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!

2014 christmas ornament

When I was a kid, it was a family tradition for my brother and me 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?

happy veterans day

The more I live out the days of my life, the more I grow to appreciate the things within them. I’ve learned to appreciate the colors of the fall, the warmth of a winter coat on a cold day (like the ones we’ve been starting to have in Minot this week), and the therapeutic nature of the world’s most precious puppy (a.k.a. our lil Boone Pruim). Bigger than all of that, I deeply appreciate the joy that exudes from fellowship & solid friendship, the grace and mercy that God grants me on a daily (probably hourly, or maybe even minutely) basis, and the freedom that has been granted to me in this country that so many people around the world don’t know.  In light of Thanksgiving this month I’ve been trying to focus a little more on the things I’m thankful for. Cliché? Yeah maybe. But regardless of what holiday is coming up next, or what holiday it is, I would still be thankful for a whole lot.

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Today, on Veterans Day, I’m inclined to be extra thoughtful of my appreciation for the men & women who have served and are serving the United States in the military. The people that have defended my honor and fought for my freedom. The people that sacrifice their comfort, their time, and a normal life for something bigger than themselves. Today, these are the people that are being honored & appreciated.

As time has gone by Veterans Day has become more & more personal for me. I have friends that spent years in the Army and others that have made commitments to the Army National Guard. I have friends with family members that have served or are serving in all branches of the military. I have friends that are preparing to serve in the Air Force through ROTC. My cousin Billy served in the Army years ago. My cousin and lifelong best friend Jordi, and her husband Aaron, have recently finished their own journey with the Army and are adjusting back to the civilian world. & it wasn’t until a couple months ago that I began to understand that civilian life and military life really are two different things, because after a four year ROTC commitment through college, Adam began his active duty career as a missileer in the Air Force. Now I’m meeting and living amongst the people that have followed suit of people before them that have chosen a path of life that demands more commitment than most establishments in existence. I foresee my appreciation for these honorable people to increase tremendously as my own life is saturated in military influence and demands.

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Just a quick story to share with you: This year there are many restaurants and companies that are honoring those who have served or are serving in the military with special offers. This morning we took hold of this opportunity and went to Denny’s to receive free Grand Slams. The place was packed with veterans, active duty members, and their families from the moment we got there to the moment we left, with no end in sight. Now drinks weren’t included in this special offer so as we and our friends went to the counter to pay, the employees took our receipt and told us that a man that was in the restaurant earlier had purchased a $200 gift card and gave it to them to apply to everyone’s bills stating that he wanted the entirety of their meals to be paid for. This man had already left Denny’s, so I couldn’t give him the hug that was dying to burst from within me. All we could do was repeatedly thank the manager. I don’t know who you are stranger, sir, but you are incredibly kind.

I’ll be the first to say that the United States has its problems. It’s got issues and messiness within it that make me cringe. But today, especially through this one man’s generous act of kindness and hospitality, I’m so grateful for days like today when people choose to honor their neighbors; when we choose to focus on something bigger than ourselves.

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So happy Veterans day to the men and women of our country’s armed services – past and present. You are appreciated. You are loved. And today we honor you.