March 28, 2011

'Cause you're the only ten-I-see.

I know, right?

Okay. So this is all I have time for right now.

But give me just a few more hours and I'll throw you a bigger bone, promisecrossmyheart. I LOVE it here. Like, looooooove it.

University of Tennessee
Knoxville, Tenn.

The three most adorable Alpha Delts greeted me at the Knoxville airport, whisked me away to UT-land, and plopped me in a room with the above spread. For me. Whoa. Dear collegians, you'll just never understand what that does to me. Hits me square in the heart and I almost cry. Somethin' about the fact that someone went to a store and bought a bunch of stuff for a girl you don't even know who's taking over your room for a week... And got her favorite candy, too (which are gone, b-t-dubs. I can take a bag of SPK's DOWN, baby. But they did help me eat some tonight.).

You know what? This "Power T" and orange stuff has grown on me...

More coming. Like, Neyland-Stadium-locker-room-tour more. Chyes.

March 23, 2011


Photo courtesy of Tumblr.

"A girl should get so lost in God, that a guy has to seek Him to find her..."
- Talitha Ruth Piper

I always wondered who said that.
Found out today.
Those Pipers and their wisdom...

Good truth. I'd like to say I think the reverse is true as well.

Snap yo fingers, do yo step.

Roar. Photo courtesy of Tiny White Daisies.

History Lesson for Wednesday, March 23, 2011:

Greek diplomats would drink vino (No wait--that's Italian. Whatever.) while listening to their colleagues speaking. They didn't want to put down their drink to clap.

So they snapped.

Thus the origin of the sorority snap. Boom. I srat, therefore I snap.

And today, I'm headed up to Knoxville, Tenn. for some good 'ole Southern hospitality (I can already tell from the sweet emails fillin' up my Outlook box) at University of Tennessee. Strike up "Rocky Top," y'all--I'm headed to Alpha Kappa! Snaps to that.

Blog post title: "Buy You a Drink" by T-Pain. Throwwwbaaaaack...

March 21, 2011

Quiet you with my love.

DISCLAIMER: Toldya the posts like this were gonna start rollin'. This goes out to everyone in my same-exact shoes who emailed/commented/Facebooked me to tell me they're, well, in my same-exact shoes.

Photo courtesy of Tumblr.
Last night, Mama, Daddy, and I were back-porch-sittin' last night in the warm night air while two bird dogs were catching lizards. Fantastic Stallings-evening entertainment, we know. Then they started asking questions about what I wanted to do "next year" (The parents. Not the dogs or lizards).

I put on my brave face. But really? In a word, I got scared.
A tad paralyzed.
With my own parents.

Because honestly? I do not know. There are no real leads. I'm not just saying that. I truly am not sure. If anything, my current job took this scattered, dream-big, never-say-never mind of mine and multiplied my journalism-major options. Greeeeaaat.

So I held it in. Until I was talking to a friend that I can never seem to "hold it in" with last night. And after being patient and letting me spout off like this friend always lets me do, he goes, "You know what, Ash? Psalms 56:3-4. 'When I am afraid I will trust in You, in God whose word I praise.'"

Fear = a trade-off opportunity for Trust.
Okay. So, easier said than done, but ok.

But God knows I'm the personality that wants a game plan. So when I pull Jesus Calling off my shelf at home this morning and let the pages fall to March 21, ha--first line: "Trust Me and don't be afraid, for I am your Strength and Song..." Cool, God. Cool. Love when He brings things full-circle. But you see, it goes further to say fear isn't just zero fun, it blocks the flow of God's strength. Of course it does...

It's like Noah (sorta). He built that ark. Why? Obedience to God. But remember: Boats weren't the "in" thing at that time. Especially barges like that. And rain? Yeah. Rain wasn't even invented. Until the flood, water came up to norish the earth through the ground. Now that's some fear (of rejection. Of failure. Of being called crazy.) traded for trust and faith. I want that brand of trust...

So I will relate to you in confident trust. Letting You know exactly how frusterated and nervous I am some days. Because You're my song. My reward awaits, and no good thing have You hidden from those who love you.

"I will quiet you with My love..."
Zeph. 3:17

Hush, child.

March 20, 2011

The travelin', the singin', it don't mean nothin' without you.

Photo courtesy of Bippity Boppity Boo.

I'm going home.

I think "home" is in my top 10 words. Right up there with "Jesus."

Schedule? 1. Friendsandfamily. 2. Sleepingtnbsd;xzzzzzzzzzz. 3. I've checked the 85 degree forecast, and looks like I'll be laying out in Dixieland! 4. Getting highlights for the first time in my virgin hair's life (ha, can ya tell this Southern girl needs sun? January, February, SUMMER, October...).

And time on my back porch talking to Jesus. Getting tangled up in grace. Having time to think through some things and ask God what He thinks.

See ya soon, my sweet little rivertown. See ya soon.

Blog post title: "Without You" by Keith Urban. I'm obsessed. Boy can write a love song, dangit. Have fun with that, Nicole.

Orange and maroon.

There's somethin' about this school. These women. I think the thing about this job that I tell anyone who's crazy enough to be interested in this amazing gig is that right when the going gets so tough that you feel like you'll cry or crack or snap--BAM--you step off a plane. Everything changes. Weather, faces, voices, problems, accents.

Virginia Tech University
Blacksburg, Va.

I knew I was gonna like it here when after claiming my 2-checked bags, the president and VP said we were gonna go look for some formal dresses real quick. And then while at the mall, we walked into the puppy store. I love the puppy store. (Sister Kristen, didn't you do this with your bf one time? If so tell mine one day to take me to the puppy store to hold and pet puppy dogs on a date. Kthanksss.) And then Brittany-the-pres told me I was scheduled to do P90x with my sisters in the chapter room. Things only got better from there...

1. Lane Stadium. I told y'all I hint to see the stadiums at most schools. KA-CHING! Jackpot: the chapter advisor has the hook. UP. at Virginia Tech. So what do I get to do? Oh, ya know. Tour Lane Stadium. And all the box suites. And the president's box. And ABC/ESPN's box. With the Associate Director of Development and his handy key chain. I was in hog-heaven. Love me some college football. And baller rooms where doners have pictures of their yacht on the wall. Under the pic of the personal jet that has maroon and orange stripes. Nbd.

My new friend Scott goes, "Show this picture to your Daddy and tell him you put him down to be a Hokie supporter and not for that Auburn-school." Scotts got jokes. Right, pops?

2. Blacksburg dining. I've been craving this Athens, Ga. resturant Beta Nu girls took me to (The Grit) for a while. Don't worry. Enter Gillies. Healthy ethnic food and a slightly-hippie vibe does this vegetarian, slightly-hippie (Okay fine: wannabe-hippie) girl well. Cabo Fish Taco? How 'bout Cabo Fish AWESOME. Tack on a trek to Mill Mountain Coffee--since like, I really need to feed my coffee addiction and everything--and I'm convinced: college towns rule at food.

3. Colleen's Caddy. So my (newly initiated! YEAH!) sister Colleen drives a Cadillac. What has she done? Pimp out the inside with speakers, black lights, rhinestones, and a disco ball. This girl is hysterical. Oh, and some of the rhinestones spell out crosses and "God is Love." Only a few people in life can get away with this. Girl rocks it. We laughed so hard.

"Ashlyn. Be gangster. Can you? No, that's an awful gangster face..."

4. Campus tour. When people adore their schools, I get pumped. And this school? Gah. They love it so much. The sense of community on this campus is palpable, and while 4/16 is mentioned some, you still feel how that pulled this community tighter than they already were. A sister led my tour, so another Eta Pi and I strolled behind the high school seniors runnin' our mouths. Gorgeous school.

In front of Burress Hall. EVERYTHING is made of Hokie-stone, limestone quaried locally.

5. Duck Pond. They say it's the cheapest date in Blacksburg, then you walk across the drill field to the chapel to get married (Did I get that right, Hokie fans?) I personally went more on running-dates with Jesus here, but it was glorious just the same.

Duck Pond.

6. Campus Crusade. Back to what I said in the first paragraph. I haven't "been to church" since January. Blame the job, blame the Sunday-travel-day, blame the 15-hour workdays. I am kinda up to the chapters I go to. "Ashlyn, I saw in your intro letter that you like to read your Bible. Do you want to come to Campus Crusade with us? A lot of sisters go..." I could have cried. What a sweet blessing, Lord. Singing to You alongside a bunch of girls I met Tuesday with a jam-packed room full of Your church? Having conversations about You all week? My heart could have burst. My soul was panting to be around a body of believers.

"I'll follow you into the homes of the broken /
I'll follow you into the world."

"Ash. It cracks me up how you fall in love with every school you visit," said Dad the other day. I know, I know. But this one was different. I LOVED it.

Meghan and Brittany: How about y'all live in my suitcase?

p.s. Dear Life-Love-Laughter. I follow your Tumblr, you follow mine. You write the sweetest comments on here. I was in the Sigma Kappa house for a meeting this week and thought of you the whole time. :) Just to letcha know. Go Hokies!

March 17, 2011

But where do you LIVE?

Photo courtesy of Tumblr.

My daily (Okay, I lied. Weekly.) conversation:

"So do you go home after you visit us?"
"Um, no--I go straight to the next chapter."
"Wait--aren't we based in Atlanta?"
"Yes. Good girl."
"But so your office is there, right?"
"I don't have an office. I live out of two suitcases and a carry-on."
"Oh. So where are you based?"
"Atlanta, technically."
"But you don't live there?"
"No. I do not have an office and live out of two suitcases and a carry-on."
"But we're BASED there..."
"Yes, so, like, my emails and phone calls go through ATL."
"Ohhhh. So you live at home!"
"No, the last time I was home was a month ago... My furniture lives there?"
"So but where do YOU live?"
"Two suitcases. One carry-on. I do not really go 'home.'"
"Gotcha. Except on weekends, huh?"
"I get 48 hours a month, so um, no. I leave here and go to another chapter."
"Ohhhhhhhhh! I think I get it. That's a weird job. But really awesome. I thought you were gonna be like, 60. But you're really cute. (uhh, thanks?) Wanna go on a run?"

Story of my life. Hello, world: I have one of the weirdest jobs in America.
And I. Love. It.

March 16, 2011

On leadership.

I love when I get floored by NPC members who don't necessisarily wear ADPi letters. It's a reminder to me in my little azure-blue-and-white-24/7-world of the testament that not just ADPi, but every NPC group out there is working to challenge and inspire young women. Times your organization by 26. That's our power as NPC.

Happened at a Virginia Tech Panhellenic round table meeting
for the chapter presidents I just left.

Daaaaang. They get it. The Panhellenic President showed the video below to challenge these chapter presidents. I know the audience for this little blog is all over the place and that the guys have already quit readin', but I do know for a fact there's a sector of Greek women reading that serve on your Executive Committees. Somone needs to tell you thanks. Holding two EC offices in my sorority, honestly, taught me more than any other university organization position, honors society, or even internship ever did. Steering, encouraging, listening to, motivating, challenging, goin' to bat for, promoting, holding accountable, and inspiring 156 humans (now make that 18 to 22-year-old women) was rough some days. But remember that you do it so their experience is a cake-walk. So they can look back at pictures sorority-squatting on a beach in Destin, Fla. and still feel that sisterhood decades later.

So it's kinda cheesy. But worth a watch.

And for those younger sisters who wanna go a bit further than cooler-painting and nametag-glittering (Kidding. But really.) and give that whole leadership element of sorority a go, it's your job to plant a little bit of the emotion from the above video into them. Succession planning. You get 4 years to call the chapter shots. Use 'em wisely.

March 15, 2011

If you're gonna play in Texas.

Photo courtesy of Pinterest.

This mornin', I opened my LAST travel schedule. I'm torn on ending this job--that's a whole 'nother blog post, but for now, let us celebrate in some fantastic news! First you have to read this list then I'll tell you:

Boston, Mass.
Rho Chapter

Des Moines, Iowa
Theta Eta Chapter

Athens, Ohio
Xi Chapter

Austin, Tx.
Delta Chapter

Danbury, Ct.
Eta Omicron Chapter

Did you see that?! TEXXXXXASSSSSS! AHHHHHHH! I have a story: Day 1 on the job (well, maybe like, Day 3 when we felt comfortable enough around our boss to annoy her) I started asking to go to Texas, specifically Delta Chapter in Austin. My reasons were simple: a) I have a crush on UT, b) I need more reasons to do that cool "hook 'em horns" thing with my hands, c) Colt's hot, and d) the one souvenir I wanted this year was a pair of cowgirl boots from Texas.

Annoying my boss all year paid off. :) Love you, Annie!

I have since bought many other souvenirs. And of course, I'm stoked about the other chapters. But I'm goin' to Te-has, bay bay. CHYESS. As for today? I'm off to Virginia Tech. Go Hokies.

Blog post title: "If You're Gonna Play in Texas" by my people, Alabama.

Thanks, Georgey.

Mount Vernon, Va.

I forgot to tell you!

So I'm driving back from Richmond to D.C. last week, and I spied a sign: Mount Vernon, Next Right. I thought about it for .2, decided as a history-lover this was totally manageable and I could snap a few quick pics and head. Being the adventurer I am, I hung that right and took a 45-minute vacay.

Georgey had a ballin' view of the Potomac.

Mount Vernon = gorgeous. The weather was unusually warm (when I say warm I mean I couldn't see my breath) and I wandered around the meandering plantation gardens grinning and just chattering on and on to God. Best breather/rest ever. Thanks, Jesus.

Those are real.

You should probably go to Mount Vernon if you ever get the chance.

March 14, 2011

Life of Pi.

Oh, glitter paper, paint pens, and grosgrain ribbon. #sororitygirlproblems.

Here at University of Maryland, fellow LC Megan and I had a brilliant idea this weekend: we're chillin' around a round table with some members of Grand Council (aka our mother-figures this year) brainstorming PR ideas for this chapter.

Monday: Pi (3.14) Day.
Idea: We must celebrate.

So we delivered off blueberry and apple pies to our neighborly Pi houses--AOΠ, ΑΕΠ, ΠΚΑ and ΒΘΠ. So presh. Meg and I--Lilly P. koozie'd Diet Coke in hand--crafted the cards with a golf theme to get buzz out about the chapter's Lion's Share Challenge Pi Putt for Ronald McDonald House. Again, I get paid to do stuff like this. Hollaaaaaa.

The sisters of Alpha Delta Pi wish you one, too.

Happy Pi Day, y'all!

March 10, 2011

Draw me a map that leads me back to you.

Photo courtesy of Magnolia Merryweather.

I get this on the job a lot:

"Wow! You get to travel all over the whole U.S.?! Y'all aren't set for one region? That's so awesome. And you probably love that you really get to see a ton of cities
so you can decide where to live next year!"

Response? Yup. Sure does let me see this great nation and fall even more in love with it. And as for the proverbial "next year" part, usually, I smile and nod. But here's what I really wanna say:

"Chyeah buddy traveling helped me decide, darlin'! I'm goin' right back down where I came from! People act differently, sound sweeter, and it's not frigid all the time. Ha, and I'm not sure how y'all pick Yankee/Mid-West boys over what we raise... Just sayin'."

Rant? Perhaps. I think I just sortareally miss home.
But dear Yankee/Midwest/West-Coast-Best-Coast sisters:
Please don't take offense. I love you infinitimillion. :)

On God's glory.

Photo courtesy of The Hope Movement.

I swear, if I could just get inside that head of his...
#CSLewis #cool
But really,#JesusChrist #love #glory

How that "expansion" thing works.

Photo courtesy of Pinterest.

Sometimes I honestly wish I had a video so you could see what I have to/get to do with my weird job. This below is an attempt to kindasorta explain how we present to expand when invited by a school... Boys? Y'all just stick your flag in the ground and call it a colony. National Panhellenic is a tad different. I did this Monday at:

Virginia Commonwealth University
Richmond, Va.
**BUT the below account is a conglomeration of the 3 expansion visits 
I've been on just to keep it mysterious.

6 a.m. Blackberry alarm goes off. Aaaand "snooze."

6:08 a.m. iPhone alarm. I'm the deepest sleeper ever; multiple alarms/multiple phones mandatory. Again, "snooze."

7:12 a.m. Quiet time/checking the 6 emails I got overnight/getting ready? Check. Read through expansion presentation notecards for the second time--oh well, I'm good at wingin' stuff. Hop in the car with Precious Collegian A to fight (insert big city) rush hour to (insert suburb) for a rental. 

9:42 a.m. Dashboard hoppin' between 4 country stations (my singing voice always wants to sing Taylor Swift) between a coupla work calls and Mama-call. Note how exceptionally good I've gotten at rapping Lil Wayne's part in "Forever."

11:35 a.m. Arrive at hotel in insert city 2.5 hours away, hang out in the lobby "working." In actuality, I'm catching up on Alabama gossip with the ADPi International President Claire Brown Gwaltney. We love our state.

11:36 a.m. Pleased that if I thought I'd lost my accent in the midwest, I just got it back talking to her.
2:30 p.m. Arrive at name of university. Heels on. Offish nametag on. ADPi badge on. Smile really on. Lehsgo.
3:01 p.m. Dean kicks IFC guys outta the room we were supposed to meet in. They all look at me when they walk by as I'm staring at them. Haven't seen a male in, well, I can't remember... Oh, heyyyyyy, y'all!

4:37 p.m. Omgosh, I LOVE meeting with Panhellenic women. (Note from the future: 3 friended me on FB by midnight. Studs. Wish I could see them again.)

4:38 p.m. It hits me this is probably the most approp/coolest way to spend International Badge Day, eh?

5:08 p.m. Campus tour. Why do they all always walk backwards?

5:19 p.m. Between the Sigma Chi boys (mm. Softspot.) throwing a football in the yard and the lacrosse team, I realize I should probablyreallymaybe speak to a man soon.
7:55 p.m. Run through notecards adding notes from today. Heart-thudding, high on the pre-public speaking rush. Praying.

9:31 p.m. Presentation and Q&A sesh? Done! Repack everything into rolling suitcases--still in 4.5" stilettos.

12:08 a.m. Answer the 22 emails I got today in ADPi account. Feel like an awful person for, once again, not having time to answer the Gmail account. Sigh.

12:30 a.m. Zzzzzzzzz... Earliest bedtime in a week. Gah, hotel beds so rule.

And that, m'dears, is how an expansion visit works. I may try to tell you how a chapter visit day works sometime... Even though normalcy is relevant. Ha.

March 8, 2011

Little Miss I'll get tough.

I think I need this. Photo courtesy of Tumblr.

Songs you should listen to:

1. The entire Passion 2011 "Here for You" album. FINALLY! Unreal voices shouting Jesus' name. I'm addicted and will be runnin' to this for months! I'm still convinced one mornin' I'll wake up and Christy Nockel's voice will come out of my mouth.

2. Little Big Town's cover of Bruno Mars. Clearly, I'm a sucker for a good cover, and a D.C. radio station played it during my trek to Richmond yesterday a.m. Now if only it would be released (they jammed it at a concert in early March)...

Oh, I see you my girl. Photo courtesy of Little Big Town.

Shameless ADPi Plug: Karen Fairchild (the brunette one) is an Alpha Delt, from my chapter. The blonde chick? A Phi Mu from the Alpha Gamma chapter at Samford. Karen came to our ADPi Homecoming tailgate a few years ago--she's a total hottie.We're so proud. Bow-wow, Bulldogs.

3. "Little Miss" by Sugarland--shot to the heart. Every line hits a little too close to home, or wherever this place my heart and head are restin' these days is called (I feel I'm too far too long from home). You see, this job is hard. I don't wanna scare you off it's something you're considering for your organization, because I know a lot of women read this that are applying to be consultants for NPC groups. You'll be ok; it's one of the coolest things you'll ever do at 22. But you neverevereverever stop. Like, ever. The "be my guest, i'll make more anytime it runs out" part? I cracked up--story of my life this year (probably before that if I'm honest). Sometimes you just need a good song to jam to and remember you're not the only girl out there that thinks she (well, with Jesus by her) can literally take on the world if she could just get through the next week and get one more skinny vanilla latte...

It's alright. It's alright. It's alright.

March 7, 2011

On taking the next step.

Photo courtesy of some Tumblr. Can't remember.

This is probs the first part in a 22-part series called Ashlyn Doesn't Know What She Is Doing After May. But--and I apologize for it's length--this below is how God swoops in and provides me my manna portion daily. How I know the next step is going to be okay. I just keep obeying Him. And it will be okay. He tells me so.

Whew. Deep Breath. Praise God.

Below, transcribed from "Zealous for One Thing," Church at Brook Hills. God through D. Platt says it better than my elementary verbage can. It's long, just go with it:
"...And as we obey his commands, he directs our steps. Paul had no idea what was coming that night. (I should maybe tell you we'd just read Acts 16:6-10.) He couldn't have organized. it. Planned it. Forseen it. He was OBEYING. And as he obeyed, God lead him. As a result, the Gospel for the first time would go into Europe, to most of our ancestors in this room. He couldn't have planned it. He was obeying and the Sprit led. Isn't that Proverbs 3:5-6?! 'Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways--in your ways, as you're walking--acknowldge Him and he will make your paths straight--he will make. Them. Straight.'"

"God is not up in heaven trying to keep His will from you. Trying to make it difficult on you. He wants His will to be accomplished in your life, Christian, so much that he has put His Spirit inside of you! He's not even going to just give you directions; He's saying 'I'm going to LIVE in you. And I'm gonna change your thoughts and your desires. And I'm gonna drive your steps. You walk in Me, you abide in Me, and I will direct your steps.'"

(here's where it gets gooooood...)

Now it's not always the most direct route. God could've given Paul this visition a few nights before he started to go this direction. The Spirit somehow stopped it. He could've given him this vision from the beginning, he could've laid out his plans. Ever wish God would do that in your life? (Chyeah. Like, daily. I hate surprises.) Like, all those questions... But there are so many things not in His word for sure! Like, 'Who am I gonna marry?' Her name isn't in here. I mean, ha, it might be, but I dunno which one--there are a lot of names. 'And so what job do I take, where do I live? (Hello, my name is Ashlyn and this is the story of my current life.) What decision do I make here or here?' We're wrestling with these. But you don't have clarity in the Word on it."

"And you're thinking, 'Man. It'd be nice to have a little Macedonian vision, and aight--BOOM. There she is.' It'd save a lot of dating stress if you could just have a vision, right? So we WANT that. And the reality is, God could've given that, but He didn't. Maybe there's something deeper here than just instructions on where to get to. Maybe the destination is even deeper than Macedonia..."

"Maybe God Himself is the destination.
Maybe he's the goal--maybe more than the answer to our questions is."

My next job stint isn't. My next little appartment in the city isn't. Some guy isn't.
The Creator of the Universe wants me desperately to arrive at His feet.
Talk about love...

March 4, 2011

Lilly Pulitzer ADPi Print!

Photo courtesy of Lilly Pulitzer.

Alpha Dee's: Assemble!

As many of you know, Lilly Pulitzer has a line of sorority prints called Pledge Perfection. They are deciding which srat is next and we're being considered, so email to request an Alpha Delta Pi print! It's quick and easy, and they're keeping a tally over there in Lilly Land, so let's make this happen, sisters.

I have three reasons:
1. We invented the sorority. 1851. Thanks, Eugenia.
2. I'm tired of being jealous of my little sister's Kappa Delta Lilly-ness.
3. They ALREADY MADE a blue-and-white lion print in the 1960's. Name? Golden Lion. The same name of the highest award an ADPi chapter can win. That, m'dears, is called destiny. And I may or may not own some pieces of it.

Let us make this happen. If you are an ADPi (or my Mama) and I discover you do not do this, I shall hunt you down. I took yoga this morning and I'm probably, like, really strong... Kidding. But seriously. Now go henceforth and email.

March 3, 2011

Further proof that I'm a mess/all over the place.

Photo courtesy of Viva Amore.

I succumbbed. I started a Tumblr page (is that what you people call them?).

I'm like that chick in Mean Girls:
"I wish I could bake a cake filled with rainbows and smiles and
everyone would eat and be happy."
"She doesn't even go here!"
"No. I just have a lot of feelings..."

Guess I have a lot of feelings. But dangit if those Tumblrs aren't a heckuva lot easier to maintain than the miniature novels I draft over here... And I can always pull the journalism major card, eh? I must constantly educate myself on social media brands and high-accessibility communication techniques, right? Riiiight.

So yeah. It's whatevs. Enjoy the picture show, y'all.

Top down and I'm at it again.

Photo courtesy of All Things Elegant.

Got a call yesterday that my schedule's changed, and I gotta rental car booked to drive to Virginia Commonwealth University on Monday, as an ADPi presentation beckons. Alas: I'm not driving there from Des Moines, never you fear. I shall be in Merry Land by then. Nevertheless--TWO HOUR SOLO ROADIE! Dear iPod, prepare to be rocked.


What y'all know about Richmond? I've always wanted to pay it a visit.

March 1, 2011

Derby Days.

Photo courtesy of Hostess Blog. Most fun blog EVER.

Attention: Mint Julep Cupcakes. TSM.

I need to make these stat. Click here for recipe.

Worth it.

Alpha Delta Pi Foundation Video by Mitch Hardison.

The above Foundation video dropped at the 6 Alpha Delta Pi District Leadership Conferences across the nation this winter. If you're an ADPi and that doesn't make your heart speed up, we have an issue. Because I swear my heart rate jumps and I think for half-a-sec I could do this LC thing for 5 more years (Ha. Riiight.).

I just feel like we miss the point of sororities sometimes. We sorority squat at our little campuses and forget that women got in there and fought to make us national, then international. We forget that our chapter's donations combine with 137 others and make something big. Really big. We forget that women in our own chapters are benefitting from international scholarships and grants just to continue higher education. Now that's sisterhood. Dear everyone: Do you see what we're doing?! And ADPi is just one of 26 National Panhellenic Groups...

Suz and Tara. I love my home chapter and buddy I love RMH-Birmingham.

This is why I'll give to ADPi my whole life:
Because God used it to turn my life around.
Because it helped supply me the confidence to stand up in front of 160 women and lead them.
Then 500 women.
We're talking a girl who bought the lowest-priced diamond-shaped badge because I thought I'd only wear it once a week for 4 years, maybe give it to my kid, 
and that's it.
It gave me the tools to understand myself.
To work for something I believe in.
To meet thousands of women who believe in the same thing.
To meet role models at every turn.
Like the one last weekend that got me going on church-planting and fostering children because the gospel demands it of us...
And watch younger women grow up into these role models literally before my eyes.
Because it encourages me that I'm doing something pretty alright with my life right now.

p.s. Next life mission: Convince Greek organizations that while we're social in nature, there is a deeper reality that we can no longer raise thousands of dollars for each other's national philanthropies and call it a day. There is this thing called service. Called not calling Daddy for a check, but looking people in the eye and helping make things brighter for them. Imagine the force we could be if we reached past our wallets and committed to interacting with those we throw checks at...

Sorry, soapbox.

Aaaaaaand this post is why I work for a sorority. I would. Ha.

Meet Virginia.

I know, right? Love a good magnolia.

Okay, I'm back on track--runnin' those two ADPi leadership conferences took it out of me! While I'm waiting for my blood flow to return to normal levels of Diet Coke and Starbucks and my achilles tendon to stretch out after running around conference centers in sky-high stilettos (#sororitygirlproblems, huh?), I'll let you know how baller of a visit University of Virginia was...

University of Virginia
Charlottesville, Va.
Zeta Xi Chapter

You see, it's pretty legit collegetown. As one of my chapter sisters told me before my visit, "Ash. Dave's from Charlottesville. It's gotta be cool." Tara meant "Dave"as in "Matthews," of course, and buddy was she right.

Here's where you gotta go in Cav Country:

1. Explore. This. Campus. Classical architecture and tons of history--UVA is simply gorgeous. I'm getting sick of running in Under Armour, two layers of Lululemon, and a ear-wrap thingy, but this campus made it all worth it.

Dear Amphitheater, ya think UVA's founded on classical fundamentals? Also, Edgar Allan Poe lived in one of these rooms facing the quad. Three cheers for Annabel Lee and American poetry!

BONUS: Secret societies have been woven into UVA culture since 1825. I don't even know all of them, but during my 4 days, I noticed these: IMP, 21, Seven, and Z. Legit. They're waaay hush-hush, but they mark the properties they inhabit. Thus every ancient frat and srat house, plus like, almost all the adminstrative buildings are marked with their symbols. Sweeeeet.

2. See our pretty Alpha Delta Pi house. :) It's old and a former Alpha Tau Omega house, and during the spring and fall, they open all the french doors and tailgate. Presh.

3. UVA's preptastic level? Just go with it. I mean, ADPi and half of Greek row is on a street called "Rugby," the bookstore sells monogrammed sorority headbands, and KJP bracelets are everywhere. Adorable Madam President Carrington and I discussed her days fox hunting in England... So yeah, they're kinda preppy. I was a happy little Samford Country Club grad.

Perfect for the lake. I'd take the tanlines from one of those. Photo courtesy of Kiel James Patrick.

4. Prepare to dine, and dine well. From Basil--Mediterranean food is my second favorite food genre behind Mexican--to Baja Bean, and Bodo's Bagels to Arch's Fro-Yo, the girls treated me so well! Charlottesville has more restaurants per capita than New York City. What am I going to do when I can't explore 8 new restaurants a week?!

5. Shop "the Corner." Case in point? A shop called Finch. You blare Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros and Mumford among your adorable sundresses and I'm sold. And I will also buy your Emi-Jay hairbands because I'm a ponytail girl at heart.

Do not be decieived: "The Corner" is actually a street. Photo courtesy of Sugar Hollow.

I only wish I coulda gone to a Cavaliers b-ball game, but at least now I have a reason to visit another Kappa chapter sister starting UVA law school. Go Hoo's and go Jesska!
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