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:

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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?