Merry Christmas from Jake and Hayley Prahlow! We hope that this missive finds you warm, well-fed (though not overly so, of course), and celebrating the joy of the Savior’s birth this December. 2014 has been another year of tremendous change for our family. Throughout everything that has happened this year, we have been reminded of our need to rely on the mercy of our gracious God and trust in Him, no matter where the path of life leads us.
Our year began with Hayley recovering from her December surgery and Jake waiting to hear back from PhD programs. After some much needed time off, Hayley returned to her job as a Veterinary Technician at Reynolda Animal Hospital and Jake to his final semester of graduate work at Wake Forest University. The highlight of our spring was having siblings Sam, Noah, and Madalyn visit us, though we were less excited by the dehabilitating (at least in the South) snowfall that descended upon us at the end of their “spring” break. Coming a close second to that visit was the news that Jake had been accepted into the PhD program in Historical Theology at Saint Louis University to study early Christianity.
May was filled with graduations: first Hayley flew back to Michigan to witness Madalyn’s graduation from high school and then the whole Prahlow clan descended upon our one-bedroom apartment to celebrate Jake’s hooding ceremony and graduation from Wake Forest University with his Master’s degree in Religion (Jake says that you may now call him “Master Prahlow”). Jake’s family also took us to see Phantom of the Opera.
Summer involved preparations for moving to St. Louis, as well as an intensive-three week renovation of a friend’s condominium. We also managed to find the time to make it to the Outer Banks of North Carolina for some sightseeing, swimming, and sunburn, to visit Chimney Rock State Park and the Smoky Mountains for our anniversary, and to spend some time with family in Statesville, NC. Summer was not all fun, however, as we had to say goodbye to our beloved corgi, Banner, who lived a full life of fifteen years.
With Sam’s help, we moved to south Saint Louis in mid-August, only a few days after violence erupted about twenty miles north of us in Ferguson. Our apartment is right next to a large park (whose deer like to visit our apartment complex) and we’ve enjoyed taking advantage of the “country” feel by taking lots of walks with Libby, our mischievous corgi. Living in St. Louis means we’re only six hours away from family in Southwest Michigan and we’ve enjoyed being able to return home “quickly” a couple of times this fall.
Hayley, who has never particularly enjoyed change, is slowly learning to enjoy St. Louis. She’s done a great job adjusting to Jake’s new workload and has been enjoying her transition to “stay-at-home wife.” She keeps busy by reading lots, crafting, sewing, and owning several fantasy football leagues. Jake survived his first semester of PhD work at SLU and somehow enjoys reading a book each day to stay on top of his assignments and reading lists. He has been working hard to publish some articles and prepare conference papers in his “spare” time. In his actual spare time he enjoys walking with Hayley, writing at Pursuing Veritas, hosting online theology discussions groups, and serving as Managing Editor at Conciliar Post.
We cherish your prayers as we continue on our journey and thank you for reading our letter! May you have a merry Christmas and blessed New Year!
Warmest Christmas Wishes,
Jacob and Hayley Prahlow