you : )

lindsey - Well deserved!!! Great photo.

tina @colourliving - Fantastic news darling. Massive congratulations. What a beautiful wedding… go girl! xx

Ginger (My Little Ginger Wedding) - Well done honey – thats fantastic!

Love, Wendy (LBG) x

geraldine - Congrats again Paige. You deserve to be in that magazine. xx

Whitney & John… the rehearsal dinner

(Austin Wedding)

So I’m a huge fan of Whitney & John. Can’t help it. Their love story grabbed me from the get go. It’s like kismet. So who would have thought that they could sweeten the deal? Yup, they did. Their rehearsal dinner was at the state capitol… where Whitney’s dad is the longest serving democratic state senator in Texas. Oh, I’m a huge fan of his too…

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Ginger (My Little Ginger Wedding) - Gorgeous shots Paige – and lovely to have met you at the blog group last weekend….look forward to seeing you again soon

Wendy :-) x