best of 2019

Hello friends! I’m back for day two of my 2019 review. Yesterday I recapped the year’s most defining moments, memories, and adventures, and today I am sharing my ‘Best of 2019’ list. I saw a couple other bloggers do this, and I instantly loved it. It’s a mix of highlights from the year and recommendations for things I’ve tried and loved. I hope you enjoy!

Best adventure/travel/trip: In November we too a week long vacation at an all inclusive resort in St Lucia. It was the perfect trip full of relaxation, with some adventure. We had been saving up for a vacation like this for a long time, so to finally go on it and to enjoy it as much as we did was incredibly satisfying.

Another outstanding adventure was our hike 8.5 mile hike to Sky Pond in Rocky Mountain National Park. It was a perfect day in the mountains, and the entire trek was nothing short of a fairy tale.

Best book: Three books stand out to me as total game changers for my heart and life this year:

  1. You Are the Girl for the Job: Daring to Believe the God Who Calls You by Jess Connolly
  2. Something Needs to Change: A Call to Make Your Life Count in a World of Urgent Need by David Platt
  3. Imperfect Courage: Live a Life of Purpose by Leaving Comfort and Going Scared by Jessica Honeggar

Each of these books were laced with the right balance of truth, encouragement, and a total kick in the pants. Each of them were a call to something more. Each of them spurred me on in my faith journey in ways I didn’t realize how badly I needed. Each of them are going to be books of lifelong worth to me (I’m already on my second read through of You Are the Girl for the Job since it released in September – it’s just that good).

Best movie: I mean, there couldn’t possibly be another winner for this category other than Avengers: Endgame. Just absolutely epic.

Best album or song: I think this category can best be summed up with the help of my Spotify Wrapped. According to the stats, my sound changed with the seasons (which is usually the case) and the four top songs for each season it identified had me nodding my head in agreement.

Winter: Cringe – Stripped by Matt Maeson
Spring: Waiting for My Time to Come by Colony House
Summer: Live Forever by Mike Mains & the Branches
Fall: Carry Me Away by John Mayer

If you’re interested, you can listen along to what was on repeat for me in 2019 here.

Best podcast: The Balanced Life Podcast with Robin Long. Each week Robin interviews women who appear to be “doing it all,” and she talks with them about what they do AND don’t do to find their own unique sense of balance. Balance is a fairly consistent buzz word in my life, so I have found myself incredibly encouraged and inspired by the conversations in her first season.

Best follow on Instagram: Jess Connolly has been a consistent source of encouragement and truth on my instagram feed for years now. If it’s possible to be discipled by someone you’ve never even met, then she’s certainly done that for me. I’ve also followed Elise Cripe for years now and I find myself loving her real-talk attitude about goal setting, balance, and just living your life in a way that works for you.

Best date: We’ve had a conglomeration of date days that revolve around heading down to Fort Collins to explore or adventure. They’ve included going to the rock climbing gym, browsing REI or Trader Joe’s, wandering around Old Town, landing at some yummy restaurants with nice ambiance, and usually finishing with either Insomnia Cookies or Churn ice cream. Every time we have a day like this, I find myself enjoying the adventures with the company of my husband. Also noteworthy: we’ve never gone wrong with going out for a hike or doing an escape room.

Best faith grower: Two things stand out to me this year, each having to do with our jobs.

The most recent has been the gym I worked for going out of business, and then determining what my next steps would be. The road leading to closure was bumpy and challenging, and I found myself falling at the feet of Jesus each morning as we navigated through it. As a result, He provided me with so much peace and hope in His faithfulness amidst the feelings of turmoil, and He took it even further and revealed His plans for me in this next season. I dive more into this story here.

The other would be deciphering the right steps with an opportunity Adam could have had in his career. The decision making process had us going back and forth over the course of a year as we took our logistics, preferences, and past experiences that affected the decision into consideration, and for awhile we weren’t getting a clear ‘yes’ or ‘no’ from God. It not only drew us towards each other to process the decision together, but amidst the uncertainty of what to do, I again spent a lot of time handing it all over to God and trusting Him to lead us to the best decision. In the end, Adam decided to not pursue the opportunity and we both have been united and at peace about the decision.

Best trend you tried: This summer I gave intermittent fasting a try during our staff fitness challenge, and it was a total breakthrough for me in my health journey. I’ll likely be sharing more about my story with it here in the future.

Alternatively, I don’t know if you’d consider this a trend, but since it’s been a popular TV show for the last 10 years…despite my strong distaste for reality TV, Adam somehow got me hooked on Survivor this spring, so I decided to start from the beginning and watch all the way through. I’m currently on season 21, which is just past the halfway point as season 40 will be airing in February. Needless to say, I got into a much bigger commitment than I realized.

Best beauty purchase: I think I technically started using this in 2018, but I will still rave about my favorite dry shampoo more than any beauty product I use. This one actually makes my fine hair look and feel clean on days that it certainly doesn’t start out that way.

Best family memory: There’s not one specific day that stands out, but some of my favorite moments have been the simple, mundane ones. The evening summer walks we’d go on with the dogs, laughing hysterically at one of the dogs for something ridiculous they did (usually it’s Rizzo), playing in the snow – which just led to the dogs eating the snow. I think of those times and think of how one day I’m going to look back on moments like that and think “those were the days.” I love this simple little family of mine.

Best habit you created: Slow, quiet mornings with Jesus. I have usually spent my time praying, journaling, or reading my Bible in the mornings, and I have tried different routines to really maximize that time. What seems to work best for me is starting my day with Jesus before anything else. This led me to start getting up even just a little bit earlier to make sure I’d have time to take it slow before I jumped into my day. Even now that I’m not working, I have continued with the habit of starting most of my days with downing a glass of water, and slowly sipping a cup of coffee while I pray or read.

An honorable mention that I can’t quite claim as a habit because I don’t do it consistently enough – but definitely want it to be – is phone/scroll free days at least once a week. On those days I avoid time wasting habits on my phone (usually Instagram and Facebook), so that I can actually do the things I think about doing. Each time I do it, I’m always very glad I did.

Favorite blog post written: In honor of 10 years having passed since I graduated high school this year, I wrote a letter to my 17 year old self. It was cathartic to look back upon my younger self with grace and tenderness, and it was fun to reflect on how much I’ve grown and how much my life has changed since receiving that diploma.

Best new recipe: This instant pot chili recipe has been on repeat since the weather turned. An easy, hearty meal that we usually pair with some honey cornbread.

Best life hack: Two words: Pizza Friday. Most nights I’m not overly thrilled about the process of cooking dinner, but at the end of the work week, I was all the more over it. So on Friday nights we started spending the night in with two Jack’s pizzas and a couple TV shows (& usually some Ben & Jerry’s to go along with it). We started doing this sometime in the summer, and basically haven’t stopped. I’ve dubbed it my “Sabbath meal” because it allows me to rest from the work of planning and preparing a meal. It’s become a time of rest that we look forward to every week.

Best home improvement: This summer I got an outdoor rug and some string lights for our back patio, and it made my summer days even more joyful, and my summer nights even more magical.

Best little luxury you’ve enjoyed: On Amazon Prime Day we took the plunge and got ourselves a robot vacuum. While at times we both can have mixed reviews about the one we have, I’m thankful to have a little help at trying to keep the dog hair tumbleweeds at bay.


And that’s a wrap, on this post and on 2019 – though some reflections may trickle into the new year as I discuss goals for the year ahead. It’s been a good year in the real life Pruim life, and I hope that 2020 has some beautiful things in store for you all!

Happy New Year,

P.S. I’d love to know – what are some of your “bests” from 2019? Let me know in the comments!

2019 recap

Hi friends! I can hardly believe that 2020 is just two days away. A new year AND a new decade. But before I jump into what the future holds, I always enjoy looking back and reflecting on all that happened throughout the year. But why keep all the fun to myself? I personally enjoy seeing other people’s end-of-year reviews, and so I wanted to take not just one, but TWO days to give you all a glimpse into my 2019.

Today I’ll be recapping this year’s most defining moments, memories, and adventures. And then, be sure to come back tomorrow to check out my ‘Best of 2019’ list. I hope you enjoy!

2019 started off a bit out of the ordinary for us. A few days into the new year, Adam left for a work trip/training for 7 weeks in Alabama, so we spent the first two months of the year apart. It certainly wasn’t ideal, but we managed alright – our many years of long-distance dating seemed to have prepared us. I spent a lot of our time apart hanging out with the dogs, focusing a little harder on my workouts and nutrition, and getting together more frequently with some friends to help pass – and make the most of – the time. But I was absolutely giddy when Adam finally returned home. You can read a bit more of what was going on in my heart after those two months in my first coffee date post here.

In both March and April we were able to spend some quality time with our friends Steve and Megan, and their three boys, while they were in town from Montana for a couple work trips. Although it’s because of the Air Force that we don’t live near each other anymore, I’m also so thankful that because of the Air Force we were able to have some time together. Our friendship was founded on game nights, so much of their time in town was spent doing just that, but we also ventured down to the Denver Aquarium one day to meet up with some of their college friends, and we even survived Cheyenne’s Bomb Cyclone while they were here.

At the end of March we went to see Switchfoot, our favorite band, play in Denver at the Fillmore. This was my 5th Switchfoot concert (and Adam’s 4th), and every time I see them I have more and more respect and love for their music, and for how they live their lives. Plus, there’s something so magical about live music – so needless to say, we had a great time.

In April, we flew to Michigan for the wedding of one of my college friends. It was a perfect opportunity to not only celebrate the new Mr. and Mrs., but also spend the weekend with our friends Joe & Vanessa, and their daughter, who drove down from Minnesota. We rented a lake house Airbnb for the weekend. Apart from the wedding festivities, we also explored a bit in downtown Detroit, but mostly our time was spent catching up and reminiscing while trying to complete a puzzle that had at least 10 missing pieces.

We started attending a new church this year, after never feeling truly settled in the church we first attended when we moved to Cheyenne. I’ve mentioned on the blog before that one of the hardest parts of the military life for me has been finding a new church every time we move. There have still been some expectations I’ve needed to adjust and walls that I’ve had to break down from experiences with past churches, but we’ve been meeting more people and slowly getting more plugged in with the church community through a small group.

For our anniversary this year we took advantage of the long Memorial Day weekend and went to Colorado Springs for the first time. It was the perfect little getaway in the most perfect little Airbnb. You can see a detailed recap of our weekend here including what we did, where we ate, and what I’d like to do when we get the chance to go back.

As an anniversary gift this year we started using the Marriage Journal to help us grow in communication and strengthen our marriage, and I have two words for you: GAME. CHANGER. I plan to share more about our experience with the Marriage Journal in the future here, so I won’t dive too deep now, but it was such a monumental part of our year that it is certainly worth mentioning.

While the entire year has been marked with a great deal of progress and growth in my health and wellness journey, I started off the summer with a fitness competition amongst the staff at the gym I worked at. While I didn’t win, it was within the challenge that I gave intermittent fasting a try for the first time, and it was a major breakthrough for me. I also plan to share more about this in the future, so I’ll have to leave you hanging, but it’s something that has really marked the second half of my year.

A somewhat challenging part of the year for us was some concern over Boone’s health. In May he experienced what we believe now was a sprain in his leg after playing fetch outside. There was some initial concern that he had a partial tear to his ACL, but after some pain meds and strict rest for a few weeks, he started to recover well, making it less likely that it was anything more than a sprain. Then just a month or two later, he had started showing some similar symptoms with his other leg. It spiraled us both into worst case scenario thinking, and I was concerned that something more serious was going on since this seemed like a repeat injury, but thankfully we discovered that he had a broken toe. Our vet here has been awesome at helping ease our minds that he is doing a-okay. He had a few more weeks of strict rest, which was challenging since he’s a fairly active pup and his brother wanted to play with him too, but after doing so, and after starting him on a joint supplement, he thankfully has finished the year strong, and as sweet as ever.

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At the end of June/beginning of July we made the trek back to Illinois (where we both are from) to visit with family and friends. Our trips home are usually a whirlwind, full of fitting in as many loved ones as possible, and this one was no different. This trip was highlighted with a surprise birthday party for Adam’s mom, a family reunion with Adam’s family, visiting our home church, seeing Spiderman with my family, and plenty of breakfast, lunch, and dinner dates with family, high school and college friends, family friends, and mentors. While we can never manage to see everyone we want to or hope to on these trips, I was able to extend myself a bit of extra grace for not being able to do everything with everyone – which was an answer to prayer, because in recent years the stress of it all has weighed heavier on me with each trip.

Smack dab in the middle of our IL trip we spent a weekend up in Michigan for one of my best friend’s weddings. I was a bridesmaid, and Adam joined in with the groom’s festivities, so we spent the entire weekend celebrating Hannah & Brent’s union, as well as spending quality time catching up with some of my dearest college friends. My heart tank was definitely feeling full after that.

In July I finally got to put my new hiking boots to use as we embarked on a couple adventures. We took the pups for a light hike at Curt Gowdy State Park, spent a super hot day hiking up Horsetooth Mountain in Fort Collins, and took on a challenging alpine hike on the Ute Trail in Rocky Mountain National Park. I have loved turning hiking into a hobby since we have lived in Cheyenne and have close access to some beautiful places (a.k.a. gimme all them mountains!), so these adventures were a special treat.

Last summer I experienced a minor injury to my shoulder/bicep tendon that didn’t seem to want to go away, so at the end of 2018 I started physical therapy, which carried on through the first half of this year. It felt a bit slow going, and I experienced a set back at one point, but I was officially discharged from physical therapy in July. I still have to be mindful of my shoulder as it can occasionally get agitated, but through the process I learned a lot and am much more aware of how to better care for it, as well as how to be more in tune with my body.

August held multiple opportunities for us to spend time with some of “our people.” Joe and Vanessa, who I mentioned we met up in Michigan with, traveled to Denver for their anniversary and invited us to spend the day with them. We adventured around town, taking them to some of our favorite places, as well as trying out some new ones. 

Then at the end of the month, we drove up to Montana over Labor Day weekend to see a whole slew of our Air Force family. A good majority of our friends from our first base in North Dakota now live in Montana, so it was amazing to be able to reunite with so many familiar faces and catch up. It was one of those trips that you feel like you are home in an entirely new place just because of the people you are with. Some of our friends even surprised me for a late birthday adventure with an escape room and ice cream – some of my favorites.

Adam set out at the beginning of this year to challenge himself with a hard goal, and he decided to run a marathon, even though he admittedly hates running. After training all year, in September he ran the Cheyenne marathon, and I couldn’t be more proud of him. Surprisingly, it has spurred him on to push himself to new limits and he’s already training for his next one (I don’t believe him anymore when he says he hates running). An extra treat was a friend of ours from high school, Zack, coming to town after Adam finished, so we had some quality time to catch up on life with him.

Because of Adam’s marathon training over the summer, we held off on going on a big hike that I had been aiming to do all year until he was finished. So the week after, we finally made the trek up to Sky Pond in Rocky Mountain National Park. I definitely want to share more about this hike on the blog, as well as some of the others I mentioned before, so that is something to look forward to (all these teasers, I know). But man, I still get heart eyes when I see the pictures from this gorgeous hike up to Loch Lake, Lake of Glass, and Sky Pond. 

Towards the end of this year Adam took on a new role at work as a flight commander, which has shifted his responsibilities from managing training products to managing people, and I already think it is exercising and sharpening his skills and strengths. It’s been a great opportunity already for him and I’m excited to see how he continues to grow and learn as he does something new.

In November, we had an opportunity to see Switchfoot for a second time this year – this time in Boulder. Over the summer they announced their Fantastic Traveling Music Show, which was a double-set tour, and I am SO glad that they made a stop near where we live so we could see it. I love seeing them live regardless, but to have the chance to hear some deeper tracks that you wouldn’t normally get at a show was awesome.

One of our best highlights of the year was FINALLY going on a big vacation that we had been saving up for. We spent a week at a Sandals resort in St. Lucia. I definitely plan to recap the trip in detail here soon, so I won’t give away too much yet, but it was absolutely everything we wanted the trip to be, and more: So much relaxation, with a little bit of adventure mixed in.

One of the biggest markers of 2019 for me came at the end of the year with the gym I worked for going out of business. I dove into more of the nitty gritty details here if you are interested, but I have spent these last few weeks of the year transitioning to a new season of abstaining from working to devote more time to blogging and tending to relationships in our lives. This will definitely be a catalyst for whatever is to come in 2020.

Since we took a vacation in November, and Adam switched to a new squadron with his flight commander position, we knew getting time off to travel home for Christmas was going to be unlikely, so we stuck around Cheyenne for a quiet, cozy holiday this year. Adam’s parent’s came for a quick visit at the start of December to spend some time with us and we had a pretty laid back visit with them. Then we had a week or so of Christmas parties and get togethers, followed by a week or so of being hermits and cozying up inside for the holidays. While being away from family and friends over the holidays can be hard, there’s also something really special to me about slowing down, so it has been a great way to finish off the year.

Whew! That was a doozy. If you’ve made it this far, thanks for hanging in there. There’s nothing like looking back on 365 days to realize how much actually happened. As I reflect back on this year, I love getting to see the threads that God has strung throughout.

It was a year of endurance through a variety of changes I experienced with my job, including the ultimate end of it. It was a year of diving deeper into new and current friendships as we established more of a community here. It was a year of growth for our marriage. It was a year of progress with my health and wellness. And as evidenced by what I shared here, it was a year of some fun adventures. I can look back on 2019 with fondness, even amidst the challenges, because what is coming out of it on the other side feels fruitful and good. I can’t wait to see what 2020 has in store. And as you can see, I’ve alluded to plenty of content that you can hope to be seeing in 2020 as well.

BUT, before we go there, join me TOMORROW for my “best of 2019” list. Think of it as some fun superlatives to further highlight the big and little things from this year. 

Until then,

What were some of your highlights from 2019? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!

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.

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?