catching up // the past three years

Hi again friends – both old and new. Considering it’s been three years since I popped my head in around here, it’s safe to say that quite a bit has changed. So I figured a good place to start with this return to blogging would be to catch you all up to speed on what’s going on in our real life Pruim life to help give some context for what things look like for us right now. I won’t get too nitty gritty, but three years is a lot of ground to cover, so bear with me. Let’s hit the highlights, shall we?

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1. We moved.

And not just down the street like we did in my last post before I went silent. We moved to a whole new state. After 3 years in North Dakota, the Air Force bid us onward to Wyoming last October. Leaving our life in Minot certainly was no easy task as we had to endure a lot of tough goodbyes, but at the same time we were excited for a new season and a change of scenery. Of the limited options of places for us to go at this point in Adam’s career, Cheyenne was the one we were hoping to land in. While there are some details that haven’t panned out how we originally hoped, as a whole, we’ve really enjoyed the area we are living in. There’s closer access to a lot more here than there was in Minot, especially being so close to Colorado & Denver, so that’s a nice change. And the best part? Those Rocky Mountains you can see in the distance from certain parts of town are a wonderland to live near, but I’ll touch more on that below.

The perks of the location have definitely helped make up for the differences we have had to adjust to in our sense of community here in comparison to Minot. People can say what they want about Minot (and trust me, there are plenty of opinions), but the community we experienced there was something special that we quickly learned isn’t always the norm at each base. Maybe it has something to do with that being our first long term assignment, maybe it has something to do with the place itself, or maybe we just got really lucky with the people we met there, but we’re so thankful for the friendships that came about in those three years. Here in Cheyenne, it’s been a little different and taken a little bit longer – at least in regards to the military community – so the last year has involved some accepting of those differences, shifting of expectations, and making attempts to break out of our recent natural tendency to fold in and be homebodies. Moving every few years is bound to have a significant impact on opportunities for community, especially with every place being unique, so we’re doing our best to pay attention to the path God has paved for us here.

As for how long we’re expected to live here, it could be another two years, give or take. It depends on different opportunities that could come up in Adam’s career that could keep us here longer, or send us away sooner. With the Air Force, you never really know.

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2. We added another member to our family.

No babies here yet, but we did add another pup to our family about 2 years ago, who just so happens to be Boone’s biological half-brother. Back when we became interested in getting another dog, we knew we wanted another Aussie, but we didn’t come across any breeders close to us in Minot, so we reached out to the breeder we got Boone from in California since we were so pleased with our experience with her before. Lo & behold she had a new litter of pups soon after from the same dad as Boone. Once our new puppy was old enough to come home, we had him flown to Minot to join our family even after a week’s delay from a massive snow storm. Rizzo (named after a Chicago Cubs player because he was born just before they won the World Series in 2016) has been our family wild card ever since. He’s totally nonsensical in so many ways, with quirks and strange habits that keep us laughing daily. Despite some blood relation, he and Boone could not be more different. Boone is our mellow, fetch obsessed, timid dog and Rizzo is our rambunctious, attention seeking, social dog. And yet, they’re both so wonderfully perfect for our family.

Boone adjusted fairly well to Rizzo when he first came home to us, and they still get along great. Boone is 4 1/2 years old now, which blows my mind. He’s as sweet as ever and definitely has shown some signs of maturity over the years, but he still has plenty of energy and playfulness in him. These two fluff-butts are a huge part of our hearts and life, and we have no shame in how we treat them like our children. Plus, they’re nice preparation for whenever we decide to have kiddos of our own someday. Until then, we’ll continue enjoying endless amounts of puppy snuggles.

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3. We bought a house.

With this move we made the choice to buy a house rather than rent or live on base. It took a lot of convincing on my part because I always thought buying a house was logical when you get settled somewhere, and that is very opposite of the military life we are living right now. However, through a lot of insight from friends and acquaintances that have lived in Cheyenne, the housing market felt secure enough to take the plunge and do one of the most legit adult things we’ve done so far in our lives. I’m so glad that God led us through that decision, because we absolutely adore this home. We definitely had that “this is the one” feeling when we walked through it and I feel so fortunate that it ended up as ours – especially considering a few of the stressors we faced in the buying process. The house was flipped before we bought it so it had a lot of new updates to it that we really enjoy the aesthetic of, and the size is just right – not too big, but still spacious enough to be comfortable. I find myself thanking God very frequently for this home. It has been such a perfect fit for us in this season and I love so much about it. It will be sad to (most likely) sell when we move from here, so I am soaking up every moment I have in it for now.

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4. I got a new job.

Obviously with moving to a new state, a job change was bound to happen for me. The big change with this one, though, was that I intentionally went for something entirely different. I spent two and a half years working for a youth mentoring program in Minot and really enjoyed my experience there. But when looking for a new job in Cheyenne, I decided to look beyond my social work background, and I really honed in on my strengths and what I’ve liked about all of my previous work experiences. I couldn’t ignore the way organizing and systematizing things makes my heart pitter patter. I’m that weird person that enjoys tedious paperwork and I absolutely love making where I work more efficient and productive. With all of this in mind, I sought out some secretary positions to start, and only by God’s grace and leading did I end up in truly my most favorite job I have ever had. I’m an Office Manager at a local gym that emphasizes on HIIT workouts and transformation challenges, and it has been impacting my life in ways I never expected – both professionally and personally. I love what I’m doing day to day, and it’s been fun for me to really press into those aforementioned strengths. My bosses and co-workers are amazing, and we have an awesome client community that feels very tight knit. I didn’t seek out this job in any way for the fitness environment, but over time it has been an answer to prayer towards my desire to find better balance with my health and fitness in relation to all other aspects of my life. All in all, it’s been a dream and I truly enjoy going to work each day.

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5. We’re a lot more used to this Air Force life.

It’s been four and a half years since Adam went Active Duty, and while I would never claim to be an expert on military life (I still feel like a novice most days), I feel like we have a much better handle on it than we did three years ago. One of the biggest things I have learned is that there is no one set version of “military life” because there is such a large variety of jobs and experiences in each branch of the military, so my experience is far different from what many other military spouses have endured (and it’s also very different from what most people expect it to be). But I’ve at least gained some knowledge on the specific path we are on, and I’ve gotten more used to what to expect (which is usually to expect the unexpected). I’ve grown an appreciation for some of the unique benefits that come with being a part of the military community, and I’ve also taken some comfort in discovering that we are not alone in some of the trials we have faced as a result of it too. It’s never a sure thing how long exactly we’ll continue on this path, but our plan up to now has been for Adam to stay in for a 20 year career. We’re keeping our hands open to where God may lead us, but for now that’s where we’re at with it.

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6. We became debt free.

About 3 years ago we were making steady progress on student loans and a career starter loan we had through the Air Force to buy a car, but some friends (thankfully) still convinced us to participate in a Financial Peace University class through our church, and it honestly changed our lives. If you’ve never heard of FPU, it’s a Dave Ramsey course that helps you take control of your finances and plan better for your future, with a major emphasis on ridding yourself of debt. As a result from participating in this class, on our 3rd anniversary we hit submit for the final payment on the last bit of debt we had, and we haven’t looked back since. It’s been incredibly freeing to have a better handle on our finances and to see God’s faithfulness come through again and again as we’ve learned to trust him more to provide for us. Managing our finances has become a contributing factor to a more simplified life for us and I plan to share more of our journey here in the future.

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7. I’m still digging minimalism & I finally dove into the world of capsule wardrobes. 

I started to share my growing interest in minimalism and a more simplified wardrobe when I first started this blog, and that interest has remained steady over the past few years. While I’m no full-blown textbook minimalist (if there is such a thing), the concepts and perspectives stemming from this “trend” have significantly impacted the way I approach life. Honestly, this is going to be a major thread within this blog’s future and I’m so excited to dive deeper into it all with you.

A pretty significant way I’ve furthered myself into minimalism in the past few years is that I finally implemented the use of a capsule wardrobe. Not sure what that is? In short, it is a more curated wardrobe within your overall wardrobe made up of a select number of items that you wear for a season, while abstaining from the rest to make better use of the clothes you own. This winter I’m on my 11th capsule and while I’m no style expert (nor do I want to be) there is so much I have learned. This is absolutely a topic I intend to unfold more with you all because it has been a game changer for me, so I am equally excited to explore this topic with you all in the time to come.

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8. We love the mountains.

As I mentioned earlier, our new home in Cheyenne has planted us a hop, skip, and a jump away from the Rocky Mountains. My love and appreciation for mountains really ignited back when we moved from CA to ND as we passed through so many beautiful places (like Tahoe and Yellowstone), so when we found out we were moving here my heart skipped a beat knowing that I’d have the chance to explore more of this magnificent terrain (especially after three years in a flat land). This summer we spent quite a bit of time getting outside and acquainting ourselves with the mountains and surrounding areas, and I sure can’t wait to do it more. I’ve found that the mountains make me come alive and point me to God in ways like nothing else. I love them, and you definitely will get to see some peeks (pun intended) into our adventures in the days to come.

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9. We’ve done a small bit of traveling.

Between trips to visit back home, some weekend trips, and one longer vacation to Denver back before we knew we would be living closer to it, we’ve spent a fair bit of time in a car. We’ve gotten to familiarize ourselves with some new places – some just the two of us, and some with friends. I do plan to revisit some of those memories here to share about them in case you might be interested in checking out any of the places we have visited. We have been saving up for a bigger vacation for awhile now, but can’t seem to decide where we want to go, so we’ll see what comes of it. Until then, we are enjoying the explorations we’ve had of places both familiar and entirely new.

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10. We love escape rooms.

On a cold winter day just shy of two years ago, we attempted the new escape room in Minot for a date on a whim. If you aren’t familiar with what an escape room is, it is essentially a themed room full of puzzles that you have to solve in order to complete some sort of objective (typically involving escaping the room). Twenty rooms later, I suppose you can say that we got hooked. It has been an absolute blast giving our brains the mental exercise as we have taken on a variety of rooms both locally and when we travel, and it’s especially satisfying to have a pretty successful escape record. It’s our favorite way to spend a date night together, and it’s also been fun to introduce others to the experience too.


Well, if you’ve stuck around up to this point, thanks for hanging in there. It’s no easy task to review three years in a blog post. Obviously there is so much more that happened in that time, but this list seems to cover the major highlights. And it also sets the stage for some of what is to come here on The Pruim Life. This blog is, in fact, a space for me to share our lives with you, so I look forward to diving deeper into some of these details and topics, and all that God has been teaching us/me through them. It sure does feel good to be back in this space, so thanks for reading along with me.

I hope you all have a great weekend!

long time no see.

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I’ve sat down to write this post numerous times in the last 3 years. Even greater is the number of times I’ve thought about writing this post, and then never following through with it. I’ve wanted to come back to this online space for awhile. To be honest, I never intended to really leave it. But when my days got more full and time seemed to be less available, my priorities needed some sorting, and this was an area that I could afford to cut out – at least for awhile. Being present with our community in North Dakota felt like a greater calling at the time, so I chose to invest more in that, and I don’t regret it one bit. Now, though, a lot of time has passed, and a great deal has changed. And for the past months, I’ve been feeling an even greater prodding to return. A prodding that didn’t just come from my own wishful thinking anymore. It seemed to come from outside of myself. It has felt, most often, like a push from God. A push to once again share the story and the knowledge He’s given me for more than just my own benefit. A push to start using the gifts He’s given me for His glory again.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared. Each time I’ve inched towards dipping my toes back in the water, I’ve psyched myself out. I’ve let fear or insecurities choke out the intentions. Like a flame within me re-igniting, only to be blown out before I even gain footing. In some ways I think it’s been the fear of other’s opinions. Putting yourself out there in any capacity can feel risky, and the internet – to me – seems like a much bolder platform in comparison to chatting with someone in person. But even more, I think my fear of failure has been the most influential culprit. The fear of not doing this well. Of not doing it right. I’ve given this a go once before, and it was short lived. What makes me think I could maintain this space this time? But it’s time to listen to God more than I listen to the fear. It’s time I stop wondering and start doing. It’s time I stop putting off action until everything is “just right.”

I have ideas. I have hopes. I have some loose plans. But the realistic side of me also doesn’t want to put the pressure on myself to do it all. Because I know how easily my personality defaults to perfectionism. So mostly I want to approach this space with grace. No one but myself is putting the pressure on me to live up to whatever my brain has determined is the blogging standard. While I want to be consistent, there is also nothing threatening to condemn me if I’m not.

So here I am. Finally pressing publish on a post that has been reworked or reworded or reevaluated countless times in my head. Finally taking the leap to make a return here officially. Finally listening to the calling that I believe God has been inviting me into. Only time will tell what comes of it. But my ongoing desires and the Holy Spirit’s leading can’t be ignored any longer. So for now, in whatever capacity I’m able to manage, I’m back. Excited. Scared. Hopeful. Expectant.

moving day

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I’ve hinted and mentioned here and there that we are moving again in some recent posts, but I’ve left out all of the details because I figured I’d give you all the whole story at one time. Now that today is our move in day, I suppose it is a better time than ever to explain.

Moving wasn’t exactly something I was used to in my life. I grew up in the same room in the same house for the entirety of my childhood, teenage years, and even into college. I first experienced what moving felt like when I moved back and forth each year for college. But even that felt partial as I left so much at home, and would return again.

Then I got married & everything changed. In our 2 years and 4 months of being married we have lived in 4 different homes. And now we’re moving on to number five. And the interesting part of this move is that it is completely unnecessary in comparison to the rest of our moves. We’re not leaving town, we’re not being mandated by the military to go anywhere, our lease isn’t even up yet. In actuality we’re moving down the street – it’s a long street, but it’s still the same street nonetheless. So what’s the story?

Well, first and foremost, I desperately (is that word too dramatic for this?) want a smaller house. To explain a little more, let me take you back to when we first arrived in Minot last October.

To make a long story short, when we arrived here there was a shortage of houses on base specifically for Adam’s rank, so in order to get into a house sooner rather than later we were offered a house to rent that would be on the larger end of a rank below him. We were fine with this at the time because we had already spent a month sleeping on a deflating air mattress in our friend’s apartment and we were ready to have a home of our own. As we moved in we realized quickly just how big our house was. We’re currently living in a 3 bedroom, 2 1/2 bath house with more square footage than I have ever had in my entire life. Here’s a problem with that: The amount of belongings we had when we moved in was enough to fill a small one bedroom apartment. Even with everything we owned inside our home, it still echoed. In the 10 months we’ve been here we still have multiple rooms sitting empty, with no use other than to collect dust.

It didn’t help that in the months prior to moving to North Dakota I went all giddy on minimalism and was trying to live with less. And here I was, put inside this giant house, with what felt like the little belongings we had and I was terrified to fill it. Because I knew I’d want to. But at the same time I didn’t want to. I’ve fought hard against the temptation to buy ALL the things.

Here’s another problem: There’s two of us and a dog. We’re using this giant house for our small family & it just feels wasteful. A family with children could much better benefit from this home, and I feel like we’re taking that away from someone. I enjoy having space to host people, but this is just too much for day to day living.

So, with all of that in mind we wanted to seek options to move. With the summer being a busy time on base for people PCSing, we wanted to take advantage of houses that were available. Towards the end of the summer we were able to discuss our options with housing. Through this process we were offered a house in an area that we have multiple friends living around, which is exactly what we wanted. We’re having to pay a little extra to break our lease early, but with the houses we were eyeing being available now, it’s worth it to us in case there are no houses available come late November. Plus, who wants to willingly move with cold & snow? Not me.

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All that to say, today is our official move in date. We have a week to move all of our stuff from one house to the other, and then clean like we never have before our closing date next Friday. I’m incredibly excited to change things up, to feel like our home fits us better, to decorate and organize everything all over again, and to be a few minutes closer to friends. It’s been a rather smooth process with a little bit of waiting on our end, but I’m looking forward to what’s in store for us in this next chapter of life.

catching up // summer 2015 (part two)

So I’ve had a chance to tell you about all the traveling that took place over our 2015 summer season, but there has been a whole lot of day to day life going on too, and that has been just as significant to my summer. Here’s some updates of what else has been going on.

Prior to Adam leaving for California for the summer, we started checking out a new church as we hadn’t really felt settled in a decision with one yet. After just a couple visits we made the decision to stick with this new-to-us one, and it has made a wonderfully beautiful difference in our lives. It is unbelievable the difference that a solid, Jesus following, bible teaching, community building church can make in our lives. We’ve been meeting new people and making more friends – both military and non military; both younger and older. & it has been entirely life giving & is an answer to prayer for us. Fun story: You want to know how small the world is? A couple in our small group went to the same college as two of my cousins, so in the midst of small talk I asked if they might know either of them. Turns out the guy was one of my cousin’s roommates for 3 years. Mind BLOWN.

Speaking of people, we’ve been blessed upon blessed with the people we’ve been building relationships with. It might be the military life that brings together some solidarity, but we’ve got such a solid community going on lately that only seems to be growing. Game nights, and pool time, and dinners, and impromptu trips have all filled up both weeknights and weekends in our schedule and it’s been all kinds of great. God sure has known all along exactly what our hearts & souls needed when we came here.

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Work has been steadily busy for me over the past few months. I’m working part time, yet sometimes it feels full time with how packed my schedule gets sometimes. Overall, it’s been a solid balance of working and investing in the youth in our community through our program, while still investing in the relationships in my personal life.

During the spring time I felt God pushing me towards the idea of starting up a Bible study. At the time we hadn’t really settled with a church yet, but even if we had I felt this need and desire to practically and personally pour into some of the women in my life. I toyed with the idea for months before I finally buckled down and got it off the ground. I’ve been involved with plenty of bible studies in the past, but I’ve never really been in a role before where I’ve led one and let me tell you, it’s been challenging me in all the right ways. I’ve learned that it is much more complicated to speak about what I believe than it is to think about it. I can make sense of it all in my head, but then make me use my own words and I have to work a whole lot harder. It’s been humbling. But it’s been motivating to really work at this. To really learn to communicate the gospel well. I think that’s my biggest fear and insecurity when it comes to teaching/leading: I want to represent Jesus well. I don’t want to mislead someone by explaining things incorrectly. So I’ve been combating that with trying to lean into the Spirit and letting God speak for Himself, while also soaking in more understanding of who God is so that I can all the more better express that understanding.

My favorite holiday of the year happens over the summer…fourth of July. We celebrated it over the span of two days, because Adam and another friend of ours were out working the day of. So the fourth itself was a low key day with a couple friends, cooking out, and sitting in a truck bed at the top of a hill to see some fireworks. The fifth was a bit more festive for us with patriotic clothes, a potluck dinner (with homemade strawberry ice cream), and sparklers. A holiday well spent for sure.

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Dairy Queen made my sing for joy this summer when they made the smartest decision they probably ever have and brought cotton candy blizzards back to their menu – for how long I am not sure – so you better believe that I have been filling my stomach with that sugary goodness as often as possible. I’m personally hoping that my constant orders of them at our local DQ will make them keep it on the menu forever & ever & ever.

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Guys, NoDak summers. Let me tell you. They’re MAGICAL. Okay, that might be a bit dramatic. But for real though, I have been having all kinds of heart eyes for our summer weather here. By midsummer, the sun didn’t go down until 10-10:30pm. ALL KINDS OF SUNLIGHT. Rain has been fairly minimal. It makes appearances here and there, but usually passes after an hour or two. Just enough for me to get a summer storm fix. Not enough to keep the grass fully green though. That’s been unfortunate, but overall I’ve been so content. And the temperatures. Oh it’s been glorious. 80s. 90s. 100s even. It’s been HOT. Yet, the humidity is minimal and I can breathe. Such a beautiful contrast to the cold that will be coming over the long winter. Seriously, friends and family, come visit us next summer and lets frolic through the sunflower fields & sit by the pool day all day, erry day.

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Speaking of sitting by the pool, I was able to do plenty of that this summer with a pool right on base. Either alone or with friends, it was a short hop over to the pool to soak up some sun. And because I don’t like to waste time, I would utilize that time to read. As a result I’ve been able to finish quite a few books this summer. I love reading. I just don’t always take the time to do it. So I was not only glad to work on getting a decent tan this summer, but I was glad to have some time set aside to really dive into some solid books. I’m thinking of a post in the near future of some of my most recent favorite reads. What do you think?

Other random summer highlights include: the Blackhawks winning the Stanley cup, getting back into the swing of playing tennis, seeing Keith Urban at the North Dakota State Fair, and celebrating multiple birthdays – including my own.

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Probably our biggest news coming out of the summer (no we’re not pregnant) is that were moving. Again. Why oh why would we ever decide to make an unnecessary move after 4 moves in two years? Well…I’m going to leave you hanging here and save that explanation for another day. But I’ll tell you about it reallll soon. I promise.

One thing I won’t leave you hanging with though: puppy pictures. Because Boone is just a light in our life and he never stops making me smile.

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I think that leaves you all caught up on life for us over the past couple months. Summer 2015 was a season full of settling in, having fun, and persevering through. & now that it’s September I can officially be excited about the upcoming fall season. Thanks for checking in everyone!

catching up // summer 2015 (part one)

With an unintentional silence on the Pruim Life this summer, I have a lot to catch you all up on. So before I get all carried away with all the fall feels I’ve been feeling, let’s take a look back to this summer. Because I’m still soaking up every warm day we’re getting while I can. Here’s some of what we’ve been up to with our travels this summer:

We kicked off our summer with a week long visit from my parents. We spent most of their time here relaxing, hanging out, and showing them our everyday lives, but my mom and I did get a chance to go visit our local zoo. Don’t let sizes fool you – for being such a small zoo, there was much greater opportunity to get close to some of the animals. We were pretty impressed. Although we did almost get attacked by squirrels that were stealing food from some bunnies.

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When my parents packed their car to head back home, I packed mine along with them to caravan back to Illinois for a very brief, last minute planned trip home. One of my friends has been teaching in Africa this past year, and she came home for a couple weeks this summer to visit, so I made plans to drive to see her the same time one of our other friends was flying in from Nebraska (#collegereunion). Typically our trips home are jam-packed with fitting in as many loved ones as possible, & I’m usually quite impressed by the amount of people we’re able to see, even if my sleep schedule severely suffers. But this trip was a little more low-key as I kept it mostly to myself – granted my sleep schedule still suffered. I knew that I’d be back in a couple weeks anyways, so I just focused on spending time with a few family members and Hannah & Taryn. Highlights include: a throwback sleepover with two of my cousins, a perfectly made cotton candy blizzard, game night with a few extended family members, a day in the sun with all of my cousins’ little boys, roasting strawberries covered in marshmallow fluff & Nutella over the stove top at Hannah’s sister’s house, & of course just spending good ol’ quality time to catch up with each and every person I saw.

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Our biggest summer plans were completely shaken up due to Adam getting offered an opportunity to go back out to California for work (super exciting) for 5 weeks (not so exciting). It just so happened that he would leave the week that we had planned to go home for our friends’ wedding. So right at the beginning of July I dropped him off at the airport and then hit the road with Boone the following day to still make the trip home – just for a shorter period of time. It was a perfectly timed trip in the sense that I was able to keep my mind off Adam being gone for a little while. So while home I spent a whole lot of time catching up with some of my favorites and celebrating the next chapter of two dear friends’ lives.

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My last big trip of the summer was yet again a last minute planned adventure. About 2 days before Adam was leaving, we toyed with the idea for me to come visit. We found a reasonably priced fare for a perfectly carved out time frame for me to go visit him for a few days to break up the time we had to spend apart. Hashtag worth it.

Adam was staying at the same base that we were living at this time last year, so while I was there we visited some of the spots that we frequented before. We watched dolphins at Pismo beach, got lunch and a salted caramel pretzel milkshake at Hoagie’s, went paddleboarding for the first time in Santa Barbara, and window shopped along State Street. I also took advantage of our time in Cali to get some food that we don’t have access to in Minot. (What up In-N-Out, Chipotle, & Chick-fil-a!). My stomach was certainly well pleased.

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It was exciting to mix it up and spend a couple days back in California; to “getaway” with the hubs; to see the ocean and the mountains again; to revisit the place we were living last year. But I’m honestly so content with our life where we’re at, so it was good to come home. And it was SO SO SO good to have Adam join me back home about a week after I left.

For those who aren’t familiar with Adam and I’s story, we spent the majority of our dating relationship long distance. By majority, I mean about 4 out of the 5 years. We’ve been there. We were well prepared for this brief time apart. But that doesn’t make it any more enjoyable – a little more manageable maybe, but in no way, shape, or form preferred – especially now that we’re married. I tried so hard not to be dramatic about it. There are families that go so much longer being separated. Especially in the military. There are families that have to conquer deployments that last much longer, and are much riskier. I have so much respect and empathy for the people who have to deal with that. So I did my best to remind myself of that throughout the weeks we spent apart. I just missed my best friend. We do have some pretty awesome friends that were sure to take care of me though, and they spent plenty of intentional time hanging out with me while he was gone.

It is just so, so good to have him back and be able to establish our “normal” again. Now that he’s home I sometimes fight off the urge to wrap my arms around him and never let go. Then again, sometimes I don’t. Boone was thrilled to have his daddy back too. I wasn’t there to witness it, but apparently he stuck his head between Adam’s legs and cried for a good 5 minutes when Adam walked through the door.

So all in all, we ended up having more travels in our summer than we initially planned this year, but it gave us quite an adventure. For the sake of time and space, I’ll save the rest of the details of our summer for another day, so tune in later this week for all the in-between, everyday stuff.

How about you…where did you travel to this summer?

my top ten favorite posts from the first year.

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A year ago today my first post on this blog went public. It was weeks in the making, and months worth of thoughts coming together, and I was secretly a little terrified at the pondering thought of if anyone would even care to read what I had to say. Ok, honestly I was a lot terrified. That’s why it took me weeks to get to the point of hitting the publish button. But here we are a year later. I’m still a little terrified at times that no one even cares to read my words. But I try to turn back to the contentment that if just one person reads this, if just one person is moved by the words shared, if just one heart is impacted by the Gospel active in my life, then it would be worth it. So if you’re here reading this, thank you. Thanks for caring enough to read what I have to say. Thanks for taking a few minutes out of your day to wonder what in the world is going on in my life or my head. Thanks for sticking with me in the seasons of plenty and the seasons of drought. I appreciate every set of eyes that come across this blog.

In honor on The Pruim Life’s first birthday, I went through the archives and pulled out my top 10 posts I’ve written in the last year (in no particular order). They cover all sorts of topics. But these are the ones that resonate with my heart the deepest. These are the ones that I believe in the most. These are the words that speak the most from my heart. So feel free to check them out, either for the first time, or for a refresher. Or don’t. I’m not here to make you do anything. I’m just saying that you might not regret it if you do 🙂

Weakness, not Perfection. The words that struck me to my core about being vulnerable enough to boast of my weaknesses to make much of Jesus.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words. The first of what I hope to be many future posts in this series. This is the story of so many things beginning to unfold in my life that all started at the Pumpkin Olympics.

When God’s Will Doesn’t Match Up With My Own. Reflections on our journey from Illinois to California to North Dakota.

From Comparison to Contentment. The introduction to this series on a root issue in, I think, many of our lives that needs to be addressed.

The Pilot Episode. This, in fact, was the first post on The Pruim Life. To this day it still reflects the reasons that I decided to embark on this small sort of adventure.

Bind My Wandering Heart to Thee. Focusing in on tearing down modern day idols in our lives.

No Make Up Month: Part One. Reasons why I decided to go a month completely make-up-less.

Less is More. My heartbeat for seeking simplicity, rather than drowning in life’s clutter.

The Purge: Tips for Minimizing Your Wardrobe. The things I learned to be helpful in my own closet overhaul.

The War on Insecurity. Very honest and vulnerable thoughts on some struggles I’ve faced in the past couple years.

With year two in full swing, my hope is that my words here reflect Jesus; that they reflect the Gospel. My desire is to glorify God. I hope that I can continue to find courage to speak out and not fold in about the things God is teaching me, showing me, and revealing in my life. I hope that time allows for me to invest a little more here. I hope that this space continues to grow. We’ll see how it all plays out.

Do you have a favorite post from the first year of The Pruim Life? If so, I’d love to hear about your thoughts in the comments below!

another year older

I’m well aware that it’s been pretty quiet around these parts over the summer, but I’ll catch you all up to speed soon on what’s been happening in the real life Pruim life. The latest news? Today marks the start of my 24th year of life. Yep, it’s my birthday. In the days leading up to today I’ve been looking back on this past year and I kind of can’t believe everything that has happened. 23 in theory isn’t anything uniquely special, but I suppose no one’s 23rd year of life is quite the same. Mine was a pretty eventful one, that’s for sure. So for memories’ sake, here’s a look back at some of the highlights:

my 23rd year

In my 23rd year I have…

…road tripped 5 times to cover 9 states (some of which were repeats).

…flown on 19 flights. My stomach sure will be thankful for a lesser number in year 24.

…visited Yellowstone National Park, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Redwoods, the Mall of America, and Cozumel – just to name some biggies.

…crossed off my all time number one bucket list dream and swam with dolphins.

…lived in 3 different homes – and for some crazy reason we’re in the process of moving again…but more on that later 🙂

…survived one North Dakota winter.

…missed out on 4 weddings back home, but still managed to make it to 2.

…lost approximately 7 pounds. It’s been a struggle. Consistency sure does takes commitment.

…started a blog.

…celebrated 2 years of marriage.

…loved every second of being a mama to the sweetest little puppy dog ever.

…experienced the heaviness of homesickness, but also the joy & peace of embracing exactly where God wants us to be.

…praised God for his provision and sovereignty, because He has proved Himself faithful time & time again this year.

…really taken to heart the call to make disciples, and have put some words and thoughts to actions because of it.

Is it too cheesy to say, “what a year 23 has been!”? I hope not, because that’s how I feel. It has by far been my most traveled year of life. But it’s also been chaotic and messy and adventurous. It’s been challenging and formative and enlightening.

I’m at the age where when I was younger I thought life really began. You go through school, and maybe through college, and work towards making a life for yourself. It was always impressed upon me to think about my future. But now I’m in that future. The truth is, my life began 24 years ago today. And every little second has contributed to who I am and where I am right in this moment. I’ll be honest, I constantly – like seriously, constantly – am marveling over how strange “growing up” and “being an adult” is. It’s weird. It’s good weird. But it’s weird. Those of you who have lived more life than me, does it ever get less weird? Maybe I’ll feel more normal if it doesn’t. Maybe I’ll feel more settled if it does. I’m okay with getting older, I really am. It’s just one of those phenomenons in life that doesn’t fully get comprehended. I’m in this stage of gaining understanding, but not having all the pieces of the puzzle yet. One day it’ll all make sense. Maybe.

I’m reminded of something one of my favorite blogger’s said back in February when she turned 30 and was reflecting on the weirdness of growing up too: “Getting older is not about feeling different. It’s not about putting on a new look or changing who you are. As experience has shown, we pretty much feel the same. We just grow. We gain experiences. We carry who we were into the next year and the year after that. We’re a little taller, maybe. We’re a little rounder, maybe. We have different tastes, maybe. But we’re us. Exactly us.”

So I start this 24th year with arms wide open. Because in all honesty, I have no other logical choice. Here’s to growing. Here’s to experiencing. Here’s to growing up.