2014 recap

I’ve come to believe that time passes by faster as we get older. There’s probably some scientific research out there to prove it, but my own life is evidence enough for me that the years have been going by much quicker as I’ve aged. 2014 is coming to an end and it’s yet another year that I can’t believe has flown by. Looking back, it’s been quite an eventful year. I kind of can’t believe how much has happened in our lives in the last 365 days. So as 2014 is coming to a close, I figured I’d reflect here on some of the major mile markers.

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At the start of 2014 we were still in Southern Illinois. Adam was finishing his last semester of undergrad. I was working as a foster care case manager. We were living out the daily grind and taking each day as it came. We were loving everything about what Jesus was doing in our lives, especially with all that we were plugged into at our church. The first months of the year also brought about adventures for me to St. Louis for a girls weekend, and then a visit to my alma mater, Olivet, for a “family reunion” of my closest college friends. The reunion was followed up by an extended weekend at home for the both Adam and me as we celebrated another Pruim wedding.

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In April we got word that our previously anticipated leave date in September was pushed back up to May, so we were given a month’s notice that we would be leaving for California the day after Adam graduated. This brought about all of the feels to go along with leaving a town, church, and people that we love dearly. Saying goodbye was so very hard. But God’s faithfulness was very evident in the midst of it, so we (without any other choice) packed up our things and trekked out to California, with the company of one of my best friends, Vanessa. Highlights of that trip include going out of our way to see the Grand Canyon, checking out Redondo beach & visiting the diner that was a regular filming location in The OC.

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We made it to California just in time to celebrate our first anniversary. There’s nothing like moving to a new place to make anything you do seem exciting and special. We explored some hot spots that we would come to visit again down the road on our days in California. Oh yeah, and the couples massage we got was a pretty big highlight too.

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We spent 5 months of 2014 living in Lompoc, California where we experienced a plethora of adventures in the midst of Adam training for his (now) job. In our time there we explored Santa Barbara multiple times, went to our first rodeo, attempted surfing twice, went ATVing on the dunes at Pismo Beach, spent a day at Six Flags Magic Mountain followed by a brief drive through Beverly Hills and Hollywood, had a handful of bonfires at the beach, went whale watching in Morro Bay with Adam’s parents, took both sets of our parents to the Danish town of Solvang, and we even had the chance to make a quick trip home for one of our best friend’s wedding.

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The greatest highlight of our time in California (& probably for the whole year) was the addition of Lil Boone Pruim to our family. We’ve had puppy-fever since the day we got married, so it was a dream come true to finally find the perfect fur baby for us. He has been the greatest, goofiest, most adorable puppy on the planet and we find more and more room for love for him in our hearts every day.

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After Adam’s graduation from training, we hit the road for North Dakota – along the way making brief visits to see San Francisco, the Redwoods, and Yellowstone. If you’ve been coming around here for awhile, you’ve heard about our trip to ND and how things have been going since arriving here. A highlight includes our Twin City Thanksgiving which included plenty of quality time with some close friends, and trips to the Mall of America and IKEA.

There have been more things going on than I think we even realize, & we’ve faced our challenges in the midst of it all too. So much moving and transitioning can weigh heavy on a heart after awhile. We’ve dealt with the hurt of homesickness plenty – especially as we had to miss out on weddings and other celebrations with people we deeply care for. We’ve faced the unexpected major expenses of adulthood more times than we would have liked to in a year. But all of it has been, and is being, worked out for God’s glory, and our good.

Other personal highlights include enjoying a refreshing period of time where my job title has been stay at home wife, discovering a desire to live more minimally, and starting this blog! This has been such an incredible space for me to share some of the happenings in our lives, and even more importantly the happenings in my heart. So I want to take this brief moment to thank you, dear readers, for coming around here and making this creative outlet even more special.

As this is being posted, we’re in the midst of our 4th & final Pruim family road trip of the year to visit Illinois for a late Christmas with our families, and fitting in as much quality time with friends as we can. Adam will be heading back home on New Years Eve, while I’ll be sticking around for an extra week to have some more time to visit with loved ones. It already has been & continues to be to be the most perfect way to finish off a crazy year.

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2014, you’ve been one heck of a year, but I’m ready to close this door. 2015, let’s see what you’ve got in store.

What have been some of the highlights of your 2014?

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Merry Christmas

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Merry Christmas Eve Pruim Life readers!

I hope that today and tomorrow (and even the days to come) are full of family, friends, joy, and peace. We’ll be celebrating our own family Christmas tonight before we hit the road tomorrow to head home for Chicago. Although this Christmas is a bit of a different one for us being so far away from family, we are so excited that Adam was able to get some time off for us to still be able to go home and celebrate a couple days late. One of these years we might be able to establish some sort of normal for our holidays, but with the military life who knows when that will happen!

So whether your holiday is spread out over the week like ours, or it’s all jam-packed into today & tomorrow, we want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas!

white as snow

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Happy Monday friends! And Happy Christmas week! I don’t think that’s actually a thing, but it baffles me that Christmas is three days away, so let’s just go with it.

I don’t know how the weather has been by you, but it’s no surprise that North Dakota in the wintertime brings about the cold. We’ve already have some days that have dipped into the negatives with the wind chill, although we’ve had some nice 20-30 degree weather these past couple weeks giving us a nice break before we head into the frigid cold expected in January (what up heat wave!). Our first big snowfall came just before Thanksgiving and it has yet to fully melt away because the temperatures haven’t gotten high enough to do so. Some days the snow that is trying to melt turns into ice that likes to hide in patches on the roads, and on our driveway (checking the mail is an activity that requires extreme caution).

On Saturday we experienced a new kind of cold weather occurrence for us: freezing fog. Did you know that was a thing? Because I sure didn’t. But the fog caused everything to be covered in a thick, snow-like frost like I’ve never seen before. The trees, the bushes, the fences, the grass. Everything looked like it had been sprinkled with powdered sugar. And it was GORGEOUS! I couldn’t help but head outside with Boone to take pictures as he tried to eat the frost off of the bushes (sometimes all I can do is laugh & shake my head at the pup).

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As difficult as snow and ice can make our lives sometimes (i.e. driving in it, and I don’t know about you, but I dread shoveling the driveway), it still brings such beauty to this world. The pure, white snow that falls ever so softly and gently from the sky and covers the ground like a soft blanket is a wonderful thing to see. (We can just pretend that the kind of snow that comes with violent winter storms doesn’t exist for the sake of appreciation). And the crystal clear ice that hangs from houses and trees is a whole other level of cool.

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Seeing snow and white everywhere, I can’t help but reflect on the purity that Jesus has provided me through his death on the cross. I think of how although I was covered in the filth of my sin, he wiped it all away. By His blood He washed me white as snow. How fitting that snow comes at the time of year that we commemorate and celebrate His entrance into this world as a humble baby. He came into this world at that exact moment in time not to condemn it, but to save it. To save you and me from the punishment we deserve for rebelling against the righteous God, by suffering a crucial and terrible death that we surely deserve, and conquering sin & death by rising again three days later, so that we may praise His holy name and glorify Him now, and in eternity. How marvelous! How wonderful! How beautiful!

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I hope that whatever you are facing this week – be it excitement, heartache, busyness, hardship, or joy – that you face it knowing that there is hope & peace in Jesus in the midst of it all. That He pursues you, and knows you, and loves you regardless of the grime and dirt that exists in your life. He is more than capable of washing it all away. He desires for you to come to Him so that He can cover you like the pure, white snow.

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Merry (early) Christmas friends! I hope for an exciting and safe week for you all!

2014 christmas ornament

When I was a kid, it was a family tradition for my brother and I to pick out a new ornament every year to add to our Christmas tree. Usually that meant heading to Hallmark and choosing a figurine that represented what I had been interested in that year. For my brother, that meant picking out another super hero. This tradition helped fill up our family’s tree with more and more memories, and gave it plenty of character. Not to mention it gave me new “toys” to play with leading up to Christmas.

Last year was Adam & I’s first Christmas as a newly established Pruim family, so come December I wanted to put together some ornaments that would commemorate that. I ended up making a 4-piece set of ornaments using different pieces of decorations from our wedding.

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One with petals of the flowers used in my, and my bridesmaids’, bouquets.

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One with the paper I used to make windmills for the centerpieces.

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One with our ceremony program shredded and curled.

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One with the twine that was used to accent multiple different DIY decorations.

Even though some of them were a bit tedious to make (hello wrapping-twine-around-a-glass-sphere-awkwardness), I was thrilled with the outcome. They perfectly capture some of the more intricate details of our wedding, which was the most defining moment of the year for us.

For the sake of tradition, (and for the sake of filling up the tree that one day will reside in our home during the holidays) I wanted to make another ornament this year. I saw this idea on Pinterest and immediately fell in love with it. As many of you know, we’ve gone through two military moves this year. Our year has revolved around the Air Force’s plans for us. With Adam commissioning in May, it’s been a non stop transition to get where we are now. What better way to memorialize this year than by using moving stickers to cover an ornament.

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These stickers were used to mark each of our boxes for our trip to North Dakota. So with this idea in mind, as I unpacked I collected as many of the stickers as I could. Once I had enough I took a plain, cheap ornament that I already had, and began to place the stickers all around the surface. They had lost some of their stickiness after being pulled off of cardboard, so they weren’t laying as nicely as I had hoped, but they stayed. Once I covered the entire ball, I took some Mod Podge and covered the entire surface. This helped to set some of the looser ends down and hold everything in place. Once it dried, I gave it a second coat. A few of the corners still stick up in some places, but I decided that it gives it a little character (& I also didn’t feel like fussing with every little piece). Finally, I added the finishing touch of writing the “2014” in Sharpie.

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Overall I’m really pleased with the outcome. This ornament perfectly summarizes our 2014. It’s currently hanging off a light strand in our kitchen/dining room, because we are still sticking with our tiny, table top tree this year. Maybe one day we’ll become adults and actually buy a tree. Until then, I’ll enjoy getting to see my ornaments on display in the most passed by part of our house.

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So tell me, What kind of ornament(s) are you getting for your tree this year?

catching up // vol. 3

Ever have those periods in life that just seem to flash before your eyes – the kinds that seem like they last a week, but are actually a month? Surely I’m not the only one. This past month has been all sorts of busy – but busy in many good ways. Time has literally escaped me at times, so forgive me for my unintentional absence from blogland. I’ve finally come to catch you all up to speed on what’s been going on in the Pruim life this past month.

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1 // We moved into our new house! If you’ve been around here for a little while, you’ve read that we were waiting patiently anxiously to move into our new humble abode & it finally happened! It’s been truly wonderful to set up house in a place that we’re likely going to be in for more than a year. That will be something new for us (case in point: 4th home in 1.5 years of marriage). This place is larger than any home either of us have ever lived in, and the space overwhelms my (newer) minimalist-wannabe mindset. But this is the home we’ve been provided through the housing company on base, and sometimes you just have to take what you get, even if it doesn’t meet all of your particular expectations.

2 // It took a couple extra weeks after we moved in to get all of our belongings delivered, so we sat in an echoing, empty home for some time, but a week after Thanksgiving the movers reunited us with everything we’ve been living without since October. Unpacking didn’t take long, but I’m still in a stage of finding the right place for every little thing.

3 // Just before Thanksgiving Minot received it’s first big snowfall(s) of the season, meaning hot chocolate has been in adequate supplies in this household. Temperatures have gotten quite low & into the negatives already, but this past week we hit a heat wave and have been in the upper 30s and lower 40s (this is my life now 😦 ), which I’ve learned is quite rare for this time of year, so we have soaked up every bit of it.

4 // Boone is thrilled with the new house. Actually, it’s more like he is thrilled with his fenced in backyard. Plenty of space to run free and bark at all the neighboring dogs. Add snow to the mix and the boy would never come inside if it wasn’t for the cold. He LOVES snow. He loves to dig in it. He loves to eat it. He loves to lick it off your shoes. He loves to sit in it and stare into the distance. He’s a strange puppy sometimes, but he is still oh so perfect in our eyes.

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5 // As if we haven’t had enough Pruim family road trips this year, we hopped in a car and drove 8 hours to Minneapolis for Thanksgiving to visit and celebrate with two very dear friends, Joe & Vanessa, and their family. It was our first Thanksgiving not at home, which was a weird adjustment, but we settled for the next best thing by celebrating with family-like friends. We spent Thanksgiving day baking cookies, eating our traditional Thanksgiving meal at Buca di Beppo, and playing games at Vanessa’s uncle’s house.

6 // The week we came to visit was the same week that the Joe & Ness got a sweet new dog, Lumi. Despite her adjusting to her new family & home, and Boone having the worst spatial awareness possible, they got along great. They both even came along for our walk down the alley one morning to get donuts from Bogart’s Doughnut Co.

7 // We spent a good portion of Black Friday at the Mall of America (talk about most epic Black Friday shopping location ever!). We opted out of being the avid shoppers that went out Thanksgiving night and took our time getting there midday on Friday. I’ve heard stories of the size of this mall, but it doesn’t really come into perspective until you actually go there. It was HUGE. And kind of mind-blowing. Wanna know what else is mind-blowing? IKEA. Yep, never been there before either until now. We spent a good 3 hour chunk of time adventuring around the magical land of home goods & furnishings.

8 // I was incredibly grateful to spend some time checking out the Twin City area, but even more grateful to spend some extra quality time with this girl. We met in high school, went to college together, stood in each others’ weddings as maid&matron of honor, and have remained close despite the distance between us. She’s one of my very best friends. Oh yeah, and the creep of a photo-bombing husband she’s got was one of my best guy friends in college. So needless to say, it was so great to see them, spend time with them, and become even more like family.

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9 // At the end of November we celebrated being married for a year and a half. At this point, after all of these moves and life changes in the last year, it in some ways feels like it’s been much longer. During our first year of marriage, we made it a point to do something special for every monthiversary. Yes, monthiversary. Because, why not? But year two it was time to take it back a step to celebrate a dianniversary. Yes, dianniversary (I looked it up and Urban Dictionary says it’s a thing, so it must be true). Maybe next year we’ll just stick to the traditional yearly celebration. Maybe not. I just really enjoy taking the time to honor our marriage and have an extra excuse to go out on a date. This dianniversary we went to see Mockingjay (Part 2 you can’t come soon enough!), found out that another two of our closest friends are pregnant!, and then went to Montana Mike’s for steak dinner because we had a gift certificate (what up filet minon!)

10 // It began to look a lot like Christmas in our household even before we received all of our household goods. We went out and bought stockings, and even got one for our precious pup.

11 // At the beginning of December we went to Adam’s squadron’s Christmas party. It was the first semi-formal, masquerade party we’ve ever been to, so we had reasons to get a little fancy. The night was highly entertaining – especially when Adam participated with some guys in a lip sync competition. Twerking may or may not have been involved. Yikes!

12 // New friends! Yes, we are already meeting plenty of new people in Minot, and establishing some new relationships, including some wife friends for me! We’ve also found a church that as of right now feels like a really good fit. Making new friends has made the world of a difference in getting settled here – that and maintaining some relationships that came with us from California. It makes Minot more enjoyable and exciting. It makes Minot feel a bit more like home. & it means that we are going to have plenty of opportunity to work on our bowling skills as we go every week.

So that brings us to mid-December. Meaning with Christmastime upon us, the quickly passing time may not slow down. We’re most looking forward to our trip home for the days after Christmas. But this place is not forgotten. There are still big plans ahead for The Pruim Life. & I can’t wait for them to unfold for you all!

Happy Mid-December friends!