Real Event: Women’s Day Retreat of IF:Gathering

fan the flame!

It has been almost two months since I left the event industry and began a new career. And I have to say, I’m quite in love with my new arrangement. Not only have I found necessary time for myself and my loved ones, but I have found abundant free time for writing, reading, and experiencing life which means many scheduled posts in the upcoming months. God is good!

When I still have those urges for event planning, though, I am also in very good hands. On March 3rd I was lucky enough to assist in orchestrating an amazing women’s retreat called If:Gathering at my church for 300 ladies passionate for God, strengthening their faith, and performing discipleship. IF’s mission is to equip women with gospel-centered resources, events, and community so they may learn more about who God is and disciple other women. (You can find out more about the organization here.) Talk about an amazingly inspirational day, and some seriously deep thoughts coming from asking “What IF…”

IF began with a heavy discussion on the darkness of Life: doubt. (Literally this was the topic covered minutes into the first speaker’s speech, guys, so talk about a solid foundation for the day’s agenda.) Questions such as “How would you describe the season you’re living?” and “What makes you weak?” were asked. Imagery of sparking fires within ourselves to grow and flourish were mentioned. Each woman’s purpose in Life was explored. And a stirring occurred within me which made me reevaluate a few of the only negative things still hanging around in my life. It was quite the day, friends!

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Cheers to Transitions

I began my position at the Winery on April 3, 2017. I was given the title Wine Club Manager and Event Coordinator, and was placed in charge of over 750 members with the goal of developing events to not only attract new members but also keep current. It has been a crazy year full of both known and unknown territory. I’ve created amazing relationships with many of my members and now call them my friends. My teammates at the winery have been incredible as well, offering assistance where needed, advice when asked, and numerous laughs along the way. I could not be more thankful.

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Goals for 2018

How is it already 2018, friends?! This holiday season has been a whirlwind on my end, and I apologize for not staying up-to-date on my blogging — there has just been too much good happening that the Blogosphere was not on my mind! However, after spending so much time with family and friends over the past month, I am rejuvenated and rearing to go on all things Uncorking Peonies… I hope you’re ready for a lot of updates!

As always, though, with the new year also comes new goals, and I want to take a few minutes to state my 2018 Goals to help with accountability (and memory.) Unfortunately many of the goals I set for 2017 were not met to the extent I set them — I was a bit too enthusiastic in January 2017 — but I am very happy with how the year ended and what I was able to accomplish throughout the last year. Especially with so much change hitting me within one year!

For 2018, I am sticking to my tradition of not setting resolutions in this New Year, but rather setting goals. Even though this upcoming year is bringing quite a bit of change in itself, I want to continue to work to better myself every day I’m alive. So here are the goals I am setting for myself to accomplish within 2018:

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Repost: Calling Out Toxic Relationships

This is an edited repost from my Archives, with the original able to be found here.

It has become apparent to me over the past few months how important it is to be surrounded by people who truly want the best for you and are in your life to uplift you in the low times, encourage you in the rough times, celebrate with you in the joyful times, and walk beside you at all times. This is something that has been on my mind a lot lately as I begin looking at my tentative guest list and start asking my bridal party to stand beside me on my wedding day.

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Pop the Cork (aka The Beginning)

Welcome to the beginning! The beginning of a project I have been imagining for some time now, and finally found the empty minutes (how?!) to tie together and reform this little corner of the Blogosphere for my own space: Uncorking Peonies.

Uncorking Peonies, in its most basic breakdown, is a wedblog. Sweet and simple. The love of my life, my partner in crime, the Cool Whip to my Pumpkin Spice Oreo (#basicwhitegirlstatus) got down on one knee mid-September and asked me to be his wife, and now we’re busily planning a wedding among already busy life schedules.

My name is Ashley and I am a 20-something event coordinator hailing from Michigan. As you may have gathered from the tagline of this blog (and the various photos of wine glasses and wine bottles), I’m a bit of a wine enthusiast. This is due to the fact that I actually work as an event coordinator for the wine club of a local winery; I am surrounded by wine and am hit with wine knowledge 24/7. It is a pretty great gig, especially given the fact one my great passions is event planning. Nothing makes me happier than bringing people together for a fun and spirited party!

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Real Wedding: Rebecca + Walt

Okay, guys, I have been waiting since the beginning of November to bring this lovely couple to your reading space! Rebecca and Walt’s wedding was the most entertaining and most adorable one I had the pleasure of assisting with during my time at Shadowland. Not only were they the sweetest people to the staff, but their ideas and creativeness are ridiculous! Just take a look for yourself…

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Real Wedding: Michele + Vaughn

I am beyond excited! This is the first wedding I can feature that I actually helped to manage! Michele and Vaughn were our November 8, 2014 bride and groom at Shadowland. I had previously met Michele during a Whirlpool Corporation luncheon during the summer which she administered.  I knew to expect a fun and happenin’ wedding once I met her; Michele was all smiles and laughs. It warmed my heart to see how deeply in love her and Vaughn were. From the MOH speech expressing their friendship-turned-romance, to the playful cutting of the cake, and finally the numerous dances shared on the ballroom floor, it was a great party for all. I wish this couple only the happiest of marriages!

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Real Wedding: Mindi + Adam

Do you know what makes me really happy? Seeing smiles on people’s faces. Especially when those smiles are as genuine as those of the couple you’re about to witness! Mindi and Adam were married at Shadowland in September, and I was privileged enough to be apart of the set up for their wedding. Though their photographs don’t do too much in terms of decor, I’m inspired by the pure love that is apparent on the couple’s faces!

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