Friday, April 27, 2007

"What goes around comes around..."

I had an "everything comes back to you" kind-of night on Tuesday... It involved my hubby and a UVA dance party, but before I get to the details let me back up a few years and tell you why I had this coming!

One of my best friends Mollie Perez had just gotten married and we all decided to have a girls night for ole' times sake. None of us were big into the bar scene (married or not) but we got all-dolled-up for the special occasion and headed downtown Greensboro. The night included several cosmos at multiple locations (to be honest I can't even remember everywhere we went). What I do remember is we were having a ton of fun and around midnight Mollie popped the question; should she call Tony (her husband) and tell him we were still out??? The group consensus was yes - call him and tell him that if it get's too late you will just stay at one of our places... Mollie made the call, everything seemed good, and we were back to dancing.

Well, next thing I know it's 3:30am and we have invited a bunch of guy friends back to my place. We were playing cards and hanging out, but slowly our wild rendezvous was coming to an end... About this point Mollie decides she really wants to sleep in her own bed, but the question becomes; should she go home this late? After much debate, Nicole and I (both single at the time) wish her luck and she (soberly) drives home.

Wow - bad idea for all married women. We quickly learned that husbands do not like their wives staying out and partying all night long. And, in the rare instance that they do, they definitely don't want you coming home at 4:00am and crawling into bed. (One of those things that looks way worse than it is.) Mollie called early the next morning to say Tony was furious. Nicole and I feared we had (in our un-married lack of wisdom) totally and forever messed up a beautiful marriage.

After a day or so everything blew over with Mollie and Tony - everything except for the valuable lesson: you can't stay out and party all night when you are married.

OK... So back to Tuesday night…

Mike has a new hobby that involves making dance mixes (like a club DJ). His mixes are actually quite good and he gets extremely excited about every opportunity to show them off to friends and family. Some of the guys at UVA decided to plan a dance party in honor of a friend who is about to get married. It was some sort of pre-bachelor, bachelor party only everyone (girls included) were invited. Even though I had an invite, something seemed a little too manly about it for me, so I (like most apparently) opted out. I told Mike to go and have fun and to give me a big hug when he came home.

Ha. Well, midnight rolls around and I wake up to a message on my cell. It's Mike saying they were having fun and staying out a little longer. (Sound familiar?). I get the message, smile and go back to bed.

2:30am, I wake up randomly and look over expecting Mike to be in bed beside me... No Mike.

3:30am, I wake up again... No Mike. I pick up the phone and frantically call but get the voicemail and leave a message. I'm guessing they are still out and tell myself not to make a big deal about it.

4:30am, I wake up again... Still no Mike. Another call to the voicemail. This time I am pissed, but still manage to fall back asleep.

6:30am, My alarm goes off and guess what? STILL NO MIKE! I can hardly believe my eyes. I jump up grab my phone and throw some shoes on. (At this point I was scared to death something had happened). Just as I am running out of the house Mike finally answers his cell. In a voice that was just as perky as it could be he says good morning and tells me he's on his way home. I don't say a word and hang up the phone. Was he serious? He just stayed out ALL NIGHT and apparently doesn't seem to think there is any issue with that...

All of the sudden it dawns on me - the Mollie and Tony story from four years prior... Mike rushes in the door, and, despite his perky intonation, I can tell he is scared to death about what I am going to say.

In all honesty, I did take advantage of the situation. I gave him the silent treatment for a few hours during which he apologized profusely. I heard the whole story numerous times - a group of guys (not-dancing) playing flip cup and then him passing out on the couch. Next thing he knew it was 6:30am…

Some women would call me crazy and naive, but there is not a question in my mind about the truth of his story. It was a valuable lesson on two parts, however… First, Mike learned that you can’t stay out and party all night when you are married. Secondly, I hear some wise sole whispering in my ear, “Ashlie, what goes around comes around!!!”

Thought some of you would get a kick out of that.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Wedding pictures are here!

Yay, finally... Our wedding pictures are online! Here is the link if you want to see them. Please email me if you want copies - we have digital files for everything.

Password: love

Impact Tomorrow Today - 85th AJLI Conference

I just spent an amazing week in Boston at the Association of Junior Leagues International (AJLI) Conference. It started out as an intimidating idea – going to a League event with our President, President Elect, and President Elect – Elect (yes, I know it sounds funny but those are their titles). However, I quickly found my place amongst great friends with similar interests. I was inspired by the more than 700 attendees, I absolutely loved my time Daniela, Stephanie, and Leslie (the other Greensboro girls), and I can’t wait to do more – more to make Our League, and Our Community stronger…

Highlights from the week:

- Lunch with former Ambassador to Austria Swanee Hunt; an amazing woman who exudes true Southern charm mixed with a powerful feminist flare. I am reading her book Half-Life of a Zealot right now and thoroughly enjoying it.
- The beginnings of a signature project that our League is going to start. The premise centers around autism and the staggering increases we are seeing in society. Our goal is to start a series of smaller programs for autistic children and their families… Eventually we will look into the possibility of opening a school with on-grounds housing and all sorts of exciting activities.
- A public speaking class where I was one of 15 students getting drilled on both good and bad habits. I have a ways to go before I’ll ever end up on a major stage, but advice from Jenny Maxwell (with the Buckley School of Public Speaking) certainly helped with the journey.
- A fantastic workshop on Building Leadership through Service – something that’s right up my alley and definitely in lines with Junior League principals…
- Networking time with other NC leagues… Winston, High Point, Charlotte, Asheville, Raleigh, and Wilmington were all wonderful.
- An interesting course on Parliamentary Procedures… If anyone has questions about Roberts Rules, I’m your girl.
- Countless conversations about our upcoming year and ways to make it the best one yet. Daniela (our current President) is amazing; I’m certain Stephanie (the next in line) will only build upon her successes.

Thanks to all of you who elected me to be a part of this event. I sincerely appreciate the opportunity.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Easter Traditions

Mike and I spent Easter weekend with my family in Wilmington... It's a Dustin tradition we share with the Bostians and the Cunninghams that's been going on for the past four years. This year a new activity was added to the schedule; a trip to Casey's Buffet and Barbeque. Casey's is a "hole in the wall" off Oleander Drive (for those who know the area), but it's definitely worth a visit. Get there early if you go on a Sunday. Long lines form by 11:30am.

The picture is of my mom, Ruby, and Lin B. at our beach house.

Back to blogging with a Chi-town story...

I've been getting a lot of heat for going over a month without posting on my blog - people are threatening to stop visiting, so I promise I am going to get back in the groove and will try and update more regularly.

The first story I have been meaning to share is about the Global Village training program Joan Wellman and I went to in Chicago a couple weeks ago... I had been to this event before (a two-day seminar hosted by Habitat for Humanity International), but still I was amazed at the people we met and the stories we heard. College kids leading groups of strangers through African countries. Ministers uniting entire churches around build projects in Guatemala. Young professionals leading their 7th and 8th trips to Romania... It definitely put my small attempts at contributing to global change in perspective!

Beyond having a wonderful time with my dear friend Joan and gaining incredible insight from our peers at the training, I also left with a motivating message that I think may actually change my life. The message was to concentrate on "living in the present." I've heard this oh-so-simple statement countless times, but for some reason it resonated in Chicago... I realized that being present doesn't just mean being at an event; it means being truly engaged with whatever is directly in front of me. Conversations for example... I am the queen of talking to someone while still absorbing a nearby conversation or another activity in the room. I am fantastic at reading a book, while thinking about story lines for a book of my own. I watch TV and work at the same time. I write thank you notes while carrying on conversations with Mike...

So, one of my primary, short-term goals is learning to put things on pause - to turn the multi-tasking off at moments throughout the day - and to truly be present. Try it. It's harder than you think.

P.S. The picture is of Joan and I at a St. Patrick's Day Party in Chicago. Wild, green weekend that we weren't expecting, and a ton of fun.