Goodbye.

Six years ago I embarked on the journey of sharing my thoughts, emotions, and life with you across the vast blogosphere. You have been beside me through broken hearts, questioning my future, career transitions, rediscovering my faith, lost friendships, the joys of milestones, and planning an entire wedding. You have witnessed me fail. You have lifted me during my lows. You have cheered my successes, and you have encouraged my growth.

Uncorking Peonies, once Peonies ‘n Mint, began as a method to express my feelings and muddle through some of my darkest moments. Throughout the years, I have cried many tears as I typed the words kept within the digital confines of this blog. Then it became a fun endeavor of tracking our wedding planning and entering the newlywed lifestyle. Now, though, I struggle to find a direction for Uncorking Peonies to focus.

Additionally, as a new year comes and goes, I have taken into account the priorities in my life, and — being the anxious person that I am — the weight of wanting to write consistent posts has laid heavily on my mind while the busyness of life continues around me. With increasing work responsibilities, home obligations, personal development goals, marathon training, and the desire to find stillness every day, some past passions must be let go. The spark for my most in-depth pieces has been snuffed by a stronger flame of happiness and contentment. Life is good, but sharing my mundane daily habits was never the purpose for this blog. Its purpose, I believe, has been achieved. In its own little right, Uncorking Peonies paints a picture of loss and grief, and the various avenues it took to overcome those dark places and the people who and methods which assisted me along the way.

With this consideration, the time has come for me to say goodbye to this beautiful little reminder of God’s grace and His bigger plans (and sometimes unanswered prayers) along the way of becoming who I am presently.

So to all of you who have stopped by my little corner throughout the past six years, thank you for your valuable time, thoughtful words, and sweet messages during this journey. I am forever indebted to you for allowing me to escape my shell and share the sporadic thoughts of a wine-loving Michigan girl stumbling through her twenties.

With all my love, cheers, my friends,
Ashley

2019 In Reflection

As usual, Life is passing by at an alarming speed, but I could not miss my annual tradition of sitting down at the keyboard to reflect on this past year… and decade as a whole. Since 2014 I have looked back at each year and shared some of the highlights in my life. So here I am, at it again:

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3 Big Goals For My 28th Year

It has been a couple of weeks since I turned 28, but as each day has ended I’ve found myself contemplating where I want to be in a year’s time. I have so many passions and I have so many dreams, yet I have so little time in my schedule to fit them all into my life! So, I have decided to set three BIG goals for myself to complete before my 29th birthday.

Want to find out the goals I’ve set to make my 28th year the most creative and educating year yet? Keep reading…

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100,000 Miles Behind Me (And Another Birthday)

As I was returning home from CrossFit on Monday, my odometer rolled into the six digits. My Ford Escape, Capri, which I bought in 2014 new with only 17 miles has taken me on a lot of journeys: Tennessee, Indy, Pictured Rocks, Finger Lakes, Maine. “He” gets me from Point A to Point B daily, and as the numbers flipped to all zeros, I had to smile at all the memories made inside my little ride.

In a similar fashion, my own odometer flipped a number today. I am now 28-years-old, and though most days I feel like I should not be so close to the big 3-0, today I am thankful for the years behind me. It has become a bit of a tradition for me to write birthday posts full of those memories (see 2018, 2016, 2015, and 2014) This year I figured it might be about time to share a few facts about myself to allow my readers to get to know me a bit better. So, here I am…

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FALLing Back Into The Swing Of Things

Summer is officially over, ya’ll. Autumn is here, and with that means all things I love: pumpkin spice, Hocus Pocus, apple picking, hayrides, bonfires, flannel shirts, crisper temperatures, dry reds, and coloring leaves. Autumn also means Life should be slowing down… ha! As if! But even though Life still steams ahead at a ridiculously fast pace, I am back on the keyboard punching a word here or there for you, my little winos. So to those I haven’t spoken to in awhile: hello again, friends. And to those wandering across this blog for the first time: hello and welcome.

Since my last post, many changes have occurred in my world and as I move forward with the remainder of 2019 and start thinking of 2020, I would like to touch upon some of those “new things” in my life:

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Hello Sunshines…

A little note of apology for being MIA, and saying I probably will continue to be gone until summer slows down. G and I are working like crazy on the exterior of our house so my nights have been busy and weekends are packed with other social obligations. Copper continues to be the most precious pup in the world, work is moving along swimmingly, our diet, fitness, and overall health have been great, and Life in general has never been better. Unfortunately this means the blog post ideas are currently at a standstill. Thankfully in a month’s time we will be taking our big road trip to the Northeast (I CANNOT WAIT!) and I am sure I’ll have a multitude of things to share following. Please stick with me and I will talk to you all following Labor Day — or sooner if time allows and discussions arise.

With you and for you all, friends,

Thoughts On The Bachelorette, Luke P., and Empowering Women

Previously, on The Bachelorette

Actually, that’s pretty much it so far, eh, fellow rose lovers? Ugh, please, Chris Harrison, no *clap* more *clap* recaps. This season’s The Bachelorette has enough substance that it has been extended by a week to allow an entire recap episode. Like many other watchers, I felt last week’s episode was unwanted and unnecessary. Please just give me more Tyler C., and Hannah being authentically herself. I am LIVING for the two of them!

I apologize if you are not a Bachelor/ette fan and will graciously excuse you from reading further into the coming rant. In all honesty, I have not watched the show since Jojo’s season, but when we opted for Hulu this past Spring I figured I might as well watch  Hannah and her beaus on Tuesday mornings while I get ready for the day. I went into this season with no expectations and no knowledge of Hannah “Beast” but WOW… it has been a trip, hasn’t it?

I have never considered giving my guilty pleasure recognition on this blog, but I feel like there’s some real topics needing to be discussed. Specifically, I feel the need to talk about Luke P., Hannah, and the beasts we each may face in relationships.

** Fair warning, there may be spoilers ahead! Please do not continue if you do not want to read any spoilers. 

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Dear God, Thank You

More times than I would like to admit, I catch myself only praying when I want something. I pray when I’m struggling. I pray when I need hope or insight or direction. I pray when I am feeling sad and defeated. And God is always there… even when I am not giving Him the recognition He deserves during the good times too.

So, for all those times I forget to be grateful, here are my reminders:

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My Favorite Podcasts

What did I do before podcast came into my life? I either sat in silence at work or listened to the same current Top 20 country songs on repeat during my commutes. These days, I listen to podcasts as I get ready in the morning, while I’m driving, when I meal prep for the week, and when I’m at my office desk. I hook up to the living room’s Bluetooth speaker and turn on a podcast as I clean the house or do laundry. I laugh. I nod my head. I’ve cried once or twice. And the time flies as I learn new things with every episode that passes.

In case you may be new to podcasts or if you just want some fresh ideas, I compiled a little list of my weekly listens. I use Spotify as my main podcast listening space as I have an Android, but there are apps out there specifically for podcasting listening (such as Stitcher.) When you find a podcast you enjoy, you are able to subscribe and receive the newest episodes when they’re released. So here are some of my personal favorite podcasts:

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