When I started thinking about this post a few weeks ago I started off by jotting down names and then adding, crossing off, making notes and brainstorming. When I looked at my list yesterday I realized that I was actually planning an epic girls night :) This works because I LOVE a good girls night with nothing on the agenda except for good conversation and great food.
In true girls night form, I would host at my house and would ask each of the attendees to bring their favorite dish to share. We'd stand around in the kitchen and talk and eat, then make our second plates and head to the family room. The night would continue WAY past the planned time and my pj-clad kids would come through and give everyone bedtime hugs while we got dessert and settled in for more chatting.
First up on my list is Reese Witherspoon. I've admired her IMMENSELY both as an actress and an advocate for women and girls and she has always seemed so down to earth and unjaded by the extremely public life she lives. I love that when she got upset about how not a single studio was working on a film with a female lead she didn't whine or wallow, she did something about it and started her own production company.
"We deserve better," she said. "It’s great to speak up, but what I really think is you’ve got to do something."
I also love that she partnered with other high profile women as part of the #askhermore campaign during Hollywood's Awards Season. Encouraging the media to focus on what causes women support, what they've accomplished and what they're passionate about instead of simply what they're wearing is such a strong message to send and I love that she did it so boldly.
I think Reese would have some great stories of being an actress as well as a mom and I have a feeling she'd bring something "down home" to share. And I'm not even going to pretend... there's no way I would pass up the opportunity to do a scene (or two) from Legally Blonde with her :) #bendandsnap
Next on my list would be Amy Poehler. She didn't make the list simply because she's hilariously funny (I am a HUGE Parks and Rec fan!), but because I am in love with her organization Smart Girls. The organization was co-founded by Amy to motivate young girls to "Change the world by being yourself". They emphasize intelligence and imagination over fitting in and celebrate curiosity over gossip. They're a place where girls can truly be their weird and wonderful selves. How awesome is that?!?!
In my own career I love fostering individuality and talk often about being your own self is the easiest self to be and would LOVE to chat it up with Amy about her passion for Smart Girls as well as her career on TV and in movies. PLUS, I bet she'd end up doing a few of her SNL impressions after we all settled in and I wouldn't hate to see that. Oh, and she's most definitely bring waffles to share as a nod to all things Pawnee (if you have no clue what I'm talking about, start watching Parks and Rec ASAP!)
Laura Bush is next on my list because I think that she is so elegant and poised while still seeming warm and approachable. I would love to hear her perspective on her time as First Lady and would most definitely like to pick her brain as an educator.
As refined and poised as she always appears, I loved reading that as First Lady of Texas she preferred grungy Mexican restaurants, shopped at Wal-Mart and flew on budget airlines. My hope would be that Mrs. Bush would show up with a bag of gas station tacos to share. hahaha (PS - some of the best tacos I've had are from the back of a gas station here in McKinney).
The next attendee would probably insist that we play a round of Tri-Ominos and, if I had my way, would bring a BIG pot of her homemade chicken noodle soup. My mom's mom, my Oma, has always been one of my very favorite people - and not just because she would sneak down to my room after bedtime and eat cheeseballs in bed with me :)
She is fun and funny and she loves to shop. She is ALWAYS up for a game and has left a lasting impression of the importance of serving others on my heart. Whenever we visited her and my Opa she would have me tag along to visit a nursing home and on our nightly walks around her neighborhood we would often stop in to visit with an elderly widow who lived down the street from her. She is always visiting, volunteering and caring for others in small, simple ways.
After World War II, she and my grandfather left everything they knew in Holland and immigrated to Canada to make a better life for themselves. I can't fathom leaving the only place I'd ever lived to get on a boat to the unknown and I so admire the bravery it took them to do that as well as the strength and determination she possessed to make a life (and a great one) in a completely new place. I would love for Oma to get to share her stories of living in occupied Holland and immigrant life with the other guests and I'm not kidding when I tell you that she'd have everyone playing a card game by night's end.
My next guest is a more obscure one, Henrietta Mears. I read about her several years ago and was inspired by her as sort of this behind the scenes power house when it comes to evangelical Christianity. Henrietta was the founder of the Sunday School program at Hollywood Presbyterian Church in the 1920's - she never married, wore flamboyant clothes (holla!!!) and young people flocked to her.
She never preached from a pulpit, but through her motherly influence and care, Biblical teaching and emphasis on complete surrender to Christ she played a huge influential role in lives of Bill Bright (the founder of Campus Crusade for Christ), Jim Rayburn (the founder of Young Life) and Billy Graham among others.
I would be excited to see what she'd wear to Girls Night (I think she'd probably approve of my ruffle pants) and think that hearing how she helped raise up such influential and powerful leaders would be inspiring. I can imagine Henrietta attended her fair share of church potlucks, and she would probably bring a traditional potluck staple like chicken spaghetti or deviled eggs. :)
My next attendee would be Kate Middleton. I have lots of questions for the Duchess and I want the inside scoop on all things Royal. Obviously I don't know her, but I feel like from how she's portrayed in the media she seems fairly "normal" and I think it would be so interesting to have "mom talk" with someone who leads a completely different lifestyle. I'd hope she'd bring some fantastic English Breakfast Tea and scones for the party and she just got bangs - so she and I are pretty much besties already :)
Last on my list is Oprah Winfrey. I have vivid memories of coming home from school and finding a snack on the table, my mom on her feet at the counter cooking dinner and Oprah on on the TV in our sun room. I've always found her personal story both fascinating and inspiring and think that, obviously, she'd have a lot to add to the conversation. Can you even imagine the stories she would bring to a girls night?
I'd hope that Gayle would tag along and that at some point in the evening Oprah would instruct us to all reach under our seats where we would discover a fabulous cupcake and/or keys to a new car :)
I had so much fun putting this post together and I hope that you enjoyed reading about my ultimate girls night. I'm looking forward to seeing who you'd invite to your parties. Happy Tuesday, Friends!