Monday, February 15, 2016


So much has happened since the beginning of the year when I last blogged. Our family continues to change and grow. The first huge change for me is Lucas Herrmann who I got engaged to on January 31st. It's been such a miracle to see how God brought us both together, and we are extremely thankful and humbled by God's provision in our lives. I would have never imagined myself marrying him a year ago, but am so incredibly thankful that God knows what's best for His children. This past year has been one of an extreme amount of change for him, as he started repenting, got baptized, and got engaged within a years time frame. For me, it was such an encouragement to see how God worked in and through him this past year. I'll give you a little background information on him. He is 27. He's an electrician and farms with his dad. He is my neighbor. I will literally be moving half a mile from my parents. You won't hear any complaints from me:) I am so excited to be a part of his family, and I've always thought a lot of his parents. I truly feel so blessed to be a part of such a wonderful family. Wedding plans are in full swing, and it's been a little overwhelming. We are already less than 2 months away from the big day. I am planning on working full time up until the week before the wedding and then going to part time after that. So that's about all I have on that big change. I'm sure you will hear/see more of this guy, because I think he's pretty great:)

The second big change in our family happened last night when Claire confessed her need for a Saviour. It's hard to put into words how extremely thankful we are that she was able to make this decision and that God's grace is still sufficient. To be honest, I wasn't quite expecting that last night, but after Lucas and I got home from dinner last night she told us where she was headed and that's where all the excitement started:) I look back a year ago from today and realize that our family has been so so blessed and God has been extremely faithful to us! So far in less than a year, Adam and Rhea got married, Lucas and I got engaged, and Claire has turned to Christ in repentance. It's a little bittersweet, because Claire and I will only be in young group together for a few months. Don't get me wrong, I am really looking forward to being married, but I also wish I was there for Claire during this time too. So if you thinking of it, send up a prayer for our family as we make all these new transitions and changes. We are thankful and rejoicing with Claire. At the beginning of this year, I decided to pick a verse(s) that would be my prayer/reminder for the year. When I picked it, I did not realize the truth that it would bring in my life. I picked Ephesians 3:14-21. For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. Little did I know that the last two verses were special to Lucas as well. And then Holly told me those verses were special to her as well when she was going through her proposal from Caleb. Amazing how God works in our lives!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

2015 adventures(year in review)

Whew. What a year. In some ways I'm glad it's over, and in others, I just wish time would slow down. An eventful and prosperous year 2015 was. Full of many, many joys, sorrows, and situations which stretched and grew me. I am thankful for 2015. God's faithfulness was proven many times over this year. I traveled a lot. Went to all parts of this lovely country. I doubt I'll be doing that much traveling this year! I put together some photos of all my adventures from my year, some you may have seen, others may be new to the blog.

Started off the year right by spending the first week in Siesta Key FL with a great group of ladies
It was a good way to beat those winter blues
And then invite a friend came around a few weeks later, and I got to keep some of my favorite people
 And then Holly somehow roped me into going to the Phoenix invite with her in February
I didn't complain too much since it was still winter back home
Enter this guy, who changed our family dynamics this year (p.s. we like him a lot)
Erika's last invite a friend in Oakville

Lazy summer afternoons with Sophie

Married Erika off in May and now she's officially a resident of Oregon
Spent Memorial Day in the Windy City with my Kristin and Holly
 Countless showers for the future Mrs. Pfaffmann
Bought a new bike this summer, and put quite a few miles on it 
 And the much anticipated weekend in July came and went in a flurry
But it was definitely the biggest highlight of the year
And two weeks after the wedding, our family took a weekend getaway to Galena, IL.
The young group took a trip to the Creation Museum in KY in August
Bike rides with Kristin
Hosted several young group events, one being a shrimp boil
And then the duo was at it again in September-headed to CT this time
 A small evening trip to NYC before the weekend activities
Reunited with Tressa in CT
The more I travel, the more I appreciate home. September evenings found me in the combine with Dad
 Sunday afternoon hike with the young group in October.

 And then Columbus Day weekend took me to Oregon
 To visit Erika and the beach

And Tressa-I think we hit a record of seeing each other 4 times this year!
 But you just can't beat those Illinois sunsets
Summer evening fishing-this wasn't Holly's biggest catch of the year though…
…This was. One November Saturday morning, Caleb Moser was a name I had never even heard of before, but now I hear about him all the time…:)
And December brought fun winter activities with Holly and Wendi, such as an outdoor ice skating rink
And Holly and I went to the Nutcracker ballet for the second time
Christmas party with the Princeville girls-Gingerbread house contest 

And of course there were many Christmases to attend, and all sorts of Christmas activities I did not document. As I look back through all these pictures, I realized a majority of all my adventures were spent with Holly. So, I guess things are going to be a little different this year. Probably not quite as exciting, as she was the one always up for adventure and pulling me out of my comfort zone, but it will be good for me, and I pray someone else will come along who's personality is similar to her's to bring me out of my little comfort zone:) Looking through all these pictures make me realize how truly blest I am and how I am not the same person I was at the beginning of 2015, which makes me thankful God is still working in my life. If I had to sum up this past year in one word it would be unexpected. I had lots of changes, and none of them I was expecting at all. Between Rhea getting married, starting a new job, and Holly getting engaged, I would have never planned on any of those things happening in 2015, but I sure am glad that they did, because God was able to work so much in my heart that wouldn't have been possible without all those situations. Here's to more adventures in 2016…

Sunday, November 15, 2015

As far as the east is from the west{and everything in between}

So lots has happened since I last blogged. I'll try to update on everything, but it will probably be short, since I don't have much time. First item: I went to Rockville, CT for Labor Day. It was lovely. Holly and I flew out on Thursday, and spent the evening in NYC with Jenna Wiegand. The rest of the weekend was filled with invite activities. On Monday, a group of us went to Boston for a few hours before the Silverton people flew out. Then Tuesday, Holly and I flew out(I was ready to be home at that point).

 Me, Jodi, Holly, Wendi
 Princeville/Bradford single group

 Boston group with a few missing
 But you sure can't beat these Illinois sunsets
 And nights riding with Dad or Adam in the combine
 Our young group decided to go hiking one sunday, which was very enjoyable, even if the leaves were all still green:)
 Dad looking dapper while escorting Claire as homecoming attendant
 Second item: I went to Silverton Oregon for Columbus Day weekend. Probably one of my favorite weekends this year.

 So so thankful for the time I got to spend with Erika in her new home. It was great seeing her in her everyday life and get to know Cameron better.
 And of course spend time with this great friend of mine. From a lot of bike riding, and hashing out life's deepest questions, this girl is just one of my favorites. So glad I didn't have to share her with anyone that weekend besides her niece and nephew who were also out.
 Third item: Enter Caleb Moser from Lester, who thinks he can just steal my best friend.
But on a more serious note, I am so thankful for God's leading in both their lives. While it's very bittersweet, Holly is extremely excited, which just pours over to me, so I'm excited for her. She's going to be very far away, but I know she will bloom where she is planted. I'm sure there will be a few trips to Lester in the coming months and years:)

And now for an update on my new job. I really enjoy it. It's definitely a different environment, which I'm trying to get use to. It's just odd to me that everyone knows me, and I know everything about everyone. When I was in Peoria, customers knew me, because I worked at the bank, but now that I'm in Princeville, people know me, because I live nearby(and they know my grandpa and dad:)) I know that this is where God has led me, so I'm working on being thankful. It's definitely hard being the newbie, and having to ask questions, when you use to know about everything and people asked you questions. It's good for me though. Keeps me humble and builds character. The past 6 months have pretty much been a season of change for me. None of it expected at all, but that pretty much seems to be the theme of my life. Sometimes I wish God would throw something my way that I was expecting, but I know I wouldn't be as thankful, and that God wouldn't have as much opportunity to work in my heart. So, I keep trudging along into the unknown. And know that He is good and His ways are above ours. Since we are on the topic of change, I just got done redoing my room. It's a pretty dramatic change from the lime green my 13 year old self picked out. I actually feel 22 now when I'm in my room:) One of these days I'll get around to taking an after picture and put up a before and after picture. Probably after Adam hangs all my pictures/wall decor. Poor guy, every time he comes over, I give him something to do. Perks of having a brother in law. I sure didn't know how handy they were:)

Here's to busy, exciting months ahead, and God's faithfulness….

Friday, October 16, 2015

Girl Meets Change{Book Review} + real life change

This book by Kristen Strong was a good one. Really good. I started reading it pretty passively at first. That's not to say I didn't enjoy it, I just didn't think it was applying to me at the time(more on that later). Kristen approached change in a light that changed my perspective on change. I'm one to dread change and all the emotions and change change brings. Kristen encourages us a believers to welcome change, as it is for our good and betterment. It is a blessing from God to keep us in line with His will and our walk with Him. She addresses big change and even the smallest change. I tend to be careful when I classify change, because I don't want to make big deals out of small things. Overall I really, really enjoyed the book and the perspective it brought me. I recommend it for anyone and everyone. It's great for any stage of life.

*I received this book for free from Revell Publishing in exchange for my honest review*

Now onto my real life change. One I wasn't expecting or looking for at all. I'm sure some of you have already heard, but for those of you who haven't, I have accepted a different job. Starting on October 27th, I will be working at Princeville State Bank. It is pretty much the same as what I do now. I'm looking forward to it, although I know there will be a lot for me to learn. New customers to learn, building new relationships with co-workers, etc. I'm sure for the next month I will be emotionally drained every night. But, I know it will be good for me, and I know this is where I am suppose to be. I wasn't looking for a job at all, but heard of this job opening and at first didn't think anything of it, but something inside me(the Spirit) was really urging me to send my resume. So I did. The day after I sent my resume, my co-worker found out her cancer was back. That was really hard. Knowing I might not be around to support and encourage her through it. Thankfully, she really encouraged me to not feel bad at all and that she would be so happy if I got the job. A week later, she put in her resignation, as she won't be able to work for awhile, and didn't want that pressure to feel like she needs to come back to work. I fully support her decision in that. It would definitely be a weight off your shoulder if you were in the position. I was really questioning the timing of this job opportunity. It all seemed off, considering if I got the job, State Bank of Speer would be out two tellers. After my first interview, Paige Ehnle wanted to hang out that night(not knowing I had an interview that day). So I obliged:) Come to find out, she had an interview the same day! I love how God works like that. Giving us opportunities to encourage and debrief about how our interviews went(I thought mine went horrible, and she thought her's went well). Something Paige asked me as given me so much peace and reassurance that I am doing that right thing. She asked, "Do you ever feel like God is totally working behind the scenes for you?" Yes. I totally do. I don't need to understand why or question the timing of it all, but just need to understand that God's hand is totally at work in my life. Everything fell into place perfectly. I had mornings off to have interviews, and everything just went so smoothly. It was completely God making a path for me. So I am thankful. I will miss everyone at the State Bank of Speer, but look forward to moving on. Everything I know, I learned at SBS. I have truly been blessed there, and look forward to what God has in store for me at the Princeville State Bank.
Here's to new beginnings...