You know those moments when you know “Oh yeah, this is going to be big. This is one of those moments” and do everything you can to remember every little detail?
It may have been a first kiss. It may have been a major moment in history you witnessed. It may have been when you saw a shooting star.
I have a few of those myself but three main ones come to mind:
- Swimming solo in the Mediterranean
- The day Drew proposed
- The day we were married
November 7, 2015 I married my best friend, my better half and my rock.
Three years ago we did not take a honeymoon but have made every weekend, every holiday and every single day an adventure. Words always fall short when I try to describe the type of person my husband is or why I love him but it has always been made clear we were created, raised and meant for each other.
He makes me laugh. Every day.
He makes me smile. Every day.
He makes me work harder. Every day.
He encourages me. Every day.
“Love is not about how many days, months or years you have been together. Love is about how much you love each other every single day.”
In traditional anniversary gift-giving Year One is Paper.
It’s believed that paper is the traditional symbol for the first anniversary because it signifies writing the blank pages of a new chapter in life. It also is a fragile material which represents the delicate state of a new marriage.
From the moment we were engaged I started keeping a journal of our year-long engagement. I wrote about how difficult it was being away from each other, how exciting it was to book our venue, how sweet it was to countdown to the rest of our life.
I wrote my vows in that journal and each year on our anniversary I will pull it back out and write to him/us. The papers of this journal are completely blank. They’re stark white, empty, blank; ready to be marked with the thoughts and milestones of a couple that will never be in that same stage again. If we had lines, we would be guided. If we had prompts we would be influenced.
But the pages are blank.
Only we decide what goes in them, what we never want to forget and we can focus on exactly what is best for us.
“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” Lao Tzu
Year Two is Cotton
The traditional gift for a second wedding anniversary is cotton. It symbolizes the need for a marriage to remain strong and be able to adapt to changes. The significance of the ‘gifts’ to symbolically mark the years of your relationship is not lost on me. As more time passes the material of the gifts grow more durable and valuable.
On our wedding day we opted to symbolize our unity by tying (literally) a fisherman’s knot with two golden ropes. This has remained untouched since our wedding day and the knot: solid.
During our cross-country move the end of one of the ropes was broken up a bit. The three strands that made up the rope separated but did not fray. It stopped midway up the rope without touching the knot. While I have yet to fix that, I could glue it. But that doesn’t take away the fact it was ever broken. It experienced a tribulation, a slight trauma but it still stuck together. It was held by the solid knot, surrounded by everything meant to protect it. If I were to glue it, it might look a bit better physically but that doesn’t erase what had happened.
Our second year brought challenges. Oh yes, it did! Job changes and promotions. My car was totaled by a drunk driver going the wrong way on I-5. Medical and health issues. Petty fights together and big relationship changes with others. There were sacrifices as individuals, there were sacrifices by family. I brought the gift of efficiency, attention to detail and small daily gestures to ease the stress of his job. He brought humor to tragedy, tight hugs when I could only cry and he lead us through several tough, challenging decisions.
Cotton can show up in many forms. It blends with other fabrics, it adapts to it’s environment and is known for holding strong in any condition. The higher quality it is created with, the longer it will last.
“Chains do not hold a marriage together. It is threads, hundreds of tiny threads, which sew people together through the years.” Simone Signoret
Year Three is Leather
The traditional 3-year anniversary gift is leather, which is symbolic of the marriage reaching a stage of flexible durability. The modern third anniversary gift is crystal (or glass), which has a special beauty, yet is still fragile—again, both significant representations of a maturing marriage.
I feel like this is going to be my favorite stage. We have reached a mutual understanding of expectations.
He updates me on his schedule and what to expect and I’ve relaxed (a little) that we don’t have to clean, do laundry…plan..or cook…etc. the same way 😉 He wants to have a relaxed day on the couch watching football without doing anything and I want to get out of the house and go do things. We compromise and do both.
We understand that good intentions are better than having done nothing at all. We understand the type of people we want to be, the type of people we want to be around or avoid and the type of people we want to raise in the future should we be so lucky.
Our wedding song was “When You Got A Good Thing” by Lady A and listening to that brings back the memories and lyrics that we hold dear to our hearts. We never forget that we do have a good thing! A GREAT thing. A unique thing.
It has always been Us and We not You and Me. We understand every decision we make is for us. Not for family. Not for friends. Not for work. Not for selfish reasons.
But what is best for US. Our favorite thing to do is enjoy every little thing around us, living in the moment, understanding how fortunate we are. We love to try new places and beers, eat new food then make fun of how it was too fancy over french fries. We love having friends and family in our home and we love being alone with the dog.
We choose to trust and love each other every day.
We choose to always kiss goodbye in the morning and say I love you every day.
We choose happiness and to laugh instead of taking each other too seriously.
We choose each other, over everything and everyone else, every day.
Cheers to Three Years!
And if you’d like to watch our wedding video click here
“Lord knows we’ve had our bad days
And more than once we’ve disagreed
But you’ve always been a friend to me.
And there’s times I’d rather kill you
Than listen to your honesty
But you’ve always been a friend to me.”
-Garth Brooks, A Friend To Me