letting life happen

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Well March came, and March went. And April has come and we’re already a week in. And I’ve been nowhere to be found on this space. To be honest, there were a couple times this month that I sat down to put something together for a post, but the publish button never got pushed. And it’s not that I haven’t had anything to say. It’s just that I’ve been simply living.

Nothing extravagant has been going on (minus our recent vacation to Mexico, but I consider that an exception). I’ve simply been working, maintaining the house, working out, building relationships, and spending quality time with my husband and pup. And this past month, that was enough for me to manage. Everything was steady. It was simple. It felt peaceful. And so each time I sat at the computer and typed out some of my thoughts, all that came out was words expressing my desire to just be living life and utilizing the time in my days to the best of my abilities (I can thank the gorgeous weather at the beginning of the month for that inspiration – where that weather is now I’m not so sure). It’s not that blogging isn’t worth my time. I love having this space and I look forward to seeing it grow in the time to come as I find new and better ways to invest in it. But this past month it was nice to take the break and just let life happen. To take the moments as they came and experience them fully. To not overwhelm myself with too much on my plate, especially with my new job. To enjoy the simple evenings of sitting next to Adam on the couch or tossing a ball around with Boone. To take advantage of the few spring weather days we’ve had so far and get outside more. To soak in the opportunities to invest in relationships, both near and far. It was all worth it.

As we’re already a week into April, I’m excited to get things rolling again around here. I have a month’s worth of life to catch you all up on. I have overdue words to share with you. I have a new series to continue in. But I also am giving myself the grace and the wiggle room to deal with life as it happens. I’m not a full time blogger, so I feel comfortable giving myself that slack at this time. But know that I care about sharing the words that I do with you here. And therefore I don’t want to give you second rate stuff. It’s just that sometimes the quality I aim for takes a little more time. So be patient with me. And trust that there is more to come soon.

Until then…

catching up // vol. 4

Happy New Year Pruim Life readers! I’ve decided that I need to stop apologizing for the gaps in between my posts, simply because I feel like I do it too often. Every time I get amped up to start posting on a more regular basis, something (or things) comes up and I get preoccupied with living life. But I figure I’m not some hot shot blogger or anything with thousands of followers that is expected to post daily so I don’t have to put the pressure on myself to do so. Granted, I would love to post more often for you folks. I have a lot on my mind to post. I have a lot that I have already planned to post. I even have some posts already written out, but there are just other things I want to touch on first. So this will be the last time that I apologize for leaving you all hanging. Some times I will be able to post consistently, but there are other times that I simply want to be present in my daily life. That’s something I think everyone could do a little more often. So why don’t I catch you up to speed on what’s been keeping me so busy lately.

Catching Up // Vol. 6

1 // With the end of our year being consumed by our trip home to Illinois, we celebrated our own family Christmas on Christmas Eve. We went to a Christmas Eve service at the church we’ve been attending, came home & exchanged presents, and made puppy chow. It was simple, yet perfect.

2 // We ended up driving 15 hours on Christmas day to make it to Chicagoland a day early, & as long as it was, it was so very worth it. Most of our days were jam packed with friends & family, as well as multiple family Christmases. Most days we were exhausted when we woke up (I don’t think I’ve ever had more coffee in such a short span of time in my life), but I think I can speak for both of us when I say that every late night, every early morning, every busy day, every back to back plan we made, was so, so worth it.

3 // With this being Boone’s first trip to our motherland, he met so many people & so many pups. The most eventful day for him was Christmas with my family where he met my parent’s dog, and my brother’s two pups. They were entertaining to say the least. For the most part, he handled the stress of so much newness pretty well. We’re just thankful to have been able to bring him along.

4 // After Adam headed back to Minot on New Years Eve, my time at home slowly wound down. My days got a little less busier, but I still fit in quality time with quality people, including a fantastic weekend trip down to our old home in Southern Illinois. One of the people that I spent a lot of time with is this gal, my cousin Jordi. She’s been my best friend pretty much since the day I was born (we have pictures to prove it) and our nonsensical tendencies haven’t changed a bit. She and her husband were both in the Army for a number of years, meaning they were anywhere but near me. And the same summer that Adam and I started our adventures across the country for the Air Force was the summer that she and Aaron completed their time with the Army and moved back home. My slight bitterness at the hilarity of the timing was completely made up for as we spent many nights staying up late, chatting about all-the-things in life, and many days just relaxing at her house.

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5 // Speaking of days spent at Jordi’s, I also got to spend the longest stretch of time I ever have with this hilarious boy. For the first time ever I think we finally got Lukas to a point that he remembered who I was and would greet me at the door by saying “Aunt Kelly, come chase me.” I have countless videos of this kid saying & doing the greatest of things that are going to help any bit of homesickness that potentially could occur in the months to come.

6 // One of the days that I was home, Jordi, Lukas, and I hung out with my mom and looked through plenty of old pictures while sharing countless memories and stories of “the good ol’ days.” The pictures truly were priceless. The gem above here is a shot of my brother and I doing who knows what. I like to think we were on top of the thought of “what does the fox say” far before it went viral a couple years ago. Regardless, I think we were just adorable.

7 // Speaking of blasts from the past, we are now the proud owners of a new-to-us N64. Guys, this is the best video game system of all time. & thanks to Jordi & Aaron, we now have one in our possession – along with all of the best games ever (what up Mario Kart!). It’s given us the chance to be able to do something else alongside of each other. For awhile the Playstation was taking up a bit of Adam’s free time, but now we have something that we are both interested in. It’s been a blast working together to collect stars on Mario & now puzzle pieces on Banjo Kazooie. We’ve been able to cheer each other on, work together, get competitive, and sit side by side pushed up close to the TV.

8 // Since arriving home, my time has been full of soaking up every second with my boys, settling back into a normal (even though I don’t even really have an established normal yet), & continuing to set up house. Having a home that is still in need of much decorating, I was much more attentive to details of people’s houses on our trip. I gained a lot of inspiration for ways that I wanted to set up some of our spaces. I’m incredibly content with our kitchen at this point, and now our living room is coming along too. We now have a new-to-us living room set thanks to a garage sale facebook page, a new rug, and new curtains that need to still be hung. It feels so much homier and I am loving every second of the process.

So long story short, our time at home was full. It was busy & chaotic at times. But it also left us feeling full. It was a perfect way to end 2014, and start off 2015. After two weeks of visiting in Illinois, I was ready to come home to Minot. Adam & I spent the majority of our almost 5 year relationship long distance before we were married, and any bit of time that we have had to briefly return to being away from each other is just a reminder that I am so thankful that those days are behind us. We were apart for a week, but let me tell you: I missed my hubby. I don’t care how mushy or pathetic that may sound, but I’ve grown quite fond of living life alongside him and I’m sad when we have to go so many days apart (I know, I know, it was just a week. My former long-distance relationshiped self would be shaking my head & saying that’s nothing. But no matter the time frame, being away from someone you love can always be a challenge). I definitely had the most wonderful time at home, but I could not wait to be reunited with Adam and our pup. It makes me intentionally decide to take advantage of every day we have together. That’s the biggest reason you haven’t heard from me sooner. Because I’ve been soaking up every second with my little family. Nothing like some distance to make your heart grow fonder.

So, it’s good to be back.

How has 2015 been treating you all so far?

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?

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?

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!

where the next chapter begins

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My dear blog readers, what a week & a half it has been! Last time I checked in here our belongings were being packed up to be moved across the country to North Dakota. Now, as I write this, I myself am sitting in a Starbucks in North Dakota, after finishing sipping on my first caramel apple cider of this fall season of course. That’s right, we’ve arrived! We ventured across six states to get here and stopped for some scenic adventures as well. When we weren’t taking time to see parts of the United States we’ve never seen before, I had plenty of time on my hands to think, reminisce, listen, and marvel in the glory of God, meaning I have a whole slew of things to share in the days ahead here on this blog. This whirlwind life we’ve been living has me processing more than I can piece together at times, so bear with me as I try to string all that God has been laying on my heart together. A more in-depth post on our trip itself will come soon, but for now just know that time alone in the car driving through the desert and the mountains was a great opportunity to invite the Holy Spirit to move in me.

As we transitioned across the country, I couldn’t help but reflect on the adventures we’ve had already. Because that’s what our life has been: an adventure. Back when Adam & I were married in May of last year, we started our life together in a trailer in Southern Illinois. Though our time there was brief as we were finishing out Adam’s year lease, from the get-go we clued into the fact that our life together would be an adventure. & from the get-go we unknowingly decided that we were going to make the most of it. As anyone’s life is, our adventure has come with the everyday journey that God has laid out for us, alongside of the less usual excursions He has had planned as well. Our life in Southern Illinois held more pieces of the adventure than we ever anticipated. But as Adam’s graduation came near the Air Force bid us West and so we turned the page on the first chapter of our lives.

Chapter two had California in store for us – a place that both of us had always dreamed of visiting, yet we found ourselves living there. We took up as many adventures as possible, many of which have been shared here. But we knew that this season of life was to quickly pass. And as I’ve disclosed here multiple times, we’ve been ready to move on to what is to come in the next chapter.

On Tuesday the next chapter of our lives began. The chapter that has brought us to North Dakota. The chapter that has brought us to a new state, a new home, a new life. A chapter that is going to bring about a lot of new and old challenges, hardships, and joys. As I sit in this coffee shop still letting it sink in that this is our new home, I feel the greatest level of flexibility that I’ve ever known. So much of our adventure right now involves us taking our hands off the wheel and letting God do the directing. And as he leads us into new circumstances there have been countless times that I’m having to trust again that this is His will for us, therefore this is for our good. Even when our housing situation has become more of a nuisance than we ever thought, this is still what God wants us to go through. Even when Minot turned out to be much more populated and busy than we expected, we can look to Him and know that He knew this is what was to come all along. Whether what we face is tough or easy, He is working in us in ways that we don’t even realize is for our own sanctification and for His glory. I find myself lifting my hands and saying, “okay God, I’ll go with it.”

The thing about chapter books is that a chapter by itself is not the whole story. It’s only a piece of the big picture. Sometimes a chapter holds details of struggles and hardships. Sometimes it speaks of events of great joy & happiness. Other times it explores the challenges faced. In the time preceding our move to California I started accepting the reality that the military was drawing us in towards a life that we had no control over. One that would bring us through chapters that we could not even fathom. & yet I started cluing into the fact that it was God who was drawing us onward. It’s been God that has prepared the way for us to go where we’ve gone and where we have yet to go. It is He who has led us through the struggles, hardships, joys & challenges. And I’ve come to the realization that I’m not the main character in this story. Neither is Adam. We’re just the supporting cast that has the role of pointing towards the One that the story is all about. I must say, the story has started to make a lot more sense once I take myself out of the center of it. But I still want to live up the part that I am playing within it.

This is what The Pruim Life is all about. It’s about the adventure of our lives. It’s about the paths and roads that God is taking us on as we learn to live this life, and story, for Him. And it’s about honoring Him in the midst of it all. So I invite you all to come along for the ride. I invite you to share in this story along side of us as we turn the page to The Pruim Life: Chapter Three.

things to miss & things to look forward to

Guys, we leave California in 3 days. Another season of transition, adjustment, & hopefully not too much stress is quickly approaching. The process feels more real than ever as TMO is packing up the majority of our stuff literally as I type this. In a couple hours we’ll be left with only two car loads worth of stuff. Most of this past weekend was devoted to packing up what I could, & organizing as much as possible so that this move goes much more smoothly than our last one (i.e. we don’t leave ourselves with cars overflowing with unnecessary belongings). Doing so has helped eliminate more stress than I even realize. But with just a couple days left in California, I don’t want to let it slip all away. We’re planning on going surfing & enjoying some In-N-Out tomorrow to finish off our time here in style. As we transition to the next season of life, I’m making the efforts to embrace the things we’ve enjoyed here, but also look forward to the goodness that awaits us. I’m trying my best not the resent the things that I don’t care for here, or being negative about the cold weather we’re going to be moving to. So I thought I’d share the things that make me smile as I reminisce our time here on the Central coast, as well as the things that have got me itching to arrive in Minot.

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Things I’m going to miss about California:

  1. The weather – Let’s be honest, warm sunny weather all the time is pretty fantastic. While my Midwest roots have brought up the unthinkable in me & have made me miss the rain & the seasons, I know that come winter time I am going to be aching for the sunshine & perfect, non-humid temperatures.
  2. The beach – Although we haven’t spent as much time at the beach as I thought we would (the central coast hosts a lot of weather in the 70s that makes it a bit cold for the beach sometimes), but I have thoroughly enjoyed having some so close to us. I like having the opportunity to (attempt) surfing nearby. I like the beach-town vibes that can be seen & felt in the shops & restaurants along the coast line.
  3. My job title (or lack thereof) – guys, it’s been a true blessing to have not had to work these past few months. I’ve been able to refocus & rejuvenate myself in many ways. I’ve made time for things that I haven’t had the time to do in ages. I’ve started on projects that I’ve been dreaming of for years. & I’m not even done with them yet. I’m just not quite ready to give up all this free time yet. Once we get settled in ND we think it wise for me to start looking for work again. Retirement at 23 just isn’t feasible. I think it’ll be great for me to get back to work, but being a stay at home wife has been better than I even hoped it would be.
  4. My tan – I think I’ve mentioned it multiple times here, but I FAILED at achieving my goal of becoming the most tan I have ever been while spending a summer (not working) in California. It seemed so sensible. & yet life stood in the way. While I have gained some color, I know that in a couple months I’m going to be shaking my head at myself. The tan that I have accumulated in the past 5 months is going to fade from me quickly. I can feel it. & I’m going to miss it dearly in the cold, pale winter months in North Dakota.
  5. The palm trees – If I had to pick a favorite tree, it would probably be a palm tree. It was always a dream of mine to have a palm tree in my backyard (yeah, I dream real big) & I’ve achieved that here in California. So I’m going to miss having those tall guys (& the short ones too) around.
  6. The adventures – Anytime you go somewhere new there are adventures around you because you’re not familiar with what’s there. But something about being in California makes it seem like the adventures are more attractive & more plentiful. We’ve had opportunities to go try new things & visit new places that are all thrilling & exciting. While North Dakota is going to bring new adventures of its own, there’s something about the things to do in California that are really appealing.

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Things I’m looking forward to in North Dakota:

  1. Seasons – We’re moving back to the Midwest. Friends, I’m telling you, I really never thought I’d be that person that would wish for the seasons as I’m soaking in the sun & daily warm weather, but it’s happened. I’m dying for some caramel apple cider, but the weather around me just doesn’t make that seem real fitting. I want to wear the fall clothes that I spent the past year stocking up on, but the weather here makes that unreasonable. So, I’m looking forward to mixing it up. Now granted, in a short few months time we’ll be experiencing the terrible tundra & I’ll again be shaking my head at my current self, but right now I’m looking forward to something different. The same weather every single day really is nice, but it’s just not normal to my Midwest heart
  2. Permanency (well, sort of) – since being married last May, Adam will be moving to our fourth home. Yes, fourth. In a year and a half. That blows my mind, because I never moved in my whole life until I went to college. Oh how the military has changed that for me. Although we’ll only be in Minot for 3 years, that’s already 2 years more than we have spent anywhere so far. I’m looking forward to getting settled somewhere – to getting rooted in & not have to leave so suddenly. Which leads me to…
  3. New relationships – with Minot being a semi-permanent place for us for the next few years I’m looking forward to building new friendships with neighbors, co-workers, & whoever else there is to join the party. I’m excited to meet people that are ahead of me in stages of life, as well as ones that I can journey alongside of. I’m excited to learn from others, while also sharing my heart too.
  4. A New Home Church – Being in California so temporarily has made it difficult to really get plugged into a church. We’ve found somewhere to attend each week, but in the summer months the small groups don’t meet so opportunity to build relationships has been left to just Sunday mornings. & it’s been minimal. After coming from a church that we both deeply & passionately loved in Southern Illinois, we’re hoping to find a church that we can invest ourselves in as well as be invested in by.
  5. Closer proximity to home – Now it’s not like we’re living right next door to anyone, but we’re jumping from approximately 31 hours away from home, to 15. & 15 hours sounds a whole lot more reasonable to me. With how badly we’ve become homesick, it’s nice to know that visiting home will be a little more tangible now.
  6. New adventures – While California hosts many of the adventures I’ve been dreaming about all my life, North Dakota is going to present new opportunities as well. It’s a state I don’t know much about (& I’m finding that basically no one knows anything about it either). But I sense that we have the opportunity to get a little more outdoorsy in a state that isn’t crowded with cities & people. & it puts us in closer proximity to visit some other states we’ve never been to before. (Minnesota, I’m coming for ya!)

My heart & mind feel ready for this move. We’re tying up the loose ends of all the logistics & getting ready to go. We’re anxious to see how Boone handles the cross country move. He may not be a fan of being cooped up in a car all day for a few days straight, but we think he’s going to like having his own backyard in a state that isn’t so hot on his black fur. Until then, he’s not being very helpful in the packing process while he takes naps on my to-do lists. Lucky for him, he’s the cutest puppy on the planet & I don’t mind all that much 🙂

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