Wednesday, April 27, 2011

{ INTRODUCING... ASHLEY }



Most memorable childhood moment: My dad is a total enthusiast for life and loves to sing and dance. It was not unusual for him to grab you away from doing dishes and dance with you in the kitchen. There wasn’t ever music playing though – he would just sing a song for us, but not with the real lyrics. He would change the words to be about me or whatever else was making him happy at the time. I always knew my dad loved me and his zest for life was contagious. You couldn’t help but feel better after a whirl around the kitchen with him. Those experiences were instrumental in developing my sense of security, love and confidence.

Your best physical feature: This sounds silly but I actually really like my back, especially my shoulder blades. The funny thing is that people rarely ever see that part of my body, but maybe it makes it that much better. It’s a little hidden secret that few are privy to :)

Your best quality: Does anyone ever like this question? Here goes anyway...I really try my best to be inclusive of people. I have always been an outgoing and friendly person but as I’ve grown older I have done my best to use my talents for His purposes. I feel I can do that by inviting people out to activities and events, and helping to introduce people to each other. (With this too I’m always doing all that I can to encourage dating. I tell my awesome guy friends that they can’t just hang out with my great cute girl friends that I introduce them to; they need to take them on a date!) I also have a mass text list that I send out info to about YSA activities, as well as housing openings, opportunities to serve, or random things like helping people get paired up for a drive to Utah to split gas. I get excited when I meet someone who has just moved to Arizona and doesn’t know anyone. I know that I then have the opportunity to quickly get them connected and find good friends so they can stay strong in the Gospel and meet people to date. I truly find joy when I am involved in success stories.

Why are you ready to find Mr. Right?: Having been single for this long, I’ve had to face a lot of challenges and trials without a companion. I’ve always had an incredible amount of support from my family, friends and the Lord, but I know it would be different to have someone holding your hand through it all, and physically being there to wipe your tears at times. I’ve had to learn to be pretty strong and to be independent. I don’t want to become so adjusted to being on my own though that I don’t know how to be interdependent, to really rely on someone and allow them in to help me.
My sister, who got married at 25, once said that she realized that there were some things that the Lord knew she would learn better single, than she would married. I think that has been true in my life. I am so grateful for the many experiences that have taught me so much about loving other people, seeing them as children of God, about relying on the Lord through tough times, and about how to be happy with your life and make the most of your current situation. I think these lessons will be invaluable to me as a wife and mother.
But I know that I can only progress so far in life and the Gospel without a companion. I’d really like to get to that stage of my life. I want to be able to give of myself and work towards perfection together. I am very happy now, but I know that the greatest joy comes from serving others and a marriage and family are the ultimate way in which you can really serve someone else. I’m ready for Mr. Right!

What would your last boyfriend say about you?: I think my last boyfriend would say that I was really thoughtful. He would tell me that I was “always looking out for [him]”. I’m a believer in hand written notes, in little gifts that have thought behind them – a favorite candy bar or drink just because, a “Finals Survival Kit”, etc.
He’d also tell you that I love spreadsheets. He always gave me a hard time for all the spreadsheets I’d make for things: family reunion schedule, to-do checklists, tracking how much I spend on birthday and wedding gifts (I told you I like to give gifts, but I have to keep myself in check!), I was in charge of the budget for my last two siblings’ weddings, you get the point :)

Most embarrassing moment?: When I was in high school, swing dancing was becoming very popular. I went to a stake dance where they were giving swing instructions beforehand. I felt incredibly lucky to be paired with a tall and strong young man who had been swing dancing many times so he knew what he was doing. As we went through the various moves they taught we were doing great. Then the instructor showed us a move that my partner had never actually done before, where the guy flips the girl over his back. Pretty simple move.
Everyone gave it a try and then we for some reason were just a few paces behind everyone when we tried the move. Unfortunately we’d made a fatal mistake – we had locked arms opposite of the way we were supposed to. So as I came flipping over his back, suddenly his elbows and arms were not there to hold me up and I smacked the floor with a hard thud. I was completely sprawled out on my stomach! And since everyone else had already finished the move before us, they were all witness to the terrible sight. Good thing I was wearing shorts under my skirt! But the whole rest of the night I had people coming up to me saying “Oh my gosh, are you okay? That looked horrible!” Yep, it was. But, we redeemed ourselves by doing an awesome sequence of difficult moves during the actual dance. So the bruised ego was eased a bit, but the bruised knees didn’t go away quite so quickly...

Greatest accomplishment so far: To me, my greatest accomplishment is that I have never done anything to disgrace my family name. I actually love that my parents didn’t give me a middle name, with the intention that my maiden name would become my middle name. I’m very proud of the Chapman name and the heritage that comes with it, of many faithful members of the Church going back to the pioneers. The same is true on my mom’s side, the Washburn’s. I’ve always appreciated the emphasis that the Church puts on heritage, and honoring the names that you take upon yourself – the most important being that of the Lord’s at baptism. I have always been temple worthy and I think that’s the greatest respect that I could pay to both the Lord’s name and the Chapman name.

What is one of your quirks?: I’m pretty particular about how the dishwasher is loaded. I’m all about efficiency, and I’m really logical, so it makes sense to me to put the plates together, and the bowls together, etc. You can fit more in that way, and it’s easier when it’s time to unload when you can just scoop up all of the same dishes together. I blame my parents for making me this way :) But if it doesn’t get loaded “the right” way, it’s certainly not the end of the world.

Worst Date: I’ve actually been very lucky to have a lot of great dates and can really only think of 2 that I would put in the “bad date” category. One of them occurred my freshmen year at BYU when I got setup with a guy that lived out of town. I realized that he didn’t know the area, but I was surprised when he picked me up, said he had no idea where to eat, and asked me where I wanted to go to dinner. I guess I assumed he would have thought about that, talked to people, and at least had suggestions for me (perhaps I was too idealistic as a freshman). But these were the days before smart phones and GPS, which certainly would have made his situation harder. Thinking quickly, I suggested the most stereotypical date location in Provo – Los Hermanos (yep, you know you’ve been there!).
Over dinner, I noticed my date’s eyes continually dropping from my eyes to my chest, or at least my neck area – somewhere down there anyway. It was really making me uncomfortable! I wasn’t wearing a low cut or revealing shirt in the least. I did however, realize that I was wearing a necklace I had borrowed from my roommate that had a large pendant and certainly could be distracting. I determined that this must be the focal point, and that he was just really nervous, but man oh man did I feel awkward! Never did wear that necklace again…
I can converse fairly well with just about anyone. But the conversation with this guy was really lagging, which is always a bad sign to me. One of the biggest things I look for is how I connect with a guy on a conversation level – it should be easy, engaging, uplifting. Those words definitely did not describe the way I felt at that moment.
As we left the restaurant he said, “Well, what do you want to do now?” Again, he apparently had not come up with any ideas and it was left to me to come up with something. We drove around for a bit as I tried to think of what to do. Let me say here that I do not envy the men in having to always come up with things to do. It’s not easy! But it is so very appreciated. Sidebar aside, I finally suggested a movie and he jumped at the opportunity. Normally I don’t like movies on a first date since you don’t get to talk. In this case, I was happy to have the excuse not to talk anymore.
However, when we arrived at the theater we had just missed the round of movies starting, so we had to wait another hour and a half for the next movie to start! The poor guy, I really feel like the cards were just stacked against him at this point. But we made it through the time with menial conversation and then watched the movie.
Truly it wasn’t a horrible date, but certainly not a great one.

Best Date: At BYU, creative dates are fairly normal, almost the standard. Having been graduated for several years, I’d almost forgotten what a really well themed and planned out date was like. That changed when I went out with a guy in Arizona who had gone to college in an area where there weren’t a lot of LDS girls to date. Since he hadn’t dated a lot, I think this prevented him from getting burned out on having to be creative with dates and so I was the beneficiary of a very well planned date. He called it “The Ocean Date”, but I wasn’t aware of the theme until we arrived at the restaurant for dinner.
We started with dinner at Joe’s Crab Shack, and then we went to a lake in one of the nearby neighborhoods. We went out on a little dock and he then explained that we were going to build paper boats and see whose was better. I loved the idea of a little competition but it was also so fun to work together to try and decipher the directions and actually make the boats properly. Work is a big component of marriage and so I love any opportunity I have to work on projects with guys I go out with, to see how we interact and support each other. I had previously said to my date that I try to be pretty “green” with recycling, water usage, etc. He had remembered that and so rather than bring fresh sheets of paper to make the boats with, he had brought papers that were printed on but no longer needed. The attention to detail was amazing! Once we put our boats out to sea, mine actually did float faster and stayed dry longer. But it was a success together in my mind.
The setting for the paper boats was great – water is just always soothing and romantic. We sat on the dock and talked for awhile. But then it was off to the next portion of the date! We stopped by a grocery store and headed toward the ice cream aisle. I was starting to think along his lines and so I said “Phish food?” Ding, ding, ding! We went back to the house and he said we’d be playing a game while we ate the ice cream. “Go Fish?” I queried. Correct again! Apparently I was passing the test and so after the game I made it to the last round of the date, which was watching Ocean’s Twelve. A perfect way to end the evening.
All in all, it was such a fun date that had variety, allowing us to see each other in lots of different settings. I felt like I’d had the equivalent of 4 dates in getting to know him. I certainly do not expect dates to always be that extravagant. A simple dinner to chat and get to know each other totally works for me. But I did feel very special that he would put that much effort into it. Definitely the best date ever!

Did you serve a mission? If so where did you go and what would the elders say about you?: I didn’t serve a mission and ironically enough it’s because I didn’t want to delay the opportunity to get married. Obviously I’ve had enough time now to have served multiple missions. It was actually just recently that I decided that if I’m not married by the time I’m 40 then I’ll serve a mission on my own. By then I wouldn’t really be able to have children of my own anyway. Otherwise, I really look forward to being able to serve a mission with my future husband as a couple. And as they say, every member a missionary, right?

What did you study in school and why? Where did you go to college?: I went to BYU which was one of the best choices I’ve ever made. I made so many friends, attended incredible classes – both secular and spiritual, was able to enjoy lots of sporting events (although the football team was pretty dismal while I was there...), and loved spending time with my siblings who were there and really developing relationships with each of them as we all became adults.
I studied Leisure Services Management with a minor in Business. I didn’t know my freshmen year exactly what I wanted to do, but when looking through a catalog of majors I saw “Recreation Management and Youth Leadership”. The “Youth Leadership” is the part that caught my eye. I had served in Student Council in Elementary, Middle and High School and I liked the idea of being involved in that. As I looked more into the major I discovered that you could emphasize in Leisure Services Management. As I reflected on what I really enjoyed about Student Council, I realized that it was the event planning portion, for the assemblies, the dances, etc. even more than the leadership aspect. Event planning was truly my passion and the major seemed the perfect fit. Though the major was sometimes seen as the “slack off major”, I did it because I was truly passionate about the topic, and I really enjoyed. I was surprised though by how much I loved my classes for my business minor. I had worried that business would be too boring for me, but throughout college and my career I have really come to love business. I actually listen to audio books about business all the time.

What is one thing that not a lot of people know about you that you want to share here with the world?: Not everyone knows that I like cars/motorcycles and driving fast, and even used to have a car that was tricked out to be a legitimate race car. We’re talking turbo engine, chipped, cold air intake, race valve, diverter valve, sway bars, and adjustable sport struts and shocks. It was as Jetta 1.8T which doesn’t seem like much, but with all the upgrades, when the car was dyno’ed, it showed 245whp and 195wtq. When I’d race people on the streets, you could always tell how surprised they were when I blew them off the line (and yes, they knew we were racing!). She was my baby. But she ended up being too expensive to maintain, especially right out of college, so I had to give her up. An ultimate fantasy of mine is to drag race my dream car, a 1970 Chevy Chevelle SS Hardtop Coupe. Black with white racing stripes of course.

33 comments:

Andrea said...

I don't even know this girl but she is by far my favorite. You should pick her!!!

Jess Hardy said...

Ash is sooo much fun to be around. She deserves to find the man of her dreams! Go Ashley!

Collin and Traci said...

Ashley is the most amazing person I know. It is a privilege and blessing to know her. TMB would not be disappointed by making Ashley the next Mormon Bachelorette. Promise!

Jen said...

She seems like she has the entire package. She'd be great as the next bachelorette!

The Chrissy Herself said...

Ashley is hands-down my fave!!

Megs said...

She is even more darling in person! Good luck Ash!

Brent's Mom said...

Ashley is the most amazing young woman I know outside of my own children! I was her teacher in Seminary and I can say that she is firmly planted in the Gospel and loves the Lord! She was a joy and a pleasure to teach. I love her so much! Good Luck Ashley!

meredith conroy said...

i like her. i dont know her, but i like her! Go ashley!

Jared said...

I love ashley! we hung out at EFY together and she is the most incredible girl ever! she would make the perfect Mormon Bachelorette!!!

Dawn said...

She should DEFINITELY be the next Mormon Bachelorette!!!

Kimberlee said...

Ash is the best and she deserves the best!! She's a keeper!

Geoff said...

Alright, she gets massive props for loving a 70 Chevelle SS. I assume she means with the LS6 454 and a cowl induction hood, of course. I prefer the 1967 SS 427 in forest green, but to each their own. The 1970 SS is one of the most powerful production cars ever built. Solid choice all around.

She loses points for using The Bieb, though. Sad, but true.

WebDev said...

I'm going to say that you should def be on this!

Myrtle Beach Week said...

Adorable, "real" girl...seems like such a great person! Love the way she seems so well-rounded with sports and the tomboyish things, but then the dancing and baking, etc... will make someone a really beautiful wife!

sleepless said...

Ashley is totally awsome....what is WRONG with single LDS guys out there ???!!!

Ward said...

def sign this girl up...

Cathi said...

Ashley and I have been friends since we were in first grade. She's everything and more than what you see here and would be an awesome choice!

Angie Whitman said...

Ash, could you be any cuter?!?! She's got everything going for her and a beautiful voice, too... wish we had heard you sing! Maybe on your next video??:) I hope they pick you!

Allie said...

Ashley for sure should be the next Mormon Bachelorette! She is an amazing girl and deserves someone equally amazing!!

Kristy {Sweet Treats and More} said...

I'm just an acquaintance, but I know people who know Ashley and they all LOVE her and have nothing but great things to say about her. So I want her to be the next MB and hope she finds that special someone!

Lowgrass said...

My favorite! Ashley by far.

shilo said...

I was really surprised to hear Ashley was applying to be on TMB. I haven't seen her for a while and I assumed she was already married to the luckiest guy ever. She is so amazing. I would LOVE to watch her find happiness...and be entertained. Win-win, right?

Shawn and Mary said...

I'm totally for ashley!

Ingrid said...

Ashley is absolutely the best pick!! She is the most amazing person ever and deserves the best. She is so balanced...sweet, thoughtful, friendly, fun and one tough cookie. I just love Ashley!!! Pick Ashley, pick Ashley!!!

Carissa Rasmussen said...

So true about the dishwasher loading...ash really does know how to talk to anyone and everyone. And she does it so well. Her family is awesome and they all sing fantastic. Everyone would definitely enjoy watching as ash tries to find mr right.

carly said...

Definitely pick this girl. Ashley is the best!

Grace said...

Hoping Ashley is the next Mormon bachelorette.

Jamie Pearce said...

Ashley is incredible! She has blessed my life as well as SO many others. She is so selfless and a total blast to be with. Some guy is going to be so lucky one day (hopefully soon)! :) Love you Ashley!

Rhonda said...

Ashley is the one! I don't know her but I would enjoy watching her journey.

Annie said...

She wears aprons and jersies!

Monique said...

She is the most FUN and down to earth person. She is never boring and can make any room brighter with just her presence! Love you SMASH!

Monique said...

Oh, you should hear her sing and bust a move! Holla!

i kiss better than i cook said...

Congrats!!! I'm certain that u don't remember me Ashley but I say with you during the dinner portion of a lu'ua. You were in palo alto visiting I think for work and my friend & I thought you were in town to visit brian who we assumed you were dating. Anyhow you are awesome and my friend Julie and I really enjoyed meeting you. You told us that you had actually just met Brian but somehow you were extremely comfortable and engaging as if you'd known him for years, you seriously had us fooled. Lol I guess you are just that awesome that you really can make friend with anyone.