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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!