About Me

Hi, my name is Ashley. Here’s some info about me. I tried to make this short, but that’s not really how I get down, so you get the non-TL;DR version, and if you read the whole thing then you get a major high five from me! Tell you what – I’ll bold the major points and you can skim.

~ I’m in my mid 30s. I don’t mind saying exactly how old I am, but I know I’d forget to update this. So, mid-30s should last me a while, right?

~ I’m married and have three kids. Most, but not all, of my peers are just now catching up to me in this regard – I started young. My oldest two are finishing up elementary school and my youngest will start school soon. They are awesome and challenging and I feel as though I’ve won the kid lottery. I wonder what horrible episode of SVU will befall my family because I feel as though we’ve had it way too easy with our kids. They rock that hard.

My husband is hilarious, hot, is totally into music and does an amazing job as a coach and mentor. He’s in school to become a teacher and has already made a huge difference in the lives of the many kids he’s coached over the last decade. He’s also a part-time stay-at-home-dad and does an amazing job of it. He’s the one who takes care of emergencies and drops what he’s doing when something needs to be handled – and sometimes what he’s doing is school or work. We don’t live a traditional life in that respect and it can be hard becaue people don’t always respect the way we live our lives, but . . . it works for us, we’ve overcome all kinds of obstacles and are raising amazing kids, so I figure people will just have to deal.

~ I grew up in Kansas but now live in the Chicago area. I get very excited anytime I come across someone displaying anything related to KS. You should have seen me go nuts the year KU played in the NCAA championship at the United Center (where the Chicago Bulls and Blackhawks play). We drove by and I was leaning out the car window, screaming, “I’M FROM KANSAS!!! ROCK CHALK!!!!!”

I’m very nostalgic about my upbringing in Kansas, but having moved to a more liberal place, don’t know if I could happily live in Kanas again. This makes me sad because my family is still there and I miss them a lot.

I live in the suburbs and happily commute an hour each day to Chicago for work. My time on the train is my "me" time - I read, nap, social mediate . . . if I worked in the suburbs I'd miss that time and my exposure to one of the greatest cities on the planet (and yes, I do venture out of downtown! Proud to say I've traveled the entire city via public transportation and I know my way around better than some who were born here. Get out and learn your city, geez).

~ I’m White and my husband is Black and our kids are both. We talk about race just about daily. Race is very interesting to me and I like to talk about it. I feel it’s important that I start (and continue) conversations about race with my White peers, especially. We’ve been taught it’s impolite to discuss race and that we’re not supposed to see race, but that’s 1) impossible and 2) damaging. We can’t improve if we can’t acknowledge, y’all. Let’s talk.

~ I was raised by quietly liberal parents who value hard work, service, philanthropy and The Golden Rule. I was also raised in mostly conservative Christian churches (hi Kansas!) and for a significant portion of my life, was a very devout, though mostly liberal, Christian. I am no longer a Christian. One day my in-laws will learn this and I will be in a heap of trouble with them.

~ I have an Etsy shop where I sell knitted and sewn accessories. I never saw myself as very creative, or an artist, but looking back at my life, it turns out I’ve been pursuing creative arts for as long as I can remember. I learned to knit, made some cup cozies for co-workers, they said, “You should sell these!” and I thought about my friend Ngan’s awesome Etsy shop . . . and I did it! I’ve been pretty successful, but I don’t see it ever becoming a booming business or a full-time venture. I don’t know that I would want it to. I really like my day job.

~ My day job? I work in higher education. I work in small niche graduate school and split my time between academic policy & diversity work.

~ I am ¼ of the team behind Handmade Ryan Gosling. I started it after admiring the work of the other Hey Girl tumblrs, and asked 3 Chicago-area crafty friends to help, and they quickly jumped in and we became a team. It took off and we had a 2-week run where it was just all over the place. It’s slowed down (as expected – shoot, we never thought it would be as popular as it became!) but we’re still having fun with it and have a couple ideas for fun interactions with those who love and follow it – this will come in early 2012. I do love me some Ryan G. but he wasn’t even my most crushed-after celeb . . . I think it’s probably too late to do Ben Affleck/Kevin McKidd/Mos Def tumblrs, right? Anyway, we’re having a lot of fun with it and probably the best part isn’t even looking up images of Ryan G. (GOOD LORD THE MAN IS BEAUTIFUL), it’s the make-me-cry-and-snort-and-sometimes-do-the-silent-laugh-for-15-seconds-before-finally-taking-a-ginormous-gulp-of-air submissions for the site from our followers. YOU GUYS ROCK.

~ I could keep going on and on but I suppose the last important thing to share about myself is that I am a music nerd. Over my life I’ve learned to play a couple instruments, sung in lots of choirs and musical productions and karaoke bars, and used to be a total music snob even though deep down I knew I would never stop loving New Kids On The Block (seen them twice - I love you Jordan and Donnie!). I still love quizzing people about their taste in music but I’m less judgy about it now. That’s how I met my husband, in fact. Anyway – I listen to music all the time, I get very excited about finding new music to love, I love to meet people who love the same stuff I do. I don’t go to live shows the way I used to but I’m going to change that. Some of my favorites: Beastie Boys, Indigo Girls, The Beach Boys, Jason Mraz, Eagles, Mos Def, KRS-One, NKOTB, Fleet Foxes, Avett Bros, Brandi Carlile, Miguel, Specials, The Police, U2, Patsy Cline, The Everly Bros, Digable Planets, Mamas and the Papas, John Barry, 311, Glen Hansard, Frankie Valli, Michael Jackson, Jack White, Jeff Buckley, Sara Groves, Fred Hammond, Tye Tribbett, The Shins, Travis, A Tribe Called Quest, Weezer, The Beatles, CCR, The Doors, The Turtles . . . and I could go on. Give me a sweet melody, some harmony and a big swell, and I’m hooked.
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