Saying Yes & Following The Path Of Fulfillment

I have been struggling lately. I have been struggling with the question, “Who am I?” There are so many possible labels: a wife, a friend, a Christian, an advocate, a member of my community, a woman, a dreamer, a runner, an organizer, a finance assistant, a blogger. Yet when I consider those labels, I don’t feel I embody any of them completely. I have this unrelenting  want to add the word “BETTER” before each title. I want to be a better wife, a better friend, a better Christian, etc. All at once. All together. All to perfection. And as I wonder about who I am, I begin to feel overwhelmed with disappointment at my elusive potential.

That is where my biggest struggle lies: in the want to be “better” than how I perceive myself. Focusing on that want which seems so unfathomable, unapproachable, and unreachable, I recognize I am viewing my life from the base of a gigantic mountain. I can see multiple trails I could claim as my path, each with a directional sign reading who I yearn to be. Yet I feel if I choose one path, then the others will go unaltered. Never being explored, never being grown, never being conquered.

Smarter hikers than I would venture down a path to see where it leads and then retrace their footsteps to explore another trail. Stronger hikers than I would choose one path, complete it, and return to the beginning to begin anew. Not me though. I want to take all the paths at once without giving any specific label up. All or nothing is what I felt was necessary to give my life meaning and purpose.  Continue reading “Saying Yes & Following The Path Of Fulfillment”

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And I Thought Life Would Slow Down…

Somehow I thought Life would slow down once the wedding was over. What a naive little bride-to-be I was!

Hello, friends, and let me apologize for my absence this month so far. I know, I know, I promised many upcoming posts on the adventures of being a newlywed and delicious recipes and fun DIY home decorating ideas and, and, and…

I’m sorry.

This is my first post in August. I’m sorry. Life has been so hectic for G and me over the past month, and I am finally catching a little bit of breath tonight to at least sit down and let you all know why I have been MIA.

Continue reading “And I Thought Life Would Slow Down…”

House Hunting Adventures v. 1

I know I’ve mentioned it a few times before, but here it is officially: G and I are house hunting. Our current apartment lease is up in August, but we have the option to renew for another year if we would like. Though it looks like this is the most likely route we will take, we are casually working with a realtor and viewing potential houses. It has been a fun experience so far because we are able to see what we like and dislike, what we’re willing to compromise and not, and not feeling rushed as we look.

The Michigan housing market where we live is absolutely crazy. There are double the buyers than there are sellers, and that leads to many houses only being on the market for hours before they’re under contract. Though we do not feel rushed to purchase a home, if we ever do come across one we love and can picture as our own home, then we have to be prepared to JUMP. Luckily we haven’t felt that urge yet, but we sure have come across some very unique adventures in the houses we have viewed…

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The Ugliness of Self-Care

Today I want to talk about self-care. True self-care. Not the romanticized and trendy version the world is constantly pushing down our throats. Not the bath bombs and face masks and #treatyourself high-dollar purchases and ritual meditations the world seems so eager to focus on for peak lifestyles.

No, I’m talking about real self-care. The self-care that is often a very unbeautiful thing.

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5 Reasons To Hire A Resume Writing Service

G and I have been trying to truly #adult now that we’re all married and whatnot. Meaning we’re dead-set on knocking out all our debt, working out ingenious ways to not cause additional debt (like cooking all meals at home and creating no-cost date nights), and casually house hunting to ultimately tumble into “better” debt someday in our future. Basically, we’re carefully stepping onto every floating log across the wide moat of adulthood.

While continuously praying we don’t slip…

In all honesty, though, I am proud of how reasonable each of us are discussing the budgeting and financial talks that make up all marriages. We’re no longer two people working two separate jobs with two separate pocket books to buy what we please. We’re a family aiming for specific goals. We’re a team.

And as a dutiful teammate, I have been thinking about possible ways I can increase our household income to push my student debt out the window and allow another door (hopefully a LITERAL one) to open. This means I have been taking a good, long look at my personal resume and how I might tweak it to fit a part-time job and added responsibilities.

I like to think I am a gifted resume writer. I took a technical writing class in college solely focused on professional documents like resumes and cover letters. Yet when I talked with some of my friends about the elements I should and should not include for a part-time job resume, I was a bit surprised when one friend mentioned inquiring into a resume writing service. Little did I know there was such professions out there! Some research into this unique career gave me a bit of fodder for an #adulting post, and I thought what better place to share my findings than with you all! So for anyone else seeking a little bit of a push in their professional arenas, this might be the exact sort of service you’ve been seeking…

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A Slow Return

I’m here. Physically, but not really mentally. Mentally I am still in beautiful Tennessee, sitting in a rocking chair with G beside me as we look out over the Smokies from our remote cabin. It has been four days since we left our humble honeymoon abode, and I’m still pining after the memories of that perfect cabin and even more perfect vacation with my husband. (Eek! I cannot get enough of saying that word!)

Luckily, work missed me so much that I have had plenty of projects to keep me grounded in Michigan upon my return. Following work I’ve been getting into the swing of your typical duo-working married life at home: chores, dinner, working out, time together, somewhat early bedtime to start it all over again. I’m finally catching my breath after putting away all our wedding gifts and unpacking from the trip in order to send out a little note to the blogosphere.

I’m excited to begin posts again. Next week I’ll be continuing with Savory Sundays as well as beginning Wedding Wednesdays, which will be posts specifically geared towards all things weddings. I’ll catch up on some topics I wasn’t able to capture before June 16th as well as touch on some things I’m starting to realize now that my wedding is complete. Otherwise, Uncorking Peonies is about to begin writing on some new material never before ventured upon by me: newlywed life. Be it a look at how to maneuver this new way of living, budget-friendly do-it-yourself projects, or methods to better my life, I’m looking forward to sharing more Lifestyle posts with you all!

So with all that joining the mess already going on in my brain — those darn mountains are constantly trying to push all other thoughts out — I say cheers to the future and a thank you for continuing to follow me along this journey.

You’re all the best,

Advice To Myself At 18-Years-Old

Last Friday G and I were leaving the county clerk’s office to apply for our marriage license when we ran into one of my high school teachers. Even though I graduated eight years ago (O.M.G. has it truly been that long ago?!) we recognized one another right away. Partly due to me working for him at summer camp for several years, but also because I come from a high school boasting an average of 30 graduating students each year. In other words, there aren’t that many students to forget.

After a bit of catching up, I asked him how his school year had gone and how many more days until summer break. I don’t keep up with my old high school so I was surprised to hear the senior class would be graduating the next day. The whole encounter had me vaguely reminiscing on the past and all the changes which have happened since I stood on the stage myself in my cap and gown.

Then today my Facebook’s daily memory was of my graduation. Looking through my FB photo album of that day in 2010 had so many memories flowing.  I could recall the feelings on that day: the fears of the future, the thrill of college looming, the excitement of my first summer as an “adult.” It was like looking into the life of a stranger. There have been many lessons learned since that day. So many experiences have brought me to where I am today and molded me into this 26-year-old Ashley.

The memories continued as I was lazily scrolling one of my nightly go-to apps and came across a great question posted by RobbeVermont. The user asked,  “What is something you wished you knew when you were 18 years old?” And as I read through the vast majority of the 10,800+ comments I realized so many of the life advice being provided were 110% on the money. Pulling all three discoveries together — the run-in with my teacher, the flashback of my graduation, and this Reddit question — I started listing a few key topics I wished I’d known upon leaving high school and considered what difference hearing that advice as an 18-year-old would have made. Perhaps none, but then again, maybe some…

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Maximizing Small Spaces: Coffee & Wine Bar

If you’re a newlywed or going to be a newlywed soon, chances are you’re weathering the challenges merging two lives brings to the table. This may include attempting to make room in the closet for a second person, trying to “de-feminize” every little accent in the living room, or clearing a few drawers in the bathroom. You are soon going to find that another person moving into your bachelorette pad means making a few sacrifices. But that doesn’t mean you have to give up style!

For G and I we are creating our first home in my current apartment, a cute little space in our sleepy downtown beach town. With a little less than 800 square feet, our home is tight as we begin moving G’s belongings into the space. That means the few rooms have multiple uses such as the second bedroom playing the roles of storage, office, and workout station, and the dining room also acting as craft room, library, and drink bar. So as we trek into “spring cleaning” and looking to donate any items throughout our two stocks of belongings, the question of essentials comes to mind. Today I wanted to touch on how you can keep style with your coffee and wine bar while utilizing the best spaces available.

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Blog Update: New Additions & Focused Direction

The wedding is almost a month away and with that quickly approaching date I have been doing a lot of thinking in terms of where I would like Uncorking Peonies to go from there. With talking to a few friends who are some of my regular readers (hey lovelies!), I was happy to hear I am not the only one who would be sad to see the blog end. So! With a bit of soul-searching and advice-seeking, I am excited to launch a few new features onto Uncorking Peonies this coming week.

Uncorking Peonies will continue to be my little bubble into the wedding and event world since I have experience and passion for that arena. There will be plenty still to discuss even after I am no longer a bride-to-be! However, there is going to be plenty to talk about as I transition from a single woman to a wife. From the victories and falterings of the newlywed life to creating a home in a small apartment as we save to become homeowners to balancing social lives outside our marital obligations, I can only imagine the fun lessons I’ll learn over the next year (and rest of my life!) Marriage is going to be work, but I have the best partner in the business, so Uncorking Peonies is expanding to encompass all the highs and lows that are sure to come.

Continue reading “Blog Update: New Additions & Focused Direction”